Desperately Seeking ‘Me’ Time!

I can’t help it! I am here again on my balcony sofa, having just caught the sunset directly opposite me! It is Sunday night again and I am desperately in need of some ‘me’ time. I can’t believe how this past week has flown by!
I actually forced myself to take a day off yesterday, but that was just so I could catch up with the household chores. All hot sweaty work but very satisfying when it’s all done! The apartment was in desperate need of a clean, I had two full loads of washing to do and the balcony and courtyard needed sweeping. Leaves, flower petals and general dust were blowing all over the apartment as I keep both my back door and patio doors open all day when I am in. I catch a lovely breeze that way, nature’s own air-conditioning!

Seashell mosaic and collage of 2 boats under a palm tree

2 Boats under Palm Tree Design – 30 x 40cms

These last few weeks have been really hectic work-wise, now that the season is in full swing. My seashell mosaics and collages are very time-consuming and I reckon I have been working a 70 hour week. With no visitors to give me an excuse to take a day off, I have just kept on working. I feel a bit panicky when my stock is running low but of course the upside is that demand is high. At the start of every season I am always a little anxious, wondering if people will only see my mosaics as last summer’s has-beens. But happily, for the fourth year running, this has not been the case. The proof is when I meet customers from previous years who return to my stall to buy more.

Small Seashell Mosaics - 13 x 18cms

2 of my smaller Designs – 13 x 18cms

I am always amazed at how many different nationalities visit Almyrida each summer and also how many who return year after year. The Scandinavians are top of the list with the Brits not far behind. There are a lot of people who own villas around Almyrida, in villages such as Plaka, Kokkino Chorio and Gavalohori. It is not surprising that people choose here for a holiday home, because the surrounding areas are so beautiful – lush and green thanks to the imposing White Mountains, so called because they are always covered in snow in the winter. It doesn’t get too busy and isn’t too commercialised. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid back and makes Almyrida a perfect family-friendly environment to come for a holiday.

Michaela Raeburn's Seashell Mosaic's aand Collages Signage

SIgnage on the wall outside my apartment

Late this afternoon I was prepping up canvases when I received unexpected customers! A young couple thought I would be working on the beach today and when they realised I wasn’t, someone told them where I live. So they stopped by here on their way to the airport before they flew home! You can’t really miss my place. My bright yellow car is parked right outside and my seashell mosaics and collages are hung on the balcony and in the courtyard, both visible from the road. I also made a sign for the wall outside the apartment. This is not the first time I have made a sale from people walking off the street and into my home and workshop. It has happened several times and it is great news for me because I can only manage three selling days a week. The rest of the time I need to prep canvases with paint and sand etc as I can’t do this on the beach. Even certain mosaics can only really be done at home.

So I really do relish and appreciate these rare moments of ‘me’ time, when I can think and reflect. My two daughters Zoe and Emma, and Emma’s boyfriend, Ash, are arriving on the 20th August and I can’t wait! I will make sure I am super organised for their visit so that I can spend as much quality time with them as possible. It will be lovely to have Zoe and Emma both here in Crete at the same time. This hasn’t happened since my first summer on Crete in 2009 and I am well excited (as they used to say!)
But right now I will probably remain here for the remainder of the evening, on my comfy sofa on the balcony, just relaxing for a change, reading a little and maybe I’ll even do a bit of Sudoku. Oh, and let’s not forget the large glass of chilled white wine!  Lovely……

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