Last Saturday my beautiful niece, Jessica Lloyd married the man of her dreams. For me it is hard to believe Jess is even old enough to contemplate marriage, but old enough she is and the years since I first held her in my arms have passed far too quickly. Jess and I have always had a strong bond, perhaps it’s because she was the first of my nieces and nephews to arrive or maybe it’s quite simply because we share the same star sign, Virgo. Whatever the reason I love her dearly. From a young age I would take her off on little adventures and she would come for sleepovers when I was home from abroad. I used to phone her to ask if there were crocodiles under her bed, this always made her screech with laughter. Jess has always been determined, independent, caring and fun with a great sense of humor. She was a lovely little girl and now she is a beautiful woman. I captured a few intimate moments before she took my brothers arm and walked across a paddock to stand before the man who will take her on the next big adventure in her life. She looked so beautiful and I was so proud. The man of Jessica’s dreams will be revealed in the next post. Enjoy!

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I love peaking into other people’s homes. I don’t mind if they are old or new, occupied or abandoned. When I lived in London I always found it a pleasure to explore the local area by foot, especially on summer evenings. I delighted in the glimpses I got through open curtains and shutters into peoples lives. I have to admit to getting huge enjoyment from viewing property with estate agents. I  also had lots of fab, opportunities to see beautiful homes when I worked for The World of Interiors magazine, a real treat.  For me the best properties are the most neglected ones. I long to mend them and make them simple and beautiful. This I have done with many properties in London, Sydney and more recently in Greece. You can check some of them out here. Besides taking photos, making light, simple, serene spaces is my passion. Here on the Greek island of Lesvos there are many beautiful houses in need of love attention and I can’t help but want each and every one of them and if I could I would have them all but, I must be realistic. Recently I took a trip with some gorgeous Turkish friends to a nearby village where we checked out some houses. The local barber who I had met a few years ago when photographing for my book My Greek Island Home, see here, kindly showed us around one house. Below are a few details that grabbed me. Enjoy!

IMG_3605The local barber. I’m loving the combination of  geometrical shapes and checks      

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3608A simple bedroom. The houses here all have little shelves usually displaying an icon or three     

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3654Striped cotton fabric is stretched over a window for privacy     

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3615I just LOVE the way this fabric has it’s own natural flow and looks so etherial back lit

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3620Everything here sits in it’s place untouched for I wonder how long

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3617A simple detail 

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3655Signs of life highlighted by back lighting

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3636My favourite detail, delicate fabric lit from behind and tied with a colour co-ordinated ribbon

copyright Claire Lloyd

IMG_3633The green of the window and the duvet work with the soft colour of the hanging curtain

copyright Claire Lloyd

 

Whilst I was away my blog went down. The problem has now been rectified but unfortunately a few posts went missing. I have attempted to recreate them so forgive me if it feels like ground hog day. Hope you enjoy them a second time around and there will be a new post very soon.  Thanks for following xx

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Usually the images I post of  My Greek Island Home (check out my book) are in colour but Greek village life is just as beautiful in black and white. Enjoy my wandering around the village.

IMG_8650_1aDelicious handmade mazipan flowers by the woman in the village co-operative

IMG_3401aA villager eturnig at dusk along the track laden with hay

IMG_5953aA handfull of newly picked fresh wild asparagus

IMG_2325aPanayiota and Stratos  sitting happily together in their kafenio

IMG_0803aFresh bread being made in the local bakery

IMG_1247aWash day

_MG_7786aA quite moment for the late Charalambos

20091011_RALITSA LAN`D_4528aA plate of  grapes just picked from a neighbours vine

_MG_4355aPreparation for the olive picking

_MG_1688aCrocheting lace, the village women are always busy

_MG_5671aBagging up the olives

_MG_4209aHome baking means hands on work

_MG_8180aWatching the world go by

_MG_1705_1aThings turn up in the most unlikely places

DSC00124aThe original kitchen in our house

Vasso's mums handaFreshly picked vine leaves which will be used for making dolmades

 

 

 

I photographed a little peak of Matthew and my life here on the island of Lesvos for You Magazine a couple of months ago and here it is. Thank you  Clare Nolan for loving our lifestyle and Fiona McCarthy for  your kind words.Greece is the word 1

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What a great article on our village life in the August issue of  UK House & Garden  magazine. Beautifully written by Ros Byam Shaw and fabulous photos taken by Paul Massey. Thanks for coming to My Greek Island Home and sharing some of  our favourite things. My Greek Island Home published in the UK by Clearview Books.

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Matthew Usmar Lauder, the man who cooked the cake.

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The delicious cake.

Here it is what you’ve all been waiting for Matthews delicious flourless chocolate cake. ENJOY!

150 ml olive oil
50 grams cacao (or cocoa)
125 ml boiling water
Vanilla extract
150 grams ground almonds
Half  teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
Cup of honey
3 eggs


1. Preheat oven 170
2. Oil tins
3. Mix water, cacao and vanilla – set aside
4. Combine ground almond, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a desperate bowl
5. Whisk/ mix eggs, olive oil and honey into a creamy texture (airated)
6.keep mixing- add the cacao mix
7. Finally fold in the almond mixture.
9. Bake for 20mins then check…

NB – this better under cooled than over cooked …

 

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My niece, Hannah came to visit on My Greek Island Home recently. The summer afternoon light was perfect in my bedroom and I could not resist using her as my muse. Thank you Hannah I hope you enjoyed My Greek Island Home.

 

There are so many small chapels scattered around the island of Lesvos and some of them are to be found in the most unlikely places. Many are up high on top of mountains some are tucked away along remote dirt tracks. There are at least eight that I know of in and around our village but it would not surprise me if there were more. I was invited to a memorial service in one of theses hidden gems about five years ago and it was a challenging little chapel to find. I walked out of the village along a dirt track and down down into a valley. Negotiating my way through thistles and shrubs it was difficult to imagine I would ever reach my destination. After what seemed to be a rather long trek I arrived at the small chapel, set amongst trees in the prettiest location next to a stream. I watched old yia yia’s (grandmothers)  making their way down the hill, some using sticks for stability as they treked across the uneven ground, I was impressed at their stamina, strength and determination. Papa (the priest) was last to arrive and he had with him his assistant, a grumpy bearded woman carrying a small suitcase containing all the necessities for the simple service. Candles were lit and prayers were recited and incense burnt as we stood shoulder to shoulder and prayed for Nick, it was a lovely simple service. Last week I visited another small chapel set in a rock beside the sea. Walking in from the strong midday sun it took a little while for my eyes to adjust to the caves darkness. Here are my snapshots from the chapel in the cave.

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GRACE SPREAD A

GRACE SPREAD B

My beautiful god-daughter and muse, Grace Bagot.

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