Friday, December 8, 2017

Thinking of you

 Happily counting down to the holidays, I find myself once more
 in this annual fever of preparations which I haven’t been able to
 limit despite my efforts all these years. The only place to find peace
 remains the garden. Interacting with nature, healing, getting in touch
 with my own spirit, having thoughts. I think that we will never know
 all there is to know about gardening and its effect on us and I’m
 just as glad there will always be some magic about it! I feel so lucky
 to have the privilege of living in this region and indulging in the
 garden’s delights and all blasts of sunshine whenever I wish to.
 Actually, winter never seriously sets over here. 

So, making the most of a sweet November afternoon and taking 
advantage of a shimmer of light, I took my crochet bag and 
stepped into the yard absorbing seasonal scents and followed
 the harvest of the ripe walnuts. As I said, thoughts are flowing 
through my mind. I’m thinking of you and I’m addressing you 
as if I really knew you. I feel so warm inside and so 
familiar when reading your thoughtful and gentle messages.
 I feel grateful. I’m really satisfied to savour and enjoy those
I have come to know and have remained active over the years.
 I have been faithfully following your blogs, even though
 I haven’t often the time to leave a word.

Nevertheless, it’s time to confess; some bitter thoughts I have for us,
 bloggers. I remember when full of curiosity and enthusiasm I would
 seek new inspirational blogs. It’s not the same anymore.
 Many dear friends have disappeared and others barely post.
  Things are degenerating here in blog land, not excluding 
the frequency of my own posts and comments.  


 Yet, a blissful note can be found when browsing through Instagram.
 It was with great joy that I ran into some of you while scrolling 
through images of gardens and home decor. Surprisingly, this 
meeting has instigated the blossoming of selected blog
 almost- lost friendships, rejuvenating them and making
 them more direct, more vibrant. There is nothing better than
catching up with old friends. Really awesome!

 Wishing us a continuous willingness to share, regardless of the
 medium we choose. May we be able to connect in any way. 
This is precious, I think.

I plan to post once more during the holidays.
 Until then, 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sizzle in the garden

It was intended to be a post dedicated to the Netherlands
featuring photos among the 1500 I took during our summer
 holidays. My last visit to our garden in the village, however, 
had me thinking twice; a travel post could be uploaded 
whenever throughout the year but the golden garden light 
is emerging right now and the oranges are turning orange 
right now .And this is a chance not to be missed! 

So, I’m bringing you once again into the backyard where bushes,
trees and flowers seem to me like smiling faces as the dusk softly 
falls. This little slice of paradise, the small utopia we call our yard,
 is what adds sizzle to the mundane.  

Drive fifteen kilometres back and forth three times a week to 
water a sun shocked garden. Bring the lawn mower to and from
 the country house because there are two gardens to tend to. 
And autumn comes and you hope for wetness which would mean 
less running around, but...   
the autumn rains never came and alas, we are still watering! 

It’s a miracle how we managed to keep this garden alive 
and compose little bouquets from zinnia and daisies.

Four months of light and warmth, many would envy this!;
the oranges shining lavishly in the November sundown...
 A true wonder and a sight for sore eyes especially after the
 last contagious infections from which our citrus grove 
has greatly suffered.  

At last, autumn is upon us with all the sensations that fall flavors
 evoke flowing around. To usher in this sweet season, I get 
inspiration from all ingredients identifying it ; not only cinnamon, 
apples and pumpkins. Living among citrus trees, I cannot but connect 
them to the season. So, I baked a tangy and bittersweet 
pasta frola using the jam of our own orange harvest.

It’s not with melancholy I greet autumn. Rather the opposite
so beautiful as it is! Hope you are enjoying revitalising autumn walks
 in the embrace of nature and cozy moments with your loved ones. 
Until next time! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Grape harvest

Τhe 14th century Byzantine Monastery ‘Virgin Mary of the Rocks’, 
 built on the breathtaking hills in Nemea Valley

September is the month of the grape harvest, synonymous
 for us Corinthians to Nemea. For those who may not know, 
Nemea boasts over 3000 years of wine making tradition,
 making it the oldest continuous wine making region in the world. 
 The Nemea Valley lies on the northeast side of the Peloponnese. 

The wine harvesting has always been a time of celebrations of
 the local communities since the ancient times (Nemean Games
 organised to honour Dionysus-Bacchus, the God of wine). 
Nemea is home to St.George’s grape (Agiorgitiko) the most 
versatile indigenous red variety in Greece. This great blend
 of wine is also nicknamed ‘the blood of Hercules” because of
 the legend that after the Greek hero slayed the Nemean Lion, 
he consumed this local wine.

 In recent years, as well, an annual festival called
 ‘Great days of Nemea’
 showcases a series of events ; almost all wineries open their
 doors, allowing tours to the vineyards and visits to the cellars,
 offering wine tasting experiences and releasing all secrets
 regarding the wine making, from the stripping of the grapes
 to the fermentation of the juice in the vats. 

So, on a sun kissed Saturday in early September, in the beginning
 of the grape harvest period, we were offered the chance to walk
 along the wine roads of Nemea Valley and trod in the footsteps
 of several wine growers taking part in the grape harvesting. 
The thought of the sun blessed land of Nemea, always floods my 
mind with images of fresh cut grapes, golden vineyards
 and the aroma of wine.

All of us, young and old, equipped with pruner shears and harvest
 bins poured into the vineyards delighted to have been assigned
 the duty to cut the grapes and then stomp them with bare feet.
 What an unforgettable workout for the kids especially! 

However, the winemakers with whom we had some friendly talks
 after that, explained to us that smashing grapes is now an 
obsolete practice as  some efficient alternative methods are
 widely used in order to maintain the best possible quality 
of the product. 

Wine tasting 

Vassiliou Domaine

Drying of currants to make raisins

So, pour yourselves a glass of good wine to welcome the chilly
autumn nights and accompagny it with a bit of Beethoven!

'Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes 
and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind
 and makes them spiritually drunken’
 Ludwig Van Beethoven 

Typical local landscape  

I bid you farewell with this sweet girl of mine eager to taste
 her harvest.

Wishing you a mellow yellow autumn full of 
sweetness and happiness. 
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