Lovely Cretan Winter Sun & Working Outside on my Balcony

During these last five or six weeks I have thrown myself back into my Art and creating Seashell Mosaic designs in readiness for the coming summer beach selling season. Designs such as Seagulls, Girls on Swings, “Always Believe…” sand quote and Pink Flamingos were in great demand, yet I could not produce enough last summer, after selling out of the ones I created over the winter months. So I am hoping I will be better prepared this year.

Painting with Seagulls in Seashell Mosaic - 25 x 30cms

Painting with Seagulls in Seashell Mosaic – 25 x 30cms

The weather has improved greatly in the last few weeks, with much less rain and more sunshine. But the wind has returned with a vengeance! However, twice this week I was lucky enough when the wind dropped, the sun was shining in blue skies and I was able to work on my balcony. It was warm and wonderful to be working outside again. Although I have also had odd days in January when conditions were good enough. With the amazing backdrop of the awesome snow-covered mountains, the sea and countless olive groves – who wouldn’t envy me my studio?

Painting with Girls on Swings in Seashell Mosaic - 18 x 24cms

Painting with Girls on Swings in Seashell Mosaic – 18 x 24cms

I have carried on with the power walks and settled into two crossfit classes a week. Though I have been finding it difficult to tear myself away from my work in order to make the crossfit classes at 4.45pm. Normally I would have carried on until 7pm. But hey – I was determined to bring more balance into my life and working out regularly is all part of that. Besides – the buzz I feel afterwards (and everyone who works out will tell you the same) – would make me a small fortune if I could bottle and sell it!

On the social front, I recently went to a party night at my local taverna, Vangeli’s. There was good food, music and a whole load of people I hadn’t had the chance to catch up with for ages! Needless to say – that was a long and a late night! There have been a few music quizzes I went to at Captain Jack’s, enjoying fish and chip suppers afterwards and I’ve also been to a Carl Axon gig at Simon’s in Kalyves.

The grand hallway of this enormous house!

The grand hallway of this enormous house!

A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to visiting where Lisa has been living for the last couple of months. What an amazing place! I can only describe it as an English manor house remotely situated at the foot of the mountains, with breathtaking views all around. The outside is still a modern build, but the inside is traditionally ‘old English’. It is a charming place to live in and Lisa is so lucky that the owner asked her if she’d like to move in to take care of the dogs and cats there, and generally look after this otherwise neglected and unlived-in mansion. The owner does not live there as he spends the majority of his life living on his large old schooner. You could see his boat from my balcony during most of the summer last year, when it was docked in Almyrida bay. We spent a lovely afternoon there and Lisa has drawn me a map for next time, as she had to meet me at the national road in Kalyves – otherwise I never would have found the place and I get lost easily – no sense of direction!

It’s looking like this may be quite a long term base and home for Lisa and so I will be going there lots more. The other good news about this lovely English manor home on Crete, is that my friend Debbie will be moving in there with Lisa when she returns after her treatment from the UK in April. I can’t wait to see her and am so pleased that she is well again.

The far beach in Stavros

The far beach in Stavros

A couple of weeks ago, Lisa and I spent a day in Stavros, beachcombing. Again – weather conditions were great, with lots of warm sunshine and no wind. There are two main beaches there and I have mentioned Stavros in previous posts. The last time I was there was in March 2018 when ‘The Beach of Zorbas’, as they call it, was in much better condition. This time it was a bit storm scruffy, but still beautiful. My goodness! You should see Almyrida‘s beaches right now! I’ll try to remember to bring my mobile and take a photo, next time I go for a power walk.  I’m really bad at remebering to take photos, because I always get so distracted!

Relaxing on the pretty little beach near Stavros

Relaxing on the pretty little beach near Stavros

Despite the debris from the storms we had in January – both beaches were still awesome to explore. We took a picnic as we always do (because most of the tavernas are closed at this time of year) and collected lots of pretty seashells. On the way back we pass another popular beach bay and so decided to stop there and take a look. We quickly noticed that there were very few shells on this beach but we decided to spend a relaxing hour there anyway… just enjoying the beautiful scenery, peace and sounds of the sea and the seagulls. It is a really pretty place and I really should find out the name of the beach… but you could say that we felt so lucky, as we always do – to have so many beautiful beaches on our doorsteps – to visit whenever we want!