Life of Ryrie

Adventures in family life




We have just got back from Amsterdam. Not the whole family, just Steve and I. We were away for the whole weekend. Child-free! I know, I know. How lucky was that?

Actually lucky isn’t the word as this trip has been planned for about two months. The children would have a fun weekend with the grandparents whilst I would fly out, meet Steve at the end of his work meeting and then we would revel in our child-free state, frequent a ‘Cafe’ and revisit our mis-spent youth. Or something like that.

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Getting back to nature on Brownsea Island and we were on a National Trust stick trail. Some gorgeous views but sadly no sign of the 250 red squirrels that inhabit the island. 

How to Survive an Extended Family Holiday

Last year, when high on the emotion of our prodigal return to the UK, I agreed to go on a week’s holiday with my brother, and his family, and my parents. Self Catering. In Devon. All together. One big happy family!

We have just returned from this ‘holiday’ happily in one piece and even more remarkably we are all still speaking to each other. How did we manage this amazing feat? Well, let me tell you…

Continue reading “How to Survive an Extended Family Holiday”

Carry On, Campers

The first time I ever went camping was to Glastonbury Festival with an ex-boyfriend and his mates.  It was an eye-opening experience for the young and innocent 18 year old that I was.

The last time I went camping it was also to Glastonbury Festival: it was the year that Coldplay was headlining (for the second time) and I didn’t really like them much way back then; it was the year that lightning struck the Pyramid Stage and halted proceedings for a matter of hours; the year hundreds of festival goers had their tents and belongings washed away in a scene of devastation comparable only to the Apocalypse (perhaps).  Our tent had only survived as it was pitched on a rather steep incline which meant that the deluge of water raining down on the site simply didn’t hang around long enough to cause a problem.  The steep incline also meant that if you happened to fall asleep (fairly unlikely given that it was Glastonbury Festival) you would most definitely wake in a ball at one end of the tent.

Clearly these experiences have left their mark and whilst I wasn’t an enthusiastic camper before the great storm of 2005, after it I was decidedly anti spending any time in a shelter made of nylon fibres.  Last weekend though, I went camping.

Continue reading “Carry On, Campers”

Oh my goodness my #LoveLondon tour has been featured in a travel round up on!

Source: Travel Round-up: A medley for March

(Top 10 Tips on Surviving) School Trips

When I was 7 I missed out on a trip to Bristol Zoo thanks to being very poorly and in hospital.  I remember receiving a package of hand-drawn get well cards from my classmates featuring all the animals they had seen at the zoo.  All very lovely but the salt was well and truly rubbed into the wound.  I was totally gutted.

Continue reading “(Top 10 Tips on Surviving) School Trips”


We have walked and walked and walked.  Remarkably, the children have even looked up on occasion!

We have seen Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria’s Monument, Nelsons Column, the Ritz, Downing Street, The London Eye, the Shard, the Cenotaph, the huge victorian lanterns at Covent Garden and the Rose-Ringed Parakeets in Kensington Palace Gardens.  We have experienced the emotional roller coaster of a West End show, the mayhem of the Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre, and the tranquility of Constable’s ‘Hay Wain’ at the National Gallery.  Yes, my friends, we have been to London.

Continue reading “#LoveLondon”

Up North

Having arrived back in the UK we didn’t hang around too long before going on a little trip.  After all, we’re seasoned travellers now aren’t we?  Off we set Up North.  Well, I say ‘Up North’ but really it was Stafford with Manchester thrown in, decidedly Midlands with a touch of North.  However for our sensitive Southern souls this was definitely a trip Up North.

Continue reading “Up North”

Expat endings

The bubble has popped.  Reality has kicked in.  We are back in England.  The Life of Ryrie Big Swiss Adventure has come to a close.  Well, what a year it has been.  We have lived in a different, non English speaking country.  We have even survived.  We can now do anything, go anywhere.

Here are a few of our best bits…

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