Archives for posts with tag: NATURE

In October I received an email from Mikela, founder of Yoga Satya and the words that jumped off the page and captured my immediate attention were ‘paradise awaits’.

These words accompanied by some enticing images and Mikela, of course, were all it took for me to change my already confirmed travel plans. This in itself was no mean feat but one I considered worthwhile. My trusty assistant Amy and Penny, my new travel co-ordinator were wonderful rearranging and booking everything.

I first attended Mikela’s classes some years ago when she taught at the Boy Charlton in Sydney. Her classes combined traditional philosophy with great instruction. Those two things along with Mikela’s knowledge and genuine care for her pupils made her classes a stand out.

Mikela held the retreat on the island of Koh Tao, a magical island in the Gulf of Thailand, a two hour boat trip from the island of Koh Samui. When I stepped off the crowded boat on to the noisy pier I was immediately surrounded by confusion but was quickly scooped up by our calm teacher and a trusty driver and transported up into the hills and beyond to Baan Talay, a blissful hideaway retreat.

Baan Talay consists of several Thai style bungalows set in natural tropical landscape and is perched above the crystal clear waters of Ao Leuk Bay. It’s a magical spot.

I just fell in love with the view from my simple room. I kept the doors that led on to my small balcony open so that the sound of the ocean was first thing I heard when I woke and last thing I heard before my eyes closed at night. The sea is one of my favourite sounds. There were other sounds too, sounds of the cicadas’ and geckos, birdsong and the rustling of local creatures in the surrounding bush.

Dev the owner and his staff were all lovely and attentive and provided us with fresh delicious meals each day and there was also transport available for trips around the island.

The Sharla, where we practiced our daily yoga was a large open hut nestled in the natural tropical landscape with magnificent sweeping views over the sea. It was the perfect place to witness the beginning and the end of each day.

We practiced for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. The classes were calm but for me they came with some challenges. At times it was tough and I have to admit to having the urge during one morning class of running from the Sharla screaming. However, thankfully, I pulled myself together and breathed through it. The result was worth it.

For me my time was to short, I would have been happy to retreat from the outside world for much longer but I know from experience it’s better to leave wanting more.

Mikela generously shared with us pearls of wisdom for which I will be forever grateful and I think it’s fair to say we all as her students benefitted from her big heart.

Once again I am grateful for another beautiful life experience and the chance to have shared it with new like minded souls.

I hope you enjoy some of the snaps below of my time at Baan Yalay and if you ever feel like retreating with Mikela just click on the link HERE

koh tao

koh tao2

koh tao15

koh tao13

koh tao17

koh tao7

koh tao10

koh tao20

koh tao6

koh tao5

koh tao21

koh tao18

koh tao8

koh tao3

koh tao4

koh tao14

koh tao12

koh tao20

koh tao19

koh tao9

koh tao11

One of my favourite flowers is the peonie. I love the way they open from the very tightest bud into soft paper like petals. I love alliums too, they burst out from their protective pods, unlike the yellow kernels of corn which remain hidden inside a thick husk. Photography by Claire Lloyd.

Untitled-22

Untitled-23

Untitled-2

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_1a Delicious handmade mazipan flowers by the woman in the village co-operative

IMG_3401a A villager eturnig at dusk along the track laden with hay

IMG_5953a A handfull of newly picked fresh wild asparagus

IMG_2325a Panayiota and Stratos  sitting happily together in their kafenio

IMG_0803a Fresh bread being made in the local bakery

IMG_1247a Wash day

_MG_7786a A quite moment for the late Charalambos

20091011_RALITSA LAN`D_4528a A plate of  grapes just picked from a neighbours vine

_MG_4355a Preparation for the olive picking

_MG_1688a Crocheting lace, the village women are always busy

_MG_5671a Bagging up the olives

_MG_4209a Home baking means hands on work

_MG_8180a Watching the world go by

_MG_1705_1a Things turn up in the most unlikely places

DSC00124a The original kitchen in our house

Vasso's mums handa Freshly 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

Greece is the word 2

Greece is the word 3

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

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

Sweet juicy mango’s fell from the trees.

EDIE & LIL-8

Removing the flesh from around the nut

A growing pile of the disgarded outter flesh.

A walnut tree against the piercing blue autum skies of Lesvos.

Our dog Nellie watches on.

My Australian bestie, Mary Lou loved picking the walnuts from the tree.

The ground is dry after a long Greek Island summer.

There is still wonerful splashes of colour to brighten up the dry earth.

Me and my shadow, Mary Lou.

Matthew and Effie doing the dirty work.

The hands of the workers, Matthew and Effie.

A pile of freshly picked walnuts.

Trixie and Teddie help out.

On a beautiful autumn Sunday morning, Matthew, Mary lou, four dogs, our neighbour Effie and I set out from MY GREEK ISLAND HOME to pick walnuts. Effie has a farm outside of the village which we visit with her this time every year, it’s a ritual. Under piercing blue skies we followed her along the rocky track to her land. There has been little rain this year  and the ground is dry and dusty. We were disappointed to find no fruit on the fruit trees and fewer walnuts than usual. When we arrived Mary lou and I began hand picking the nuts on the lower branches, then Mary lou found a stick to knock the higher ones to the ground. Matthew and Effie meanwhile sat down and began the much dirtier task of removing the flesh that encases the shell. This job is done by hitting the walnuts with rocks and tearing away the flesh. The flesh of the walnuts can be used as clothes dye or dye for hair, it is almost black in colour. Matthew and Effie’s stained hands reveal their mornings work. We spend about two hours and gatthered a large bag of walnuts which Effie will remove from their shells and dry, storing them for the winter months ahead. Walking back along the rocky track home with my dogs and friends I felt so connected to nature, a reminder of why I love it here on My Greek Island Home.

 

 

I have been without internet for a couple of weeks now, making it impossible to post. There are advantages to being out of touch with technology and one of them is having time to watch the setting sun. We all need find time to surround ourselves with the beauty of nature. Here on My Greek Island Home it’s not difficult to find beauty around every corner. I am so lucky to be here.

AROUND THE VILLAGE 6

AROUND THE VILLAGE 1

AROUND THE VILLAGE 7

AROUND THE VILLAGE 2

AROUND THE VILLAGE 3

Walking around the village I am struck how the colours of nature are reflected in the fabric of our homes. My Greek Island Home http://www.penguin.com.au/lantern/authors/claire-lloyd

Follow

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

Join other followers: