Sage and Lavender Are Amazing

MaretaCroatian Adriatic, Herbs, The Lady of the SeaLeave a Comment

In the previous blog I wrote about several wonders of the Croatian Adriatic as captured by The Lady of the Sea novel. In this blog, I would like to focus on one of these wonders: Medicinal and culinary herbs. More specifically, I’d like to focus on two of my all time favorites, which also feature heavily in the novel: Sage … Read More

Wonders of the Croatian Adriatic – as Captured by The Lady of the Sea

MaretaCroatian Adriatic, The Lady of the Sea6 Comments

I LOVE the Croatian Adriatic region, and I want to share my love for it with you. My novel The Lady of the Sea offers a deep sensory experience of this beautiful place that is an integral part of my being. Here, I’ve selected a few quotes from the novel and some photos I’ve taken over the years to share … Read More

Spring Cleaning

Branka ValcicIsland lifeLeave a Comment

On the island, springtime is when each islander gets his kaic, batela, gajeta, pasara or any other type of traditional subsistence fishing boat out of the water for skver or annual boat maintenance. Boat maintenance on the island is a man’s job. The boat is taken out of the water. At the minimum, it is pressure-washed, sanded, and anti-fouled. It … Read More

Bewitched by Gardening

MaretaIsland life4 Comments

I promised myself I wouldn’t plant anything this spring. So, what happened? The only explanation is that I got bewitched. Because who would want to plant something after spending a good portion of the fall fighting snails, mending calloused hands and aching back only to not actually be home to harvest most of the produce?! Yes, we ate some beautiful … Read More

Awestruck by Spring

MaretaIsland life2 Comments

I used to live in Scotland and the problem with Scotland is that it doesn’t see much sun. Duh! Living now on an island in the Croatian Adriatic I am awestruck at the existence of a real, honest to God, sun shining Spring. The Sun has been shining for days now. I soak it in. The island is waking up. … Read More

Trees

MaretaIsland life2 Comments

A few months ago I sat next to a tree and leaned my back on its smooth bark. From the top of my head, down my spine, and into the ground a long, violent shiver traveled. Tears sprung out of my eyes and I shook uncontrollably. Then with all its might, I felt the tree behind me, its roots became … Read More

Journeying

MaretaArtist in me, Taking chances19 Comments

I have always been in love with the sea. This is probably largely related to the many summers I spent with my parents and extended family on a small island in the Croatian Adriatic. There was no electricity or running water on the island. We washed our hair in the sea and drank rainwater collected in a tank during the … Read More

Joy of Gardening

Branka ValcicIsland life6 Comments

When I was a little girl, I used to spend summers with my grandparents in a little cottage in the countryside of Croatia. The cottage, though nothing more than a room in which my sister, our grandparents and I slept toasty under down duvets for nights were chilly in the countryside, and a kitchen in the cellar, in which I … Read More

You are a woman!

Branka ValcicIsland life4 Comments

Olives have been picked. Next stop: uljarnica! Uljarnica is an olive processing facility and in many of the Croatian Adriatic island villages it is the most prominent building in the village. During the olive picking and processing season uljarnica is the epicenter of village activity. Ever since it has opened its doors this season (and it has been open almost … Read More

Olives Are Gold

MaretaArtist in me, Island lifeLeave a Comment

As I struggle to meet my National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo) targets (and am terribly behind), a fever engulfs the small island in the Croatian Adriatic Sea I currently live on. The fever of the olive-picking season. It is the one time in the year when all hands are on deck. Depending on how many olive trees one has, … Read More