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… [Continue Reading]

Trampolining in the privacy of the garden

The last place you want to be on a Friday 13th, just as the country declares a State of Emergency in the face of a fast-approaching, potentially apocalyptic virus, is at the hospital Emergency Department. But that’s exactly where we found ourselves last Friday despite all our best laid self-isolating plans. Day 1 of school… [Continue Reading]

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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… [Continue Reading]

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

I did it! I have been promising myself for a few winters now that I would get out and sample the delights of snowshoeing and finally, this Monday, I got out there and did it. And reader, I loved it! What’s not to love? Clear blue skies and sunshine; spectacular views from the top of… [Continue Reading]

Looking into León

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… [Continue Reading]

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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 […]

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…..

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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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Silent Sunday

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Linking up to My Sunday Photo for the first time. Hopefully the first of many. Click the badge to find lots more fab Sunday photos…