Saturday, January 28, 2017

Orange: Fruit, Felines and Flames


Bright, orange-y  combs and wattles adorning our resident roosters  commanded my attention this past week, demanding  I put them on top of my very long 'to do' list, and thus, making it a priority to find them their new place on the kitchen's open shelving, as promised. I'm glad they put the pressure on, since it gave me the chance to do something fun and creative after two weeks of tedious cleaning. Orange, from the fresh and flavourful to the furry and flaming, would continue to entertain and delight that day!


On our afternoon walk, Liberty and I spotted a Mackerel Red Tabby taking shelter from a sudden hail storm. Unlike the rowdy roosters, this ginger critter had a modest gentleness about it. Keeping a low profile, kitty hid under a metallic umbrella, while we pretended that its striking stripes went unnoticed and continued on our way, apart from pausing for a few seconds, daring to snap this pic from a distance! 

 

When we arrived at my aunt's house shortly after to pick oranges,  thankfully, the hail had stopped. We were pleasantly surprised and grateful that the previous day's gales hadn't succeeded in too much of the sweet citrus fruit falling to the ground, where it risked rapid rotting. Other trees in her garden boast branches of clementines and lemons and we'll be back for them!


Arriving home with our basket of pretty, perfumed produce,

A crackling fire calms the soul and soothes achy bones from days of damp and cold

we scurried to get a fire going, (our first, 
since we'd been back), as the house felt cold. 

Olive trees huddle together, awaiting confirmation of a rumoured snowfall.

We wondered if there was more snow on the horizon. Apparently, 20cm of the white, powdery stuff covered the landscape a few days before our arrival, causing chaos, since Cretans are never prepared for such uncharacteristic, wacky weather conditions!

Freshly squeezed orange juice is enjoyed daily, thanks
to these beauties, bursting with a sweet, robust flavour

What the islanders do expect from their typically mild winters is to harvest sweet citrus fruit! Lemons, oranges, clementines, mandarins and grapefruit blossom in the spring, scenting the air with the most intoxicating fragrance, a combination of floral, citrus and freshness - one of my absolute favourite scents. Most varieties are ripe for picking at the start of December, just in time for use in traditional Christmas cookies and other festive treats.


 What colour is winter in your world?

 
Thanks for visiting!
Happy weekend,
xoxo
Poppy  

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Crossing the Pond: Canada to Crete

 Crete: Snow capped mountains harmoniously exist with green meadows in early January.
This photo was taken on our walk around the village, a few days ago.

Hello everyone, hope 2017 has been treating you kindly so far. Liberty and I arrived back on the island in early January, and it's been non-stop cleaning, tidying and re-adapting, after a week or so of jet lag, having boarded and disembarked 3 planes (and gone through 3 security checks!) to get here. Decorating, at press time, is not in the picture!

Uxbridge, Ontario: views from my sister's family room after an early  morning snowfall

We packed all of December, then vacated Liberty's condo at the end of the month and spent the last 10 days at my sister's home in Uxbridge, Ontario, which gave us a chance to spend quality time with my parents, too, who live with her and her family. The holidays were extra special, as we got to see lots of extended family at holiday parties who we won't be seeing for some time.

Uxbridge, guest bedroom: waking up to frosted branches and pretty brick homes

Born in Toronto, then relocating to Crete in my mid twenties, I am a citizen of two very diverse countries, on two different continents that share one ocean which I have crossed many times in my life. Some, myself included, refer to the Atlantic as 'the pond', inferring that the distance between North America and Europe isn't such a big deal in this global village we call earth. But here's the thing: it is. A big deal, I mean. And the older I get, the larger that pond seems to get, further widening the physical distance between my family and me.

              Two beautiful blues: the Aegean Sea and the Cretan sky                 


So, for now, I plan on staying on this side for a while - hopefully working from my home in the gorgeous, Cretan countryside, enjoying the temperate climate, seeing my wonderful friends, and staying in touch with all of you. You have accompanied me on my many journeys across the pond, and I thank you for your support and friendship. And, in contrast to the airborne kind, you continue to be that one, unique connection to my heart and I appreciate your visits so very much.
See you soon,
xoxo,
Poppy