Treis Elies Re-visited

This week I was lucky enough to receive my copy of ‘Treis Elies A journey in Spring’  by Ethan Hubbard. Ethan Hubbard who lives in Vermont is a writer and photographer who for more than thirty years has been visiting remote parts of the world to observe the daily lives of indigenous people. By observing the inhabitants as they go about their daily lives , he learns about himself. The subject of his thirteenth and latest book is Treis Elies where he arrived during his search for “European peasants” whose way of life would not have changed much for centuries. He wasn’t hopeful, after travelling all over Northern  Cyprus and then exploring Troodos he feared there would be no vestige of such a life left in existence until he happened upon this remote village tucked up in the West corner of Troodos.

As I started to read about the various villagers he meets and over his many weeks stay gets to know as friends, I realised that a third of these people no longer live in the village, as the numbers have decreased from nearly 60 souls to just over twenty. It is a community of old people on the whole, although many visitors come at weekends to visit their family homes and since Androula has been living there, renovating them.

I live in a village in West Sussex and by contrast, today I have just attended a meeting about the future of our village. The concerns here are that due to  government  directives our village could double in size in a few years as there is a plan to build 1,000 more homes here. This will put an enormous strain on our infrastructure and is in danger of swallowing up surrounding fields and green spaces leaving us with an urban jungle.  The Parish council is being pro-active by getting the community involved in developing a plan whereby we lay out what shape  we want  the village to be, what facilities we believe we need to have in place for the village to work as a community, making it a desirable place to live not just a jumble of houses plopped down in various pockets of land with no overall consideration as to how it all works or looks. We at the moment have two food shops a church and a petrol station together with a health centre, village hall and a school. This plan, If put together correctly and goes through the correct channels and is approved could turn out to be a blueprint for further development and showing that the community is behind it.

It is a sad state of affairs that so many remote mountain villages are gradually shrinking to virtual non-existence and one the Cypriot government has tried to address by getting regeneration schemes off the ground. Who knows what the future may hold for this particular community, what I find extraordinary is that this tiny village has inspired not only two people to write about it but many more to visit through Androula’s efforts to promote the attractions that can be found in this beautiful and tranquil spot.

Reading Ethan’s book prompted me to re-visit my photos of Treis Elies and I have posted a small selection above. I hope you enjoy them.

Here is a bit of information about the history of the village.



A Taste of Cyprus in Tangmere

I might have mentioned before that I belong to a community garden in my village of Tangmere. All the members live in the village (more or less) and we come from a wide range of backgrounds and made up of all ages from aged 2 to late sixties, with varying degrees of gardening knowledge. The title of ‘garden’ suggests lots of beautiful flowers and we do grow flowers to attract bees and insects that will help keep the pests at bay, but the prime aim is to grow a variety of vegetables and fruit.


The driving force behind the garden is our ‘leader’ Rosemary Moon who was the instigator and got the whole thing off the ground. Galvanising volunteers into clearing and digging a waste plot of land overgrown with brambles and trampled on by horses to produce the organised vegetable garden we have today.

Rosemary and Angie in action

She is a food writer and activist and very generously holds cookery demonstrations about 6 times a year, in a large house in the village to raise funds for the garden. They are well attended because apart from being a very inventive and great cook she is also very entertaining. She is assisted by another garden member, Angie, who conjures up heavenly and mouth-watering deserts full of naughty things that are bad for you (?) Everyone gets a plate full of tasters at the end and go home very satisfied.


At these events of course after the cooking and eating is quite a lot of washing up and volunteers from the garden are called upon to help out, rewarded with their own plate full of tit bits of food. At our last demonstration at the end of November I offered to get my hands wet, it happened to be the same week I received the delivery of my books. Rosemary suggested I bring some along to the demo and she did a lovely bowl of Village Salad  taken from the book to accompany the meal and gave me and the book such a wonderful endorsement I was almost blushing!!!! It was a great evening and I managed to sell a few books which was an added bonus.

AK with saladPhotos courtesy of Lois another member.