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

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

Celebrating Life

Branka ValcicIsland life2 Comments

“If you need to get news about you dying [every moment of your life] from someone else, how firmly planted in the life are you?” ~Stephen Jenkinson The mind imagines that it has time. Snap out of it mind! Do you really need to be surprised when you finally realize that time has passed? Each moment of this deception is … Read More

Salty Sardines

Branka ValcicArtist in me, Island life2 Comments

By now it is likely more than clear to all of you reading my blog that I have a conflicting relationship with my home country, Croatia. I hope some day something good will at last come out of it. According to a movie I recently saw in which a senior writer shared a nugget of his wisdom with a budding … Read More