Rolling your ‘R’s

Having exhausted the delights of ‘I spy’ and ‘I went to market’, we were passing the time on a long car journey with some ‘trabalenguas'; Spanish tongue twisters. A game certain to challenge and amuse in equal proportions in a car carrying one native speaker (our seven year old son) and two adult learners of […]

Vida normal

beach bar at Salinas, Asturias

‘Vida normal’. ‘Normal life’ might not sound that exciting but after two months of enforced sitting around, the consultant’s words were music to my ears. That was on Tuesday. By the weekend I was walking down a scree slope with the aid of two walking poles. Normal life means different things to different people. Two […]

Treehouse

sweet chestnut tree in Asturias

One of the many things I love about Asturias is that vast swathes of deciduous woodland adorn so much of it. Beautiful to look at, especially in autumn when they put on an extended fiery show, they also provide wondrous places for hiking and great opportunities for foraging. And if you happen to be a […]

A late autumn weekend in the Picos

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When you live in paradise the temptation can be to stay put but every now and then the urge to stray a little further afield still sneaks up on us. It doesn’t have to be very far, there are plenty of spectacular places to visit within just a couple of hours drive and, let’s face […]

And we’re back…..

reasons-for-my-absence

Two years ago to the day I published a post entitled ‘Renovating Houses’.  It opened with a stark statement: ‘Somebody please shoot me if I threaten to buy another house that needs renovation’. And then I more-or-less disappeared from this blog.   Yup. We only went and did it again. It’s been a busy couple of years. Rebuilding […]

A bench in Asturias

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    I walk past this bench most days. It sits on the side of the road, just above my house. Sometimes it has a collection of old folk on it passing the time of day and resting on their peregrinations. Other times, like today, it sits alone, dappled in sunlight, inviting rest and contemplation, […]

In Praise of Skype

Happy days with Grandma at Hot Walls, Portsmouth.

As an expat; exiled from family and life-long friends, forever barred from the spontaneous ‘pop-round for a cup of tea and a chat’ or the casual catch-up in the street; Skype takes on a different level of importance. It’s not that the occasional buffering, freezing or simple malfunctioning becomes less annoying; if anything, it’s more so. […]

Autumn in Asturias

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Autumn is my favourite season in Asturias. The weather is stable and warm and the air and light have a clarity that is lacking in the hazy days of summer. The mountain peaks emerge crisply into view in my daily backdrop. In the foreground, the hillsides are awash with vivid russets, golds and browns as the […]

Packing for a new life

Sailing off into the sunset....but did I leave the gas ring on?

Packing up your entire life to go and live in another country can feel daunting (go figure!) As a self-proclaimed packing phobic it was always going to be particularly tough for me. My preferred style of packing is usually ignore, ignore, ignore until the last possible minute then spend the last 15 minutes before I […]

Language Learning

Would you look at the dust on that?

We are coming up to our 9 year anniversary of living in Spain. Nearly a decade. A lot has happened in that time. We’ve bought three houses and renovated them. We’ve set up a couple of businesses. My other half has written and published a sport climbing guide book to the region. I’ve gained a titanium […]