Don’t point any fingers

Musings

Halloween

You probably think that my disguise as a pirate, translates to my inability to move beyond the  year 2007 and get over my love for Captain Jack Sparrow (you did notice the eye patch on the banana I take it). Before you call me cheesy and venture on a critique on my trite costume selection, let me tell you, that the eye patch is there for a reason, as is the frown.

But first, let me point you toward my Halloween preparations.

I volunteered to help out with some freaky baking on Wednesday — getting the atmosphere ready for a downright creepy vibe. We made some crafty spiders, and these deliciously wicked fingers:

Line them up!

Line them up!


knobbly

Extra knobbly


gore

The final gory touch

These tasted so good! It totally got us in the Halloween spirit, even if we don’t really celebrate the holiday here in Cyprus. After all, who doesn’t like to dress up and eat disgusting-looking yummy food?

Eager to share my enthusiasm for the cookies, I was showing my sister the photos of these pointy fingers, when quite ironically and entirely unintentionally, she poked me in the eye. It all came down to bad timing, but boy did it hurt!

So after consulting two eye doctors and paying a fortune on medication, tonight, on Halloween, I have limited choices for a costume really. I’m suffering from a corneal abrasion and an infection in the eye, which can leave me three choices, really:

a) use the bandage round my head as a costume prop and go as a wounded person / mummy or any other bandaged-related freak

b) put on a hat, hide the gauze, and go as a less-flashy pirate

c) call it an early night and give my eye some rest

One thing’s for sure, I don’t even want to see those finger cookies! I’ve had enough of fingers — wicked, tasty or real!

Happy trick or treating friends! Keep your eye out for dangers! Harr Harrr

Mad Night

Musings

Tonight was Mad Men night.  A friend of mine has yet to catch on to the series, so I had the bright idea of starting a Mad Men night every Friday to indulge in the girl fun (while drooling over dresses we wish we owned). I came home all ready for this, even contemplated making some bites to spoil ourselves, but it seems the first Mad Men Friday is postponed.

So here I am, drinking coffee from one of my new glass mugs (photos forthcoming), and feeling slightly guilty to be out of the blog loop. There have been too many things going on job-wise. Too many opportunities have come my way, and I, being myself, decided to take up all of them. But thankfully it’s the weekend and so I have a chance to catch my breath.

As regards the renovation, still no big changes, though the space is finally empty of stuff. I’m currently making do with whatever furniture was already in my possession, and will slowly start buying stuff for the home as the renovation begins and ends. It feels very much like my early college years. That’s a lie. Maybe the first couple of days of my college career, because after that (thanks to Target etc) I managed to acquire an assortment of homely things. That’s not going to happen now, as I’m determined to pace myself and find the right thing at the right time.

Let me share what the apartment looks like at the moment:

The living room: the bare necessities

The living room: the bare necessities

My workspace: Where all the homework happens

My workspace: Where all the homework happens

Bedroom stacks: More books and bits

Bedroom stacks: More books and bits

These are all temporary solutions that for now, have done the trick. I’m heading over to IKEA tomorrow for some storage and kitchen supplies. I need something for all my beads because right now they are at a state of chaos on a table and I can’t stand this lack of organization! It’s no wonder I haven’t made anything in ages — I don’t know where anything is!

But I’m not complaining. Not even about the cancelled Mad Men night. I’ve got Project Runway: Season 4 to keep me busy and I’ve been restraining myself to make the pleasure of watching it last longer.

Feel free to join me. I have limited seating but a lot of floor!

Are you in?

House, Haus, Chaos

Jewelry, Musings

Replace the word home with chaos, which sounds like “house” with a foreign accent, and welcome to my world. Coming through the door is still a struggle as there are various boxes and the like blocking the view. My mental sanity? In shreds, packed away in bubblewrap somewhere.

The other day, with all the cleaning and whatnot, we managed to lose the dog. Lose the dog in an apartment, mind you. There are only so many places it could go:

  • under bed? CHECK
  • under chair? CHECK
  • next to the couch by the wall? CHECK
  • the veranda? CHECK
  • squeezed by the laundry basket? CHECK

I was running out of places and she wouldn’t answer to her name. Then I stumbled onto this:

Are you looking for me?

Are you looking for me?

She found her way into the wardrobe and thought it looked nice and cosy. She made her own little version of “Do not disturb”.

When I’m not looking for dogs or fighting my way past the entrance, I’m busy in more ways than one. I recently got a big job that’s exciting but will keep me very very busy. Right now I’m finally back on normal full schedule and this is totally catching up with me. Despite all this, I managed to make a new pair of earrings that I have yet to photograph for Etsy because I’m always working at the time when I like the light the most. Maybe this Saturday…

plain buttoned up

plain buttoned up

This should be listed in my shop soon. I will start working feverishly for some new stuff because I’ll be taking part in a crafters’ fair that’s taking place around Halloween. It’s going to be my first fair so I’m very excited about it, and I have all sorts of ideas about new plain bananas items. Be patient, will you?

Speaking of bananas, I was ecstatic to discover that I made the front page on Sunday! This totally made my day and I’d like to thank palepink for this. Here it is:

plain africa in the spotlight!

plain africa in the spotlight!

Hope you’re enjoying your week. Soon, some photos of my chaos. And I’m not messing with you.

To DIY for

Musings

You might find this odd, but I realized I miss the sound of “Miss, miss, miss” accompanied by an arm flailing, ready to become unhinged any minute now. Oh yes, I’m talking about students. Disregard the absent name following “Miss” and forget entirely that the Greek equivalent of this is “Kyria” (=Mrs) — a shock of entirely different proportions in and of itself.

It’s probably because September is just around the corner, and back to school themes and items are all over the place. Like everyone else, I’m getting back to form — armed with a roller paint brush.

Ready for action!

Ready for action!

You see, I had to get my classroom ready for September. I started by freshening up the wall with some new paint.

Carefuly not to touch my handmade wooden stars decoration

Careful not to touch my handmade wooden stars decoration

After a weekend of slaving away with cleaning, sorting, shopping and the like, I’m happy to say that my classroom walls are waiting to echo that enticingly inviting and often annoying “Miss, Miss, Miss”.

Here are some photos of the place:

Come in!

Come in!

Have a seat

Have a seat

Grab a book

Grab a book

And pay attention!

And pay attention!

What do you think?

Beachy time

Musings

I’ve been in Chania for a whole year, and spent most of last summer there too, but it wasn’t until this August that I truly discovered some of the great beaches we had at our disposal. All it took was renting a car. We were thrilled at first because we had a means of transport and could pretty much pick any point on the map and head for it. Sounds like a great way to spend a week with visiting friends, right? Packed like sardines in the not-so-spacious Huyndai Atoz is one thing; doing the whole road trip transfixed in one position with no radio is quite another.

You see at first we didn’t notice that there wasn’t a radio affixed to the car, because it’s something you take for granted. The antenna was there. The radio? Nowhere to be found. I actually stumbled upon this little detail when I mechanically made for the turn on / volume knob and hit a flat surface. Then I tried to pull it off, thinking it’s a cover. But no, no such thing. If you’re having trouble visualizing this, here’s what it looked like:

It looked like a freaky skeletor-style face

It looked like a freaky skeletor-style face

Luckily we had one of those cassette / CD players which we loaded with batteries and connected to our iPods. We were so bad-ass.

We headed to the nearby beaches, testing the waters, but soon enough we ventured out to a big tourist attraction, Elafonisi. An island is connected to the mainland from a tiny stretch of sand. On some days it tends to be windy there, with lots of waves, but luckily the sea was calm when we were there. As the wave washes over the sand on the shore, the color of the sand is pink from the shells. We took a leisurely walk along the coast and kept stopping to collect shells. I have so much material for new beading adventures!

Looking for shells

Looking for shells


Infecting others to do the same. I enlisted my boyfriends help too!

Infecting others to do the same. I enlisted my boyfriend's help too!

We were pretty lazy at Elafonisi, because the later it got, the less people on the beach and the calmer the waters. And the colors in the sky? Magical!

Dive in

Dive in

And then we looked on the other side as the sun set and we ran across the beach to take photos. The golden hues were to die for!

My favorite hour

My favorite hour

After this great beach, we thought we’d head out to Balos, near Gramvousa. The photos we’d seen of the place told of a very exotic location that looked nothing like the Greek beaches we were familiar with. And let’s be honest, how many of those postcards for sale aren’t entirely changed by photoshop? So we were skeptical but curious. In fact we were so curious as to follow the map instructions even though part of the route was marked as dirt road. But hey, we were on a road trip, right? And next to dirt road, the route was labeled “scenic”. What more could we ask for? We wanted adventure, and adventure we got.

The dirt started out…dirty but drivable. As we progressed in our average 10 km / h the size of the rocks on the ground increased so that it was bad enough we were ascending at an angle on a dirt road, we also had to manoeuvre our tiny radioless car around those huge boulders. It all seemed like a bad Atari game, really.

Bumpy road ahead

Bumpy road ahead

On our way there we came across a lot of friendly free-roaming goats. They posed for us too.

Friendly goat

Friendly goat

A mere 20 km later, we arrived at the parking area, because what followed was a 2 km walk on a footpath. We had to descend our way on the other side to find the exotic beach of Balos.

On the footpath to the beach

On the footpath to the beach


Our first sight of the beach right at the top

Our first sight of the beach right at the top


The breathtaking view!

The breathtaking view!


More of the beach

More of the beach

Spot that boat over there? Well, in case you ever visit Crete, this beach should be in your list of sights not to miss. And that boat is your gift from God. Forget the dirt road, the walking all the way down to the beach (don’t even get me started on the steps we had to go up!). A mere 50 minutes cruise and voila! You’re at the beach. Unless you’re more the adventure type. Like our macho group.

Then again, on our way back we had the full moon and despite the rocky ride, it was a great view to enjoy the whole way home. Radio or no radio.

Full moon, the sea and a perfect ride home

Full moon, the sea and a perfect ride home

Paris, je t’aime

Musings

When I say Paris…

Think Parisian reunions in royal gardens.

Think too much wine and entirely too much cheese.

Think a hangover or two.

Think 700 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower (saved us €9)

Think buildings you fall in love with.

Think beautiful sounds you try to emulate.

Think that you’re really set to have a good time.

It was for a brief 2.5 days, but we met with some old friends who travelled halfway across the globe to find us. It was the kind of experience I thought I could only dream about. I even dished out my rusty French and much to my surprise, managed to carry a crippled conversation here and there. Since then, my new goal is to retouch on my French, and once I get my feet together, I’ll give the French Embassy a call and see if I can find myself a conversation partner, s’il vous plait.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Standing Tall: Notre Dame behind the greenery

Standing Tall: Notre Dame behind the greenery

Pretty hungry: Lovely restaurant

Pretty hungry: Lovely restaurant

Stop to smell the flowers: Not your average polytechnic

Stop to smell the flowers: Not your average polytechnic

So plush: The royal gardens

So plush: The royal gardens

A toast: To Paris and our reunion

A toast: To Paris and our reunion

A great idea: The ferris wheel

A great idea: The ferris wheel

View from the top: The Eiffel Tower

View from the top: The Eiffel Tower

View from the top: The Louvre

View from the top: The Louvre

Spotted: Sculpture of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein

Spotted: Sculpture of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein

Drop anchor: That dash of pink really makes all the difference

Drop anchor: That dash of pink really makes all the difference

Pause: How Parisian

Pause: How Parisian

Time ticking: The imposing clock at Musée d'Orsay, which was an old train station

Time ticking: The imposing clock at Musée d'Orsay, which was an old train station

Just a shadow: From Le Chat Noir, shadow theater

Just a shadow: From Le Chat Noir, shadow theater

So close: The Eiffel Tower

So close: The Eiffel Tower

Ich bin ein Berliner

Musings

Sure, Kennedy said he was a donut, and I sympathize because it sounds like the kind of mistake I would make. Donut or no donut, Berlin was a wonderful city. In 2.5 days that we had there, we were in awe of the bicycles, great organization and order, big pavements and no litter on the streets, friendly people and cool shops and bars. Both my boyfriend and I were secretly falling in love with the place, but I was afraid to say anything because I’m generally known for my compulsive impulsiveness and didn’t really want to freak him out with: I want to live here. It was a great relief and a big surprise when he came out and said it first. Woohoo! My mind has been plotting since, but Berlin, is a few years away for now.

First step: learn German. This is in my immediate goal list, but since returning to Cyprus, has been pushed down on the list of priorities due to some other more urgent things. But it’s in there. I swear!

Here’s a sneak peek of Berlin — some of my favorites.

Tachelles: A building taken over by artists full of graffiti inside

Tachelles: A building taken over by artists full of graffiti inside


An oasis in the city: Full of lush parks, a rare find for someone coming from a dry climate

An oasis in the city: Full of lush parks, a rare find for someone coming from a dry climate


Look at me: Graffiti in the city

Look at me: Graffiti in the city


In the distance: Berliner Dome

In the distance: Berliner Dome

Look up: The tower that's visible from anywhere in Berlin

Remember this: Artist installation representing those who died during WW2 at Jewish museum

Remember this: Artist installation representing those who died during WW2 at Jewish museum


Just cool: Wall painting on East Side Gallery, where the remaining wall still stands, full of paintings by artists from all over

Just cool: Wall painting on East Side Gallery, where the remaining wall still stands, full of paintings by artists from all over


In progress: A true masterpiece

In progress: A true masterpiece


Go for it: An act of desperation

Go for it: An act of desperation


All-time classic: Of course we got our black-and-white set of four

All-time classic: Of course we got our black-and-white set of four


Pick one: I'll live anywhere!

Pick one: I'll live anywhere!


By night: An onion ring of moon

By night: An onion ring of moon


Take a break: The best chai ever!

Take a break: The best chai ever!


Hang on: Resting by the river

Hang on: Resting by the river


Take me for a ride: I want a bicycle too!

Take me for a ride: I want a bicycle too!


Picture perfect: I'm moving in tomorrow

Picture perfect: I'm moving in tomorrow

Back and ready to crumble

Musings

It’s been what, a month? Surely it’s felt like longer for you, no? It has for me. Actually in the past month, time took on that surreal sense of going really quickly, but in slow motion too. It gave me enough time to pause and marvel at things I was doing, places I went to, wonderful people I’ve shared precious moments with. And all of this without Internet. Thank you divine idle time — your overabundance kept me quite busy indeed.

To avoid getting myself (and implicating you too, of course) into alarming high word counts, I have decided to break it down into different entries. That should keep all of our sanity intact. So I’ll let you know about the best buyer a world could ask for, show you a splash of Berlin, give you a little bit of that Parisian glamor and then relocate to Crete and its wonderful beaches.

This past month had quite a lot of moving; in fact we packed up our stuff and shipped it over to Cyprus and also emptied our entire apartment into boxes and moved to a temporary little furnished place until my boyfriend completes his thesis. My other half is working very hard as we speak, furrowed brow and all, in an effort to finish his thesis soon. Of that I’m sure.

As for me, I headed to Cyprus to find a nest and get back into the teaching wheel. Incidentally, hello from a new location.

But more of those adventures, as they unravel. For now, click and read. It’s good to have you back.

Nowhere near you

Musings

So my blog has been dominated by this vast sense of empty space. Every day I write out all these colorful entries in my head and I’m very dutiful with Math Mondays and Friendly Fridays. But they never reach you.

I’m sure you’re wondering why.

Remember that move I mentioned? Well, it finally happened and we got out of it in one piece. The apartment is small and cute, and will serve its short purpose well. Come December, it’s au revoir Chania and back to Cyprus for my boyfriend too hopefully. I’m making the big plunge over on August 15th. Until then, I’m afraid my life will not regain any sense of internet normalcy because there is simply NO internet.

Transferring a phone line is much too complicated for our phone company, so they issue us with a new number, a procedure that takes about a month. By then, I’ll be long settled to Cypriot rhythms and happy to be with you again. Right now, all I have is this permanent state of no connectivity that I can’t say is all that bad.

After the tiring move, all I want to do is kick up my feet, grab a good book and read away. Or watch old seasons of Project Runway over wine. Or wander around Chania, the town I’m about to bid goodbye and cram these last two weeks with as many fresh, wonderful memories as I can.

There are a lot of things I want to share with you, but at the moment I figuratively have my hands tied. No beads, no internet and no typed blog entries. We’ll catch up again in two weeks.

Until then, know that I write entries for you in my head on a daily basis, while I have my nose buried behind a book. It usually means I have to re-read a page or two, but that’s a small price to pay for sending thoughts your way, don’t you think?

Gone bananas

Musings
Taking a break at Musée d'Orsay

Taking a break at Musée d'Orsay

Yes, this banana is back in town! In fact, I’ve been back for a few days now, but things have been pretty hectic. Coming home to an apartment of boxes is no pleasant sight, my friends. If those boxes were all sealed and everything was tidily waiting to be shipped off upon our return, that would have been an entirely different story. But no, we have been spending the past few days packing up boxes with what we’re shipping back to Cyprus, and packing up the rest of the apartment on the side, because we’re also moving to a new apartment this week.

Confused? Of course, you are.

The short of it: I’m heading to Cyprus on August 15th, for what you could call permanently, but what I like to call “for a longterm now”, so we’re sending all our stuff there. My boyfriend has a two or three months left at university to finish his dissertation, but we’re changing apartments because of a gross misunderstanding between our current landlord. Despite our plans for a relaxing summer, we got kicked out of the apartment two months earlier, quite unexpectedly. Reason? New students coming in September would be a better investment, since they can sign a yearly contract.

Don’t even get me started on this issue. I still can’t get over it.

So today, is the big day! We’ve rented a car and we’re taking all of our 20 boxes to the airport to make their airborne way to Larnaca, Cyprus. After that, we’re also moving all our stuff to the new apartment, minus the fridge, washing machine and couch, which we have no idea how we’re going to manage to move (though we have come up with a lot of imaginative, impossible plans).

Look forward to more entries regarding the trip and general fun points AFTER the move. Hopefully my sanity and mental calm will be restored and I’ll be able to tell you all about:

  • love and Berlin
  • gorgeous buildings
  • friend reunion
  • too much exercise
  • cool souvenirs

But for now, hold tight — I still need to go and pack up all of our kitchen. What a great way to spend a Sunday!