Day 14 in lockdown – the mountains still stand

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Somebody stopped the clock. Regardless of the growing chaos in the world, the sun continues to shine in our little corner of it. The weather is glorious, in fact. The blossom is out on the trees, the garden is bursting into life and the birds sing loudly from dawn until dusk.    The days stretch […]

Lockdown in Spain – day 9

Trampolining in the privacy of the garden

I say day 9 but I’ve already lost track of the days if I’m honest. We started self-isolating the day before the government officially shut the schools, which in turn was the day before they declared a state of emergency and subsequently a state of alarm. Then, of course, in the midst of all this […]

Coronavirus lockdown

It's not all frenzied gardening. There's some reading happening too

Spain has declared a state of emergency and we are in lockdown, obeying the ‘quedáte en casa’ (stay home) edict. It may be that after all these years of living here I have gone native but the strategy, aimed at protecting the most vulnerable in society, seems to be a good one and sits far […]

Gardening for the body, mind and soul

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So after Sunday in the snow, the week was positively spring-like and had me all fired up to get working in the garden. Digging and barrowing in short-sleeves and suncream in February and with views like these as my backdrop certainly doesn’t feel like work. More like balm for the body, mind and soul.  And that is […]

Snow day

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The 9 year-old was, in his own words, ‘outraged’ at the scant covering of snow here at home last weekend. While friends in England were ‘enjoying’ blizzards we barely had a dusting, despite living at nearly 700 metres above sea level. No chance of a snow day from school on the horizon and simply not […]

Rolling your ‘R’s

Would you look at the dust on that?

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 […]

Rebooting

So this is going to be my view for the next few weeks.

I type this from my bed, right foot raised on several pillows. A moment’s inattention on unaccustomed high heels and uneven cobblestones turned my foot to the side and left me with a fracture at the base of my 5th metatarsal. Ouch. And arse. Not the start to the new year that I had been […]

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 […]