The beginning of the holidays, instead of smoking the kids out of the neighbouring houses, seems to make them vanish altogether. Where have they all gone, we wonder – off to the seaside, perhaps, or Spain, or to visit their grandparents in Lincolnshire, or to school holiday programmes or whatever working Londoners do with their kids over the summer. Continue reading “Funny bone”
Awww, don’t be sad, people… I’m not sad! It’s been an amazing year, and I wouldn’t have traded a minute of it, but like I said earlier, a year has been exactly the right length of time. And now that we’re getting ready to head back, my thoughts are turning daily to the things I’ll love about being home. Continue reading “Tempus fugit”
Suddenly, here we are, down to the last week of school and truly free-range writing. Then there’ll be visitors (yay, someone to buy us beer!) and Christmas, and after that just three weeks to pack up the whole household and get myself and the boys on a plane. Continue reading “Exit strategy”
Back to university next year. Aaaaarrrrggghhh! I’m old enough to be those fresh-faced acne-pocked hormone-raddled infants’ mother! My student ID number begins with 90! Campus is all fancy, with no foul $1 Lower Caff polystyrene coffee and squeezy-cheese nachos! Continue reading “University daze”
So here it is, our final quarter. The ski season finally over, and a long list of other adventures to try and squeeze into our last term. To bookend the season, we were up the mountain on closing weekend, graunching our way through the thick mashed-potato snow, paying our final respects: goodbye, Cardrona! See you in a few years! Continue reading “Space cadet”
So as I was saying, the autumn roadsides are ablush with ripe hawthorn berries, which appear to be non-toxic but still entirely useless as a foraged food. The wild rose bushes, however, which are also widespread, are laden with fat scarlet rosehips, and these are useful. (Remember, we’re operating on an if it’s free, we’ll eat it basis.) Continue reading “Wild food and wildlife (If this is autumn… part 2)”
Our boys do pine a little for life in their leafy city suburb by the sea – mostly for a few particular friends, their cousins and their cricket club – but they’re the first to admit that they love their new country life too. Continue reading “One fish, two fish, big fish, no fish”
With a new life and an uncertain budget, we’re inevitably evolving new ways of shopping and eating.
Things we’ve given up buying:
– designer yoghurt
– fancy salad leaves (we’re eating iceberg for the first time in 15 years)
– Kato mayonnaise Continue reading “The free-range cook”
So, our Hawea house is perfectly nice, but the contents… well, not so much. Unsurprising, of course, for a cheap rental with a high tenant turnover.
When we arrive, the airing cupboard is stuffed to the ceiling with musty duvet inners, stained mattress protectors, fraying towels and mismatched sheets and pillowcases in an assortment of prints from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading “Contents and discontents”
This is how it goes, a road trip on a shoestring: a freebie from a friend, two days dossing with rellies, followed by a succession of pokey, meagerly-appointed motel units in various stages of time warp. Continue reading “Motel roulette”