Local life: The Sugar Pine Walk

Local life: The Sugar Pine Walk

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it, I still find snow utterly magical. There’s something just so wonderful about watching giant flakes quietly descending from the sky and settling on the land below, turning it into a wintry wonderland.

When I spotted on the weather forecast last week the possibility of snow this weekend past, I got a little excited.  So on Sunday, Adam and I decided to head for the hills to see if we could spot any…

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A postcard from Iceland, part four

A postcard from Iceland, part four

To me, the Snæfellnes Peninsula on the west coast of Iceland felt like the set for a post-apocalyptic western movie. Vast open plains in rich browns and reds dotted with mountains dusted with snow, that from a distance resembled Viennetta ice cream.  A robot on a horse with a rifle slung across his back could’ve cantered past me and I wouldn’t have thought it looked out of place at all…

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A postcard from Iceland (part three)

A postcard from Iceland (part three)

Driving into Iceland’s ‘northern capital’ Akureyri in November is like arriving at some sort of fantastical winter wonderland.

Here, a small city sits on the shores of fjord surrounded by snow capped mountains. There are children in puffy onesie snow suits and mittens looking like little marshmallows, red heart traffic lights and decidedly Scandinavian homes all boxy with white rimmed windows and colourful exteriors.

It’s a little bit lovely…

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A postcard from Iceland (part one)

A postcard from Iceland (part one)

Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up in tropical climes, but to me there’s something about the magic of a proper bone-chilling, snowy winter in the far reaches of the northern hemisphere. As a child, pouring over pages of maps in my beloved atlas, these countries full of mountains and unpronounceable place names felt almost non-existent.  They were so different and alien to anything I’d seen or experienced.

When I met Adam I quickly learnt that he too had a soft spot for wild, rugged places with chilly, changeable weather.  It probably comes as no surprise then, that when Adam’s brother John and his partner Sally suggested we go on a week-long trip to Iceland that we jumped at the opportunity…

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A postcard from Gauja National Park

A postcard from Gauja National Park

Once upon a time there was an eight year old girl who lived in northern Australia.  She’d never seen snow, only in movies and on television.  She liked to pretend the ash that fell from the sky when nearby cane farmers burnt off their crop was snow. Little did she know she’d grow up and one day find herself in her very own snowglobe….

Looking toward's St John's Church from the old Cesis Castle in Latvia.

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The first snowfall

The first snowfall

I nervously watched the weather forecast all last week.  Snow had been predicted across a large part of England and on Thursday afternoon it started to fall.

Snow falling in Malvern, Worcestershire

I was incredibly excited, as it was first snow I’ve seen in England.  There’s just  something about those flakes of ice that puts a smile on my face.  I didn’t see snow until I was 21, working and living as a television reporter in south-west New South Wales. While driving with a cameraman to our shoot location for the day, I mistook hail netting on apple orchards for the real stuff!

I’ve visited the Australian High Country dozens of time over the last decade to both ski and play in the snow, but seeing it fall naturally on the place where I’m living is something I’ll never forget. It didn’t settle in Malvern itself on Thursday afternoon, but standing in our front yard watching the snow gracefully descend to the ground, was enough to keep me happy.

You can imagine my smile then, when the next morning Adam and I woke up to everything covered in white! It was only an icing sugar dusting – nowhere near enough for a snowman, but enough to fully cover the ground, roads and roofs of all the houses nearby.

Adam had an early start at work, so I took advantage of being awake at the crack of dawn to rug up and head out for a wander around. There was a brief, but beautifully colourful sunrise that I was lucky enough to see before the clouds rolled on in again.

Close up picture of snow with a pink and orange sunrise in the background.

A snowy path in a park with a pink and orange sunrise silhouetting a large tree.

My morning walk was just wonderful – there was the scent of wood fuelled fires in the air and I passed ruddy cheeked children on their way to school with big grins on their face (much like me!) taking in the snowy scene.

Stone cottage with dry stone wall in front of it covered in snow.

Girl standing in snowy street with scarf and hooded coat on
One excited little Aussie!

Snow covered front yard of Georgian house with bird feeder

The snow was all melted by the weekend and there’s no more forecast in the next week or so, but fingers crossed we see another flurry or two before the winter’s out!