As I mentioned in this post, I decided to set a challenge for myself for the last 100 days of 2014. I’m back to carrying my big camera around with me, actively looking for the little things that I love, appreciate, might miss, laugh at, etc., every day. The challenge for me is to use these moments for inspiration, and to write a little bit about those moments.. Here are days five through eleven..
Day Five – 27 September 2014
A dreary Saturday in Athens. With a massive to-do list and trying to get through the last part of my dissertation, I only went out in the evening because I set myself this challenge. I’m glad I did it – evenings like these make me love Athens. The clouds were so much better in real life, and the pulse of the city was thrumming on, business as usual. Not a pristine sunny day, but a cloudy, dramatic, regular day. Not to mention a welcome sign of autumn.
Day Six – 28 September 2014
An afternoon spent at my aunt’s house, in the company of family past and present. This was one of my great joys in the past week – finally digging into a box marked ‘photos’ and forgotten in a closet. I discovered it several months ago, but was resisting really getting into it until my dissertation was behind me. I often wonder what it is about my background, upbringing, personality, whatever, that makes me so happy to lose myself in these ‘memories’ that aren’t really mine. As of now, no conclusion. I’ll get back to you on that one..
Day Seven – 29 September 2014
Finally an excuse to bake! Though autumn may or may not exist in Athens, I embrace it fully, and used end of dissertation as a reason to make this Pumpkin Walnut bread. I’m not sure there’s much better than filling up my apartment with cloves, nutmeg, etc., even if the weather was still decidedly late-summer. A few days earlier, a friend of mine told me he doesn’t like autumn, because things are dying, the days get shorter, darker, colder, etc., and although I see his point I just can’t get behind it. The season from now until the end of the year is my favourite – I start feeling grumpy about the short days in January, but until then I’m all about the baking and coziness of October, November and December.
Day Eight – 30 September 2014
Hello Rusty! Not much exciting happening on Day Eight of my challenge, despite hauling my camera up and down town. But this guy (and his brother, Rocky) have played a fair part in keeping me happy and sane. I always forget how much I miss having animals in my life until I am actually around animals.. The antics of these crazy guys is always entertaining and their affection always appreciated. I think it’s because they’re always there (well, at my aunt’s house), hanging around and being weird (and also because I’m afraid of becoming a cat lady) that I rarely share any photos, but Rusty was looking especially photogenic here (and I didn’t have any other photos from the day!)
Day Nine – 1 October 2014
Ok, I admit today’s photo is a bit of a pathetic one. But! It is more meaningful than it seems. Though I rambled a bit about fall above (and will continue the ramble below), I opened this box for a ceremonial ‘First of October’ cup of Pumpkin-y tea and it was lovely. Beyond that, this tea was a gift, and an indulgence of my weird autumn obsession, which to me means more than the fact that it was lovely and spicy and warm.
Day Ten – 2 October 2014
Ah – where to find the words for this one? This gorgeous (or not-so-gorgeous thing, let’s be real..) thing is perhaps my favourite food in the world. It’s called ‘Peynirli,’ which in Turkish means just, ‘with cheese,’ but obviously it is so much more. It’s a traditional food brought from the Greeks who lived in Asia Minor (when Turkey was the Ottoman Empire), when they came to Greece as refugees in the 1920s. Then, and now, the restaurants specialising in this delicacy are centred in a far northern suburb of Athens where the descendants of those refugees go on pilgrimmages to eat this thing. It’s basically fluffy dough, with cheese, an egg and pastourma, spicy cured meat – topped with liberal amounts of butter. That description does not do it justice. This particular Peynirli was enjoyed as a post-dissertation celebration, as well as a welcome dinner for my dad who is now in Athens. A memorable meal, as always.
Day Eleven – 3 October 2014
More fall – but this is extra special because my dad brought it for me from Ohio. Not many mini-pumpkins to be found in Greece, especially this time of year. I do my best to keep the space around me inspiring and comforting, and small things like this bring me a disproportionate amount of happiness. (I’m reminded of my room at university in first year – I went all out on the Christmas decorations, and although my friends indulged me, assuring me it was lovely, I’m sure that the decorations made me happier than anyone.) Also it’s small and adorable. Very simple!
Ok — lesson learned from this week. Too much fall related stuff. This post is really orange Challenge met but.. perhaps some more thinking outside the box is needed. Next week I’ll be away, travelling in the Peleponnese with my dad for the first Tour du Péloponnèse. There will certainly be no shortage of photo opps, but I’ll do my best to push myself a little and try and get creative. Stay tuned 🙂