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My Story

  • An Excerpt from my Diary: Foraging in the Dolomites

    An Excerpt from my Diary: Foraging in the Dolomites

    The stunning Brenta Dolomites and the excellent Hotel Lorenzetti in the Mountain resort of Madonna di Campiglio draw me back year after year. I never tire of the spectacular mountain scenery, the wonderful walks and the diverse events that are staged there. This visit I enjoy a new experience, foraging for wild herbs and flowers organised at Cascina Zeledria in conjunction with the local branch of SAT (Società degli Alpinisti Tridentini).

  • An Excerpt from my Diary: 24 Hours on Brownsea Island

    An Excerpt from my Diary: 24 Hours on Brownsea Island

    One of the shifts I do as a volunteer on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour is the out of hours’ warden. As it involves an evening patrol and being available in case of problems on the Brownsea Island campsite I stay overnight stay in a cottage on the island. It is a great opportunity to explore this lovely island in the evening and early morning. On these walks I often see red squirrels, deer, peacocks and pheasants as well as the occasional swan and greylag goose. A special treat is a walk at dusk listening to the night jars when they are nesting here.

  • An Excerpt from my Diary: Winchester, Uppark and Emsworth

    An Excerpt from my Diary: Winchester, Uppark and Emsworth

    Winchester and Emsworth in Hampshire and Uppark House and Gardens in West Sussex are the highlight of a weekend staycation. It is so good not to be restricted by measures introduced to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. A shadow hangs over us once more as news breaks regarding the experts’ opinion that we are on the verge of a new spike of COVID-19 infections as new variants of the coronavirus have been detected and the number of cases is rising.

  • Extract from my Diary: My Platinum Jubilee Weekend

    Extract from my Diary: My Platinum Jubilee Weekend

    It is the first weekend in June 2022 and a two-day bank holiday, Thursday and Friday, to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate an unprecedented seventy years on the throne. Celebrations take place all over England from local street parties to a very special Trooping the Colour in London. I enjoy some local celebrations – a tea party and the lighting of a Platinum Jubilee Beacon followed by a firework display - and a day out at Stourhead in Wiltshire.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 113 Moving On

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 113 Moving On

    It is week 113 of the coronavirus pandemic and it will be the last instalment of my coronavirus diary as daily life approaches normality in the UK. There are still pockets of COVID-19 in the world, notably North Korea, and still the risk there will be another global outbreak. Hopefully, the virus will continue to be contained by booster vaccinations. But, for now, I can relax and enjoy my new home in Dorset following my decision to remain here after being locked down here. Partygate rumbles on and Russia is still at war with Ukraine but I will be concentrating on local attractions and volunteering on Brownsea Island.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 112 Planning a Move

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 112 Planning a Move

    My coronavirus diary for week 112 of the coronavirus pandemic records the news that there are two new COVID-19 hotspots – New Zealand and North Korea. The latter is centred on an outbreak of omicron cases in the capital, Pyongyang. It is the first time this country has admitted the virus has affected them but is refusing covid vaccinations. International travel chaos from England continues as airlines blame COVID lockdowns when large numbers of staff were laid off and recruitment drives are failing to fill vacancies. The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues as Ukraine celebrates a win at the Eurovision Song Contest. My week starts with a lovely day out at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens in West Sussex and ends by packing up an old home to move to a new one in Poole, Dorset.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 111 Brownsea Island

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 111 Brownsea Island

    In my coronavirus diary for week 111 of the coronavirus pandemic there is very little about COVID-19 as the news is mainly about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rapidly rising cost of living in England. Covid, we are told, will soon be treated like a common cold – unless a new, stronger variant breaks through the barrier of vaccinations. Chaos at the airports in the UK as demand for international travel exceeds supply. My week passes very pleasantly on Brownsea Island where I am doing seven consecutive shifts as the out of hours’ warden and staying in a cottage on the island.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 110 Tenerife North

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 110 Tenerife North

    During week 110 of the coronavirus pandemic China’s zero Covid cases policy is severely tested as the country suffers another outbreak of the virus in Beijing and Shanghai. In England we are told the coronavirus is no more serious than a cold now – provided a new, stronger variant does not break through vaccination wall. But I continue to keep my coronavirus diary just in case – as there are still countries in the world where travel is restricted as a result of the virus.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 109 Tenerife South

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 109 Tenerife South

    It is week 109 of the coronavirus pandemic and I answer a request for volunteers at one of the local vaccination hubs now giving a fourth jab to the over 75s, the immune suppressed and also a surprising number of first and second jabs for protection against COVID. At the end of this week I am off to Tenerife and very pleased all travel restrictions have been lifted for those who have been vaccinated. I start my tour at the southern end of the island where I do some bird watching and a highly successful whale and dolphin watching trip while based in La Caleta.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 108 Somerset

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 108 Somerset

    We celebrate Easter during week 108 of the coronavirus pandemic but COVID continues to affect international travel despite the lifting of restrictions. The continuing high number of new infections causing staff absences across the industry and the reduction of work forces during lockdown are causing chaos at airports and ports with many flights cancelled. I am not flying anywhere this week but will be enjoying a staycation exploring the lovely county of Somerset and visiting Wells, Frome, and Glastonbury.

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