Tuesday 5 December 2023

November Village Life.

 November in Our Village

November in our village for me tends to be a rather quiet one. The clocks have gone back, the mornings start earlier and the evenings draw in quickly with longer nights ahead, my whole sleeping pattern changes as we try to make use of these daylight hours. 

November started mild with midday temperatures reaching 23c, sun shining gracing us with her warmth and clear blue skies. Certainly we both made the most of this beautiful weather being perfect for Ari (hubby) as he painted the bathroom, lounge area and my ceramic pots, whilst I took the opportunity for a good house deep clean and decluttering.  Curtains washed, windows cleaned and rugs aired for the forthcoming Winter months very soon to arrive.  The Summer wardrobe clothes all washed and packed away until late April and the heavier clothes, jumpers, leggings, jeans etc now ready and waiting to be worn when the colder days would arrive.  Actually we didn't have to wait too long as the evenings became cooler and damper, typical Corfu weather then for November.  Still not cold enough though for the log fire just a few hours each evening of the air con on a warm mode was pleasant.  Doors and windows remained open most days to keep our little house well ventilated to help with the general dampness up here. And the duvet now on the bed too.

We then moved onto several rainy days, thunder and lots of lighning storms and yes, you guessed it Power Cuts!!!  As we do not have piped gas on the island if you do choose to cook with gas then this is bottled gas.  Personally I do not like it, we only have an electric hob and oven. Over the years I have learnt always to have plenty of bread, feta cheese and salad for such days when the power could be off for only a few hours or even a whole day until the electricity company detects the source and repairs.  Often these cuts are due to fallen trees or the actual poles supplying the electric plunging us into darkness.  Another tip always have plenty of candles around the house.

After the rain and some more warmer days, Ari went foraging for 'Horta' Wild Greens (you can read about this on an earlier post). A perfect and healthy dish and as I hate to waste my old bread I serve with Skordalia, a garlic dip made either with leftover bread or potatoes or a combination of both. I also give any leftover bread to a Greek lady up in the village which she uses for her chicken's feed and in return often provides us with lovely fresh free range eggs when they are laying as several times yearly they don't.

Our 1st round of new potataoes from the garden are starting to appear, again not to waster anything, we use the eyes of any old potatoes and plant back in the soil.

Lettuces are also coming through nicely, with seeds brought over from some lovely guests whom have become friends over the years of visiting our island, however due to the rain, damp and humidity you do need to do a snail run every few days as this weather brings them creeping slowly up from the earth and trying to munch on the new lettuce leaves.  Tryng to be as Eco Friendly as possible, where the garden is concerned, we don't use pellets or pesticedes instead this is one of Aris' jobs as he goes out when the sun drops and removes them and again early morning too. Do you know snails feature in several dishes around the World?  Not for me though and I have tried!!

The fallen Autumn leaves are collected dried in the sun and mulched back into the soil too.

The last of the peppers were dried but wow they have rather a kick, now in the feezer to use in soups and stews over the Winter.

Mid November some fragrant Narcissus flowers popped into a few of my flower pots outside, so pretty to see flowers in the garden.

The Rag & Bone man known here as a Paleogeis, arrived down our little lane whilst we were outside relaxing and enjoying another sunny midday glass of wine, he took away an old fridge and oven that had been an awful garden feature for quite a few months.  It is a shame more people don't use this free service rather than just dumping their stuff by the village green bins. The Paleogeis are up and around the villages and the island in their open back trucks often,  shouting over their loudspeakers: Paleogeis, Paleogeis. Income for them and free garbage removal for us!!

A few days later on another sunny lunchtime along came a few goats too.  Now whilst it is lovely to see this rural side of life here, goats will eat almost anything.  We have a gated patio/garden area so we escaped their rampage but the land across our lane saw them happily and greedily munching through the owners grass and anything else they liked in her garden. Our cats sat and watched as not sure they had seen a goat before.

As we reached the last week of the month, the 1st snow fell on our highest mountain Pantokrator which stands at 906 metres high. (Photo provided via a Corfu Forum). There was also snowfall opposite on the heights of the Albania mountains, it doees look so pretty however when the wind blows this way the temperatures drop, as they did for various evening when it was just 3c during the night. 

The last day of the month Easyjet announced that they had more aircrafts based at Birmingham providing more direct flights from May 2024 into Corfu.  The Corfu airport was closed for scheduled runway updates and will reopen on 5th December.  There are no direct flights from Europe and other hubs onto the island from mid November to late March and tourism is very low key during this time.  There are normally 5 domestic flights in from Athens which offers anyone wishing to visit for a holiday, visit friends, family etc and there are always plenty of flights from around the World into Athens so a short 40 minute flight then from Athens to Corfu provides the way to visit during the 'off season', along with ferries via the mainland too.

Now I am looking forward to December however I am not putting any Christmas decorations up until a few days before as here, despite seeing on Greek TV the 1st advert this year, as we tend to keep the deorations up until Epiphany being 6th Januaury when the priest will come to bless the house with Holy water.

Thank you for reading about my Life in a Hillside Corfu Village, if you are thinking of moving here or retire hopefully providing you via my blogs an insight to daily life to consider.

If you are planning to visit in 2024 then you can also find me on www.corfuselections.com  I will always be happy to assist you with holiday related questions and services here in the North West Corner of our island of Corfu.

You can follow me too via Facebook: Corfu Selections and Instagram. Click on icons via my website.

Lesley Life in a Corfu Village

Thursday 16 November 2023

Horta - Wild Greens

 Horta - Wild Greens

After some lovely November days so far blessing us with mild sunny days interspersed with rain and dampness at long last we can now enjoy our Wild Greens, known as Horta over here. This time of the year is a great time to harvest Wild Greens from the mountains, hillsides or your garden. Well if you know what to pick!!

During the Summer the land is partched and too dry for the Wild Greens to flourish so we await the Autumn, Winter & Spring months to enjoy this dish.

A healthy dish to add to your diet.  In fairness I haven't a clue which leaves to pick so this is a job for Ari (hubby).  He knows what he is doing, taught by his mother many years back when as a young boy in a busy household when many lived off their land.  Off he went with his knife and bag to gather the Wild Greens.  I am now washing and prepping these and they will be boiled in the morning until tender and served with a drizzle of Lemon Juice, Lemons are picked from the tree and Olive Oil, from the family's Olives and then adding a side of a Garlic Dip (Skordalia) to soak up swith our fresh crusty bread of course the famous Feta Cheese. As tomorrow being Friday some small fried fish too. Sardines are a good choice.

I make my Garlic Dip (Skordalia) from old bread which I soak and then blitz with garlic, Olive Oil, salt, pepper and some vinegar.  Other make with boiled potatoes or a mix of bread and boiled potatoes.

A healthy and budget friendly dish.

Kalo Orexi x 

Looking to visit Corfu for our Greek Easter this falls for 2024 on Sunday 5th May - you can book your accommodation via our owners directly on www.corfuselections.com just click on link for more information

Sunday 8 October 2023

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Sunny Sunday in October

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Sunny Sunday in October:   A Sunny Sunday in October..... I am often asked ''How's the weather in October?'' My answer is it is normally still su...

Sunny Sunday in October

 A Sunny Sunday in October.....

I am often asked ''How's the weather in October?''

My answer is it is normally still sunny and warm.  Warm enough to sit outside, keeping the doors and windows open until the sun drops.  Great for walking as not too hot and you do not need air conditioning to sleep at nights. Yes much quieter than the busy high season months, just perfect for me.

In fact I still haven't put a duvet on the bed, just a light throw over the top sheet.

For me, I wish it would be such as this all year round.

The leaves are slowly falling from our grape vine and fruit trees. However, I do miss the golden and red colours of Autumn leaves in London, England - although I certainly do not miss the English cold winds or many years back even snow when visiting during October !!

Today it is once again a mild 25c approaching midday with a clear blue sky and just a gentle warm breeze.  Actually a perfect day for a BBQ, however, as it's Local Election Day, Ari has walked up to the village school to cast his vote and as I have no idea on how to barbie, I will instead roast a chicken with lemon potatoes, leaving me time to relax and enjoy the sun and warmth outside in our garden and finish my book.  Almond (Book 3) and the Silver Saint by Jim Hawkins.  I so enjoy reading Jim's books, yes I can refer to him as Jim, having met Jim and his lovely wife over in the resort of Agios Stefanos N.W. Corfu more then 15 years ago and he has become a very good friend to Ari and I since then. If you haven't read his books, then check out on Amazon, especially if you enjoy Corfu and a Corfu based book. 

Happy Sunday everyone from a sunny Sunday in October here from our hillside village in Corfu.

Lesley Ann @ Corfu Selections.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Tomatoes Leave Us - Lettuces now ...

Life in a Corfu Village by Lesley Ann Hoy @ Corfu Selections: Tomatoes Leave Us - Lettuces now ...: Bye Bye Tomatoes - Here Come the Lettuces  As the Summer slowly rolls in to Autumn the last of our Tomatoes are really trying hard to ripen....

Tomatoes Leave Us - Lettuces now Greet Us

Bye Bye Tomatoes - Here Come the Lettuces 

As the Summer slowly rolls in to Autumn the last of our Tomatoes are really trying hard to ripen. It will be sad to see them leave us until next year......

Over the past few days with daily temperatures reaching 27c during the daylight hours and despite the forecast of storms, rain and generally bad weather our Lettuces instead decided it was time to show their leaves too.

Yesterday, the heavy rain  resulted in 10 minutes of light rain up here in our village in NW Corfu.  So hubby (Ari) still needed to water the veggies. We wait now courtesy of our garden for our salad diet to change from Tomato Salads to Lettuce, Spring Onions and Dill. 

Evenings are very pleasant, dipping down to 18c, clear dark skies with stars twinkling overhead. These temperatures make for a long undisturbed comfortable sleep, no longer do we need the air conditioning either (thinking too about the electricity savings made). A light throw and no duvet so far.

Roses are budding and the beautiful wild Margaritas (Daisies) are plentiful. My home is comfortably cool and the bright flowers adoring add sunshine and smiles.  Only my opinion, however if all year could be just like this, then really we would live in Paradise? Well I would.

It will soon be October when slowly the leaves will drop, drying these as they make a great mulch to dig into the Winter soil too.

It's great weather for our visitors, a few hours in the sun for Vitamin D, ideal for exploring and walking and the sea is warm having warmed up all Summer.

As the nights become longer and cooler we can reflect on the joys of Summer and the gifts of the Winter which will soon be with us all...... 

 Lesley @ Corfu Selections