A Wonderful Time with Granchildren Ralph & Neve.

I have returned to my beloved Crete after another month in the UK, having spent a wonderful week with my new Granddaughter Neve and gorgeous Grandson Ralph. I also spent loads of time with my Mum, who I am so pleased to report, is doing really well!

The Friday after I arrived in the UK I hitched a ride with Zoe and Rich (who were attending a family wedding down south) to Emma and Ash’s new home on the military base. The house is a well-proportioned 3 bed semi situated across from a large sports field on a private road. Because we arrived at Emma and Ash’s so late, I didn’t get to meet Neve until the following morning. She is 6 weeks old and utterly adorable! She doesn’t cry much at all. Neve is just content to look at everything going on around her. Her little bright eyes are so alert! Ralph is lovely, gentle and caring around her! I couldn’t stop taking videos of the two of them!

Ralph and Baby Sister Neve

Ralph is kissing his new baby sister, Neve!

Ralph is only two months shy of three years old yet he already loves and cherishes his little baby sister. He is always including her in his little conversations. ‘What about baby Neve?’, he will say… and you can see the concern in his little face. Ah bless… I do adore them both and am indeed blessed again to have had such a wonderful week with Emma, Ralph and Neve.

As always, Emma had already found some great places nearby, to take Ralph for some fun and adventure. For me too, because I loved romping about in the forest with him, finding all kinds of interesting natural treasures. This forest we visited was amazing, with towers and climbing ramps galore for kids of all ages to enjoy – all made from wood! There was even a ‘Musical Trail’, where you could discover all manner of strange musical instruments built into the surrounding landscape and make your own forest music! It’s hard to explain what they were exactly… but we had fun trying them all out!

WIth Ralph & Neve

At the cafe outside the forest with Ralph & baby Nev

We had a lovely lunch at this park and in fact, we had lots of lovely lunches on our days out. There were many facilities on the base too and Emma took me to the Community Centre and the Church group for pre-school children. Emma has made new friends already and it is so much better now that they are all living together as a family. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful this week with my daughter and grandchildren was. I hope to enjoy many more too… after all, Christmas is not that far away.

Sadly I was unable to see much of Zoe and Rich. What with their work commitments and the travel distances involved, we only managed a few hours over an early tea in Bramhall Village  at Yardbird. It was lovely and gave us both one-on-one time together, which was great!

Ralph tries out one of the unusual musical intruments!

Ralph tries out one of the unusual musical intruments!

Back at Karen and Mike’s I spent lots of time with my Mum and a lovely evening with family friends, Caroline and Tony who kindly brought round a curry Caroline had cooked, because my Mum loves a good curry!
I also managed to hook up with my friends Jill and Ange, meeting Ange for a few drinks at the Church Inn in Cheadle Hulme and enjoying a Friday night out in Bramhall Village with Jill, where we had dinner at the Bubble Room. Really nice… and it was so good to catch up with close friends.

Now that I am back home I have started to look for a car to replace the yellow sport-modified Punto I have been driving around in for the last 9 years! It’s been all over Crete and had two engine re-builds as well as countless other parts replaced, so it has been a right old money pit! My Punto is now rusting badly and almost 20 years old! Time to trade her in for a new model and so I am looking. I have a dear Greek friend who has been in the car rental business for many years, and he is going to see if he can secure a good deal for an ex-rental. I am actually quite excited because it will be a great relief not to have to worry about the car breaking down again this winter!

Me and Ralph

On the swings together and I can act like a big kid when I am with Ralph!

I had half a day beach selling a couple of days ago and although it was cloudy for most of the day and the tourists were thin on the ground – I sold 3 of my Seashell Mosaics. On the social front, I went to Neisha’s Birthday Bash that night at Nikita’s. This is always a great venue for a party (both my daughters had their wedding ‘After Parties’ at Nikita’s). There were heaps of pretty tiny white lights strewn everywhere including the trees on the beach. Then there was the roar of the waves crashing onto the beach behind us – a stunning backdrop for any occasion! It was great to hear the band, Small Change again. They played at Zoe and Rich’s Wedding Reception earlier this year in May. They were brilliant as always and I danced lots. It was a good night but I am now coming down with a cold, which doesn’t surprise me  after my Ryanair flight home last Tuesday.

Emma with Neve and Ralph

Emma with Neve and Ralph

Looking to the immediate future… the big 60 is looming fast and I have found myself reflecting on the past 10 years and how I have successfully followed my dream of the way I would love to live my life. I was 50 when I moved to Crete and have since devoted my energies almost entirely to my art business, creating Seashell Mosaic Collages and ‘working with nature’. I have enjoyed every moment and aspect of my art. Yet now I have realized that it is time I put a little more balance into my life. I have been enormously happy and content on my own for so long but I finally feel ready and open to sharing this wonderful life with someone special. Whether I will meet that certain someone… well there’s a question? Because I truly believe that whatever will be… will be.

So Happy to be Beachcombing Again!

When I came back from the UK late October I brought my sister Leonie back with me. She has had many serious problems with her leg over this past year and it was time for her to think about her return to Cyprus. Crete was a natural first step and I really enjoyed Leonie’s company for the few weeks she stayed with me. 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

Fran and I Enjoy Exploring More of Crete.

Since Fran returned to the UK, having spent two whole weeks with me – I’ve been running around like a headless chicken, in an effort to catch up on production of my unique seashell mosaics and mixed media art! I am now well into the busiest part of my summer selling season and that means I must work countless hours during the days I am home, in order to produce enough artworks to meet demand. During the two weeks Fran was here, we went out every day I wasn’t selling and what a fab time we had too! Continue reading

All Things Beach.

Down by the beach in Almyrida it is hot, hot, hot! But selling conditions couldn’t be better and for the last month or so the breeze coming off the sea has been just perfect for keeping me cool whilst I work on my seashell mosaics. My summer office is quite idyllic and if I do get overheated then I just put up my ‘Back in 10 Minutes’ sign, grab my towel and go for a quick swim in the sea – how wonderful is that?! Continue reading

My Best Exhibition Ever!

Oh how the time flies by when you are enjoying life! Shortly after Emma and Ash’s return to the UK I received the surprising but wonderful news that I am to become a Nana in November! Emma is going to have a baby! They hadn’t planned for it, having only just set a rough date for their wedding next year, but they are nonetheless thrilled to bits and I can hardly contain my own excitement! So it looks like I’ll be paying an early visit back to the UK this year – to see and be with my first grandchild! Continue reading

Happily Planning for a Big Family Wedding in Crete!

There’s been so much I’ve wanted to write about – but no time in which to do it! My life is always so full anyway but right now it’s all about family. I have exciting news to impart which you will already have gathered from my heading of this post and I shall go into more detail about it later… Continue reading

Almyrida Flooded After Big Storm Hits!

After Nick went back, at first the weather was settled and warm so I returned to my winter job of painting and decorating – all outside work. This time (unfortunately) I did two days of painting awful black railings. However, about ten days ago it all changed and we had horrendous storms that heavy rains and gusty winds had whipped up. Continue reading

Walking in the Snowy Mountains

It seems to me to be all about contrasts since I returned from the UK. Living in Crete is so much less hectic and more peaceful compared with the sheer volume of people, traffic, shops and buildings that I have recently experienced during my stay in the UK. I notice this every year and I have come home again to Crete with a smug feeling of relief and real freedom. Continue reading