Sunday, May 30, 2010


I got to thinking about Oprah Winfrey today. I've heard it said that for a book to be a success these days, you have to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show. So I took a peek at her website. Then I realized that I'm not in the same world at all. Life in Vrahassi is a star ride away from the life of Oprah Winfrey. It frightened me a little. I'm comfy on my Cretan mountain, with the local shepherds, neighbours leading their goats along the grassy lanes, hawker vans passing through selling 'big women's knickers', even not being able to put toilet paper down the loo and having to use a bin instead seems perfectly normal. And, if I were ever to be asked onto the Oprah Winfrey Show, what would I wear, my entire wardrobe was bought on the market or else at the cheap and cheerful Chinese shop. High heals? God I'd cripple myself if I wore those in Vrahassi. Then there's all that glam of showbiz glitzerati! I haven't been to a hairdresser for two years.

Sales of my book are already rising, now I'm beginning to panic, how am I going to keep it away from Oprah, how is she going to take it when she wants me on her show and I have to turn her down. I need to be ready with a few phrases: "I'm so sorry but my donkey just died." "November... oh, sorry, got to pick the olives." "What do you know, the road outside my house just collapsed leaving a big gaping hole." She'll understand I'm sure.

Anyway, just in case you are reading this Oprah, when I tossed a coin in the Salvation Army coffee shop on Oxford street in 1992, and got on the Magic Bus for Athens, I was just as unprepared for my future life as I am now. So, what the hell, I'll go for it, it's got to be another adventure!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I had a good Greek lesson today, Imperative - Commands! Take it, bring me, do it, that sort of thing. It will come in useful at the cafeneo - Bring me a beer! And, seeing as I've put my back out whilst moving furniture to clean beneath it (a silly thing to do I know), the commands are coming in handy at home - David, switch the TV on, David, make the tea, David, wash up, David, take the dogs out. Well I've got to practice haven't I?
I'm getting seriously worried about my taste in music; I'm beginning to like Greece's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, switch it off!
Anyway, that reminds me, got to get the old Yamaha out tomorrow and practice for the World Busking event in Kritsa on 9th June. It's a year since I played all that Roll out the Barrel stuff, I doubt I've forgotten it though, easy stuff after Schostokovich with the Rethymnon Philharmonic.
My little Greek neighbour put a swathe of new concrete in the lane today, guess who drove right through it? It made a nice groovy pattern in the road. At least we have a road, the street below us has collapsed into a garden about 12 feet down, someone has placed a wooden ladder across the gap, who the hell is going to risk crossing that? Me thinks its a council matter, and an urgent one at that. Here's my imperative to the council - FIX IT before someone falls into the abyss! Oh, I'm getting the hang of Greek really well!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Dam it! I've been so busy with the book that I missed this year's sheep shearing day.
Today I went into Agios Nikolaos and it was very busy with tourists, just like Xersonissos yesterday. Those in the know, know where to holiday, eh! Both places had their summer face on, there were some lovely clothes in the shops, and shoes. I've earmarked a new outfit for when I can justify the expense.
Tomorrow I'll pay a few bills, Greek class at 10 then chase up the garage for my spare wheel. An afternoon with Valentino and a glass of wine to round off the day. Who needs sheep shearing anyway!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


What a great afternoon I had in Milatos in the company of Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma. Not to mention the esteemed company who hosted a wonderful Indian meal. It was well into the evening when I got back to Vrahassi, feeling very priveledged to have been invited to share the afternoon with such talented people. They all toasted my new book, bringing luck to its success I am sure.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It's just one of those wonderful weeks. Here is my friend, Patrick with Elton John and I am off to a party of celebs this afternoon. I'll report back. Doubt Elton will be there, but I think there will be music. Maybe I'll get the chance to read something from my new novel. Exciting or wot!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm gearing up for one hell of a party! Meanwhile I'm off to see the Mayor of Kritsa today, with Gillian (my music teacher). We are going to ask him if he would like to help us with the World Busking Week in June by asking some of the Greek musicians that he knows, to join us. Personally, I would be very happy if Sakis Rouvas were to sing, in fact one line would do it, but I guess we'll make do with the odd lyra player - this year, anyway. If you are a musician, and if you would like to take to the streets of Kritsa on Wednesday 9 June, to help raise money, for musical education for children in underdeveloped countries, then give me a call: 6945872427. Thanks. Oh, and did I mention that my book, Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey, is now available from .

Monday, May 17, 2010


... and I am following the Happy Train!
Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey
Now available from and Authorhouse Bookstore

Sunday, May 16, 2010


It was a most unlikely setting for Chelsea fans, Yianni's cafeneo in Vrahassi, but we made an occasion of it, and of course, celebrated the 2-0 victory over Portsmouth to win the cup. Yippee!
And... Yianni tells me that he will be stocking ice-cream as from next week. Things is on the up!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I met my friend Jayne (with a Y) today and we popped into Malia for a drink and a chat. We walked down a very empty beach road before settling at the Galaxy Bar on the main road. That seemed busy enough. There is no sign of the by-pass being completed this year, so more traffic hold-ups in Malia I suppose. The supermarket was not very busy either - a sign of the times. Anyway it was a very enjoyable little trip out and we might repeat it next week.

Tomorrow is another day, as they say, and I have lots to do. Seems like the 'water' men will be busy too because there are blue arrows drawn on the roads of Vrahassi. It all looks very ominous. First new electricity cables and now water pipes - what's the world coming to?

Meanwhile I shall be preparing for World Busk week 7 -14 June, and a performance in Kritsa. Dum-di-dum!

Thought you might like this little video.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


We stayed at the Elina Hotel which was very comfortable, and took pets. Our little Maisy was as good as gold the whole time.

We did have a wonderful meal on the harbour but I will never eat there again. As soon as we got to the area we were pounced on by restauranters, one after another they tried to pull us in to sit at their tables. It was impossible to walk around the harbour without being accosted. Finally, on the fourth confrontation, we gave in and sat down. The guy, who said he was the owner, offered us a free bottle of wine as a bribe (it never materialized), and as soon as he had done his job and got us to sit at one of his tables, he disappeared to sit with his mates at another table. The food was extremely expensive and we left feeling 'taken in'. It won't happen twice!

That was Friday night. Yesterday we ate pizza for lunch - one of the best we have ever had, and we were very happy. Because the orchestra had to rehearse at 7 p.m. we did not eat until after the concert, when we were lucky to find a table at one of the night spots just outside the mosque. The atmosphere was very 'covent garden' in a Greek way, and we had lovely food and great company. I was on a bit of a high after playing, and the evening was so good that it was 2 a.m. before we knew it.

The charity concert was organized by Mr Bob Wright of the Cretan Iternational Community to raise money to buy a 4 x 4 vehicle for the Rethymnon Red Cross organisation.

We're back in Vrahassi now, feeling a little jaded, but with memories of a fantastic weekend in Rethymnon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


What a lovely May wreath Kiria Maria had put on her wall. It was the only May garland that I saw in Vrahassi as I walked around the village. Are the old customs disappearing? I did see somebody's back yard full of goats, not too good in the middle of the village, I'm glad they are not my neighbours. There are plenty of dragunarums about on the old lane, and lots of colourful wild flowers. It is lovely walking weather at the moment - if only I had the time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


It's a lovely day, just right for a relaxing Bank Holiday. But does it make any difference in the Sharp house. Not a jot. David is out working as usual, deadlines to meet, and I have my cello to practice for the concert on Wednesday. Still, no worries, the dogs have been walked, the flowers watered, and it is very peaceful in Vrahassi.
Talking of peaceful, whilst wandering throught the graveyard the other day, I took this photo of the 'bone house', orbs and all. The poor soul who ended up in the Draculina Tasty Snack box must not have had enough funds (or friends) to provide him with a wooden casket.
Vrahassi Bone House
If you put my bones in a cardboard box,
Please don't be so hasty,
DRACOOULINA SNACKS may be quite good,
But bones are not so tasty,
Besides it doesn't look just right
When other casks are oak,
'To have an ad of 'TASTY SNACKS',
In fact it's quite a joke,
Do you suppose the Verger knew,
Perhaps it was a dare,
Whichever way you look at it
It doesn't seem quite fair,
But in the bone house one such box
I saw amongst the racks,
In truth it bore the 'vertisment


Here's my friend, Diana, walking one of her dogs. She thinks it's quite novel that I'm getting up so early to walk mine.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Did you see the moon last night? It was fantastic, a huge bright light in the sky just right for dancing beneath. I've got that 'naked nymph' feeling today, oak groves, maypoles, ribbons and bells. Of course there's none of that in Vrahassi (should I set a trend?). I think not, it is still a bit chilly. Hey ho, better do something normal instead, mop the floor, hang washing out, do a bit of weeding. It's not 'naked nymph' work, is it? Still, we are off to visit Gav and Rosemarie this afternoon, so could do a bit of tiptoeing around thier pool. I'll do something really traditional on the way and pick some wild flowers to make into a garland. I won't be alone because that is what the Greek people do on May 1st - unless they are stricking of course.

What's that I hear? Jingly bells - Oh it's an old goat, thought it just might have been a Morrise dancer!

Hope your day is as fun packed as mine.

Jane x