A trip to an olive oil factory…

A celebration of good food

land and trees land and trees

Take Olea europaea, add water, sunshine and a lot of hard work harvesting, then make a trip to the olive oil factory, stand back, and let the machinery take over…

water, sunshine and harvest... water, sunshine and harvest…


delivery... delivery…


...to the olive oil factory …to the olive oil factory


machines take the strain machines take the strain


feeder... feeder…


washer... washer…


hopper hopper


extractor extractor


strainer strainer


dispenser dispenser


stock in hand stock in hand


finished product finished product

...just add PR! …just add PR!

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What better time of year than the date season to pay a visit to an arabian garden?

First comes water, the giver of life:

without which the sun's magic  rays just burn...

without which the sun’s magic rays just burn…

And next comes Phoenix dactylifera – the date palm…

the main cash crop...

the main cash crop…

… from which a bounteous harvest

varieties to suit all tastes

varieties to suit all tastes

…and artistic palettes

a calorific crescendo

a calorific crescendo

But man cannot live by dates alone…













and to re-sharpen the taste buds…



… and something for a refreshing cup of tea!

Wild mint

Wild mint

Closer to heaven in a garden.


As I am waiting patiently at Istanbul Ataturk airport for my one hour onward connection to my favourite country on the planet, I thought I would re-share this little piece written two years ago, before my last visit. Close to heaven!


When George Dubya famously confused Slovenia and Slovakia there were probably some wry smiles among the liberal cognoscenti, but who can really blame the man for failing to distinguish two small countries, neither of which existed in his schooldays?

My knowledge of Slovakia is limited to a one day bus-trip from  Vienna across the Donau/ Danube to Bratislava. I’m sure it’s a wonderful country, but I’ll leave others to extol its virtues.

Slovenia, on the other hand, is a place I’ve come to love since first encountering it – almost by accident en route from Croatia – nine years ago. And as it only celebrated its twenty first birthday this year I feel privileged to have known it for so long.

Slovenia’s most photographed tree

So, after nine years of this continuing love affair, which I’ll be re-kindling just one one week from today, here are nine woody snippets to…

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WIth thanks to Rosemary. Blogger, stranger, kindred spirit.

Rosemary's Blog

National Poetry Month. 25

Big Leaf Maple Big Leaf Maple

Learning Trees
by Howard Nemerov

Before you can learn the trees, you have to learn
The language of the trees.  That’s done indoors,
Out of a book, which now you think of it
Is one of the transformations of a tree.

The words themselves are a delight to learn,
You might be in a foreign land of terms
Like samara, capsule, drupe, legume and pome,
Where bark is papery, plated, warty or smooth.

But best of all are the words that shape the leaves —
Orbicular, cordate, cleft and reniform —
And their venation — palmate, and parallel —
And tips — acute, truncate, auriculate.

Sufficiently provided, you may now
Go forth to the forests and shady streets
To see how the chaos of experience
Answers to catalogue and category.

Confusedly.  The leaves of a single tree
May differ among themselves more than…

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Though autumn storms rage

the tree grips the earth, grounded,

waiting for the spring

Acer campestre - field maple

Acer campestre – field maple


Carpinus betulus - common hornbeam

Carpinus betulus – common hornbeam


Chaemaecyparis lawsoniana - Lawson's cypress

Chaemaecyparis lawsoniana – Lawson’s cypress


Fagus sylvatica - common beech

Fagus sylvatica – common beech


Olea europaea - European olive

Olea europaea – European olive


Platanus orientalis - the oriental plane

Platanus orientalis – the oriental plane


Quercus - the Cambridge Oak. Thought to be a hybrid of Q. robur and Q. rugosa

Quercus – the Cambridge Oak. Thought to be a hybrid of Q. robur and Q. rugosa


Sequoiadendron giganteum - the giant sequoia

Sequoiadendron giganteum – the giant sequoia


Taxus baccata - the common yew

Taxus baccata – the common yew


Zelkova carpinifolia - the caucasian zelkova

Zelkova carpinifolia – the caucasian zelkova


unknown beauty at the arboretum Volcji Potok in Slovenia

unknown beauty at the arboretum Volcji Potok in Slovenia