Snowy scenes and studio schemes.

I have been preoccupied of late with working online, teaching folk how to talk proper English like, and also working on the ground floor apartment in preparation of Sanja’s imminent return with her cats. Here are the photo’s I did have time to take….

Nice eh!?
Love the way the sun caught these grasses on a winter evening half way down my field.
Just who is that grumpy old git reading his newspaper out in the garden?
It was a beautiful day, chilly but bright and I had to try sitting out in the aftenoon sun and reading another fascinating issue of the London Review of Books – thanx Jane! – The copies I have are well out of date now but just as engrossing, except for the occasional article about poetry that just goes straight over my head!
Sanja’s studio apartment has been taking up most of my free time of late (its the main reason why I have been failing to post here, soz!) there have been heaters and shelves installed, tiles regrouted, tiles replaced, tiles, a bath, a sink and a toilet thoroughly scrubbed. Laminiate flooring installed, curtains cut and hung, furniture refurbished and viewing platforms for cats added to otherwise too thin window sills. Vintage punk artwork has undergone cat protection measures, wooden chests have been cleaned, fixed and lined, cat boxes prepared and beds prepared – we can’t leave the little buggers alone at night apparently! All in all its been fun and some times tricky job for one, but being a total amateur its’ probably bes no one was watching!
Sanjas’ studio might also get called the Cat House as that’s where her two cats will be imprisoned for the first few weeks after they arrive -soon – untill they have acclimatised to the fresh air and sudden sense of ‘space”.
Certain ungrateful Polish readers of this blog complained about all the pictures of nature etc. Well this is for them, a panorama shot from my bedroom window of nature and snow, bet they’ve never seen the like….
When it snows you are meant to get straight out there and clear all the paths you can before the snow hardens or gets squashed in to ice. I did one path across to my tool shed and decided taht would suffice!
Snow fun without someone to through snowballs at !
I love how my little post box has a proper wedge of snow on top just like all the surrounding roofs!
I bought a bird feeder, and put it up on my fave tree. Everytime I walk round the corner of the house or come out of the kitchen door I see birds fly away from it but you can just make out one hanging one to it in this photo carefully taken whilst standing very still!
I wandered in to the kitchen one morning and noticed the little white cat sittng out in the snow waiting for some poor creature to stick its head out of a hole in the ground. I mused on how the local cats will deal with Sanjas pussies arriving on the scene. After breakfast Ilooked out again and thought how strange that the little white cat had been replaced by a big ginger one! When the cat stood up I realised it was a fox! Which is the first time I,ve seen a live one since leaving London where you see them literally every other day! Quite exciting. I tried creeping out to get a better shot but it must have heard or smelt me and legged it. Interesingly as I scanned the horizon to see if I could see where the fox had gone the little white cat stalked back across the scene obviously determined to show she wasnt that scared really!
Look carefully and you can see the fox hidden amongst the grass.
I love these two ageing trees.
The view through the kitchen window, the one with the mosquito grill still on, on a snowy morning, black n white and grey in between!
I dunno what these little flowers are but I do wonder if they realise its early January and way too early for coming out so bright and bushy tailed!
Here is another of the terribly tame stinky martin bugs that fly wobbly around in my warm room instead of hibernating as they should be. This one spent a long time sitting in my mandarine until I remembered that they eat fruit! On closer inspection its proboscis was stuck in my mandarine and the two were then banished to the cold outdoors.
It’s been on my “to do’ list for ages, Peanut Cookies and biscuit making in general, I gotta stop buying biscuits just cos “they’re new and vegan!” and this seemed like a good ‘compromise’! It would have been if I hadn’t gone and baked so many I had to use a bigger bowl than this and I didn’t manange to eat them all before got too old and needed rescuing by being soaked in custard! What a terrible chore it was to eat that, peanut cookies soaked in custard mmmmmmm….

Prices going up for 2022

Sorry to announce but after much soul searching we’ve decided we need to increase our base rate prices a bit. Our basic rate is now £30 or 35euros per night per person. Please see the Guests section for details and discounts.

Blame our previous guests! Almost all our feedback from previous guests who were travelling around Croatia told us that our prices were very cheap compared to everywhere else they stayed. Often we were told that their accommodation cost more than ours and didn’t have any food options let alone vegan options!

We have obvioulsy suffered along with the rest of the “tourist” industry because of the Covid Pandemic whether due to the restrictions or just peoples wariness to travel. But we need to make the effort we put in to having guests pay or else we need to do something else – probably less fun – to pay our bills.

 

The first week of December

Pictures only cos I’m tired and want to have enough eye energy to finish my penultimate Rebus.

Spent a bit of time this last week working on Studio Sanja, starting with the flooring… seemed to make sense.
Amazingly I had almost exactly the right amount of laminate left over to do the closet floor too.
The oak that is just outside my land and the paths that criss cross my wilderness!
The first fire in the kitchen stove of the year, to keep the place warm enough for me to spend a couple of hours making…
….. the latest batch of nut butters. The blender only overheated once during the making of the whole lot!
Trouble with putting down laminate is that the doors all need adjusting afterwards. These doors are made of card, hardboard and a bit of wood. The wood is effectively the internal edge so when you shave off a centimetre the bottom edge loses its support. So I took a bit of time putting the wood back inside this one in the hope the door will stay together a bit longer and not bleed quite so much cardboard dust.
Sealing the doors bottom edge of the door with wood glue and some thin nails. Nice weather for December!
Today was another sunny day with the temperature at about zero, just right for a ride down to the post office and the local bakery. Needless to say there were no other cyclists out today that I saw.
Scythes and hosepipes don’t mix well when they meet out in the grass but they look kinda cute n colouful together on the sledge rack.
The ants have eaten their way back into the wooden house with numerous little and not so little holes in the filler, wood and paint I applied a month or two ago.
Another pic of my fave photogenic trees with the bird bath in between.
The short grass is as far as I made it across the lawn towards the washing line with the hand push lawn mower. Just gotta find a way of making it easier….!
I tried eating breakfast al freezing fresco, but gave up cos the sun went in as soon as I went out!

A woodland walk a week or so ago.

Forgot to post this lot….

Looking like balls of wood three acorns stick resolutely to a small oak tree.
One tireless sprig of oak leaves now a late autumnal lime green bathes in the winter sun.
This is as big as the pool has got so far, I doubt it will get any bigger but….. we’ll see.

The following  eight photographs I have pompously titled  “A Study in Wood”….

An intriguing piece of bark hanging off a rotten tree.
Does anyone else see the large grey eagle perched on the side of a tree ruffling its feathers?
This piece of bark is hanging by the meerest slithers of wood quite amazing.
And with the sun in the background the outer side of the hanging bark looks quite different. Two sides to every…
What is going on here, is this an enchanted wood? Are those long limbs about to come to life and reach out for me..?
The sky’s the limit but these tall spindly plants are making a good effort of getting there.
Nothing ‘straight’ forward going on here.
A protusion or a penetration?

Sorry there’s no Sanja to brighten up these pictures but we are separated once more by the cruel dictates of nation states and their inhuman border policies. But hey here’s some other colour….

A blast of bright purple brightens up the blanket of fading greens and browns.
There’s thirty two purple berries sitting on a stalk,
There’s thirty two purple berries sitting on a stalk,
and if one purple berry should accidently fall,
there’ll be 31 purple berries sitting on a stalk,
There’s 31 purple berries sitting on a stalk,
31 Purple berries sitting on a stalk
and if…
repeat ad nauseum till you get to two purple berries or until your will to live runs out.
Jeepers creepers!
Little funghi growing on the jagged cut we made through the log blocking the path through the woods a year ago.
The view of the house looking through the gap in the trees caused by the fall of the big pine.
An oily blue patch on a carpet of dying leaves.
A heavily camouflaged bench.
Two inconspicuous holes in the ground hide are the entrances to an underground wasp next. You can just see one coming out of the darkness, photographing flying wasps is a bit beyond my ken.
A splash of violet in my overgrown and rapidly wilding field.
Ghostly, ethereal these seeds catch the afternoon sun from behind.
Red rose hip buds hanging on in to the winter months in the hope of being picked, crushed and pushed down my little brother’s neck.
After this intense session of phlora and phauna fotography and in order to satisy the – so it would seem – insatiable demand for more selfies I laid myself down in the afternoon sun and took a nap, I did actually doze off though admittedly not whilst this photo was taken!

A few photos from the last week of Novemeber 2021

Well ok I’m not sure if next week with just two days in it or this week with five days included within counts as the last week of the month or indeed if I should ignore the Monday to Sunday mode and think in terms of the last 7 days!?!?!

Whatever….. here we go…

Jack is back! the first frost of the year – or perhaps the first that I was up early enough to notice, came this week. My stove now burns all day long and late in to the night.
This was probably the first day of the year that my solar panels were actually saving me money, thanx to the incompetence of the local E.B! See my nice new and very tall electricity pole and the equally new white meter box at its base. Now when the sun shines my panels are suplying electricity drectly to my houses rather than straight to the power compnay, any excess is sent to them, not exactly blue sky thinking and it took them almost three years to sort out! Still better late than never I guess.
As previously mentioned this was my second week of liquid food, and here is one days breakfast. Spot the super cool glass from Mexico made from an old bottle with Zapata etched on to the side, a highly treasured memento of mine.
Most of the hardy apples left on a few trees are shrivelled up or eaten out by wasps, hornets or similar but this champion rosy cheeked fella still shows off his smooth bright red skin against the blue winter sky. Good on ya Mr Apple.
(Have I been alone here too long?)
These are a couple of the last chillis disguised as tomatos that I grew unknowingly now they are rather chilly too!
I wonder if the Indian Banana tree, centre stage, will survive the Croatian winter? Having carefully watered it all through the summer and kept it shaded from the suns rays I do hope so.
Thanx to Jen my mate in Scotland for finding these in her local charity shops and sending them over VERY much appreciated. I especially like the large size print versions all the better for reading in to the wee small hours with.

and so I am finally back on solids and enjoying every chew, chomp and bite with a relish that always takes me back to that first time I ended an elimination diet of 7 weeks of nought but  Elemental E01 as food. Bit like banging your head against a wall repeatedly then feeling euphoric when you stop!

Anyway, now I am spending most of my lesiure time in Edinburgh with the grumpy DI Rebus as good company and the rest of the time wishing I could get get back there! I should ease off the reading pace, spread out the joy, but that’s like telling a kid with an ice cream on a hot day to take it slowly.

A box of Goodies arrives

One of my new trees has just three leaves left as autumn closes and winter begins.

Thanx once more to the muppets who voted leave I had to pay £40 extra tax to release my box of essential supplies from the clutches of the Croatian tax man. Still this box contains supplies of Essential Foods yeast extract which are indeed essential to my breakfast time happiness. There weren’t as many pots as I had hoped for and I think I may try to source Vitamar (same thing different brand) from Germany in future it my work out cheaper.

A nicely wrapped box of goodies arrives at last… thanx James for forwarding services.
Long longed for my Black Sails complete DVD box set arrives. (Again how old am I?) A great swashbuckling series, seriously looking forward to watching this again in the company of my Belgrade pirate sorry I mean punk!

Wrapped carefully within the box were also a load of CD’s I’ve been buying now an dthen over the last few months off ebay. The kind of thing I’d take  a punt on from the charity shops for 50p but now I’m buying them from folk who do just that and then put them up on ebay for 99p and see what happens! Sometimes I get a result and an ACDC digi pack is mine for a quid! The guy I get things from regularly saves them up till I have 2kg worth of discs and then sends them to James for eventual onwards bulk shipping to me. This is the only way to keep the costs low enough to justify ‘a punt’ on such stuff as Deep Purple!! Am I getting old?

Cheap CDs courtesy of ebay, should keep my ears busy for some time to come. I wonder how many will be played once and never again? Guess I could always return them to the ebay platform!

This week has seen another sucess..

Only a week or so later than promised which is vast improvement on their usual promises the HEP Elektra guys turned and connected my new pole to the mains! But then said some othe rguys would come next week to do the final connection of the solar system and the new cabling. To my surpirse they showed up, unannounced a week later. I only found out because the cut my power supply and I went to see if the neighbours had the same problem and then discovered workers in my ‘yard’. When they left my solar panels were generating 320kw of power dispite it being a grey cloudy day! Hooray!

and less positively….

My Crohns disease has reared it ugly head giving me mouth ulcers amongst other unmentionables so I’m on a licquid diet for a bit, nice colours though eh?

After failing to conduct more than three English tutorials today I went for a walk to chek out the “pool”. Sadly it would seem that there is just too much water movement deep under the top soil for the dam to work. Maybe during next years dry season I can excavate and add something impermeable.

Does this qualify as a pool or just a puddle?

Walking back up the hill I did a bit of scything and noticed..

It is strangely gratifying to know that the local creatures of the night regularly use my pathways leaving a much thinner path in the middle of them like this.
and sometimes they just make their own paths!

Then I chopped and stacked some more wood, the end is finaly in sight for the wood pile!

I know it doesn,t look like it but this damn pile of wood is getting smaller, honest. Most of it is now stacked and drying in the wood shed. Should be ready for next winter!

Then the sun set.

The sunset tonight was pretty dramatic for a few moments, I missed the best of it cncentrating as I was on stacking the wood shed but this ain,t bad.
Sunset in the gazebo this evening.
Pretty much the last apple on the tree and low enough to get its photo taken!

 

Thanx Boris and Brexshiteers

On the 25th of last month a mate of mine in the UK posted an envelope with 17 lovely new button badges in as a surprise present to me. The design are mostly based on the jigsaw images we have made or are thinking of creating.

Today the 15th they were finally delivered. The customs declaration says they are a gift and that the value is £1.70.  Yet as you can see from the reciept I had to pay the postie 27 kuna which is more than £3!!!

So once again a big pat on the back to all those free trade advocates and other idiots who voted for Brexshit. Sterling work!

 

 

Last guests and tasks finally done.

After dropping Sanja back in Belgrade I had to come back to host my latest and perhaps last of the year paying guest. Pavel, a Ruskie who lives in Utrecht was a great guest.

The latst batch of burek made in honour of Pavels visit. These were really good on the second day, we ate them whilst still too hot on the first day! With lots of flavoured and stuffed polenta inside and some of the new vegan mince from the Kaufland supermarket.
Pavel, was an interesting paying guest. He worked from 9 to 5 each day online in the “office” we created in the small appartment. He sorted out and identified all ancient Russian books I have to sell on ebay and he asked if he could chop up some wood for me!!! With guests like him who needs friends?
Who would have thought that we would still be eating meals out in the gazebo in late October?

My new hobby is mowing the lawn, very very gradually!

I present the Mower…. The latest Barabrith sport and exercise regime encompasses upper body strength work outs and leg stretching. This old hand powered lawn mower works a treat and when confronting long grass – more than 10cm in height – it requires some serious effort.
I got this marvel of non petrol driven grass cutting from the flea market. It needs so much force to cut the grass on my uneven “lawns” that the handle bars broke fairly soon. A bit of DIY fixing with an old broom handle, screws, string and glue and its working again!
Go on take a guess at what this is….
My favourite toast enhancement is a German thing called Apple and Onion spread with yeast extract and peanut butter on top. This is my own fresh version of apple and onion spread. I also make my own peanut butter, yeast extract is however a bit more complicated and supplies from the UK are running dangerously low!
On my list of things to do for a long time has been repainting the outside of my ‘new’ windows. Finally done!
The wood pile is down about 30 percent from its original 6 cubic metres. I do a bit of wood chopping every now and then and stack it away where it probably wont be neede till next year when by it should be nice and dry!

But the big surprise of the week/month/year was the sudden but seriously belated arrival of HEP (Croatian Electricity Board) at my gates with a new electricity pole!

HEP the electricity supply folk finally turned up today. Perhaps mindful of being approx two years late and expecting withering sarcasm from me, they came in force, 7 guys, and erected a large wooden pole. Thye promise to come back next week and install the new fuse box after which my solar power generation will kick back in again. This story is too long and frustrating to detail here but lets just say its been a real PIA.
Drilling a nice big hole, I was hoping they might strike water but alas not.
The new pole is guaranteed for 10 years but may last 30! The one which is coming down is probbaly 50 years old according to the HEP guy who spoke English. A good old fashioned plumb line was used to judge its vertical accuracy.

 

The Dutch Invasion

We have been busy, busy being inspired to try aerial acrobatics, cut the grass shorter, eat gluten free food, play darts, pool and visit a centre for alternative and sustainable building amongst other things! Yes “the Dutchies” as we affectionately refer to TK -who’s actually from Texas- and Dylan – who is Dutch! –  made a considerable impact on our quiet lives here at Barabrith for almost a fortnight. I hope the pictures tell the story. The two or three darts evenings are not featured because we played them at night with “atmospheric” lighting and so photographic recordings opportunities were limited.

Here we go…

TK makes shinning up the silks look effortless…. She teaches this stuff and has already done several workshops using her portable rig during their tour.
Sanja tests her natural monkey like abilities climbing the silks
It was all going so well till the silk got caught on her left nipple.
This part of swinging in silks is more like emulating the experience of a bug breaking out of its larva and wondering which bit to stick out first.
I had to have a go too, well its not everyday you get to play around in a huge silk crimson hanky  is it? Does my tail look good to you?
Our path along the stream (that at present has dried up!) was impassable last time Sanja and I tried walking that way, but those weeds were no match for the Dylan and TK machette crew!
This fallen branch is one of those left by our neighbours that carefully blocks the pathway alongside the stream. There are a variety of fungi growing on them but these are by far the most colourful!
Dylan is Pathman, a peasant superhero! doggedly working his way up the pathway along the brder of our land scything the long grass and weeds into oblivion.
The sun sets have been spectacular recently….. even when captured on an old mobile phone camera they look pretty good! Very ‘Betty Blue’ don’tcha think?
Whilst wandering out in the woods with guests the subject of what animals might be lurking around ready to pounce on us regularly comes up. We mention the deer and the wild boar and the possibility of snakes but only the deer are ever seen and then only very briefly as the scramble away with a speed and agility one can only admire. I like to show the scuff marks in the soil as proof that boar have been here recently but this skull – found by TK – was a much firmer proof of boars in the woods, even if not necessarily recently! Once cleaned up s/he will be on display.

We are unsure as to the veracity of the information but our neighbours told Sanja yesterday that a bear was spotted in the village and hunters report sightings of wolves! This information came from two “elderly lads” who had heard that Sanja had been out walking in the woods on her own. I suspect a wind up is in play but it would be exciting news if true!

Much to my amazement one morning Sanja was up early and outside in the gazebo being instructed by TK in the art of pilates……before she had any breakfast!!!
One of my frequent comments when taking visitors around the partizan hospital and Petrova Gora monuments is how they have changed is some way everytime I visit. Well I didn’t expect quite such developments in the few days since I rode there with Robert! The partizan printer house is finally being refurbished!, Slightly overdue one might think but hey lets just be grateful its happening at all!
Sanja and TK approach one of the partizan hospital buildings or are they stopping to perform an impromtu dance routine?
Here are Dylan and TK being shown the spot on the third floor of the monument from which the opening – drone-  shot of Tribes of Europa was filmed. The riser they are standing on is not the green concrete it looks like but actually part of the TV-set thoughtfully left behind by the production company.
TK, Dylan “the robot” and Sanjah – as Dylan tended to call her – all get the sillhouette treatment on the top of Petrova Gora monument.

and on one of our trips to Zagreb we took in Samobor too. Samobor used to have an excellent vegan ice cream outlet that sadly is no more so I have little reason to visit this picturesque town anymore unless I have guests to entertain!

TK fearlessly participates in the assault on Somobor Castle by cadets of the “No, lets take the other path to get in to the castle” school of artists.
Somobor castle perched on the side of the hill just outside Somobor, 25 mins by car from Zagreb is a great tribute to the school of thought that castles and such like historical places should not be sanitised in to boredom as so often is the case in countries where the values of health and safety come before the values of fun and freedom. No I’m not talking about wearing Covid masks!

back at Barabrith Dylan is making himself very useful in the gardening department once more.

Dylan earned himself a healthy dose of respect and extra museli for breakfast by not just offering to work around the house but by actually doing it!!! Here he is digging out the compost containers! Please note his red star hat, he’s very proud of it!
Then one day the peasants realised they had nothing to lose but their chains and so they took their pitchforks and chased the landlord out of his hammock and a global vegan anarchist utopia was begun!

Back in the Barabrith kitchen TK is serving up GF food for all….

When one of our guests was belatedly announced as gluten intolerant I was slightly unnerved at first as I have been relying on bread, burek and seitan as staples of my Balkan diet for some time. TK however guided me easily through what she can eat and what products are ok without a fuss. She also made several meals that were terrific, the one above included a lentil dahl, flavoured tofu and corn bread in a pan.
There are times when you just wish your “subjects” would turn in to mannequins so you can be sure they won’t ruin a perfectly nice photo with silly expressions of disinterest and faux ennui. This thankfully is not one of those.
Sanja was rather taken by this artistic platform set amongst a group of trees at the Vukomerić permaculture and sustainable housing village thingy.
Dylan tries to work out how to get level with a superior but significantly lighter being!
And here we are half way through an impromtu “Gluten Free Pizza ” making workshop on a Saurday evening hosted at Barabrith and taught by TK.
TK took a bit of a liking to this new baking tray and used it to make her GF cashew cheese cake. One half was fruity flavoured and the other was aronia rakja flavoured!!! Very good it was indeed!
There are times when the slight age gap tween Sanja and myself becomes more obvious. Similarly the chasm between the life styles and privilege of our two upbringings. When those two factors collide there can be either amusing or frustrating consequences. An amusing one was the reaction of Sanja to the wonders of TK’s Polaroid camera. Her expression and exclamation of joy and awe as the image of us slowly materialised on the white square was a true delight to behold. The picture wasn’t too bad either. It was a fun throwback for the rest of us to the joys of taking a group selfie with no self timer or reverse camera image. For Sanja it was a moment of magic!
The Dutch pair drove up on us unannounced the neighbours dogs were caught out, their ears failing to identify the gentle hum of tyres slowly coming up the road as a vehicle to be barked at! Yes Dylan and TK had the quietest car the village has never heard, by far. An electric hybrid with many mod cons it made Stonkys tractor look or rather smell like Bhopal and Dehli combined. It was verbally noted by neighbour Nada that TK was driving as they left for the next leg of their Escape from the Netherlands tour, women drivers, whatever next!?

and now it’s all gone quiet and started to rain which is great as now I can replant some more fruit tree saplings once the ground becomes diggable once more.

Till next time.

We rode there, we walked up, we rode down and we rode home.

This weekend we played host to another friendly Austrian vegan but also one who most impressively arrived by bicycle. I prepared my signature dish of uniquely filled burek – or pita if you prefer – and he devoured them with relish and some umak! It didn’t take long for our conversation to turn to bikes and potential local rides that he could do and I find myself agreeing to spennd Sunday riding to Petrova Gora and back.

This is one of the two trays of burek that I made for Robert’s visit to Barabrith. They include my second batch of polenta based pita and were much improved than the batch if I say so meeeself!

And so after a hearty museli breakast washed down with fresh divka. With some left over burek and fresh water in tupperware we head off for the Partisan Hospital and the monument beyond.

Look at the zest and zeal of the naieve old cyclist that has yet to realise his physical abilities, strength, stamina even spirit are about to be squeezed out of him. Yes I’m talking about the git on the left who gamely took up his guests invitation to join him on days bike ride to the local sites! I can’t blame Robert he was a perfect gentleman, keeping at my pace, slowing to allow me to catch up and walking with me when I couldn’t manage the inclines. This is the definition of getting old. Still I’m perversely very glad I did it.
Some days the hospital looks quite lovely spattered by sunlight, hidden amongst the tree trunks.
The Partisan hospital can have strange effects on those who visit it. Some are moved by the natural surroundings, others wonder at the sacrifices partizans and people made fighting the fascists. And some odd folk become momentarily schizo, their other half physically mainfests itself bizarelly mirroring the originals clothes and mannerisms…. scary eh?
One of the delights for me on visiting the partisan hospital is to see what has changed since my last visit. Usually this means checking out the damage wrought by fallen trees and storms on the old buildings. This time I was really chuffed to find someone has done a good DIY job of putting up information about the hospitals history in the first building. I had intended to do something on a much smaller scale myself but this is much better.
A close up of part of the new information display at the hospital, it is in Serbo-Croatian but most is also translated in to English.

and then on upthe slow long incline to the Petrova Gora Spomniek. TBH I had to walk up the last kilometer of steep hill and Robert graciously accompanied me, even though he could have ridden it.

It’s an amazing view from the top of the monument from all sides.
Robert goes through his Hokey Cokey routine on the edge of the monuments perilously high top floor!
Proud boys with bikes – well I was having cycled to Petrova Gora for the first time. My beloved Cannondale zipped back down the hill and over the creased and cracked road surface, I love that bike.

But all good things come to an end and some rather horribly…

There was a time not so many years ago when a bike ride of 60km or so up and down a few hills and trying to keep up with the pace of a much fitter younger person wouldn‘t have been much of a challenge for me but…….. now it leaves me totally knackered, half dead and barely able to move. Sanja had a malicious look of joy when she took this pic, can‘t think why.

Sanja has been making herself useful of late helping with the neverending battle against Balkan bureaucracy and even also cooking and such things.  Now she’s also started taking photos of yours truly so maybe the selfie era is drawing to an end….!!?

It’s rare that Sanja takes pictures of me that aren’t just for her to laugh at but this one was obviously inspired by my sartorial elegance and exquisite poise, innit!
The puddle that was the result of my damn is very slowly becoming a small pool. It has rained a bit of late but the stream going through our land is still naught but a trickle thanx to the weeks of dry weather before.
Black among the leaves more than blind amongst the flowers…. a picture by Kiki.
In this case an injury would be entirely predictable and have no common cause with anyone else at all, but hey thats what posing for photos (pretending to bend metal bars etc) is all about…. daft egotism…. innit! Nice shirt though, thanx Ramsey.