My Blog is Now 10 Years Old.. But I’m Too Busy Living my Life to Write About it!

It’s been a good long while since I last entered a post and the best excuse I can give is that I’ve been too busy living my life to find the time to write about it!  Apart from when I first set up this blog in 2013 and wrote many shorter but more frequent posts, my life here on Crete is so chocker block full that it sometimes feels like a chore that needs to be fitted in somehow, like cooking and cleaning.  I can’t believe I’ve been writing about my wonderful life on Crete for 10 years!  The thing is that once I start recalling the events of the past weeks, it’s like I am appreciating my life all over again.  Believe me when I say that I am always grateful…

On the high plateau above Spilli - wild Orchids & Tulips

On the high plateau above Spilli – wild Orchids & Tulips

Weather-wise – April was a big disappointment in so far as there were fewer warm sunny days and it felt colder than we were used to after such a lovely March.  Up until now May has been even more unsettled.  I have spent many long and wonderful hours on re-stocking my Seashell Mosaic Collages in readiness for this season.  There are plenty of tourists about but when I started selling this week, both days I struggled with the weather!  On Monday I felt quite cold and rarely took my cardigan off and on Thursday I battled with the crazy wind even though I set up in what I thought would be a more sheltered spot.  However the strong gusts damaged my parasol and as well as repairing that, I had to touch up the corners of 3 of the artworks that had been blown off the displays.  The forecast for the coming week does not look good and continues to remain unsettled, with rain and lots of cloud cover expected.  I am wondering if I will get the chance to sell one more day before I return to the UK?

Near Stavros Chania Crete

Had to take this photo on the way back from Stavros

Looking back.. Greek Easter Saturday was even better than it usually is because there were two live bands playing at Vangeli’s in Plaka square.  This meant we could enjoy more of the evening before they lit the bonfire at midnight.  Needless to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable if long and late night.  I didn’t take any photos this time because there is plenty of photographic evidence of previous Easter celebrations documented in this blog.

The awesome Lefka Ori Mountains - At Omalos near the entrance to Samaria Gorge

The awesome Lefka Ori Mountains as seen from Omalos, near the entrance to Samaria Gorge

I haven’t been on many of the Happy Wanderers walks in the past six weeks although I have been on two of David’s.  We went to a plateau high above Spilli where many species of wild orchid flourish, among many other wild flowers including fields of wild tulips.  I also have to admit that the taverna in the village of Spilli where we have lunch afterwards was a big draw…. The food is delish!

The second was a visit to Omalos and the entrance to Samaria Gorge, high up in the mountains.  Those awesome White Mountains – correct name Lefka Ori – never fail to take my breath away.  I can see the full range from my balcony, yet being so much nearer to them is a real treat.  Although the warm weather we had in March has melted most of the snow, closer up and you could still see traces of it in the shadowed deep ridges.  It brought back so many memories of when Ange and I walked Samaria Gorge with a large group of friends over 10 years ago.  I’d love to and am determined to walk it again someday.

Exploring the Far side of Elafonisi - Lisa, Kathy and me

Exploring the Far side of Elafonisi – Lisa, Kathy and me.

Debbie and I enjoyed beachcombing days at Stavros and Falasarna, Ross joining us as he was over for a visit in April.  On the coast of Falasarna we found an extra little cove that we’d previously not noticed in the area.  Here we found many more tiny seashells which are perfect for my designs.  When we finally settled on a suitable day for our trip to Elafonisi, the 4 of us went in Lisa’s big car, which is much more comfortable for the long drive than my little Hyundai Atos.  I loved it that I didn’t have to drive for a change, but could instead enjoy all the beautiful scenery along the way.  The weather forecast is important as the area is quite exposed and when it gets very windy it’s not as pleasant to spend the day there.  Just recently, they have stopped cars and coaches from driving down to the dusty car parking areas next to the beaches of Elafonisi.  Instead you have to park at the top of the dirt tracks and walk down.  It is about a 10 minute walk and although we didn’t mind this so much, we could see that it could be a real problem for older and infirm people and those with small children.  Sometimes the decisions they make here have no logical sense to them.  Yes, they want to preserve the natural beauty of Elafonisi… but why then sell off some of the land to a very rich Greek family who want to build a huge tourist hotel there?  To me and many others who live here – that will be what spoils Elafonisi!

Commissioned Artwork - Greek village scene in Seashell Mosaic Collage - 40x50cms

Commissioned Artwork – Greek village scene in Seashell Mosaic Collage – 40x50cms

Sarah and Chris, the lovely couple who got married here in Almyrida last May, finally called round to my home to collect their commission.  It has been almost 3 years in the making, thanks to Covid delaying the actual wedding for 2 years.  I was able to work on the Greek village scene but could not place them into the picture until after their wedding.  I am happy to report that they were totally thrilled with their Artwork.  So much so, that they have left me a most wonderful review on Google.

At Seven Souls Taverna in Georgioupoli

A Chilling Sunday afternoon at Seven Souls Taverna in Georgioupoli

Socially there has been plenty going on during the past 6 weeks.  There have been live music gigs in Vamos and Gavalochori as well as a fair few at my local Vangeli’s in Plaka.  On May Day we had lunch and spent the afternoon in the garden of a taverna in Douliana, listening to Carl Axon and his newly formed band.  This week alone I have been to a gig at Monica’s in Gavalochori, enjoyed a chilling Sunday afternoon listening to live music at a lovely taverna right on the beach at Georgioupoli, A Party on Wednesday evening and I’m off to the opening gig of a new band at Vangeli’s tonight.  I had to turn down the charity gig at Koumos last night!

Lunch in Gavalochori Square

Lunch with the girls in Gavalochori Square

Last week we had a lovely day out when I walked from Plaka to Aspro, where I met up with Lisa and then we walked on to Gavalochori.  Here we met up with Debbie and Kathy, who had walked there from Vamos.  We all had a traditional light lunch in the square next to the gift shop.  It was a lovely warm sunny day and so there were plenty of people out and about, lots of whom we knew.  After lunch we walked to the old Venetian Wells and the ancient Roman Bridge.  There are so many wells and at first glance they all look like little stone dwellings.  The arched roofs helped keep the water clean and free of leaves and debri. Then we walked home again and I really enjoyed the exercise!

Old Venetian Wells at Gavalochori

Some of the Old Venetian Wells at Gavalochori

On Thursday I am off to the UK for a two week stay with my daughters, their hubbies and my gorgeous grandchildren.  I have chosen this particular time to go for all sorts of reasons.   I went the same time last year and it worked out really well.  It is early enough in my selling season to be able to miss a couple of weeks.  It is roughly halfway through the year as I cannot always rely on my family being able to visit me in Crete in the summer.  In fact this year may be the first that neither of my daughters can manage a visit.  Also as both my girls work full time and 2 of my 3 grandchildren are at school now, I would not see any of them!  So I have booked when it is half term at school.  I am super excited and can’t wait to spend time playing and looking after Ralph, Neve and Arthur.

Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting Mixed media 30 x 40cms

Girl collecting seashells in Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting – 30x40cms available to purchase from my Etsy Shop