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Europe

Europe slowlivingactivism travel vanlife

Beneath the Matala Moon

January 19, 2019

The island of Crete is home to so many layers of culture throughout time. From Bronze Age Minoan ruins to the place where Icarus and Daedalus took flight to escape King Minos in Greek mythology, it’s a fascinating place. This time of year the coastlines are littered with empty holiday homes, hotels and apartments that give a stark reminder of how the fashion of buying a place to escape the ratrace for the holidays has created a different layer of…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe vanlife

Winter weather

January 16, 2019

Ah the winter Cretian weather is more changeable than a Cymraeg summer! Last night I sat and watched huge waves crashing under the silvery moonlight while over on the far horizon lightening flashed like a warzone or alien invasion (I’ve been watching some great horror films lately 😬). The past few days the wind has rocked the van so hard that at times it felt as though elephants were pushing from either side. Waves are tumbling so fast I haven’t…

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Europe food slowlivingactivism travel

Herbal lift

January 14, 2019

The trip to the Cretian farmers market in Míres at the weekend yielded a wonderful tea discovery. I bought (pictured clockwise from top) mint, mountain flower, dandelion and on the left of the photo is a local blend: Minoan Kings 13 mountain herbs of Crete. Honestly it’s delicious. Sweet, fragrant and layered. That night I drank a few mugs before bed. I couldn’t sleep, I woke at 2am to read for an age and still woke early. The next day…

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Europe food travel vanlife

Food with friends

January 13, 2019

Yesterday we trawled the farmer’s market in Míres and came back with a haul of veggies, herbs and teas. It’s too easy to slip into the old ways of eating as a vegetarian, which tends to consist of a wheat-based-carb (bread/pasta) with cheese and tomatoes. Working towards increasing the plant-based content of meals again this year. We do pretty well but to prevent lapses I need to be inspired. Last night we parked up with our new friends and shared…

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Europe nature vanhounds

Life with vanhounds

January 10, 2019

Scrambled up a hill with my best hiking buddies this morning. Think they enjoyed it too 🙈. Life with this pair can be a bit of a handful at times – they have so much energy and need a lot of time outside. Luckily we’re outdoor people. Contrary to a lot of people’s perceptions, the dogs are easier to manage now we’re in a van because it’s new scenery every day, new hikes that keep them curious and excited, and…

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Europe travel vanlife

laundry day

January 8, 2019

Everything takes infinitely longer in vantime. The laundry means finding a launderette, finding out what their system is and making sure we have the correct detergent and change. Often it’s on a busy street so we can’t park the van outside. On the plus side you can fit a shedload of washing in one machine and the dryers are often amazing. Laundry costs us between €20-€40 depending on the county we’re in. We do it once a month and wash…

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creating Europe food vanlife

Moroccan mint tea

December 29, 2018

  Moroccan mint tea is my absolute favourite. Mint for the digestive system, green tea to give a gentle lift. When I met a Moroccan woman a while ago she taught me to make it properly with both fresh and dried mint: in a tea infuser put green tea, dried mint and fresh mint; leave for a few minutes then remove and drink. Utterly delicious. These dried mint leaves (bottom left) are from Andy’s parent’s garden in Wales, and the…

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Europe travel vanlife

Gemütlich

December 26, 2018

Love this hand-made table decoration. A gift from German travelling friends we first met in the north of Scotland – and now a reunion on a beach in Crete. A day of walks & coffee, of cakes & laughter, of Vanlife tales & hot chocolate with Irish cream. And this additional gift of a new word: Gemütlich (verb): cozy, snug, sociable. Tomorrow we will seaswim together and I will marvel again at all the elements of chance that bring certain…

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Europe feature food vanlife

Vegan festive food

December 25, 2018

  Christmas brunch It’s 11am here on Crete. Lazy seaside breakfast of local, pan-roasted chestnuts, figs, dates, tangerines, coffee, and OJ with some Xmas fizz ☺️. Didn’t imagine I’d ever do this for Xmas. When I was 20 my beautiful daughter was born and from then I always cooked the family festive meal. It changed over the years with different family members and friends joining us. I’d cook for between six and twelve people and enjoyed finding local produce: we’re…

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creating Europe feature travel

The gift of time

December 23, 2018

  For the coming year I want to focus on time. It’s the one thing we have in abundance. We can gift rivers of it away to anyone or anything and yet it’s the most precious thing we can offer. We can change the world by the focus of our time. It’s priceless because we can never replicate those moments, never repeat them, never go back and do them over. So this year ahead is about taking time to savour…

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