attacking the ivy and other adventures

Today I can actually say I got a few things done so I’m proud of myself. And sore.

Yesterday mom went off with her youngest sister to her country place for a few days. It’s easier to work without her here… I just put on some rockin’ music and get to it. Today it was Johnny Cash. On the other hand I can’t ask mom what to keep and what to get rid of. Mind you… that’s probably a blessing. Mom would want to hang on to just about everything… cause we might need it, someone in the family might want it, etc.

I started the day by sorting through a few more cabinets and lining up crockery and glasses to see what she wants to keep and what to give away. There’s a LOT to sort through. Back in the old days family gatherings and parties often included up to 50 people – so you can imagine the amount of crockery and cutlery needed for that. And most of it’s still here, in cupboards.

I started boxing up my brother’s photos, souvenirs and posters for storage. Those were easy.

I made up bags and boxes of things to give away and a bag for rubbish and put them in the stairwell for easy access to ‘outside’.

I measured and ordered a shoe storage unit for behind the front door downstairs and a couple of other small things from Ikea. I won’t be going overboard with shopping as mom wants to keep and use as much as possible what she already ad.

I then tackled the ivy. It was a lovely sunny day so I figured best to move outside while the weather allows. Dad made a carport way back when and put metal across the top and grew ivy over it. That ivy is like a tree now, its so thick in placs. It’s time for it to go. Once its all cleared away I can get the railing repainted and can start planting pretty things in the garden.

The thing is, since there are wires everywhere holding the ivy in place you can’t just hack away at it with a hand or electric saw. I decided the way to tackle it was to cut and break off as much as I could by hand to enable me to see the wire and metal. That way I can attack the thicker bits with my reciprocating saw later.

While fighting ivy, a gypsy drove by shouting out about taking away old metal things people don’t want so I called him over. We get that a lot here. Guys in trucks and utes go around neighbourhoods playing recordings saying they will clean out basements, rooftops, yards etc and take away anything you don’t want. Some will take furniture and just about any household items. Others will only collect metal. Sometimes they charge you for doing it, other times they will only take things which have resale value for them. The guy today took some old metal chairs I needed to get rid of, some old radiators, some odds and ends, plus the bags and boxes I’d already put on the staircase.

As a favour, he took a load of things down to the rubbish for me, heavy stuff I couldn’t move myself. He wasn’t interested in furniture so I’ll be calling another guy about that later.

I called the electricity company again and put in a complaint about them taking so long. Not a thing back from them yet. Again. And still no news from the natural gas people either.

All in all a pretty productive day. Meanwhile enjoy some pics from today.

Stage 1. After removing SOME ivy. This is what it looked like from the gate to the renovated apartment looking toward the carport.
Tossing ivy cuttings into the run-down little garden as I go.
Stage 2: you can see into the carport now.
Stage 3: light inside the dark and damp carport! Still tons of ivy to remove.
The bathroom is finished!
A bar for mom to hold onto.
The smaller window. Greeks and windows in showers… I don’t know…
The bathroom really is tiny. Still need to get and put up a shower curtain, but love the hooks for added hanging space.
Kitchen finished. Dishwasher in place.

So that’s about it for today. Tomorrow is a new day and I’ve barely made a dent in the things that need doing.


back home. for now.

In the cobblestone streets of Parikia. Be thankful its not giant underwear this time!

I got back from Athens a few days ago and will be going back again sometime next week. The house is finished (well, except for the power and natural gas). The contractor did his thing and called in a cleaning crew so when I get back I should have a new clean house that I can begin moving stuff into for mom.

Then we wait for power and heating…

Hopefully it will arrive before Christmas.

Meanwhile I’m still running into various greek labyrinths of getting things done, but I’m keeping a positive attitude. Most of the time…

Its great to be back home, even if its just for a little while. I’m catching up with friends and doing some stuff for my home etc. Not a great deal as I do sometimes get lazy, but I’m working on the fabric jewellery order for next summer, and I have a couple more things in mind to do before I go.

The weather has been alternately beautiful and sunny then windy and rainy. I don’t mind. Me and Lainee have our warm little home and eachother.

On the good news front, I now have two planters with columbines growing in them!! One was the last of the seeds I brought from Australia – I brought over tons and they never grew till this last lot. They’re doing well, fingers crossed. The second planter has seeds I bought online from England. They’re just babies still do fingers crossed on them too. All going well I’ll finally have columbines this summer!

More when I have something creative to share.


the kitchen is almost finished!

The apartment still looks like a building site, but things are coming together faster now.

The kitchen has all its cupboards in, all doors on, the rangehhood is in place, the sink, the gas hob, the dishwasher, the oven.

The other rooms in the house are finished…

All we need now is for the bathroom fixtures to be put in… and electricity and natural gas to be connected and we’re set.

The natural gas connection application has been approved so we await delivery of the gas meter… Given I’ve been waiting for the plumber (from said crew) to come for a whole week to replace a holey tank for the radiators to work upstairs I’m not too optimistic it will be done in any kind of rush… sigh.

As for the electricity, I’m waiting on that too. Yesterday the contractor was able to get ahold of the ‘temporary’ application papers and I couriered them to DEDDIE. They should have gotten them this morning. I’ll call tomorrow to check on progress there. Assuming anyone can actually tell me anything…

A spot to store bottles and other stuff alongside the fridge cubicle.
Pantry cupboard with lots of drawers inside.
Sink in!
Dishwasher in!

Tomorrow I return to Paros to catch up with stuff I have to do there, then back to a hopefully finished house, hopefully with gas and power connected, ready to clean and start moving in.


leave me alone, i’m on holiday!

Yeah. I’ve gone and disappeared again as I do periodically. But in my defense… I was lazy.

Ok, ok, I was busy.

My boss told me I had 2 weeks of work then a week off work (which turned into 2 or maybe 4) so I said fine, I’ll go on that trip to Denmark that I’d been putting off for over a year.

So, I packed my bags (well, one tiny carry on bag) and went off on a Viking adventure.

And I loved Denmark. I visited a friend who lives there and spent time with him and two teenage daughters (an adventure in itself!), visited some museums and interesting places, some second hand stores, walked around Copenhagen lots, saw the countryside, and generally found I loved Denmark.

In fact it reminded me quite a lot of Melbourne and Tasmania: “If you don’t like the weather, give it 10 minutes”. It would be beautiful and sunny, then suddenly pour rain without warning, then the sun would come out, then it would drizzle for a while, then it might get windy and cold… Just like home!

Since I’ve been back I’ve caught up on sleep and am now spending time with my oldest friend – I’ve known her since 6th grade. That’s way more years than I’d like to specify. Anyway, she has a house on Paros and comes every year except last year (thanks COVID) so I’m being a bit of a tourist with her, spending hours on the beach.

Hey. Its hard work. And very tiring.

That’s why I haven’t been posting. I put all my Denmark photos on FB but if anyone wants me to share them on here I will… and sooner or later I’ll get back to sharing projects.


lainee – my baby girl

Just missing my baby girl so I thought I’d share some photos of her.

She adores my cousin Zefi. The next two are taken at her house on Paros. Lainee will always chose to sit on the couch with Zefi rather than me… the little traitor!

Its especially funny since Zefi isn’t really a dog person. But she’s getting used to Lainee rubbing her Lainee-ness all over her couches. Even sitting in her handbag!

That one really cracked me up.

Anyway, here’s looking forward to many years ahead with my girl.

I’m in a nostalgic mood. I spent ages yesterday looking at photos and videos of Eric, missing him, sad that I lost him. I’m so tempted when I see kittens looking for a home but I refuse to get another one. I’m always looking after one cat or another, I can’t help myself. But I don’t want the responsibility of a cat that’s mine. Not again. Not when I’m most likely going to be spending a lot of next winter in Athens. Its too hard to travel with two pets and no way will I have a pet I have to leave outside for hours again.



syros. once again…

Back again. For Lainee, another surgery.

This year has just sucked so far – and we all thought 2020 was bad. 2021 has been way worse for me. It started with a visit to the hospital on Syros with Aunt 1 for a week in January. Then back for myself a couple of days later which turned into a month of hospitalization. Then back to Syros for Lainee’s first surgery. Now for another one. This time its hopefully prophylactic surgery – to keep the cancer from returning any time soon. Or ever.

I just spoke to the vet. Lainee was operated on yesterday and she’s doing well, is awake, ate, the wound is looking good and she’s not bothering it, she seems in a good mood. They want to keep her in one more night so I’ll stay till tomorrow.

Lucky there is another ferry tomorrow cause usually there’s only one every couple of days. Miss one and you have to add another two days to your stay most of the time.

I just want my girlie to be ok so that’s all that matters. That she’s well and gets to live a healthy long life from here on, so them keeping her one more night is good.

For now enjoy some photos… Firstly a plant that apparently grows wild on the hills here with huge white blooms. I haven’t seen this on Paros.

I took the bus to Kini Beach, a beach I’d only seen in passing when I was on Syros a few years ago. Unfortunately the day was windy and not hot enough to make me want to swim so I spent time relaxing on the beach till a group of twenty-somethings arrived with loud voices, loud music and cigarettes. Ugh.

Basically this is what I looked at most of the time on the beach:

So while here I’ve had a pedicure, walked around town, ate out and did some shopping. Its great to be ‘on holiday’ alone but it can get a bit boring when you’re just waiting. I’ve already shopped more than I planned to – but I’m cheap so I haven’t spent much. I got some bargain basement shorts and a top plus 3 nose rings cause they’re easy to lose. Those cost a whopping 1.5 euro each. Big spender.

Oh, I also bought some local honey from the lady who did my pedicure. Her father is a bee keeper here on Syros and I can’t resist pure honey. That almost cost more than the shorts and top together.

If I run into an audio shop on my way round town today I’ll look at microphones… see if I can find a good economically priced one for my foray into podcast/radio shows… who knows… Its on my ‘want’ list anyway.

Ok, this post is getting boring. I’ll end it here and go wander around town a bit. I was expecting to pick up Lainee today so I find myself at a bit of a loss now.


making pretty – the spare room

Time for another wander through my house. This time its the spare room. Or the purple room as its generally known.

This room was my bedroom when I first moved to Fentonbury. At the time it was painted blue with a bad white sponged on effect. At the time I was in love with the texture of suede paints so I picked the dark purple for this room.

I actually loved it as a bedroom. It was a ‘snuggly’ room. Very relaxing. I felt safe in that room.

When I bought the house this room had a horrible carpet in it. I removed that and found some old lino, some old newspapers and a great timber floor! I used a hand sander to sand back any rough spots and then sealed it with polyurethane before moving my furniture in.

The room has an open fireplace which I never used, but it was nice to just have it. The fire surround was painted but I didn’t like the colour so I repainted it white and purple to match the walls.

Yeah… I know, but at the time it really did work.

The curtains were the first curtains I ever made. I didn’t know about full length curtains being the way to go and, since I was replacing old curtains, I just made mine the same size as the old ones.

This room has had many lives. It was my bedroom, then it was a guest room, then the dog’s bedroom (yes, they even had their own TV) and an office.¬†

Since moving back, I’m using this as a spare room. I moved in my gorgeous old cast iron bed to use as a daybed, a small desk for my laptop and a few other items to make it cosy.

The daybed is so comfy its hard to do any work and not just curl up and spend the day reading.

An old ladder acts as a bedside table. A small clip light works perfectly as a reading lamp.

I think every single bed needs a teddy of its own.

The mantle just holds a collection of things. An old photo, some empty frames, 2 of the vases from my collection which didn’t fit in the dining room.

A gorgeous nautical box acts a bookend. I got this a couple of weeks ago at a sale. I had planned to use it in the bathroom to hold cosmetics, but it said it wanted to live in the purple room.

In the other corner is the mosaic topped old school desk which I use as my laptop table. An old suitcase holds extra blankets.

All in all, a warm and cosy room I think. One I enjoy being in.