Monthly Archives: March 2020

Hello Australia

An eventful week of liaising and coordination saw us waving welcome-back and farewell to a masked home owner, from our vantage point in the international departure lounge as we started our journey back to Australia. Whilst our plan had been to remain in Canada riding out the storm in isolation, away from hotbeds like airports and planes, it soon became clear that we would have no choice. We were given some forward indication that even local travel would soon be shut down which did not auger well for travelers with no fixed abode.

Given that all the predictions were accurate, we feel very lucky to have made it back. We are self-isolating in style at one end of [son] Dylan and [daughter-in-law] Jo’s home and they have thought of absolutely everything . We have tea and coffee making facilities, and everything we need for whipping up a snack. Through the outdoor servery, we are to be delivered a bento box with our daily supplies and then, at night, we pick up our prepared gourmet dinner from the same place. We have equipment outside to help keep us fit – boxing gloves, yoga mat, etc. We have Wifi and TV and games. We even have our own dog! Sammy is here to keep us company and she seems pretty chuffed to play the only child for a while. She enjoyed sitting on the bed with us last night as we ate dinner and Skyped with Dylan and Jo next door.

We are all well. Keep safe folks and hopefully we will all come out the other end of this soon.


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Birds, Bees and Buttercups

I just can’t believe how lucky we are, perched high up on a hill above Oliver in the Okanagen Valley BC with two horses and three adorable dogs as our companions.

Once again, the accommodation has surpassed any expectations we might have had. Warm, quiet, peaceful, comfortable. Books. Piano. A gourmet kitchen. Magnificent views. And did I mention our four-legged companions? Three distinct personalities, all well-trained and loving.

Check out the view, which is proving to be an ever-changing symphony of whites and subtle greys that leaves me speechless.

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We have been hiking in the snow-covered hills but haven’t managed to reach the highest peak yet. We got about two-thirds of the way up before the depth of the snow made it a little too tough. Coming back down was a doddle, especially considering I spent most of my time skiing (without skis) or tobogganing (sans toboggan) – in other words out of control and mainly on my bum. I’m sure the pups had a good laugh. Did I mention the pups already?

Spring is springing early and the snow is melting fast around the house and over the lower hills. G is living up to his ‘bird-whisperer’ reputation and he’s communing with Steller’s Jays, Black-capped Chickadees and the odd Red-winged Blackbird. Bees are venturing from the hives. Buttercups are knuckling through and the horses seem to have an extra spring in their step.

We took a run down to the border so we have sighted the good old US of A without actually stepping foot on it yet. On the way we visited a fabulous miniature train museum (not something we would normally think of doing but so glad we did). A nineteen-year labour of love for the owners, it was a delightful way to spend an hour or so. The work is intricate and the pics don’t really do it justice but I particularly wanted to share one of the skate park as a nod to my roller-derbying son and daughter-in-law.


We also checked out Penticton, with its stunning lakes and walking paths and we wiled away an hour in the gallery there. Paintings by Corinne Theissen were particularly memorable; beautifully grotesque? Grotesquely beautiful, perhaps. They will haunt me for a while.

Meeting locals is one of the greatest joys of this house and pet-caring life. We had coffee and muffins with some uber-cool neighbours and got to ogle some stunning craftsman-built guitars. We are hoping for a return visit soon to hear said guitars played.

This is wine country, folks, (in fact it reminds us of Stanthorpe in Queensland) and, although many of the wineries are still winter-closed, there are a few we have lined up to visit. We have already sampled a couple of the local reds. Mightily impressed.

If it seems as though I haven’t a great deal to share, I can only say just look at the pictures. And I refer you to these gorgeous new friends of ours … did I already mention them?

L to R: Suki is an adorable bundle of energy and she gives good cuddles, Tandi loves her special song and warbles ever so softly when I sing to her, Bear is our official guide, constantly checking to make sure the Aussies aren’t getting lost.

Life is good.

For those of you who have asked about purchasing ‘Flame Tip’, perhaps the easiest for Canadian and US readers is to download the eBook. You can find links here on the Hybrid Publishers website.


Filed under Travel