Back in July I spent ten days with the family at Halkidiki in North-east Greece. I left the binoculars at home and tried my best to do nothing, bar read (Red or Dead by David Peace and The Goldfinch by Donna Tart), eat (far too much) and drink (a constant trickle of alcohol so not to feel as if it was 'too much'). I don't really do 'beach' or 'sunbathe' - unlike the women in my life - so my stays on the sun-lounger were briefer than the 'normal' holidaymaker would make. I did escape on a few afternoons to have a look at the local flora. Much of it was familiar, but with a twist. Thistles, clovers, vetches and heaths were at once identifiable, but not to a species level that I know from western Europe. It was like stepping into a botanical parallel universe. I still haven't managed to identify them, but on this cold, but bracing morning, thought I'd post a selection of images to share with you the delights that this scrubby, dry and thorny countryside provided.