Friday, September 28, 2012

Defending Autumn

This post was written in September 2012, 
shortly after the first days of fall,
(and before I discovered linky parties!).
Thought I'd share it again, 
in celebration of the coming season. 

It’s been about five days since the arrival of autumn and although I screamed it from the hilltops at 12:06 am last Saturday, precisely six minutes after it was officially announced, I, unfortunately, did not welcome it as graciously as I would have liked.

For example, I could have baked an old-fashioned apple pie, placed a pumpkin or two on the front steps, heck, even outfitted myself in a tacky orange-y accessory, but no…I did nothing. I did not act. 

I simply assumed that it would show up on my doorstep, fresh and crisp and clean, the way it always does. I thought that it would stay a while, at least until I had the chance to make it feel at home. 

Nothing fancy, you know, lighting a fire, cracking a few walnuts, cuddling up with a great book and a cup of hot cocoa, or, just spending a cozy evening chatting with friends on the porch, watching the brown and brittle leaves scatter about like playful kittens with a ball of yarn.

But I did nothing. I was still preoccupied with its popular predecessor, which was hanging around way too long, and in fact, is still hovering over us, causing trouble with its heat waves and humidity, making perfectly happy people moody and tired. Clearly, smart alecky summer had overstayed its welcome and it was time to go!

I needed to take action, make things right. Fast! Needed to shoo away that sneaky sizzling spirit, at least in my house, where I had some control of the atmosphere! 

It was vital that autumn’s presence be seen and its scent be released throughout the premises, so that, in one sole and sensational step, autumn would assume its rightful throne, and with it, reign supreme for the next three months of the year, as nature intended!

And so, amid a rustic canvas, armed with a few pieces of faux foliage, fragrant cinnamon candles and some ceramic pitchers fortified with fresh fall flowers, an autumn fortress was built, by a dedicated soldier, on the marble mantelpiece, in the centre of the room, where it is distinctly visible to all, including summer! 

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anticipating Autumn

This post was written last September, on the first day of fall.
Thought I'd share it again, in celebration of the coming season. 

Finally! It's here. It arrived today. Six minutes ago, to be exact. It's 12:06 am. I've been waiting a whole year, but it was on time. Timely, actually.  As usual. As expected. 

For me, as a young girl growing up in Toronto, the beginning of summer simply meant that soon enough, autumn would arrive, and with it, crisp mornings that called for cozy knitted cardigans and homemade apple cinnamon muffins. 

 Muffin photo: source

Raking the leaves and brisk afternoon walks around the neighbourhood took care of the extra calories at breakfast, while cute little pumpkins on porches provided guilt-free eye candy of the decorative kind. 



Of course, autumn goes hand in hand with Halloween, when mini monsters rub shoulders with Disney princesses and comic book heroes, as they roam the streets in search of decadent handouts of bite size chocolate from neighbours in disguise.

Nothing though, could compare to the impressive collage of muted orangey foliage that always seemed to magically appear out of nowhere-year after year!


Choppy chunks of copper coloured forests bordered the main roads, where radiant hues of amber and gold flashed in the sky, like floating traffic lights, waking still sleepy drivers, and accompanying them to their journey’s end.

But, on this vibrant island in the Mediterranean, autumn is a season pronounced in quieter, softer tones, sometimes hardly noticed at all, as the transition from hot to cold and longer to shorter days is more subtle. 


Here in Crete, autumn speaks in low, windy whispers of weak, rusty vine leaves, delicately trembling in the now, cooler breeze, no longer able to hold onto their branches, ultimately letting go and falling down to the dense dry ground below, thirsty for the first rains of the season. 


The moody season is accented by the harvesting of walnuts, a tedious and tiring job that is only truly rewarded with the promise of rich, walnut enhanced desserts and savoury stuffing at Thanksgiving.  


It goes without saying, that wherever you are in this wide and wonderful world of ours, autumn has a unique presence and a distinct voice all its own, one that always seems to steal the show with a multi talented natural cast of characters, whose song and dance routines repeatedly leave its audience speechless and spellbound after each and every encore, after each and every year.


Thanks for visiting
and happy weekend!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Sacred Place in the Mountains

Vosakou Monastery, Crete Greece

Welcome back.

Yesterday, many Christians around the world celebrated the Feast of the Cross, which honours the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus. In Greek, this is referred to as the Raising Aloft of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross.

Vosakou Monastery, front entrance

 Here in Crete, there are several churches that are devoted to the Holy Cross, and thus, are named after them. The main church at the Vosakou Monastery in the prefecture of Rethymno, is one of them.

We attended the liturgy at the main church which was very peaceful, considering there were many people present, as well as a few animal folk!

The grounds at Vosakou are beautifully landscaped, perfectly complementing the various hues of the terracotta coloured stone, which has been roughly laid throughout.

The monastery dates back to the early 17th century. Yesterday morning, hundreds of people  came from all across the island to celebrate the Holy Cross in quiet prayer, high above the Aegean Sea, in the tranquility and beauty of a sacred place in the mountains.

Hope you have a wonderful summer weekend; it's the last!

Talk to you soon.


All images: 
Poppy View

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer Snapshots

Exploring the village of Plaka, near Chania, Crete

Welcome back!

It’s been a while and a whole lot has gone on since my last post, which was aptly titled ‘Arrivals and Departures’.

Poppy View debuted on May 18th and before I knew it, summer arrived, and with it, my temporary departure from writing my weekly posts as we were very busy preparing the house for several visitors this summer, some literally arriving within a few days of each other. If you’re a perfectionist (read: anal), as I am, this means a lot of added anxiety about all things domestic and decorative!

Hoping these would stay in bloom for guests and early morning coffee on the upstairs veranda!

But, in between all the scouring and polishing, arranging and styling, we still managed to enjoy some quality time with friends and family and create memories to keep us warm and cozy in the upcoming winter months.

Mom and my sister, Cindy 
Here are a few snapshots of some of our adventures around the island.  Please excuse all the house and flower photos, but I am obsessed! Nothing more charming than a little stone house covered in a blush of blooms. Pure storybook!

A stunner in our village
Lush vegetation around Plaka
Near the square, Plaka (Click to enlarge)
Single file, silent and and in awe!
A countryside oasis, high above the sea
 Sea views from Pegasos Maisonettes (middle photo), Almyrida, Crete, where we stayed. (Click to enlarge)
On a quiet little lane in Plaka.
Around the corner
Turn right, then left and behold!

Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Thanks for visiting.

Talk to you soon.