August Beach Sales have been Really Good This Year!

It has been over six weeks since I last wrote and that is because I have been so busy coping with my hectic work schedule.  That month I spent in the UK meant I had lost a month in terms of production.  I was not as fully stocked with my Seashell Mosaic Collages for the summer season as I would normally have been. So August has been mega busy while I’ve been trying to keep up with the designs that are selling well.

 Seahorse in Seashell Mosaic - 13 x 18cms

Popular Design this August – Seahorse in Seashell Mosaic – 13 x 18cms

Nevertheless I’ve done my best and am pleased to say that sales in August have been really good, even though these last two weeks it has gone very quiet in Almyrida.  I would go as far as to say that it’s been the quietest August in all the ten years I’ve been beach selling!  So I count myself lucky to have sold 56 of my unique Seashell Mosaic Collages so far this month – to the fewer tourists that have stayed in Almyrida this August.  I still have one more day and I have to say it does look promising!

ok

Popular Design this August – Chapel by the Sea in Seashell Mosaic Collage – 18 x 24cms

The weather here on Crete has been very hot but we have had our share of strange days too. Like the end of July when it threw it down and I had to pack up my stall as fast as I could before the heavens opened!   Also and more recently – we had lots and lots of heavy rain and thunderstorms, which carried on well into the evening.  I am so relieved that it wasn’t one of my selling days that time, but I am always disappointed for the tourists who are here!

On the home front I am delighted to announce the safe arrival into this world of my beautiful new Granddaughter, Neve!  Emma is now finally living with Ash on his military base in the south.  I will be visiting them for a week when I am back in the UK for virtually the whole of September and I can’t wait to hold Neve and to play with Ralph again!  For now though, I must be content with Skype contact.  On the UK’s Bank Holiday Monday I was selling on the beach when Zoe and Emma Skyped me, because Zoe and Rich have been staying with Emma and Ash for the last few days.  So I could see and speak to everyone!  I could already see changes in 3-week old Neve and I love watching Ralph interact with her!  It will be wonderful to experience this in reality!

Ralph & Neve

Ralph is entranced with his brand new baby Sister Neve!

On the social front I have made time to spend with my good friend Jenny, who came with her Granddaughter, Alicia for a ten day stay in her apartment, which is situated on the Harbour Front in Chania.  It was good to see her again and I decided to go on another one of Jenny’s mini cruises and put work second for a change!  I’m so glad I did because it was – as it always is – awesome fun!  We were dancing, drinking Proseco and eating fresh fruit and Kalitsounia in between swimming and snorkelling.  Jenny’s crew were the Gorgeous George and Akis who were not only there to drive the boat but also to cater to our every whim (well… almost!) on our ‘Girls Only’ cruise!

Jenny's Mini Cruise!

Our All Girls Cruise! – Carolyn, myself, Jenny, Tracy and Deb.

Jenny and Alicia came to stay with me on the Saturday night and after enjoying a couple of hours with them on the beach, we had a late lunch at Tsunami’s.  Much later we walked up to Plaka Square for dinner at Fortini’s, before heading back to my house where we chilled out for the rest of the evening until late.  It had been at least a year since Jenny and I had had the chance to catch up, as we are rarely in touch in between her visits to Crete.

Jenny's Apartment on the Harbour Front in Chania - complete with 2 of my larger Seashell Mosaic Collages - Triptych Archway with Urn & Fisherman & his Boat

Jenny’s Apartment on the Harbour Front in Chania – complete with 2 of my larger Seashell Mosaic Collages – Triptych Archway with Urn & Fisherman & his Boat

What also turned out to be a real bonus was that I was able to use Jenny’s apartment last Saturday, so that Lisa and I could have a night out in Chania without worrying about getting home or driving.  Because of our respective work Schedules, Saturday was the best night for both of us and we couldn’t believe how busy Chania was – compared with Almyrida!  The Harbour Front was packed and everywhere was busy.  Lisa and I thoroughly enjoyed the change of scene and the chance to really relax.

I have good news about my Mum too!  Since I was last in the UK, her health has gone from strength to strength and she is back to being the Mum we all know and love!  I will be spending lots of time with her and although I shall miss the whole of September’s beach selling, I know that there are more important things in life that should naturally come before my work.  What better reasons are there than spending quality time with my family in the UK and I am so looking forward to meeting my new baby Granddaughter Neve!

Baby Neve

Gorgeous Baby Neve! Can’t wait to meet her!

 

 

A Strange Summer Month in the UK

I have been in the UK for a whole Month! I was only supposed to go for a week but ended up staying much longer, so that I could help care for our Mum and spend as much time as I could with her.

Again, we were all gutted that Mum was not well enough to attend Rob and Emma’s Wedding Weekend in Banbury Oxfordshire. But we managed to get her out of hospital and safely back to Karen and Mike’s, where we hoped… and were relieved to see her spirits gradually restore and her health improve, for the last week I was there.

At Aynhoe Park - Ralph with the Lion he was slightly dubious of!

At Aynhoe Park – Ralph with the Lion he was slightly dubious of!

But I must write about the wonderful weekend we all had at Rob and Emma’s Wedding! We arrived at Aynhoe Park late Friday afternoon, for tea and cake. This large and ‘quirky’ Stately Home is privately owned and filled with wonderful antiquities and incredible taxidermy of wild animals everywhere! There is even a life-sized TinTin complete with rocket! There are antique toy car replicas all over the mansion – the perfect size for Ralph, and jars of jellies and sweets to help ourselves to! What can I say?! I had an absolute ‘ball’ with Ralph, while we explored this wonderland of a place!

Aynhoe park

Lovely Photo of my growing family! Shame that Ralph & I have our eyes closed!

I cannot possibly begin to describe Aynhoe Park and can strongly recommend that you visit their website http://aynhoepark.co.uk/the-house/ or search images of Aynhoe Park for some amazing pics!  Set in beautiful grounds with wild deer roaming around the breathtaking countryside, we were all spoilt rotten with butlers taking care of our luggage and our every whim! My room was enormous and luxurious! Karen and Mike’s accommodation was more of a suite and was called the ‘Gatsby Room’. Quote from the Aynhoe Park website – “The 28 bedrooms and suites of Aynhoe Park are all shrines to opulence and individuality with a nod to history in each”. When I was quickly changing for the barbeque scheduled for that evening, Ralph was in my room happily playing with an antique Meccano train and car!

At Aynhoe Park - Rob & Emma's Wedding

Rob & Emma – now happily married and Mr & Mrs Whelan!

The barbeque was amazing, offering fantastic food and wine and there were log fires, rugs and furs draped everywhere – for if we got cold. It was lovely to be with my family for this wonderful weekend occasion and we all had such a great time!
I loved all my quality playtime with Ralph and of course, Zoe and Rich and Ash and Emma – who is due to give birth to my Granddaughter in early August!

It was Rob and Emma’s wedding on the Saturday and we were treated to the best food and wines I have tasted in a long time!   It was simply wonderful!  After the speeches, the beautifully decorated reception room was changed into a magical dance floor – the lighting was phenomenal and we partied until early morning, as the fun continued in the underground nightclub!  It was a completely enchanting weekend and we all had such an amazing time!

At Aynhoe Park - Wedding

Looking stunning! My Nieces, Sophie & Hannah (Bridesmaids) with my Sister Karen (Mother of the Groom)

It was sod’s law that my lovely friends Jill and Rick, had booked their holiday to stay with me for 10 days from June 26th to July 6th. I could not spend any of that time with them and it was so strange for all of us… that I wasn’t in Crete with them!  However, Jill and Rick and their whole family have booked accommodation in Almyrida for next summer and so I will get the chance to spend time with them all then.

At Aynhoe Park Wedding

Enjoying the wonderful wedding at Aynhoe Park – Myself, Sister Karen, Friend Deborah and Family Friend Caroline!

Overall and looking back, this past month has been a strange one. To be in the UK during the hottest summer on record since the summer of ’76, and to get so engrossed in the World Cup football (well done to the England team for all their efforts and achievements!) – felt oddly strange amongst everything else that has been going on! For the last 10 years I have spent every summer in Crete.

Playing Polo with gorgeous Grandson Ralph at Aynhoe Park

Playing Polo with gorgeous Grandson Ralph at Aynhoe Park

The day after I returned to Crete, I watched the semi-final between England and Croatia at my local Vangeli’s Taverna and Sports Bar in Plaka. The Taverna was packed with people I knew and like everyone in England – we were all so disappointed when Croatia scored that second goal! Even so… I stayed out and had a real blast until after 4am!

I set up my stall for selling by the beach in Almyrida on Friday and it was for the first time in over a month! I have never been away at this time of the year, never mind for so long! This is the peak period for selling my unique Seashell Mosaic Collages to all the visitors – both new and returning to Almyrida. It felt good to be back! Almyrida and Plaka are currently full of tourists and I loved meeting and chatting to some of them, as well as catching up with friends.

Photo Album – Memories of Rob & Emma’s Wedding

DSC00662DSC00609DSC00637DSC00676DSC00673

The Highs and Lows of Life are Par for the Course.

So much has happened since my last post but this time it will have to be a short one and with no pictures. I don’t really feel like talking about stuff that isn’t important right now.  I’ve been working long hours in order to get myself fully organized for the 15th May, when my daughter Zoe flies to Crete just 12 days before her wedding here! Continue reading

It’s all part of Crete’s Charm!

I am writing up this post in a much better frame of mind, thank Goodness! In fact, everything has improved since my last post.  But best news of all –  is that my second Grandchild is well on HER way!  So I will have a Granddaughter who is due to be born at the beginning of August.  I am so happy for Emma and Ash and absolutely thrilled that it’s going to be a girl! Continue reading

Good Riddance to January & February!

I haven’t had time and I haven’t felt like writing a post for what seems like ages. I seem to have been in a depressive state and it hasn’t helped that I’ve had so many time-consuming problems to deal with in January and February. But most of all… My dear Sister Leonie’s sudden passing still feels so raw. I can burst into tears at the mere drop of a hat! Continue reading

Picturesque Almyrida

Here on the beautiful Island of Crete it’s been a long hot summer and it isn’t over yet! September is proving to be a hot one too and I’m pleased to say that sales have really picked up during the last two months. Hence the reason I’ve not written for a while, because much has been happening in my life both professionally and personally and it’s all taken precedence over this Blog! Continue reading