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Cepelinai for Beginners [Recipe]

The first time I made cepelinai I failed miserably. And the second time. And probably the third time. After that, I called it quits and resolved only to eat cepelinai that had been prepared for me by someone who knew what they were talking about – either at a restaurant or by one of our Lithuanian friends. Read more

Project House: The Reveal

So, here it is at last – our final house after our complete renovation and remodelling project. There is still some work outstanding but I’ve kept you waiting long enough, so I’ve decided to go ahead and show you around. Read more


Winter has final arrived here in Lithuania. It feels like we’ve been waiting for months for the snow to fall. We had a sprinkling in December and another in early January, but only now are we getting the thick blanket of snow typical of a Lithuanian winter. The sky has been grey for weeks. Now that the snow has fallen, hopefully the grey will give way to the clear blue skies and sunshine that make the snow sparkle like a million tiny diamonds. In the meantime, the snowy ground and grey skies are creating a very serene landscape, highly conducive to curling up with a glass of wine and a good book. I can live with that, for now. Read more

Project House: The Transformation

I realise it’s been quite some time since I last gave you an update on our house renovation project. I had taken so many photos during the renovations process that the task of sorting through them seemed overwhelming and I kept putting it off. Now that the festive season has passed I am using the short, dark days and miserable weather as the perfect excuse to curl up with my laptop and get lots of writing done. Read more


This is my favourite tree. Is it insane to have a favourite tree? Possibly. I don’t really care. In fact, if I’m honest, I don’t believe in insanity, no more than I believe in normality. What’s normal in one part of the world might be considered insane in another. The fact is, they’re just different. If we’re going to apply labels I’d prefer to hold with the Mad Hatter and say “We’re all mad here”. Read more

Ring out the Old, Ring in the New

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne?

I’ve sung that song countless times, standing in a circle holding hands with my arms crossed, and never once thought about the lyrics. They’re in Scots English, so they’re not immediately understood. I treated them like most nursery rhymes I know – I just rattled off the words without any thought of their meaning. Read more

Of Turkeys and Dancing

“We’ll never all fit”, I said in a slightly panicked tone as I looked out into our conservatory. It’s not a small room, but with the oversize Christmas tree and several chunky pieces of furniture there wasn’t much space left for dancing. There were 11 of us here for Christmas dinner and I was struggling to figure out where we would all sit, never mind where we would put the dance floor. Read more