About zefiart

Blogger, DIY-er, poodle lover, graphic designer, dog groomer, recycler, artist, wonder woman in my spare time.

athens again

I’ve been in Athens for 5 days. I’ve had a headache for 4.5 days…

Ok, not quite so bad, but it did take a couple of days to acclimatize to the noise and traffic here. Not that we don’t have those captivating attractions on Paros… but at least you can step away from that easier on an island.

I had such plans for my time here. I did manage to tick stuff off the list but I also spent more than my fair share of time watching a new series on Netflix and being a sloth. I’ve been watching Mindhunters and enjoying it. So much stuff to watch, so little time.

I’ve also driven more in Athens on this trip than I have in years. And I’ve managed to pay tolls twice on every trip I made. Me and Google Maps obviously don’t speak the same language. When she says ‘ in 100 metres lean right (or left)’ I end up exiting the toll road and have to get back on. Sheesh. Sort of defeats the purpose of being on the toll road to start with.

I brought the car over to get some work done on it and cause I needed to bring things from Paros to keep in the Athens house. I have a store room on Paros but its too damp for me to risk my paintings etc. So a full car came to Athens and a full car will return to Paros cause I have things to collect from here and things people give me…

I am a well known collector of things which could be useful.

Not that I have the room to collect things to do stuff with at the moment in my tiny house, but I figure I can give away stuff I don’t want.

I went into the center of Athens once on this trip so far to buy crafting supplies for a project I’ll share later. My cousin and I happened to go into Athens on the day of a demonstration and walked down to Syntagma Square to find it empty and barricaded by police.

I do love Athens without traffic…

It was also the day the weather changed from summer to winter. We were totally unprepared for the storm and got soaked. But despite that, a visit into the center of Athens is always fun. There are so many great shops, so many wonderful cafes, so much to explore.

We found the best button shop in the world. How cool is this tiny place filled from top to bottom with any button you might ever need? This shop has been here since the 50s and I bet they still have stock from then too!

I think I need a bulletin board at home to pin all the business cards from the shops I discovered so I know how to find them again or to be able to order stuff from them. Great sources for all kinds of things. So much fun!

Meanwhile, I’ve caught up with friends and relatives and generally have had a nice time relaxing in the family home and enjoying mom’s cooking.

I met a greek australian guy who owns a grooming shop locally and will dog sit for him over Xmas and look after his dogs. He let me wash and groom Lainee there which was nice as I haven’t yet set up a space to use dryers and stuff at home on Paros. She’s all fluffed up now and looks wonderful. Fat but wonderful…

Thats all the news on Athens for now but despite my quietness there are tons of things going on I’ll share when I can.

Stay tuned.

z

learning to live in greece

Every time you get your head up someone tries to get you down? Maybe you are a part of a Wack-a-Mole game!

That’s exactly how life feels now.

Seriously. You have no idea how complicated everything has to be here. I spend my time thinking about how I’ll make a living/survive and I’ll get an idea and get all excited about the potential and sure enough, something/someone will come along and wack me back under my rock.

Its really depressing.

I’ll give you an example. The town council advertised for a fine art teacher. Its a part time job, on contract for 9 months, they have funding for up to xxx amount of hours and would run classes depending on how many people joined up for them.

The perfect job for me I thought. I had the qualifications… so I applied. Its apparently based on a point system: a degree in Fine Art is worth 15 points. Every year in a related job is worth 1 point. Etc. I figured I had a shot…

I spent time re-writing my resume, translating it into greek, got together what they asked for: a letter of application, a photocopy of my ID card and the declarations they wanted (that I had never been fired from a council position in the past and that I wasn’t precluded from a job with the council under some code, paragraph, subsection etc. I figured I was probably ok, not having worked in Greece in a public servant capacity ever, and took them to the town council building in person.

The woman who took my envelope looked at it and said “where are your supporting documents?”.

I’m like “what supporting documents? I brought what you asked for asked for to apply for the job”.

She said, “where is your degree and your high school diploma and …(whatever)?”

I said, “this is my application. I’d be bringing that stuff (including a folio of work) to the interview…”

“Oh, there is no interview. Its a point system. Whoever has the most points gets the job.”

HUH?

You mean some creepy guy with slimy hands and dog breath, no personality and a total lack of ability to relate to people and actually teach them anything might have more points so he gets the job over someone who may have a few less points but can teach and create enthusiasm in a class or make it fun misses out?

Yep. I can see the sense in that.

Needless to say I didn’t apply for that job. Mainly cause she said take this and come back with your supporting documents or you’ll lose points. So off I went to look for my documents and after searching for over an hour I gave up. Not finding them meant I wouldn’t have enough points, but not leaving my application meant zero points anyway!

Stuff it.

And what about the post office debacle? Seems one of the postmen quit or left or ran off to join the circus or something, so mail (in parts of the island) hasn’t been delivered for almost 2 months. Okay… my house and my first delivery address of choice wasn’t in the affected areas but work is. But never once did I hear anything about mail not being delivered so I could make it a habit of going past the PO once a week to check on mail.

Let me explain Paros to you…

This is a greek island. So, not only is it in GREECE, its an island so things are doubly backward.

Up till the last few years there were no names on any streets or roads on this island. Then names began appearing cause apparently the local postman, who knew everyone, was retiring and no new postman stood a chance of learning how to deliver mail.

There are still plenty of streets with no name and buildings with no number. I have no address at my home. When I wanted a phone line put into my place I had to give them a neighbouring phone number so they could figure out where I was.

When I tell people where I live I say “You know the road that turns right to XXX Hotel? Well, you go past that but just after it there’s a road that heads up a hill on the opposite side…. thats where I live. There are a ton of building up there, but the first building is at a right angle to the road, then another is parallel to the road. That’s my building, my place is the xth unit with number x on the door.”

Putting that on an envelope imposes a challenge…

So instead I opted to have stuff delivered to my a hotel my uncles co-own, but since I was living in my grandmother’s old house and the postman knew me, he would just deliver stuff to my door. Then when I began working I asked him to bring mail to my work cause its very close to the post office. He passed that info on to his replacement but we won’t mention the parcels that got left on the doorstep of the old, unoccupied, house…

So, about a week ago two things happened simultaneously. A friend asked if I’d gotten my replacement credit card in the mail, which she’d sent ages ago. No… I hadn’t.

And I checked on the status of an ebay purchase which had never arrived. I’d given it extra time just in case. Turns out it arrived, sat in the PO for 2 weeks and got sent back to China!

When I went in to the PO to yell at people that this was unforgivable, that NO ONE notified me that my mail was in the PO, that if I hadn’t overheard my boss telling someone mail wasn’t being delivered, I wouldn’t have had any idea!!! You know what the guy behind the counter said? He said he’d seen my parcel sitting there for ages and wondered why I never went to pick it up!

(insert swear word of your choice here)!!!

There’s more… but I won’t bore you with it. Well, at least not in this post. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more in later posts…

z

jazzing up a denim jacket

You know, it occurred to me that I haven’t share any DIY/craft projects for a while… and this post has been sitting in my draft folder for quite a long time (given I started this project while living in Tasmania!) waiting for more up-to-date-though-never-finished pics.

I figured I may as well share what I’ve done to my plain denim jacket so far. I hadn’t had a denim jacket for many years and decided I needed one, but when I went looking I couldn’t find one I liked so I bought a cheap one thinking I’d jazz it up myself. The one I ended up buying was comfortable but didn’t have breast pockets which made it look really boring… ugh.

Don’t know about you, but I love the crazy stitching a la boro/sashiko/japanese style etc. I also love visible mending and generally badly stitched and mended stuff. I have a huge collection of such images in my Pinterest boards if you wanna visit.

This image is the inspiration for part 1 of the jacket makeover.

b4740f1ecc361f4751e1d65a8359b7a2

Only I went with a patchwork of fabrics, and only under the collar for that flash of colour. At least in Part 1 of the makeover…

Step 1: Distress the jacket. I used a razor blade and worked at fraying some of the edges. I had planned to run over it with the car a few times but chickened out.

Step 2: Select fabrics that compliment eachother in colours you like. I chose different red tones and patterns.

jacket1

Step 3: Start sewing them on. I did this by hand as I didn’t want the stitches to show on the top side of the collar. Plus I wanted to do it in my own very messy way. (I’m really not that good at hand sewing… or sewing in general for that matter… its part of my charm.)

jacket2

Sorry for the blurry pic.

jacket3

This is how the collar looked with the fabrics layed out and pinned to be stitched on.

Step 4: Colourful seams. I brought some needles and embroidery thread with me when I came to Greece on holiday last summer and whiled away some quiet hours inspired by this image on Pinterest:

I loved the different colours and thought they’d make the jacket stand out a bit… and turns out I was neater with the stitching than I meant to be.

Funny story actually… I have a natural tendency towards neatness and have real difficulty with randomness. I worked hard to loosen up my art for instance – not using glasses so I couldn’t focus on details, using my whole hand and pastels instead of coloured pencils and my face an inch from the page, forcing myself to go for expression rather than each individual hair on a dog’s head, etc.

Reversely, my sewing sucks. No matter how hard I tried for years to make my stitches neat and even, I just can’t do it. Yet when I want to be messy and random I end up with something that looks neat. How on earth does that happen?

Ok so I couldn’t find a photo of the jacket with just the coloured edging on the seams, so you a step 5 image…

Step 5: Embroidery… I began sewing random patterns and trying really hard to do messy embroidery. My french knots are pretty bad actually.

This is how the jacket looks currently, but its a work in progress. The blank area on the right side needs more french knots, kind of scattering out. The back yolk needs a whole lotta embroidery. And I’m considering something big on the back…

By the end of it I should know how to do any stitch you care to name, have made up some of my own, and have a jacket I need a forklift to put on.

Its real purty though, ain’t it?

z

slowly does it

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It seems so long since I got my Ikea bookcase and thought about white washing it (or liming it or whatever you want to call it). I actually started on it about 3 weeks ago thinking “great, one evening to lime the entire bookcase, two to varnish, done in 3 days!”

Three weeks ago and this is all I’d done:

I’m ashamed of myself. Where is the Zefi I used to know? The one who works like a machine and gets things done? It seems she has some bad days at work and comes home to sit in front of Netflix all night eating chocolate… Not good. Especially after all the hard work I put in last year in Australia to lose weight and get fit…

Well, I finally got off my butt and did some painting the other day. Of course it went a whole lot faster once I pulled the whole thing apart to paint it… turns out shortcuts are longcuts… painting the bookcase without taking it apart was a stupid move.

I still have to do it in sections, but now I have the whole first section (ie half the bookcase) painted. I still need to varnish the bits I painted before I can put it back together and start on the next half. I can’t do it all at once cause I dont have the space. Its way too windy to varnish outside cause things will get stuck in the varnish. Liming was quick and I did that outside since I can sand any dead insects off anyway. Not that I need to… it dries so fast.

I wanted the wood grain to show through so I just used some white acrylic paint I found in the cabinet when I bought my place, watered it down and used a kitchen sponge to apply the paint, rubbing it in and spreading it over the timber. I found I needed two coats to achieve the look I wanted… but I’m halfway there on the first half now.

And then I hit a road bump. A big one.

Once I was ready to move onto part 2 of the first half of the bookcase (varnishing) I went and bought some varnish. I went to my favourite hardware store (favourite cause its owned and run by a woman) and selected the varnish I thought I needed – it was water based, in gloss (a new thing for me! I’ve always done satin before) and said protection and varnish on it in Greek and English… Then along came the MAN who works there and said, no, this is what you need. I didn’t even read the label well – mainly cause 1. it was all in greek and 2. I couldn’t see the fine print without my glasses.

I did what I knew better than to do… I just got what someone recommended like some newbie.

In fact, I feel like an ignorant newbie a lot here cause I don’t know the words for things in greek and the greek writing on packaging sometimes stumps me. You’ll see me at hardware stores going ‘buzz buzz’ to indicate a drill, doing little spirals in the air to indicate drill bits, etc…

So I got home during my break (split shift day yesterday) and got to work sanding everything. Then I dusted it all off and started painting on the varnish…

It had a bit of a smell. It was sticky on my fingers. It was quite thick. I had a quick read of the instructions, not really letting them sink in. I just worked away thinking that one liter of the stuff wouldn’t be enough – but they don’t sell it in bigger sizes…

I was just about to start on the shelves when I decided to re-read the instructions just to be on the safe side. Something just didn’t feel right…

Yep. It was oil based, not water based. A low odour oil based product. It was the five hour drying time that really woke me up. But the worldwide icon for dummies on how to clean up wasn’t on the tin, and the greek word for turps was nowhere to be seen. They recommended ‘brush cleaner’ for cleanup… I was thinking it was some kind of SOAP.

Sigh.

I was pretty annoyed at myself for being such an idiot and not realising soon as I opened the tin…

By the time I stopped I’d done three uprights and the only shelves I didnt remove – the ones that hold the drawers cause they are a pain to do cause they have those little lugs that hold them in place. I’m not that lazy, but when I removed them last time I ended up breaking one shelf end bracket thingy… I didnt want to risk making it worse.

Meanwhile I hated the look… the varnish went on dark, a yellowish tinge to it even though its clear varnish. It didnt seem as clear as the polyurethane I used on stuff in Australia. I was thinking that I’d get water based varnish to finish the bookcase and hope that the difference isn’t really visible.

Last night I had to sleep with the bedroom door closed cause low odour or not, it bothered me. But the good news is that this morning I liked the way it looked and felt. It dried lighter than it went on and I’m loving the gloss finish.

So now I’ve started I just gotta keep the momentum going.

Mind you, you’d think that would be easy… I can’t really be moved in till the bookcase is finished cause I can’t bring my stuff out of storage till I can put things where I want them. So I gotta get it done. I will get it done.

Just keep me away from Netflix and chocolate…

z

a pinterest win – removing wine labels

While I’m on the subject of Pinterest and things that work (or not), thought I’d share one trick that actually works.

See, I bought some solar powered cork fairy lights off ebay cause I was picturing myself sitting on my patio, surrounded by fairy light filled wine bottles, having a drink while cuddling my poodle… So I began collecting white wine bottles.

Of course, removing the labels is not easy… So I did what every self respecting crafty person does: I looked it up on Pinterest to see if I could find an easy, fail proof way to do it.

I found tons of links. Some I knew didn’t work, but one link suggested something I hadn’t tried – a combination of methods in fact: hot water, vinegar and bicarb soda for the paper label, then peanut butter for the gooey glue residue.

Greek peanut butter… crunchy too! I think you’re meant to use smooth, but hey, you use what you have!

I admit. I was skeptical at first… I mean, I’d heard of it before… but peanut butter to remove sticky gunky stuff?

Yet it works!

So, after spending years of my life trying to remove labels by soaking them in boiling water (or running them through the dishwasher) then trying steel wool and eucalyptus oil or lemon oil or anything I could think of to remove the sticky goop, I have a method that works every time!

Its so easy. I ran hot hot water into the sink. I added 1/2 a cup of vinegar and 2-3 tbs of bicarb, watched it fizz a bit then added the bottles making sure to sink them. I let them soak overnight.

Next morning I used a butter knife to scrape off the labels. They came off really easy. Leaving behind the obligatory gloop.

Then comes the peanut butter. Using the same butter knife, I spread the peanut butter over the goopy areas and let the bottles sit on the sink while I was at work (or overnight).

After that, a paper towel will wipe off the peanut butter AND the glue residue. A good wash and you have sparkling clean, glue, goo and peanut butter free bottles!

Yippee!

On the down side, not all my fairy lights work, and some only work when they feel like it. The wind blows the bottles over so I can’t keep them on the table on my patio till I fill them with small stones to keep them standing… But hey, I’ll sort it out. At least I have label free bottles now!

z

bowls… a pinterest almost fail

Have you ever surfed Pinterest and thought “I want to do that!”… Go on. You know you have!

Well I’ve always looked at those doodle mugs and bowls, made using sharpies and a hot oven, and lusted after them. So last night I decided it was time to try it. I had my sharpie, some bowls and Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

I’ve always doodled lines and curls, so I decided to follow some of the examples I saw on Pinterest that I liked, combining some of my own elements and some I saw on other’s projects.

The good: It was easy to do. The sharpie glides on easily, its really pleasant to draw on the ceramic surface.

The bad: baking them discoloured areas of the bowls and trying to get the brown bits off rubbed off the drawing too.

I wasn’t overly fussed about perfection, I wanted them to look handsketched and imperfect. I achieved that….

What I learned: Probably best to use new bowls/mugs etc. The bowls I used had been used, mainly for breakfast cereal, and they discoloured in areas I suspect there were traces of milk left. A bit around the inner rim, a bit on the side where it might have dribbled…

I did what the Pinterest links suggested: I baked them in a high oven for 1 hour then let them cool before removing them.

And before you ask, YES, I do wash my dishes… they LOOKED clean… Maybe I should have wiped them over with pure alcohol before drawing on them… something to try next time.

The tiny bowl which had had olives in it did not discolour… interesting…

I’m not really happy about the rubbed off and discoloured bits… Still, they look pretty on my little kitchen shelf. I just wouldn’t recommend doing this on a plate which will need to be scrubbed to clean, I don’t think the drawings will last well enough on those.

I have 2 more of the white bowls to do, I’ll try alcohol on them and see if it makes a difference.

Another link suggested using a clear varnish as an alternative to baking. I might give that a try too… I was just concerned about putting food in a bowl I’d sprayed with varnish… but its the inside you put the food in… as long as the varnish doesn’t go yellow with time that might be an option to try later on.

Note: make sure you get all residue of labels off the bottom. That tends to burn and create more brown stains around the bottom of the bowl…

suck it up sunshine

I miss having a garden.

A yard.

A workshop.

But enough about what I don’t have. Lets concentrate on what I do… I have a carmine bougainvillea which I’m looking forward to enjoying once it grows up my back wall and flowers. (The one above is not mine but I have my eye on one I would like to take a cutting off which is paler pink and white…)

I have some bright pink flowers in pots and some succulents growing in a variety of containers not originally intended for plants. Of course.

I have a small courtyard at the back where I will create a little relaxing/reading nook one day. And to hang my washing. And to make things and use power tools…

I have a patio out front with a sea view and eucalyptus trees blocking most of the view. But that’s ok cause I love eucalyptus trees. They remind me of home… My real home. Or my other home.

Being from two countries really sucks. I’ve always felt Australia was my real home, but who am I kidding? I’m greeker than I am Australian, but its that Australia has always been where I chose to live. Till recently.

Anyway, adjusting to life in Greece hasn’t been easy. I have issues with so much here, from the way people behave, the way they drive, the way they manage their environment, the tax system, etc etc. But I chose to come here to live so I have to suck it up and move on.

Adjusting to living in a single bedroom unit has been hard too. I love my little home but its not easy going from having 4 bedrooms, a huge living room, spacious kitchen, a yard, paddocks, and more outbuildings than you can poke a stick at to a little unit where I can literally see everything I own at one glance.

I mean I’ve always loved the idea of living in a one open space type of place, but in my fantasies the place was a warehouse, not a small unit!

Yesterday mom said a friend of hers was giving away a beautiful old wardrobe. Do I want it? Hell yeah, I want it. I want to refinish it and sell it… but where would I do that exactly?

sigh.

I know I’ll sort my life out eventually, I know it takes time to settle into a place and find my niche (my space, my work). It just gets me down at times… I had just gotten my life in Australia to a nice place: working from home doing something I love (grooming dogs), with the space to work on any project I got into my head, my radio show, friends to go out dancing with, a gym I loved and actually wanted to attend…

Figures I’d want to change it all just when I got it right. Its the same principle as meeting a dreamy guy the day before you move interstate…

I love change and starting over, but doing it all at once can be as exhausting as it is exciting.

z

social commentary and a lamp

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I’m currently reading a book where the main character made a comment about manners… like how it was so important for a man to treat a woman like she was a precious gem… holding doors open, being polite, buying flowers, etc. But, she said, his mama would have taught him all that…

It struck me as funny in a sad “that’s how it might be in the south (of the USA) but this is Greece” way…

The difference being that southern mothers do/did instill in their sons a code of chivalrous behavior towards women. By contrast, all most greek mothers seem to do is spoil their sons and raise entitled spoilt brats who expect some woman to treat them like their mother did…

Okay… not all greek mothers are like that, nor all greek men.

Just the majority.

And I’m allowed to ‘greek-bash’ cause I’m greek.

So there.

It reminded me of a story mom told me. She said that, when we first moved back to Greece eons ago, my father would help her wash the clothes when we were on Paros. Back then there was no running water to the house (let alone a washing machine!) so washing was done by hand at the well on the side of a hill. In full view of the entire countryside. Buckets of water would be poured into wash tubs in the morning and left in the sun to heat up so clothes could be washed in warm water in the afternoon. Buckets of cold water would be brought up to rinse them and they would be hung on the dry stone walks to dry. Dad always helped mom. It was a hard job – ever washed sheets or towels by hand? Even with running water you didn’t have to pull up from a well yourself?

Anyway, dad’s mother was shocked. And embarrassed. What would people think – my mom had dad doing the washing! It was a disgrace.

Anyway, enough about greek men and how we spent years ‘showering’ by bucket in our bathers in full view of the neighbours…

I wanted to share a small project of mine. I saw a floor lamp advertised on the local buy/swap/sell Facebook page and jumped at it. The shade was broken but the base was sturdy and since when has a broken thing ever stopped me before?

Photo of the lamp shade, broken.

Same photo panned out a bit so you can see Lainee overseeing the project. Just goes to show how effective cropping can be. LOL

Anyway, I collected the lamp and thought about how I could fix it, change the shade etc. There were tons of possibilities but the easiest was to simply mend the existing shade and use rope to update it. I had the rope after all… and the hot glue…

So that’s what I did. I used a wide old ribbon to reconnect the shade to the wire support and make it secure. Then I simply hot glued the rope to the shade. Instant update. Instant gratification. New lamp for reading or crafting on the couch.

Excellent way to spend an afternoon.

z

no sew peg bag

As usual, here I am, posting days, weeks, after the last time I posted, when I’m sure I said something along the lines of ‘stay tuned, more coming soon…’

Seems I’ve already been in Greece too long. Soon is relative… it can mean in an hour or a few days or next year.

Its kind of like the pedestrian crossings here in Greece – they’re suggestions, not actual rules. My brother described it best once when he said that the minster of transport saw them in a movie once and thought they’d look good in Greece too. Decorative only. Drivers need not actually stop to let you cross.

Further proof that I’ve been here too long already is the way I park these days: any spot that my car will fit is a good spot to park. And my car is pretty small… Though I do draw the line at parking in the middle of a parking lot, on the end of a line of parked cars, or at an angle on a corner. Some lines are just too hard to cross when you’ve lived by the rules of a civilized country most of your life.

ANYWAY… thought I’d share a recent project…

I’ve made a few peg bags in my time and to be honest, I’m not the best at actually using them. I am one of those women my mother whispers about, who leave pegs on the line to rot in the sun… shock/horror!

Still, when I saw this tiny jean jacket while visiting op shops in Holland in May I just had to have it. I knew it would make the best peg bag.

So while I was in a mood to actually DO stuff (trust me, the mood and the energy rarely hit at the same time these days), I thought I’d get out the sewing machine and get to it.

Only the jacket had studs and things which would make sewing really hard… I could just see broken machine needles… and sewing it by hand was out of the question due to the hardness of the denim.

Out came the trusty hot glue gun again (ok… so I hadn’t put it away from fixing the lamp yet. Don’t judge me.)

All I did was glue the bottom of the jacket to create a bag. Done. How easy was that?

Of course I had planned to put it on a hanger of some kind (a piece of driftwood with a wire hook so I can slide it along the clothes line…) but for now I’m happy with it just pegged in place.

How cute is that?

Meanwhile life moves along at the regular pace… between work, home and being a social butterfly I find I have little time to get things done. I have a ton of projects on the go or waiting to be started (or on a list of things to do one day). I do a bit here and there but never seem to get stuck into anything.

I started liming the bookcase white… thought “Easy. Do it in 3 days. Lime it all in one day… two days to give it two coats of varnish. Laughing.”

That was over a week ago. The contents of the bookcase are still sitting on the coffee table, kitchen bench and any other free surface in the living room/kitchen/dining room… The paint is on the bench in a container with a lid. The bookcase is only 1/3 painted…

What do they say about making plans and someone up there laughing? sigh…

z

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plugging along. kind of.

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Well, I enjoyed a clean home for about a week. I cleaned and tidied after finishing work on Part 1 of the bookcase so I could I invite mom and her sisters over for a drink to see my new house now that I actually live in it (they saw it before I moved in to give me their approval of course).

I tried to kill two birds with one stone (ie one clean house, more than one visit – obligations doncha know) but I failed.

So be it. Mess wins.

A couple of days ago I pulled apart the second half of the bookcase and began to the process of white washing, aka known as Part 2 of the bookcase saga.

I say ‘began’ cause that’s all I’ve done.

My house now looks like a store room/workshop… again.

There are shelves on every flat surface with only the first coat of paint on them. I need one more white coat, then 2 of the varnish, so I have some work ahead of me. Not that it takes a long time to do. The layers dry quickly and if I had time at home* I would get it all done in a day. But I don’t have a day till my next day off. In a few days. Maybe.

Then I won’t have a day off for more than a week as the other girl who works in the office is going away…

Have I mentioned how tired I am?

*Time. That elusive thing… Wish I had more of it. And more energy to use the time I do have at home constructively and not just lying around sleepily groaning about how tired I am. And how sore my back is. Don’t ask. I have no idea what I did to it…

Mind you, the weather has been spectacular and its the end of summer so I find it hard to miss beach days doing things like working on my home or other projects. It just doesn’t feel right, knowing that soon enough the weather will turn again and I wont want to go to the beach and can dedicate all the time I want to HOME.

Still… I haven’t been entirely useless.

I took down the sail from the back courtyard. It needs a wash before I can put it away for winter cause it rained red dirt and its filthy. I had to buy a new tap adapter thingy cause the one I had broke so I couldn’t use the hose…

I bought hinges to make a keyboard shelf for the bookcase and screws to put in the bracket over the TV where I cut the bookcase to fit it. Then I can put the bookcase together again. After I finish painting it of course…

The antique couch is still sitting out the back wrapped in cling film, waiting for another coat of termite treatment before I can begin working on it… but before I do anything on that I want to be totally moved in… ie bring my stuff from storage…

Which means finishing the bookcase.

You know how getting one thing done requires a lot of steps beforehand, and leads to a hundred more after?

I feel like a mouse on a wheel…

The removalists who brought my stuff from Athens don’t do local deliveries so I either have to get someone else to do it ** or bite the bullet and try to do as much as I can on my own in my little car.

In order to get things in my little car I need to get the little knob thingies in the car fixed (they broke off pretty much soon as I bought the car) so I can drop the back seats…

I bought a trolley so I can move stuff without lifting it. I’ll need it not only to get stuff to my house, but also to get stuff into my basement storage unit.

** It would be great to be able to just afford to hire people and buy things, wouldn’t it? But when you work for the equivalent of an over-priced coffee an hour, you have to rethink things.

Like did I need a hand trolley? Yes I certainly did. Two days pay.

Do I need phone and internet? Yes, I do. Two days pay per month.

Ate out the other night… One day’s pay.

Had brunch out this morning: half a day’s pay.

I like those sandals… do I want to work for over 2 days to buy them? I think not baby puppy.

Its rather depressing that life is so expensive here yet wages are so low. I really don’t know how people manage, I really don’t. And instead of making it easier for people, encouraging small business which provides jobs and brings money back into the community and economy, the government thinks the solution is more taxes – driving businesses to bankruptcy and reducing people’s disposable income…

What a joke.

But I’m not qualified to discuss such matters and this isn’t a blog on the state of Greece’s economy or lack thereof. If you want to know more about all that find someone else to tell you. I can only tell you things that affect my life.

At least I can still afford chocolate.

z