Author Archives: janemgardner

Day 19 of 60 – Summer 2018

Wednesday, 4th July

218 miles

  • Meteora
  • Kalambaka

Overnight in Antoniadis Hotel, Kalambaka.

This morning we say a sad farewell to Athens as we head north to the monasteries at Meteora. We have the luxury of one more day in Athens before we fly out.

A long drive but well worth it. The monastery complex is truly spectacular.

Day 18 of 60 – Summer 2018

Tuesday, 3rd July

  • Panathenic Stadium.
  • Temple of Zeus
  • Hadrian’s Arch
  • Parliament buildings and others…
  • Acropolis
  • Pantheon

Overnight at the Titania Hotel

Today we met our guide for our trip through the Balkans, Ivan the Alternative from Macedonia (FYROM). His business card describes him as ‘not your usual tour guide’!

Fir the first few days there will be three in his group. We met Jay last night, a New Jersey lad living in Oz but on tour. He will be part of the group until Sarajevo. Two more are joining us in Kotor.

But first local guides will be showing us the delights of Athens. Feel there might be some deja vu…

Day 17 of 60 – Summer 2018

Monday 2nd July

Another free day in Athens meeting with tour rep at 2030 in hotel. No sign of Ivan the rep by 2130 despite calls to the company. Met Jay a fellow traveller who will be with us for first 9 days of the tour.

Fabulous day trip out of the city. First to the Corinth Canal, then on to the most complete bee hive tomb and Mycenae. After lunch a visit to Epidaurus and Nafaleon.

Day 16 of 60 – Summer 2018

Sunday, 1st July

Free day in Athens staying at Titania Hotel.

Breakfast on the rooftop terrace with amazing views of the Acropolis and the city over to the sea. Could sit here all day in the shade…but no. Time to get out and explore!

Day trip booked for tomorrow and walking tour at 1700 today.

Headed to the Plaka district, the old town and lots of window shopping in the numerous leather bags and shoe stores. One store caught our eye with their linen and cotton designs. All made in Greece. Left with a couple more additions to the travel wardrobe.

Met Sam, our Free Tour Guide at Hadrian’s Arch and she took us on a winding tour of the city. She had arrived for a two week holiday 24 years ago. Married a local and has a son in university. We started by heading to the Olympic amphitheatre where it was being set up for an upcoming concert by the local philharmonic and the Scorpions.

Next to see the changing of the guard where a growingly heated demonstration allowed us only a short time watching the soldiers.

Day 14 of 60 – Summer 2018

Friday, 29th June

After yesterday’s searing temperatures this morning brings a light breeze and a sigh of relief from everyone.

No worries about washing being out as threat of rain remains zero…for now.

Spent a lovely afternoon in the garden with our Syrian neighbours drinking strong cardamom Arabic coffee followed by dates and mate. Turns out that mate is a South American tea and that Syria is the main importer of it. The dry tea is served in a small cup with a spoon that acts as a straw. Hot water is poured in and the end of the spoon strains the tea as you drink. Not unpleasant taste. Am now fully topped up with caffeine!

Day 13 of 60 – Summer 2018

This azure blue is becoming a bit of a fixture – getting too comfortable not having to think about fleece jumpers and umbrellas! Temperature did not drop much last night so gave the morning a head start – scorchio!

What to do on a roasting day – seek refuge in the air conditioned hire car (a mokka, nice of them to give me on named after a coffee, how appropriate!) and head for the coast. Main task is to visit a very old and dear friend of my mothers who is now in a residential home in Largs. Sad to see someone still there but lost in memories – talk always goes to the days when she and my mother were at school and their days working near each other in the village as well as their dancing nights. The names of shops and neighbours trips off her tongue as if she were there only yesterday. Second sub-task is fish supper by the waters edge. Even in summer we have sometimes had to take refuge in the car as too cold/wet/windy to sit out. There was even one January when the weather was more clement than some summer days. Today there will not be a problem with poor weather, might need the comfort of the AC though!

Not my circus, not my monkeys

Always lots of new chapters, just have to make sure that don’t linger on one for too long!

It was that realisation that there was nothing keeping me there, only me

Yes would be easy just to say on but was beginning not always to like the way work and the country were making me feel

The thought of going through another change was too much. When 2020 was announced I knew my time was up!

yes, same thing. especially when the business side begins to overshadow the education

guess am at that time in life when no longer willing to make moral compromises

We have both seen so many people come and go and so many ‘new initiatives’ that there comes a point when enough is enough.

Seemless transitions of life

When are some toys not fun anymore?

When do we no longer believe in Santa?

Fashion is no longer the driving force in buying clothes and shoes?

What other people think doesn’t really matter anymore?

The Top 40 are no longer on you playlists?

You realise that being alone is not being lonely – footsteps on a beach

You are in control and can make life changes

Compromise is a choice not a necessity and not the only choice.

Hobbit toes?

Name that…you!

I do not think I have met anyone who is entirely happy with their given name. This is apparent in our common use of shortened versions or nicknames but few people actually go to the extent of changing their name by deed pole. Having said that I do know someone who has done this and although their new name was a subtle change to the given one and certainly not something linked to popular culture it was important enough to do.

I was named after my maternal grandmother. It is a name which cannot be shortened unless you take away a vowel. It does not lend itself to have a ‘y’ on the end and despite some people adding a ‘y’ within it, it is hard to misspell. So for these reasons it would seem like a good choice. To be honest I neither like nor dislike it. Yes, I would like to have a name which can be shortened and given a ‘y’ but not to the extent of changing it.

Naming a child is a huge responsibility for parents. A name which may seem cute for a baby may be a heavy burden as a school child and totally unsuitable for an adult. Where do you begin? Being named after a family member in accordance with family tradition or expectation may seem easier but some, let us call them fashionable names do have a link to time whereas some are the more common traditional names which are always popular so even there there is a minefield. Do you give them a ‘grown up’ name and then immediately use a shortened nickname or go straight for the nickname? Do you give your child several middle names so at some point they could be known by one of them if desired?