UK’s Quarantine List Didn’t Spoil Holidays with my Family

Despite the UK adding Crete to their quarantine list – it didn’t stop my brother, Mark from enjoying his Cretan holiday with me. He works in the film industry, which like everything else has been greatly compromised and anyway, Mark has been working from home on his book and so the quarantine restrictions on his return to the UK weren’t an issue for him.

After collecting Mark from the airport, we dumped his luggage at mine, changed and went straight back out for dinner in Almyrida. Carl Axon and other bands were playing at Nikitas that night and as music gigs have been conspicuous by their absence – I felt we should not miss out on this one. Everyone was there and it was a great way for Mark to kick off his holiday. The music and atmosphere was great and we danced in the sand outside the taverna because we weren’t allowed to dance in the bar!

Dinner by the beach in Kalyves with Lisa and Debbie

Dinner with Lisa & Debbie by the beach in Kalyves

The following night we met up with Lisa and Debbie for a meal in Kalyves and Mark and I also dined out at Umami, the Asian Fusion Restaurant in Almyrida. We did all the usual things one enjoys on holidays – spent time on the beach and swimming, coffee and snacks at Franscoise and the odd night on my balcony just talking, talking and more talking! We had so much to catch up on. I don’t think I would have been able to have this quality time with my brother if I didn’t live here on Crete.

Mark and I dining at Umami - my Favourite restaurant in Almyrida

Mark and I dining at Umami – my Favourite restaurant in Almyrida

As soon as Crete was added to the UK’s quarantine list – Almyrida emptied itself of tourists and many more cancelled for September. So I realized that after only two selling days in Almyrida, where I sold a further 6 Artworks, this was now the sudden end to my season. However when Mark and I visited Kalyves it seemed a little busier so I decided to pitch up there for two days instead. Normally I do not consider Kalyves as a good place to sell and true to form – I did not make a single sale, although there was much interest which may come to fruition in the near future. Aside from this, these last two selling days in Kalyves made a really pleasant change of scenery and not least of all because I had Mark, Lisa and Debbie for company.

Selling by the beach in Kalyves

Selling by the beach in Kalyves

As luck would have it, when Mark and I were at the Cantina end of Almyrida beach, a tourist there commissioned me to do a special piece of artwork to commemorate their forthcoming wedding here next year. She was already familiar with my art and has since contacted me after browsing my Etsy shop, SeashellBeautyinArt. I now have several custom pieces to keep me busy over the coming winter.

At the end of Mark’s stay he agreed that he’d achieved everything he’d hoped for on his holiday – rest, relaxation, fun and laughter! I loved all our stimulating and enlightening conversations and enjoyed his company immensely. In these times of uncertainty, the busy lives we all lead and the distance between us – who knows when we will get the next opportunity to catch up on all that has been happening in our respective lives?

Playing with Arthur on the beach in Almyrida

Playing with Arthur on the beach in Almyrida

So cute... little Arthur is having so much fun in the sand!

So cute… little Arthur is having so much fun in the sand!

Two days after Mark left I collected Zoe, Rich and little Arthur from Chania. Because of the UK’s sudden quarantine restrictions for Crete, it was much harder for them to make the decision to come to Crete as planned. In the end they were able to work something out with their jobs, using up some more of their holiday entitlement for quarantining. Zoe and Rich felt that this first holiday for them as a family was what they both needed so much that it was worth the other sacrifices they would have to make.

The weather has been good for the whole week and Almyrida was so quiet that we felt like we had it all to ourselves! My Grandson Arthur has just turned one and because he has only started walking recently, he is a wonderful bundle of energy! I loved all my playtime with him, whether that was on the beach, by the pool or at home. Naturally we were out every day but spent our evenings at home because it was easier with Arthur. Anyway, it’s not as though we were missing anything as there was nothing going on. I babysat two of the nights so that Zoe and Rich could dine out together and enjoy some time out on their own. Again we had some lovely evenings just chilling and chatting on my balcony overlooking the sea and the mountains. On the last day we went into Chania, which again was unusually quiet and spent the afternoon on the picturesque harbour front, where we had a long and leisurely lunch before heading back to the airport.  Zoe and Rich also agreed that the holiday had done them both the world of good and was just the break they needed.

Zoe, Rich & Arthur at the deserted poolside of Almyrida Beach Hotel

Zoe, Rich & Arthur at the deserted poolside of Almyrida Beach Hotel

As for the problems the UK government caused in adding those 6 Greek Islands to their quarantine list for no good reason – I will just never understand! It makes no sense when you see how Covid-free we are on these islands. Many cases we had this summer were brought in by young UK tourists, as was the case with the plane returning from Zante to Wales. Those people did not get the virus from Zante but rather brought it to Zante in the first place! Prior to letting UK tourists onto the island, they were largely Covid-free.

An afternoon on the Harbourfront in very quiet Chania

An afternoon on the harbour front in very quiet Chania

If not for the UK restrictions I would have sold well in Almyrida in September, as I had done in August. Nevertheless, in weighing everything up – I feel so fortunate to have still been able to have all my immediate family and my brother – especially all my grandchildren staying with me this summer.  I feel truly blessed because wonderful things always seem to happen here on Crete!

 

 

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