Ode to siesta

Odes

Fatigue creeps up on me

like a hungry bitch after lunchtime

looking for scraps of dreams

and pillow feathers to cling on.

She invites me to her bed,

warm and soft,

and gently kisses my eyelids

to a lingering state of limbo.

I let myself go between fragments

of whatifs and havetos

until I lose control.

It’s quite the fiesta,

if you know what I mean.

Summer bummer

Commentary

Photo credit: gege.gatt

They usually count me among the lucky ones who get to sit around during summer. Formally speaking, that may be true; but I’m here to convince you otherwise. The little voices in my head are telling me that there is no way I can get everything I need to get done within the entire month of August.

Go ahead, roll your eyes, wince at me. It doesn’t stop it from being true. Even the ants here are staging a retreat below the keyboard – some brave lookouts comb the white plains of the ibook for the deathly fingers of yours truly much to their utter bad luck (the fingers are lurking). What am I on about? Is it the heat? Or maybe it’s the stress of  knowing I won’t get all my to-dos done that makes ants miraculously appear out of nowhere on my laptop, in my bowl of cereal and most likely swimming somewhere in my stomach too. As you wonder whether I’ve now become positively insane, let me take a moment to explain everything that I plan, but won’t have time to fulfill.

The Summer Wishlist

Thank you magazine articles for constantly letting us know what the best summer / beach reads are. I have feverishly read all the summaries, religiously circled the ones I might be interested in and now all I have to do is pack a beach towel, head for the nearest beach and root myself in the most cancerous looking spot of sun. It’s what I did every other year, but this year it seems like the hardest thing on earth possibly because my perception of hard has changed dramatically. There’s one reason for this, and you can blame it on the kids.

And yes, thank you too billboard ads, mailings, radio and TV advertisements. I now know that I can’t afford even the best deals in travel packages. My financial situation is so dire that I can hardly even get to the average hotel that’s down the street (not that I would want to anyway). Yet at night, when I tend to get more delusional than usual, I search the web frantically for ticket prices and accommodation and convince myself with midnight maths that I can afford it. I wake up with a number hangover, but luckily with no great debt as of yet, at least.

And oh, let’s not forget sleeping late, going out, meeting with friends and the general paralysis of all things normal in your schedule. In the 100% humidity we’ve been experiencing lately, the only paralysis I feel is that of my brain.

I think the message is clear: Get out – even the ants are vacating. I would hide under the table for a week until people start wondering where I’ve disappeared too, but that’s not possible because the carpenter will be delivering the dining table in September. I don’t even have a bed to crawl under, for shade if nothing else. I could of course sandwich myself in the bookcase; perhaps surrounded by books I could feel a touch of the escape from the mundane even briefly, before the bookcase topples over me.

It’s going to be a short one month, I’m sure.

On summer

Rants

Hello summer,

We’ve been waiting for you. We’ve quantified you to the certainty of 30 degrees Celsius and we monitor the weather forecast like hungry wolves. Clouds tomorrow? Saharan dust? Let that not come in the way of your arrival, we beg. But the tell-tale sign arrives overnight, and we don’t even need to check our thermometers to confirm your entrance. Suddenly, hair frizzes up, furniture is coated with a thick film of moisture and we are scooped up in a dense cloud of opaqueness. Humidity heralds your arrival. And instead of a warm welcome, we’re thinking, how could we forget about what you do to us every year?

We get carried away with romantic notions of the Ss: sun, salty sea, seashells, sand. As we slap on our sunscreen with SPF 1,000 under the scorching sun, we soon realize that it’s about time we bought our own beach umbrella because there’s very little hope we’ll ever manage to get the few sunbeds that offer it as option. As we enter the water, we yelp silently, trying to look good as we enter a liquid version of our freezer. Of course it’s refreshing, we fib. “Look at me, I’m diving in, ha ha,” and our heart comes to an abrupt halt before resuming again when we break the surface. “God that felt good!” we say through clenched teeth. Around us, a few hundred others do the same, and we try to ignore the persistent question, as we hit a warm spot while we’re swimming. It’s the currents, we convince ourselves, though we know as we eye the crowd that it’s plain human nature. Oh yes, gross, summer, gross.

Then come plans for traveling and discovering and getting away from worries and people (though the latter, few of us would admit). We make grand plans for escape, and monitor prices closely before booking on the day when unexpectedly, prices rise, dammit. We buy travel guides and optimistically keep them on the coffee table, hoping that we’ll pick them up before the trip. We make our budget so that we never keep it, and come back with empty pockets and ticket stubs that we’re not sure whether to keep as souvenirs or throw out. As for our peace of mind? No room for that, surely, with the stress of seeing all the sights, avoiding all the touristy places and getting our value for money. Going back to work no longer seems like a bad idea, actually.

And when we start to take at least three showers a day, we remember why it is that you stink summer. We are gullible people, we like to live life in postcards that say “Wish you were here!” or go to work dancing to summer beats, sipping on mojitos. But when you arrive, you bring with you the unbearable heat, those long long days, that need filling. So we venture out to coffeeshops more, we go out at nights, because we wear denial on our sleeves, and by the end of it, we come out of August broke and in despair. We wait for the first rain eagerly, and monitor thermometers for temperature fluctuations. We are people of routine and we work in this cycle.

For now, in early June, all I have to say is “Welcome back.” By the end of it, we’ll hate you, that’s a promise.

plain bananas x

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.

Our Big Fat Greek Summer Giveaway

Jewelry

Greek Summer Giveaway

Everyone likes freebies. I’m a big sucker for the buy-one-get-one-free deal, because let’s face it: a present is a present. And giveaways are giveaways. The Etsy Greek Street Team, has put together a big giveaway that will be won by seven people! On the edge of your seat? Sit tight and read on how you can be a lucky winner!

The rules are simple: Visit the participating shops through their links, found below, make a purchase of $10 or more (excluding shipping costs) from one or more shops and enter the draw to take place on September 2, for the seven free gift packages on offer! All purchases in the month of July and August will be considered as entries.

Oh and the bonus: The more items you buy, the more entries you get in the draw.

Shops participating in the giveaway have the banner and announcement on their shop.

Oh and the prizes? Here’s some eye-candy for you:

pack_1

1. from FLORENTINES – Leather Flip Flops / Custom made
2. from MATTAK – Handmade pendant / Silver & Bronze
3. from PLAIN BANANAS – plain Walk on the Beach — Leg bracelet / beads, shells, charms
4. from THEPRINCESSNEXTDOOR – Papier Mache earrings

pack_2

5. from TRISEVYENI – Copper earrings / Goldfilled earwires
6. from NAZOZUBUS – Handmade Rose Brooch
7. from KARMOLOGYCLINIC – Colorful Summer handbag
8. from AMORONIA– Alice in Wonderland – Rabbit / Paper Mache Brooch

pack_3

9 . from NAFSIKA – Ethnic style sterling silver earrings
10. from ARTISTICO – You are always here / Limited Edition – Print – size A4
11. from MOONSTONEJEWEL – Necklace Antique Golden Butterfly
12. from ONSTAGE69 – Summer fun shell bracelet

pack_4

13. from EVRYDIKI – Sterling Silver earrings / pearl, amethyst, red coral
14. from HEARTSHAPEDCREATIONS – Polar Bear / polymer clay 1,4” in height
15. from SIVYLLA – Dreamy Flip Flops / Custom made
16. from LACRAVATTENDUCHIEN – Multi strand necklace

pack_5

17. from THEPRINCESSNEXTDOOR – Papier Mache bracelet
18. from AMORONIA – Alice in Wonderland – Mad Hatter / Paper Mache Brooch
19. from ARTISTICO – Only Time / Limited Edition – Print – size A4
20. from NERAIDODHMIOURGIES – Blue Love – Key chain

pack_6

21. from VANTIDESIGNS – Felt Necklace / wool, beads, ribbons
22. from ANTIGONI – I like to rock… / Sterling silver earrings, Swarovski, lucite
23. from ONSTAGE69 – Lambwork Lady Bug
24. from ARTISTICO – U2 / Limited Edition – Print – size A4

pack_7

25. from ANTIGONI – Flower bracelet / Sterling Silver, Natural flower, gemstone
26. from CREATIONSBYEVE – Lipstick case
27. from POLINDIM – Adjustable ring / polymer clay, robbon, tulle, button
28. from AEGEANSEA – Six handmade batic gift cards / Blank

Those are a lot of presents waiting to be won!! If you would like some more information about the giveaway, click here. If you already have your eye on the group of prizes you’d like to win, start checking out all that wonderful Greek talent on Etsy.

Happy shopping and good luck!

Summertime and the living is easy

Jewelry, Musings

Ok, so it’s technically not summer yet — we’re still a week or so away from entering the summer month triad. Yeah, sure, go ahead and convince me that with 30 ℃ there’s still a week left until summer. I won’t buy that. It’s here — I can smell it, feel it and even sweat it. Out come the sandals and dresses, the summer hats and sunscreens and bring on the ice, will you please? It’s boiling out here.

But out here, is where I want to be. I find it hard staying indoors when the weather is treating me to this abundance of sunlight. Cleaning our relatively big veranda was a task we’ve been postponing for a few weeks, but with mercury rising, Saturday had us doing the unavoidable. And today, I’ve been doing nothing more than laze around outside, drinking my coffee, reading my book and enjoying the evening breeze.

My summer table

On the veranda, where I pretend I'm at a coffee shop

I couldn’t even bring myself to stay indoors and work on my little beading corner, even though I really wanted to create today. Solution: move the beads outside and create to my heart’s content.

Last night, on a walk down Chania’s old harbor, I suddenly realized how buzzing every place was — so many tourists, so many locals out for a drink in the cool breeze of these early summer nights. The island is dressed in its summery persona already and I felt lucky to be living the island life, so close by the sea.

Inspired by these realizations, you won’t be surprised to see that the result of my beading efforts led me to island colors and beachy themes. Sea-shells definitely couldn’t be absent from these leg bracelets I made:

She wears seashells by the seashore

She wears seashells by the seashore

I will be listing these on Etsy as soon as I take some more photos on a beach location near me. I have to say, I’m in love with the colors, and I’m so glad it’s summer.

On a different note, the first plain bananas package has safely arrived at its destination. I will be mapping the plain bananas’ journey across the globe (though after much frustration, I’m still looking for a map to do this online – open to suggestions) with buyers’ pictures. It’s an open invitation to help me with the project and already the first item has been mapped. Thank you Gigi for the love and the photo. Plain Bananas loves you too.

Here’s where these earrings have gone:

(If you would like to see a map of this, you can always check my flickr account, which is the only place I have input this, so far).

plain bananas travels to Philadelphia

plain bananas travels to Philadelphia

The journey will continue.

Summer, welcome back.