Σάββατο, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2013

Life at the farm


(exuse my HUGE lettering, I can't fix it...)

It’s been a week and a half. I am in Skyros.
Driving here with my dad was really interesting and fun, he would tell me where to be careful and where to speed up. It was so nice to do something together after all these years of bad communication…

We were greeted by Amanda in her lovely flat in Magazia, in front of the beach. We stayed up nearly all night taking, catching up on those three years. The dominating subject sadly was Dimos and his daughter Julietta. They were living on the farm for two years. He drowned and Julietta had to go back to Thessaloniki with her aunt. They are both missed greatly.

Next morning, the sun rose from the sea and a new day was beginning. It was so beautiful! It was time to go to the farm. I drove on the snake like roads of Skyros. I know them all too well… Two months on the island are more than enough to know all the roads… I found the farm.

All the familiar smells and the two familiar figures… Amanda and Stathis. The two people, who will always welcome you, show you around, answer your questions, feed you, make you coffee, even listen to your problems!

This time was different. They are going away to England and we are going to be taking care of the farm until they come back. They do need some time off, to forget and get some rest. My role is feeding the volunteers. A lovely lady from France is here to take care of the horses. We were both volunteers here in the past and as I said in my previous post, I feel honoured they trusted me with the farm.

The farm is full of life. Horses, dogs, cats and chickens need to be fed and watered. Much has changed after three years. The foals are now adult horses. It is difficult to recognize them… The volunteers’ room is much nicer, much cleaner and lovely. The main house and the barn is almost the same.

There are also many chickens and cockerels running about free. They are beautiful! Only problem is that we can’t find eggs anywhere. I am asking around for tips that might do the trick…

In this first week, my muscles were sore from mucking out. My body is adjusting to this work, my hands are getting harder and I don’t bite my nails anymore.

The scenery is so beautiful, I feel like crying sometimes. October is hot enough to go for a stroll on the beach and cold enough so you don’t sweat your heart out when working on the fields. Autumn is beautiful, dramatic skies, sizzling rain, wind and a moon that is growing to a full.

full moon on the field
There are lots of almonds and walnuts falling off the trees and the garden still produces peppers, aubergines, cherry tomatoes and rocket. Yes, the land can feed you. I find inspiration for my cooking and the girls seem to like my food. Salads with rocket, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Peppers in pasta sauce. One cockerel was sacrificed to feed us. He was simmered in wine and cooked for a good three hours. With pasta on the side, it was one of the tastiest meals I’ve ever had!

 Now for the people.

Clio is French and her profession is horse training. Always smiling, always motivated, always sweet and I love her sense of humor! She is tall and strong and beautiful and she can always answer my questions about the horses. When me and Clio arrived there were three volunteers. Nicole from Miami, a lovely young girl who wanted me to talk greek to her. Her grandmother is greek, from Alexandria Egypt. She loved giving me a hand in the kitchen. She wanted to learn how to cook! Unfortunately she had to go, but she will stay in my heart forever!

Two more volunteers are here. Georgie is british and she’s only nineteen. I love to tease her! She also knows a lot about horses and she is staying here till December. Such a sweet young lady! Last but not least, Ruth. Also British, twenty four, she was a bit unhappy – for her own personal reasons – when I first met her. She has changed to a laughing, smiling, motivated lady! She is always eager to help with every little chore.


freeda and heidi the goat!
The four of us talk a lot, laugh a lot so the work in the farm is simply easier! This unexpected invitation to the farm is turning out to be one of the best experiences in my life! I am so greatful for the opportunity…

Our daily routine is waking up at 6.30 and going to bed at 9.00. Farm life is really different from city life. You have to do everything in the daylight… Mucking, feeding three times per day… In between, you can drive to the nearest beach, or go to the village, or simply stay in the farm and admire nature…

More stories and photographs shortly…….

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