Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Last Days of Autumn

With the dawn arriving later and later each morning, it has become increasingly difficult to get a balcony photo before having to go to work. This week has been a case in point. Last Saturday is the last time that I posted, and a lazy day on Sunday meant that a photo was out of the question at 8am. So this post is a run down of the weeks photos, which have really captured the last few days of autumn.

Sunday 24th November was one of those beautiful warm autumnal days that we get here, and having made a moussaka and left it in the oven to cook we headed down to the river for a pre-lunch walk to enjoy it.

20131130-093310.jpgAfter the walk we arrived back home to find the flat filled with smoke! “Oh No! The moussaka!” I thought, and ran to the oven. It turned out that it was simply fat from the moussaka that had dripped into the tray of sand that we keep in the oven to help give it an even heat, and it was this that was burning. In the end we had to turn the oven up really high, whilst we ate lunch, to burn all the fat off.

20131130-093803.jpgThe moussaka was delicious by the way!

Monday 25th November began with a beautiful clear morning, but my photo was snatched from the balcony before the sun came up so the western sky was still very pale and the mountains dull and drab.

By contrast Tuesday 26th November began with a stunning sunrise above the hills behind our flats. From our flat it was difficult to see, but on the way to work it looked amazing.

By Wednesday 27th the weather was starting to get cold, it was a grey, damp start to the day, which only got wetter as the day progressed. In the end I got a taxi home from work as it was raining so hard. Photographically the only evidence of the greyness of the day is a snatched photo of the meat delivery at one of the local butchers on the way to work. It’s rather blurred, so please forgive me. The meat carcass comes in an open trailer that is usually lined with old cardboard and if you’re lucky is covered with a sheet! It then gets carried into the butchers shop where it is hacked up with a large axe on a chopping block which is sawn tree trunk. After butchering and without any cleaning, the axe is stored on top of one of the refrigerators, and the chopping block stays in the corner…!

Thursday 28th began with cloud down to about knee level, and so the morning photo was taken whilst it was still dark to give an impressions of just how yucky the mornings can be. Autumn was wearing off, and winter really beginning to set in!

Thankfully winter here is not all grey cloud and drizzle like it is in the UK. Our town claims an average of more than 300 days a year of sunshine and so many winter days are sunny. This proved true on Friday 29th with a bright sunrise, this time more visible from from our back room, and a glorious sunrise, which was only slightly attenuated by the poor quality windows and the self installed plastic film quadruple glazing we use in an effort to keep the place warm in winter (it works by the way!). Also spoiling the photo is the phantom ikea paper lampshade floating reflecting in the window…

Friday seems to have been the crossover point from autumn to winter. All this week the prevailing wind has been swinging round to the north and the east, bringing colder weather. Yesterday was a cold but clear day here, and as it was my rest day to myself, I took the chance to get up to the Southern Byzantine chapel about 20km from here. Up there you could see the change in the season visibly approaching. Whilst I sat in the sunshine, drinking hot coffee, whilst bundled up in multiple layers of clothing, I had a great time reading, praying, and watching a snow storm falling on the mountains away to the south where the mountains begin to get really high. It was a strange juxtaposition sitting in the sun, whilst watching the snow.


Whilst sitting at the chapel I could see some of the nearer mountains taking on a tinge of white and it was clear that the snow was creeping north. Yesterday’s promise has held true, and today Saturday 30th snow has finally started to fall here. It has a wonderful way of making ugly concrete buildings look slightly more pleasing!



Morning moon

The moon has still been in the sky each morning this week, and is so very lovely to look at. Somehow it always looks bigger in the flesh than in a photo, but it is lovely to see it in a completely cloudless sky this morning…