Tag Archives: sun

Well, this is awkward…

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(“Awkward” being a word I normally cannot spell…) What you ask? The weather for one. -glares at overcast sky- The relative calmness of my mental state for another. No kidding, since I started back with the full time research again I’ve been much more…balanced is not quite the right word but you know what I mean. I’m basically pulling a Hermione Granger, diving in books, taking notes, finding more books to read…It’s…nice. Familiar. The sort of thing that I can be comfortable with.

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Books, stories, they’ve always been easier to be around than people. I enjoy talking to people (sometimes) but it’s so hard to figure out what they actually mean most of the time. Sarcasm and irony, those I can handle. Heck! Most of what comes out of my mouth falls under those categories. It’s when this isn’t an option that things get hard. I know, right? Straightforward would be harder for me….

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What the pretty angel in a trench-coat said. I sometimes wonder if there was some sort of mandatory class in how to communicate with other people that I missed. I know I’m not the only leaving conversations feeling like they missed something.

And yet, even with the underlying note of stress that never seems to leave me these days, I’m good. Not totally ok but cautiously finding myself willing to venture out of my cave. We had a careers fair the other day and being surrounded by noise and people wasn’t quite as overwhelming as it might have been two weeks ago. I suppose the sunshine on the past few days helped too. I’m always better when I’m under the sun (even if I go home and feel like I’ve boiled my brain.)

So there! Tiny steps, plenty of books, (hopefully) more sun to bask under and very limited human contact. Sounds good to me.

In which I go a’merry travelling again!

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Or rather went? I mean, the day trip itself was back in July but I just got around to uploading the photos on my computer so… Whatever! Point is, this is a little excursion my younger cousin and I took together.

 

There we were, relaxing in Paros (fancy, huh?), lazing away the days until I figured; What the heck? Let’s do something a tad different for once. Hence my dragging C. out of bed at the ungodly hour of nine in the morning, with the intention of visiting the beach of Marchello (oh the joys of transliteration!).

 

So, after plenty of yawns, a quick breakfast and even faster double-back (because certain people forgot stuff…) we made it to Paroikia. For the uninitiated, this is the island’s largest village and where the boats from Athens (or pretty much any starting point) leave you. From there we took the boat (as in kaiki, not a proper ship) and made the short trip to Marchello.

 

There's this little kiosk where you can buy tickets and find out departure times right next to where the boat is tied.

There’s this little kiosk where you can buy tickets and find out departure times right next to where the boat is tied.

That's the inside of the boat! I swear one of these days I'll brave my seasickness enough to climb on the top deck!

That’s the inside of the boat! I swear one of these days I’ll brave my seasickness enough to climb on the top deck!

And here's Yours Trully! Picture kindly taken by Cousin who, although nine years younger, has a far better eye than I do for this sort of thing!

And here’s Yours Trully! Picture kindly taken by Cousin who, although nine years younger, has a far better eye than I do for this sort of thing!

 

A word from C.:

We stopped and bought some magazines to read on the beach!

 

Back to Yours Truly:

So, as you can see from the pictures, we get our own tiny tropical paradise complete with white sand and sapphire-blue waters! And all for less than 20 € too. The adult return ticket for the boat is 5 €, for the kids 3 €. Moreover, part of the beach in not what is commonly known here as “organised”, meaning you don’t necessarily need to pay for a sunbed/umbrella combo. And even if you want to treat yourself, it costs 7 € for the umbrella/two sunbeds, or 3€ for the single sunbed (for all you lonely souls).

 

The water was a tad cold, not all that surprising. For the past few days the temperature has been dropping and anyway, I never claimed to like the “cool” part of the spectrum… There was splashing around and swimming and laughing at those who had never been here before and did not know that a ship leaving the port on the opposite side is both impressive to watch and the cause for waves.

 

C. The water in the beginning was cold but then it got warmer.

 

To which I say: WHATEVER, I still got all tingly! –ahem- Yeah, at some point we decided we had enough of “swimming” and moved back to the glory that is the combination of dry towels, sunlight and sunbeds.

 

The taverna/changing rooms/sunbed rental place at the back of the beach.

The taverna/changing rooms/sunbed rental place at the back of the beach.

Pretty water is pretty. That's Paroikia at the back.

Pretty water is pretty. That’s Paroikia at the back.

I swear this picture was not staged. C. had my camera at hand and I was about to get back in the sunny bit of the sunbed and well...picture happened...

I swear this picture was not staged. C. had my camera at hand and I was about to get back in the sunny bit of the sunbed and well…picture happened…

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I would like to say at this point that normally I find fashion magazine B.O.R.I.N.G. but with the sun making me drowsy that’s just about what I can mentally handle. Cue the sunbathing time (I do love the heat) and obligatory laughs at some of the more outrageous designs.

 

C. The fashion magazines are not boring. Especially when they have summer clothes and swimsuits.

 

-sigh- Three guesses on who is entering their teenage years and who is happily out of them. We only left from the beach because our stomachs were growling and a nearby tavern was making us even hungrier with the smell of roasting meat.

 

A quick shift of clothes….

 

Have I mentioned how much I ADORE this dress?

Have I mentioned how much I ADORE this dress?

 

…and it was back to the boat and Paroikia for us,

 

This picture took way too many failed tries to take....

This picture took way too many failed tries to take….

C. Marchello beach was awesome. We had a very good time while we were swimming, talking, reading summer magazines and of course laughing. ^_^

 

You heard it! “From the mouths of babes”… There’s plenty of eating choices in Paroikia, but one of the side effects of coming to the same place summer after summer is that you will have your favourites (and will always go there). C. wanted souvlaki (not that I complained). Our favourite is Pepe’s with its great food and gorgeous prices.

 

Why yes, I do have a thing for taking pictures of signs.

Why yes, I do have a thing for taking pictures of signs.

 

And by gorgeous, I mean cheap. And by cheap, I mean broke student friendly. 😀

 

C. The souvlaki was really tasty and the chips were even better.

 

We had a quick lunch there and went for a stroll, which –because this is Paros- meant that we ended up at a coffee shop, specifically Distrato (again, joys of transliteration). It’s one of those multi-purpose places where you can have breakfast, lunch, in-between coffee, sit down for a crepe or an ice-cream, or even have a beer. Nobody can say anything about the adaptability of a “café-restaurant”. I would whole-heartedly recommend the  sweet crepes there, as well as the coffees.

 

C. I had a banana milkshake! 🙂

 

Banana –shudder-…

 

Anyway… After a blessed (and much needed) coffee break there was more aimless roaming, and drooling over jewellery store windows. I just looooooove gemstones! It’s sorta funny walking in Paroikia this early. Nearly all the shops are closed for lunch break or siesta break (call it what you will). So you actually get to see the buildings instead of being dazzled by the waves of people around you.

 

Unfortunately at this point C. started realising that she was tired so we caught the bus back to Naoussa (a village closer to our own place) and waited there for mum to pick us up. (Love you mum!)

 

Bag doubles as pillow...

Bag doubles as pillow…

 

Overall a fun day methinks…

Summer Day

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Rose-pink silk stretching

Across a gossamer horizon.

White and blue collide

In a sky warm as a mother’s embrace.

 

Gold light upon orange earth –

A haze on the horizon.

This time demands

That all be quiet.

 

Royal purple cloaks the sky;

Childish treasures, pirate hunts.

The sea turns grey, the wind is soft,

This hour is ours, the best of all.

 

Bleeding red or silver white

The moon is rising in blackened sea and sky,

To guard our games and light our path,

When one day ends and another began.

In which the sun is making me lazy

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So, I’m back to sunny home-sweet-home. Yay! There’s a running joke I have with my friends about my perpetual complaints of being cold while I’m in England. If any of you are reading this right now, you can rest easy, knowing that even in Athens I feel a little chilled at night. It’s not the weather my lovelies. It’s my dragon-blood! (Long story, a friend said I’m like a reptile what with being cold all the time and I declared myself a dragon. Actually… Not so long story.) Anyways, I’ve been soaking up the heat for the past few days, which, until my body is used to the warmer temperatures, means my mood swings between content-as-a-snake-after-lunch to Speedy-Gonzales-hyper. Apparently part of me just wants to enjoy the heat but another part is so energised by the Vitamin D boost that she needs to keep moving. My solution? Long, lazy walks in the sun.

Anyway, since I’m at the beginning of my summer vacation, this will be one of those “I have nothing of import to say” posts. Suffice to say I’ll try to get over my lethargy soon and actually post something interesting next time. ^_^

Until then, have a cute picture of a kitten!

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Picnic

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Colourful costumes and wary looks;

Will the weather hold out?

Bags full of goodies,

Last minute shopping trips,

Jokes under the sun,

Waiting for the gang to arrive.

Laughter on the road as we walk,

Jokes and references only we get.

It’s the last few days; this is the end,

So if everything is a little brighter,

If our smiles are a little wider,

What of it?

 

We have our whole lives ahead.

Just let us cling to this past,

Just for a little longer.

Summer sun

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The smell of clay-baking soil rises from the ground.

The waves are sluggish, muted,

Even the wind has settled down.

Wrapped in a golden haze the midday world

Ambles along the dusty road.

The sweat is heavy in his brow,

A chain of storm clouds from the east.

Afternoon rolls, the thunder sounds,

Delirious relief for all the thirsty things.

The maid and her two lovers

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A maid lived once, much beloved,

Of the ocean and the sun.

Long had the two in combat met

To win her tender favour.

Long had the maid despaired

Over her lovers’ strife.

One summer day, on the pebbled shore,

She stood and so she cried:

‘Oh Ocean, ever-tumbling, ever-lasting,

Much do I love thee!

Your waves embrace me in passion

Your currents lead me on a woman’s dance.

You ebb and flow, you follow

My lady Moon’s commands.

Your burning, salty breath heals

The sickness of my body.

How can I part from thee, beloved,

When all my inner self belongs

To thy passionate demands?’

The Ocean much swelled in pride

To gain such favour from the lovely maid.

But still the maiden cried and turned

Her flowing eyes to the sun.

‘Oh Sun, all-burning, all-revealing,

How can I not love thee?

Your gentle kiss and your caress

Warm my frost-covered skin.

Your smile is favour to my lady Earth’s

Bounty that feeds my kith and kin.

Thy love is distant, yet enduring,

Thy affection steadfast and true.

How can I part from thee, beloved,

Whose favour helps endure the winter months?’

The Sun hears and swelled with pride

At the maiden’s commendation.

But still the maiden despaired

At the fickleness of her own heart;

To have such worthy suitors

And yet unable to love one.

She wept and wept and wept.

Her tears painted her lover Ocean’s

Waters blue.

She wept and wept and wept.

Her tears were dried by her lover Sun’s

Rays as kisses soft.

All day and night the maid lamented

And in the coming dawn,

Her kith and kin came to the coast,

To find no maid; only a tree,

Prickly and gnarled with tears

Streaming from its leaves

And ever kissed by Ocean and Sun.

U is for “U kidding, right?”

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There are words that relate to the festive season and start with “u”. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t words that I particularly like or find interesting. So I’m going to cheat and go with the day’s celebration instead. A very merry Solstice then to all, whether you celebrate it or not! Yeah for the sun returning! Never mind New Year’s resolutions, for me this is the time to make plans and decisions. What with my mood being scarily attuned to the sun (you don’t want to meet me when the skies have been cloudy for more than three days, I might bite your head off), it makes sense that I’d pick the Winter Solstice for my resolution. It makes sense, right? Not that I’m more stringent with keeping them than most…

 

I have been doing a lot of research on seasonal myths (especially the Celtic ones) as part of my dissertation. There is something alluring about adding a supernatural gloss (again, whether you believe in the tales or just see them as charming fables) to something as mundane as an astronomical, annual phenomenon. That you have to love a tradition that sees a reason to celebrate lavishly right in the middle of winter… What can I say? Any excuse to eat, drink and be merry is a very good excuse.

 

My favourite seasonal-changes story (right now at least) is Bricriu’s Feast. It’s an old Irish tale full of fair heroes, shape-shifting mystery-men, beautiful maidens, impossible settings and most importantly the god Curoi for whom I have a particular fondness. You’ve got to love a mythological figure with a penchant for shape-shifting and magic and a curious habit of challenging people to cut his head off. Plus he was a surprisingly good sport (in this particularly story anyway) with his wife flirting with the main character. I’m not going to write exactly what’s going on, Google it, it’s worth a read.

 

What I set of trying to say is that there is something…just something…about this day. It’s like the world takes a deep breath before getting to work again to wake everything up. The earth prepares for one last cold before spring, the sun starts to clock in more time, the animals wake up, we wake up without as much trouble as usual (hopefully)… What I’m trying to say is, what the first day of school is to six-year-olds, all exhilaration and possibilities, that’s Yule for me.