Arriving at a deserted Gare Saint Charles, late in the day after a transit of nearly 14 hours, sense of humour was at an all time shortage and the clammy Marseille dusk greeted us off the TGV like a searching pair of blackamoor hands. Weary travellers from the cold north, we boarded a cab and... Continue Reading →
Travelling en famille can be testing. In our case, four individuals with very different ideas about what makes an enjoyable summer holiday, and each of us highly skilled in the subtle art of infuriating to extreme any, or all, of the others. Lazing beside the pool while the little darlings splash about like demented otters for hours is... Continue Reading →
…Take The Strain
I blame Portillo. The romance of rail seduced me. And those virtuous Extinction Revolution bods, who also partially influenced my decision to take the family all the way to the south of France from Yorkshire by train. I was sold on the idea that, with unfettered quantities of sun lotion and unlimited litreage of mineral... Continue Reading →
It was the Isle of Capri…
I have a thing for islands. One of my earliest memories growing up overseas was a holiday on Pangkor Island. My big sister warned me darkly of an evil monkey with long curly fangs who resided near our hotel. He never showed up, but the thought of him added to the thrill of being marooned... Continue Reading →
First Proper Training Hike: GETTING SERIOUS.
6 July. This date looms worryingly near, and all I’ve achieved by WEEK FIVE of the Macmillan Mighty Hike ‘training schedule’, is a few gentle saunters and a handful of lake swim circuits. With less than six weeks to go, it really is time to up the ante, get serious and focus on building stamina.... Continue Reading →
Saturday 6 April 2019 My toes are just beginning to feel like they belong to me again, but the buzz in my veins is still deliciously tangible. I woke late this morning, reluctantly emerging from a sensual dream world, back into the tedious every day. Of some consolation was the recollection that today is... Continue Reading →
A sharp intake of breath. My peripheral vision catches the first flail of the loose rope, then the sudden grab and snatch as her hand is yanked upwards. We stand our bells and wait in silence for the tower captain to seize back control of the escaped number three. She hovers sheepishly to one side;... Continue Reading →
HAPPY NEW YEAR
January. Gloomy mud-slick Northern days slither by, almost unnoticed, with barely a ripple of light from dawn, through noon, to twilight. The lamp in the dining room stays on all day, but who knows, or even cares what day it is? Some days slip past without me even setting foot outside, apart from to wrangle the teetering bags of recycling that patiently await collection. Even with the colour-coded timetable blu-tacked to the kitchen cupboard, we still manage to miss the anomalous... Continue Reading →
THINGS THAT GO “GAAAGH!” IN THE NIGHT.
Don’t they say to young bucks ‘If you want to know how your future wife will turn out, take a close look at her mother’? As a maid, I might have considered applying that adage to the opposite gender and given these words careful thought on that dark night when, waking suddenly to the terrifying cacophony of a not-too-distant jackhammer blasting with metronomic regularity, I saw an ominous vision of the future.... Continue Reading →
‘Hey, kids, it’s Harvest Festival in church on Thur—‘ ‘NOPE!’ And that was it. No more discussion. Finito. Period. Fin. As we approach our thirteenth anniversary of resident status here in Nunburnholme I cast my mind back to the ways in which we have become enveloped into the bosom of this tiny rural community. The... Continue Reading →