Posts Tagged ‘ Expat life ’

What’s in a bottle of wine? Go grape picking to find out

September 29, 2017
Nicky empties bucket of gapes into trailer

My expat life in Istria takes me grape picking. In mid-September picking teams start to pop up in the Istrian vineyards, roads clog with tractors trailing mounds of grapes – and I get a phone call late one afternoon. It’s Marija: “Mico says, would you like to go grape picking tomorrow?” I’ve never been...
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Let’s go hunting … for Istrian asparagus!

April 8, 2015
Maria-pokes-the-hedges

Istrians love food and in Spring that means asparagus, picked wild from fields and hedgerows. With pickers popping up everywhere around me, this seems a good time to revisit the very first article I wrote for Live Istria in 2010. Moving abroad, living in a new country, is all about discovery: discovering new things...
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An English country garden, kissed by Istrian sun

January 16, 2014
looking-up-to-house-1

An expat life in the sun was long our dream: achieving it was no easy task. When we bought our property in Istria in  2004, the garden was a huge mud patch. Turning it into the beautiful garden we have today, has been a seven-year labour of love – and lots of hard work!...
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A life in the sun

January 14, 2014
Relaxing in my Istrian swimming pool

Have you dreamed of quitting the big smoke and escaping abroad to the sun – but wonder what it’s really like? Well we did, and I started the ‘Living Istria’ section of Live Istria to show the realities of living and working in a sunnier climate – and a surprisingly different Mediterranean culture.  ...
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A tale of two poles?

November 4, 2013
Blank poles outside village

In my hectic expat life in Istria a quiet, relatively uneventful week makes a nice change: I managed to spend quite a bit of it in bed. When I finally got moving, I pottered in the garden, clattered at the typeface and pondered ‘The Arrival of the Two Poles’.   Monday 14 November The...
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Fig scrumping

August 29, 2013
Marija picking figs

Istria’s dotted with fig trees and  all summer long they’ve been steadily growing, soaking up the Istrian sun. Come early September, they’re fat and juicy and ready for harvest.  With none yet of my own, I went fig scrumping with Marija and we picked loads! (OK, I admit that in fact we had permission to...
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What happened to my lazy week?

August 21, 2013
P&S in pool, Istria

Revisiting one from the archives, with a trip back two years which shows very little has changed! Tired after our UK trip and, with a few guest-free days, our plan was for a lazy week. As usual, played ‘catch-up’ instead. But did get time for dinner with friends, the Porec ‘end-of-season’ party and a...
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My Istrian Recycling Saga

July 18, 2013
Box with a few of my bottles needing recycling in Istria

A simple trip to the bottle bank becomes an epic journey, but along the way I discover how rubbish recycling works in my small corner of Istria. “I’m going to the recycling bins on the way to the shops,” I said, eyeing up the overflowing box of bottles and cans threatening to take over...
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And that was that!

February 12, 2013
Kovaci property garden, ready and waiting inspection in Istria

At last we are ready. The formidable Tourist Classification lady visits, as we take the plunge and apply for our tourist rental licence. Websites are created and, with Kovaci close to being declared ‘ready’, our restoration project draws to a close. It’s been a long, hard slog. Was it all worth it and …...
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The final push

January 27, 2013
Master bedroom in Kovaci, Istria, all ready

After the watering ban set-back, it’s a week before I can face Kovaci again. But I can’t put things off for ever. So with August going into its second week, I resume the battle. The air-co’s fixed … sort of … and Miro lends a helping hand; I play with furniture and go shopping...
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My Istrian garden awakens

January 26, 2013
Pink peony flower in early April

Istria lies on the edge of the Mediterranean climate belt. We get lovely warm summers, but we also get proper winters with sub-zero temperatures. Being relatively far south, though, our winters are short – often only December to February, and the temperatures rarely drop far below zero. But it’s still a true winter with...
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A cut above the rest – my hair-cutting solution

January 26, 2013
Scissor nightmare - long hair being hacked short

Expat life in Istria throws up many challenges. For me, one of the biggest has been finding a reliable hairdresser. Yes, I know it sounds crazy and trivial but, with my very limited Croatian, it’s something I’ve put off time and again. After seven years, this small matter had grown into something of an...
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Battling with air, water … and furniture

November 22, 2012
Just a few of the rubbish boxes from Kovaci, Istria

As July finishes and August begins, the weather stays unusually hot and dry. The missing bedroom furniture arrives – with a twist (again!) – and I battle on with furniture assembly and dodgy air-co. But the heat’s taking its toll and then, when the water’s turned off …   Furniture: well, sort of …...
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Pool perfect … bedroom disaster!

September 28, 2012
P prepares to go for a first dip in the pool at Kovaci, Istria

With P’s parents safely dispatched back to the UK, I plan to make fast progress at Kovaci, but it is not to be. Instead, I’m in for delays, frustrations and upsets as I battle on in soaring temperatures. Bedroom furniture starts to arrive, along with a host of problems … but at least the...
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So near … and yet so far

September 21, 2012
Pool filling at Kovaci, Istria

Time is getting extremely tight and there’s an awful lot still to do at Kovaci. To have any hope of having guests this year, I have a real race on my hands. This is a crucial week: the kitchens go in and the pool is finished. But with soaring temperatures and visiting parents, do...
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