Friday, 27 May 2016

Creta Maris

My parents used to take a holiday in the sun every autumn and a favourite hotel was the Creta Maris. Some thirty years ago I took my daughters to join them during an October half-term break from school. My parents loved having their grand-daughters with them, the hotel was small, friendly and very well run and it gave us all happy memories . (Himself stayed at home for work and to look after my parents' dog!) When an offer appeared online for the hotel I thought how nice it would be to revisit and see what I could remember.
The answer - nothing! The hotels is now a HUGE complex, changed out of all recognition!
What hadn't changed, however, was the friendliness and efficiency of the staff and the deliciousness of the food. Memo to self: all inclusive is not advisable for people lacking in self discipline!
Can you see the dear little tartlet decorated with a flower and a section of fig? Who could resist!

Watermelon decoration.
We ate
and ate
and grew fatter and fatter
at the various hotel restaurants.
We received a wonderful welcome and attention from George at the Almyra each lunchtime after we had staggered up from the beach or hoisted ourselves from a sunbed!
Special thanks also to Natalia, surely the loveliest young woman in Crete (she's from Georgia!) who was so delightful to talk with and who looked after us so well.

But the holiday was mostly about just basking in the sun.

Phew! Cover-up needed.
We wandered into town.

At night there was entertainment
wonderful music
and dancing.
When you come from Blighty it's wonderful to be able to sit outside in the evening and still feel warm!

After ten days of self-indulgence and we were ready for home.
We met some lovely people. Thanks to all.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tuesday Intros, The Lives of Others

I'm joining Diane who hosts Tuesday Intros where we share the opening few lines from a book of our choice. I took Neel Mukherjee's novel away with me on holiday. It's a sizeable book of over five hundred pages and I was able to read throughout the days without the interruptions that would occur at home.  
Prologue May 1966

A third of the way through the half-mile walk from the landlord's house to his hut, Nitai Das's feet began to sway. Or maybe it is the head-spin again. He sits down on the lifeless field he has to cross before he can reach his hut. There isn't a shred of shade anywhere. The May sun is an unforgiving fire; it burns his blood dry. It also burns away any lingering grain of hope that the monsoons will arrive in time to end this third year of drought.

Our book group discussed it over Sunday lunch when we got home. Only half of us had read the whole novel. It's a hard read with deeply painful and unpleasant elements and a large cast of characters. I had to constantly flick back to the family tree set out  at the start of the book. Those who had read it on kindle didn't have that advantage and had great difficulty working out who was who. 
You can see from the photo below that Himself was not very engaged! He was one of several who gave up half way through.
Would you read it, even though you know it's going to be a pretty grim story, based on the true situation in India?!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Holiday wardrobe

For me holidays are all about searching for warmth and sunshine. In England white can look cold, but under a bright blue sky, and with a bit of a suntan, then white clothes are what I like to wear. I put the same things in my case every time, white shorts, tees, bikinis.
I've got a couple of white beach cover-ups, this one from Boden is a thick cotton and smartens up a bit when worn with  these summer-weight cotton trousers from M&S.

White crop pants are another useful item. 
And I'm very fond of my silly gold daps!
Joining Patti for her Visible Monday.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Blue skies

Blue skies shining on me, tra la la. Just the thing for Friday Skywatch.
We are just back from Crete where, I'm happy to report, the sky was a welcoming expanse of clear blue for most of our holiday. The taxi driver en route to the hotel said that their winter had been unusually warm and dry and he was concerned about his olive crop. I refrained from telling him that the rain maker was in his car minus her brolly, but my presence on the island did mean that the Cretan crops enjoyed one day of steady rain during our stay.
The hotel was designed to look like a Cretan village with charming little pathways and quiet corners.

And there was an equally blue sea, warm enough for swimming!