Thursday, February 26, 2009

JANE'S POETRY OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED!

Yep, here I am along with other winners in the Poetry competition which was run by the Khronicles newspaper. I collected a couple of 'Wammy' type thingies. One was for best poem written in Greek (how mad is that) and the other and 'honorable' mention for a poem in the English section. Well it was all very uplifting, struggling poets do like to be recognised you know. I wore my tiara for the occasion, it seemed the thing to do.

The two other winners were Kay Farsaraki and Vasiliki Alexaki-Hronaki. The judges were Marina Lagonaki -Kargaki for the English section and Professor of Literature, Dimosthenis Karayiannis for the Greek section.

Of course we each gave a rendering of our poems and then enjoyed nibbles and wine. It was a lovely evening.

Unfortunately David backed the car into a lamppost as he was reversing to leave and I didn't talk to him all the way home. Pity really cause he might have told me how good I was, or even taken me out for dinner or something. But I suppose silence can be very good for poets and it did give me time to ponder on a few words - b....y stupid men! how could he be so b....y stupid! men drivers! He needn't think I'm washing his socks tomorrow! Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Naturally I didn't complain when my morning tea arrived at the bedside, and I was glad it was him going out to work in the freezing cold so early in the morning.
I'm not sure whether my painting of the week was 'Freudian' or not (is that spelt right?). Judge for yourselves. And before you say anything it is 'ART' after Modigliani.



Monday, February 23, 2009

JANE'S VRAHASSI INFORMATION BOARD

FOR EVENT INFO

(see link in right hand column)

WONDERFUL MONDAYS!







Can you believe it I got my camera out to film the first orchids that have appeared on our land and blow me if I hadn't left the memory card in the office. Still I did get a picture the minute we returned to Vrahassi, not the flowers I had in mind though. Anyway, we were honoured to have the leader of the village council with us today, Mr Dimitris Kiriakakis. His expertise in naming the flowers in Greek was invaluable and we learned lots about what plant or herb was used as a cure for this and that. All good stuff. The photo of the little white cyclamen was taken last week but there were quite a few out today.
For details of the Orchids please click on www.flowersofcrete.info

Sunday, February 22, 2009

IT'S BLOODY COLD!

Sorry for the language Timothy but I'm freezing my fingers off as we speak. There is snow on the mountain (OK it looks lovely) and the air is very 'fresh' but krikey Moses I nead good old fashioned FIRE to warm my bones. We have a calor gas heater upstairs and a (very economical - that's sales speak for not a lot of good) halegen heater in the office. Anyway, too cold to write much and not a lot happening in the village really.

I went to make sure that I was registered to vote in the European and local elections last week, I was but got a form for David to fill out. If you want to register pop along to the Council office in Vrahassi.

Other news - it was too cold for us to go to the Carnival in Mohos and tippled down so missed that one.

WALKING TOMORROW - MONDAY FROM THE BAR AT 10.30 TO PEZOULIA TO CHECK ON THE ORCHIDS. JOIN US, IT IS USUALLY QUITE JOLLY. (IF NOT RAINING THAT IS).

Anyway I've had enough of this fridge for now. I'm off to Jannis to get some CHIPS! Yeah!
Talk tomorrow,
Love Jane x

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ESSENTIAL OILS FROM WILD HERBS OF CRETE.






















David and I have just returned from a very enjoyable committee meeting for The Flowers of Crete which was held at the Park - Museum - Distillery of BioAroma in Agios Nikolaos courtesy of the proprietor, Sakis, a young chemist. It was such an enjoyable experience as you can see from the pictures. I came home with some Lemon Grass and Green Tea which I am told will help to combat my high cholesterol.

THE EGG MAN COMETH!


It was one of those chance meetings that turned out to be so great! Meet Spiro, the egg man from Xoumeriako just outside Neapolis.

First came the 'no smoking' and now 'free range eggs'. My personal supplier is also a 'personal trainer' not mine unfortunately. Naturally he is an expert on body maintenance, so when he says 'eggs are good for you' who am I to say otherwise.
So, from now on, only the best, healthy meze will be served at the Revolution Bar. Lovely, golden yolks to go with local cheese and brown bread. And to compliment the food what better than a really good, wine. I am on the trail and very soon I hope to be able to introduce my customers to some very special 'vino' (watch this space).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

THERE IS SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN!

Yes, it is cold but the mountains opposite Vrahassi look so beautiful in their winter white.

STILL LIFE OR DEAD NATURE?

According to the Greek people, 'Still Life' is called 'Dead Nature'. Now I know that the Greek language has a certain 'exactness' about it, and I do appreciate that one could construe an old tin can, or a bottle, a vase even as being 'Dead Nature'.

I prefer to think of everything as having 'life' and therefore cannot accept this description. If everything has energy of some sort (even the ashes of a bonfire) then nothing can be described as 'dead'. Something may have ceased to be in the state that it was before, but the new state is still made up of some sort of molecule and that molecule is not dead, if it were then it would be a deceased molecule and in some other state, and that state would be made up of some sort of molecule... and so on... and so on.

So, let us have 'Still Life'. But please dear art teacher, don't let us have so much of it, it is so difficult to paint!

Coming soon picture of 'Jane's bottle'. Don't miss it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

VANESSA AND SIMON 25 YEARS' MARRIED

A BIG 'THANK YOU' FROM SIMON AND VANESSA FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL CARDS AND PRESENTS WHICH THEY RECEIVED FOR THEIR SILVER WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.









...and it went with a BANG! Fireworks, balloons, heart shaped chocolates, pink punch, oodles of food and... nearly music and dancing. Why? Because although I was in charge of the music, Yannis CD player was on the blink and it was just a miracle that we managed to get one CD to play. For once I was glad that it was not my problem. There were around 30 guests and not too much room to dance anyway so all was not lost. It was a great get together.

videoAmazing cake candles!

Friday, February 13, 2009

CHEESE MAKING IN VRAHASSI

Traditional wooden utensils for cheese making.
And we all got chance to stir the milk!







videoWhat a good way to start off 'Janes Vrahassi' again. My little Greek conversation class was invited to watch Lefteris making his cheese. We all had a splendid time and learned so much too. Thank you Lefteris!

videoIt's a lovely sunny day in Vrahassi today and the winds have died down.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

THE WEATHER GIRL







Now when we avidly watched the weather girl in Yannis' the other night (for sure prime advertising time either side of the weather because ratings must surely have gone up) we didn't expect high winds (or were we not really looking or listening to the weather). We did get very high winds last night and look what happened to my outside bar area, and my new car. Luckily no damage done to either, in fact David, on looking out of the window said: "Is there no lengths you wont go to for Blog news?"

David went to report the damage to the Council and they were happy when he volunteered to cut the offending tree branch down. So more news later when the 'mad chopper' gets to work.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CELLO LESSON TODAY!

Got to get the hang of a straight bow, tuning with harmonics, and sitting up straight, apart from that all went well. It was a glorious day again today and I enjoyed my trip to Kritsa for my music lesson. Kritsa seems a very agreeable place even though workmen had dug up the road which leads to Gillian's house, something to do with the water. On the way back I called at Liddle for my shopping, bang went 100 euro - pity we have to eat, eh! Anyway the larder is stocked for another week.
Vrahassi is very quiet at the moment, the olive factory is still working but only for another week or so, the price offered for oil this year is 1 euro 90 cents and I am sure that many people have not bothered with all the work for so little a return. Either that or maybe they have taken their olives to another factory, some years the press is still going well into March.

I have done my 'art' homework, a portrait of Nikos Kazanzakis, when it's dry I'll take a picture and post it. This is me and Rosemarie in Russell's studio.

Tomorrow is Greek class, 2.00 p.m. Beginners. This week we shall take a look at more 'nouns'. I have got my new site http://anavlohos.com/ up and running and will be working on that to make it more interesting. Take a look, it is a site to promote the walks and give interesting info about plant life etc.
Greekish things,
David and I were just about to have our tea about an hour ago when up our stairs comes... a cousin of 'he who shall not be named'. Said cousin doesn't live in the village so didn't know that we were closed (even though he was in the bar on Friday last and I told him we were only open Thursday and Friday night). Never mind though, I asked him to stop for a drink. Not being around for a year he did't know about 'he who shall not be named' (and even though I had told him the story on Friday last, it hadn't registered) Never mind though. It hadn't registered about the 'no smoking' in the bar either but he soon realized when there were no ash trays about and 'no smoking' signs everywhere (even so, did that stop him smoking?) not on your life, I pity anyone who passed by in the street when he flung his tab ends out of the window. Never mind though (Friday last he stuffed them in my candle holder on the table). The best thing was his reaction to me writing, painting, learning to play the cello, you know what he said? 'WOMEN ARE NOT MEANT TO DO THOSE THINGS' aggggghhhhhhhhhh!
Never mind though, eh?

More tomorrow,
Jane x




Tuesday, February 10, 2009

IS THERE ANYBODY THERE...?

Hello to past, present and future blogwatchers of Jane's Vrahassi. I'm back!

Not that I ever went anywhere really because you may have cottoned on to the fact that I continued reporting from Vrahassi on my other blog, http://cretehouseshop.blogspot.com

Things have been a bit manic lately, life after George has not been dull, far from it. In fact, the truth is that I feel that I have been given my life back. I suppose I feel a bit like a time traveller who, having been strapped to a dinosaur has finally broken free to hurtle into the future. And here I am, in that future, breathing the fresh air of Crete, surrounded by wonderful people and being part of a 'magical' life.

I hope to share that life with you in this blog. Of course I don't expect every minute to be rip roaring comedy, though life often is, so bear with me if my new life is not such a farce as the previous one. My circumstances may have changed but I have not, and the one thing that I do expect is that my life will be full of laughs.

So, welcome to Jane's Vrahassi 2009 and remember this is not a 'soap' it's 'real' life, warts 'n' all.