Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pelion Fruit paradise

One of the delightful qualities of this wonderful area where we have the Kalikalos living-learning Centres is the abundant fruit that is everywhere for the picking.

When we arrive in mid May to open up our Centres and erect our outdoor group spaces, there are apricots and plums. Then in mid June come the cherries. First the amazing black ones and then the red-orangish ones. Until you have had a big plump black cherry from one of the Pilion cherry trees which abound in the Pelion forest, you havent really tasted a cherry. Round about mid July the cherries are finished and then come the peaches and nectarines soon after joined by plums and then pears. And all through July and early August our mulberry tree is producing in quantity. I'm always amazed at just how much fruit one tree produces.

We sited one of our yurts right under our mulberry tree, not realising that the mulberries dropping would stain it royally. They did, but we now have a net for catching the mulberries and guiding them down into a bucket where we can go out at breakfast time and scoop them up, wash them and eat them on Greek yoghurt with honey. Food for the gods! As I child I sang "round and round the mulberry bush", never knowing that actually there was such a thing as a mulberry and it grows, not on a bush, but a solid shade tree. Wish we had more of them. They taste a bit like a black raspberry, but sweeter and juicier.

Around mid August the figs are ready. We have both green and black (dark purple actually) figs in this area. I prefer by far the black ones, and generally on my way down to the beach I gorge myself on them from the many trees beside the road to Ag Ioannis.

In early September the figs give way to the grapes and apples. Pelion is the main apple growing area for Greece, but I'm sad to report that the farmers confine themselves to just two species: a red delicious which is anything but, and a green apple, also nothing to rave about. Some enterprising person could introduce the Cox orange pippin, the Macintosh and the Bramleys to Greece and make a packet.

The grapes are prolific. I planted a few vines to climb up the roof of our covered patio at the Anilio campus in 2004 and this year there are so many grapes that we have had to prune heavily the vines to keep them from snapping off. Wish we had a juicer, we could have had buckets of grape juice. And if only we knew how to make wine.

The patio at the Kissos campus is covered with Kiwi fruit--yes they do grow well in Greece. However, they dont ripen till November, by which time we'll have closed up shop for the season, and somebody else will be enjoying them.

What amazing riches of fruit we have here! I wish I had photos of more than just the three trees you see above. I could show you more photos of pear, fig, grape, plum, cherry and mulberry trees laden with fruit. The area is truly a fruit paradise!

Jock Millenson, Kissos Focaliser

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kalikalos - Roses and Pears

I have only been at Kalikalos for a few days now but already feel very much at home here. The weather has been cool and sometimes wet but this makes me feel very cosy when we're all gathered inside for our meals.

The view here is beautiful... the blue sea stretching into blue sky - when I first looked I couldn't find where the sea and sky met...This morning, watching the sun rise through the clouds, we could see pools of molten gold floating on the water where the sun reflected - a lovely way to begin the day.

The roses are in bloom and all the plants are so green, every branch seems to be laden with fruit! Hernan and Susan have harvested the ripest pears and Ali has used some to make pear chutney and a yummy pear crumble...(just what we need for this kind of weather!)

Yesterday a group of us walked down to the beach to catch the sea breeze and take a walk by the sea...once there, a few were inspired to have a swim - (the water was actually quite warm). I felt like a dolphin diving through the waves! What amazed me most was how clear the water was - you can see right to the bottom, it felt like you were in a life size aquarium.

We are still hoping for the sun to show her head and have been invoking the Greek God, Helos (god of the sun) to send a little more our way...(but I must admit, for me, it's still quite nice to feel the seasons changing) - I'll keep you posted!!


The photo: Hernan and I singing a very soulful song!...:)

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Kalikalos Experience

Hello, welcome to my blog. My name is Enid and I've been at Kalikalos for 3 months so I thought it was about time I put my fingers on the keyboard and told you something about my experience here!

I arrived on 12 June to participate on a workshop of non-violent communication with Maria Arpa. The workshop was interesting and I felt it would give me extra insight for my work as a life coach.

The centre was expecting a big group of people to arrive for a permaculture workshop and I volunteered to stay for the weekend to help out. Little did I know I would be spending most of my summer in Kalikalos as a member of staff! I very quickly became engaged with what was happening here and felt I was accepted as part of the project. Over the weeks we have had many interesting workshops and the participants have brought their own special energy. We've also had many living-in community guests who have come for one or two weeks and participated by contributing with their own particular skills.

I've also had opportunity to attend various workshops that have taken place. I attended a couple of sessions with Annabel Aguirre on her Art from Within week - I found working with the paints inspiring and talking through the results, which was guided by Annabel, revealing. Mark Taplin's week of Experiencing Pelion gave me the chance to see more of this amazingly beautiful area as well as learning some of its history. I also attended a day with Victoria on her Creative Works for Health and Wellbeing workshop. We went out for the day to Zagora with pen and paper in hand so we could find a space to be alone and write on a particular theme. The exercise was emotional and meaningful but as our next stop was the beach Victoria guided us back to a balanced state. Each session gave me a deeper understanding of myself and what I need to create the life I want.

However, it hasn't all been plain sailing! I guess whenever you get a group of different people together there will be certain frustrations, irritations and downright anger. We acknowledged these situations and did what we could to work through them. As a person who likes harmony I had difficulty when something wasn't quite right, but, I've learned to accept that this is just the way it is.

I've made some strong connections with some of the people who have passed through our beautiful home in Kissos. I hope they continue to be a part of my life for many years to come.

So, here I am preparing to leave Kalikalos feeling a mixture of emotions for what has gone and what is to come .....

Enid Pinder, London, UK

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roundhouse Disaster

Our 7m diameter reciprocal framed roundhouse group space collapsed the night before last under the weight of collected water in the roof sections from a very heavy rainstorm accompanied by 20 mph gusting winds.

The photos show what is left of this beautiful structure, built over the summer of 2003 by Nigel Hilton from Morayshire, Scotland.

Many wonderful groups took place in this inside/outside group space over the past 7 years and the structure will be sadly missed. It's also a going to put pressure on our finances, as replacing it will not be cheap. Finding a volunteer finish carpenter who can machine the precision posts and struts will be a challenge, but we are determined to replace it. Alas, nearly every post and horizontal strut snapped in the collapse, so there is very little we can salvage from it.

As you see from the photos, one canvas roof section is badly ripped, but this can probably be patched. However, because all 10 posts and struts were idiosyncratic sizes, we are not sure that the roof sections can be used in any new structure.

We will be fund raising for donations to replace the roundhouse in the Spring of 2008.

Jock Millenson, Kalikalos Coordinator

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autour du Feu de camp

We have had a meeting around the campfire of Anilios and Karen has given us a concert: well-known English songs which we sing around the fire with a guitar. Really thank you to have all so well organised!

Hernan has sung Argentine songs and Eleni the Greek songs with her beautiful rocky voice.

Susan who is Americaine and who participates in the training course of dance in circle also has sing with the guitar.

I have had a request to sing in French: I don't remember anything, I forget myself here.

It was dark, also I have took no photos.

It was our last evening together.

Aelita from Paris (AFP)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Video tour of Kalikalos

Here's the short video tour I made of the Kalikalos Center near Kissos.

Gabriel Morris
Portland, Oregon, USA

video tour of the Pelion Center near Anilio

I did a two-week staff orientation here for Kalikalos, one week at the campus in the village of Kissos, and another week at the other "sister" campus about ten minutes away near the small village of Anilio. Here's a short video tour I made of the Pelion Center near Anilio.

Gabriel Morris
Portland, Oregon, USA

Sunday, September 6, 2009

nature et pierre

Nature and stone in the beach of DAMOUHARI

We have had one hour of creativity in nature at the magnificient beach of DAMOUHARI which looks like a beach of Normandy with this rainy and bad weather. I swam a little bit because there was not enough time and the sea was rough : I have felt a current, so I didn't go far....you can never tell..... in Normandy or in Brittany with the similar weather I never go far.

The artist of the nature and the element mineral told us to collect stones of differents colors and of any sizes to constitute a natural work of art on the beach which would leave in time and the rhythm of nature.

Each took up a part of the beach and established some work. I worked with Ruth and we have established a creation which could look like a bonzai from Stoneage.

One Hour after we made the visittour of everything and took photos.

This natural and ephemere exhibition last only briefly.

"My art follows the path of Beauty. The decorative aspect is very important for me. The expression of Harmony, Peace and Silence.
Its shortliving character always creates space for the New. Its changeability gives me a fresh feeling of Purity, a taste of Freedom and Playfulness."

Dietmar Voorwold, Düsseldorf, Germany

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Instrument Evening

A memorable evening with my English friends

I have pass a memorable evening with my English friends: we each improvise an instrument using anything. One took an umbrella, the other one a stool...... I, my voice ......... and THE big conductor KARIN, with the guitar, manages the composition splendidly.

I love the big leader: she knows how to manage the ensemble and it is exceptional...... she gives a rhythm and each one tries to follow it and to hold it when she admits a new musician in the group.....

The resultat is excellent. We manage to compose and we add some singing. I play with my voice, and the singing contains all the space. I look for a harmony with my neighbour who connects with an instrument with a funny shape: a pipe to spray.
We can really make a lot of noise (music!) in the end, we blow when it is necessary.

After the concert, big leader with guitar and sings.

We have had one original evening and I am under the charm of the music from the big chief.

Aelita from Paris