With temperatures of 24° and clear skies forecast, we are looking forward to more days on the beach next week. Made the mistake of saying so to a Greek friend. She, sensibly garbed in boots and μπουφάν, regarded us with the incomprehension we used to reserve for New Year bathers in the North Sea. “But it’s October!”
I’ve just made a pie from the blackberries we gathered today on a favourite walk, over mountain slopes splashed mauve with heather. Cretan blackberries are tiny, so it takes ages to pick enough, but they’re plentiful. Also available for the scrumping: trusses of sun-dried fruit from neglected vines, half grapes, half raisins. The hedgerows are scarlet with hawthorn berries, of which there’s a huge crop this year. Sign of a hard winter to come, don’t they say? But for the moment it’s mellow-fruitfulness time, and it’s still hot enough for the sheep to need to seek out any noonday shade.
mid October and have just got back from a Sunday morning bike ride. It's still hot and next to no wind and the sea at various beaches was calm and still. Last Sunday it was all family groups and barbecues as I passed little enclaves but that was election day so families were together. Today it was hunters lurking in the bushes on the off road sections hence my use of a bright yellow cycling top. I'll probably be hijacked into going down for a swim in a few minutes but the sea is quite warm so no real torture and then it will be a coffee and chat to others at the cantina.
Its a tough life....
Today was the most glorious Indian summer day – the light soft but clear, the sun like a gentle benediction. A perfect day for a walk on an old mule track along a gorge which heads down towards a beckoning blue sea. Late asphodels and buddleia, ripening myrtle berries, little yellow butterflies, carob pods underfoot. The rushing sound of the river far below, hidden in the lush green depths of the ravine. Every now and then, the musky vanilla scent of a fig tree.
“Η υγεία μας” we say in Crete to end a depressing conversation about money worries, legal worries, parental worries. “Our health, that’s what matters”.
To be fit and healthy enough to do a walk like that in such a place on such a day – for today that’s all that matters.
The start date varies as does the end date but hunting season is roughly from 15th August to end of February.
Technically it is birds which are shot and a fair few are protected (illegal to hunt) but practically if it moves and has feathers it is shot at and sometimes they are not too strict on the feathers bit either.
In early Sept this year on the mainland 2 forest rangers who went to tell some hunters they were not allowed to shoot where they were, were themselves shot by the hunters after an argument, one killed, one seriously injured.
Right now in Stavros the beach is clear of all sunbeds and umbrellas, there is a light but persistent rain, the first persistent rain since last winter but it is still warm with the air like a warm blanket. People stacking stuff away for winter are working in the rain just wearing shorts with no discomfort. Some places are open for maybe another week but this looks very much like the end of the season here.
It may be raining today but there is still some good weather to come and that is when you will meet the locals out for the day and maybe one or two of the tavernas will open for lunch at a weekend.
I have a fair bit of weekend work to do over the next 4 to 6 weeks pruning (the nutter with the chainsaw) and then fastening plants firmly so they don't get too battered by the wind over the winter. Of course all the prunings then need separating, good wood onto the shed roof where it can be elementalised and dry out for next winter, other stuff for shredding then compost heap. Last years elementalised wood which is this years firewood needs bundling and stacking away in the dry ready for the worst of winter. Some of the trees that shade the walls of the house in summer need cutting right back to allow the sunlight to warm the walls in winter. In the main that's every 2nd year but this year happens to be the 2nd year. Oh well it will keep me off of street corners...
(just because I said it was persistent rain it has gone and stopped now!. Typical.)
baccybabs wrote:Warm, sunny & just lovely today(sunday) Off to Aghia Sofia caves & taverna in Topolia ...just love it there.....
Hey Jan bet you didn't make it past the taverna hope you and Chris are well, wish i was walking those steps today Jude turned four today so been busy with toys and parties, be in touch, Jason,Shelley & Jude
The seasons are all in a muddle, as usual at this time of year. (If you’re coming over tomorrow bring both bikini and fleece). Technically it’s autumn; the deciduous trees are turning, and the plakakia is suddenly cold under early-morning feet. But on a secluded southern beach yesterday the sunbeds were still out and occupied, while on the slopes above, the olive nets were already down. Today in the hills, acorns browning on the tree, the cry of new-born lambs, bulbs sprouting on the sunny slopes, and green shoots of next year’s fennel pushing inexorably up through tarmac.
Right now in Crete I am doing/have done my Nico Landenis impression (ok it's more like A5 transport caf impression)
Next door had a sheep slaughtered and I get all the offal and the head.
The lungs, liver, heart, all cleaned and cubed with fat and gristle cut out, have all been in the slow cooker overnight along with some potato, lots of onion, rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaf and a couple of chilli peppers. Not to mention a large dollop of tschikodthia. Just mixed up some flour and milk to thicken it and that is now in the slow cooker for an hour on high.
The head (already split) has been cleaned and in the pressure cooker with a little vinegar and herbs in the water. That's cooked but have yet to open the pressure cooker which I will do outside. Tongue and brains into a small container in the fridge for picking at when I feel like it and the juices will all be saved to go with the dogs meal tonight
All I have to do tonight is some mashed potato and some spinach and or red cabbage and I have my first truly winter meal.
Overall some really good food which I am not sure (meatwise) you would be able to buy in England nowadays