it was my name day and I was planning a relaxed, unambitious post about the wonderful things an English couple who live in Ikaria do with pebbles from the beach, when all of a sudden the famous Jamie Oliver, after his visit to the Chiapas last month, landed on the island to look into our cooking and shoot scenes for his next show!!! I am still and always a bad cook (my only improvement has been towards safety but unfortunately not towards taste) so don’t be afraid, I am not going to go crazy about recipes. I do think, however, that the island has a wealth of natural, healthy foods and natural and healthy ways of cooking. But I am not going to go crazy about that either. This was planned to be a relaxed, unambitious post, and a relaxed, unambitious post it is going to be. I’ll just push Nik and Stef’s stones a bit to the side and make room for a few pictures of Ikarian food from Jamie Oliver’s instagram, plus a few shots with heavier stuff taken in Ikarian restaurants by adamansel52, a ‘food tourist’ who toured the island last month. Move your mouse over the photos to read the descriptions. Scroll down to find a surprise. Nothing to do with food! It’s just another Ikarian summer drawing near!!!
My *Angel pool* – η Αγγελολιβαδα μου
dedicated to the salmon, the eel, the mountain ash, the humanist Ψ, the angelos-x-angelos, the simon whose name means rock, the goat-simon-doctor.
So what happens if you survive the call of a nymph?
The weaker ones loose their speech temporarily or for ever. Some loose their minds too. But there are some cunning strong men who look at the nymph only with the corner of their eye -the corner of their mind- so they are not harmed. On the contrary they are given *eloquence* : ΕΥΓΛΩΤΤΙΑ
Why am I not funny today and I speak like a drunk ? Because I am drunk (slightly).
Today was St. Isidoros day (big day marked with a red circle in the local agenta of events) and my birthdayas well.
- Jimmy P
Sunday May 14, 2006 – 07:50pm (CEST)
Χρόνια Πολλά, ρε θηρίο ανήμερο.
Το δώρο μου το άφησα στον Άγιο Ισίδωρο και σίγουρα το βρήκες.
Congratulations for the Ikarian Angels’ pools, too. I’m amazed that though in a murder mood because you are leaving (don’t deny it), you go on giving. Toro, OLE !
Sunday May 14, 2006 – 09:36pm (EEST)
Hronia Polla Eleni!
Sunday May 14, 2006 – 11:09pm (BST)
Thank you everybody
Σας ευχαριστω ολους
Monday May 15, 2006 – 02:52am (PDT)
Belatedly, happy birthday Eleni, you are a special soul.
Monday May 15, 2006 – 07:27am (PDT)
Aww geez, I spend one day moving and packing for my trip, and I miss your birthday, El! Just my luck. Well, happy birthday anyway! Much luck back on the mainland, and don’t disappear completely!
Monday May 15, 2006 – 02:21pm (EDT)
When dry, polish them with very little olive oil.
Add a daisy.
Now everything is «village» : the eggs, the dye, the bowl (made of local clay in a local pottery), and my tablecloth (woven on a local loom). Only the tea came from China.
NOTE: They told me that the eggs like this do not smell of oignons and tea. I am not in position to confirm this, though. I haven’t tasted them yet. We are not supposed to crash and crack our eggs before the priest sings ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ (Christ Resurrected) at midnight sharp. But they look good, don’t they?
Très *village* ? muddy and dirty and cracked (and my kitchen was a mess). But at least the came out R-E-D ! So I love my Easter eggs ! I’m not going to show them to the nice person who told me what to do, though. I’m afraid she will scorn or scold me.
But I can show them to you…
!!! ΚΑΛΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ !!!
Ahh red eggs!! This is one of the very few Greek traditions that has survived to my generation (4 times removed from Greece). Every Easter we’d gather round the family table with the red eggs and crack them together in a sort of tournament, all the time saying «Χριστος ανεστι» «Αλιτος ανεστι» (no idea if that spelling is correct).
Unfortunately this is as close as I’ve been to red eggs for many years since my schools have given the Catholic Easter off as a holiday, but not the Orthodox one.
Happy Easter, El & all.
Sunday April 23, 2006 – 11:44pm (EDT)
The Orthodox Easter school holiday in Greece is 2 weeks !!!
Jealous, eh? Well, don’t be. It’s like in theocratic regimes. I return for those long religious holidays, the schoolchildren have to attend long, boring and absurd Religion courses for several hours a week. Parent have to declare that they are e.g. Buddists or Marxists, so that their kids are excused from attending them.
Meanwhile yesterday we had the craziest 12 hour long parties (and I can hardly make out what I’m typing right now)
Monday April 24, 2006 – 02:58am (PDT)
They look superb! Αυγα Πολλά!
Monday April 24, 2006 – 05:37pm (BST)
Happy Orthodox Easter!
But when Condi gets to Athens, maybe someone can throw some rotten eggs her way, or a cream pie maybe…
Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 09:39am (PDT)
Flying red eggs would «write» on the TV cameras. No doubt the city will be under martial law, worse than during the German occupation.
Tuesday April 25, 2006 – 11:00pm (EEST)
Step 2When the water has turned dark red, take the eggs out.
Leave them on a plate to dry. Do not sweep with a towel.
-> the weather broadcast was right; the gale stopped during the night. At dawn the wind changed from south to north; clouds came from the sea and covered the northern part of the island. «Misty mountains» and deep gorges hidden in the fog :- wow -: I like this kind of weather. It makes me imagine I am in New Zealand ! I wish I could fly just for once only to take a panoramic photo of the side of the island: clouds on the mountain tops and stripes of mist in the gorges.
-> its raining; in fact it’s not; it’s spraying. Greek language proves very poor in terms of rain. They call this weather «very wet». I’m sure the English know better and they have a presice word for these crawling curtains of fog and swirling thin raindrops.
-> The gale was like «sandpaper». Now came the «very wet» (fog and spray) and there couldn’t be better weather for the vegetation. I saw my lettuces die yesterday then today I saw them live again. Lush new foliage shines on the trees. I think that the gale was useful («I’m swallowing ‘n swallowing»). There was so much dry dead stuff on the trees and the bushes and the gale removed it. Many old trees broke.
Sun comes now down through to the lighten and help grow the saplings. -> Felicia aborted; too young to have kitten. If she was human she would be 8 years old.
-> I’m wasting my time trying to take photos of thorny spurges. But I can’t. Spurges absorb the light like sponges. They are like «shadows». I take a photo and then instead of of the small round thorny bush, there is a green blur like a ball. The details disappear. I should have some super pro equipement and special spot lights to take a good photo of a spurge. Photographers who work with complicated hairstyles have that kind of equipement.
-> I have a fix for these plants. I believe they hold the island slopes in place so that they are not washed in the sea. I also love their texture. Outside they have a net of terrible and painful thorns and behind and inside this net there are very fresh tiny green leaves (+ small flowers!). They are usually oval and they look like «vegetable rocks». Under each one of them hide many fragile herbs and small bugs. They are the «poteria» (φρύγανα) and they are an «ecosystem» -one by one and many of them together as groups. I must find out how to transplant them. I’d put them along the sides of the digs and trenches the bulldozers make.
I heard that in Germany they take these as gardens. It’s very fashionable to have a mediterranean «poteria» garden around your villa instead of «gazon» (trop banal). After I retire (or before, why not) I may become a specialist in this: plant «sacropotera spinosa» gardens around villas. (They would give burglars a lot of trouble to cross, btw. I must take a notice of that for my marketing campaign -if & when..)
-> Nana, how much for the «La Fauve» painting? Wow girl ! What’s this? Ladies and Gentlemen, for your sake and pleasure I took the liberty to borrow and upload Nana’s portrait and buste in this entry. I don’t know what it is or how it’s made, but its 100% Nana «to agrimi» (=animal qui vit a l’etat sauvage), Athina, my friend.
** While I was writing this and trying to «swallow», I looked up at the sky (to let out my usual *big sighs* ) and what do I see:
THE FIRST SWALLOWS ARE HERE ~~~
El, I wondered if those were rocks or plants. Almost looks like moss-covered ruins in the background. The swallows, yes they came back here a couple weeks ago, the hummingbirds earlier and the warblers soon. Favorite swallow: purple martin; hummingbird: Anna’s; warbler: yellowthroat.
Monday April 10, 2006 – 06:08am (PDT)
A Doctor writes: Your «Yak» has had child. See Flickr. This will make you feel even more spring-like.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 08:37am (BST)
-> to Greg: I’m surrounded by birds, birds, birds, a couple of earthmovers (~sigh) and many many fresh dug terrasses with vineyards and gardens. There are two kinds of swallows, it seems. I understand now why ornithologists are a bit *nutsy*.
-> the Doctor takes pleasure in turning the knife in the wound.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 03:42am (PDT)
to Greg: I think that «my» spurges of Ikaria might look like those throrny srubs we see the wind roll and make fly in old «western» movies. How do you call?
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 02:04pm (PDT)
Tumbleweed….we don’t have tumbleweed in England but we know all about the rain. Sounds like we would say «sheets of rain» from the conditions you describe…the Scots have a good word…Dreich … it would be ντρειχ in Greek tongue…that describes the kind of miserable soaking cold day. The swallows have come…and they sing…»
άνοιγ΄ άνοιγε ταν θύραν χελιδόνι
ου γαρ γέροντές έσμεν, αλλά παιδία. »
to quote a poet of the 7th century B.C.
«The swallows have come, Berlusconni has gone
Loudly sing «cuckou» »
To paraphrase an old English song.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 10:40pm (BST)
Sagebrush Elle, the dead ones rolling and blowing are called tumbleweeds. The desert on the east side of my state is covered with ’em.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 02:46pm (PDT)
Sorry to disagree Doc, but I call El’s rain mizzle.
Tuesday April 11, 2006 – 11:13pm (BST)
<<-terrific people->><<-terrific vocabularies->>
In my opinion, both «sagebrush» and «tumbleweed» are El’s thorny srubs, «astivi» (αστιβή) There are many kinds, all valuable in many ways. One of them hosts an edible herb inside it. It’s called «stamna-agathi» (Σταμναγκάθι). This herb makes a very expensive dish in fancy restaurants in Athens. This is the season for it, so El find it and take a photo. I hope it doesn’t «absorb light».
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 01:05pm (EEST)
«mizzle» ! never heard that before! Another one for my «Derbyshire Dialect» collection. Thanks duck.
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 07:53pm (BST)
«mizzle» is a nice word; I like «mmm» & «zzzz»s & «ll»s.
Thank you everybody. I’d rather look for the word in NewZealandese because the mizzle is not cold in Ikaria. It’s soaking wet and spooky and it makes you feel like bitting at someone’s throat.
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 12:41pm (PDT)
I’m sure there are more wonderful words out there….!I would love to know the New Zealand equivalent. Drizzle is another word of similar meaning – but perhaps it sounds colder still, so not ideal. In case you were wondering, ‘duck’ is a Derbyshire endearment. ‘Aye up, me duck’ is a dialect way of saying ‘Hi there, love/ mate / pal» You sometimes hear a woman say it to another woman, but more commonly it is from a man to a woman in a friendly way. I had a boss once, who when he wanted me to do something always started his sentence with «Judy, duck,please could you…» So now, Eleni, you have a goat and a duck reading your blog, and the duck is especially happy that the swallows have arrived.
Wednesday April 12, 2006 – 11:00pm (BST)
«Papia mou» -so funny -:)) In place of «duck» in wet grassy places, I’d call you «kali mou» (=my good one or my pretty one) or cut short «kale». You must have heard that in Greek town streets. «kale Leni, stamata pia tis sahlamares…» =stop acting foolish (that’s for my blog -lol- created for and dedicated to ducks and goats, or I don’t love nobody and my scripts suck.)
Thursday April 13, 2006 – 12:25pm (PDT)
..I walk ( I hike, as they say ), I wander on foot. That’s what I do all day. My hips ache. My lungs sometimes ache too because I’m a smoker; and because I’m half-mad & half Greek, I light my cigarette and I smoke it on the way up -ha,ha,ha 🙂
From the heights of my moral Himalayas I look down at everybody. Everybody? I hardly see anybody to look down at. I sometimes see from afar a plougher of a garden or of a vineyard...I don’t go near. I don’t know what to say to such people anymore (though once I used to -). To me they are the Presidents of (another Republic.
My moral altitude bothers me. Wuthering heights… It’s too lonely up here. I’ve gone up too many levels. The ‘Ikarian enigma» is solved. Everything is harmony – but I hate it.So I look around for spirits (‘gjins’) to keep me company. Thanks Gof, the place is full (as yet). It’s their mating season (gjins are not like humans -all the time-:lol:- gjins mate in April only; in May they stop, because it’s the donkeys’ turn).
They let me take pictures of them...
I walk (I hike, as they say), I wander on foot. That’s what I do most days, sometimes on my own, sometimes with friends...
When I am back home, and I’ll have that stupid smile of bliss all over my face, my old neighbour will say «Eleni, you are a Porphyrogenita»!
Does the neighbor mean you are a princess?
Monday April 3, 2006 – 01:27pm (PDT)
correct -:- 🙂
in plain (minus the complicated historical background) language, the word means «serene» –
Monday April 3, 2006 – 02:00pm (PDT)
You are too modest
Monday April 3, 2006 – 10:40pm (BST)
serenissima / γαληνότατη, χαίρε !
Όσα ξέρει ο γείτονας/σσα σου για σένα, δεν τα ξέρει κανείς, ούτε ο ήλιος, ούτε κι εσύ. Ευτυχώς για σένα λοιπόν που έχεις γειτόνισσα την τέλεια ‘αντι-κατίνα’, μια ‘γαληνότατη’ της παλιάς σχολής. Είσαι τρομερά τυχερή. Επομένως μην γκρινιάζεις που κόβεται το ρεύμα τόσο συχνά στη γειτονιά σου. Δεν μπορείς να τα έχεις όλα, ε; 😉
Tuesday April 4, 2006 – 01:06pm (EEST)
Born in the imperial purple room, yes?
Tuesday April 4, 2006 – 06:33am (PDT)
thanks; yes, born in the purple room!
It’s a strange local tradition to call noble calmness by that name. They say it comes from the times of Byzantium…
Tuesday April 4, 2006 – 12:24pm (PDT)