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...

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Busman's Holiday

As this is photograghically heavy (what's new!!I hear you shout..)
I'll try to keep the blurb to a minimum, yes, I said try...
As you know Geoff works throughout the summer months driving a Land Rover on the Jeep Safaris. Considering we are in a recession, we've been very surprise at the amount of people who have been on the trip during May.
He loves it, showing people a wild and beautiful part of where we live, which most tourists would not normally see. So it's no surprise, that he wanted to take me up there, on his day off..
This is Katharo, a plateau above Kritsa.
Now, you have to remember looking at the photos, we are at a height that is, higher than Snowdonia.....
The whole of the plateau at the moment is awash no, ablaze, with colour. It's stunning and I'm so glad we went. I only hope you get some idea of the colour and diversity of wild flowers in bloom now. The most prolific at the moment is the vetch, which is from the pea family. We saw trucks brimming over with it being driven down the mountain roads to feed the sheep and goats on the coast. You can also see poppies, gladiolii,chamomile. If you want a closer view just click each photo.

We also spied one of the few orchids left of the season, pyramidal orchid.
Dewi chased tadpoles in some of the water that is still trickling down the mountainside from the remaining spots of snow,
This is Mount Dikti, yes, there's still snow up there!!

It's a shame my camera has not got all the singing and dancing lens of others. If it had, I could have shown you the dozens of larks or the choughs that were flying around making such sweet music.
We also saw 12 griffon vultures circling around. I'll try to get a photo sometime but most of the time they are up in the thermals looking out for lunch.

I tried to convince myself that walking for 2 hours up there, at altitude!!, does more for me than my daily walks down in Houmeriakos but I think I'm kidding myself.
It was so much cooler up there, that's why some families have summer homes up there. The shepherds also bring their herds of sheep and goats to graze on the lush grass that is lacking in the summer months on lower ground. There are also small orchards of apples and pears too.
It's a small place though, as we were driving off the plateau, we met the lovely Sandy (of the beautiful quilts, cushions and efilumps) and her husband Chris taking in the views with their friends.

Hey, guess what??
That was the morning...
want to see what happened in the afternoon??
Maybe tomorrow............

Friday, 29 May 2009

I've Come Home to......

Yes, I'm back from my travels, still a little subdued, but better.
My photos from Dubai need sorting and it will take time so I thought I'd start small... with a few shots of what's been happening while I've been away.
Firstly, the pots around my back door are stunning, need a little tidying, but I'm not too happy with perfection in a garden!
Here's Geoff, last night, arranging the water pipes that will keep the veg from shriveling and dying in the hot summer months.
This is 'agricultural water', cheaper than tap water and not potable. You can also see the huge pile of grass/weeds etc. that we dug out of this area a few weeks ago. From 1st of May to the end of Oct. it's illegal to have a bonfire or burn anything here so that will have to wait.
It was dusk when I took this photogragh hence the quality is not good, but I think you can see the plants are thriving.We've got tomatoes, okra, cucumber, courgette, lettuce, peas, kohl rabi growing at the moment. we've also got seedlings waiting to be transplanted. We are behind most people but things grow so quickly in this climate,I think we'll be ok.
There's strawberries in another bed, I test them everytime I go down...
The wild hollyhocks are everywhere at the moment adding a splash of colour around every corner.
And these beautiful little campanulas were hidden in a wall crevice by a well.
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Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sincerely.......Thank You.

Two weeks on, it seems like a lifetime sometimes, but then, it feels like minutes ago.
We are getting into different patterns in our daily lives.
Dewi is getting used to sleeping on his own.
Geoff is getting used to not having a little white shadow chasing him about.
I'm just getting used to it, whatever 'it' is.
Family, friends and bloggers have been marvellous, thank you. Thank you for all your comments left on my blog, 74! I can't believe it!
Thank you for all the emails, the phone calls and texts..
I actually went out yesterday, for the first time in 2 weeks, with Chris, Sandy and Judith, we went to Jean's coffee morning. Jean brought a huge amount fabric ,yarn, patterns, books and other crafty goodies over to Crete but now is unable to use most of it so she's selling it.

We have seeds, seedlings and plants growing in the kypos. Oh, yes we have.......John..!
I've got a couple of ideas up my sleevies...
I've borrowed a couple of ?? to do some carding, of a fleece that I've washed. Sorry, don't know the words but I'm sure someone will help me out??
From Jean's, I bought an old crochet pattern book and some fine yarn.............
Leonie has started her new business, good luck! Had my eyebrows waxed yesterday, thank you Leonie. It was painless, honest!She'll wax anything for you......................or your man!
The biggest news is, I'm off to Dubai on Tuesday...wow!!
It's a birthday gift from Bethan, my daughter.She organised it ages ago. We're going to stay with friends who we've known for 30 years.So I'm really looking forward to catching up with Liz and Kev, saw them 7 years ago last, when they came to our wedding (7 years ago TOMORROW!! Happy Anniversary Geoff xxxx)
I'm arriving a day earlier then Bethan. (Her weekend is Thurs. and Fri. in Saudi Arabia) Liz and I will have lost our voices by then.
We're going to do some shopping and some sight seeing, it's all very exciting. I'm desperately trying to find some 'tidy' clothes (sounds Welsh!!)
p.s. in case you're wondering, the black and white photo above?? It was taken on April 17th, Greek Orthodox Good Friday this year. Geoff is holding a basket which Thali, our neighbour gave us, full of Easter biscuits, cakes and dyed eggs.. Of course, Jose is keeping a close eye on them..
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Monday, 4 May 2009

It's Raining, (in my heart)

Jose, from San Jose, Almeria, Spain. Love at first sight for me, when I saw him. He was a scrap of a thing that fitted on my hand.
We thought about it for seconds, would he manage living on a boat, would he miss the smells, would he learn to cock his leg on a rocking boat?
The first week we had him,he fell overboard and nearly drowned, it put him off swimming and barked like mad when we went in the sea.
He learned all about sailing and could coil lines better than us. He was seasick a couple of times but aren't we all? He used to stop eating and hold on til we took him ashore, honest!
He travelled around the Med with us visiting exciting places, though he didn't much like Mount Etna, too hot on the paws.
Friends came to stay and played games with him, very sociable and he has his own FaceBook page with more friends than Geoff.
These photograghs were taken last week on the beach, he loves chasing waves.
When Geoff went back to the UK to work I stayed here, living on the boat and Jose and I had many great adventures. He went to the beach every day and raced up and down for hours. He was my constant, my mate, he knew everything, every mood, all the tears and laughter. We would dance together, shower together and yes, I admit it, he shared my bed, he was my shadow. We both shared a dislike for the horrid plank that we should have used to get on and off the boat so he had a harness that I used as his handle, then I would lift him into the dinghy and get ashore like that. He used to sit on my shoulder, being vertically challenged, he had a better view up there.
He and Dewi managed to live together and even share the same bed. Jose was not too keen when Dewi took him for a walk, holding his lead, it was so funny, Jose barked with indignation. Geoff came back to live here, we were a little family, he was our baby we couldn't have. We would walk for miles and miles, sniffing and peeing on everything. loved his wirey hair, his chocolate coloured eyes that could read my moods.
So.... we were standing laughing and joking yesterday, trying to get the rotivator to work,outside our house. It isn't a road, not a highway,it's a deadend. We get a couple of neighbours walking past every day.
Jose and Dewi were admiring the view and waiting for a walk, Geoff turned and Jose was convulsing........
He ran to Leonie's for the antidote, poisoning is rampant here. I picked him up and ran to our neighbours, time stood still but rushed as everyone shouted instructions, he'll be ok,we got the antidote quickly, make him sick. All the time my baby is convulsing, frothing, pooing.
Then he died, in my arms, I felt him die, just like that.............
I've not stopped crying. Can't see the keys.
I held him for hours, carried him around the house, put him on the bed. The neighbours came around and told me maybe he was in a coma, he shouldn't have died, we gave him the antidote.
There's no reason why poison should have been put down by my house. All my immediate neighbours are devastated, they have cats. It's illegal to leave poison around but who cares?
If I find out who did this I will rip their heart out and see if they feel a fraction of the pain we are feeling.
Finally we took him to the garden and Geoff dug a hole under the orange tree while I cradled Jose and told him how much we're going to miss him.He's got a new bandana on and he's wrapped up in Geoff's old fleece. As we left it started raining and hasn't stopped yet. Geoff had to work this afternoon, he looks awful.
I've taken Dewi for a walk and keep expecting to see Jose running away from his poo like he's got the devil chasing him, always done it, don't know why or wiggling his bum, did I tell you he was gay? He's 5 and still a virgin. Rest easy Jose, I love you.

I'm not going to blog for a while.
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Saturday, 2 May 2009

We Can Do It, Yes We Can!!

Firstly, here's my May Day posy, pinned to the lintel above the door.
This post is for everyone who read the last post and tittered to themselves, thinking we'd gone mad, trying to clear an overgrown garden and get vegetables from it this season...
And, look, see! We cleared half the kypos in an afternoon..
We didn't find any long lost tribe, in fact we didn't find anything! I thought we'd at least see a snake or vole or spider but no, just an old tree, rotting. That's the start of our winter wood pile then...
Geoff climbed up the rickety old windmill to try and get a better view.
From May 1st, as a precaution, you are not allowed to have fires out in the countryside,(we've all seen those awful photos of the wild fires in Greece,) so we shall have to leave half the garden untouched and pile the weeds and rubbish up until the autumn.

There were loads of oranges lying beneath the tree, rather bitter though. I've just made 14 jars of marmalade so I think I'll leave well alone. We found a tree with tiny, satsuma type fruit. Some of the other trees are covered in blossom so the whole garden smells of a summery citrus perfume.
This is Houmeriakos in the foreground, it looks rather large and sprawling here but no, just narrow. The quality of photograghs is not good as Geoff was looking into the sun, but if you click the image it gets a little better.
Judith, from My Cretan Life lives in Vrissis which is the next village up above.
I'm off to look for more wool this morning. A friend came over here, bringing all her crafty things, now she's decided to sell alot of it as she has arthritis.
The weather is good most of the time, each morning starts with clear blue skies but by the evening it's clouded over.
Temperatures are good though.
Geoff has gone off to work already, the jeep safaris are picking up, which is good.
So, as long as I can pick up a spade this afternoon, you know where I'll be.......................................
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