Living Istria

What’s life really like for a foreigner in Istria? Well we’ve lived here for the past seven years. Here are tales of our experience, plus those of others who either live or have a holiday home here.

If an item is underlined but not clickable, it means an article is in preparation. I’ll add the proper link when it’s ready for you to read. Bear with me, this all takes time!

Bye-bye Summer, hello to good cat-mother week.

12/10/2011
Baggy in cat box

With bad weather forecast, we put the summer kitchen, pool and garden to bed – always a sad day. I take the cats for their jabs and make new internet friends, the gardeners attack the lawn, P hunts a leak, and we have our first fire of the season – which means Autumn’s finally...
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Wild mushroom delights

07/10/2011
Fireplace where the mushrooms get grilled

These are just two off-the-menu dishes available in Konoba Kaštel. I tried to get the exact quantities from owner, Alen, but that just confused him. “There are no exact quantities,” he said. “The quantity we use varies from time to time, depending on the available mushrooms, and your individual taste.” So, I’ve just given...
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Summer runs on and we dash all over the place

06/10/2011
Gardener trimming our hedge with a huge huge trimmer

There’s a lot in this week’s blog – but then it was a hectic week. We ate out four times in five days and made a mad dash to Trieste – twice. Live Istria acquired a (future) new contributor, its first few back-links and its first sponsor! I gave the garden a short back...
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Cherry tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette

03/10/2011
Cherry tomatoes in balsamic viniagrette

With the summer rolling on and on and cherry tomatoes still so plentiful in the garden, I thought I’d share one of my favourites. My take on this is classic. It makes enough for the photo.       Ingredients 500 g cherry tomatoes ½ onion (thinly sliced) Handful basil leaves (larger ones torn)...
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A fig love affair

02/10/2011
Delicious, scrumptious figs

One of the joys of expat life in Istria are fresh figs. Fig trees are everywhere, so growing one should be a doddle – or so I thought. I fell in love with fresh figs at a hill-top monastery in Crete, many years ago. Back in the late 80s, they were an unusual, exotic...
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Ups and downs, but summer stages a comeback

01/10/2011
Nicky in mis-matched flip flops

After an Autumnal start, sun makes a welcome return. We focus on spreading the word: P battles with Facebook and I collect Twitter followers, but Google’s page one remains a distant dream. Get our first rental booking for next year, see friends and even get a swim – but our oven and my computer...
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Live Istria fires up, a cat winds down

25/09/2011
Nicky picks grapes in the vineyard

In a hot, sunny week, I start promoting Live Istria, P tackles the water feature and the wood pile shrinks. We worry about Tally, then send her to the dog-house. I go grape picking and we drink the mušt – juice from the first pressing. The week then ends with a bang!   Monday...
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August – we all sweltered

23/09/2011
Red campsis in August

One of the biggest joys of expat life in Istria is the wonderful climate for outdoor life.  However, while this is great most of the year, the final few weeks of high summer are always a challenge in the garden – for plants and gardener alike. This year, with temperatures soaring in Istria into...
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Fig-licious

21/09/2011
Figs cooking for papsta or meat sauce

When Nicky returned from fig picking with over four kilos of fresh Istrian figs I knew they wouldn’t keep and I would have to come up with some fig recipes quickly. Using basically the same ingredients, the first – a simple fig sauce – is great to spice up left-over meat; the second –...
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Live Istria is out there!

15/09/2011
Nicky trimming wisteria with garden sabre

A week of early starts and a final push sees Live Istria finally make it into the world. I also found time to go out interviewing and fig picking. With no guests in the Little House until Wednesday, we planned some R&R, but you can guess how that turned out.    Monday, 5 September...
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Why we moved to Istria

08/09/2011
at-orih-with-s&s-2_edited-1

We moved to Istria in early 2005. Having just sold our previous business in mid-2004, we had a lot of freedom when it came to choosing somewhere to live. Here’s a brief look at why we decided on Istria for our life abroad, and some of the ups and downs. (I’m interviewing everyone else,...
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I guess I missed my deadline

07/09/2011
porec-market---stalls-5

This week cooler temperatures make work in the garden a pleasure. But the heat’s on at the typeface, as I find there’s a lot more to building a Live Istria than I thought. The chimney is swept, we buy wine, Baggy gets lost and I keep finding courgettes.   Monday, 29 August It was lovely...
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Courgette & red pepper bake

05/09/2011
courgette-bake

Serves 2 (or more depending on the size of the courgette)  There’s a lot of courgettes in my Istrian garden. Unfortunately, Phil’s none too fond of them, so I developed this courgette dish to go with BBQs and grills.   Ingredients 1 large courgette 1 red pepper, chopped 200 ml passata 1 onion, chopped...
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The heat is on

31/08/2011
Nicky-weeds-water-feature-1

With soaring temperatures in Istria, it’s hard work in the garden and at the typeface. Live Istria’s launch date, 29th August, is just around the corner. With so much on – and technology conspiring against me, will I make it? Monday, 22 August Only a week to design and build a site, and do...
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Asparagus soup

27/08/2011
Cooking-asparagus

Juha od šparoga  Serves 4-6  This is a very economical asparagus recipe, as nothing is wasted – ideal for hand-picked wild Istrian asparagus. The goodness from any woody stems goes into the stock, the middle makes the soup and the tips form the garnish.   Ingredients Handful of asparagus 50 g butter 250 g...
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