Celebrating 10 Wonderful Years on Crete!

Yes, I cannot believe that I have lived on this wonderful Island of Crete for ten years! Those ten years have seen me living out my dreams because I have always wanted to live like this… by the sea and so close to nature and all her awesome glory. The lifestyle I’ve enjoyed has been so perfect for me and is everything I could have hoped for and more! How far removed it is from the life I led in the UK because here I have lived a simple, busy but contented, peaceful and happy life from the moment I stepped onto Cretan soil.

One of the awesome views from my balcony in winter!

One of the awesome views from my balcony in winter!

Without doubt – I am a different person to the one I was when I left the UK all those years ago.  I am so much happier, for starters!  I really know myself so much the better now.  Seriously?  The list is endless and I won’t bore you with the details, but I can assure you that it’s all positive stuff!  The fact that I have funded my wonderful expat lifestyle from selling my unique Seashell Mosaic Collages is in itself a dream come true! I live in a wonderful apartment that boasts the best views in the area. I have it all – the awesome White Mountains, vast expanses of ocean fringing Almyrida, Kalyves and Souda Bays, the rocky cove at the bottom of the hill below me and countless olive groves. Surrounded by this wonderful vista – I am uplifted and feel a deep sense of inner peace and calm which I sadly, never experienced in the UK and which has so helped me to cope better with all the sadness and grief of the past 18 months.

Another awesome sunset view as seen from my balcony this week!

Another awesome sunset view as seen from my balcony this week!

For the years now to come, I want to create more balance in my life. I have worked long, countless but happy hours on my Seashell Mosaics for the past ten years and I need and want to slow down now! I want to free up more time to socialize again… something I’ve definitely not felt like doing for over a year and a half.

So it is with a fresh attitude that I started beach-selling during mid May. Now that the pressure is off – I am feeling more relaxed and so even though we are at the middle of June – I am still only setting up in Almyrida for 2 days a week.   This seems to be working out fine, given that it is still early in the season and Almyrida doesn’t really get busy until July. Nevertheless, I sold 12 Artworks last week and I am more than happy with that! One of my latest designs has been really popular and I’m not surprised! Living in and visiting a beautiful place like this, it’s easy to believe that something wonderful is going to happen!

Inspiration and hope written in the sand

Inspiration and hope written in the sand

I have always said how much I love selling by the beach in Almyrida! I have loved meeting all the new and returning tourists that visit Almyrida in the summer and I love talking to all the people I know here. I guess this part of my life is where I have done the most socializing during the past ten years!

Talking of socializing, it was so nice to meet up with Paul and Sheila again. They are such a lovely couple and have bought so many of my Artworks over all the years I have known them. They came to Plaka and treated me to a lovely lunch in Almyrida recently where we enjoyed a long and over-due catch-up.

it was also really good to see Jill, Rick and their family when they visited a few weeks ago. I joined them all for a couple of afternoons on the beach and so enjoyed lunch and dinner with just Jill and Rick on the nights we met up. We had a lovely meal in Psaros on their last night – good food, nice wine and great company – these lovely people are such good friends to me! I miss not seeing more of them.

Eating out at Psaros with Jill & Rick on their last night.

Eating out at Psaros with Jill & Rick on their last night.

I have over ten years of jam-packed fabulous memories of the kind that could only have come from my life on this most beautiful Island of Crete. More recently I gave both my beautiful daughters away at two fabulous family weddings in 2016 and 2018. Zoe and Emma have come to Crete almost every year since the beginning and sometimes twice a year. I have countless uplifting memories of their visits, sometimes both together, sometimes with boyfriends or sometimes – just on their own. Now for the last 3 years I have enjoyed spending ‘holiday’ time with my gorgeous grandchildren, Ralph and Neve as well!  All the members of my family and many friends have been out to visit and stay with me over these past ten years.

Just a few weeks ago - on Kalyves beach with Ralph & Neve

Just a few weeks ago – on Kalyves beach with Ralph & Neve

I have been to so many beautiful and fantastic places here and met so many different people. I have also made some good close friends here on Crete.   I’ve enjoyed fantastic times with family and friends alike and Crete’s wonderful climate has made all these memories the best!  All in all – there’s simply every reason to be optimistic about the next ten years of happily living on Crete! I feel as though I am entering a new chapter in my life and it’s all looking positive for the future.

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

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!

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

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