We have been so lucky with the weather these past few weeks! Today has felt more like a spring day with warm temperature, the sea like a polished mirror and the air so still and calm. I have been busy planning for my new home. There is major work to be completed before I can do a blitz clean and then start transferring all my worldly goods, bit by bit. The bathroom was in desperate need of modernization and so after much discussion with Maria, the Greek owner, I agreed to invest some of my own money into the refurbishment – otherwise a full and proper job was beyond her financial means. In return I will have a contract that should allow me to stay there for as long as I wish. I have been turfed out of the two apartments I have occupied on Crete so far. On both occasions members of the Greek owners’ family wanted to move into my home. This, of course is the major downfall of not owning your own property. As I have no alternative but to rent, I must make sure that this move is my ‘third time lucky’ home!
It was not so easy to try and make Maria understand that there was no way I was ever going to agree to put the washing machine in the new bathroom – the room is too small to accommodate it comfortably! But this is how the Greeks do things here on Crete – the washing machines are always found in people’s bathrooms! We eventually found the perfect solution in the kitchen and by losing a bulky radiator – we could make room for a washing machine. The plumbing is going to cost me extra but it’ll look much more at home in the kitchen and I will gain valuable space in the bathroom!
Therefore it makes sense to me that I need to spend and invest some money into this new home in order to make it more user friendly for me and especially where my work is concerned. Meanwhile Maria, the owner, has had the whole of the house freshly painted – inside and out. She has had all the electric switches replaced with new and is intending to replace three of the interior doors. Sounds like a very reasonable landlady to me?!
I really do believe that this house was meant to be. It was the first place I decided to rent this time seven years ago. I was all set to put down a month’s deposit when Babis insisted I view one last property owned by his family. It turned out to be much larger, had fabulous views and I managed to get Babis and his family to agree to rent it to me for the same amount I was going to pay on the other house. Seven years later and that first house I nearly rented has become available again – only a few weeks before I was given the news that I must vacate my present home! They say your life is made up of seven year cycles, so maybe I’m on the cusp of a brand new chapter in my life. This must be Karma!
There are many wonderful benefits to living in my new home too. I will have much more privacy, situated opposite and set well back from the road. Plus I gain an extra bedroom/office, which of course I will turn into my art studio! Luckily the living space is all on one level, like I am used to, but there is much less storage space than I have at the moment and so I have had a very large cupboard custom-made to accommodate all my canvases, shells and a myriad of various art materials. Also twelve long shelves on which to store my finished artworks. For the kitchen I have ordered a row of three extra cupboards with a worktop finish and two large wide shelves to go above it.
The unspoilt and magnificent views from my new home will be the very best I’ve experienced from home so far and believe me – I’ve had great views twice before. The house is perched on the hill leading down to the sea and so doesn’t have the main road into Plaka in front of it. There are no other houses in front either. As it’s a stand-alone building I have no real neighbours. These two factors alone, give me far more privacy than I have at the moment. So you can understand my excitement at the prospect of living there!
When I haven’t been organising things for my new home I have been working on my seashell mosaics and collages – as always. I have winter commissions to complete and I need to make lots of designs that I have run out of. But as soon as the workmen are out of my ‘soon-to-be’ dream home – I’m going to be in there with my mop and bucket and cleaning kit and won’t stop until I’m well settled in. Consequently I will not be able to work again for at least three weeks.
I have made time to enjoy a couple of great nights out. Vangeli’s in Plaka had a live band playing one Friday night and Neisha organised a girly night out by throwing a party at Annemarie’s bar and restaurant in Almyrida. It was called a ‘duke box’ night and everyone chose the tunes they really wanted to dance to! It was good fun and I was glad I had made the effort to drag myself away from my work and go out for the evening.
While all this excitement with the move is going on, I am pleased to say that I do love my regular skype calls with Emma – I get to speak to and watch cute little Ralphie for at least half an hour! I am so excited because Zoe, Emma and baby Ralphie are all coming to stay with me in my new home, in April! Emma wanted to come for a week to finalise wedding details before the big day and Zoe couldn’t resist joining her. Won’t that just be so wonderful?!