Meetings and Greetings in Covid Valencia

Spanish people greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks. They repeat this when they say goodbye. They do it automatically, without question in nearly every situation, both informal or formal. Not to do so is considered rude, a little cold. I have struggled with this at times over the last seven years, since I first came to live … Read More

Eating Out for England

After weeks of repetitive lockdown cooking and washing up in Wales I was excited to return to London, where the restaurant world was doing its best to operate normally. The weather was mild and sunny and most places had outdoor tables, strategically placed so customers could easily distance. Some were extending Eat Out to Help Out into September, offering enticing … Read More

Summer Trundling 2020 and the Power of Friendship

Beyond 5 Miles The relaxation of the 5 Miles rule in Wales on July 6th and the opening of the tourist market on 13th July brought far more freedom as travelling to and from England became possible. It was time to leave the village of Maentwrog and head for London. Time to reflect a little too. And to contemplate how … Read More

A Place of Refuge

When we first returned to Maentwrog in March it felt like a place of refuge. Not just from Covid 19, but as a quiet and beautiful haven from sadness after the recent death of my mum. Since then Wales has been in lockdown and restrictions remain tight, in comparison to its more flighty neighbour. Nearly everything is closed. Yet life … Read More

May Day in Maentwrog

After seven weeks here, except for the saddest day trip to Staffordshire, my routine is so set, that I sometimes get it muddled up. I put my door keys in the coffee pot and my lipstick in the bread bin. I fill my hot water bottle just as I am due to go for my morning walk. Mostly though I … Read More

The Strangest Spring

Three Weeks and Counting The sun has shone every day for so long that I can’t remember when it rained. I have rarely known such wonderful weather here in North Wales. Today is a glorious bonanza of blues and greens, yellows and pinks. There are clusters of wild violets and primroses, blazing red rhododendrons, early bluebells and creamy blossom, fluffy … Read More

Can’t Stop Las Fallas

Joan Ribo, the Mayor of Valencia, just announced that Las Fallas would be held this year, Coronavirus or not. In many other places this could be seen as a risky decision. There’s only been a few confirmed cases in the province, but it’s easy to imagine the virus spreading like wildfire during the city’s mammoth and most important festival. Packed … Read More

A Winter Trundle in the Canary Isles

I wasn’t sure about Trundling around the Canaries. I had visions of marauding Brits, celebrating Brexit with litres of lager and mountains of chips in crowded resorts. In fact I rarely heard English spoken, just a gentle sing-song Spanish. No lager, but lots of fresh papaya juice and instead of chips, little dishes of Papas Arrugadas – locally grown potatoes, … Read More

A Trundler’s Tale from New Zealand

Brian and Elizabeth from New Zealand make significant trips in Europe by bike, to connect with their past and keep the environmental impact low Over the past 40 years we have been very fortunate in being able to travel widely, both for pleasure and on business to Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands (twice yearly sales trips to the Fiji … Read More