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Posts tagged ‘Lithuania’

Ambience

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Read more

Shining Brightly

Lithuanian graveyards are bustling at this time of year, not with the dead (as some movies might suggest), but with the living. In every town, in every village, people gather in graveyards to tidy graves in preparation for All Souls’ Day (Vėlinės). Read more

Beauty In My Backyard

I’ve been sitting here quietly for so long even I’ve forgotten I’m here. I had dressed snugly for the cold October weather and warmth of the sun on my dark down coat is having a soporific effect. I’m awake but not fully aware as I gaze out from the high hide on the scene around me, patiently waiting for wildlife to appear. Read more

Nostalgia

It’s curious how seemingly ordinary and even mundane moments can bring on a flash of nostalgia. Twice a day I walk the dog around our beautiful village. I never find it boring – there are always new things to see, whether it’s the coming and going of storks, the gradual change of the seasons, the cutting of hay and other crops or the sound of a pair of hedgehogs engaged in mating calls. There are lots of animals – at least one dog in every home, cats, ducks, geese, frogs, birds – but yesterday it was this horse that caught my eye and sent me into a kink of laughter. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#7: Winding Down

The first signs of autumn – the browning of the leaves and a slight chill in the air – used to herald the end of fun and relaxation and a return to the grindstone of school or college. Mind and body were refreshed from summer adventures and pockets were heavier from summer jobs. It was time again to knuckle down to some serious work. Read more

Wasting Time

I can’t believe it took until my early 40s to realise that we sleep for about one third of our lives. When this first dawned on me I was horrified – what a waste of time! I’ve been asleep for over 13 years – think of all I could have done with that time! But then I thought about how much I love my sleep. I love where my head takes me (most of the time) when I’m asleep. And I love the rejuvenation and reenergising that happens while we sleep. I awake refreshed and restored, ready to go again. Really not time wasted. Read more

Half-Sour Pickles | Rauginti Agurkai [Recipe]

There are a few condiments that I always have in my refrigerator. The first is mayonnaise – I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t need it for something, especially in summer. The other is half-sour pickles. Those tangy, crunchy pickles are so versatile, from adorning a burger to adding zing to tartar sauce. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#6: Harvesting Begins

It never rains but it pours. It’s a phrase that has both literal and proverbial meanings, both of which apply to my life at the moment. After a total drought in May and just 10 days rain at start of June, the countryside was beginning to look a little parched and my vegetable beds were rock hard. Buckets of water were no longer enough – it was time to unravel my hose and do some deep watering, biceps bedamned. Read more

Pure Beauty

My first courgette (zucchini) flower of the season. Pure beauty. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#5: Outside Planting & Greenhouse Update

Boy, have I been busy. Since May 1st I have been in the garden every day prepping, planting, watering, weeding and protecting this year’s selection of vegetables. I have developed shapely upper arms from carrying countless 10 litre (10 kg) buckets of water from the house to my vegetable patch. I have acquired in-depth knowledge on the burrowing habits of moles. I am tired, I am tanned and I am happy. Read more

Lovely Old Face

He’s getting older by the day. We can see it in his face. His eyes look tired and a little melancholic. Except, that is, when it’s time for a walk or when he’s presented with a juicy bone. His freckles and grey hairs have become more prominent, giving him the look of a wise old man. We can see it in his energy levels and the amount of time he spends napping. He’s nearly 100 in dog years so he’s doing well to be as fit and able as he is. But he’s slowing down. He’s well loved and contented. What a lovely old face he has. Read more

Food Word of the Day: Turophile

As a true turophile, cheese is one of the foods I miss most living here in Lithuania. It’s not that Lithuania doesn’t have cheese, but more that Lithuanian tastes lean towards curd cheese (farmers’ cheese) or very mild cheeses whereas I like strong, smelly cheeses. I recently received two gifts of cheese from overseas – one from Ireland and one from France. Both were very welcome! Read more

Homemade Hummus [Recipe]

Growing up in Ireland in the 70s and 80s fancy food generally meant a salmon en croûte, a Baked Alaska or a prawn cocktail on half an avocado topped with Marie Rose sauce. Findus Crispy Pancakes were the height of cool. Then pizzas arrived – hideous things that could be heated under the grill. We thought they were delicious because we had no frame of reference – we didn’t know how good pizza could taste. We drank instant coffee with pride. We had a coffee percolator that was dragged out a few times a year when my mother entertained, but the coffee was left sitting for hours and it tasted awful – the instant stuff was so much nicer. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#3 – Seedlings & Herbs Update, Outside Prep Begins

I was born for this life. I can’t explain the joy it gives me, watching seeds grow into plants, then watching them flowering and fruiting. I have spent many happy hours watering and transplanting and already I am getting dividends. My herbs are on fire – I can barely keep up with them. My tomatoes are growing taller by the day and my cucumbers have begun to flower, giving me my first tiny cucumber of the season. Read more

Life in the Woods

Walden is perhaps the most influential book I’ve never read. Thoreau’s tale of life in the woods was introduced to me while I was still in my teens via the film Dead Poets Society. Even then it struck a chord. “I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately… to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” I like to think I’ve been sucking that marrow all my life, balancing studies and career with plenty of simple pleasures – food, friends, songs, travel. Read more