Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Expatriate's Prayer

 Clouds congregate in Cretan skies -
 melancholy masses in mourning.

Crossing the Atlantic, 
they've carried with them,
a heavy outpouring
 of emotion.

Inside, an expat cries,
her heart heavy and weak
from the tidings.

 In darkness, she stands,
in silence, she breathes,
praying for hope
  to come out of

Slowly, the shadows
are outshone by the light,
as the clouds scatter
to deliver her message.

She bids them farewell,
and reminds them to tell
her fellow Canadians,
that prayer has no distance.

Thanks for visiting, and
have a lovely week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Cozy Cafe Three Villages Away

A cozy cafe and tavern, three villages over.

This cozy space, with its cappuccino coloured walls, was the
 ideal spot for a coffee date with Kiki, this past Saturday.

Sleepwalking down a flight of stairs for that first smooth 
sip, (my regular route to consciousness), is surely a
 sign of my addiction admiration for the stuff,

so driving ten minutes away to this quaint cafe, was actually 
quite refreshing, (not to mention less life threatening!).

Stucco facades, sprinkled with cinnamon toned stone,
 and warm accents of wood and terracotta, 

 tastefully echo those found in favourite frothy elixirs, 
infused with hints of hazelnut, vanilla, and almond.

An antique iron and other common items found in a traditional, village household, on a window sill exhibit.

  An aromatic blend in hand, 
 eyes pouring over mountain views,
I was thankful for this charming venue,
and its rich, full-bodied brews.

Thanks for visiting and
have a wonderful week!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Towards the Sky

There is a place, so unbelievably beautiful, so perfectly peaceful, 
and just as remote, that takes my breath away, every time I visit it.

To get there, you need to make your way towards the sky, 
into 'cloud country'. Following the curvy, cliffy roads, 

Endemic to Crete, camouflaged Kri-kri lounge between boulders. How many can you see?

 you'll soon come upon Crete's cutest mountain climbers, 
 the famous Kri-kri goats- that is, if you can spot them!  
Nuns greet visitors at the entrance of the Monastery of Savvathiana, Crete.

 At 440 metres above the Aegean, nestled among hilly meadows,
 you will find yourselves at the Monastery of Savvathiana,
 whose history dates back to the tenth century,

with a striking, cave-like temple dedicated to
 Saint Anthony, by its founder, monk Savvatios. 

The monastery, which operates as a nunnery today, is
situated in a richly wooded valley, near a ravine.

Here, an abundance of flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables seem 
to thrive effortlessly, but upon closer observation, it is evident  
 that this little oasis is the result of the nuns' hard work.

As I wrap myself around the luxury of the landscape, I feel
blessed by its holy spirit, which warmly covers me in light.

Thanks for visiting, and
 have a lovely weekend!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Al Fresco with Friends

On Saturday, our friends and neighbours, Jocelyn and Andy, 
hosted a wonderful lunch at their beautiful vacation 
property, just down the road from Poppy View.

Ray-Ban ready, Poppy gets pampered by her pals.

A trusty ally, the weather allowed for a fun, al fresco event, 
as delicious food was enjoyed by all, under the Cretan sun.


The complex of three traditional style villas, are
 available for vacation rental throughout the year,


and provide magnificent views of 
both the mountains and the sea.

High above valleys of vineyards and olive groves, and
nestled between still summer blooms and thick greenery,
 guests indulged in Cretan specialties and lively conversation.

 Thanks to Jocelyn and Andy for a lovely afternoon.
How was your weekend? Still dining al fresco?
Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful week!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Patina: Prêt-à-Porter, Fall 2014

 Having resumed my daily afternoon walks, I am becoming reacquainted with the beautiful patinas that cover some
 of the unique architecture throughout the village.

Pomegranates, posing for their annual portrait in our garden.

Of course, these finishes aren't only restricted to buildings, 
since they also polish the leathery skin of robust berries -
  did you know that technically, pomegranates are berries?! 

Heavy ornaments, pomegranates bend branches, bringing to mind the decorated boughs of Christmas trees.

A symbol of fertility and abundance in many cultures, the sweet
 seeds of this fleshy fruit are rich in vitamin C, dietary fibers, and
 a host of other beneficial traits when consumed regularly.

Trying to stay on trend, this tropical palm shows off its fall 
foliage, in honey hued stripes, and burnt, beige-y neutrals. 

In the spotlight, maple leaves coated in copper, sparkle in a glittery glow.

Our sensitive maple, having struggled with summer heat, 
is deservedly, the star of the season. Taking centre stage,
 it steals the scene from co-stars green, be it even,
 for its fleeting, fifteen minutes of fame.

Thanks for visiting and
have a lovely weekend!
 A Happy Thanksgiving to
all my friends back home!

Sharing at:
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Monday, October 6, 2014

Norrtälje, Sweden: Coastal Charm

Norrtälje, Sweden, was recently introduced to me
 by my sweet friend, Kiki, who hails from the
beautiful Scandinavian country, herself.

 This cobblestoned square, complete with
cute, barn red shops and quaint cafes, could
easily be straight out of a storybook.


Cottages covered in mustard yellow and ketchup red, are 
the perfect condiments to this scene of pickle green.

Streams flow through neighbourhood nooks; the sound of 
running water, both soothing and rejuvenating to the senses.

pretty and picturesque places abound
   in this charming, coastal, Swedish town.
Hoping to see it in person, one day!


 Thanks for visiting!
A big welcome to my new followers,
and special thanks to Kiki for her pics!
Have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 3, 2014

As Promised

Although autumn officially arrived on September 23rd,
here on the island, it has only been spotted a few times.

If you look closely, you could probably catch a glimpse 
of it here and there, among the still summer scenery.

On occasion, you may even taste it. Sweet or savoury, 
fall flavours seem to be infused with seasonings of 
sentiment and nostalgia, that keep smiles simmering,
long after the dinner dishes are washed and put away.

It's a transitional time, when summer brights mingle with
muddy ochres, creating a canvas of colourful chit-chat.

For my garden, here in pastoral Crete, autumn brought a
second bloom of scented, white stars, promising more
from the fruity bulbs of summer, and before winter's debut. 

And speaking of promises...


For the cake:
5 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp brandy or cognac,
dissolved in I tbsp baking powder
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fine semolina 
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the syrup:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 piece of lemon peel
1 small stick cinnamon

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 x 12 rectangular
 baking pan or a similarly sized round pan.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, 
beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in sugar. 
Add yolks, (softly beaten), and the remaining cake
 ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until 
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

 When cake is almost cool, remove from pan and
prepare the syrup. Place ingredients in a medium saucepan 
and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes. 
Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick and 
lemon peel and carefully pour syrup over cake.


Thanks for visiting,
and Happy October!