A Note from Humboldt

Humboldt holiday photo collage

Summer days spent at Grama’s are always wrapped in that delicious lazy disregard for time, where the big event of the day is going for brunch, and the only decision is which old friend we’re going to visit.

I adored my two weeks in California, so quickly settling back in to the American twang that I worked hard to soften as a young kid new to England. It felt good to drive on those redwood-lined roads, passing familiar signs to Arcata and Trinidad. I soaked up on family time, be it out on the porch with a beer, or down at the logger bar with a tequila.

Humboldt holiday photo collage

I dipped in mountain streams, cycled the back roads of my mum’s home town, and developed a serious addiction to root beer floats. We baked pies, swapped stories and watched the seals and otters in the bay.

It felt so good to reconnect with my family out there, and to enjoy the good aspects of American living. Lots of sweet memories to hold on to as Autumn falls in to our laps.

Selfie of Wendy, Rusty and Marlene


Bryony and Tom and their wedding

Four years ago today, Tom and I were standing in front of our friends and family, talking of climbing mountains and fighting tigers (that’s what happens when you write you own vows;) We met in the love of one another and danced haphazardly to cheesy songs.

Wedding photo collage

Looking back over these photos had me smiling at all the little things.  After all, the wedding is a pretty little thing: the champagne and the frisbee, the sunburnt photos and the drunken hugs.  But the life together is a far bigger deal.

I’ve spent fourteen years with this guy, and life is all the sweeter for it.  With him, the smallest trip is an adventure, and the tiny things in life feel important. We’re a team.  Sure he’d fight that tiger for me, but we’d be more likely to take it on together.  Tom has shown me the value of listening (he always does a better job of it than I do) and the magic of challenging ideas.

Rusty's wedding

I love being with someone as geeky about the outdoors as I am.  Our first road trip down to Cornwall, I remember insisting that he take a proper look at the clouds and agree to their awesomeness.  Now he’s always giving me snippets, about the Latin for badger, or the origin of a holloway.

I want to climb more mountains, ride more miles, and spend more hours just sitting by the fire with this guy.  I love him, he is my best and most awesome.  Thank you for marrying me Tom (and sorry I was a little late!)

Tom checking the time on his watch

Photo collage of Rusty and Tom's first kiss

California Dreaming

Rusty and Marlene in a rickshaw

I’m headed to California this summer, to spend time hanging out with my most awesome American Grama. She has inspired my writing and my yoga, she’s responsible for my most favourite Christmas read, and she even taught me how to blow bubble gum.

She is also my most faithful reader. She often writes intricate emails in reply to my posts, filled with snapshots of her life, like the literary Instagram of an octogenarian. I love how we stay connected, even though we are 5,233 miles apart.

Yosemite view

Rusty cycling with Trinidad Head in the background

I’m so excited to return home to Humboldt, with it’s foggy coast, tall redwoods, and long nose trucks. Not to mention the fact that these guys really know how to do brunch. I’m already drooling at the thought of pancakes at Mama’s when Mum and I first arrive in San Francisco.

Brunch stop

A fortnight of yoga, knitting, and blackberry picking, and visiting all the places I knew as a littlun. I can’t wait to get three generations of girls together for a proper laugh, as we’ve been doing for the last 31 years.

Rusty, Wendy and Marlene

A Surprise Feast

Wall flower

Wednesday’s almost here and I’m still brimful from the weekend of family celebrations, games with friends, and incredible food from start to finish.

Friday was marked by the perfect steak at the Angel & Blue Pig. The whole family arrived in Lymington by boat, train, or bike to surprise my dad and celebrate a rather auspicious birthday.

Family walking in to The Pig

Cocktails by the fire

Saturday played host to the best ingredients I’ve ever tasted. We were defiant of the drizzle and arrived at the door of The Pig Hotel after a muddy tour of woods, streams and parkland, to dry by the fire and drink mulberry cocktails.

Bridge and tables photo collage

The Rust family

We ate in a bustling garden room of irresistible dishes (including a burnt cream to die for) and filled up on delicious food and good company. No amount of drizzle can dampen spirits when there’s this much fun to be had.

A Wintry Week

Tree at Newtown, Isle of Wight

Looking down at boots by a puddle

It’s been wet and stormy round these parts; a well-chosen week to be off work, drowsing under the duvet or snoozing by the fire. But even this stormy weather is worth being out in. I loved the adventure of getting caught running the coast path in a hailstorm: a Christmas Day first for me. And the perfect stillness of Newtown after a storm passes is wintry perfection.

Truly though, I only go outside so I can max out on being lazy at home, for which the Christmas holidays are perfectly designed. Visiting family, eating delicious food, and laughing/shouting over games, is the perfect way to tire yourself out, ready for another big snooze under the duvet. I’m due a little more happy hibernating before the new year arrives..

Tom opening presents by the Christmas tree

Holiday photo collage showing gingerbread, plastic penguins and Bryony