Archives for posts with tag: AUTUMN

Matthew knows the small village streets on our GREEK ISLAND HOME like the back of his hand and I think he has now become familiar with every flowering rose bush too. I don’t know how people manage to grow fabulous roses but it seems we are the only people in the village incapable of it. Apparently they just grow there is nothing special we need to do and of course everyone has these flowering beauties in their garden. Everyone but us! But I need not fret as I am lucky enough to have roses picked for me from someone else’s abundnt crop. We do have a small amount of fruit trees providing us with seasonal delights. A quince tree is the first tree growing as you enter our small garden and although our annual crop seems to be far less than others in the village there is still something that can be used in a chicken staffado . There is also a small plum tree, set in the middle of our yard and an olive, fig and an almond tree too. These were not planted by us and were well established when we arrived probably planted by the wife of the last inhabitant, a priest. She was said to have had green fingers. There is an abundance seasonal fruit and veggies in the village and we are very lucky to receive bags of goodies which we usually find hanging from our front gate. This is always tricky as you don’t know which one of our many generous village friends has left it. Recently we received a bag filled to the brim with persimmons a fruit I must admit to never have eaten before. I really enjoyed this fleshy fruit and found myself unable to stop eating them once I started. I also used them in salads a delicious addition, they taste divine and add wonderful colour. We still have not worked out who left this gift but we are once again truly greatful.FLOWERSBeautiful delicate pink roses from someone else’s garden copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

FRUITPersimmons a gift from a village friend copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

I have learnt many things living in a Greek village. One thing you realise especially at this time of year, late Autumn, is that food is seasonal. Seasonal food is so easy to forget in a big city because supermarkets stock their shelves with produce from far away places. While it’s great to have choice the real nutritional value of food comes from seasonal freshness. We learned quickly about seasonal food in our Greek village when we asked in the local taverna for a tomato salad in November! The locals thought us mad.

Fruit and vegetable grown in the summer however can be preserved and dried for the winter months. The winter can be as extreme as the summer and where we live there is always the chance of snow and ice. It’s great to have these delicious preserved and dried foods to add variety  to the winter meals. The figs above were picked in the summer by our neighbour, Ralitza. She is very creative, I would go as far as to say she makes an art form with whatever she is creating. I saw these figs she was drying in the summer sun in her garden, how beautiful. They look just like flowers.

Documenting the beauty of the island of Lesvos through the lens of my camera has been my project for the last few years, so it’s great to see Lesvos documented in a different medium through the eyes of Matthew Usmar Lauder. Matthew’s captured the island in autumn light beautifully with broad brush strokes. The landscape paintings he has just completed are wonderful. Here is just one of his stunning paintings.matthewusmarlauder.com

I am now in sunny Sydney and the publicity for new book, My Greek Island Home has begun. Today first thing is a pre recorded interview with Julie McCrossin for Qantas in flight radio. This interview will be aired in December across all national and international flights, exciting! Then to the airport for a flight to Brisbane where I will be in conversation with Phil Brown at 6pm tonight at the Avid Reader book shop in West End. I will also be signing books. If your in the area drop by. At 9pm the last stop of the day is at 612 ABC radio for a live interview with Rebecca Livingston. The evening will be crowned by relaxing with my friend Rob for a good catch up and a glass of something cold! Thanks everyone for the enthusiasm you’ve shown in my new book, My Greek Island Home. October in Greece means one of my favourite fruits, pomegranate. I leave you with an explosion of pomegranates in the palm of a hand.

The morning and evening air is cooling, people are fewer, it feels like autumn. Where has the summer gone, where have the people who came from far away, Canada, America and Australia gone, surely it’s not time for them to return. The children have disappeared too.  Is that it, is it the end of summer, there is still warmth in the midday sun and the sea is warm. I miss it already all of it!