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

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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

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‘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 […]

Winter on the way

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As seems to be the way, autumn has been glorious here in Asturias and the good weather has persisted right into January. Last Sunday 8th January I made the most of the infinitely clear skies and sunshine and got out with friends for a big hike in the mountains. With 800 metres of ascent and […]

And we’re back…..

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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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gijón – Probably the Best City in the World

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When you find yourself, over a fine pot of tea, nodding in agreement  as your friend suggests that the city you’re in right now, the one that is 30 minutes from home, is the best city in the world, then you know you’ve landed on your feet. Of course Gijón starts off with the massive advantage of […]