My Greek Island Home by Claire Lloyd is always out of the bookcase, an ever-present friend that tells the tale of falling in love with a Greek island and finding that a simpler life is not so bad after all.
Lesvos (Mytilene) is the island in question, Greece's third-largest island, famed for its authentic charm, millions of olive trees, Ouzo production, and dramatic landscapes of thick mountain forests, salt marshes, sleepy villages, and of course those beaches.
Harking from originally from Australia, Claire is an artist, designer, photographer, and writer. After enjoying her illustrious career working for Vogue, Conran Design Group, The World of Interiors in London, and as a freelance designer, perhaps her most rewarding challenge was this life-changing experience on Lesvos.
My Greek Island Home chronicles her life on the island from the house – once home to the village priest called Papa, which she purchased in a dilapidated state, to folklore, the inhabitants, its food, and numerous animal encounters.
'I knew immediately this was where I wanted to be.'
A camera is never far from Claire's reach. The book is an album filled with natural, unfiltered photography as seen through the lens: a visual diary escorting the reader.
Beautiful shots of her house interiors, the humble ingredients and tasty plates of food (the book also includes recipes), the characters she encountered, and the visual candy of life in the slow lane.
The narrative is witty, and you feel that you are on travels with her, immediately recognizing the characters she is referring to. MY GREEK ISLAND HOME.
If you love Greece, this is a sort of adult adventure where the Durrells left off, a feel-good read that kindles the dream of many to escape and plot a new life.