Back to a more normal life.

What an unexpectedly busy August it’s turned out to be! I started selling by the beach in Almyrida right after Emma, Ash and the kids left Crete, and because it is still so quiet in Almyrida – especially for August, I decided two days a week was enough. Yet those two days have proved to be really profitable. I have sold a total of 29 Seashell Mosaic Paintings this August and I am more than happy with sales, given these unprecedented world circumstances.

Typically Greek and popular with tourists - Seashell Mosaic Painting 20 x 30cms

Typically Greek and popular with tourists – Seashell Mosaic Painting – 20 x 30cms

I didn’t realize how much I’d missed this part of my life. It’s been quite wonderful to meet and chat with the few tourists who have been lucky enough to get away for a holiday. So I am thrilled to be back doing what I love and earning some money again!

A favourite this August - Seahorse in Seashell Mosaic Painting - 13 x 18cms

A favourite this August – Seahorse in Seashell Mosaic Painting – 13 x 18cms

Sadly, Charlie and I are no longer an ‘item’. We realized that we are not right for each other but agreed that we’d both had a great time during the 6 months we were together. It goes without saying that we will remain good friends. As a direct consequence, my workouts with Charlie have come to an end. Now that I am working again, I don’t have the time or the inclination to work out in this heat! However I do understand the importance of keeping fit and I fully intend resuming my regular training, but only after the end of September and in whatever shape that may take.

Greek Donkeys - sold this August 30 x 40cms

Greek Donkeys – sold this August – 30 x 40cms

Socially, live music gigs have been few and far between and anyway, we are not allowed to dance! So I haven’t been out much in the evenings, apart from a sleepover at the mansion in the mountains, where Lisa and Debbie live. It was like staying at an exclusive hotel, with each bedroom having its own en-suite. This large two-storey villa is just full of fascinating things and has an amazing story attached to it – if only I could tell it! Anyway, the three of us had a proper girlie night in and such a good laugh!

September is going to be just as busy while I continue selling by the beach and I have more visitors arriving this month! Quite suddenly I have resumed my normal life during this last part of the summer and it just feels so right.
I am well excited that my brother, Mark is coming to stay with me on the 11th for 9 days. He was last on Crete in 2014, with his two children, Honey and Ted. This time he is coming on his own and really looking forward to his first holiday without kids in 21 years! He is going to have a brilliant time here!

Consistently sells well - the Baby Turtles Seashell Mosaic Painting with sand, 10 x 30cms

Consistently sells well – the Baby Turtles Seashell Mosaic Painting with sand, 10 x 30cms

Then two days after Mark leaves, Zoe, Rich and baby Grandson Arthur arrive! I can’t wait to spend some quality time with little Arty, who was only 3 months old when I saw him last Christmas but is now aged one and walking!
So as usual, I am feeling very lucky and happy. Also the fact that Crete has so few Covid cases compared to the rest of Europe, has meant that tourists are coming here because it’s safer (far less populated) and has no quarantine restrictions on their return. A few of the tourists who purchased my Artworks, had in fact previously booked holidays elsewhere in the world – only to have them cancelled. Not wanting to miss out on their cherished and well-deserved holidays, the tourists are coming instead to Crete!

Always Believe Something Wonderful is going to Happen.

I have just enjoyed the most wonderful week with my Daughter Emma, Son-in-Law Ash, and gorgeous grandchildren Ralph and Neve!
Because Ash has not been able to go on holiday with his family, since their wedding here 4 years ago, they decided to book a lovely family room at the Almyrida Beach hotel, so that they would have a more restful holiday. The fact that Ralph and Neve are at the ages of 4 and 2, I now realize what a handful they are and how hectic things would have been if they’d all stayed at mine! Big bonus for me too really.. as I got to spend plenty of absolute quality time playing with Ralph and Neve, without all the clearing up!

Having fun with Ralph and Neve at the far beach in Almyrida

Having fun with Ralph and Neve at the far beach in Almyrida

We spent every day by the pool or at the beach. In all the years I have lived here – I have never been in the full sun so much in one week! But these two adorable, boisterous little monkeys, Ralph and Neve were hardly out of the water and I just couldn’t stop playing with them! I loved every single moment of it and some!

All of us before dinner, by the poolside of the Almyrida Beach Hotel

All of us before dinner, by the poolside of the Almyrida Beach Hotel

We had lunch in Almyrida every day, either at the poolside, by the beach or at Françoise and we also enjoyed some lovely family evening meals at Umami and Psaros too. Almyrida itself seemed busier with tourists in most of the restaurants, yet it was still so quiet for the end of July. Not many people walking in the street.

Enjoying the lovely pool at the Almyrida Beach Hotel

Enjoying the lovely pool at the Almyrida Beach Hotel

Halfway through the week I had Ralph and Neve for tea and a sleepover. Ralph was so excited and so was I!! I would get my precious Grandchildren all to myself for a while and Emma and Ash could have their much-needed break from the kids.

All of us at Umami Asian Fusion Restaurant in Almyrida

All of us at Umami Asian Fusion Restaurant in Almyrida

They had a date night… to celebrate and rekindle memories of their amazing wedding here on Crete in 2016. They kicked off the late afternoon with cocktails on the Almyrida Residence Roof Garden, followed by a slap up meal at the relatively new restaurant – Almyvita. It’s a little on the posh side, expensive and much out of character with the rest of Almyrida, I think. Nevertheless, Emma and Ash dined on the rooftop there and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They reported the food and service as excellent!

Emma, Ash, Ralph & Neve by the children's pool at the Almyrida Beach Hotel

Emma, Ash, Ralph & Neve by the children’s pool at the Almyrida Beach Hotel

Meanwhile, Ralph, Neve and I had a wonderful time at mine and wow – did they wear me out! There’s a reason you’re meant to have kids when you’re young. I didn’t train with Charlie last week, but I got plenty of exercise every single day with my lively Grandchildren! I can’t find the words to express what an amazing week it was for me… one I never thought possible this year. The pictures in the Photo Album at the end of this post, say it all.

Getting ready for a day out with Carl, Linda & Charlie on Carl Axon's Rock 'n Roll Boat!

Getting ready for a day out with Carl, Linda & Charlie on Carl Axon’s Rock ‘n Roll Boat!

Not long before Emma and Ash arrived, Charlie and I were invited to spend the day with Carl and Linda on his speedboat – ‘Rock ‘n Roll’. A totally apt name for a talented musician who once was a member of ‘Doctor & the Medics’ – and who had a hit with the well-known soundtrack, ‘Spirit in the Sky’. Carl took us everywhere on his boat and I saw places I hadn’t seen before – beautiful areas of coastline that can only be viewed from a boat.

It turns out that Carl knew the owners of the charming Greek summerhouse where Zoe and Rich held their wedding in 2018. He steered the boat up close to the shore and it all looked so beautiful and idyllic, with its own little pebble beach. Zoe, the bridesmaids and myself were supposed to have made our arrival by boat on the day, right there on that little beach. But sadly that had to be cancelled because the sea was too rough! This was the first time I had seen this idyllic place form the sea and it brought back so many wonderful memories. We had a fabulous day out on Carl’s boat and as my Daughters both remarked – on watching the video I sent – “Mum, you have the best life!” Don’t I just!!

My friend Debbie finally returned to Crete after a long absence, due to a bleed on the brain. Following an excellent new form of treatment from the top surgeon in Athens and after a long convalescence in the UK with her family, she is back where she loves to be and none the worse for her frightening experience. So this is also wonderful news! She is staying with Lisa at the mansion for now and we all had a lovely afternoon, a couple of weeks ago at Almy on Kalyves Beach.  They have such comfy sunbeds there!

Best seller last year! Inspirational quote written in real sand, acrylic painting 3D Artwork, available to purchase from my Etsy shop - SeashellBeautyinArt

Best seller last year! Inspirational quote written in real sand, acrylic painting 3D Artwork, available to purchase from my Etsy shop – SeashellBeautyinArt

As soon as my family left, I decided to try my first day of selling by the beach in Almyrida. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that the first day of my season was 3rd August, when normally I would have already been selling for 3 months! Debbie and Lisa both came down to Almyrida to keep me company while we had lunch at my stall and display. Later Marriane, who runs the tour desk next to me, started her first day and it was great to catch up with her again too. I really enjoyed my first day back, doing what I’ve done for the last 11 summers.. and I feel so lucky again, because, despite the lack of tourists around – I sold 2 of my Seashell Mosaic Collages to some lovely Norwegians. Amazingly, the first one I sold was the popular design I created last year – “Always believe something wonderful is going to happen”.
People all over the world need to believe this inspirational quote right now, because it truly inspires hope. I know it’s made lots of wonderful things happen for me!

PHOTO ALBUM

"This is the life!" Ralph Lying on his surf board

“This is the life!” Ralph Lying on his surf board

 

Missing Almyrida’s Tourists

I realize that I haven’t posted for many weeks, but then there hasn’t really been much to write about.  For the first time in 11 years I have not been selling my unique Seashell Mosaic Paintings & Collages by the beach in Almyrida. I have dearly missed seeing the tourists that visit Almyrida every year and meeting all the new visitors that arrive from all over the world. I have missed that wonderful holiday atmosphere that is so normally prevalent in Almyrida during the summer months from May to October. I have missed all the buzz and the fun that comes with my beach selling season. Continue reading

Lovely Cretan Winter Sun & Working Outside on my Balcony

During these last five or six weeks I have thrown myself back into my Art and creating Seashell Mosaic designs in readiness for the coming summer beach selling season. Designs such as Seagulls, Girls on Swings, “Always Believe…” sand quote and Pink Flamingos were in great demand, yet I could not produce enough last summer, after selling out of the ones I created over the winter months. So I am hoping I will be better prepared this year. Continue reading

The Year 2020 is Sure to be a Good One!

I came back home to Crete for New Year, after having had a wonderful Christmas in the UK with all my family. I returned on the 28th December to dreadful weather, having missed all the best of it whilst I was in the UK. The thunderstorms in Plaka were so severe that most of us didn’t have internet for days and power cuts were frequent. My car battery had died and it appears that there are some electric issues too, which I am still trying to sort out. I am thankful for my good friends Atremis and Rob, who both went out of their way to help me.. right up until New Year’s Eve! Continue reading

August is Still the Busiest Time of my Year

Even though I wrote in my last post that I was having a more relaxing summer.. August has ended up being surprisingly busy for me!  I say this because – like all the other businesses in Almyrida this summer – customers have been few and far between.  August has always been my busiest month for sales and I am pleased to say that this year was no exception!  In the current circumstances, I count myself extremely fortunate to have sold 54 Artworks in August, including a couple of sales on my Etsy shop – Continue reading

Enjoying More Free Time This Summer.

The summer months from May through to September are normally so busy and hectic for me!  Looking back over the last ten years – I really have spent long and crazy hours producing and selling my unique Seashell Mosaic Paintings and Collages.  It has been all about supply and demand!  My Art Business has totally consumed my time and energies but don’t get me wrong because I have loved every moment of it! Continue reading