Paris: The final fling

Where to go for our final two days in Europe, with a birthday to celebrate?  Despite a few concerns about safety and security, it had to be Paris! We were long on friends and short on family this time – we were lucky to be joined by our fun & superbly organised Scottish/English friends the Deakin family…

London calling

Thanks to Archie’s awesome Godmum Gemma, we had a fantastic base in Putney, London for a week.  They were away and they have 4 boys the same age as ours, so our 4 bears slotted into their beds perfectly.  10 years ago life here in London was very different – double income, no kids, working hard…

Regatta week

Regatta week in Seaview… three days of fun competition including sailing, beach sports, swimming, diving and rowing. And you can compete as long as you are older than 2 years old! Seeing as I grew up LOVING this week in the Isle of Wight, it was brilliant to see all our kids desperate to enter…

Isle of Wight

Simply, one of the best playgrounds in the world for kids and adults. We are lucky enough to have Mum and Dad’s place in Seaview, right on the beach, to stay in for two weeks. It has been in the family for a few generations now, and where I grew up spending summer holidays as…

Ancient England

It’s been 10 years since we lived in England and we’d forgotten.  There are so many people here in such a small land!  Swarming about like an ant’s nest, going about their business in an orderly and organised way. We’ve been trying to describe it to the kids; 3 times as many people live in England…

Champion Haggis

Just sitting on the train from Edinburgh to York, about to head through my old town of Durham, having had 2 great days staying with Emma’s cousins in Musselburgh. It has been a short trip to Scotland, but a very fun one for all. Staying at Bea and Tom’s place next to the river Esk,…

Morzine – more fun!

Wengen was very hard to leave. I really felt we had peaked. That there could be no better place on earth. That we should be staying, setting up shop and putting the kids into a local school! Thankfully Morzine delivered in spades. In fact, in Archie’s words, “we should live here and go on holidays…

Top of Europe

Next stop, Switzerland.  One of the greatest things about this place is all discovering it together as a family – n0one has been here before, we had little knowledge of what was to come, apart from me thinking of the story of Heidi the Swiss mountain girl and the Sound of Music! We have truly…

Arrivederci Lake Maggiore and Grazie Italia!

It is important to note that Lake Maggiore was more than just a bike crash, as significant as that moment was in our trip and no doubt will remain in Barney’s memory longer than most of our other activities. But we did have a wonderful time on the lake. Only three days in total, but…

Barney’s Buster

  After many weeks without our wheels, we decided to hire bikes to cruise around Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.  It was another hot summer’s day, clocking up about 3 weeks without any rain. We’d only got 100m down the road from the bike shop, when Barns took on a caravan on his bicycle, and lost….

They’re not fighting, they are just lying down

“They’re dead me’lord” Monteriggioni held the most awesome medieval festival, which took me back to my childhood days of Blackadder and history lessons at primary school with the best teacher I ever had who brought medieval history to life like noone else could. Monteriggioni is a small hill top walled castle town in the middle…

The home of gelato

To some, Florence is the cultural centre of Europe, impressive as the birthplace of Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. To our kids, it was simply the birthplace of gelato, the city which invented the famous ice-cream for the wealthy Medici family in the 1500’s. So what was for us grown-ups a day of being wowed by…