From Snowy Slopes to Lockdown Blues

From Snowy Slopes to Lockdown Blues

I don’t need to tell anyone that it’s a really really weird time at the moment right?  For everyone, the whole world!  Bizarre! I for one am quite happy to have said goodbye to the month of March and, like many wonder when this will all be over.

In February we’d obviously heard and were talking about the virus, and how terrible it was in China, but with it being so far away, we here in the UK got on with our lives whilst keeping a close eye on the news.  Late February, myself and Jon set off on our booked holiday, snowboarding in Canada.

Glad to be back

We had a wonderful holiday, I wrote about ‘The long haul to Sun Peaks and a book dilemma’, as we set off, but I’ve yet to write about our actual experience there, (I guess it feels strange to write about wonderful holidays at the moment, so I’m leaving it for a while).  We were due to be travelling back to the UK early March and although we were in our own little world, on top of a beautiful mountain in a small ‘out of the way’ resortIMG_7381 having a fabulous time, we were, of course catching snippets of the news, all of which seemed to be about this horrible virus, which was creeping across various countries at quite a rapid rate.  As we were sat in the local ‘Apres Ski’ bar, with other skiers and snowboarders after a great day boarding, enjoying our beers and nibbles, there was one TV screen with the news and one TV screen with Canadian curling matches, quite exciting I must say.  Our heads were switching between the two screens, but on the news channel we were catching snippets of how many cases of Covid19 were in the larger cities of Canada.  The virus was moving quickly and it didn’t seem so far away anymore and by then it was also in the UK.

Going home – boarding our first flight from Kamloops to Calgary

We expected problems with our flights on our return, delays checking in at the airport and holdups as we landed in the UK for possible screening, but none of that happened.  We had a great flight and were actually quite concerned that we weren’t screened at Heathrow, as we would have welcomed being checked.  They obviously didn’t have any systems in place as yet.

After being home a few weeks it became apparent that COVID19 was now affecting the UK and obviously we are now, in a ‘lockdown situation’.  Although we feel lucky that we had our holiday, it felt good to get home safely.  A couple of weeks after we left Canada, Sun Peaks ski resort closed down due to the virus.


If I’ve seemed a little quiet in the blogging and social media world lately, it’s probably because all this has made me quite anxious and very concerned for friends and family knowing that this can hit anybody.  At one point, I was struggling a little, feeling Continue reading “From Snowy Slopes to Lockdown Blues”

The Long Haul To Sun Peaks And A Book Dilemma

The Long Haul To Sun Peaks And A Book Dilemma

Our annual snowboarding trip had arrived and after looking initially for a week in Europe, then comparing prices to our favourite destination, Canada, we found that for a little more, we could have 10 days, two for one lift passes, which is worth around £400, and snowboarding in one of the best destinations in the world, (in our opinion, who, by the way, hasn’t been to that many snowboarding destinations, so has no real authority to comment).  No brainer, Canada it is, again, 4th year running, you only live once right?.

IMG_7205Honestly, travel gets better every year due to technology advancing rapidly.  We checked in online 24 hours before travelling, including having printed our own boarding passes, with seats already allocated, sent to our phones.  For us, it started with a 3 hour drive to London Heathrow where parking was booked online and consisted of a very easy process from the moment we pulled up, to 20 minutes later being inside Heathrow standing at a self service machine where we were putting in our flight details and printing out our bag tags, then walking up to where we say, “goodbye, please be there a million miles aways at the other end of the journey,” to our bags and realising we hadn’t queued for anything yet.

Security was next, where there was ‘some’ queuing, but to be honest as you zig zag round all the strategically placed tape and bollards, we didn’t stop moving.  We soon got to the security area where shoes come off, belts off, coats off, everything out of bags and put in trays ready to be scanned?  No, none of that anymore, just coats off and bags with contents left in, on a tray and through the scanner they go while you walk through the human scanners and hope you don’t beep.  I’ve never got through security so quick and easily! Eh Voila, we were in the main hub of departures looking for somewhere to have lunch.

I honestly think Heathrow is a fabulous airport, there are so many choices of places to eat, and it’s like being in a large shopping mall.  You think you have hours to wait before boarding your plane, but that time soon goes.

My book dilemma

A good lunch, a few items from duty free purchased and my favourite thing to do in a departure lounge…losing some time in the book shop, choosing that holiday book, or in my case, three!IMG_7308

I had decided to have a change to my normal genre.  I normally love and have recently read two Tudor based novels The Kings Curse and Three Sisters, Three Queens both by Phillipa Gregory, which have been excellent, but I seriously need a break from the dark Tudor days and well, they were brutal in those days, weren’t they?  I’d normally then reach for a gripping thriller or Continue reading “The Long Haul To Sun Peaks And A Book Dilemma”

Amazing Over 50’s – Donna Connolly

Amazing Over 50’s – Donna Connolly

Once again, I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce Donna Connolly as my next guest on the Amazing Over 50’s’ series.  Donna writes a blog, Retirement Reflections, which I love to follow as she is always busy doing something fabulous!

Welcome Donna, to Loving The Fifty Something and the ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series

Do you remember what turning 50 meant to you and how you feel now in relation?


Absolutely. My husband and I were living in Beijing, China, at the time. He arranged a large party at a local Mexican Restaurant. It was an awesome night. (I still have the banner from that evening.) As I lived and worked in Beijing from my early forties until my mid-fifties, I viewed my 50th as just another birthday (with a really great party). The most significant age for me was 57 when my husband and I retired and moved to Vancouver Island. That took a huge leap of faith. Although I loved my work life, and our time overseas, I am incredibly grateful for this chapter.

How do you stay fit and healthy?   


I am far from being an athlete, but I love being active. My husband and I live in a relatively small town, surrounded by stunning hiking trails. This gives us the opportunity to walk daily both for transportation and for pleasure. We have also completed four Camino Trails — three in Spain and our most recent one in Italy.  It is so true that once the Camino gets into your blood, it does not easily let go. You can read about our Camino adventures here and here.

In addition to the above, my husband and I try to eat a healthy diet, maintain a balanced lifestyle, surround ourselves with positive people, and explore new things.  Currently, I am taking a course on Natural Medicine at Elder College, (part of Vancouver Island University).  It’s a great reminder to:

– Stay Active,
– Be Social,
– Contribute,
– Have a sense of wonder,
– Eat fresh, unprocessed food.
It also emphasises that you can’t outrun your fork!!

I loved reading about you and your husband walking the 400 km on the Camino trail in Italy, you described it all so well, and the photo’s are stunning.

What are the things that you feel most proud of after turning 50?


I am grateful that I had a fulfilling career that I loved, a family who I adore and a husband who makes me smile every single day. I am thankful for being able to retire young, to live on an island that is often (correctly) referred to as paradise, and to be able to fill my days with people whom I admire and passions that inspire me.

Are there other messages and advice that you would like to give others who are considering retirement?


So often, I have heard people struggling with the concept of retirement because of fears of boredom. Then when they do retire, they wonder how they ever had time to work! I have been retired for four years and cannot imagine being bored. Instead, I constantly find myself trying to juggle my calendar to fit in everything that I want to do. Retirement today offers so many incredible opportunities. The choices can be endless.

You and your husband certainly seem to be living the ‘Retirement Dream’.  

Thank you so much for being another inspiring ‘Amazing over 50’s’ guest.

More about Donna


Donna lived in Beijing, China for fourteen years, where she worked as a Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing.  Leaving international life behind, she and her husband retired to Vancouver Island, Canada, in June 2015. To document this transition, I initiated ‘Retirement Reflections.’

Comments are one of her favourite aspects of blogging.  You can connect with her there, or on any of the social media links below.



Linked In

Donna’s Blog: Retirement Reflections


Are there any ‘Mid-lifers’ out there who are enjoying life over 50?  Are you happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or any achievements since turning 50?  Do you embrace this time of your life with pride and open arms?

If so, then please contact me Here and maybe you’ll be featured in this series of

❤️ ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ ❤️


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Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

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How Arriving In Fernie Became An Education – La Niña Who?

How Arriving In Fernie Became An Education – La Niña Who?


Ever heard of a Polar Vortex, El Niño or La Niña?  They’re words I’ve heard of, but until now, not really known the meaning of.

View from the top of ‘The Bear’ chair lift

As we landed in Canada on our snowboarding holiday, we expected more snow.  We came here last year and the snow was incredible, it was the powdery snow skiers and snowboarders dream of and apparently here in Fernie, it was pretty much nailed on to be the same every year, because on average they get up to 37 feet of snow falling every year. Continue reading “How Arriving In Fernie Became An Education – La Niña Who?”

No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!

No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!


I learnt how to snowboard in my early forties.  One of the main reasons for me was because both my sons were learning to snowboard at that time and they were naturals, making it look so easy.  They took to it like a duck to water and as I watched them from the viewing area of the indoor ski centre, strap on their boards and slide down the slope with grace, ease and without fear I wanted to be out there with them, it was something we could do together.  Oh the holidays we could have, I was quite excited at the thought.  I remember approaching Jon with the idea knowing he wouldn’t hesitate because he’d be up for the challenge and Oh yeahContinue reading “No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!”

#WordlessWednesday – Back On The Boards

#WordlessWednesday – Back On The Boards

It’s that time of year again when myself and my better half start looking forward to getting back on our boards and tripping off to find snow up in the mountains somewhere.  These are just a few photographs of last years trip to Fernie, Canada and the stunning scenery which took my breath away.

IMG_0036 2 Continue reading “#WordlessWednesday – Back On The Boards”

A Good Excuse to go back to Canada!

A Good Excuse to go back to Canada!

Going to Whistler last year, was supposed to be a one off ‘special’ snowboarding trip for us and although we had a great time, we certainly didn’t think we’d be going again soon as it was a little on the expensive side, but of course it was fabulous and it left us feeling that we’d just love to see a lot more of that beautiful country, so of course we would have to add more of Canada to our never ending travel wish list or so we thought.. Continue reading “A Good Excuse to go back to Canada!”