December 31, 2010

First day of 2011

The first day of 2011.

Don't try to remember your wishes, make them happen !!

Happy Newyear
Sretan Nova Godina
Gluckliches Neujahr
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
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December 11, 2010

omis, adriatic and cetina river

A great overview of Omis, the town left and right of where the Cetina River enters the Adriatic.

However the picture was "stolen" somewhere from the internet, I just could'nt resist publishing it myselve.
It truly is a most fantastic location, however it's time the town of Omis starts to pamper it's chicken with the Golden Eggs.

Still a real boulevard is missing, a footpath along the Cetina also is not there, some spots in and around town look like real dumpyards and tourists have to look for the major tourist office promoting the town in a hidden street.

And however I am not a "big-tourist-thing-person", an investor building a "skilift" would not only add good money to his own pocket but also to the attractions in Omis, with it's amazing location at the Canyon, it's Fortica (castle ruin), the Adriatic and the views to enjoy over canyon, town and sea in one simple ride up and down.
And if there would be a terrace on top of Omiska Dinara, well, that would be just stunning to have a drink, a moment of pure delight, in the most clean and natural surroundings you've ever experienced.

Still, without doubt, it's one of the special locations, Croatia is having a lot of, with or without iniatives to make it a true miracle.
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November 29, 2010

a secret to share

Don't go looking in shops, as you won't find this wine there.

I happen to have a friend (friend of my best friend Andelko) who makes THE best wine (and Andelko the second best).

Especially his red wine (crno vino) is an absolutely fantastic wine, with rich flavours, a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, and has an amazingly deep red colour in your glass.

And most important, it's like a BOMB of taste going of when you drink it.

Be carefull however, you innocent experienced winedrinker, as like all bombs, it knocks you down in no time.

Lero, the man producing this excellent wine, is living close to our house in Svinisce-Modris, and to make things easy in case you need him, just ask, as everybody knows where he lives.

I still have to check out how he does it, but I know his variety of grapes is so special, that from the Institute in Split some scientists came to write a report and take samples of both his wine and his grapes.

In the world of winemaking, they discovered that the Californian Zirfandel originates from the Croatian Plavac Mali, and it would be a surprise to me that Lero has that specific grape, and a couple more that may rock the winemakers world even a bit more.

Time will tell, and in the meantime I enjoy my glass of Lero's wine, for which I made a label to honour him and his fantastic product.

Zjiveli Lero, i puno hvala !

ps. he sells it for about 25 kn./ltr. (a bargain for such quality) but please don't buy it all will you !!!!!
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November 26, 2010

three neigbours, three friends

Three friends sitting in the shade.

From left to right:

in his most active pose, so if you see him active, call hitno pomoc (first aid) as there is something wrong.
Sometimes he loudly blows the alarm, why, nobody knows.

Mate, Hasan or Lambik.
his original name is Nikola, but I gave him many nicknames.
Our best friend and advisor on a thousands things, and proving to be like a good wine, a pleasant person getting more pleasant year by year.

Looks like a jockey, and if he had a horse, he would be riding it too (but he has'nt got one).
A super friendly guy, expert in nature, a more than excellent winemaker (the very best of our valley), and as well a fantastic singer as a dancer (ask my wife).

Just a picture of three neighbours, three friends, three reasons to like Svinisce as a place to live.
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life was so beautifull

Take it easy (sve polako), in the middle of silent nature, and still close to all Adriatic delights.

The beaches of Omis, the sparkling water of the Cetina river, the medium high and high mountains of Mosor, Omiska Dinara and Biokovo just within reach, all of that within a ten minutes drive, that must be like paradise, AND IT IS !!!!

Everything grows like hell, pure organic food is so normal here, if you help me I help you, or we just sit together, have a drink or some grilled food, as life is beautifull in paradise.

Picking grapes or olives together, cutting the sides of our little villageroad, a wall to be built, there's allways a good reason to enjoy company during work or after it, and if there is'nt one, we'll enjoy being together anyway, as life is so good here.

Tuesdays, from the market in Zadvarje, the fresh grilled piglet (younger pig), is taken back, crispy and warm, and however in the morning still, a slice of good bread and a glas of something, and the day turns into a superday.

And what about the freshest fish you can imagine, direct from the boat to the market (be there in time), driven up to our village, a small fire made from dry grape-cuttings, quick, easy, and more than fantastic to eat.

Still there are a million reasons to express our love for our Croatian (oprosti, Dalmatian) life, still we had to get to Holland to organise a couple of things, as quick as possible, as Nizozemska is not our home anymore; "Hratska, ja te volim ".

As once you tasted the Dalmatian Paradise, why even think about Holland, crowded, noisy, stressed, artificial, overly organised, great for summertourists (but they'r smart, they stay only a couple of days).
And even now the winterseason comes closer in our little part of Dalmatia too, SO WHAT, when a woodfire is burning, the young wine is drinkable and people have time to sit down for a game of trentun (31 cardplay) after a walk in the snow (that stays only short here).

Give me snow on Mosor in the morninglight, give me a howling bura in the night, give me a hot stew of potatoes, cabbage and pursut, and keep Holland with its wooden shoes, windmills and Rembrandt.

So, hvala za svi u Svinisce, thanks to all friends and neighbours in Svinisce, the BEST place to live.

Leave me a note in the guestbook, right side of this weblog, below the weatherforcast, if you feel the same.

picture taken from our little hidaway towards our old caravan/trailer/kamp kuca/, looking at our recent guardenhouse/workplace.
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November 24, 2010

do the hop

Every time when I see this bird in Croatia, I feel a lucky person.
It even makes me do a dance from "those days long gone", called "do the hop".

The more unspoiled, the bigger the chance to see one (or two).
It's official name is "Upupa Epops" (member of the family of Upupidae).
Don't laugh about that familyname, pronounced as Youpoopiday.

Just say hop (or hoppa) and even in Croatia most people know what bird you saw.
Ok, in case you did laugh, that will stop soon when you smell it in a close encounter.
The smell is not as fantastic as the looks, so stay away from these birds and their nests.

Anyway, like I said, this is one of my lucky moments in Croatia, as when I go into nature (prirode) and happen to see this bird, I am delighted, such a beauty !

This is a typical whitness of the natural quality that is still common in Croatia, as from many countries it has disappeared because it needs clean nature, without pesticides and monocultures.
It feeds on insects, the bigger the better, and those insects are available in the pure natural Zagora, the hinterland behind the coastal mountains of the Adriatic.

One of the many reasons why I love to live life in Croatia/Dalmatia soo much.
The hop.
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October 15, 2010

things that will never change

grapes, olives, fields between mountains, and an old man walking with a little girl.

a whole story in a simple picture, so why use words ?
the answer is warm and simple.

grandpa recently passed away, and the young little girl has still a long way to go, with many moments to remember still to happen.

so what you see is a mix of history and future, a little girl and her grandpa, walking between grapes and olives in beautifull Croatia.

for the whole story, please go to the excellent weblog called:

"dida", grandpa in croatian, and "baka", grandma, play a very special role in croatian familylife, even more than in many western countries.

one day Beli, the little girl in the picture, will remember this very special simple moment, walking hand in hand with that special person called Dida.

Croatia is a marvelous country, nature is pure and unspoiled on most places, and what's far more important, social- and familylife here are much more intense than in our "run for the money"-western society.

soon Croatia will be part of Europe, which is a good thing for the future of all, even for Beli.
but some things will never change in beautifull Croatia.

my message to her is to remember this walk with Dida on that day, together in the fields, and take that warm social feeling she experienced with Dida and Baka into her own wonderfull future.
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September 17, 2010

never trust a first impression

sometimes pictures or first impressions do not tell the real story.
this picture for instance shows Nikola (Tafra), one of the special people that live in our little community in Modris, part of Svinisce, a chain of little communities.
at first when you meet him, he seems to be a bit a difficult man, but I told you:

never trust a first impression !
like drinking a wine, you should give it some time (or glasses), and slowly allow yourselve to get used, which we did.

Nikola, Mate for his friends, is one of the best people to have around, always willing to share, help or to invite you for a glass or some food.
and of course, wine (white), orachovic(wallnut booze) or travarica (herbal booze) are home made, and so is most of his food, grown by himselve on the field next to ours.

for a man that lost half an arm and an eye, covered with scars (from playing in his young years with one of those "nice" post war presents called grenades (a German one this time) , he is the best example of a survivor, an amazing character in every way, and a friend to pamper as you have the luck to know him better.

I could tell about many examples proving what I mean, but again, like in all my little stories about Svinisce, you'll have to believe me, or better, come and experience it all yourselve some lucky moment.

and no, that's not his monkey on his shoulder, it's his young white cat, hiding for his little black dog.
a perfect friend, to me, to us, and to his other cat and his various chickens.
hvala Mate, ti si moi priatel !

if you have the chance, tell the representatives in your government that however wars are terrible they stop.
landmines however NEVER stop, so tell your government to stop using, selling, buying, producing those horrible things.
bullits are terrible, grenades even worse, but landmines are an absolute nightmare, as the wound and kill long after war is over !
(just imagine it's your kid, relative or friend).

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September 10, 2010

and still there are Split, Trogir and much more

there's a thousand reasons to love Croatia (and a few lesser qualities I just accept), which you should know.

old towns like Split, Trogir, Dubrovnik, each worth a long walk and lot's of oh's and ah's.
and than there is the Adriatic Sea, with the bluest, cleanest water, touching a most fantastic Dalmatian coast on hundreds of islands and beaches, sandy or rocky, but all inviting for a swim.

but what most people never see (ignorent or blind) is what we call Zagora, the hinterland, just behind the coastal mountainridges.
there you''ll experience a natural beauty that is amazing, pure and original.

if you wonder why Romans, Turks, Austrians, French, Italians and Germans tried to get hold of all this in ancient times, well, I know why and if you look at this picture, you know why too.

follow the Cetina river upstream, coming from Trilj, stay on the right side(!!!!) and keep going till you reach the beginning of this river, a deep blue clear phenomenen, where the water of the river pops up out of nowhere from under the mountains that surround you.
at first it's a little stream, quickly entering the highlind where it's like it's looking where to go, finally deciding to head for the Adriatic.

from beginning to end this river has a different character, sometimes dreamingly calm, a couple of times blocked by powerplants, and closer to the sea, carving itselve through rocky canyons, where daily many hundreds of tourists spend a day rafting down the rapids.

and however we live very close to that canyon, and to the mouth of the river at Omis, I love the upstream part even more.
never a dull moment, especially in the Dalmatinska Zagora, and most certainly following the Cetina from end to start.

(p.s. thanks Frans, for this fantastic picture)
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shut up, just look

sometimes it's better to shut up and look, just look.
this picture, shows one of those moments that make svinisce special.

so for once I shut up, and I hope you do the same, for just a moment, and try to imagine the total pureness we know here so well.

no words, this is SVINISCE at it's best.
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September 07, 2010

why pigs look so happy

a bit morbide it looks, you might say, and I totally agree.

however, we civilised people (at least the meat eating part of us), make our daily trip to the supermarket, buy ourselves some chops, a steak or a chicken, and however nice it may taste, the thing is dead.

but our "friends" in the foodindustry take care of us poor souls, and take away the head, puts it on a nice (/horrible) peace of plastic, with sometimes even a "pamper" under it, and we remain innocent, as this is meat, and not an animal anymore.

come on folks, accept that you're meat eaters, from head to tail, and face the fact you are an omnivore.

the vegetarians among us do not tell the greengrocer to take the leaves of the carrots, (or do they ??), so why are we meateaters so ignorent that we face our food preferably without the proof of it's original status, from head to tail and back !!!!!

here, in lovely Croatia, I had the honour to be invited to the diner after the baptising of our best friends first son Jospih Frane.
and with me, a whole group of family, friends and neighbours where there to celebrate this special moment.
and what does a Croat do when he joins with his dear ones, he organizes food and drinks (and starts to sing).

the food was absolute top quality, with four roasted lambs and two young pigs, all of them cared for during their life, and even more cared for them during those roasting hours at the end of it.
on large tables they were served with the finest examples fruits and green/red stuff (salads, tomatoes, olives), and boy did that taste !!
and between all those delights, there were the heads of the animals, roasted like tourists after two weeks of beachfun at the Adriatic.
hvala Bogu (thank God) Croats still respect the whole animal, fish or vegetable, so when you order a fish in a restaurant, you get it all, and in shops the vegetables are still in their original state, and NOT cut, sliced, washed, cooked and packed like those idiots in my homeland (Holland) do in supermarkets reducing the quality and increasing the profit.
a carrot has leaves, a fish has a tail, and animals have heads, so show it like it is, and don't be a hypocrit when you eat it, being vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore.

and for this marvelous dinerparty, there was a lot more, like a variety of cookies and for desert the VERY BEST tiramusi I ever tasted, but I had committed myselve to "a little to much" of that delicious roasted pig.
respectfull to the animal that gave it's life for my pleasure of eating it, I ate and drank close to "the point of no return".

and than we sang, till the sun came up again over the Adriatic, deep down below us, in Gornje Podstrana.
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September 05, 2010

talking about my generation

it was the famous english rockband The Who that once had a song called My Generation.

with grandma Mika on the left and my wife Nives on the right (and one of our "wild" cats, called Sporky crossing) two generations are having a chat on the steps to our terrace.

grandma must be in her eigthies now, but still takes care of a million things in the household of our best friends Anjelco and Susana.

taking care of the house, feeding chickens, picking eggs, than going to the land to water the plants when needed, and later in autumn, when a couple of pigs are behind the house, she prepares their food, all homegrown on their own fields.
and than, when time has come for those pigs to become the famous prsút (salted, smoked, dried and matured ham, famous in Dalmatia) she daily takes care that those hams, panceta, sausages and more, hanging in the "black" kitchen, get their daily amount of smoke to conserve the meat and make it to the very best you'll ever know or eat.

grandma's in Croatian families are MOST important and highly respected, as they keep the "wheels turning" while kids are in school and parents are working.
and when anybody comes home for lunch or supper, it's their, as she cooked it already for each and all.

still life is not always easy here, but life of grandma and her late husband (named "Truman" after that famous American president, worked like hell to keep the family fed, and did it all by hand, with no motormachines, no electricity, water from the well and long walks up and down the mountain to Omis and back, as there simply were no roads, no cars, just legs and pure character.

her knowledge , and that of all Croatian grandma's, their experience and endurance are the best examples of how to live and survive in this marvelous country beheind the coast.
for that reason it's nice to see that my wife gets some experiences handed over in a friendly chat between two generations.

and for all of it, grandma Mika (and her generation) deserves all respect you can give to her (and all grandma's), living under rough conditions we do not even know of and never will.

about that little cat crossing, well, she owns a place between them on the picture, as she gave bearth to at least three kittens a couple of weeks ago.
and for cats times never changes, they will never know about the "benefits" of cars, airco's, tv's and washingmachines, they just pass their skills on to their kittens, century after century, from the days of Cleopatra till somewhere far into the future.
generation after generation.
and we just talk about it, as this is my and my wifes generation, from overorganised and crowded Holland, happy to be living in Croatia today.
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September 04, 2010

one plus one expat makes three

there he is, the newborn boy called Josiph (Jozef) Frane, the son of Mark and Kika Geurts.

living in Croatia these two Belgian folks (our best friends) are the proud parents now of a little boy, recently born in Stari Podsdrana.

we live a quiet retired life, they are doing a great job, working with their sailing club (catamarans, windsurfboards) and hosting young folks for the (non profit) social tourism organisation called JEKA.
groups of young kids from many countries visit Croatia to have a week of our best Croatian delights, being the sea, nature, adventure, and a closer look at other people living in another country.

this weekend he will baptised in the ancient catholic church, high on the slopes over Podsdrana.
young life/old church, Croatia/Belgium, the very best of both, combined in a young kid growing up in a beautifull country, with loving parents to care for him.

welcome to the world Josiph Frane, welcome to Croatia, and have a fantastic life here.
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September 02, 2010

yes we can (build walls)

the chinese did it, the germans did it, even the israeli's do it, so why not me.

the dalmatian landscape is showing small walls allover the place, most of the time just to get rid of stones in the fields, and as it your patch, it's logical that those stones are put at the borders of it.

also walls are needed here, as the land is never ever flat (like my home country Holland), and when you want to have a flat peace you better build a wall to create a terrace.

needed or wanted, those walls are nicer to see than grey concrete.

reason for me to build my first ever traditional stone wall, to hide the concrete of the drive from section one to section two of our ground here with a difference in heigth of about one meter.

and as there is a first time for everything, like I said to many virgins (when I was young), this was the moment to put myselve to the test building a little wall covering that concrete, making it look natural and charming.
so with great pride I tell the world that I did it, and I am proud of it.

and however once it was an ugly thing, the chinese have a reason to be proud as well, as their wall can be seen from out of space, however I wonder if that will ever happen to my wall on Google Earth.

glad that the united germans broke it down, my advise the israeli's is: get rid of it, there's no reason to be proud of that wall at all.
history will tell I am right, and let's hope my wall stays for centuries to come.
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soparnik, a turkish gift from the past

our neighbours spend many hours in their fields, taking care of vegetables, grapes, olives and many more.
all of it is as pure and natural as can be, and the taste of whatever is harvested is excellent, not spoiled with artificial fertilizers and other horrible growth increasing horrors.

however not permanently living in Modris (part of Svinisce), the brothers have a traditional weekendhouse here, owned and shared by the members of the family, their wifes and kids.

during one of their stays they use to enjoy meals together, sometimes barbequed meat or fish, a rich soup or whatever they like to prepare and share.
this time they made a traditional soparnik, a simple but delicious kind of pizza, not being a pizza at all.

it's an old and very traditional dish, from the days the Otomans ruled this region, where baked between two layers of dough, a filling of blitva and onions is put, and the whole is baked on a traditional woodfire heated stone floor.
this is typically a food tradition fit for friends, as it'sfar to big for one or two people, so you hve to ask friends to help consume it, which is not a bad idea at all, is it ???

for those of you interested, enter "soparnik" on Google, and when not able to understand Croatian language, tell Google to translate it for you (a peace of cake).
on the picture is Neno Mimica, one of the three brothers, turning the soparnik between two round wooden plates.

and that's one of the thousand and one reasons why Svinisce is a fantastic place to be.
see the other pages of my blog if you don't believe me.
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August 25, 2010

WANTED: six legged chicken

what do you do when nature is providing you with stuff like this.
it's not a regular tomatoe, but as it comes from unspoiled soil, it's 100% OK.

and what do you do with "multomatoes" like this one ?
the answer is simple, especially here in Dalmatia, you go to the market to look for a six legged chicken and call your friends to have lunch together.

eating (and/or drinking) together, as a social event, is most common here.
you do not have to have a special occasion, a party or a birthday to join together with friends in some drink or food.

even while unemployment rates are rather high here at the very moment, people gather in what they call cafe-bars, to have a small espresso (always served with a glas of water) to talk about life or celebrate it, together !!!!

and many times when somebody feels like it, some fresh fish, roasted pigmeat or a homemade soup are the best excuse to call your friends by what the call here "mobitel".

summer being the season of tomatoes, new potatoes, corn on the cob, and lots of other excellent harvested food, an excellent soup is quickly made, and some fish or meat from the grill is accompanied by a glass of homemade wine (or two, or three).
sitting outside around the table, shaded from the sun, this is the outdoor season, so life happens outside as much and as long as possible.
and most of those joined moments, there is singing, called "klapa", the Dalmatian alternative to countrymusic.

well, as this silly tomatoe came from a plant, as big as an "American Mc Donalds victim", it's big enough to share with a bunch of friends.
reason to look for a sixlegged chicken, so everybody gets an equal bite of it all.
having little or much, it does'nt matter when you share what you've got with friends.

and nature knows that, so where's that chicken ?
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August 23, 2010

marvelous country

daddy picking potatoes from his small field, his two girls helping to gather them.
can life be better than this, better than anything in the world ?
my clear answer is NO !!!, this is the best way to enjoy familylife, in the middle of our fantastic nature.

earlier this year they put their potatoes into the ground, fertile as this ground is, it only needs some attention afterwords, checking for those colodaro bugs, and weekly a firm splash of pure water from the natural well that's nearby.

lots of sun, combined with this excellent soil, take care of a nice harvest, a lot of potatoes for them selves and family or friends during the winterseason.

french fries, cooked, or even baked in a peka (cooked under a big lid over a woodfire), I said it a thousand times, and will say it a million more times, this is paradise, this is simply the best you can get from life, as the picture clearly shows on each face.

coming from the Adriatic coast at the town of Omis (thirty minutes from Split), drive through the amazing canyon along the Cetina river for five minutes, than drive up the first mountainroad for another five minutes to Svinisce and turn right to Modris.

is it that easy to reach paradise, yes it is !!!!
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August 12, 2010

sit or lay, do it your way

NEW NEW, two resting places in the gardenhouse have been made.
And yes, I made it with pleasure, I did it myselve and I am proud of it all.

It took a bit of thinking, but the result is just what we wanted and needed.
Two beds, for those who visit and don't know the way back after a drink to much.
And in case of falling asleep, both are perfectly shaped to sit ánd sleep.

For someone who used to work with brains and mouth (telling dentists that they could do a better job after listening to me for once), I absolutely enjoy to work with my hands and tools.

Wood, especially what they call here "brodski pod" from Baumax *) in Kastela, is great to make whatever I need or like to make.
*) Bricostore came, Bricostore went, Baumax came, followed by Bauhaus and also Baumax went home.
As like with chickens, there is only space for one good rooster, so Baumax left too.
Leaving Bauhaus as thé rooster for all us chickens.

Anyway, after a few trials (and errors) I might call myselve "maistor", which in croatia (sometimes) tells you you're dealing with a skilled person.
 (And sometimes it means nothing else but: "let me grab your money").

So, do call me maistor if you like, but do keep in mind that I am NOT looking for a job.
And certainly NOT for your money, I just do things because I like to do it all, teaching myself how to put nails into wood the proper way (straight forward, no mistakes).
And once in a while I hit myself hard enough to dance around a bit, singing the famous "jebenti"song.
As singing, under whatever conditions, is what keeps Dalmatians happy Dalmatians.

Whatever.., you can be sure now that when you visit us here in our hidden paradise, you can sit or lay down.
Your only job here is to enjoy life in a beautiful hidden valley, like we do already.
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August 10, 2010

the bigger the better

never had the intention to have a fireplace like this.
really, I was one of x-million dutch that where used to burning meat on a simple weber-grill.

until, until we had our gardenhouse almost ready and the workers said: "nice place, but how do you cook".
to keep a long story short, they offered to build the fireplace, and three days later there it was (and still is).

anything from a trout to an entire lamb and everything you can think of fits into it, and on romantic nights or cold days (yes sometimes I am romantic, and yes it can be cold here in winter) a big fire can warm your bones or your soul.

lucky us, and lucky visitor, you don't have to step outside into the rain to finish your meal, there's enough space to sit down and enjoy the view, sitting around the table with us.

the sad part of it all could be that we're now burning our cherrytrees, but they where in bad shape anyway.
even more sad, as cherries here around the Cetina and in Poljica area are more than excellent, but that's another story.
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August 09, 2010

even in the dark it's nice to see

plans ?
much to much and even more !
some things are not even planned and still end well.

because we lacked space in our little hideaway, one day I said it would be great to have some extra room to put away the gardentools and some machinery.

started with a simple 4x4 mtr. plan, it turned out to be 8x8 meters, but who cares.
we do have some extra space now for our belongings, I do have my gardenshed annex workshop, and what's more, we've got a fantastic gardenhouse to enjoy under any weathercondition.
(click on picture to enlarge).

enough space to even have some guests sleep their drinks away, enough space to sit down with a bunch of friends, a giant fireplace to grill or heat, and, I can't stop telling, also from here this fantastic view on Mosor and Omiska Dinara, both mountains.
and on top of it all, this is Svinisce, where stress and noise still have not been invented.

come and see, come and feel, but be aware, once here, you're lost forever.
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August 01, 2010

inside out

here it is, our gardenhous.
in any type of weather we've got a perfect place to relax or enjoy company of friends over a drink or some food.

with Omiska Dinara and Mosor mountains in front of us, it's just fantastic.

the place is almost finished (floors, walls, windows) and most of the things I wanted to create myselve have been done.

seated at the table, relaxing on one of the two beds/sofa's, or preparing some food on the workplaces, I wanted to make them and so I did.

its all just perfect to enjoy alone, together with Nives or with a bunch of good friends.
and let's not forget there is a huge fireplace to grill, heat or just to look at.

3/4 of the place is living area, 1/4 is my temple, where I have all my tools, machines and materials to work with.
still working on things that we need, I wish in due time to be more creative, sculpting wood, steel or stone just for the fun of creating "arty" items.
not to be an artist, nor to show or sell, just for the sake of pleasure.

an inspiring scenery all around us, no stress, no noise and no need to do things for the sake of money, thats what I call a treasure.
inside looking out I feel rich, and everybody in the same mood is most welcome to share it all.

you're welcome, proud and happy to share what we've got to share.
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July 31, 2010

one of thousand reasons

can you imagine, after a hot sunny day, we spend in our hidden valley, this is what we go for in the early evening when the daydreamers have gone home ?

no ?
well, I guess that you, my dearest blogvisitor and I, have different look at the world as it should and can be.

spending our daily life in our little place called Modris, part of Svinisce (which is a part of Omis), watering the plants, finishing our gardenhouse or just being lazy, we are in love with our silent life here, with hardly ever any noise other that of peoples voices.

so going to the beach is not our thing during the day, as the big bunch of tourists do so, so we don't.

having the possibility to choose is a rich thing, and we prefer to go to the seaside at the end of the afternoon (popodne they call it here).
it's a ten minutes drive to our beach, giving way to loads of tourists returning from the beach while we go to it.

our favorite place is a small beach (small pebbles), a superb clean sea, a fantastic terrace with friendly restaurant where we eat whatever we like to eat, or just have a refreshing drink after a long refreshing swim.
not only us, but also the locals frequent this location, as it's a bit further than the more crowded tourists beaches.

one thing leads to another, there is always some connection to close friends of us, sometimes even familyties, as this is (before and after the main season) just a small society, where about 10.000 people live in the town of Omis and around.
so we know the chef who's preparing those nice dishes, and yes, the waiter (konobar) is called johnny and he's also a good friend (maybe because we are nice people, (after having some pints of cold beer) and always appreciate good service with a fair tip.

so if you still want to have your holidays in Switserland or Kenya, fine to me, but I have a thousands reasons to go to Croatia, Dalmatia, Split, Omis, Svinisce, and especially Modris.
above is one of many and if you read well, you see more than one.
so get going, and help me count if you like life as it is in the middle of nature, close to the Cetina river and the Adriatic.
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May 15, 2010

if not a car, you can eat it

just kidding, croats enjoy eating, especially togehter with friends.
anything from nature, growing, walking, flying or swimming that looks like food is welcome.
and being springtime, the young vegetables are excellent company for some fish, meat or snails, often from the grill, sometimes in a juga (soup).

this season is the best to taste a young sheep (janjetine) from the grill.
fresh springonions, salade, bread and domaci wine, and most important: FRIENDS.

I was invited to party with the neighbours (the men !!!), so a young sheep was turning around over a fresh woodfire for about three hours, untill it was excellent food for a group of about twelve men.

gathered around the table we spent a great meal together, accompanied with local wine, until the first songs were sang.

the only croat that does not sing is a dead croat, so each and every moment they sing.
working in the fields, sitting together over a well deserved cold beer, after dinner, you name it, they sing.
"klapa", the croat singing tradition goes far back into history, and hundreds (thousands ?) of songs are an important part of cultural tradition.

many songs are shared, known and joined by each and everyone, recent ones, older ones and to my surprise (what do I know of it all) from various parts of former Yougoslavia, and even from far back from history.
especially those golden oldies, sang by older men of women, I like very much, as they are pure and unpolished.

this afternoon , standing onder a cherrytree, after an excellent meal, the singing went on and on and on, and when moved to the local cafe of Mali Ante, it went on till late in the night.
(somewhere later in the evening I decided to quit, as to me enough (drinks) is enough).

thanks folks, you're a great bunch !!!
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May 10, 2010

potatoes, the domaci way !

Coming from Holland, where all potatoes grow in straight lines in large fields this is what I like more, much more !

Small patches of furtile land, with cherry and walnut trees in and around it, I am certain that these potatoes will have a happy life, ending as french fries in hot oil, or as the company of some true meat under a peka.

This is not the mass agriculture our Dutch farmers fill supermarkets with, loaded with furtilizers and chemicals, this is the traditional "domaci" agriculture, in our hidden valley of Svinisce.

When the seasons get hotter the owners start to spray water from a genuin natural well, and if there is a problem with what they call "colorado's", those striped beetles the trick is to check each plant for small eggs of that little bastard and kill them manually.

No chemical sprayings, only once in a while some old sheepshit (gnoj), and lots of TLC (tender loving care).

I was (again) surprised by this little polje, almost like a cropcircle from "outerspace", but no, this is just human activity on a tiny bit of land.
And those cherrytrees, well, they are just there to offer a handfull of juicy red spring delights while working around the potatoes.

If you want to eat potatoes, than keep in mind that what you put into it is what you're gonna eat from it, no less, and much more !
And if that is a genetically modified chemically grown thing, well, the choice is all yours.
(But I prefer to have my fries from these brown buddies growing under a cherrytree in Modris, part of the community of Svinisce).

Think further, think DOMACI !!!!!
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May 05, 2010

communication is a great thing

Sure there is much more to tell, as we just arrived in our little bowl.
Still the view is fantastic, and the sea close to it all.

However, time is limited and so is the connectionspeed of our pc in Svinisce.
Happy to have internet for sure, but with a signal coming through the air in stead of a fast cable, it takes a while to get pictures into this blog.

And more important, as time is limited (with loads of things to do on daily basis), I will not enter as many things as I do when not "here" but "there".

Getting organised, connecting water and electricity to the new gardenhouse, and still a huge amount of things to plan and do, mostly a pleasure, but still on the list "to do".

Well, for the moment this is all, and MOST important:
PLEASE MAIL ME AT GMAIL (and forget about the planet one, as it takes hours I rather use reducing the to-do list or just relaxing in the sun).
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