Tomorrow will be the first day of autumn here on My Greek Island Home and although the weather is still beautiful and the days are bright and colourful I thought it might be a nice change to give you a taste of village life in black and white. I hope you enjoy a Greece sans colour. Thank you to all my lovely Greek friends.

_MG_7769a

BOAT_1582a

_MG_1394a

_MG_1690a

_MG_3289a

_MG_3844a

_MG_1705_1a

20090617_3450a

20090915_4010a

IMG_0607a

_MG_5143a

P1130721a

_MG_3489a

_MG_7777a

_MG_4500a

_MG_4590a

_MG_7783a

_MG_8264a

_MG_7814a

DSC08762a

_MG_5772a

_MG_8142a

20091011_RALITSA LAN`D_4550a

DSC06454a

_MG_8180a

_MG_4293a

20090915_3982a

_MG_7799a

20091028_5328a

IMG_0653a

_MG_3398a

GREECE AUGUST 2009_4112a

_MG_4613a

20091028_5345a

IMG_1247a

IMG_2325a

IMG_0372A

_MG_4502a

IMG_5371a

IMG_0808a

IMG_8650_1a

IMG_0955 copya

IMG_5930a

_MG_5850a

IMG_3401a

IMG_3378a

IMG_1498a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greece is the word  1

Greece is the word 2

Greece is the word 3

Thank tou to Clare Nolan and Fiona Mc Carthy for the fab story in The Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine, on our life in Greece. We love the time we spend here on Lesvos and its a pleasure to share a small slice of our Greek Island living. It was great to be able to photograph the story myself. The portraits of me were taken by Matthew Usmar Lauder.

 

 

 

 

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.

HOUSE AND GARDEN JPEG

HOUSE AND GARDEN JPEG 4

HOUSE AND GARDEN JPEG 2

HOUSE AND GARDEN JPEG 3

IMG_0508-8

Matthew Usmar Lauder, the man who cooked the cake.

IMG_2680 CAKE

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 …

 

HANNAH LAYOUT FOR BLOG

 

 

HANNAH LAYOUT FOR BLOG2

 

HANNAH LAYOUT FOR BLOG2

 

HANNAH LAYOUT FOR BLOG3

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.

IMG_2064

IMG_2053

IMG_2049

IMG_2058

 

IMG_2067

IMG_2059

IMG_2065

IMG_2075

IMG_2068

GRACE SPREAD A

GRACE SPREAD B

My beautiful god-daughter and muse, Grace Bagot.

GRACE SPREAD 1

GRACE SPREAD 2

GRACE SPREAD 3

GRACE SPREAD 5

GRACE SPREAD 6

GRACE SPREAD 7

When we bought our village house it was filled with somebody else’s life. It was really strange to open the door and feel we were entering a very personal space that was not ours. It felt like someone had just gone out shopping or to visit a friend and had never come back. I suppose that is what happened. The house had belonged to the village priest, Papa, and his wife. After Papa’s death his wife continued to live in it until she passed away. We were extremely privileged to be privy to their lives.

Our village has many abandoned houses. When I am lucky enough to peek inside I find it fascinating. Last summer our village friend George called me into the house of one of his relatives. This house is relatively close to ours and locked up behind big blue gates, completely out of sight. George knows we love the history of the village and its people and also knows I love houses. He invited us in. The house was fab and I asked George if he would mind me taking some photographs of my goddaughter Grace who was staying with us. He didn’t mind at all and here are the results, enjoy!

Isabel La Howe – Conant, “He who loves an old house never loves in vain.”

What a fantastic London spring night for great party! My Greek Island Home has now been published in the UK by, Clearview Books and was launched in London last Wednesday night. Despite the tube strike and Chelsea playing at home my trusty friends and followers turned up in droves. It was great to see friends both, old and new and also be introduced to some new faces. The venue was Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart in Pimlico, a fantastic location. Nikki generously provided her beautiful shop overflowing with spring blooms and her and the girls, Ruth, Robyn, Sophie and Lucy were perfect hostesses. Domus Nova, Notting Hill’s best estate agent, very generously sponsored the event and kept everyone’s glasses topped up with prossecco, rose and white wine. The Grilling Greek parked his van outside and served up a feast, thrice-cooked chips, pita, hummus, olives and vegetarian souvlaki, it was all so yummy.Some of our Greek recue dogs, Robert, Maisy and April were able to make it to the evening which for me was the highlight .Clearview Books gave 10% of the money raised from the sale of the books to Nikki’s charity The Doghouse. ‘Want me’ t shirts designed by artist, Matthew Usmar Lauder to raise awareness and money for the rescue dogs were on sale too. I am blessed to have such great friends and supporters and thank you everyone for making the night a brilliant success.If you were not able to attend the night and would like to purchase a book you can go to Wild at Heart or online to amazon. It you want to support the dogs and would like a ‘want me’ t-shirt go to www.usmarstudio@bigcartel.com. Don’t forget to take a selfie in it and share. A shared selfie with the book would also be great.Below are some photos taken on the night by Rob Dawkins, thanks Rob!

IMG_0146

IMG_0178

IMG_0139

IMG_0191

IMG_0217

IMG_0287

IMG_0147a

IMG_0156

IMG_0160

IMG_0228

IMG_0313

IMG_0270

IMG_0249

IMG_0208

 

IMG_0133

IMG_0284

IMG_0337

IMG_0168

Living with dogs is a new thing for me. I had never had a dog until now, and I have gone from one extreme to another. As a child I begged my mother for a dog but she dug her heels in saying she had enough of us to look after without a dog. I now understand she was completely right and admire her for sticking to her guns especially even when I did my up most to sway her. Matthew and I have found ourselves taking care of many waifs and stray cats and dogs, that have made their way to our doorstep. We both find it curious the way we have become so fond of these furry friendsWe help them as much as we can but it’s very difficult as there are so many. As I write this we feed about sixteen cats, one of which has just has two of the sweetest kittens and six dogs, three of which need new homes. We only have a small garden so exercising the dogs is important. I usually do one long walk in the morning and Matthew another four around the village throughout the day. A couple of the cats like to join in the walks and our village friends are amused when they see the parade.

I dedicated a chapter in my book My Greek Island Home’ its called ‘Nature Nurture’. I write about some of the characters that have passed through our lives. One of my Greek friends, Vasillia has 25 rescue dogs in her care. She once told me that it was important to harden my heart otherwise it would be broken. It often is. We do our best and over the years have re-homed many four legged friends, especially dogs. A couple are now living happily in America, the others in the UK and Europe. We get help where we can and have been lucky to have very generous friends.

London florist Nikki Tibbles absolutely loves dogs and she has helped us with some of the financing and re homing of our four legged friends. We like have make contact with the potential new owners to get an idea if they are compatable with the dog. We have made some new friends along the way and also kept up with most of the dogs beautiful new lives. It’s hard work and expensive. There are the vet bills for injections, chipping and neutering together with the transportation costs, it all adds up. Matthew does the lion’s share of transportation dealing with the flights and the paper work which seems to change daily can be extremely time consuming and challenging.It’s always hard to say goodbye when they go off to their new lives, I sob but I know it’s for the best. When we see the lives these beautiful dogs are living now its so, so worth it.

Matthew has designed a t shirt to raise awareness and money for the dogs and cats we rescue, care for and re home. If you would like to be part of raising the awareness and helping the dogs and cats the ‘want me’ t shirt can be purchased on line www.usmarstudio.bigcartel.com And don’t forget to take a selfie in the t shirt and post it wherever you can. The t shirts will aslo be on sale at my London book launch on Wednesday night.

IMG_8376-7

IMG_8610-26

 

 

 

IMG_8704-36

IMG_8441-8 snaked

IMG_8567-22

 

 

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: