Carnival is Back and Busier than Ever!

So another month has flown by and time is moving too fast for me to fit everything in that I want to do!  Something is going to have to give…

Kalyves Carnival

Kalyves Carnival

The Carnival in Kalyves was so packed with people that we hardly got a chance to meet up with other friends.  It was extremely windy, which actually spoilt the experience.  There was so much going on.. with food and drink stalls dotted everywhere and tables and chairs all over the pavements.  The music, blasting out of huge speakers everywhere, was cool and funky but way too loud and I wasn’t impressed with any of the floats, although the covid one was amusing.

Debbie, Lisa & me at Kalyves Carnival

Debbie, Lisa & me at Kalyves Carnival

Many locals dressed up and it was a great day for ‘people watching’.  I don’t think the town of Kalyves has ever seen so many people thronging its streets, as the Greeks were determined to party after being denied their carnival for the past 3 years.  Despite the negatives, we enjoyed the spectacles and the atmosphere, which was difficult to capture in photos, due to the sheer volume of people.

Agios Apostoli Crete

Walking from one beach to the next at Agios Apostoli

The prevailing clement weather this March has been great for beachcombing and walking days.  Lisa, Debbie and I have visited Agios Apostoli – an area of several beautiful sandy beaches situated not far from Chania town.  Once we’d parked up it was easy to walk from beach to beach.  One stretch took us over the top of some rugged coastline, where we came across a shack and small cave that someone called home.  It was so hot and sunny that it felt like May or June – not March!  There were many local Greeks spending the day on the beach, swimming in the sea and drinking at the beach tavernas. The whole area had a real holiday atmosphere!  To be honest I knew we would find very little in the way of seashells or sea treasures in Agios Apostoli, but we had talked of visiting the area in winter many times and finally decided to visit.

Shack on te beach at Agios Apostoli

Home to someone – the shack near one of the beaches at Agios Apostoli

We also visited Frangokastello and explored at least 3 beaches along that coastline.  Sadly I have noticed a change over the years and did not find many of the shells I use for my ‘turtle flippers’.  Over 10 years ago I would fill my bag with this particular seashell but for some reason the sea is just not giving them up at Frangokastello anymore.  Or maybe we just haven’t been there on the right days.  Luckily I can find my ‘turtle flippers’ along other coastlines and this is just as well because the ‘Baby Turtles Race for Life’ Seashell Mosaic Collage is still my best seller year on year.

One of the beaches we explored on the coast of Frangkastello

One of the beaches we explored on the coast of Frangkastello and where we enjoyed our picnic.

Yet it was another gorgeous day with a lovely picnic on one of the beaches, lots of healthy sea air and wonderful exercise.  These are all the reasons and more – why I love my beachcombing days, whether we find lots or not.

However a recent trip to Falassarna made up for the lack of shell finds at Frangokastello.  I love Falassarna’s beautiful sandy beaches and they never disappoint when it comes to finding a huge variety of the beautiful tiny seashells, so many of which I use in my Seashell Mosaic Collages.

Beautiful unspoilt Falassarna

Beautiful unspoilt Falassarna

This past month I have enjoyed many more walks including a strenuous climb up a gorge in the Drapanos area with the Happy Wanderers.

Climbing the gorge at Drapanos

Climbing the gorge at Drapanos

Always amazed when I come across another area of coastline I’ve never seen before, this walk started out from Drapanos village on a long road winding all the way down to the sea.  From there we clambered up this rocky gorge, frequently reduced to all fours.  Niall kindly offered me his spare hiking pole and this turned out to be a great help!

Walking the gorge at Drapanos

Taking a quick break and a much needed drink!

The lunch at the main taverna in Drapanos afterwards was superb!  And I can’t remember the name of it!  We were treated to such a variety of local fish and meat dishes as well as local wine aplenty… and all for just 15 Euros.  I didn’t have to eat another thing for the rest of the day, as is usual after a Sunday walk.

Another walk with the Happy Wanderers started in the pretty little village of Douliana and covered the villages of Gavalochori, Almyrida and Aspro via donkey tracks and quiet roads, with some steep uphill climbs.  We walked for around 5 hours before ending back in Douliana for another lovely lunch in Heliostasi taverna, where coincidentally I’d had dinner the night before!  I had been out with a friend for the evening to listen to the ‘Mellow Vibes’ who were playing there that night.

Pink Flamingos in Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting - 30 x 50cms available to purchase from Etsy

Replacing the Pink Flamingos in Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting – 30 x 50cms. Sold from my Etsy shop.

When I’m not beachcombing or walking, I am working on my art and still there are not enough hours to replace all the artworks I sold last summer.  Each artwork takes many hours to create and I enjoy every one of them!  But something has to give and for the sake of maintaining more balance in my life…I can only produce so much… and that has to be enough.  I have about another month to concentrate on building my stock before I start selling again in May.  Also I have booked to go back to the UK at the end of May for 2 weeks.  With Easter looming and many social events planned.. it’s looking like April is going to be a busy month too.


Ange & I Enjoy Walking The Imbros Gorge

I have had three good selling days so far this month but the weather was not good enough for a couple of days last week and disappointingly I only managed to sell on the Monday. Tomorrow will be my last day in May before I fly back to the UK for 16 days. The weather otherwise has been sunny and hot and for the first time in two years there are plenty of tourists – including British – around and about Almyrida and Plaka.
Continue reading

A Christmas of Joy Worth all the Stress of Covid

I arrived home to Crete on 2nd after leaving a very cold UK and I am blown away by the wonderful weather I’ve come back to!  I am amazed to be sitting here on my balcony with warm and tranquil sunshine washing over me like a comfort blanket. It’s been blue skies and sunshine ever since I returned and it’s forecast to be 24 and 25 degrees at the weekend. Wow!  Despite having a list of stuff I need to deal with – I just have to sit here and enjoy it!  My view is magical and my recent memories are magical… so I am perfectly placed to write all about them here and now. Continue reading

UK’s Quarantine List Didn’t Spoil Holidays with my Family

Despite the UK adding Crete to their quarantine list – it didn’t stop my brother, Mark from enjoying his Cretan holiday with me. He works in the film industry, which like everything else has been greatly compromised and anyway, Mark has been working from home on his book and so the quarantine restrictions on his return to the UK weren’t an issue for him. Continue reading

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

A Beautiful Day in Bali

There’s not much to report since my last post. Working on my Seashell Mosaic Collages is always a given, because whenever there isn’t anything else that takes priority – I am busy creating! This is also the time of year that I do my seashell sourcing and place orders with my regular suppliers. But I wanted to write this final post of 2018 before I return to the UK on Saturday morning. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Almyrida has that Holiday Atmosphere Again!

It’s Easter Sunday and I’ve been busy getting the spare room ready for Zoe and Donnas’ visit in a couple of days. The weather has been glorious again and so later this afternoon, I couldn’t resist a couple of hours working mosaic on my amazing balcony! Now I am enjoying the peace and tranquillity and the early evening sun, whilst I lounge comfortably on the balcony sofa. Continue reading