About Me

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Crete, Greece
Married to the lovely Geoffrey, my soulmate. I have two fantastic big kids,both married, whom I love and miss every day I'm not with them, but I know they're living and loving their lives and we make up for time when we get together.I now have three granddaughters too...

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Have We Bitten Off More Than We Can Chew?

After going to the beach this morning ( see post below..)
we were given the key to our new kypos (key-pos)
Our neighbours Dimitris and Thalia live in Athens and come back to their family home for holidays so do not use their garden.They said we could use it, it means we don't have to go back and to to Limnes to do the watering etc.
Do you think we've bitten off more than we can chew, considering everyone else is planting their seedlings out???
It's surrounded by orange, lemon and pomegranite trees. There's a well for water. And it can be locked too which is good.
I'll let you know how we get on.....
I'm sure we brought 2 dogs down here with us........
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Beachy Day

I shouldn't really show you this place, it's a well kept secret.
This, believe it or not is one of the best places to go and eat al fresco.
Just look, it's 2 steps from the sea. Can you imagine it? You've had a relaxing day on the beach, reading, swimming, snoozing, then you saunter over to these make shift tables ( made from the cable drums) and sit under the trees and watch the stars appear in the sky as you sip retsina or ouzo over ice.
The menu is adequate..... greek salad, souvlaki and chips, everything made to order, fresh and tasty.
Maria, who runs the kantina has help, her daughter and her daughter's son. But the son is about 12 this year and always looks like he wants to be off playing with his mates, who can blame him??
It's best get here early because by 8 o'clock in the evening the place is filling up and by 9 it will be full of local people who know where to get a good meal. That is, of course, in a couple of weeks time, nobody rushes around here. I'll be here, waiting for you....
ps. don't forget to go to the loo before you come though, or else you'll be taking a trip into the bushes!
We went down there today to walk the dogs on the beach and collect some pebbles, I want them for decoration. It was warm and sunny and we were the only people on the beach, it's a local beach so the tourists who are out here now don't get to come down.
There's no sunbeds and umbrella, no facilities, just the sea, some tamarisk trees and a gorgeous view, we've seen kingfishers down here too.
Dewi had a paddle and really enjoyed himself.
It was bliss.
The temperature has risen to mid 20's now and the sea is warming up.
It's one of the best times of the year, everything is still quiet but there's some expectancy in the air.
Hope it's a good season for everyone.
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Friday, 24 April 2009

Quilts and Crochet Catchup

I haven't seen my friend Sandy for a while, the season has started early for her and she's already had guests in her beautiful apartments. So it was great when she popped by a couple of days ago with 2 completed quilts.....
They are so lovely!! The first one was made from her friend's father's shirts. He died and so Sandy has made this memory quilt for her. She's called it Heart Strings.
The pink one was made from recycled fabrics bought from the bazaars.That one is called Lasithi Windmills. She likes to give everything names.....don't ask what mine is!!
This is a close up of the middle of the squares of the first quilt so you can see the hearts and how she has used an embroidery stitch called the Cretan Stitch to applique them on.
Makes my little crocheted bag look rather insignificant...
I've made it as a test piece, think I might make it a bit bigger next time. This one is handy for keeping my ongoing crochet project in. This photo was rather rushed so you can't see the lovely little button in the middle of the flower.
I met Chris today for a walk, I'll make some arrangements with her so I can go and take photos of her finished projects very soon.
Keep forgetting to tell you, I've joined "Today's Title Is" It's a photograghic blog started by Helen of Heb Art, go have a look sometime, there's some lovely images to be seen......
I'm still ploughing through designing and making wedding invitations, nearly finished. I'll be back to completing my quilts then, I have a cunning plan.....

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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Everything Comes To Those Who Wait

Throughout the season I've shown you many stunning examples of the wild and sometimes rare flowers we have here.
But for me this is the most stunning of them all. It's Dracunculus Vulgaris or Dragon Arum. It stands about 3 feet high and lives in the shady undergrowth of the olive groves.
The first time I saw one was about 4 years ago, we were out exploring in the car and I saw this flash of colour. The car screeched to a halt and I was out scrambling about trying to get close enough for a decent shot.
I've had my eyes peeled for any signs of them flowering for a couple of weeks now and I was finally rewarded yesterday.
I love the colour, it's so rich and sensuous. The texture is velvety, though it glows like satin.
The leaves too are beautiful in their own right. The stem is stripped like a tiger but sadly my photo was rather blurred.
Soon the undergrowth will be filled with these wondrous plants but for now I'm enthralled by the singular rareness of my favourite plant. Some might say it's too showy but I think it has a darkness to it, as it emerges from the bushes like an alien. It's life is very short and soon it looses it strength and collapses, deflated.
As with all things that are so beautiful, it does have one flaw......
it stinks like rotting flesh.
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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Get Your Dancing Shoes On

Well, more of that later,.
Firstly I've got to thank Soulbrush for my award, "Certified Queen of Blogs"
Sorry I'm so late.
I'd like to pass it on to
My Cretan Life who writes about her craftwork and renovating a home here in Crete
A Quilters Journal who has been posting about a trip along Route 66 with her husband
Cocoa and Blankets a lovely blog and recent posts of a trip to Venice
Little Over Living another crafty blog, Jenny makes gorgeous quilts.
If any of you choose to accept, link back to me and send it off to as many fellow bloggers as you want. You can copy my button.

Also, a huge thank you to Lydia of 'Waving or Drowning, Reflections of a Working Mum' for sending this gorgeous parcel. I was suffering from some nasty germs a couple of weeks ago. So she kindly sent me a tub of Rose and Almond oil Vaseline for my sore lips, although I'm not suffering anymore, it's delicious! The gingerbread Adam and Eve were scrummy and just look at that pack of tissues!! One side says Bless and the other says You!!! Aren't they wonderful?? I'm saving them for the wedding, think I'll be sharing them with Mother of the Groom.......
Sunday was Easter Sunday here and also my birthday.
We were invited to our neighbours, Dimitri and Thalia. They live in Athens and come over to their family home for holidays.
I shall be posting about that within the next couple of days, just got sort photos out. The sparkly shoes were Little Thalia's who danced the afternoon away.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Falmouth Working Boats 1

It seemed that several of my blogging friends were heading down to Cornwall over the Easter holidays. I felt... homesick... and I spent a while remembering happy times while I lived there.
We are still ploughing through boxes and boxes of our belongings which were in storage for a few years while we were sailing here but during the weekend I found this collage of photos of the Falmouth Working boats.They are rather grubby and a little torn around the edges but the memories are still intact....
I spent several summer seasons crewing on these wonderful traditional boats and had many friends who enjoyed it with me. If you are local you may recognise some faces, slightly older now as these photos were taken the the mid 1990's.
In fact, that's me, above, with Robin and Howard. Julian is on watch above.
We crewed "Agnes" who was one of the younger boats, some were nearly 100 years old. Some owners would not allow women on board, bad luck. The working boats belonged to a small fleet of oyster dredgers and Agnes had spent some of her life actually doing that. Some boats are built these days just to race. None of them race with engines so it's all the power of the wind and stratagy by the boss.
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Falmouth Working Boats 2

We had some adventures each summer, especially when we sailed to Fowey for Fowey Week, it mostly involved copious amounts of warm Bass. When the mast snapped just before the start of the racing season it was 'all hands on deck' to make another from a tree trunk....
It takes approximately 8 strong folk to sail Agnes, we all assigned our special jobs.
Above is Jane, my best friend, enjoying some damp weather.
Rounding a bouy when all the fleet was screaming along in full sail was hair raising to watch and to be in there was quite scary sometimes.
Below is Pamela, she thoroughly enjoyed her days out and I have many memories that I have to keep to myself but they do make me giggle even now.
I hope people get to see the fleet when they visit Falmouth in the summer months, it is a stunning sight and I'm very proud that I was, once, a part of it.
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Sunday, 12 April 2009

Still Waiting.....for Easter.

I'd like to thank everyone who commented on my last post, I had over 40 between the 3 groups of flowers. I've never had so many!!
In typical Greek tradition my back door is surrounded by an array of plants, miniature roses (bought from Lidl last year and stll alive!)geraniums (cuttings collected from random places) honeysuckle, I thought it wasn't going to survive but it's now romping away! mint, gardenia and stephanosis, both of which are in bud now. They are in an assortment of recycled containers, including the large feta tins that the shops have. On the chair is the latest carrier bag of lemons to have been delivered by neighbours, they are so succulent and fresh.
I've completed this cushion. Following Attic 24's instructions it's made from recycled items. It's for a friend's 'big' birthday. unfortunately, I did not go to her party.
Today is Palm Sunday, some people are still fasting, not eating milk, cheese, anything with a backbone etc. The bells have been ringing and the priests chanting since very early this morning and this week is a build-up for next weekend, when there will be huge celebrations. Plenty of lamb and kid will be roasted and bbq'd.
Finally, the monster! Look at him, butter wouldn't melt??? He still doen't understand 'no' and loves chewing anything that I wear..
He clearly loves Geoff and dispairs of me, as I don't laugh when he scampers in with half of a beloved plant of mine in his needle sharp teeth.
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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

This is What Crete is Famous for..........................1

As some of you know Crete is known throughout the world for it's rare and wild flowers.
There are many species here that are not found anywhere else and many of those are becoming extremely rare. That is why my friend Julia has set up a charity, to help bring attention to and to try to educate people.
We are now in the middle of the very short season where Crete is in bloom. With the hedgerows and hillsides covered in wild flowers. Some are very common, the poppy, chamomile and borage for example but if you look a little harder there are hidden jewels.
As usual,this post is 3 posts long... so please scroll down after reading this 1 to 2 and 3!!
We were lucky enough to uncover this odd specimen, it's commonly know as Cretan Birthwort (Aristolochia cretica) or you may know it as Dutchman's Pipe. This species is only found on Crete and Karpathos and is quite rare.

The orchids are stunning, most are tiny though and can be overlooked quite easily. I do have the names of all the orchids, but if you want more information please visit Julia's site. I have only written the names which sound like fun..........The markings on the lip are to attract pollinating bees

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This is What Crete is Famous for...........2

All these have such wonderful names.
They were also found within 2 kilometres of where we live,, mostly on the kerbside or in the olive groves.
Below, can you see, each little cluster looks like a monkey?.....It's a Wavy leaved Monkey Orchid (orchis italica)

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This is What Crete is Famous for...........3

All along the lanes there's an abundance of sage and broom.

The black pipe you can see now and again is the watering system used for the olive groves, we are in the open countryside.
A cistus endemic to Crete.
There's no words needed really, the blooms speak for themselves.
Fields of gladioli
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