We cycled back from Banchory to Aberdeen yesterday and it was rather hellish. I thought I was going to die. We arrived home and I collapsed in a heap with a very sore butt and feeling sorry for myself. I've decided to give up cycling for good. Just kidding 🙂 We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at… Continue reading To Aberdeen by bicycle via Drum Castle
Today we left the city for the country and visited the majestic Cairngorms, the highest mountain range in Britain. It was spectacular and my wish for snow finally came true. The scenery was a mix of woodland, mountains, castles, villages, rivers and fields but I'll let my photos tell the story. The rest of… Continue reading The Cairngorms
The Silver City
We are in Aberdeen, a city known for its extensive use of granite as a building material and because of this it is also sometimes called the granite city or the silver city. On the train here from York, I tweeted that I was heading north in Scotland. Someone responded to my tweet with, "Ooh,… Continue reading The Silver City
Winter sports are the best
We went to Newcastle for the afternoon. It started off badly: there was rain, the children wanted to go home and we had nothing planned other than to walk around in the rain for a couple of hours before going back to York. But then things changed. First we ran into someone famous: Then I… Continue reading Winter sports are the best
Finally, after almost all of November on my own, I have my husband back and I'm very happy about that. I have a lot of respect for single parents and for parents where one of the couple spends much of their time travelling. I will only be on my own for about a week this… Continue reading Clifford’s Tower
We have come to Bristol for the weekend to see some friends. Bristol is a very cool city. Where Edinburgh is perhaps a little too perfect, Bristol is a little rough around the edges in an endearing sort of way. A bit like Glasgow. There's some good cycling infrastructure here too. Bristol is famous for… Continue reading Bristol
Our last stop before returning to York is Edinburgh. Edinburgh is magnificent. Bill Bryson wrote about it in his book, Notes from a Small Island, but he painted it in a slightly unfavourable light. His objection, if I recall correctly, was that Edinburgh is full of all the same high street shops that plague most… Continue reading Edinburgh
Another day, another city, another sister. This time we're in Geneva visiting Ben's sister. I have never been all that fond of Geneva because it has somewhat of an exclusive feeling to it. It also seems to be full of banks and shops selling expensive watches. Something that they do very well here though is… Continue reading Geneva
How the richest 1% live
Global wealth has risen considerably over the last 10 years but this wealth is spread unevenly. The richest 1% have more than 46% of all global assets and the richest 10% have more than 86% of wealth. Here's a neat youtube video which graphically illustrates this inequality. So what do the 1% spend all they… Continue reading How the richest 1% live
Where am I?
I am here. Why is there a shower on the beach? Is this not the strangest sight ever? It's not the presence of a shower that I find odd - I like to be able to rinse the sand off as much as the next person - it's the placement of the shower. After you've… Continue reading Where am I?
York Minster with kids
We finally got around to venturing inside York Minster today with two small children in tow. Yes, it is beautiful and magnificent, but unlike other cathedrals we've been in, York Minster has hands-on activities for adults and children. There was this thing inside (called an orb apparently) that looks a bit like a cancerous growth,… Continue reading York Minster with kids
Yesterday we went to Durham - "a perfect little city" - according to Bill Bryson. In his book Notes from a small island, Bill Bryson summarises so well the feel of the place, so I'm going to copy and paste his words here: Why, it's wonderful - a perfect little city - and I kept thinking:… Continue reading Durham
We went to Leicester for the weekend. Leicester, I have learned, has something of a bad reputation in the UK. When I tried to find out why this is the case, it is simply that there is a large immigrant population there. This is certainly true but I did not feel unsafe there, the people… Continue reading Leicester
Yorkshire Museum of Farming
We cycled to the Museum of Farming on Sunday. It was just outside York so a fair distance for me on the bike but easily manageable and very, very enjoyable. I feel truly alive at the moment with all this physical activity. The museum itself was a great deal more than just a museum. There… Continue reading Yorkshire Museum of Farming
Jorvik and the Vikings
York was once a thriving Viking city called Jorvik. Archaeologists in the 70s and 80s discovered the houses, workshops and backyards of these Vikings as they were 1000 years ago. They are now on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York. I took the kids there to have a look and it was fascinating… Continue reading Jorvik and the Vikings
Cycling the Solar System
Not often in my life, never actually, have I had people proclaim, "COOL!" just at the sight of me but when I go cycling on the bakfiets, it happens all the time. Ok, so they're referring to the bike rather than to me but I'm not going to let the facts get in the way… Continue reading Cycling the Solar System
York Museum Gardens
York's Rowntree Park is an absolute gem. It is public green space which was gifted to the city of York by Rowntree (the chocolate company) in 1921 in memory of employees of the company who died during the war. It's now a huge park with children's playgrounds, bowling and putting green, skate park, tennis courts,… Continue reading Rowntree Park
We’ve got a bakfiets!
We have been very busy here. So busy in fact, that I've neglected my blog. But I have some great news to report today: we have wheels! Just two, completely carbon-neutral wheels. This is an original Dutch bakfiets, a second-hand one, built especially for lugging children and shopping around town and countryside. I have wanted… Continue reading We’ve got a bakfiets!