Category: Italy

Lockdown Life – A Wander with Wild Flowers & Wildlife

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Alpine Anenomes with a snow-covered Monte Rosa in the background

The only difference between Lockdown Life and Groundhog Day seems to be that the scene outside has changed.

In the film, actor Bill Murray’s window opened daily on the same snowy landscape, although he was not in isolation. For us, seventy-two days into lockdown, the Alpine scenery has moved decisively from winter to spring. Even the thick snow on Moos, the piste opposite our apartment, has almost disappeared. 

Nevertheless, we have seen virtually no-one and have not always been able to get out. Today, both Mark and I were feeling emotionally drained.

Continue reading “Lockdown Life – A Wander with Wild Flowers & Wildlife”

Lockdown Life – 8,000ft Walkies to The Source of the River Lys

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Waiting patiently while Mark went on Adder Watch as we set off on Footpath No. 1

Let no-one call a Cavapoo frou-frou.

“Did someone switch off the Matrix?” I asked Mark when he opened the shutters on the day. In a perfect metaphor for coronavirus lockdown, the entire world beyond our garden had vanished! All we could see was a grey emptiness; as though we were the only remaining oasis of life, while the rest of creation had been erased.

There had been 69cm of snow in the forecast, but at village level, rain pelted down all day. No pups wanted to go outside and since we were almost out of data, no Netflix or internet for us. Housebound once again, our recently-restored freedom removed by the weather, we were all just so BORED.

“If it’s nice tomorrow, we’ll do a proper walk…” we promised the pups.  Continue reading “Lockdown Life – 8,000ft Walkies to The Source of the River Lys”

Lockdown Life – How The Greatest Rock Climber in the Alps was Saved by the Hunter King & a Poacher

‘The King of the Alps’, an Alpine ibex, assumes a ‘Monarch of the Glen’ pose on a grassy knoll near Staffal

We are now in our third month of lockdown in a tiny, deserted ski resort in Monte Rosa, Northern Italy.

One of the highlights of lockdown life has been wildlife sightings in deserted cities and boy, do I have a treat for you! Here in Staffal, Mother Nature has bestowed upon us some very rare and beautiful gifts. Continue reading “Lockdown Life – How The Greatest Rock Climber in the Alps was Saved by the Hunter King & a Poacher”

Our First Taste of Freedom on Star Wars Day!


Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You!) had special significance for us this year.

It was the day that the coronavirus lockdown in Italy was relaxed to the extent that we are allowed to go Out-Out. As in Out Properly. On a jaunt. We can now walk and exercise outside and drive together in the car, so long as we stay within our own region. The sun even had the grace to shine upon our first day of freedom.

After being in lockdown since 8th March and unable to leave the house since 20th March, I had to resist the urge to drive all the way to Mont Blanc for no other reason than because we can!

Continue reading “Our First Taste of Freedom on Star Wars Day!”

Waggy Tales Dog Blog: Review of Pups on Piste – A Ski Season in Italy

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Lani, Rosie, Kai & Ruby – Our Pups on Piste!

Thank you so much to Lou at Waggy Tales Book Review & Dog Blog for her review of my latest book, Pups on Piste – A Ski Season in Italy.

In summary, Lou says;

“Pups on Piste is a humorous and incredibly informative factual account of the family’s exploits in a small Italian resort, well known for its off-piste skiing…

…The descriptions of Monte Rosa are outstanding, making the book a must-have Italian travel companion or a winter sports destination to add to the bucket list.”

Click here for the full review – and to get Ten of my Top Doggie Travel Tips! The blog contains the links to order.

If you would share this, we will love you forever!


A Lockdown Lesson for the Environment as Earth Day Turns 50

Kai is at ease contemplating the universe, with some spring crocus which have appeared everywhere as the snows melt

“He is much more happy that at ease contemplates the universe as his own, and in it the sun and stars, the pleasing meadows, shades, groves, green banks, stately trees, flowing springs and the wanton windings of a river, than he that with fire and sword disturbs the world, and measures his possessions by the waste that lies around him.”

These words, written by John Aubrey in the 1600s, were never more relevant than today. First celebrated in 1970, April 22nd 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an annual, global event designed to support environmental protection. Continue reading “A Lockdown Lesson for the Environment as Earth Day Turns 50”