Snapshots of the Rockies

So that’s it then. Final day. And outside the window, as I blog from our hotel room in Canmore, the mist and rain – make that sleet – has rolled down yesterday’s stunning view of ‘the three sisters’, the town’s iconic mountain peaks, like a curtain gently but firmly coming down on our three-week adventure….

Where’s the bear?

If I imagined for one moment that our second week in the Rockies would be any less frenetic, I was wrong. So wrong, my Fitbit thinks it’s found a new owner. The tourist tick box checking continues apace. Fresh from the train, it was off to Jasper Mountain Park Lodge, and a lengthy walk round…

Rocky Mountaineer

I’ll be blogging all the way, says I, handing the house keys to Helen, charged to keep a watchful eye on the postbox and plants in our absence. ‘Blogging all the way’, it transpires, was a boast too far. For the first seven rapid-fire days, we barely had time to draw breath, let alone write…

Secretary of State says ‘maybe’

Given that nuclear war hasn’t yet commenced, despite a further attempt to launch Mr Kim’s deadly KN-08, and that Orange Bloke just generally being one, this week I’m back focusing on Strawberry How. Well, if we’re not about to be nuked any time soon, may as well concern ourselves with pasture-pillaging property magnates closer to home. And there…

The rise of the killer hamster

So. Nuclear war, it now becomes clear, will not be triggered by anything as inspirational to post-Armageddon film-makers as an archduke getting himself shot. Or a bunch of uniformed yobs goose-stepping down a quiet, hitherto peaceful country lane. No, nuclear war will, I am now confident, be triggered by a ‘my willy’s bigger than yours’ contest,…

The mountain man returns

It’s business as usual, now the wanderer has returned from his travels. The smelly bits of ski kit have been subjected to a good thrashing in soapy water, the ski boot inners duly aired and the clanky bits stowed away till next time. True to form, mere minutes in from stepping back through the door,…

On fruit and wine and coming up trumps

‘I had my ten a day today,’ said the Gremlin, reeling off what I can only describe as a shopping list of mainly fruit with little else to slow its passage through his guts. <Gremlin rolls eyes as I read this out to him> We’ve been monitoring the situation closely, you see, for the last…

Facing the biggest challenge of all

I passed one of those markers in time in January, this year. My brother too. One of those times when you look again at the faded monochrome photos you’ve had framed and propped by your desk, or stuffed into musty old albums, dog-eared edges straying from their black photo mounts. And I mean really look, desperately trying to see them now, animated and…

Icebergs? What icebergs?

  Well, hands up who knew there was a British Leafy Salads Association? Not me. But there they were, last week, centre stage thanks to the current ‘vegetable crisis’. For, as if we didn’t have enough to worry about, what with impending nuclear doom and the considerably more drawn out, yet equally final, threat to the world of global…

An apple a day…

President Trump’s executive order, barring nationals from seven countries perceived as a threat to the US from entering the country – whilst continuing to allow in those from countries whose track record on the terror front leaves a lot to be desired – continues to excite all manner of debate on and offline. As you might expect. It reminded me…

It’s all downhill from here

Time was when all I required for a day on the piste was a pair of navy and white Salomon rear-entry boots, a nifty one-piece ski suit (padded shoulders, nipped in waist), thermal gloves and a silly hat. Sillier the better. Sun cream and lip salve in one pocket, hankie in another, crumpled piste map…

Spiky balls and bicycles

‘Not that I go round randomly sniffing balls,’ said my neighbour Helen, remarkably seriously, and entirely unsolicited. ‘But I definitely caught a whiff of vanilla’. ‘Really?’ I said, spiky ball under nose, equally seriously. ‘Oh yeah’. We were appraising the Strawberry How torture chamber, from the comfort of the sofas, a couple of glasses of wine into our…