Wednesday 20 December 2023

Merry Christmas from a Corfu Village

 Merry Christmas from a Corfu Village

As we countdown to the Christmas celebrations and almost everyone seems busy and focused on : 

Shopping,  The Christmas Decorations,  The Christmas meal, buying presents, and perhaps worrying about all of these too.  I thought I would share with you our simple Christmas here at our home in the village.

With just a few days to go I prepared our little lounge area.  No big tree for us with just a few Candles and baubles.  Apart from not being a huge lover of all the clutter it would just give more objects for our 4 cats to play with.

Our Christmas Lunch come dinner will be served at our larger table used for Special Days with a Christmas themed tablecloth and comprise Roast Chicken, Roasties and Boiled New potatoes from our garden and a few Brussels are ready too. 

I know there is often the debate should you have Yorkshire Puddings or not?   Well each to their own, however I will make a batter and enjoy my Yorkies.

Sage Balls with fresh herbs, again from the garden and a Lettuce Salad as a side as these are growing well.

When I first decided to stay in Greece in the Winter too, I was devastated when I was kindly invited to a lovely Greek family's home for their Christmas meal and there was no Turkey, it was Lamb.  I remember I cried this was my first Christmas away from the UK and I was so upset, What no Turkey, Brussel Sprouts, Mince Pies or Christmas Pud.  That was over 40 years ago.  These days you only need to visit M&S in Corfu town for the Mince pies and puddings.  Parsnips and Sprouts are available either fresh or frozen from many larger supermarkets, along with cranberry sauce, Christmas crackers etc.

Well one Christmas after I was married and happily settled in my own home, I announced we would have Turkey and a real (what I believed and grown up with) Christmas dinner.

After all the days and hours of hard work and stress, running around, bustling with the crowds and driving 40 kilometres each way to find firstly a parking spot, the Pies, Puds etc, buying the Turkey, hours later with the table dressed and ready we lit the Red Candles, clinked our glasses and tucked into our 'Proper Christmas Meal'.  I must admit the Turkey was ok, but only that OK.  I suppose it is similar to Drinking Ouzo or eating a Greek Salad when you are not in Greece.  So from that year on we have had a Greek/lish Christmas.  Roast Chicken or Lamb Tzatsiki and Salad and not forgetting Feta Cheese and crusty bread.  I still have a few Christmas crackers for the table left for this Christmas, however I understand these are no longer on trend or enviromentally friendly? 

So I am all ready for Christmas and only need to buy a freshly farmed chicken from our local village butchers and a crusty loaf from the local bakers, all within a 5 minute walk from home and thus supporting local busineseses.  The token decks are up and so far untouched by the cats!! 

Christmas morning, the routine will be as any other day really similar to a Sunday Roast Day.

Aris will pick a few lettuces and Spring onions and dig over a few new potatoes. I will make the Tzatsiki,  Yorkshire batter and make the stuffing and then Roast the chicken - oh not forgetting the gravy too. 

Our 4 cats will have their Special cat treats and no doubt hope there will be some leftover chicken too for them.  

If the sun shines we will have a few hours in the garden, as although it is not sunbathing weather here in December, it has been over the past few days around 14 - 16c in the afternoons, so a glass of wine and nibbles and relax. Others enjoy driving to the beach and a Christmas walk - as I no longer drive and there are no local buses on Christmas Day we will opt for our garden and hopefully some sunshine.

At 5pm here (3pm in the UK), we will tune into the King's Speech and no doubt watch whichever Christmas movie is on one of the Greek channels, normally there are a few of the favourites such as Mary Poppins, Oliver (in English with Greek subitles) and Ari will light the log fire and then have a little nap (siesta) giving me time to catch up on the Internet with family & friends around the World.

We will also enjoy during the evening Walnuts and Almonds from our trees this Autumn. The Walnuts with youghurt and honey and an Almond baked cake.

Over Christmas it is also a busy time answering email inquiries as for those thinking about 2024 holidays having had family & friends discussions over the Christmas meal on where to go for the Summer focus on the sunshine and recharging.

So from our little home in the village to all who read this, whether you are having a larger family affair or like us quiet  - Ari and I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Christmas.  

Life in A Corfu Village....... by LesleyAnn@CorfuSelections.

 For bookings for 2024 see: 

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  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