Beachcombing Season Off to a Great Start in 2024

The weather for the remainder of January was mostly fine, sunny and warm and so my beachcombing season has started with much enthusiasm.  Having said that though, Debbie and I were disappointed to find very little at Georgioupoli in January.  However I did stock up on the specific small flat grey pebbles which I use for the walls and steps in my cat designs.  Last summer alone I sold 25 of them!

The beautiful pastel colours of dusk on Kalyves beach

The beautiful pastel colours of dusk on Kalyves beach

We had a wonderful day staying local in Kalyves where we found lots of lovely seashells on the first beach and glass and more pebbles for my cat designs on the long far beach. It was sunny and hot all day long and as the light started to fade, we sat on a bench at the edge of the beach and watched the moon come up over the sea.  The colours were spectacular and my photo doesn’t begin to capture the sheer beauty of it all.

When Ross came over for a visit he joined Debbie and me for a full day at Stavros and also at Bali.  There wasn’t much to collect at Bali but it’s such an

Late afternoon on Stavros Beach, Chania

Late afternoon on Stavros Beach, Chania. One of Debbie’s beautiful photos.

interesting place and Ross had never been there – even though he has been coming to Crete regularly for 18 years.  So we showed him all around, taking in the four beaches and enjoying our picnic lunch at the little harbor.  In the afternoon we decided to see if we could find some new beaches to explore on the way back.  Halfway between Bali and Rethymnon, we took a turn off the highway at Skaleta and came upon a strip of sandy coastline we’d never seen before.  It certainly was a long, sandy beautiful beach and about halfway along it – we started finding lots of beautiful seashells and ocean finds.  Unfortunately we ran out of time and daylight to complete our search of this beach and vowed to return to it soon.

Our new beach discovery at Skaleta

Debbie’s photo of our new beach discovery at Skaleta

A recent trip to Falasarna with Debbie also proved to be a bountiful one.  Falasarna rarely disappoints and there are several beaches to explore on this coastline – all yielding a huge variety of seashells, so many of which I use in my Seashell Mosaic Painting Collages.  It is great news that there are many more seashells on the beaches this year, than were there last year.

Starting to loose the light, collecting seashells on the beach at Skaleta

Starting to loose the light, collecting seashells on the beach at Skaleta

From early January I have been working on my stock in earnest.  I didn’t produce anything in November or December last year and I cannot hope to replace all the artworks I sold last summer.  But I am just happy to put in all the hours that I have and create what I can until my summer selling season starts again.  A relatively new design of a young girl picking seashells off the beach, has sold well on Etsy and even better as a new design from my beach stall last year.  So instead of trying to produce this larger design during my already busy summer months, I am aiming to create at least 3 of these artworks during this winter.

Shells I collected at Falasarna

Shells I collected at Falasarna

Debbie and I have booked to stay in Elafonisi for a night.  Early March is the earliest we could find somewhere open.  We never have enough time to explore the whole of Elafonisi because at least 5 hours is taken out of our day in travelling to and from this beautiful and unspoilt paradise on the southwest coast of Crete.  The last few years we haven’t been able to visit it until May and by then it’s already really too late to collect the best finds.  I was desperate to go during the winter months and we are both very excited to be able to explore Elafonisi for 2 days.

Sunset at Falasarna - another of Debbie's fab photos

Sunset at Falasarna – another of Debbie’s fab photos

Socially there have been one or two really good nights out during the past month or so.  I had a great evening at Vangeli’s a couple of weeks ago, a New Moon Charity Dinner with live music at Gyalos in Kalyves and an ‘open mic’ night at The Donkey Café in Vamos, where Ross played.  Almyrida might be like a ghost town in the winter, but there are still plenty of social events being organized in the surrounding areas through the winter.

Seashell Mosaic Painting Collage - 30 x 40cms - available to purchase from my Etsy shop

Seashell Mosaic Painting Collage – 30 x 40cms – available to purchase from my Etsy shop

We have had one or two storms and heavy rainfall so far in February, but not much really… I think we’ve had another mild winter so far.  Saturday is forecast to be 18 degrees and sunny again, when it looks like we will be revisiting our newly discovered beach at Skaleta.  Tomorrow may not be so good as we are expecting rain for the next 3 days.  But I am still going on David’s walk from Stylos and will no doubt enjoy a hearty late lunch afterwards.



Spending Time with Visiting Friends and Making Some New Ones!

I am sitting comfortably on my balcony writing up this post and reflecting on these past weeks.  It’s the middle of October and it’s a gloriously sunny and warm day.   October appears to be making up for the disappointing weather we had in September, as it has been like this for most of the time so far.  During September I had 2 ‘no sales’ days because of the weather.  On one particular day I went down to set up my stall only to find the sea had flooded the centre of Almyrida!  Consequently and for various other reasons, September sales were as disappointing as the weather. Continue reading

August is Always a Good Month for Sales

We have been very lucky not to have experienced any further serious heatwaves since I last wrote in this blog.  I know other parts of Europe and particularly Spain, have suffered with very high temperatures during August.  For the most part though, I have been comfortable on my selling days at the edge of Almyrida beach and this is all due to the constant breezes coming off the sea. Continue reading

The New Norm – Learning to Cope With Frequent Heatwaves

We are in the middle of a heatwave being experienced all over Europe and other parts of the world.  It seems to be dragging on and on…  My heart goes out to all the people and wildlife affected by the wildfires raging across the Greek islands and other parts of the world.  Sadly this is going to be normal from now on, as the direct consequences of mankind’s total abuse of our planet and world governments’ refusal to do anything or make the necessary changes – despite knowing about climate change for many many years. Continue reading

So What is There to Write About?

We’ve been in lockdown here on Crete for almost 5 months and everyone is feeling totally fed up! A couple of weeks ago they tightened up the restrictions even further and we are now only allowed to shop locally. No more trips to the large supermarkets in Chania. Also we are not allowed to travel by car to exercise, which means we shouldn’t be going to Kalyves for our lovely walks along the beaches there. Curfews are still in place from 9pm until 5am and you must always have a valid reason for leaving your home. Continue reading

Wild Horses Won’t Stop me from Spending Christmas with my Family!

Having been in lockdown ever since my last post, there is very little to talk about and so this is just a short post before I leave for the UK for Christmas. It is only 3 days till I go yet I still have not had confirmation of an alternative flight I accepted after yet another was cancelled 2 weeks ago. I knew that because of this pandemic, trying to get to the UK for Christmas was never going to be easy. I expected cancelled flights but wild horses aren’t going to stop me from trying! 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