Tag Archives: travelling with children

A Nepalese Adventure

First published in ‘The Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize Anthology 2014 ‘The Story of Us’, Edited by Teika Bellamy.

My family and I at the top of our world
My family and I at the top of our world

Your rhythmical sweet breathing calms my racing heart as I climb steadily at this high altitude. You sleep soundly, strapped firmly to my back in a sling, the safest place on earth, your sanctuary. I feel you stir as I reach Kyangjin Ri, hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind, awesome snow mountains rising majestically in every direction. You are only twenty months old, ‘bis mahinar‘, as I have replied to continuous enquiries from local Nepalis and amazed tourists alike. I force a smile to encourage my husband on, as he labours in this thin air with a far greater weight than I, that of our four-and-a-half year old son, Ewan. Continue reading A Nepalese Adventure

Wild summer days

Welcome to the July 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Summer Fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about how to get out and enjoy the warmer season as a family.


IMG_4671aA blog post about what we get up to in the summer months could be pages long, as we are a very active family regardless of the weather, but in the warmer summer months we are out and about even more than ever. To keep it concise I have broken up our activities into mini themes to help you navigate;

The Buzzards, a tiny campsite
The Buzzards, a tiny campsite

Camping; as a family we love going camping, using our trusty 3 person tunnel tent as our home from home, with a good size porch giving space to eat if the weather is bad and space for our Labrador to sleep. The Tiny Camp-sites book has really inspired us; all the

Our tent
Our tent

camp-sites are an acre or less, many rustic with rather basic facilities, which is just what we like. We prefer the feel of almost camping in someone’s back garden, as opposed to camping on a large camp-site with all mod-cons.

Tessa and Ewan by the camp-fire
Tessa and Ewan by the camp-fire

For instance, at the end of June this year, we returned to The Buzzards camp-site in Hereforshire, where we were again the only campers. This is a friendly, small camp-site with a compost-able toilet (and another toilet attached to the owner’s home with a shower too) and place to light a fire. Continue reading Wild summer days

A prayer for Nepal postscript

Here is the account of the earthquake from my Tibetan friend Sonam, in her own words;


‘We are fine and all to Tibetan in Pokhara are in safe place. No such big disaster in Pokhara. But I had a very terrible experience for the first time in my life by 7.6 magnitude earthquake.

I was sitting on bed, hanging with my mobile when earthquake start. I thought that it will stop because in this 2 months we experienced 3 times earthquake but very small like 4 or 5 magnitude. But this time, its not suppose to stop than I slowly fall down myself on the floor and get off from the room. I shouted as my uncle is in another room and my father sitting outside. My brother Sonam was in kitchen. I start crying and ft that we will die today. Shaking n shaking …all the trees and the electricity tower just near out of our boundary…Oh my God. I can’t explain. Enchanting Tibetan Mantra and crying.

Than after 40 sec it stop. Than we get out from our house compound and went to neighbour house where there is big space.
It was seriously a bad and black day of the whole Nepal. No light n battery off. Bro karma is in kathmandu at his gf home. Very worried cant able to contact. Ohh my god. Don’t know how to react the situation. After that went to other house where they have big battery to charge. We are a far relatives. After that I get contact with Bro karma and heard they are safe, staying n sleeping outside. Next day electricity come and watch TV than saw such a big destruction and lose of peoples life in kathmandu .
That tower, we been last time and nothing left now. Surprised and shocked.

Now, we are fine and safe. I update in Facebook.’

Thank goodness Sonam and her family are safe.

I also want to share the absolutely devastating news about Langtang. We spent 16 days trekking there in November 2014. I have just found out that Langtang village has been completely buried and therefore obliterated by a huge landslide, destroying 55 homes and killing many villagers, workers and tourists. This is utterly devastating news, it is mind-blowing. I am still in shock. We were there only six months ago, interacting with locals, walking through the village, and now it is no longer. We ate lunch there. Continue reading A prayer for Nepal postscript

A prayer for Nepal


The Kathmandu Valley before the quake
The Kathmandu Valley before the quake

The news of the massive earthquake on Saturday in Nepal came as a huge and unwelcome surprise to us all. Nepal and its people are very close to my heart, after four trips there over the past seventeen years. It is my spiritual and my second home, so the news of such devastation and suffering left me feeling raw and in shock. My sense of disbelief and powerlessness has lingered into the days following the quake, as I hear about the death toll rising, the massive relief effort under way and gain a sense of the level of the destruction on the global news. The chaos and suffering caused by the quake is almost impossible to imagine, as I sit here writing this in my comfortable home, with access to every amenity possible, close at hand.

Yoga and giving

My sense of powerlessness has been somewhat alleviated by attending yoga class last night, where we collectively meditated and prayed, in our own way, for Nepal. I felt the positive energy and love in the room rise, even as I also cried inside. I sincerely believe in the power of healing through positive thoughts, so know our energies here will help. So often we suffer disaster/charity overload when we are constantly bombarded with disturbing images and words in the media, yet my feeling of helplessness was transformed into something far more positive during yoga.

I am also helping in a small way by donating money to ROKPA, a non-profit, non-religious charity based in Scotland’s Samye Ling monastery. ROKPA have for many years worked in Nepal helping Tibetan children, and following the quake have launched an appeal to help the ROKPA children’s home in Kathmandu. Please give a little to this charity, or any other collecting for Nepal, if you can.

Continue reading A prayer for Nepal

Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps

This blog post to about travelling in Nepal with my children and the donation giving we were involved in when we were there. 

Tessa and Dolma

My one-year-old daughter squeals with happiness as she is thrown high up into the air by an equally delighted Tibetan woman, who bounces her ceaselessly into the bright blue sky and down into her open arms. Overwhelmed and humbled, I fight back tears as I observe this beautiful interaction between Tessa and Dolma. I have returned to Tashi Palkheil Tibetan Refugee Camp, sixteen years after I lived here as a gap year student, this time with a different purpose and with my young family. Continue reading Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps

The Sea

Acton Beach, Irleand

Waves breaking

Salt water and wind buffering our faces

We embrace the howling sea,

As I carry you along this unspoilt shore

I suddenly hear your voice, unbounded, speaking to me:

All this I have seen before, mummy,

The froth, the ebb, the flow of the ocean,

Its elemental beauty.

For I have come from another life,

To dwell for a time here with you.

You know me mummy

You knew me before time began and shall carry on knowing me in eons of time, Continue reading The Sea

Toddler wearing

Frist published in ‘Mothering’ magazine, April 4th 2012

Ewan in his Tula
Ewan in his Tula

An evening Ceilidh

It is the evening of our friend’s wedding. We dance enthusiastically at the ceilidh, a hundred bodies dressed in their finest, moving in tune to the music. Instinctively I swoop to avoid a flying arm, my free hand reassuringly touching the blonde mop nestled at my chest. As I move to the rhythms of the music my son unlatches himself from my breast, drifting contentedly into sleep. He nestles comfortably into my body, his eyes heavy, his breathing steady, as all around him people twirl to the rhythm of the music. Tummy full of milk, he is comforted by the familiar sounds of my heartbeat and voice, my smell and the touch of my hair on his face, sleeping soundly on my front for the rest of the evening. Conscious of his every movement, I am free to join in the evening’s celebrations, safe in the knowledge he is with me.
Continue reading Toddler wearing