Tuesday, March 31, 2009


And the Fair is there! Actually we went to the launch of a new book, 'Circular Walks and Gorges of East Crete' and after a pleasant hour of slides showing the walks we went to Twins for a Pizza. I am still sticking to my 'no alcohol' for lent, but was tempted last night, only water for me though. You just wait till Easter and our new house warming!

The weather has been glorious today well into the 20's and sitting out weather in Vrahassi. Excellent walking weather, I feel a 'boot' day coming on. Not tomorrow though because I have my cello lesson and 'well woman' tests at Ag Nik hospital in the morning. Let's hope Thursday has blue skies and then I will go 'orchid hunting'. I might even take Zouki with me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Our little trio kicked the evening off with music from the 16th century. Our debut went well and while we still had electric light Gillian and I played a duet, a Schubert lullaby. We switched the lights off for Earth Hour and listened to a variety of readings by candlelight. The audience had been invited to bring candles and that they did, some lovely candelabras. A raffle was held to raise money for the 'Flowers of Crete' and everybody had a wonderful time. The performers just get better every month.
(I hope you are on one of my photo's, if not your absence is not intentional). Chris and 'When I'm Old I'll wear purple'.

A 'bar' of performers. Is it a new collective? Gavin 'learning his lines'.

Julia of Fourni enchanted with her flute.

The 'Fourni Quartet' sang an alternative 'Men of Harlech'

Sylvia made us all laugh with her selection of Roger MgGough poems and prose.

Lydia was Pam Ayres for the night.

Jan sang and read some wonderful poetry, really bringing the words to life.

And Julia was thrilled with the popularity of the event, here announcing the next performer.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


Very short blog I am rushing around getting ready for tonight.

Don't forget 8 p.m. monthly SOIREE at the Revolution Cafe-Bar, Vrahassi. TONIGHT.
Bring your instruments, Bring your voice!

(oh, and bring a candle for EARTH HOUR)

See you later,
Jane x

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


There was a bit of activity in the centre of Vrahassi today when dignitaries and villagers gathered around the memorial to say a prayer and sing the National Anthem. It was all over very quickly and then the street went back to it's quiet self.

Then it was practice time for me on the piano before Gillian and John arrived to play a little chamber music. My music day didn't end there. Next came my Cello lesson and then Gillian and I went to Agios Nikoloas to the house of another violinist with whom we ran through a couple of pieces. It was such an enjoyable day of music making. Gillian suggested that we should be call 'Florence Foster Jenkins' (and if you don't know who she was I suggest you look her up on google).

Anyway we are all ready for the Soiree on Saturday night. Don't forget to bring a candle for Earth Hour, and if you need a torch for your poetry reading bring that too.

Yesterday's art class went well - picture tomorrow. (Bet you can't wait). Next week we are back to figure drawing. Russel is very patient with us and I can't believe that he has got me using small paint brushes.

When David and I went to the shop today, we were asked about our Internet Connection. Several locals now want the same and are being told (exactly as we were) that there are no lines for Internet to Vrahassi. I advised them not to take 'no' for an answer. This is not a third world country, we are not in the back of beyond, what is the problem with providing Internet services to Vrahassi? It seems crazy in this day and age. If only for the children of the village, something should be done to make sure that they are not left behind in the matter of Internet Access.

There that is my little sound off for the day - now it's time for a cup of hot chocolate and a little look at my Greek dictionary before class tomorrow.

Byeeeee! Jane x

Monday, March 23, 2009


Mr Nick Turland is a very important person who works for the University of Missouri. He has written several books not least a mighty tome all about the flowers of Crete and he arrived in Vrahassi on Saturday to visit the 'Nature reserve' across the valley. Julia Jones, founder of the organisation known as 'Flowers of Crete' was with him together with his assistant, Babis, Professor Rosemarie John, botanist, a young lady Agronomist, and a lady from Croatia who specialises in Lichen. Then there was me of course, Mark who made a video of the trip, David and Zouki. We saw lots of orchids and the species list has almost doubled. Lydia and Vanessa helped me to serve lunch back at the Revolution Cafe-Bar where Nick signed my copy of his book. It all went very well.
The day, of course, did not end there. By 5.30 p.m. David and I were at BioAroma Natural Oils Distillery in Ag Nik to set up our display advertising my Spring Walks. I then spent the best part of an hour trying to sell raffle tickets before Nick gave his slide show and talk. That was extremely interesting, all about endangered flowers and the fact that sheep grazing was the main enemy together with road building, new developments and even botanists collecting and carrying away.
After the talk we all enjoyed a glass of wine (all except me that is because I have given it up for lent and am doing very well) and the chance to chat with all and sundry whilst milling around the museum at BioAroma.
The raffle was drawn and the first prize went to MR RAY WRIGHT with ticket number 17 green. Congratulations Ray.
Yiorgos Nicolaides the general Manager of http://www.crete-sailing.com/ was present to award the first prize of a 2 day cruise for 6 people on his sailing yatch but unfortunately Mr Wright lives in Ireland and did not attend the talk. Other prizes were presented.
We all had a good evening and finished it off by having dinner at (what we all call) the 'Prison' restaurant in Neapolis.
As you can imagine I was a little preocupied with arrangements for the above event hence no blog for a few days, sorry about that. It has tippled down in Vrahassi today so no walk and that I must say is a bit of a relief because I have things to do - 3 hr cello practice for one.
Now I have to concentrate on getting ready for the Soiree on Saturday, this month has wizzed by. Anyway, lots of good turns lined up.
Must go now, just to say 'HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY' to all mothers out there. I received a phone call from my daughter Jo and spoke to Grandson Jack. It made my day. Hope you all had a wonderful Mothers' Day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


AND HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY from all at the Revolution Bar. Remember this one Mark?

We didn't celebrate this year, but I am sure there are lots of you out there that did, so hope you all had a good Leprechaun time.

Mark is away promoting his new business 'Bug Busters' (see link on Jane's Information Board) and Lydia too of course. I do believe there is a shindig in Agios Nikoloas tonight but I don't feel up to it, I am putting all my energy to being on tip top form for Saturday.

It was Art Class today with the wonderful Russell. I missed last week because I had this 'bug'. It didn't stop me doing my homework though - a painting of a WALL. Well it was a section of a wall to be precise. I thought it wasn't too bad, until I got to Art Class that is. Oh dear, back to the drawing board as they say. It really is not easy to make a wall look real and not like a pattern for a wallpaper. The thing that saved the day was a sort of 'wall look alike' spray that gave a sort of 'cement' effect. What made things worse was that Russell showed us his work of the week and it was sooooooooooooo good. I don't like to give up on 'walls' so I will try again. I know the theory and a few short cuts so we'll see what I can come up with, (probably a brick wall)!

Tomorrow is Cello day! I have practised real hard this week and looking forward to a cheery hour with Gillian, my teacher. I've progressed from 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' to a bit of Schubert would you believe. I seem to have a following of the older generation who sit on the bench near the statue in the square while I am practising. If the window is open, and the wind is in the right direction they just might be able to hear me.

Good news on the house front. David says that the joiner will come to measure up for the kitchen tomorrow. Whoop, whoop! Will we be in for Easter?

I am so looking forward to living in our new house and being able to come out to work instead of just falling out of bed and into the bar. Not long now.

Earth Hour on Saturday 28th March coincides with our Soiree so we are going to make it a 'candlelit' Soiree. I am asking everyone to bring a candle for the extra light. It should be romantic too. We have some excellent slots booked, music, dialogue, poetry, singing, another good night in the making.

That's me for now, time for bed and a good book. (Yes I did say book!)
Night, night!
Jane x



Hoorah! Another year older, another year wiser!
p.s. don't forget it's Mother's Day on Sunday!


This is Julia Jones, the founder of 'Flowers of Crete', on our recent visit to 'Pezoulia' the piece of land which is to be a conservation area for endangered plants and flowers. On Saturday 21st March there will be a talk and slide show (in both English and Greek) given by Mr Nick Turland, an Authority on the flowers of Crete, at the premise of BioAroma in Agios Nikoloas, at 6 p.m. At this event the Grand Draw will take place, the first prize being a two day sailing holiday for 6 people. For further details of this prize please log on to www.crete-sailing.com . If you are at all interested in the flora of Crete then don't miss this event.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Great day today, walked to Pezoulia to see the orchids and lots more in flower now. Lovely sunny day even if a bit chilly. Saw a dead sheep on the road across the valley and the vultures were circling, didn't swoop for lunch though. Short post, must dash it's my lovely daughter's birthday tomorrow and I want to get a card off to her, e-mail that is. More tomorrow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Now is the time to get your vitamin C fix. Watch out for Manolis the 'Orange Man' on the Kritsa road before Liddle's.

Friday, March 13, 2009


It is 'Doctor's day' in Vrahassi, and the street has been busy with people coming and going, despite the rainy morning. The postman stopped David in the street and told him that there was a parcel to pick up. Thinking that it just might be the new 'flyers' that I ordered for my 'Flowers of Crete' walk, I rushed down there to collect the said package. The joke was on us though because there was nothing at the post office with the name 'Sharp' on it. We returned to the warmth of the bar and lunch.

Tonight I am to attend a 'Press Conference' for the upcoming talk and slide show which will be given by Nick Turland, Author, about the flowers of Crete, Saturday 21st March. There is much more interest in the project that Julia Jones has set herself i.e. to save the endangered species of wild flowers on Crete. I will, of course, let you know the latest action.

Raffle tickets are selling well, the main prize of a 2 day sailing cruise for 6 people from Heraklion, is of course a wonderful draw.

So, despite the 'iffy' start to Friday 13th, all is well. The rain has stopped, though it is a bit chilly in Vrahassi. All the little old ladies have trotted off for their prescriptions and the street is quiet.

I hope you are all having as good a Friday as I am and continue to enjoy a wonderful weekend.
Byeee Jane x

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This is Yannis from the cafeneo in the centre of Vrahassi. Gillian and I popped across for a spot of lunch yesterday during a music session at my place and we were serenaded while waiting for the salad. In the background on the left is Yannis' grandfather (98yrs old) and on the right K. Kostas. Thought you might like to share the moment!

Monday, March 9, 2009


At last some of the Orchids that we found on our land about a month ago are beginning to flower. They are all shapes and sizes, all colours and all exquisitely beautiful. While the experts were busy cataloguing the species I wandered around thinking how wonderful my world in Vrahassi is. If you are interested in knowing the names of the flowers then click on http://www.flowersofcrete.com/

Sunday, March 8, 2009


There are loads of other great prizes too. Tickets for me at the Revolution Bar, Vrahassi, or Julia Jones of Flowers of Crete.

And while I'm announcing things it's INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY today, you probably knew that, and TOMORROW IT IS 'WALKING DAY' - our regular walk to Pezoulia Nature Reserve will set off at 10.30 a.m tomorrow morning (MONDAY). Just turn up at the Revolution Bar, Vrahassi.

Bye for now, I'm off to do my 'Cello' practice and sneak a bit of chocolate to compensate for not having a glass of wine! Byeeeeeeeeeeee.

Don't forget to check out the Vrahassi InformationBoard: http://cretehouseshop.blogspot.com


We are all ready for the kitchen (well almost). We have asked the joiner for a price but if it is too expensive there is always a tap in the street (joking). A lot of work has gone into our little 'chateaux' and I just can't wait to move in. That should be in about a month's time, then we shall warm the house, sit on the roof and have a bottle of Champagne. Until then I have given up wine for Lent; new house, new body, that's the theory anyway, maybe even a new pair of trainers to jog up and down the mountain to work and back. AND SPEAKING OF WORK THE BAR IS NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FROM 11 a.m. IT IS WARM AND CHEERFUL AND IS THE IDEAL PLACE TO CATCH UP ON VRAHASSI NEWS.
(stuff I don't write on the blog ).


Now I know that this is a bit gruesome but I just had to take a photo. If you enlarge the shot (click on it) then you will see that it is a complete PIG SKIN. Why does 'Tom, Tom the Piper's Son' come to mind? I had to investigate because the skin did appear to have very 'little legs'.

The point is that it is right next to the road and not a pretty sight or SMELL! And it is right across from MY olive grove.

Speaking of which, SOMEBODY IS TRYING TO RUSTLE MY TREES. Last week I noticed that a red arrow had been painted on the banking marking my plot of land and it looked like the neighbour (or somebody) was trying to lay claim to my trees. Yesterday David and I painted a yellow mark on all our trees and on the banking.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


There seems to be some sort of 'metal blight' affecting the signs around Vrahassi!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


The Revolution Bar is becoming an intelectual venue. At our monthly Soiree, we were entertained by writers, musicians, budding actors and the odd historian. Not that there was anything 'odd' about Gavin who had researched a passage about Persephone and Demiter. The evening was another success and we all look forward to next month.