Monday, September 28, 2009

Santa has landed

Honestly he has. I took this photo at my local supermarket earlier today. Only 87 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes, and 54 seconds left until Christmas - better start shopping, you don't want to leave it to the last moment now, do you?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Someone put the kettle on

You'd think hubby & his mates would have learned their lesson after last Friday, but alas - not only have they not gone off the drink, they're now trying to corrupt me too. Yesterday Stavros & Katarina invited a group of us to their housewarming party, which started at 7 PM, finished at 3 AM and degenerated as follows:

10 minutes looking at the new flat
30 minutes talking life, work and politics
7 hrs 20 mins drinking our hosts out of wine, beer and spirits

Hubby, safe in the knowledge that he wouldn't have to make his own way home, accepted every drink that was placed within his reach, and as a result remembers very little past 11 PM. By his own admission, when he woke up this morning, he was so disoriented he wasn't sure where he was. When I asked him how he worked out he was home his answer was: "we have pictures on the wall that I recognise".

I've always suspected there were functional, as well as aesthetic reasons for hanging pictures on walls. Now I have proof.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Husband store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE. There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building.

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men have jobs

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.' So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous and help with housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!' Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a Wives Store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy birthday Shanny!

This is an entirely self-indulgent post to wish my friend Shanny a very happy birthday. Darling, I wish I was closer and could celebrate with you!

Today is also the birthday of my very first boyfriend, who I lost touch with some 15 years ago. Wherever you are, I hope you are well and having a wonderful day xxx

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tea and sympathy

I've not seen the film, but tea and sympathy is what's happening at our home this morning, on account of a husband who rolled in at gone 2:30 AM after a long night out with the lads. Said husband keeps forgetting he's not 25 any more, and as a result he has the flu (ahem) most Saturday mornings. Today he woke up at 12:08, had a Lemsip (paracetamol in a cup to those of you not familiar with British medical jargon) and went back to bed. He's just woken up again and made himself a jumbo mug of tea - because a cuppa makes everything better.

He saw me take a photo of his mug, but I didn't tell him I was blogging about it. Shhhh!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another New Moon trailer

Last June I showed you the first-cut trailer for New Moon, which I thought was pretty good. A new trailer has just come out and this one is amazing! Obviously you can never know what the film will be like from watching the trailer, but to me it looks as if they've done an excellent job of bringing the book to life.

Roll on, November 27th (November 20th if you're lucky enough to live in the States - humff)!

P.S. I've just found out that a Death Cab for Cutie track will be the lead single for the New Moon movie. The song is called Meet Me On The Equinox and captures the mood of the book beautifully. You can listen to it here. I like it almost as much as I liked Full Moon, the Black Ghosts track from the Twilight movie - and I liked that a lot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let it snow! Uh?

As if the sudden arrival of autumn weather wasn't enough, Xmas is creeping up on us too! I was happily queuing at my local post office the other day, when I spotted this gift card with an unmistakeably Christmassy logo!

I closed my eyes, shook my head and tutted, thinking how it was too soon for holly. Then I walked into my local M&S and what did I see? Shelves full of biscuits and a display of Christmas chocolates!

It won't be long before supermarket shelves are stocked full with boxes of mince pies and Christmas cakes. In fact, it seems as if some have already started and I'm not the only one who's noticed either.

In case anyone's wondering, my Unicef Christmas catalogue arrived promptly on 1st August, like every year. I swear, I can always rely on Unicef to remind me I need to start preparing for my summer holidays, as they always, without fail, remember me on 1st August.

The Unicef Christmas catalogue joined the recycling heap, unopened. I know they'll send me two more before November, by which time I may just be in the mood to look at pictures of snowy villages and Christmas trees.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

7 Things I Love

I am honored to have been nominated by Karen for this post.

According to the rules, I get to list 7 things that I love and then pass the Kreativ Blogger Award on to 7 other friends. I think I might bend the rules a bit, as I don't like awards and some of the blogs I'll nominate aren't written by friends or people who even know me (so they will probably never know they've been awarded anything).

So here are 7 things I love:

1. Summer. I love the sun and sea and hot, dry weather. I like light clothes, bare legs, dangly bracelets, strappy sandals and platform flip flops. I adore blue skies, long summer days and eating al fresco. I crave summer even more because it's such a rare occurrence in the UK.

2. Travelling. I travelled a lot as a kid, and grew to hate the constant change of scenery. Then I realised that I loved seeing new places and the only way to do that was to travel. So I'm learning to love planes, trains and automobiles all over again.

3. Pictures. I love looking at images and creating them too. I have a huge postcard collection. When I was younger I painted a lot, now I take photos. I took almost 3,000 photos during my latest two-week break in the sun. Some of them will make their way into this blog or my other one. My favourite themes are scenic views and buildings. I love looking at buildings, inside and out. If I could do math, I'd have become an architect.

4. Ice cream and chocolate. Ice-cream is the food of the gods. I can survive on it alone, I swear. The only flavour I don't like is chocolate. Possibly also mint, but I've never tried it, so I can't be sure. I like chocolate bars, but only the milk kind, and I dislike all other chocolatey things - cake, muffins, biscuits, torte, mousse etc.

5. Books. Even books without pictures hehe ;-) but my favourite authors are those whose words make images IYKWIM. I like books about relationships the best. Books that talk about abstract things bore me. I'm a sucker for resolutions and happy endings.

6. Talking. Writing letters, emails and Facebook messages. Chatting. Having debates. Commenting on blogs. Posting in forums. Generally any opportunity I can get to exchange views, stories and ideas.

7. Dancing. Not so much watching others, as dancing myself. Over the years I've done traditional Greek, Irish, Latin, salsa, ballroom, ceroc, Egyptian and Bollywood dancing. My favourite are ceroc and Bollywood, because you don't have to worry too much about what your legs are doing! Irish dancing is the most tiring, as it's all legwork. I would have liked to learn Capoeira, but I think I'm probably too old to start now.

P.S. I love food too, but as I'm on a diet, I try not to think about it any more than I have to.

7 of my favourite blogs are: My baking addiction, Bad British Architecture, Daily Photo Stream, Ismoyo's Playground, Daisy Pink Cupcake, White Walls For Ever and La France Profonde.

If you'd like to talk about the 7 things *you* love, and your 7 favourite blogs, please consider yourselves tagged!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Island hopping

The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, south-east of mainland Greece. There are 220 islands in total, most of them uninhabited. The islands are peaks of a submerged mountain range; two of them, Milos and Santorini, are volcanic. They are distinguished by their unique cubic architecture, which is not found anywhere else in Greece.

These are the islands I visited this summer.**

Syros - the capital of the Cyclades

Paros - windsurfers love it

Naxos - the largest of the Cyclades

Ios - Backpacker central

Mykonos - party island for people with money

Santorini - ideal for honeymooners and lovey doveys

** OK, so I didn't set foot on each one of them, but the boat stopped close enough for me to take photos from the deck, which is almost as good. I've actually been to all of them over the years, except for Ios. Maybe next year...

Monday, September 07, 2009

A christening in Athens

Last week I attended the christening of my friends Peter and Eleni's youngest son, Philip George. Christenings are important occasions in Greece, often attended by up to 100 family and friends.

The honoured guest of the day is the baby's godparent, who takes centre stage during the service. It is considered a great honour to be asked to be a godfather or godmother, as the godparent has a special role in the child's life.

In Greek Orthodox tradition, babies are covered in oil (yes, I am serious) by the godparent and then immersed in water by the priest conducting the service. As a result, baptisms tend to be noisy affairs and the godparent needs nerves of steel.

Little Philip's godmother was super calm throughout the service, even when the baby attempted to scream the place down. He was happy to be covered with oil, but didn't much like the dunking!

The godparent provides a full outfit to be worn after the service, including underwear and shoes. He or she also brings a gold cross and chain for the baby, and mini-broches for the guests to wear to signify that they have witnessed the baptism.

After the service, the parents offer favours and cakes to the guests. Eleni and Peter offered ice-cream in three flavours (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) and cute little vases of vanilla paste, which came with their own mini spoons.

The favours were little bracelets with a frog motif.

It was really hot that day, 39°C in the sunshine (102°F), so those who stayed around after the service sought the shade of the trees. Ice-cream proved a popular choice.

Young Philip took a little nap after the dunking ordeal, but he woke up in time for the post-service pictures and was soon running around with his elder brother and friends.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Still summer time...

OK, today may be the 1st of September, but I'm pretending it's still summer, so I'm taking a few days off to chill out. I've been too busy to blog much lately, but I promise to return to the blogosphere with new enthusiasm once I've had some sea and sun. Cheerio!