A Christmas Tale

Yes, it really was a pile of dead sticks.

Christmas Eve eve. The wind howls around the house, rattling the doors and windows and whistling like an enraged banshee. Outside, unidentified objects clatter about and crashes come at irregular intervals. I have never heard anything quite like it. I lie rigid and sleepless in bed, my head full of the weather reports and the […]

The Outdoor Life is the Life for Us

Hanging out in the garden with friends. There´s no better place to be.

We’ve just had a four day weekend here in Spain. I’ll be honest, I was slightly dreading it as I was going to be on my own with my four year old son for the whole time. That makes me sound terrible, doesn’t it? Possibly accurately. But really it was just a sense that 4×24 […]

Driving Through La Rioja

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‘Is it real, Mum?’ Jack turned saucer shaped eyes to me. The slow passage of kilometres as we trucked our way home from Catalunya had just been enlivened by the sight of a floodlit castle, turrets and all. ‘It is. It really is,’ I smiled. ‘Oh, oh, oh. Do you think they need a knight?’ […]

(Not) Burning Down the House

A relaxing weekend away in the motorhome. But what would be coming home to?

We were an hour away from home, labouriously wending our way up the mountain pass to León in our cumbersome motorhome when Richie happened to mention that he’d eaten some croquetas earlier. Hmmm. I looked at him. ‘I really wish you hadn’t told me that,’ I said. ‘Why? You hungry?’ ‘No. Well, yes actually, but […]

48 Hour Photo Diary of a (Nearly) 4 Year Old

The weekend got off to a great start when the postman brought me a new motorbike. I didn´t realise he liked me so much. Mum said something about it coming from Aunty Sandra but I know it was from the postman. I saw him.

Last Christmas Granny and Grandad bought a fab kiddy camera for Jack. Rubber encased with chunky buttons and dials that are perfect for chubby little fingers and with great quality photos it’s ideal for the budding toddler photographer. Sadly it now languishes unloved in a cupboard. That’s not to say that the photography bug has […]

Natural Swimming Pools

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Asturias ushered in autumn last week with temperatures reaching 34 degrees. Perfect for family visiting us post the high season crush (i.e. now we have accommodation going spare in our holiday rental) and perfect for playing hooky from school. (I know, a little bit naughty but when you’re only nearly 4 and school’s not even […]

Silent Sunday

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The Great Spanish Cook Off

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It’s the beginning of September and my trial as a Spanish restaurant cook is drawing to a close. Oh, did I not mention? Well, it wasn’t intentional. Let me explain. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So, when my son started at a local school here last September […]

Of Swimming Pools and Litter Bugs

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It was a hot, summer’s day way back in the eighties. (Think: hazy Instagram tones, unflattering ra-ra skirts and bad hair. I shall not be supplying a photo.) My best friend Deirdre and I were bored. And what do nearly-teens do when they’re bored? Why experiment of course. This was the west of Ireland, however, […]

The Importance of Pronouncing Your Rs

Say what now, Dad?

It was always going to be a difficult conversation. Sensitive negotiation would be vital. Careful preparation would have been nice but when he rang out of the blue on a Saturday afternoon he put R on the spot. Unsurprisingly, R fumbled the first contact. It took a moment to figure out who the Spanish speaking […]