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I made the Shortlist!

This morning I was absolutely thrilled to discover that My Food Odyssey had made it to the Shortlist in The Blog Awards Ireland. I’ve been continuously trying to improve the blog since I launched it early last year. It is such a nice feeling to have that hard work recognised by a judging panel of your peers. There are some great blogs in my category (the Diaspora category) and I know that everyone works really hard on their blogs, so massive congratulations to those who make it through to the next stage and genuine commiserations to those who didn’t – I know how that feels as I didn’t make the cut last year. Best of luck to everyone, but those of you in my camp can keep your fingers crossed for me to make through it to the final! Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

There’s something calming about silhouettes. I can’t quite explain it but the lack of detail in the foreground contrasted with a softly light background makes a scene look peaceful. Perhaps it is the lack of facial features or expressions. These photos were taken of the pier in Palanga, where couples & families come to watch the slowly setting sun. Some just sit quietly, some walk gently along the boardwalk. I think the silhouettes really reflect the calm & relaxed atmosphere. Read more

A Lithuanian Wedding

Everyone loves a wedding. The romance, the rituals, the gathering of friends and family and, of course, the food. Weddings are different the world over. While the end result is the same – the joining together of a couple in love – the ceremonies and customs can vary enormously. Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

There is no smell on earth more comforting and welcoming than the waft of freshly baked bread. The very first thing I baked in our brand new oven was a cake of my favourite cheesy soda bread. This bread is as delightful to look at as it is to eat. The texture of the melted cheese on the cracked crust just makes you want to reach for the butter. This is bread that is celestial in both appearance and enjoyment! Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

During our food tour last summer we got to visit Porto, home to one of my favourite tipples. After a boozy and interesting visit to Cockburn’s Port House we drove out through the Duoro Valley to see where the grapes were grown. I was fascinated to see the vines planned up the steep sides of the valley in a zigzag manner to make best use of fertile land in an inhospitable space. The result is stunningly beautiful. Read more

Creating an Idyllic Life in Adakavas

We recently had an article featured in our local newspaper, Tauragės Žinios. We’ve done our best to translate it for you. Some phrases just don’t translate that well – I hope we haven’t lost any of the original content or sentiment with our translation. Enjoy!

From his native Adakavas a decade ago, like many Lithuanians at the time, Arūnas Vladička decided to go abroad to work. Although he planned to spend only a few months in Ireland, while there he met his future wife, June Molloy, and ended up staying for longer. Now they are creating their idyllic life back in Adakavas. June bravely, albeit with an accent, speaks some Lithuanian. They are about to finish completing their new home beside Arūnas’s parents house. It’s easy to sense from the couple how much it all means to them – the house renovation, the fresh Lithuanian air and life without constantly rushing. Read more

Klaipėda Sea Festival

I grew up by the sea and wherever I am in the world I am always drawn back to the coast. So when our neighbours asked if we wanted to go with them to the Klaipėda Sea Festival we jumped at chance. Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Ah, summer. Long, sunny days. Beaches. Suntans. A bit of snow. I love this photo of Arūnas and me up Mont Blanc last summer. It looks like it has been photoshopped or taken in front of a poster, but those are real, live climbers behind us. It was about 28 degrees on the ground that day and about minus 3 at the top of the mountain – brrr! The only thing we could do to keep warm was huddle together. Summer lovin’, indeed! Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

I love portable food. I don’t mean fast food, but wholesome, tasty food, ideally in a portable container. Something a little more sophisticated and squish-proof than a sandwich but with similar versatility. Lithuania has lots of them, including kibinai & čeburekai, but my favourite has to be the classic Cornish pasty. This one is from Rick Stein’s deli in Padstow. Between the pasty & the view, it was a lunch made in heaven! Read more

Turning 40

It wasn’t as bad as I expected. Actually, I’m not sure what I expected. I’ve been doing a countdown to my 40th birthday for about 2 years, wondering what “luxury item” I’d treat myself to for the occasion. A car was top of the list for a while – either a BMW or a 4-wheel drive. A new watch also featured – one of those fancy ones you see the tennis stars modelling in the glossies. In the end I opted for something with far more longevity than any of those items – I chose this life. Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

After several months of rows and hard graft, our house renovations are almost complete. Once we’re safely installed I plan to bring you a series of before-and-after posts explaining the changes we’ve made. To whet your appetite I thought I’d share a few of the relics we found in the house when we first bought it. They don’t feature in the new house just yet, but I might restore them over time and use them as decorative pieces. Read more

Beelzebub, the Hero

Something is rotten in Toyland. I’m not getting any eggs. I haven’t quite figured out what’s happening but I suspect the hens might be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after an intrusion incident. Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

We spotted this guy on a walk through Sydney Harbour National Park on the north shore of the harbour. Arūnas walked right past him and it was only when he turned back to speak to me that he spotted him. He blends in very well with the path but stands out in contrast to the green ferns. I also love how the bush surroundings of the park contrast with downtown Sydney just across the harbour. Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

The picturesque village of Roquefort in southern France, home to one of my favourite cheeses, is surrounded by the most stunning rocky mountains. I was very happy to see that the villagers had left decent gaps between buildings on the main street so that the view was not totally obscured. Read more

Friday Favourites Hiatus

There may have been a row or two in the house this week. Or possibly even three. I know there was one about skirting board. And one about banisters. And a real humdinger about the cock (who is still alive, but on his absolute final warning). I can’t think of any others right now but I get the feeling I’m leaving something out. Read more

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