Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snow time

For the last few days it has been raining in Sarajevo and the river has been a little higher. Well today it is snowing. We had a light snow a month or so ago, but this time it looks a bit more serious and they say it will continue to snow for a couple of days. Apart from a short break in the UK over Christmas, this will be my first winter in Sarajevo


Today I am celebrating my Birthday in the fourth different country in my short lifetime. I have mostly celebrated them in either the UK or the USA. The previous 3 times have been in Slovenia and for the first time I am celebrating it in Bosnia. It is snowing out there so I am having a white Birthday 2 weeks before Christmas. Tomorrow I get to go to a carol service which I have not been to for a few years now so it should be fun and in just over a week I fly to the UK to spend the holidays with my sister and family. I am just 1 year away from a milestone and must say I have an interesting and enjoyable life.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Internet experience

So I got this cheap internet provider in Sarajevo when I moved into my place in August. Everything was going well until I went make my monthly payment at the beginning of November at the post office. About 2 hours later my internet went off, at first we thought that maybe the payment was late and we would have to call the company to get it turned back on. However they didn't answer the phone and when my friend eventually went to their office no one. So now I decided to sign up with a bigger company, but they say they are busy and it would take 15 days to install, so I am waiting. In the meantime the restaurant across the street has wifi and I went there and ate pizza and got their password so I am using their internet for now. Plus I can use it at work, which is what I am doing now. Things work a little differently than in New York, but you have to figure your way around it :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Peace Tree

Last Tuesday I took an overnight bus to Ljubljana to complete a project I had started about 7 months ago before I left for Bosnia. On October 11 there was a ceremony to dedicate a Peace tree on the Green ring which is a walking and running path around the city. During WWII it was a fence constructed by the Italians to prevent supplies coming into the besieged city.In 1990 a former mayor Nusa Kerseven had the idea to plant trees around the ring. Earlier in the year I went for a run on the ring and noticed some trees had plaques dedicating them to people or organizations like sport clubs and such. I thought it would be a great idea to dedicate a Peace tree and this led me to meet Ms Kerseven, who I discovered has a golden heart. It was decided to dedicate a tree on October 11 a Sri Chinmoy Peace Tree on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of his passing. The project grew and by the time we came to the ceremony we had 16 children from a local school running with the World Harmony Run torch, a well known radio presenter a well known Slovenian actress and the Mayor of Ljubljana who was able to take 20 minutes from his very busy schedule to help me place soil around the tree and say a few words of support. If you are ever in Ljubljana and would like to visit the tree to take a moment of Peace it is near the 31km mark on the green ring near the start/finish markers at Dolgi Most.


Monday, October 08, 2012


OK it's been a few weeks since my last post. Here in Sarajevo the weather has gone through a few changes, cold to warm to cold again. We have had some rain and as a result mushroom hunting and picking has become quite popular here. I have been picking and eating for breakfast Cep or Porcini mushrooms which are the current ones to be had.
I will be going to Slovenia tomorrow for a week and should during that time have a meeting with my publisher. Hopefully we are getting close to the publication of the book, which is slated to come out in 4 or 5 languages. So will let you know what happened in my next post.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Four Months

I have now been in Bosnia, specifically Sarajevo for 4 months and my experience is quite different than when I left New York for Slovenia. I started working almost immediately and it has been intense at times. I have just recently begun to realize that the city air is quite polluted and at times I have a little bronchial problem, but fortunately my work takes me up into clean mountain air and that helps. After a dry hot summer we have started to get rain and cooler temperatures and I have to adjust to that. Well we will see what the months ahead have in store.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


We finally got some rain here in Sarajevo. It started last night and went on into this morning, stopping just before I went out for my run. The temperature is a little cooler as a result, but the Sun is once again shining.There is supposed to be more later today and tomorrow. Personally I am a little selfish because I am happy the the plants up in Eco Futura will finally get a real drink of water instead of the few watering can's I have been giving them.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon

Tonight there will be a Blue Moon, which in case you didn't know is when you have a second full Moon in the month. It does not happen that often and I am told the next one will be in 2015. It seems we will be lucky to be blessed with a clear night here in Sarajevo. They a Blue Moon has a special energy so hopefully it will have a positive effect on things.
It is as crazy as usual at work, which of course is good because it means we are busy and we need that. We are supposed to get some rain over the next few days which is good for many things, but may effect business, school is also back in session so not as many families during the week.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An old friend

I had a visit from an old friend on Monday. We both lived in New York for quite a while and now spend most of our time in Europe. Due to bus and airplane schedules he could only be in Sarajevo for 1 day, but I got to show him around and he was suitably impressed and says he will come back for a longer stay.
The hot weather is continuing, but thankfully the mornings are cool when I go out for my run. I heard that there is a water shortage in the city, but they don't want to say anything so as not to upset people in an election year. Yes there are elections here too.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Niece

I just came back from spending 6 days on the World Harmony run in Bosnia and in Croatia, check out my running blog for a report. On the second day it was my sister's Birthday and I sent her a message to wish her a happy one. She did however give me give me the news that my niece is quite sick and will have tests son the determine what the problem is. We are hoping for the best and I will post here when I know.

Friday, August 03, 2012

New Place

It has been a while coming but I finally moved into my new place in Sarajevo on August 2nd. Earlier in the week I bought a new bed which is very nice.The new windows were supposed to be installed last month, but things don't move that fast here and they are now supposed to be put in this week, they say Monday and Tuesday they will take 2 days.right now my room is very basic, a bed, a desk and internet :). I will slowly improve things as time goes on and keep everyone informed.

Monday, July 16, 2012


There has been a change in the weather for the start of the week, actually it started last night. There was a sprinkle of rain in the morning and was mostly overcast. The high temperature for the day today was about the same as the low temperatures for the last few weeks or so. I have to say it is most welcome and is supposed to last for the next few days.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Survived II

Well I managed to survive my week of being in charge of the kitchen at Ecofutura, it got a little intense at times, but you just have to get through it. I will say one thing I didn't have a problem sleeping at night. Staff numbers are back to normal and yesterday when I finished my run it completed 18 months without missing a day, which equals my second longest streak of all time
The Sarajevo film Festival is over and I am sure the city will be a little quieter as a result, though I was told that the numbers were down from previous years.

Sunday, July 08, 2012


Survived the weekend. It was really hot in the kitchen yesterday and we were busy, it seemed even more so because we were short staffed. Things will be a little quieter for a few days and the other cooks will be back by the end of the week.
The mornings are quite refreshing and it is nice to go out and run .

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hard work ;)

It has been getting quite busy at work and this weekend it got even more so. Normally we have 3 cooks at the peak of the day, but on Saturday the 2 cooks who have been the mainstay of the kitchen went on a trip for 6 days. So now I am the main guy with one assistant. It was quite intense at times because we also had a Birthday party to deal with, but we survived. It was a little cooler in the kitchen which helped. When I got home I had a hard time staying wake and eventually just sacked out on the couch. Sundays have been quite busy the last few weeks so we will see how we get through this one.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Longest day

OK so it is June 22 nd, which is supposed to the longest day. The forecast here in Sarajevo is that it will be quite warm, but with a chance for thunderstorm's later, from an Hortic's point of view this will help the plants since it has been hot and dry for a while now.
After my little break I am settling in again and actually starting to feel comfortable here.
In Sarajevo we have been experiencing some hot weather kind of like New York, but without the humidity.  of course I have the chance to go up into the hills where it can be cooler and we have even had some rain which cools things down a bit

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Since I git back in Sarajevo it has been getting hotter and hotter, but I have to say it feels quite fresh when I go out for my run in the morning.
My weekend job in the restaurant at the Eco village can be quite intense at times, but the nature up there is so nice and I am slowly trying to landscape some of the areas there and create some nice plant features and introduce some new trees and shrubs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So last Tuesday I took a bus to Ljubljana, it was sort of a last minute thing since I was supposed to drive with a friend but there were car problems, so I just jumped on a bus.
I sorted out a way to get the rest of my stuff ( well almost all of it ) to Sarajevo. It involved me driving with some friends to Biograd in Croatia where another friend would take it back to Banja Luka. I got to spend 3 days on the Dalmatian coast which was great, then spent 1 night in Zagreb, before taking a bus to Banja Luka. The weather in Dalmatia was great and I got to spend a lot of time swimming and visited a place called Murtur on an island near to the coast.
Yesterday one of my friends from Sarajevo picked up me and my stuff, so now I am basically moved to Sarajevo :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

This weekend I was in Hresa which is near Sarajevo, I am helping out in the restaurant at Eco Futura which is an Eco village . One of the locals picked some wild mushrooms for us. On Saturday she brought a Bolet mushroom that has quite a strong taste and on Sunday she brought some very nice Morel's like the ones I found in Slovenia, both of them were very tasty. She knows where all the mushrooms grow and will bring us some throughout the year :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Well it's Friday afternoon and I have completed my first week working at Sun foods. It has been interesting and I mad a couple of mistakes in the first few days. I managing to run every morning, it has rained almost every day that I have been here, but I think I have only run in the rain once.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I took a bus from Ljubljana to Sarajevo on Wednesday night and arrived in Sarajevo at 5 am yesterday. The trip was fairly uneventful, though there was a lot of rain. Everything was done at the last moment, a friend was supposed to come and pick me and all my things up and drive me to Sarajevo. Now that friend will pick up the rest of my stuff next week and then I will be fully moved. It is a little cooler here and they in fact had some snow at higher elevations earlier in the week. My back is bothering me a little from the 10 hour bus ride, but I have managed to get out and run. I run by the Bosna river and notice that it is running quite high, probably from all the rain and snow melt. I have a few days to recover and then it is off to work on Monday.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Last week we had some holidays in Slovenia May 1st being the big one I took advantage of the time to go to Novo Mesto, which is a place I have visited a few times when traveling by bus to Belgrade and a few other places. but never stopped and took a look around. There is a path along the river where you can run and since most people go to the seaside during holidays it was quiet. Of course that meant that there were only a few places open where you could get a drink and something to eat. However the weather was beautiful and sunny and I had a nice day out.

I had said that I would probably go to Sarajevo this weekend, but once again things have been delayed. The move is now set for May 17 one of my friends will come up on the 16th stay over night and we will drive back the next day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring weather is finally here and tomorrow is a holiday in Slovenia. April 27 it seems is the anniversary of when the people decided to rise up against the German occupation during WWII.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yesterday I set out early and ran out to the Sava river to an area where I picked Morel mushrooms last year. There a re 3 places that I visited just over a week ago where I picked some small mushrooms and due to the steady Spring rains we have been getting there is evidence that there will be much more than last year when the Spring was quite dry. Almost as soon as I arrived on the trails I saw a morel in a new place and when I came to my usual places I saw some very nice large specimens. I decided to explore a few new places and in one of them I found 5 or 6 nice sized Morels hidden in the leaf litter. In total I found 150 g of mushrooms. I also picked some garlic leaf which grows prolifically in the woods too and I use instead of lettuce in salads.
Morels have a very nice flavour and I usually saute them with butter or oil and a few other veggies, they also go well in an omelet.

Monday, April 16, 2012

So on Thursday I went by train to Zagreb, I usually go on a Friday and the train was so less full going a day earlier.
On Friday I had lunch with friends and then we drove to Banja Luka, Bosnia. It was Good Friday or Veliki Petak in the Orthodox church and a group of around 13 of us got together for a celebration.
Saturday was a mix of light and heavy rain, but 7 of us went up into the hills and hiked 10 Km while also gathering some nice healing herbs and edible plants which were pointed out to us by a friend who is an expert in this field ( no pun intended ). We later had a nice lunch that included some of the plants we had gathered.
I had a little meeting with my friends from Sarajevo and it now looks like I will move there on the first weekend of May. So a new adventure is about to begin.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Yesterday I made flying trip to my place in Croatia. It was a beautiful day and I have not been there for about a year. There has been this pending problem with some missing tiles on the roof of the house and I finally replaced them, thus hopefully eliminating a water damage problem in one of the rooms. It is interesting that the tiles on the old house that are probably 80 years old at least are in good shape, but the ones on the new house that are about 40 years old are showing wear. As they always say they don't make them like they used too. I was actually only in the village for about 5 hours, but got to meet a lot of neighbours and some of them helped me do some of the work, I of course returned the favour. I also got some homemade cheese. I am hoping to make another trip near the end of April and this time take a few friends with me. maybe we'll spend the weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Well it has been more than a week since I last posted and Spring appears to be upon us. I am still waiting to see the galleys for the Dilly and Dally books from my publisher, but I am assured they are on their way.
Just this last week I have been venturing into the woods near the river Sava to collect Cemaz leaves which grow at this time they have a mild to strong garlic flavour depending on the time of the season. I have been using them in salads, which I am eating a lot of now.
It looks like I will be in Ljubljana for a little while longer, probably until the beginning of May, but will keep you updated here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

2 nights ago I went to concert of Indian music. The performance was by a group called Desert Slide, which is actually Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and 5 musicians from the deserts of Rajasthan. I was lucky to see VM Bhatt perform in New York in the summer of 1995. The concert was in a small hall in Cankerjev Dom, Ljubljana and it was really wonderful. I would highly recommend you go and see them if you like Indian music and you get a chance.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yesterday I made a visit to the Ljubljana Zoo. I have been here almost 3 years now and from time to time I have seen the signs for the Zoo. Yesterday was Spring like and seemed the right time to go visit the zoo. When I finished my college life and moved to London, I got a job as a gardener in the London Zoological gardens, so I have been a bit spoiled and didn't expect too much from Ljubljana. It is quite spread out and has a lot of trees, but not too many exhibits and a limited number of animals. I know that maintaining a Zoo is very expensive and Ljubljana is not a big city. They have a nice petting zoo for the children and there were a lot of families there on this day. There are also lots of play grounds for the kids too. I enjoyed the time I spent there, but it would be nice if they got more animals in the future.

Friday, March 09, 2012

A week ago I took a 12 hour overnight bus ride to Nish, Serbia. Arriving at 8 in the morning I got to visit with some friends on Saturday and on Sunday morning I ran a Half Marathon. The conditions were quite good, it was a sunny blue sky morning with a temperature around 6C. I managed to keep a fairly even pace, slowing a little late in the race and finished with a time of 2:29:08. Which was a little faster than my time of 2:29:36 last year.
I spent 2 more days visiting and took an overnight bus on Tuesday arriving in Ljubljana a little late after border problems for 3 passengers. It has taken me until now to recover from the 2, 12 hour bus rides and Half Marathon and feel like I am running fairly normally.

Monday, February 20, 2012

About 20 years ago a friend of mine whose husband had studied as a chemist, told me that he said that as we get older we have fewer colds, because the body has built up more immunity to them over the years. That what we do get is the newer ones. I guess it's the old, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger theory.
About 9 days ago I had a sore throat and the next day it developed into a persistent involuntary cough that has been with me ever since. At one point I thought it might be Whooping cough, but when I researched it didn't seem to be.After a few days it got worse at night when I got tired and in fact made it hard for me to sleep and would even wake me up during sleep. Some 6 years ago I had the same cough that was left behind after a bout of the flu, but something must have changed since based on the previous theory mentioned my body does not seem to be dealing with it quickly. Things are improving and I don't seem to cough as much and with some adjustments I have figured out how to sleep better with the situation. Last time it improved more quickly as the weather warmed up and that is exactly what has been happening the last week. My energy levels have been good the whole time and I have managed to run everyday.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The last few mornings have been quite cold in Ljubljana, -8C and -10C, so this morning it was almost pleasant to go out for my run and it was only -6C.
It has been sunny during the day for the last few days also and that has brought the temperature up to within a few degrees of freezing.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

So there is about 1cm of snow on the ground the wind is gone and it is still -7C so when I went out for my run this morning it was nice and crunchy underfoot.My flatmate likes to put bread crumbs out on our terrace for the sparrows in the morning and I noticed that a robin joined them this morning. With the snow it had the look of a typical Christmas scene. The Sun is shining as I write this so I guess some snow will melt, but it creates a very beautiful picture.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I was supposed to go to Novi Sad this weekend, to an event that some friends organized. However the heavy snow that has been causing all kinds of problems in the south of Serbia switched to the north yesterday. So everything has been put back 1 week. I am not sure if I will be able to go then, but we will see how things progress through the week.
We have had the occasional flurry of snow here on occasion, but it has not amounted to anything until now. I woke up this morning to the sight of a light covering of snow. The temperature is still well below freezing so it should stay. Though it is not much to talk about.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I went to Zagreb on Sunday and it was snowing a little on the way, a little more so in the evening so that there was a light coating of snow on the ground.
Stayed with my friend Sead Sunday night leaving on the 6:50 am train Monday morning, when I got back to Ljubljana no snow. It is colder here than a week ago, but I talked with a friend in the Ukraine today and it is much colder there and a lot of snow. So you have to put everything in perspective.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I spent the weekend in Zagreb, it was really nice there especially on Sunday. I took the early morning train back to Ljubljana on Monday and went to a new book shop with a friend. While talking with the owners I got into a conversation about children's books with someone there, who turned out to be a children's book publisher and now says she wants to publish my books. I have a meeting with her on Thursday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cold one this morning, it was -5C when I went out to run and it had only got up to +1C by around 1pm. It looks like I will go to Zagreb this weekend, so we will see how things are there.
Hey I have been back in Ljubljana for a week now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I have slowly become used to being back in Lubljana. It is colder here than it was in England and that is taking a little longer to get used to. I have managed to keep my running up and on Saturday I completed 1 year of running without missing a day. It has been quite a while since I did that, so I am quite pleased with myself. I think I am about 3 weeks away from making my move to Sarajevo, but there is no exact date set, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My journey back to Ljubljana turned out to be quite an adventure. I was given the wrong information about the train to the airport and it turns out there wasn't one so I was unable to go and missed my flight. Then it turned out there were no flights the next day, so I had to book one for the following day. It also happened that the flight time had now been changed to 3 hours earlier and I did not have a train in the morning to get me there in time. So I had to get a train that got me in the night before and spend the night at the airport. Which apart from not being able to get much sleep was not so bad. The flight went really well and I was back in the apartment by 2 pm. I managed to get in a run, a little something to eat and some chatting with friends and then I slept really well.
It is colder here in the mornings, which I experienced on my 6:15 am run today. A few more days and I complete 1 year of running without missing a day.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Yesterday I took the train into Birmingham and my old running friend Abichal came by train from Bristol. When spent the day eating lunch, drinking coffee and talking about old times and times yet to come. This is the second year in a row that we have got together in this location. Is this the start of a tradition?