Monday, April 25, 2011

My Big Fat Greek Easter!

Halkidiki and Sunshine...

Greek Easter and Candles...

Good Friends and Family...

Wild Boar and Lamb...

Chocolate eggs and Baklava...

Good Wine and Tsiporo...

Guitars and Singing...

Kite flying and Swimming.

I need not say anymore, but instead hope these pictures below tell the story better.
I've had a lovely Easter in Greece: catching up with friends, enjoying the gorgeous spring weather. I'm so priviledged to live in this nation.

Good Friday, sharing a supper together.

Saturday night. 12.00am - at the church. Only candles to light the town.

Oliver easter egg hunting.

First Swim of the Year!

My yummy English chocolate!

Singing beautiful Greek songs.

The guys together!

Lets go fly a kite!

I love this time of year in Greece. Especially being able to explore the country side and seeing it thrive in this gorgeous weather, before the heat scorches everything.  I was able to collect an amazing array of wild flowers from my back garden.

Beach combing is a favourite past-time too. Just before the beaches get cleaned for the summer, I love to collect drift wood and anything unusual on the beach. This weekend I found a starfish!!!

Wildlife we found!

My wild flowers I collected!

My star fish!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Something to muse on???

I was on a bike ride with Oliver one morning in Albania: exploring the city and buying fruit and veg when I came across this older gentleman sitting against a wall selling his herbs and spices on a crate by his feet.

Intially I thought, 'What a fantastic wall!' The colour, (also looking alot like my backdrop) was beautiful. And I wonder if the man sells mint for my salad?
Then I turned to look at the man. He was sitting there, looking straight out and watching the world pass him by.
He wasn't what I was expecting. To be honest I have no idea what I was expecting, but this wasn't it.

(Oh and I'm not the best photographer... but hopefully you get the gist!)

His face, with all his lines and weather beaten brow has a story to tell. But his jacket and beret tell a different story to that of his face?

How does he live?
What was his life like through the Communist era?
Who is his family? his wife? his children?

Maybe I'll get the guts to ask him these questions. But until then. He's just the gentleman in my blog. nameless...
until I learn Albanian... we'll see...

Drift Wood Project.

When I went to Montenegro, whilst walking along the beach, there were thousands of little pieces of drift wood washed up on the shore. In a bleached knotted piles.
I collected as many as my hands could carry, determined to find a use for them. And I have...
It became a small project of mine, and I've found that I really enjoyed making it and the result was so satisfying.

The drift -wood I collected from a great day out as a family.
And the picture I took when we had previous memorable day out as a family.
The frame I bought in IKEA
The glue gun is a must buy for anyone with an ounce of creativeness in them.
et voila!

The finished article!
I love it! I'm so happy with the finished product!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Creativity and all that is to come...

Recently I've been getting creative again with my sewing machine, which I'm loving! Alot of what I'm doing is practise and getting used to it again.
Whilst I was in Albania I was comissioned to make a peg bag!

So I set up my desk and made a little creative office, which is staying up and running for future projects, and I made my peg bag!

The choosen fabric.

My work space.

The result!

My next few projects involve:
Quilts for babies
A Russian doll door stop
A dress
Applique on baby vests!

All to be blogged about.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crossing Borders

Saturday was a family day, and so we decided to explore Montenegro.
It was a beautiful day.
The border is only half an hour away, and on the other side another half hour to get to the coast of Ulchin.

The drive was lovely. A warm sunny day, with the signs of life bursting forth from all the stark trees and mountains. Green is everywhere!

We got to the coast and paddled our feet, walked the shoreline, ate ice cream and explored the old city perched on the cliff face.

Feet paddling time!

Ice cream!

Exploring the city!

More exploring!

This week will be our last week in Albania before we head off back to Greece for Greek Easter. Its been such a rich time for us: exploring the region, making new friends... even heading to the gym daily has connected me with the ladies of Albania which has been great!

Albania still has so much potential, being such a new nation. There is so much that I could complain or worry about: Rubbish, State of Roads, Blood feuds, Mafia, Trafficking, Poverty (subjects that I will write about at the right time) - but generally the younger generation are hopeful for their nation, they want to prosper it in a healthy way.

When I speak to the young people here, they are starting to push small boundaries in their lives. And that excites me. I must remain hopeful for the few who are wanting to see their nation change.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Polyphonic Sounds of Albania.

Recently we had a friend visit us here in Shkodera from a town near Tirane, and we started talking about music.
He reminded me of a style of music here in Albania that I was introduced to by a friend called Polyphonic music. A hypnotic sound of voices, calls, and story telling all in one sound! Its quite extraordinary stuff!

When we first arrived here in the Balkans, we had this CD by Goran Bregovic.
It has become the soundtrack of our lives here. And if I had an 'Desert Island disc' choice, I would choose one of the songs from this album.

The song below is called 'Babylon' from the album, 'The Silence of the Balkans' by Goran Bregovic

Friday, April 1, 2011

A little something thrown together!

Well this is just a quick one today!

But I would just like to acknowledge my husbands AMAZING talent (with a little help from his friends!) We comissioned him to build a table for the outside courtyard... and ta-dar... what a hero!!! And what a master piece!

The end result... drying. Next blog will be us dining at it!

Also todays events involved, painting and planting veg and flowers and a bike ride to a local river to collect some 'stepping stones' to arrange around the flower beds!
Spring is definately here...

Superman planting seeds with Mina.

Superman painting with Noah.

Have a lovely weekend!