A Strange Summer Month in the UK

I have been in the UK for a whole Month! I was only supposed to go for a week but ended up staying much longer, so that I could help care for our Mum and spend as much time as I could with her.

Again, we were all gutted that Mum was not well enough to attend Rob and Emma’s Wedding Weekend in Banbury Oxfordshire. But we managed to get her out of hospital and safely back to Karen and Mike’s, where we hoped… and were relieved to see her spirits gradually restore and her health improve, for the last week I was there.

At Aynhoe Park - Ralph with the Lion he was slightly dubious of!

At Aynhoe Park – Ralph with the Lion he was slightly dubious of!

But I must write about the wonderful weekend we all had at Rob and Emma’s Wedding! We arrived at Aynhoe Park late Friday afternoon, for tea and cake. This large and ‘quirky’ Stately Home is privately owned and filled with wonderful antiquities and incredible taxidermy of wild animals everywhere! There is even a life-sized TinTin complete with rocket! There are antique toy car replicas all over the mansion – the perfect size for Ralph, and jars of jellies and sweets to help ourselves to! What can I say?! I had an absolute ‘ball’ with Ralph, while we explored this wonderland of a place!

Aynhoe park

Lovely Photo of my growing family! Shame that Ralph & I have our eyes closed!

I cannot possibly begin to describe Aynhoe Park and can strongly recommend that you visit their website http://aynhoepark.co.uk/the-house/ or search images of Aynhoe Park for some amazing pics!  Set in beautiful grounds with wild deer roaming around the breathtaking countryside, we were all spoilt rotten with butlers taking care of our luggage and our every whim! My room was enormous and luxurious! Karen and Mike’s accommodation was more of a suite and was called the ‘Gatsby Room’. Quote from the Aynhoe Park website – “The 28 bedrooms and suites of Aynhoe Park are all shrines to opulence and individuality with a nod to history in each”. When I was quickly changing for the barbeque scheduled for that evening, Ralph was in my room happily playing with an antique Meccano train and car!

At Aynhoe Park - Rob & Emma's Wedding

Rob & Emma – now happily married and Mr & Mrs Whelan!

The barbeque was amazing, offering fantastic food and wine and there were log fires, rugs and furs draped everywhere – for if we got cold. It was lovely to be with my family for this wonderful weekend occasion and we all had such a great time!
I loved all my quality playtime with Ralph and of course, Zoe and Rich and Ash and Emma – who is due to give birth to my Granddaughter in early August!

It was Rob and Emma’s wedding on the Saturday and we were treated to the best food and wines I have tasted in a long time!   It was simply wonderful!  After the speeches, the beautifully decorated reception room was changed into a magical dance floor – the lighting was phenomenal and we partied until early morning, as the fun continued in the underground nightclub!  It was a completely enchanting weekend and we all had such an amazing time!

At Aynhoe Park - Wedding

Looking stunning! My Nieces, Sophie & Hannah (Bridesmaids) with my Sister Karen (Mother of the Groom)

It was sod’s law that my lovely friends Jill and Rick, had booked their holiday to stay with me for 10 days from June 26th to July 6th. I could not spend any of that time with them and it was so strange for all of us… that I wasn’t in Crete with them!  However, Jill and Rick and their whole family have booked accommodation in Almyrida for next summer and so I will get the chance to spend time with them all then.

At Aynhoe Park Wedding

Enjoying the wonderful wedding at Aynhoe Park – Myself, Sister Karen, Friend Deborah and Family Friend Caroline!

Overall and looking back, this past month has been a strange one. To be in the UK during the hottest summer on record since the summer of ’76, and to get so engrossed in the World Cup football (well done to the England team for all their efforts and achievements!) – felt oddly strange amongst everything else that has been going on! For the last 10 years I have spent every summer in Crete.

Playing Polo with gorgeous Grandson Ralph at Aynhoe Park

Playing Polo with gorgeous Grandson Ralph at Aynhoe Park

The day after I returned to Crete, I watched the semi-final between England and Croatia at my local Vangeli’s Taverna and Sports Bar in Plaka. The Taverna was packed with people I knew and like everyone in England – we were all so disappointed when Croatia scored that second goal! Even so… I stayed out and had a real blast until after 4am!

I set up my stall for selling by the beach in Almyrida on Friday and it was for the first time in over a month! I have never been away at this time of the year, never mind for so long! This is the peak period for selling my unique Seashell Mosaic Collages to all the visitors – both new and returning to Almyrida. It felt good to be back! Almyrida and Plaka are currently full of tourists and I loved meeting and chatting to some of them, as well as catching up with friends.

Photo Album – Memories of Rob & Emma’s Wedding

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Good Riddance to January & February!

I haven’t had time and I haven’t felt like writing a post for what seems like ages. I seem to have been in a depressive state and it hasn’t helped that I’ve had so many time-consuming problems to deal with in January and February. But most of all… My dear Sister Leonie’s sudden passing still feels so raw. I can burst into tears at the mere drop of a hat! 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

Help! I Desperately Need Colourful Coquina Seashells!

It’s been a while since my last post and that’s because I’ve been totally absorbed in my art, continuing with my creative splurge while I can. I have loved and enjoyed every single minute of it! All of my new designs can be purchased from my Etsy shop – the link for which is just above on the menu bar. Continue reading

Happily Enjoying my Creative Splurges!

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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

My New Etsy Shop is Opening Soon!

A whole month has flown by again and I have been totally absorbed and occupied with expanding my art business.  As explained in some of my recent posts – I have been shocked at the fall in sales, which appears to be due to the spending power (or lack of it!) of most of the tourists visiting Almyrida this year.  All the local businesses here have suffered and I have realised that my marketplace is too restricted.  Continue reading