The Bottom of the Holiday Cup

2015-12-31-12.44.45_wm.jpg.jpegWell, here we are, reaching the bottom of our proverbial holiday cup, already mentally making the move from two weeks of Italian winter sun back to the short, gray, drizzly days of a British January.


Darling Daughter and her own Handsome Hubby with our grandsons, lunching at La Baraka, Pila, Aosta. As you can see, our boys have inherited the bookworm gene!

Not that I’m complaining – we’ve had a wonderful time skiing, hiking and generally lounging around eating our body weight in pizza, pasta, fresh cuts of meat and lovely Italian bread and cheese washed down with a fair few Peronis and regional vino rosso.

We’ve had a few adventures, of course, hiking across half our mountain in search of a mythical lake which has somehow, in a zillion acres of fairly vertical Alpine range, managed to elude us. Go figure. Like the Abominable Snowman, Nessie and Justin Bieber’s facial hair, some things are better left the stuff of legend.

We have also dubbed this the YEAR OF THE CATERPILLAR…


The Processionary caterpillar (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) marching in their usual manner.

A day our grandsons spent building a fort in the woods resulted in contact with the spines of the processionary caterpillar native to the area. Said exposure resulted in a wicked rash, nausea and severe abdominal upset. HH managed to carry a couple of caterpillars inside on his clothing. One was discovered making a run for the border across the floorboards, but the other took a multilegged stroll down the neck of his T-shirt and scorched a path of rash from hairline to flank.

Poor HH! His stomach has yet to recover.

Also of note has been our first ever ski holiday sans snowfall. This has been the driest winter the Alps has experienced in ages. Nevertheless, thanks to the wonders of snow cannons and a well managed resort, we have had plenty of the man-made variety to keep us occupied, and a minimum of ice. And since I have been skiing with a broken finger and tendon repair that is still healing, I have been deeply grateful for the decent ski conditions!


The Hills are Alive… with caterpillars! Mia famiglia lunching near the summit.

On the upside, I have been working very hard on my Italian this year. Hopefully by next ski holiday, I’ll be fluent. I know – learning Italian sounds kind of random, but anyone who really knows me will understand. Me and words. We kind of have this thing going…

Tomorrow we shall ski our last day in Italy. We figure tomorrow the slopes will be very quiet, since everyone else will no doubt be suffering from some brand of hangover or other. As for us, we shall be bright eyed and bushy tailed and hitting the piste early to enjoy our last fill of sunshine before heading back home.

Saturday we drive back across France and will stop for the night in our favourite hotel, kind of the French equivalent of the Bates Motel, but way classier and without any corpses.

That we know about, anyway. We’ll have a seafood lunch on Sunday at Amarine in Arras, and hopefully manage to make our cross-channel train with a minimum of migrant delays.

Believe it or not, me and my bunny slippers are missing home. Our house sitter informs me my pullets have just come into lay, so we are up to our ankles in eggs once again. I’m not looking froward to the rain, but, as they say, there is NO PLACE like home!

Mother Hen


Thought I was joking about the slippers, now, didn’t you? xx MH

© motherhendiaries 2015, all rights reserved.

16 replies »

    • The hand is getting there – still splinted for the bone to heal another 4 weeks, then I’ll have to rework the tendon for a while. It’s become taut as a bow string again since the mallet splint went on. What a palaver! 😊


  1. Hang in there cowgirl. I have faith in you. Anyone who can love a chicken and still wring its neck when necessary can pull this off. Sending healing thoughts your way. Happy New Year!


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