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.

Continue reading “#IAmsterdam”

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”


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”


Love this as it looks as though J is climbing the London Eye.  This gorgeous playground is at the foot of the London Eye on the banks of the River Thames.

Continue reading “Playground with a View – London”

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…


Ascension Day meant that in our Catholic canton the children were off school for a long weekend.  We decided to make the most of our central European location and take a short(ish) trip over the border into Austria and explore Innsbruck.  I have to admit that the only thing I knew about Innsbruck was the hosting of the Winter Olympics (which the city has done twice, the last time being in 1976) but my husband has happy memories of childhood holidays spent in Igls, just 5 kilometres out of the city at the foot of the Patscherkofel mountain.

It took us about four hours to make the journey from Steinhausen; wending our way through the small, but perfectly formed, gem of Liechtenstein, before threading our way round the Arlberg Pass, rising to a height of just over 1,800 metres, and arriving in the heart of the Tyrolean Mountains at Igls.  It’s easy to imagine the bustling, hyperactivity of Igls in the winter as it seemed that every street had places to hire skis, snowboards and sledging equipment with a cable car station for the Olympic resort just a few hundred yards from the centre of the town.  However, what with it being May, skiers had been replaced with hikers and cyclists, a far more sedate crowd.  We stayed at the Sporthotel and any hotel that greets its guests with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine gets my recommendation every time, the perfect antidote to four hours in the car with the children!

Continue reading “Innsbruck”

Snow in May

On our recent trip to Innsbruck we passed through St Anton am Arlberg on the Arlberg Pass.  We stopped at the top of a windy road at St Christoph am Arlberg at a height of just over 1,800 metres the children were bemused and delighted to find – snow even though the temperature a little further down the mountain was in the early twenties!  An opportunity to take a few photos…


We travel light these days – allegedly! 

Come fly with me

So, there I was.  Stood in the middle of the room, with tears cascading down my face, which I was desperately trying to hide, but having no hope of doing so thanks to the deluge that had suddenly sprung the depths of my emotional being.  The children were looking, nay staring, at me with a cross between bemusement, concern and, was that a hint of embarrassment on young T’s face?

“Why are you crying Mummy?”
*sniff*  “I’m…”  *sob*  “just so…”  *sniff*  “happy!  Grandma and Grandad are coming.”  *sob*  *sob*  *sniff*

This was only one week after we had left the UK – it had been an emotional first week in Switzerland – and we were stood in the Arrivals hall at Zurich Airport.  Fast forward one week later and it wasn’t just me with tears trickling down cheeks as we said our goodbyes.

Continue reading “Come fly with me”

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