Tag Archives: Jason

IN THE PINK

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Jason

Cyclamen Graecum – Greek cyclamen – is native to the eastern Mediterranean, lying low during the hot, dry summers, to awaken slowly into full bloom as the autumn rains make their entrance. Where there is shade and a little moisture, a few eager blooms begin to appear in late summer, a gentle reminder to make the most of summer’s remaining days. The flowers seem delicate, but these plants are hardy and thrive in poor soil, peeping up among the rocks, and even quite literally out of a rock if there’s a bit of soil caught in a hollow.

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Anywhere it Can

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Hanging On

Here on the Pelion where there are large areas of open ground on the hillsides and among the olive groves, the cyclamen are quite a sight scattered about among the rocks and stones. Other wild flowers are preparing for their spring debut, and their leaves are pushing up wherever they too can find a space. Wild oregano and fennel waft their scent through the air, adding to the pleasure of those who take the time to walk through the fields to wonder at the cyclamen.

Seeing such beauty every day is inspirational, so I dived deep into my stash to capture something of it, with the result that Jason has another hat. He made no sound as I hauled him through the fields of pink, seeming content to fix his glassy eyes upon the lovely upswept petals in their shades of pink, arising from heart-shaped dark green leaves.

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Will an olive fall on my head?

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Gazing in Wonder

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Maybe a Centaur Will Appear

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Are there spiders in there?

Cyclamen, derived from the ancient Greek word, kyklaminos, meaning shaped like a circle, which probably refers to the round tuber, are very popular in gardens and as pot plants. There are many cultivated varieties in every possible shade of pink, ranging through to stunning crimsons, and what a vibrant display they make.

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Cultivated Cyclamen

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In the Market


And so many colours!

But there’s something about field after field of these little flowers whose history traces deep back into antiquity that can’t be captured in a pot.

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What IS this??

JASON DOES FLORAL

The sun has been making a tentative appearance today which is encouraging the Sternbergia buds to put on a growth spurt, so we’ll soon have these cheerful yellow flowers dotted about the Pelion again.

Jason was staring at me in his transparent manner these last few days, so I decided to brighten him up with a new hat.  He models it as silently as ever. I think I’ll wear it myself quite a bit in the greyest days of the coming winter when the dazzling gold of the Sternbergia fades into memory.

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Van Cat in the Long Grass

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Sneaking Up

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Under the Olives

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Cozying up to the Cyclamen

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Among the Wild Flowers

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In the Bushes

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Still in the Bushes

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Out of the Bushes

 

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Killing It!

Raki, always curious and ever convinced of his helpfulness, batted one of the Sternbergia gauge swatches off the coffee table and really got stuck into his prey.

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WHAT NEXT?!

IT’S HAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN

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I knit. I love colour. Two simple statements, but the fact is that my very earliest memories have to do with colour and with knitting. I was not yet three years old, gravely ill with pneumonia, lying on a bed in my grandparents’ home, while the doctor fussed in and out and my mother sat knitting steadily, reassuringly, by my side. Her yarn was brown, but the floor and walls blazed with the vibrant hues of kilims. I recovered; we continued our interrupted vacation and returned to Scotland.

A few years passed and I joined the Brownies, learnt to knit and got my badge. And no, the required knitting was not of the my-first-scarf variety, but a baby’s sweater, no less. I’ve been knitting ever since.

Knitting is not my Winter activity, it’s my constant activity. All kinds of knitting, all kinds of items, but hats are my default knitting. Hats in progress are scattered throughout the house to be worked on at any opportunity. By each chair, next to the bed, in bags hanging on available hooks and knobs, in the car, and always at least one ziplock bag with yarn and circular needles in my travel bag. You just can’t get into too much trouble with a hat. It will fit someone, for sure, and will never go wasted.

Hats are my gauge swatches where I try out new techniques. Hats allow me to indulge in wild colour. They never bore me as round and round I go on my circular needles. Hats are obligingly quick to knit, happy to use all my scraps of yarn. And they do pile up so cheerfully!

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Silent and solemn as ever, my clear-headed Jason is very good about wearing a hat so that I have a record of it, as well as memories of the scene, something I’ve learnt to do in recent years, having failed to do so in years gone by.

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And he’s not my only helper – various of the hairies and furries are always very eager to get involved.

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This year’s hats are about to be sorted. Some will be gifts, but most will leave home to travel where they are needed to bring a little warmth and colour into lives.

Hats off to knitting!

Aside

The Sea Scouts of Greece camped out for a week here on the Peninsula this summer, pitching tents in neat rows along the shore.       Their sailing boats were a cheerful sight on the water, bringing Jason and … Continue reading

In the Land of Jason

Jason, so the Greek myth tells us, set sail from Volos in search of the Golden Fleece. My window looks out over the Pagasitic Gulf down which he steered his fragile wooden boat, the Argo, with his sailors at the beginning of their great and wonderful adventures. Above is Mt Pelion, home of the fabled Centaurs – half man, half horse – among whom the wisest was Chiron, tutor of the young Jason.

Mt Pelion

Mt Pelion

On June 14th, 2008 a replica of the Argo left from Volos on what was originally intended to be the same course as that taken by Jason, but was instead heading to Venice as the Turkish authorities refused permission for it to pass through the Bosphorus. The building of the replica is itself a fascinating story: all tools used were made by hand exactly as the ancient originals were; traditional shipbuilding techniques were employed; wood was sourced and handhewn on Mt Pelion; no modern method or equipment was used.

Crew Boarding the Argo

Crew Boarding the Argo

On the morning of the launch we rose early to drive to Volos seafront, and great was the excitement! I’ve posted some of the photos we took, but a quick search of Google will yield far better ones, as well as videos. When the order was given to raise oars, a shiver ran through the crowd, which seemed to be holding its collective breath. Children scampered about, some were hoisted onto shoulders for a better view. Eyes anxiously scanned the sky for cloud, and nervously glanced at the huge ferries through which the tiny Argo would thread her way. Then came the call to dip oars! An enormous shout went up, a tumult of voices roaring encouragement. Boats of all sizes sounding their horns. Hands waving, hands clapping, hands shaking flags and not a few hands wiping tears.

First Voyage of the New Argo

First Voyage of the New Argo

Historians and archaeologists believe that the Jason myth is based on fact, for there were indeed many adventurers who sailed in search of gold in the areas around the Black Sea. A sheep’s fleece is still used in some parts to sift gold from sluice water, and long is the history of fleece and the wool produced from it. I have rather a large stash of wool, for I love to knit, and my very own Jason who travels about quite a bit. Jason is a glass head on whom I once placed a hat I was knitting in order to take a photograph, and who now serves to record various hats and other bits of my knitting. Here he is, gazing down on Volos from one of the mountain villages.

Volos

Volos, Thessaly, Greece