A Land of Contrasts

p4970114Everywhere there are signs of the warmer weather to come, with blossom on some trees, buds appearing, daffodils and the striking yellow mimosa. However, for just a few more days it is still winter, but nonetheless there is a beauty in it, a certain clarity, the kind of thinking that lets me notice small details like how the trees that are still bare, have the promise of spring within them. It’s quite different to the gentle sunshine of the coming months, yet it is a part of life that I want to enjoy just the same. All of this I notice from the car as we speed south to the mountains.

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The French Pyrenees


Halfway up a mountain at an altitude of 1,150 metres, Sers is a tiny hamlet deep in a valley within the French Pyrenees. It’s been a home away from home for us this week,  a destination only reached after a long trip south with a car loaded to the brim with excited children and all manner of winter clothing. Nestled on a ridge overlooking the valley, Sers boasts just 100 year-round residents and also proudly announces to anyone reading the local noticeboard inside its tiny church that it is the best preserved village in the region.  Read more




Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook will know we spent last week skiing;  we had a little escape to the mountains and the snow during the children’s winter holidays, which was in fact the last full week of winter if you follow the meteorological calendar rather than the astronomical calendar when the March equinox  is taken to mark the first day of spring.  Either way, it has little to do with my story which most definitely took place during the winter, except we did have very spring-like conditions! Read more