Wednesday, April 29, 2009


My computer went on the blink and guess what? Incy-wincy had set up home inside. I wondered where he had got to, I hadn't seen him for ages. Well sorry about that Incy-wincy but you will have to relocate.


This mountain of vine leaves was being prepared to make 'dolmathes'. Thousands of them. So, when you sit and eat stuffed vine leaves in the middle of Vrahassi, spare a thought to the people who laboured in the making of them.

Monday, April 27, 2009


What a great start to the week! Last night David and I went to Ag Nik to see the Heraklion Philharmonic and what lovely music they produced. About 40 professional musicians entertained with a wonderful programme of popular classical music which included a delightful Carmen. The musicians were very enthusiastic and very skillful and responded to the conductor with absolute precision. There was music from Bizet, Shostakovich, Verdi, Piazzola, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Strauss, all a joy to listen to and watch in performance.

My 'Thank you' to the powers that be for arranging such a concert, I shall certainly look forward to the next.

My walk went well this morning, lots of beautiful new blooms to spot in the hedgerow and on the Nature Reserve.

The 'Flowers of Crete' organisation will be holding a Spring/Summer Fayre next month I will check out the date before publicizing, but it might just be worth attending. There will be lots of home made produce and all sorts of stalls, games and music and fun. It will be held in Vrahassi, outside under my pergola (and inside coffee and drinks at the bar).

If you have any 'stuff' that we can sell, please bring it to me in Vrahassi.

Sunday, April 26, 2009




And this is a short preview of rehearsals...


Not quite an 'all ladies' soiree, but I missed the photograph of Wolf reading a beautiful poem in German and in English. Virginia also read a poem in German which was read in its English translation by Jane. Sylvia once more picked out 'Liverpudlian' humour from Roger McGough and Jan delighted with Wordsworth. I played Fantasy in D minor by Mozart on the piano and the evening was rounded off with 50's, 60's and 70's songs sung by Jean on guitar. Another splendid Soiree. Come along to the next one on Saturday 30th May, and share your favourite poem or give a short recital. Did I miss someone - yes I did, Jill. How could I have done that? Jill who entertains us at every Soiree with her own unique poems, sometimes she makes us feel sad and sometimes she makes us laugh, this time we had a little of both. (Sorry, photo next I promise).

Saturday, April 25, 2009


As I don't believe in 'chance' I have to go with the fact that this person who has left several nasty comments on my blog, was meant to come into my life. Well, hopefully, now he/she has passed by and will be heard of no more. So, what lesson have I learned from the comments. There are people out there that do know a lot more than me (well that's not much of a revelation). Some people thing that 'shopkeeping' is not a worthy occupation. Well, I'll grant you that my little cafe-bar is not the most stimulating of trades, but it suits me so why should that bother anyone else. What sort of artist am I? Tut, tut, did I ever say that I was 'the best'.

David says that I should disable the comments form but I am not going to do that.

If I had the time I would write much more about this but sorry I have a cello to practice (and who knows, maybe I will be the best one day).

And, by the way, just for the information of any other budding 'Dilly Dillys' out there. I am a published poet, my poems have been read on BBC radio and my first novel is almost finished.

Ta Ta,
Jane x


Check out these happy Vrahassians, Maria and Emanuela with friend Angela. Can you remember skipping ropes? It is so good to see children playing, running around, laughing together, learning how to share.

This is just to say 'Thank you' to all those people who have said really nice things about me after the verbal attack of 'Silly-Dilly' (oops there I go again with that spelling problem).

Did you know that the Heraklion Philharmonic is to play at the Rex in Agios Nikolaos tomorrow night at about 9 (I think)?

This morning I was busy cooking horta pies for the 'Soiree' tonight. Now I am going upstairs to practice a bit of Mozart. Meanwhile David is at the house continuing the good work of 'finishing off'. It is Lefteris' sheep-sheering day tomorrow so hope to have some photo's of that to post.

Vrahassi this morning is bright, blue skies, but a bit chilly and a slight breeze. It's not summer yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Let's give it a go and get our 'PRONUNCIATION' right! Let's see, are we to try to speak like a Greek newscaster, would we be better trying 'politician' speak, maybe a north Greece accent would be better than a Cretan one, it really is confusing. Actually I only have Vrahassians to guide me so I'll stick with that, it makes communication a lot easier. "Ee-de-kanis" sounds good to me!

Jane x


HAPPY ST GEORGE'S DAY. I opened the bar today for the season. Opening hours are 10 am to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. or of course later if there are customers.

It was a good feeling to be open again and guess what, my first customer was Dimitris my old faithful matey who likes to come and gossip. Now talking of gossip, I have to say that this is probably one of the main reasons that I learned to speak Greek in the first place. It had nothing to do with appreciation of grammatical form at all, I simply wanted to talk to my neighbours, be understood in shops and find my way around hospitals etc. I'm not an academic and whilst I do have an interest in words I like the sound of them better than the sight. As for my slip with Orthodox (of course I knew the correct way to spell it) I must say it has prompted a few words that I might not have thought of before. So, thanks for that!

There was a funeral in the village yesterday, that of Yiannis Stefanakis. Rest in peace.

Now to the finer things of life. Our 'retreat' up the mountain is a haven. We are still unpacking a few boxes though. The house warming party was great and the day went well. Thank you to everyone for helping us to 'warm' our new house.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So, I've been found out! I'm not perfect and I can't spell. It all started at a very early age but we'll not go into that. It's never stopped me writing and I doubt that it ever will. I can 'spell check' most of the time but when writing in Greek that is not possible.

There you go Mr or Mrs Dilly-Dilly, whoever you are, at least I do put my name to my blog comments even if they are a bit 'spell crazy'.

As for being a Greek teacher, I am proud to say that I have helped several people to increase their knowledge of the language but I have always let it be known that I have my limitations and do NOT know everything.

It really is not necessary therefore to keep posting 'rude' comments on my blog telling me how inadequate I am. Hey, that's putting it very politely, when what I really want to say is ''.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


There was a fire in the olive groves just below the village. I was up at the house and from there it seemed as though our pergola was going up . Not so, the fire was below but there was lots of smoke.

David fixed the bathroom. Yeah!

I received photo's of my children and grandchildren enjoying their Easter in Yorkshire.

...and I went looking for new chairs for the bar, unfortunately the only ones I found were worse than the ones I have got White goods were no better!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It has been a cool day in Vrahassi, windy and cloudy. A typical April day really. I just know that Easter Day will be sunny, especially as it will be our first Easter in our new home. Things are hotting up now for the 'moving the bed' ceremony tomorrow. I'm going to keep out of the way until it is in position and then 'whoopee', a proper bedroom and a bathroom with a hot bath. Shame about the kitchen but that will come after Easter.

There is not much evidence of Easter week in Vrahassi. No bangers going off as in previous years. Maybe the economic situation means that people are saving all their bangers for Easter Saturday. The village is very quiet this evening. David and I have just been to Yianni's for a plate of chips and a lovely Greek salad and now it is computer time before tucking up for the last night in the room above the bar. Oh how I shall miss the leaking roof and the tight metal stairs up to 'the room'. And we shall have our lovely sofa for comfort. The champagne is on ice!

My cello lesson went well, as did my latest piece of artwork it is called 'Anthropos'. Now I have to get serious and maybe do one for the 'Touch Festival' in Agios Nikoloas - the theme, 'Rhythms', my sort of thing I think.

So, that's it for today, so much to pack in tomorrow I had better make a list.
Byeeeeeeeeee Jane x

Saturday, April 11, 2009


HAPPY EASTER TO ALL IN ENGLAND AND ELSEWHERE IF YOU ARE CELEBRATING EASTER THIS WEEKEND. This is the nearest thing to a traffic jam that we get in Vrahassi!

David and I celebrate the Greek Easter, which is next weekend, so no holiday just yet for us. The race is on to be in the house for Easter Sunday, (next Sunday) when we shall be having a barbecue and housewarming party.

Tomorrow is the 'Flowers of Crete' Bazaar in Neapolis so must be up early as the doors open at 10 a.m. I am on the raffle so better get organized for that. Lyds and Vanessa will come with me to help and there will be more ladies manning the stalls, making tea, and taking the money (hopefully). This is the first such event for 'Flowers of Crete' so we don't really know what to expect. I know there are loads of books there because I sent them.

It's been a bit rainy today so hope tomorrow is better. I have to put my 'flyers' around advertising my walks, so want a fine day. I have just finished printing them and now it's cocoa time. Not that I am drinking cocoa at the moment. The good news is that my liver is fine and no sign of any other nasty bug lurking in my gut, but I am on the pro-biotic stuff and trying to eat those things that won't give me wind (don't laugh).

So, enjoy your chicken, turkey, chocolate, trip to the park or whatever you are doing this weekend and be happy.

Jane x (and David x)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Just a quick post to let you know about the death of our oldest resident. What a wonderful age, 105 years! The funeral is at 4 p.m. today.
(And according to Papa Nikos, this lady was in actual fact 108 or even 110 because her mother, a sheperdess from the hills did not register the birth until her daughter went to school).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I certainly picked the right day to take a walk. Yesterday was lovely but this morning the heavens opened and down came the rain. Of course I don't mind rain, it is so good for the flowers and the trees and our own water supply. By mid morning it was clear but the clouds gathered again over Vrahassi and washed everything clean again.

I went to 'Art Class' this afternoon and enjoyed a good two (well almost three) hours, painting in Russel's studio. This time we are learning how to paint multiple figures, small scale in a sort of 'impressionist' way. The task certainly kept me quiet but I think that I learned from the exercise and am eager to try another similar painting next week.

David and I popped to Malia to buy more tiles for the bathroom and taps for bath and sink. We plan to move on Saturday - let's hope that we can do that.

Greek class as usual on Friday afternoon and the Bazaar in Neapolis on Sunday so no time to stop and stare!

Thank you for your very nice comments about my pictures it is always good to know that they are appreciated.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Well, the sun was shining and I had my walking gear on so even though there were no takers to accompany me, I set off up to the windmills and around around. And this is what I saw...

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Hooray the airoplanes are bringing visitors to Crete, and one or two have made it to Vrahassi. Today my friend Jonathan called to see me together with his pal Richard. How good it was to hear news of England and especial good for me because Jonathan is my hairdresser. It is almost a year since he sorted out my locks so I am looking forward to a new me on Monday.

I'm also getting really excited about moving into the house. How wonderful it is going to be to have all my things around me again.

If you are house hunting for a home in Crete then do take a look at my Information site (link left) Jonathan has asked me to put pictures of his house on the blog because he wants to sell it and maybe move to Vrahassi (the best place to be). Take a look it is a bargain price for a quick sale.

I am de-cluttering and putting 'stuff' into bags ready for the 'Flowers of Crete' Bazaar which is to be held on Sunday 12 April (a week tomorrow), in Neapolis. The venue is the English Language school up the street behind Halkiadakis supermarket. If you have any 'stuff' you want rid off please bring it to my office underneath the Revolution Cafe-Bar. Thanks.

Now it's time for tea, byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!