A bench in Asturias


    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, […]

The Rice Pudding Festival, Cabranes 2015

The streets are thronged with traditionally clad folk

It’s that time of year again, the annual Arroz con Leche festival in Cabranes. On Friday the traditional umbrella was stuck up the tree in the main square to ward off bad weather for the duration of the festivities. A back-up marquee was also erected but they needn’t have bothered. The umbrella did its job […]

Carnaval, Asturian Style

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The pace of country life can be a little slow. I’m not complaining, I’m just trying to explain why our local Carnaval celebrations took place last Saturday instead of on Shrove Tuesday, some weeks ago. Better late than never though, and mistiming your celebrations can have some advantages. Not being in competition with the larger […]

Country Mouse Visits The City

Faces of relief. Menus in hand, table and seats acquired in buzzing sidrería in Gijón's casco viejo. The time: 11pm.

After eight years of living in a tiny hamlet where the silence is broken only by the gentle jangling of cow bells and the sartorial code simply dictates clogs over slippers and never being seen in public without a large stick in your hand, it seems I have reverted to full country bumpkin mode. Any […]

Silent Sunday


Driving Through La Rioja


‘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?’ […]

The Great Spanish Cook Off


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 […]

La Boca Negra Music Club

boca negra cartel

It would be hard to say which was stranger; listening to a Japanese band playing traditional Irish music in the back room of a chigre (a typical, rustic Asturian cider bar) in the remote hills of northern Spain or simply that I, the mother of a small child, was out at a gig on a […]

Summer Holidays

PicMonkey Collage

We’re already two weeks in to the school summer holidays in Spain. Yes, the holidays here are loooong, stretching on until around the 10th of September. So far we’ve been to the beach, a river swim spot, the park down the road (lots!), a mini music festival in the mountains and spent hours eating picking […]

Welcome to the Jungle

This week we’re back to school after the Easter break. The whole ‘back to school’ thing is still new to us but any pangs of sadness I felt on Monday morning were considerably lessened by the sight of Jack in a big hug with his teacher and then being bundled on top of in a […]