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

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

plugging along. kind of.

1

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

the pitter patter of little feet

This is Lainee. Her name is actually Lady but I’ve always liked the name Lainee and its so close to Lady… New life, new name, you know?

Lainee was given to me by a friend in Holland. I so missed having a poodle in my life and I miss Montana and Romeo so much… Little Lainee is helping me fill that gap.

She’s the sweetest little girl. 10 years old and so quiet and accepting on the huge changes in her life. Over the last two days she’s left the only home she’s known, been on busses, trams, trains, an airplane and now a ferry.

Today she’ll be in the second home since I got her, first mom’s house in Athens, next the house I’m staying in on Paros, and later (once I’m actually in the house I’m buying) she’ll move yet again.

In a weird way, Lainee is so much like my heart dog, Billybear. Its uncanny how much she looks like him. Same size, same colour even though she’s apricot (or was) and Billy was silver beige with very dark brown pigment.

I love having her, but its funny how quickly you get unused to having a dog. Or at least not having a yard when you have a dog. All the walks I have to take so she can pee or poop. We still haven’t worked out our routines and I don’t yet speak her language so I’m not sure what she’s trying to tell me a lot of the time. However when she grabs her lead I figure she needs to go out!

The quick trip to Holland was great. I have always loved Holland and every time I go there I feel like I could so easily live there.

Lainee’s neighbours included a miniature horse.

Have you ever seen a black and white swan? How beautiful.

Brunch in Amsterdam: cinnamon pancake with raisins and banana. Yum.

So… about the house… when will I move in you might ask… Everyone does. No one knows. Not even God at this stage. I keep following up, asking my lawyer and the agent, but apparently there is still paperwork to find, sort and submit. Really… You have no idea how not organised things are in Greece.

You know how things work in Australia? Well, here is nothing like that! In Australia I’d make an offer on a place with a written contract, the sellers would haggle, we’d settle on a price, I’d put down a deposit which would be kept in trust, we’d have a conditional contract with a time limit on the various aspects included in the contract (ie finance, building inspection, whatever) and once those deadlines were reached it would be unconditional and I’d have a settlement date I would work towards.

Here its done without a written offer or contract, without the conditions, without a settlement date. You basically say you want to buy a place then leave it in the hands of the universe. If I hadn’t pushed to put a deposit on it I would still not be sure the sale is going through.

Anyway, I’m so eager to get into my own place. To start nesting as it were. I’ve already bought some stuff for the new place, already raided mom’s cupboards for stuff I’ll need (she has an entire house of things I can take she says). I’ve filled bags with some pots and pans, some mugs, loads of NEW Tupperware she bought in the 70s… and cutlery. So I’m taking a few things to save myself some money while stocking up the new place.

When I get into the new place…

Cause as I said, NO ONE knows when I’ll get in there.

At least things are moving. I have a place to stay for now. I have a job. A car. And a poodle. All I need now is a home and that’s on its way…

z

the sirocco


Trying to catch up on the blog, I thought I’d mention the sirocco that hit the island of Paros about a week ago. Paros almost got blown all the way to Thessalonki. Seriously. It was one vicious wind, worse than it was even in winter. Not cold. Just incredibly windy.

Trees came down all over the place, leaves and broken twigs filled the small cobblestoned streets, anything that wasn’t tied down was lost. I found clothing around the neighbourhood, blown off clothes lines. My uncle lost the eski off his verandah – it was found in two pieces in parts of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Like anything, its a matter of perspective.

To me it was noisy and annoying, but no big deal. The window in the 2nd bedroom blew open and I couldn’t get it shut, but hey, no worries. I fixed it the next day. The bigger deal was the alarm or phone that rang every 5-10 minutes in a neighbouring house all night long. Timed perfectly so that you couldn’t get to sleep cause you were waiting for the next ring, then just as you were slipping off it would ring again. Grrr.

But to other people, the sirocco was a lot more trouble.

To my uncle Taki it meant a whole lot of work. He complained that all day he was running around with a screw driver in his hand, fixing things which the wind had blown open, blown apart or blown away.

To my uncle George it was a disaster. The wind had broken his apricot tree and he’d lost all his tomato plants.

Everyone has a different perspective.

I’m glad those winds don’t happen often but its ok. I’m used to strong winds. I lived in Tasmania where sometimes buildings would lose their roof.

z

ps… still haven’t met my toy poodle yet…

life is full of adventures

Its been an action packed weeks since I last posted. First there was the Easter disaster we managed to come out of ‘almost’ unscathed…

Then there was a whole lot of other things which just happened…

Here’s a small taste of how the entire last week went:

One day I had a plan – I was meeting my mom at 5pm to take her and the 3 aunts (her sisters, aunts # 1-3) to visit another aunt (a sister in law, aunt #4).

(I have a build-up of elderly aunts here…)

Anyway, I set off to meet mom, the 3 aunts and another aunt (another sister in law, aunt #5) is at the bottom of my stairs, limping… She’d fallen down some stairs and needed a lift to the health centre. Please can I take her? Sure, but I have to go get the car (too far for her to limp) and take mom and aunts 1-3 (full car) to aunt 4, but I’d return to get her. Only ‘don’t tell my mom, she’ll worry’. Fine.

Off I go, pick up the mom and aunts 1-3, drop them off at the aunt 4, amidst the flurry of hellos I zip off ‘on an errand, be right back!’ and dash back to pick up aunt 5. Take her to the health centre. Wait a while. She gets bandaged up, nothing broken, rest etc etc. Take her back home. Rush back to where I’d left mom and aunts 1-3 with aunt 4.

Ah. Life is full of little adventures, isn’t it?

Then there was the whole ‘get the dog spayed’ adventure.

See, my uncle (and entire family) has fallen in love with a little mutt which has chosen them to be her family. She’s the sweetest little thing, big body, tiny legs… Anyway, she was in season and I suggested (urged, convinced) them to get her spayed for her own good as well as for the good of my own mental health. I’ve become the defacto keeper of the dog’s health, being, as I am, the family dog expert.

So I booked her in and me and my cousin Peter took her to the vet and waited to pick her up. Took in a frightened little girl, took home a sleepy frightened little girl. She’s fine now btw… she’s fine when the cone of shame is off, but when its on she’s a pitiful bundle of fear. Poor little thing. Still, better than puppies we’d have to find homes for!

While waiting to pick her up my aunt called (another aunt, lets call her #6) to see how she was. A worried mother, you know. Peter said ‘Listen theia (aunt in greek), we went in to pick her up but they have another little girl dog there that’s much prettier. We’re thinking of bringing her back with us instead’…

He’s a cruel man that cousin of mine!

Then there was the Two Lunch day.

Let me explain… Having a ton of elderly aunts on the island means that I have a ton of people I ‘should’ vist. Most years I come to Paros I don’t visit. Who has the time? I mean they’re like mom’s second cousins or her third cousin’s daughters sister in law or something obscure that, frankly, means nothing to me. I won’t even recognise most of them if I see then on the street. Yet mom (and they) expect me to visit and not just once…

So, now I’m living on Paros I thought it only fair to drop in and visit this one particular aunt (#7) I haven’t seen in over 15 years. Now of course she calls me to invite me for lunch or just to stop in for a coffee. Which is understandable. But its like just another obligation in an already busy life, right?

Well, this aunt invited me over for lunch on Saturday. I put it in my calendar and, now I’m not grooming full time and don’t live by my calendar, I promplty forgot about it. Come Saturday I went and picked up a friend to visit the Tao Centre for their clothing swap meet (great idea, take in things you no longer want or need and pick up something new someone else no longer needs. Great recycling). We went, then sat to have some lunch – green curry, YUM.

And the phone rings. My aunt is like ‘where are you? we’re waiting.’

Oh crap!

Two lunches that day.

Now I’m in Hollad. I just love Holland. It was always a place I wanted to live in but never really made the committment to do it. It was always Australia (for my heart) and Greece (for family).

I’m in Holland to visit my bestest friend Inge and her family and to pick up a toy poodle. Yay! I’ll no longer be poodle free!!! I so miss having a snuggle buddy of my own. More on that later!

z

things took a nasty turn

Yesterday was a day of adventure.

First mom came by work and said I just HAD to go to church to see the taking down of Jesus off the cross. So I got off work early to go cause it was happening at 12pm according to mom and the church Easter program.

People worshiping at the cross.

I stood in the church for well over an hour listening to the chanting (ok, mostly nice), people watching, thinking about things I should not be thinking about in church, breathing in someone’s stinky breath and/or farts (not sure which was worse, actual farts or farty breath)… I swear. I believe the priests print out a schedule and then delay delay delay cause they enjoy having a full church. Either that or they all just have Greek timing…

And when they finally took Jesus off the cross it was a huge anti-climax. I filmed it. It took 23 seconds. One priest climbed on the ladder and unscrewed the bolts holding the figure of Jesus on the cross, another stood below with a sheet, the first guy lowered him while the second guy threw the sheet over him and carried him away…

Wow. I waited over an hour for that…

Apparently it was another hour before they brought Jesus out and placed him in the Epitaphio which they then walk around town at night.

Obviously I didn’t stick around for that bit. I went home for a nap, knowing I’d be out for the Epitaphio procession at 12am.

Yes, you can tell I’m not overly religious. I’m greek orthodox as all greeks are. Born into it, christened into it. But going to church is pretty much something I only do at Easter, rarely at Christmas plus the occasional wedding, christening or funeral.

Yet greek Easter is something special for me. Probably cause the rituals are so lovely, and because we always spent Easter on Paros when I was growing up and its really beautiful here. I’ve tried attending Easter celebrations other places but its never as good as on Paros.

It could also be cause for 2 years I joined the choir and got to know the hymns sung at the procession of the Epitaphio on Good Friday. I was so looking forward to it. Its been many years since I was on Paros for the Epitaphio.

So all was going well last night till we (Zefi, her daughter Marouso and niece Eleni) and I decided we’d go to Marpissa to see the Epitaphio there first cause they also do re-enactments, living art, something I’d never seen.

I must explain here that different regions or villages have different times for their Epitaphio. Marpissa is at 10.30, Prodromos at 10 and Parkia at 12. We thought we could do both Marpissa and Parikia.

Marpissa and Prodromos are 2 small villages on a mountain top on Paros, right next to each other. We got confused in all the traffic and parked in Prodromos (which also does living art) but decided to stick to the original plan and go to Marpissa. So we walked.

Only about 1.4 klm but it felt like a lot more…

Once there, we joined the throng, we didn’t even see the Epitaphio let alone hear the chanting… If there was any! It was not much fun.

The resurrection of Lazarus.

We managed to see 3 of the tableaus before Marouso tripped and sprained her ankle. That was the end for us. We put her in a taxi with some others and got them to drop her at the car while we walked back.

Palm Sunday

Mary Magdalene.

The plan was a good one. Take her to the medical center, which is right next to the church of Panagia where the best Epitaphio in the world is. It wasn’t till I started searching to show you what I mean about what is so special about Good Friday on Paros, that I realised not all Epitaphios have a choir singing hymns… The best example I could find was this and this, not exactly the same…

I was so looking forward to it, it had been millions of years since my last easter on Paros.

We piled into the car and about 1klm out of the village I hit what I thought was an average pothole (they have a magnetic force field I am powerless to resist). Turns out it was a mile deep crater with edges like shark teeth that could have swallowed an entire Volkswagon combi van…

I blew out both tyres on the right hand side of the car.

Flat. Pancakes. The car was sitting on its rims.

Who has 2 spares?

I didn’t have a warning triangle. I didn’t even have my paperwork in the car cause I’d taken it to work yesterday thinking I should have a photocopy of it all for home just in case, then changed bags and left it at home along with my drivers license.

And we were on a hill, on a curve. And greeks drive like maniacs.

So we did the best we could. We took turns signalling oncoming traffic using our mobiles and calling anyone and everyone who might have advice on what to do. I didn’t know if I was covered for roadside assistance with my temporary insurance, we didn’t know if there was roadside assistance on Paros, I know nothing Jon Snow.

I think over 100 cars went past. Most slowed as we signaled. I swear some either ignored us or sped up at the lunatics waving flashlights in the dark. I was abused by one idiot for not putting out a warning triangle… like “yeah moron, what do you think the waving of mobiles is all about??? We just like playing chicken with traffic on greek mountainsides?”

Only 3 cars stopped to offer help.

Wow.

If I was in Tasmania (I’d have called roadside assistance for one thing) but I’d have had almost everyone stop to give me a hand.

In the end the fire brigade turned up cause the message they got was that we were in a ditch and had one person with a broken ankle… one of the guys was royally pissed off and stormed off in disgust when it turned we weren’t lying in pools of blood.

Two of the other guys stopped traffic and rolled the car to a little spot on the side of the road where we left it and got a ride back to town.

Oh, and the police called. Turns out they got the same message. They wanted to know if we were hurt. They ran the license plate and said the car was still registered in the previous owners name. What fun. Now I have to chase that up too. That was meant to have been done the by the day I picked up the car weeks ago!!!

Upshot? I didn’t get to see one single Epitaphio.

Happy Easter. Hopefully the Anastasi tonight will be uneventful.

I won’t be driving anywhere!

z

its true. i’m moving

I haven’t been on the blog for ages. Some of you may have noticed. For those that didn’t, not to worry. You didn’t miss much. Mainly cause I didn’t post for months.

Well, I’m back. At least I’m sort of back. In a whole new direction.

While I was in Greece I realised that my heart was on Paros, with my mom and my family. I missed them and I missed Paros. I’d always dreamed of living on Paros and now I’m ready to make it a reality.

I’d always planned to retire on Paros, but I realised that I really didn’t want to wait that long. I want to spend quality time with my mom and more time with family. I chose to live far from my family from the age of 23… its time to be back with them.

I knew I was in trouble when I didn’t hate Athens the way I usually do…

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When I got back from Greece I had to make some really hard decisions, have some really hard conversations with Wayne, and look into my heart and make the decision which would be best for me.

Its been a really stressful and difficult time, hence the blog silence. I just didn’t know what to write. Things were confusing and I couldn’t plan anything since every single move depended on something else to fall into place first. It was like the goalposts were constantly being moved. Exhausting. Depressing.

Yet also exciting.

I love Paros. My heart has been there for years. Paros IS Greece to me… to all of us in our family. So the prospect of living there full time is like a dream come true.

Most of my family and friends in Athens have their doubts… Paros? In winter? There’s nothing to do there! You’ll be bored and lonely!

Ha. They obviously haven’t lived in the country in Tasmania…

I look forward to spending a few quiet months ‘finding myself’… making friends, reconnecting with my creative side… living quietly and just being. I believe its the right decision for me at this stage of my life. A new life.

Of course it won’t be easy. I need to earn a living so I’ll have to find a job. I’ll do anything till I find my place.

Then there are the heartbreaking bits to moving. Mom doesn’t want me to take a dog over. Montana is too old for such a trip but I had planned to take Romeo – my living, breathing, poodle security blanket. My support. My very own family.

But with mom not wanting a dog in her house, with me not having my own place (yet) and no job (yet) and not knowing where I’ll be for the next few months… I had to concede that she has a point. It will be better for the dogs to find a new home in Australia and not have to face change after change.

I’m heartbroken. I never planned to be without my dogs…

Ok. Well. I’m trying very hard to think positive right now.

We sold our house. That in itself was a horrible experience. It was quick, but it wasn’t without a ton of stress. The buyers from hell. That’s all I have to say about that. But its done now. And we have a settlement date of November 16.

30 days.

Can you say RUSH?

Can you say exhausted?

I’ve been photographing and listing stuff for sale for weeks but now I’m stepping it up a notch. Or four. I’m having a huge garage sale on the weekend (part of the garage sale trail) and of COURSE today its been thundering and pelting down with rain.

Always happens. I’m a weather system all of my own. Need rain? I’ll move there and bring it with me. All I need to do is plan an outdoor activity. Guaranteed to bucket down.

So… I have 4 weeks to pack up, sell up, clean up and move out.

I’m getting there but there’s still so much to do.

The plan is to move out of here, find a home for my babies (the poodles!), go to Melbourne for a while, visit family and friends in Canberra, maybe even Sydney, sell the car, go to Greece.

You know what plans are, don’t you? Those things we make which we have to change again and again.

I’ve moved back and forth from Greece to Australia and back many times but it never seemed so hard before. Maybe its cause this time I have my own home and years of accumulated possessions to sort through. The last times I’d been a student or living in rentals so never had so much.

Whatever.

Its happening.

Stay tuned for the new adventure.

z

 

beautiful decay

Its been a while since I last posted. I’m back home in Tasmania, back at work (flat out) and up to my elbows in chores to do… There really is no rest for the wicked – I must have been very naughty in a previous life!

So while I catch you up on everything that’s happening in a suitably vague way, I’ll share these photos I took on my last day on Paros.

As part of the Paros Festival there was the opportunity to visit a few of the old mansions in Parikia. Absolutely gorgeous… yet falling apart from lack of maintenance for most of them.

You know how much I love old places and old things.

You’ll notice a lot of window shots. There’s something extremely beautiful in these old windows with their damaged timber, chipped paint and the sunlight streaming through.

Not to mention the floorboards… I’d adore those floorboards in my home…

Even the old concrete sink. A bit more shallow than anything we’re used to these days, but so big and wide.

So, what’s been happening in my life?

Well, its cold… Got back from 30 plus degrees on Paros to single digits in Tasmania. A bit of a shock to system.

Meanwhile I’m mourning my tan, which is fading fast. By the time the weather is warm enough here to expose flesh I’ll be pastey white again. Sigh.

The dogs are all well and happy to see me. The horses, turkeys, ducks and chooks don’t care if I’m here or not, as long as they get fed.

Ungrateful sods…

Work has been flat out. Grooming daily. Of course that means so much less time to do housework and craft projects.

I miss the crafting.

Not so much the house cleaning…

Its good to be back home though. There’s nothing like being in your own space, surrounded by your own stuff and poodles!

Though I would seriously love some free time to create.

No worries. It’ll happen… one day I’ll start something and then I’ll start another thing and before you know it I’ll be sharing new projects!

z

the view of paradise

There is no place in the world where I love the view as much as from the back porch of my uncle’s house at Souvlia – a little hill that juts out into the water at the entrance to the bay of Parikia on Paros.

I always dreamed that one day I’d be able to have this view every day of my life. Its so peaceful, the cicadas, the sounds of the ferries coming and going from the port are dulled by the sea and sun. No wonder I sleep so well here.

When we were kids we used to see Souvlia as a type of prison. Its 3klm from the town of Parikia and there was nothing for tweenies and teens to do up here. We all wanted to be where the action was – the bars and clubs and boys!

Instead we felt we were exiled on this lonely little hill. Sure, we could swim in the bay below and we did that pretty much all day. But at night we wanted excitement and a social life.

Now all I really want is to sit here and enjoy the view with a good book or good company, both of which I have here.

The first week on Paros was full of catching up with old friends and the 2 cousins who live on Paros full time, the second week was just me and mom and now I have one cousin to hang out with and another arrives at the end of the week. I am having a great time.

Though as I mentioned before, I sleep well. I’ve never been able to nap in the afternoon – siesta time. When I was a kid it was the time I’d lie restlessly in bed reading books while mom slept. When we stayed in town at my grandmother’s house my brother and I would sneak out and explore the streets of Parikia.

Now I sleep every afternoon, and sometimes I sleep well into the evening. Unbelievable. Yesterday mom woke me up at 7pm and I thought it was 7am…. I’ve never slept so soundly in my life!

Those were the days… back then farmers would roam the streets in the early morning with their donkeys laden with produce or milk and call out their wares as they wound their way round town. I made friends with every single donkey, obviously.

As for the friends, its funny now to be friends with the guys I grew up around. The thing back then was to walk along the ‘paralia’ (esplanade) arm in arm with a girlfriend and walk past the group of guys who we secretly had our eyes on. They would call out to us to come join them, comment on our beauty and we’d hold our noses in the air and pretend not to hear them.

Back then my nickname was Australia for obvious reasons and so we’d stroll by and the boys would call out ‘Hello Australia! Come join us for a drink’.

Now I catch up with these guys I’ve known since I was 10 years old and they’re like old friends though we never really hung out together.

Its all one big family in a way, everyone knows everyone or knows your family. Like any small town. I used to want to move away from a small town where everyone knew who I was and what I was up do. Now I find comfort in it.

Plus now I just don’t care what anyone thinks of me. Not that I did back then, but my parents did, which meant I had to care too if I wanted to ever be allowed out again!

Hence quite a bit of sneaking around happend back then…

I think I better get going. The sea is as smooth as glass and it beckons…

z