I got to Daniel’s on November 7th, in time for lunch. I had told him I would eat something on the way, but he was having none of that, which made sense for lunch was the main meal of the day for them.

He had prepared the most delicious spare ribs of pork, but that was just the highlight of a range of fabulous food, including pickled vegetables which were of just the right texture and flavour. They came out of a vat, which I inspected a couple of days later, for his daughters wanted cauliflower, which he was able to pick out. I was totally content with the gherkins and peppers which had predominated in what we were served, which was because they were light and permeated easily by the vinegar whereas heavier vegetables sank in the mix and took longer both to soften and to be imbued with flavour.

There was much more food, and lots to drink, wine and also a liqueur made out of carob, slightly diluted, which went well with the food. Sadly neither Daniel nor I drank as much as we used to when we first met, but that was just as well for both of us. And after lunch we retired to sleep, me in the ground floor flat which was at my disposal, him in the floor above. Yet above that was a converted loft where the twins lived and worked.

I was up in time for sunset, having made myself coffee, and then I read till Daniel joined me for a drink in my little flat. Supper was early, bread and cheese and salami, which was just right after that filling lunch. And again we retired early, and I read before I dropped off.

I was up in time to see the sun rise, taking my coffee out though not for long, for it was chilly, delighted to see the household dogs gambolling around, for they had been let out while Daniel went back to bed. Then it was back to bed for me too, as the light increased, to read and doze, before breakfast much later, up in the kitchen of Daniel and Branka’s quarters on the first floor. And then while Daniel and the girls worked on the house – the latter painting the outside walls skilfully – I lay reading in the sun in my sitting room.

That day and the next passed in just the same way, though Daniel had to take things easy since he had cricked his back. But he was able to drive into town for supplies, and the girls filled in admirably. Then on the third day we all drove, through lovely countryside, to a nearby town for pizza, in a delightful little underground restaurant, though Daniel and I had squid, which was fabulous. And that night his neighbours invited us for dinner, for which they had roasted a whole pig.

There were several couples from outside who had bought second homes here, and also a few villagers, all of whom were charming, those who could dropping into English to make me feel at home. But I was quite content to sit there in the midst of all this conviviality, eating and drinking and listening to their animated conversation.

The first four pictures are of consecutive days, sunset on the 7th and then sunrise over the next three days, very early on the 10th when the moon was still high above the house. Then there is me in my sitting room, with a picture by Branka on the wall, followed by two pictures of the dogs, of dinner on my final night with Daniel and Branka at foreground left, and of Branka in her studio. And to round up the splendour of those few days, there is another vital element in the mix, the food, a luscious breakfast and also the pickles where were so delicious.

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