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This is a blog about an ex-pat Brit with an Australian twang, rediscovering her homeland after 35 years abroad.

A Wee Trip Down Memory Lane

A Wee Trip Down Memory Lane

When I was a kid, my parents would regularly take me and my two brothers up to Scotland for a family holiday. Mum would wake us all at 4 am, bundle us into the back of the car, still wrapped in our duvets, and we would start the long, long drive north, arriving in Argyll in time for supper.

Summering in the UK

Summering in the UK

For the last couple of years, we have summered in the UK. In part because most parents take their little darlings to the Continent during July and August, and we would rather not join them. But mainly because the UK is just so fabulous in the sunshine. Granted, summer and sunshine don’t always go hand-in-hand, but when the two align, there’s nothing better.

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli (Part II)

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli (Part II)

In Part II of our Sicilian adventure, we left Taormina and headed 30 minutes down the coast to the twin villages of Aci Castello and Aci Trezza. Separated by a mile-long promenade, these laid-back fishing villages were a complete change of pace – a sort of Port Douglas on the Med, if you happen to know Port Douglas.

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli (Part I)

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli (Part I)

If you’re a fan of ‘The Godfather’, you’ll recognise “Leave the gun, take the cannoli”. Peter Clemenza said it to his offsider after they’d stiffed a traitor. You see, he’d bought some cannoli for his wife on the way to the hit and they’d left the car with the dead body and the gun. But there’s no way he was going to leave the cannoli. It’s a Sicilian thing. . .

Coronation Street

Coronation Street

I bet you watched it. Or at least part of it. It was hard to miss, and it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But no one can deny that if there’s one thing the Brits do well, it’s pomp and ceremony. And as ceremonies go, this was all pomp.

The Great British Wardrobe Dilemma

The Great British Wardrobe Dilemma

It’s mid-April and we’re well into Spring. The weather has yet to catch up, but we live in hope. In the meantime, I’ve fallen victim to a particularly British ailment, which I’ve dubbed ‘Wardrobaphobia’. To suffers like myself, it can be a debilitating condition, and I’m thinking of starting a support group.

Expect Scattered Showers of Sleet and Snow – Chapter 2

Expect Scattered Showers of Sleet and Snow – Chapter 2

As you will know if you read Part 1 of this post, we were in Ireland enjoying the unseasonally sunny weather, instead of the forecast sleet and snow. But maybe we were heading straight for it. Maybe the second part of our Irish adventure was a disaster waiting to happen.

Expect Scattered Showers of Sleet and Snow – Chapter 1

Expect Scattered Showers of Sleet and Snow – Chapter 1

It was February 2023. Cold and miserable. Short English days of foggy, grey skies. So we decided to pack our bags and go to Ireland. . . .where it’s even colder, with a forecast of scattered showers of sleet and snow. No, I don’t know what we were thinking, either.

A Cook’s Tour of (a Few Bits of) Europe

A Cook’s Tour of (a Few Bits of) Europe

Blow me if it’s not 2023 already. Last time I looked, we were at the tail end of the most glorious summer on record in 2022. We’d enjoyed long hot days and warm sunlit evenings through July and August, and we were looking forward to jetting off to the South of France.

Wintering in The Algarve

Wintering in The Algarve

If you read the account of our Big Fat Greek Holiday Disaster, you’ll know things started to go wrong the morning of our departure. Disturbingly, this seems to be developing into a pattern.

Our Big Fat Greek Holiday Disaster

Our Big Fat Greek Holiday Disaster

Picture This: The warm blue waters of the Ionian Sea, a 5-star hotel on a private sandy beach in Corfu, perfect weather, great food, free drinks, and an upgraded room with sunset views over the ocean. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Join The Queue

Join The Queue

By now, the news of the Queen’s death will have reached every last corner of the world. There may be a village of pygmies in the Congo Basin who don’t know – and there are likely to be many republicans who don’t care. But overall, it’s a moment in history we will all remember.

(A Little Bit Less Than) A Year in Provence

(A Little Bit Less Than) A Year in Provence

It all started with a message from my friend Dinah in Australia. “Can you join me in Italy at the end of September?” she wrote. “Sadly not”, I had to reply, “But where will you be at the beginning of the month?” In Provence, it turned out. So Provence it was.

It Takes All Sorts

It Takes All Sorts

It’s probably fair to say we’ve met a few interesting locals in Dennington, our Suffolk village. I don’t think there’s one that stands out, worthy of an entire blog post. But there’s certainly been a few that merit an honorable mention.

Scotland The Brave

Scotland The Brave

Our third official road trip took place at the beginning of June, which was weeks ago, I know. But I’ve had a good excuse – I’ve been in mourning. However, today I pulled on my big-girl pants, put the tissues away and I’m back. Onward ho!

Bonjour Paris!

Bonjour Paris!

As road trips go, this one came and went faster than a speeding train but, oh garçon, did we pack it in! For two straight days (et nuits) we ate, drank, walked, window shopped, walked, ate some more, drank and marché encore.

The Pub Crawl

The Pub Crawl

As you may recall, Russell and I made a New Year’s resolution to pack a bag and travel beyond the county borders of Suffolk at least once a month. We failed, spectacularly, straight out of the starting gates.

Now is the Winter of our Hearts’ Content

Now is the Winter of our Hearts’ Content

We have discovered the joys of ‘wintering’. It’s a no-brainer when you think about it. Winter is here. It’s real. There’s no avoiding it. So, we may as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Life on the Open Road

Life on the Open Road

Today is 2nd January 2022 and I have already blown my new year’s resolution. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the leftover mince pie I had for dinner last night. It’s far worse. We haven’t done a road trip this month.

Who Knew?

Who Knew?

Vive La Difference! as they say in France. But we’re not in France, we’re in Blighty, the Old Dart. And for me, there shouldn’t be any differences. Coming home to England should be like shrugging on an old coat and knowing exactly where the pockets are. Except some of the pockets have moved.

Mind the Doors!

Mind the Doors!

“You’ll only do it once,” they said. Those wise sages who think they know everything about living in an English cottage built for our 16th-century ancestors who were, on average, 5’5″. They are of course referring to the inevitable – and painful – head meets beam scenario. They are wrong about only doing it once.

An Idiot’s Guide to Car Buying

An Idiot’s Guide to Car Buying

If I’d known last month what I know today, it wouldn’t have helped. Four weeks ago I thought we could get off a plane in London, buy a car, and drive to Suffolk to start our big adventure. But it didn’t all go according to plan.

The Joy of International Travel in a Pandemic – Episode 2

The Joy of International Travel in a Pandemic – Episode 2

I thought yesterday’s roller-coaster ride had run its course when we finally relaxed over a glass of wine and a middle eastern feast at Za Za Ta. Instead, it reached a crescendo of panic when I received a frantic call from the UK around 8pm.

The Eyes Have it

The Eyes Have it

Go on. I defy you. Look this dog in the eye and say “So long, Molly. We’re off – without you.”
You couldn’t, could you. Neither could we.

I Vote We All Stay Home

I Vote We All Stay Home

I came straight home and told Russell not to go near the place. Don’t vote. Nor will we pay their hypocritical fine.

Have Bags, Will Travel. Maybe

Have Bags, Will Travel. Maybe

Soon we’ll be packing our life into the last of our suitcases and moving to the other side of the world. This hellish decision making process will finally be over.

Farewell to Cairns

Farewell to Cairns

All journeys start with goodbyes. And that’s what I’m dreading the most. We’ll be back, of course. But that doesn’t make the sadness of leaving any easier.

Have Dogs, Will Travel

Have Dogs, Will Travel

Meet Moe and Molly. They’re both Australian Kelpie/Border Collie crosses. True Australian mongrels. And they’re coming with us to the UK.

That’s a Very Odd Name

That’s a Very Odd Name

Ways to Roam. It’s an odd name. You kinda get it. . .it has something to do with travel, doesn’t it? But why that particular wording?