It’s feast or famine with the self-sufficiency malarkey. For months on end you produce hardly any food at all, then come the end of August you have fruit and veg coming at you from all angles. There are wild mushrooms to be foraged, apples and damsons to be picked and vegetables to be harvested. Read more
There’s nothing like testing a marriage right at the very beginning. These photos of us white water rafting on the Zambezi were taken on our honeymoon. I had recently recovered from a serious back operation and was clinging to the raft for dear life. Arūnas was a little braver, resulting in him being thrown into the rapids on more than one occasion. At one point he grabbed my arm just as I was about to go overboard, saving me from almost certain injury. We endured the rapids and the marriage is still going strong. Read more
There is something incredibly autumnal about the smell of cooking apples. The sweet, caramel smell is as comforting as the blanket you might throw over your knees now that the evenings are getting a little chilly. It is a smell that immediately transports me back to my youth, when stealing apples from an orchard near our house was an autumn tradition. We had plenty of apple trees at home, but somehow the stolen apples were far more enticing. Read more
Holiest of molies! There I was, quietly enjoying my holiday back in beautiful Ireland, when a fellow blogger sent me a message saying only “Have you seen the finalist list!!!” I could only assume that she was talking about the Blog Awards Ireland & was hoping from her tone that I was on the list. I opened the page & quickly scrolled through the list, then literally leaped for joy when I saw “My Food Odyssey” listed. Read more
Somehow, in the chaos that was the last few weeks (which I will tell you about anon), I completely forgot to tell you that one of my photos won Photo of the Year at the recent BlogHer annual conference. I was completely blown away when I heard the news. Who, me? (Looks over shoulder for the “real” photographer.) I won the “Nature Big and Small” category with a photo taken on Mont Blanc last summer. Read more
I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I first encountered this quote from Henry Thoreau’s Walden in Dead Poets Society, one of my favourite films during my formative years. It struck a chord with me at the time and perhaps planted the seed that has led me to the life I live today. Read more
Sometimes silence is golden. I love these two photos taken on our tour round Europe last summer. This was about 2 months into the trip and, being cooped up in the van for several hours per day, we’d had plenty of time for chatting. Here we are taking a well-earned break from conversation. My mind is probably still on our wonderful trip to Porto a few days earlier. Arūnas is fiddling with his phone, sneaking first a picture of me and then a picture of the tree we’re sheltering under. A wonderful little moment of calm – no words needed. Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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