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.

After collecting Mark from the airport, we dumped his luggage at mine, changed and went straight back out for dinner in Almyrida. Carl Axon and other bands were playing at Nikitas that night and as music gigs have been conspicuous by their absence – I felt we should not miss out on this one. Everyone was there and it was a great way for Mark to kick off his holiday. The music and atmosphere was great and we danced in the sand outside the taverna because we weren’t allowed to dance in the bar!

Dinner by the beach in Kalyves with Lisa and Debbie

Dinner with Lisa & Debbie by the beach in Kalyves

The following night we met up with Lisa and Debbie for a meal in Kalyves and Mark and I also dined out at Umami, the Asian Fusion Restaurant in Almyrida. We did all the usual things one enjoys on holidays – spent time on the beach and swimming, coffee and snacks at Franscoise and the odd night on my balcony just talking, talking and more talking! We had so much to catch up on. I don’t think I would have been able to have this quality time with my brother if I didn’t live here on Crete.

Mark and I dining at Umami - my Favourite restaurant in Almyrida

Mark and I dining at Umami – my Favourite restaurant in Almyrida

As soon as Crete was added to the UK’s quarantine list – Almyrida emptied itself of tourists and many more cancelled for September. So I realized that after only two selling days in Almyrida, where I sold a further 6 Artworks, this was now the sudden end to my season. However when Mark and I visited Kalyves it seemed a little busier so I decided to pitch up there for two days instead. Normally I do not consider Kalyves as a good place to sell and true to form – I did not make a single sale, although there was much interest which may come to fruition in the near future. Aside from this, these last two selling days in Kalyves made a really pleasant change of scenery and not least of all because I had Mark, Lisa and Debbie for company.

Selling by the beach in Kalyves

Selling by the beach in Kalyves

As luck would have it, when Mark and I were at the Cantina end of Almyrida beach, a tourist there commissioned me to do a special piece of artwork to commemorate their forthcoming wedding here next year. She was already familiar with my art and has since contacted me after browsing my Etsy shop, SeashellBeautyinArt. I now have several custom pieces to keep me busy over the coming winter.

At the end of Mark’s stay he agreed that he’d achieved everything he’d hoped for on his holiday – rest, relaxation, fun and laughter! I loved all our stimulating and enlightening conversations and enjoyed his company immensely. In these times of uncertainty, the busy lives we all lead and the distance between us – who knows when we will get the next opportunity to catch up on all that has been happening in our respective lives?

Playing with Arthur on the beach in Almyrida

Playing with Arthur on the beach in Almyrida

So cute... little Arthur is having so much fun in the sand!

So cute… little Arthur is having so much fun in the sand!

Two days after Mark left I collected Zoe, Rich and little Arthur from Chania. Because of the UK’s sudden quarantine restrictions for Crete, it was much harder for them to make the decision to come to Crete as planned. In the end they were able to work something out with their jobs, using up some more of their holiday entitlement for quarantining. Zoe and Rich felt that this first holiday for them as a family was what they both needed so much that it was worth the other sacrifices they would have to make.

The weather has been good for the whole week and Almyrida was so quiet that we felt like we had it all to ourselves! My Grandson Arthur has just turned one and because he has only started walking recently, he is a wonderful bundle of energy! I loved all my playtime with him, whether that was on the beach, by the pool or at home. Naturally we were out every day but spent our evenings at home because it was easier with Arthur. Anyway, it’s not as though we were missing anything as there was nothing going on. I babysat two of the nights so that Zoe and Rich could dine out together and enjoy some time out on their own. Again we had some lovely evenings just chilling and chatting on my balcony overlooking the sea and the mountains. On the last day we went into Chania, which again was unusually quiet and spent the afternoon on the picturesque harbour front, where we had a long and leisurely lunch before heading back to the airport.  Zoe and Rich also agreed that the holiday had done them both the world of good and was just the break they needed.

Zoe, Rich & Arthur at the deserted poolside of Almyrida Beach Hotel

Zoe, Rich & Arthur at the deserted poolside of Almyrida Beach Hotel

As for the problems the UK government caused in adding those 6 Greek Islands to their quarantine list for no good reason – I will just never understand! It makes no sense when you see how Covid-free we are on these islands. Many cases we had this summer were brought in by young UK tourists, as was the case with the plane returning from Zante to Wales. Those people did not get the virus from Zante but rather brought it to Zante in the first place! Prior to letting UK tourists onto the island, they were largely Covid-free.

An afternoon on the Harbourfront in very quiet Chania

An afternoon on the harbour front in very quiet Chania

If not for the UK restrictions I would have sold well in Almyrida in September, as I had done in August. Nevertheless, in weighing everything up – I feel so fortunate to have still been able to have all my immediate family and my brother – especially all my grandchildren staying with me this summer.  I feel truly blessed because wonderful things always seem to happen here on Crete!




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

Happily Enjoying my Creative Splurges!

white mountains

The amazing view from my balcony – you can see why I love working here!

I’ve been working on my balcony this afternoon. Recently we’ve had some odd days in between rain and cloud that have been so warm and sunny – that it was just plain daft not to work outside! A few weeks back we had so much snow and it wasn’t just confined to the mountains but crept into our villages as well! I got stuck in the snow and ice several times on my way to the dentist in Vamos. A journey that normally takes around 10 to 15 minutes took me over 45 minutes and was so treacherous that I was holding my breath for most of the way! In 8 winters of living here on Crete I have never seen so much snow! Continue reading

Life is full of Surprises!

Here we are nearing the end of August and it’s looking like being the worst August for sales that I’ve ever had! How can I have survived so well during seven long years of world recession, only to be thwarted by Britain’s sudden and dramatic exit from the EU! Naturally I have only assumed this outcome from all the facts I have accumulated over the years. The British are definitely my biggest customers, followed closely by the Scandinavians, Americans and Europeans. Continue reading

Selling my Unique Seashell Mosaics & Collages in Almyrida

After Emma and Ash’s wonderful wedding on 2nd June – already over a month ago, life has resumed its normal pattern and I have been back in full swing with the selling of my unique seashell mosaics and collages.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am to be found sitting and working at the edge of the beach in Almyrida with my displays and work table. Continue reading

Emma and Ash’s Wonderful Wedding on Crete!

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks that I shall cherish for always.  I have been happier than I ever could have imagined and it’s all because of Emma and Ash’s wonderful wedding! Prepare yourselves for an epic posting!

For me it started just over two weeks before the wedding when Emma, Ash and my gorgeous Grandson, Ralph arrived in Crete on Tuesday 17th May. From that moment on we were all in ‘wedding mode’… although I was in ‘Ralph mode’ for quite a lot of the time! Well what did you expect? After all, I am his doting Yaya – the Greek word for Gran or Nana. In all, I had over three weeks of blissful time, playing with and helping to look after Ralph. Continue reading