Sunday, May 5, 2019

Spring Where are You

It is still very cool in eastern Canada l, the daffodils are up. Scilla and crocus are gone and the magnolias are almost ready to bloom.

The spring vines painting is finished, the other day after looking at the painting for a 
couple of days I added more trees as it looked too symmetrical.

Couldn’t wait for spring,  it can catch up with me later.  I bought bunches of pink and purple tulips and they became my subjects. This week we started walking around the neighbourhood again. We are still going to the gym every other day. I am happy to report that my shoulder is 99% after months of  stretching. Soooo if we still had a garden I would be out poking around.  Just three weeks and We can putter in our Greek garden. Happy spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Spring has not quite sprung.....

I had plans to paint all winter as I have a north facing studio. However my fall in November did more damage than we thought. Most of the cold months were spent at the physiotherapist getting my shoulder working again. The good news it that it’s probably 95% healed but I am still doing a daily routine of stretching and quite there yet. 

I have been working on this seaside painting intermittently and today I think it’s finished. My studio is a little cold , think garret and my fingers were stiffening after a couple of hours. The scene is in England and it’s either Pennington or Lymington. I was quite fascinated by the blending of the old and new, a good town planner.  A cool blustery day with amazing clouds. 

Today it has warmed up slightly after gale force winds last night and we are expecting 10 degrees on Thursday. I sketched out a new painting this afternoon.....spring in Havari last year. The young grapes just outside of the village had been pruned and looked just lovely. In the background redbud trees and various other trees starting to blossom. A clump of cypress on the right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Winter, Winter....Go Away

We haven't gone south......we are rather housebound as this seems to be a bad winter for walkers. Just after Christmas the weather was not too bad and we were to able to walk safely almost every day. Then winter arrived with cold arctic winds and snow flurries. Today we are experiencing snow flurries on and off and have safely worked out in the on site gym this morning :).
I have been hibernating trying to get enthusiastic about anything. The winter blues no doubt, the picture is from our  kitchen window. Yesterday there were absolutely no cars across the street as the the blowing snow was so extreme I think everyone stayed at home,  even the QEW which we can see through the tree was very lightly travelled and the big rigs were going slowly. We are catching up on dental and medical appointments in February and I seem to be spending a lot of time with our dentist getting really old crowns replaced. 

On the weekend I cleaned and reorganized my studio and as soon as it warms up a little I will carry on painting a small canvas of english row housing from our trip of last year. Catching up on my reading currently Nicci French and Quentin Jardine, we dumped cable TV in the new year and signed up with Netflix. We have watched all seasons of the Blacklist and finally understood the story. This week we are engrossed in Midsomer Murders, the gentle but sometimes gory stories from a quiet English can so much happen in one small place? Nick is in heaven watching a zillion cooking shows. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

November 2018

The last part of our trip always flies past. Usually it is spent doing all of those things we were supposed to deal with earlier. I have become quite smart over the instead of writing a clothing inventory I just tidy up the drawers and take pictures of what we are leaving behind. We are down to two small carry ons and this time we did not bring honey as we had no room. Today we ran out of Greek honey from the mountains and I guess we will now have to wait until May of next year to enjoy it again.


We pack away the kitchen, everything fits in the lower cupboards which saves dusting next year and all clothing and towels etc. are placed into plastic storage boxes or draped in plastic preventing moth larvae from feasting on our stuff while we are gone! 

We arrived home on the 16th. and within a few days both came down with lousy colds from which we are just recovering. Lesley had a fall on a walk first week home, damn sidewalk cracks and damaged her shoulder, physio starts this week. Otherwise we are settling into our winter home and looking forward to nice mild Ontario winter (we hope) and Christmas.

A few more pictures of our trip, loved that staircase up to our landlady's apartment in Faliraki, Rhodes. A new table from you know where, with lemons from our tree, this batch was ripening the last week we were in Chavari, so we gave them to Nick's sister as we aren't allowed to bring them home. 

The old olive tree in Lindos fortifications and the temple which was supposed to go in a past post.


The bay view on the way up the mountain in Lindos to the top of the fortifications

The ancient temple at the top of the Lindos fortifications

and finally a view through the crenellations of the fort down of the town of Lindos, it was in another post I know but I had more to say. Lindos is fascinating you feel like you have gone back in time inside the winding up and down cobblestone streets. What stood out was how cool it was in the town, a lot of the streets are covered and we discovered a lovely little restaurant at a crossroads, had a delightful lunch before heading for the bus.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Welcome to Winter

We headed for the bus station on the 14th. November on the first leg of of our long trip home. Air Canada only flies direct from Athens to Toronto in high season. Return trips are a trek....this time via Munich with Lufthansa. Our nephew kindly got us to Amaliada and we had about a twenty minute wait for the 6.20pm bus. We call this bus the milk run, it stops at a number of villages and towns before Patra to pick up parcels and people and then continues on to Athens. The trip ends up being about 4 plus hours,  we then transfer to the airporter at the bus station, then another forty five minutes to the airport. The picture below the gorgeous sunset from the bedroom balcony the evening before we left. Sunsets in the fall are quite spectacular with big fluffy silver edged clouds.

The loungers at Munich Airport

Our plane to Munich left at 6:00 am. We decided to find a quiet spot after going through security and see if we could nap. The new Athens airport is enormous, a legacy from the Olympics and incredibly quiet through the long night, no announcements, just the whir of floor cleaners and and food kiosks cleaning up and preparing for Thursday morning. We did not nap but dozed on and off and about 5 am people started arriving, first employees then people heading to to various gates. The picture below is of the Christmas decorations on the ground floor of the airport, I was fascinated, who would have thought you could make an elegant snowflake with airplanes. Wow. 

Munich is a very much like Athens airport, I think they all use the same general layout, great European design in public areas and washrooms. Elegant. We had a good walk around and discovered the loungers, the 2 and a half hour wait sped by. We boarded on time, left on time, managed to recharge our tablets for the flight. I slept for quite awhile on the plane and I think Nick even had a few zzzz’s. The flight seemed to take forever, finally we were through Pearson International customs and headed for the taxi was snowing very heavily, it was rush hour, the highways were parking lots, we were 😩 exhausted. We have never been in a cab for soooo long, thank the lord for flat rate from the airport. Thirty plus hours and finally we reached home. Tea, followed by a rekkie in the fridge, we had left frozen dinner spaghetti sauce in the freezer marked dinner November 15.....Nick had the energy to zip across the street for mixed greens while I unpacked. We are are still fairly jet lagged, waking too early and hoping we are not coming down with colds. The snow has just about melted and the temperature is rising in the near future but not to the balmy 21 degrees we left behind.  It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here, confirmed by the decorations and Christmas cookies at the supermarket today. A great trip and we look forward to next year but will leave Greece earlier!!!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Productive Friday

Holy Trinity is more or less finished....still assessing the shadowed sides of the church I need courage to go darker.  Tomorrow. I think a purply grey will work.

We pass the abandoned house below on our daily walks. At the end of summer the datura climbs all over the front of the house winding its way to this shuttered window. In each side the oleander rambles on the aging, used to be white-washed walls. The blue shutters are a wonderful chalk blue....created by the sun and age. A challenge to mix paint to match.

I have had a very productive day even managed to wash the shower curtains. We will not have too many more of these sunny 20 degree days which are perfect for drying laundry. When we get back to our apartment I must tell the dryer I really missed it’s service.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Holy Trinity Painting

The church in the village is called Holy Trinity and is perched on the highest point in Chavari. The setting is wonderful, the mountain behind the church is covered with a thick canopy of mulberry trees, cypress, ash and evergreens and other varieties which I cannot recognize. We have a marvellous view of the church from the windows on the east side of our apartment. Sunday mornings we are awakened by the bells which I miss when we go back to Canada. I took the picture from the end of our balcony as it is almost impossible to get a picture anywhere else in the village, too many house clustered around.  I am down to the fine details and still working on the lights and darks and simplifying the busy architectural elements to fit my brushes.  There will be the rubber tree with its spectacular white blossoms in the left corner. Below finished painting and placed on the dining room wall.