Birds, bins and Brazil

My obsession with Brazilian birds has definitely been growing over the last year and a half. My husband actually introduced me to the iconic Sabiá-laranjeira (Rufous-bellied Thrush) in the few weeks after we first met, but since I was in the UK for most of our relationship, and then living in favelas after we got … Continue reading Birds, bins and Brazil

Carrapateiros and capybaras

The gavião carrapateiro is an astounding bird. It goes by the name 'Yellow-headed caracara' in English but I much prefer the literal translation 'tick hawk'. Gavião carrapateiro - @juliano.fabricante Brazil being extremely large, and the gavião carrapateiro appearing everywhere, it has a long list of aliases: caracará-branco, caracaraí, caracaratinga, carapinhé, gavião-pinhé, pinhé, pinhém, papa-bicheira, chimango, … Continue reading Carrapateiros and capybaras

Squirrels, toucans and confessions

Having once openly ridiculed a Brazilian friend who went nuts when she saw a squirrel in the Rio de Janeiro botanical gardens when I was still fresh off the boat and clinging jealously to a brief glimpse of a toucan as my only brush with tropical wildlife, I have a confession to make. I've harboured … Continue reading Squirrels, toucans and confessions

Christmas – to be continued… I'll just leave that there because well, it's brilliant. As I sit drinking a splendidly hot cup of tea made with one of a few extremely jealously guarded teabags I am feeling roundly comforted. Tea is an almost entirely reliable comfort for me, being "a panacea for all but stomach wounds" according to my … Continue reading Christmas – to be continued…

A poem for Christmas Day

I'm writing this on Boxing Day as rain is hammering on the windows and lightning is splitting the sky. At some point during Advent (probably as I was listening to the Art & Theology Advent playlist), the penny dropped for me that the characters in the Christmas story would have felt a whole range of … Continue reading A poem for Christmas Day

Writing as worship

I'm coming to realise that writing comes in all forms and for all different purposes and that's one of the wonderful things about it. So writing blog posts is not frivolous if I am training myself to persevere and experimenting with different writing styles and techniques. And what I am unable to capture in a … Continue reading Writing as worship

Seeing nature writing in a new light

This week I had the pleasure of listening to the In Conservation With... series for the first time. These are conversations hosted by David Lindo (The Urban Birder) and the latest featured Melissa Harrison (writer and podcaster). At one point Melissa commented that although she wouldn't describe herself first and foremost as a nature writer, … Continue reading Seeing nature writing in a new light

How to be an encouraging presence in the writing community

If you have been writing and sharing poetry (or any art really) then you know how much encouragement from others can literally 'give courage' and also cheer you up, strengthen you and help you keep writing in moments when it would be easier to stop. Conversely we probably all know what it is like to hear … Continue reading How to be an encouraging presence in the writing community

Tips for finding inspiration and fuelling creativity

Are you looking for inspiration? Feeling a bit short on creativity? Want a bit of a challenge? Well thankfully, "Creativity is combining two things that already exist but that haven't been combined before", to quote Andrew T Le Peau, (Season 2, Episode 43 of The Habit Podcast) which means that the opportunities for creativity are … Continue reading Tips for finding inspiration and fuelling creativity

How to submit poetry to literary magazines and journals

Have you wondered about submitting your writing or poetry for publishing but you're just not sure where to start? I submitted my first poem to a literary magazine two months ago and since then five of my poems have been accepted for publishing, so although I'm just starting out too, I've followed some tips and … Continue reading How to submit poetry to literary magazines and journals