Saturday 3 February 2024

January's Journal

 January's Journal and a Happy New Year - 2024.

With the celebrations over for another year we move into January and for many including myself, it does always feel the longest month of the year.  Summer still seems a long way ahead, however we do now have longer days and shorter nights as we countdown to 'Spring Forward' to change our clocks forward, which I believe (according to Google) falls on March 10th this year.

I thought I would start off my Blog with 'The Weather' as so far this month it seems to have been the leading news on our Greek TV Channels and as if we didn't need to be informed but yes it's cold it normally is, well in my experience with over 40 Winters in Greece. However it is and continues to be a hot (pardon the pun) topic here. World issues seemed to have passed us by, so thank goodness for the internet and BBC World news as to far more important issues that are quite concerning!!

January 1st was a lovely sunny day, in fact a few Narcissus popped into my flower

pots, a lovely New Year's Day greeting - colourful and sweetly smelling. The rest of the forthcoming weeks were a real mix with days of heavy rain, drizzle, grey skies, reminding me of the UK and chilling winds. The nights have been cold, sometimes reaching -2c even with the heating on the combination of rain, wind and cold everything felt damp.  Yes the famous Corfu Dampness.  The Albanian mountain tops opposite had a fresh dusting of snow and with the addition of the wind blowing over here into our North West corner of the island it was certainly a time to stay home and wrap up warm. 
 Posting on my Facebook feed

many friends in the UK commented they had warmer temperatures than here on our little rock. After the rain the past week we have welcomed bright, clear, dry days still chilly in the morning and then breaking into sunny periods when the lunchtime 

temperature has allowed a few hours in the garden with a glass of wine (no I didn't do Dry January) often reaching between 14 - 17c.  The bones and body felt recharged just for those few hours at least.

 Well that's the weather report and something to ponder if you are considering retiring here or spending some time out of season, as I am often asked during the hot Summer months by visitors about Winters in Corfu. 

So with the cold weather we can truely enjoy the delights of Greek comfort food.  I can potter around for many hours, cooking and creating hearty Winter dishes. A diet mainly based on lentils & pulses and soups for us after the overload of meat during Christmas and New Year.  Not having a car these days and sticking to a more traditional diet menu means I can easily walk to our local minimarket to buy 
everything needed to suit us both. Good for my health by walking, good for the environment as no car and good for supporting local businesses and the local economy. Our village, Avliotesin a a hillside location just 6 kilometres from the popular resort of Agios Stefanos, has a population of approximately 1,100 and boasts year-round facilities including a few minimarkets, butcher, bakery, Chemist, Post Office, several coffee shops (Kafenieon) , Patisserie for freshly made cakes, biscuits and made to order special occasion cakes, a lovely taverna also open all year round, a little shop selling gifts and small kitchen and bathroom items and a shop selling socks, underwear, PJ's and offering clothing alterations. 

So shopping every few days, our Winter Dishes include Fasolia -Greek Bean Soup, Fakes - Lentil soup, Gigantes, the giant white beans baked in the oven with tomato based sauce, Revithia - chickpea soup and also made into Hummas. Somtimes just a simple omellette with chips of course fresh eggs given to us from a local lady whom I give all my old bread too which she can use for her chickens.  The Yolks are really golden and tasty, these are definately Free Range and Farm fresh and without the packaging too. 

From the garden : Cabbage which I can add to a soup or as a side.  Early lettuces, Spring Onions and new small potatoes, ideal for a potato salad, dressed with Olive Oil and Fresh Mint picked from our patio tubs.

The Kumquats famous in Corfu, the fruit introduced in 1846 it is believed during the time the British protected the island are now in abundance during this month.  A small orange coloured gem, originally from China, so Aris picked more than a few.  I have experimented with making them into Jam, syrup, spoon fruits and also added to a few dishes during cooking adding a rather sweetish taste and rather pleasant on the 

tastebuds and better than adding sugar, I feel. They are lovely too with Pancakes, a regular sweet treat for us during the Winter and not just reserved for Shrove Tuesday. 

The airport opened again towards the end of the month and can now accommodate the smaller ATR planes, being mostly domestic flights until the fully operational runway is resurfaced when larger planes begin their direct flights from the UK and European hubs ready for the holiday season to begin for 2024 at the end of March.

In fairness a rather quiet month all round and time to just enjoy not doing much at all, which is part of my Life in a Corfu village, without the stress of a major city, crowds of people and not having to plan ahead, just taking each day as it comes.

If you are still considering booking directly for your Summer holiday -then have a look at our owners offering a choice of family run hotels, studios, apartments, luxury suites and villas. Something to suit all budgets whether you are a Solo traveller, a couple, family or a group of friends. The beaches and resorts of Arillas and Agios Stefanos are based in the North West corner of this wonderful island offering sandy beaches, amazing Sunsets, family run tavernas, cafes and a Corfu Holiday experience with our  guests having returned to over many summers and our new visitors arrive and understand why too.  You can check out some remaining options.....


As we enter February may I wish you all a Kalo Mina with Peace and Happiness for the month ahead.

Lesley @ Corfu Selections

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