Archives for posts with tag: BLUE SKIES

In October I received an email from Mikela, founder of Yoga Satya and the words that jumped off the page and captured my immediate attention were ‘paradise awaits’.

These words accompanied by some enticing images and Mikela, of course, were all it took for me to change my already confirmed travel plans. This in itself was no mean feat but one I considered worthwhile. My trusty assistant Amy and Penny, my new travel co-ordinator were wonderful rearranging and booking everything.

I first attended Mikela’s classes some years ago when she taught at the Boy Charlton in Sydney. Her classes combined traditional philosophy with great instruction. Those two things along with Mikela’s knowledge and genuine care for her pupils made her classes a stand out.

Mikela held the retreat on the island of Koh Tao, a magical island in the Gulf of Thailand, a two hour boat trip from the island of Koh Samui. When I stepped off the crowded boat on to the noisy pier I was immediately surrounded by confusion but was quickly scooped up by our calm teacher and a trusty driver and transported up into the hills and beyond to Baan Talay, a blissful hideaway retreat.

Baan Talay consists of several Thai style bungalows set in natural tropical landscape and is perched above the crystal clear waters of Ao Leuk Bay. It’s a magical spot.

I just fell in love with the view from my simple room. I kept the doors that led on to my small balcony open so that the sound of the ocean was first thing I heard when I woke and last thing I heard before my eyes closed at night. The sea is one of my favourite sounds. There were other sounds too, sounds of the cicadas’ and geckos, birdsong and the rustling of local creatures in the surrounding bush.

Dev the owner and his staff were all lovely and attentive and provided us with fresh delicious meals each day and there was also transport available for trips around the island.

The Sharla, where we practiced our daily yoga was a large open hut nestled in the natural tropical landscape with magnificent sweeping views over the sea. It was the perfect place to witness the beginning and the end of each day.

We practiced for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. The classes were calm but for me they came with some challenges. At times it was tough and I have to admit to having the urge during one morning class of running from the Sharla screaming. However, thankfully, I pulled myself together and breathed through it. The result was worth it.

For me my time was to short, I would have been happy to retreat from the outside world for much longer but I know from experience it’s better to leave wanting more.

Mikela generously shared with us pearls of wisdom for which I will be forever grateful and I think it’s fair to say we all as her students benefitted from her big heart.

Once again I am grateful for another beautiful life experience and the chance to have shared it with new like minded souls.

I hope you enjoy some of the snaps below of my time at Baan Yalay and if you ever feel like retreating with Mikela just click on the link HERE

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Usually the images I post of  My Greek Island Home (check out my book) are in colour but Greek village life is just as beautiful in black and white. Enjoy my wandering around the village.

IMG_8650_1a Delicious handmade mazipan flowers by the woman in the village co-operative

IMG_3401a A villager eturnig at dusk along the track laden with hay

IMG_5953a A handfull of newly picked fresh wild asparagus

IMG_2325a Panayiota and Stratos  sitting happily together in their kafenio

IMG_0803a Fresh bread being made in the local bakery

IMG_1247a Wash day

_MG_7786a A quite moment for the late Charalambos

20091011_RALITSA LAN`D_4528a A plate of  grapes just picked from a neighbours vine

_MG_4355a Preparation for the olive picking

_MG_1688a Crocheting lace, the village women are always busy

_MG_5671a Bagging up the olives

_MG_4209a Home baking means hands on work

_MG_8180a Watching the world go by

_MG_1705_1a Things turn up in the most unlikely places

DSC00124a The original kitchen in our house

Vasso's mums handa Freshly picked vine leaves which will be used for making dolmades

 

 

 

I photographed a little peak of Matthew and my life here on the island of Lesvos for You Magazine a couple of months ago and here it is. Thank you  Clare Nolan for loving our lifestyle and Fiona McCarthy for  your kind words. Greece is the word 1

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What a great article on our village life in the August issue of  UK House & Garden  magazine. Beautifully written by Ros Byam Shaw and fabulous photos taken by Paul Massey. Thanks for coming to My Greek Island Home and sharing some of  our favourite things. My Greek Island Home published in the UK by Clearview Books.

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What a fantastic London spring night for great party! My Greek Island Home has now been published in the UK by, Clearview Books and was launched in London last Wednesday night. Despite the tube strike and Chelsea playing at home my trusty friends and followers turned up in droves. It was great to see friends both, old and new and also be introduced to some new faces. The venue was Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart in Pimlico, a fantastic location. Nikki generously provided her beautiful shop overflowing with spring blooms and her and the girls, Ruth, Robyn, Sophie and Lucy were perfect hostesses. Domus Nova, Notting Hill’s best estate agent, very generously sponsored the event and kept everyone’s glasses topped up with prossecco, rose and white wine. The Grilling Greek parked his van outside and served up a feast, thrice-cooked chips, pita, hummus, olives and vegetarian souvlaki, it was all so yummy.Some of our Greek recue dogs, Robert, Maisy and April were able to make it to the evening which for me was the highlight .Clearview Books gave 10% of the money raised from the sale of the books to Nikki’s charity The Doghouse. ‘Want me’ t shirts designed by artist, Matthew Usmar Lauder to raise awareness and money for the rescue dogs were on sale too. I am blessed to have such great friends and supporters and thank you everyone for making the night a brilliant success.If you were not able to attend the night and would like to purchase a book you can go to Wild at Heart or online to amazon. It you want to support the dogs and would like a ‘want me’ t-shirt go to www.usmarstudio@bigcartel.com. Don’t forget to take a selfie in it and share. A shared selfie with the book would also be great.Below are some photos taken on the night by Rob Dawkins, thanks Rob!

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I am very excited to announce my London book launch. My Greek Island Home is being published in the UK by Clearview Books. Next Wednesday night, April 30th Nikki Tibbles, Wild at Heart, Domus Nova and Clearview Books will be hosting a launch party at Nikki Tibbles, Wild at Heart. So excited!

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I have just arrived back from a sailing holiday in Turkey. It was bliss! The weather was perfect, deep blue skies to match the deep blue sea. I travelled with two of my Greek girlfriends by car to Marina Marti. We took a boat from Mytilene to Ayvalik and then drove down past Marmaris to meet an old mate, the captain. The captain was the first photographer I worked with when I arrived in London. We were joined by another friend on day 3 which let us off the hook from our boating responsibilities. This allowed us time for more serious things such as sunbathing. What I loved about this trip was the light heartedness of everyone. It was fantastic to laugh. A whole week of laughing is the best therapy in the world. It made me think of how many times we forget our humor, we leave it some where else. We take our lives so seriously. Sometimes it’s great just to forget all the stuff that makes us feel heavy and find time for fun and frivolity. Thank you Captain John for sharing your boat and your humor and thank you Mel, Elpida and Maria for the dancing, the laughing, and for a fabulous week.

IMG_1271 Wild donkeys grazing on the shore.

IMG_1280 The Aegean meets the Mediterranean, perfect clouds.

IMG_1291 The crystal deep blue sea.

 

IMG_1237 The ropes of the Heller West.

IMG_1264 Shadow of Red Ensign.

IMG_1267 Loving the light on the rocks.

IMG_1309 End of another perfect day.

IMG_3270 In the middle of the sea I jumped into this deep blue water. The rope was thrown in, just in case.

IMG_3272 A Red Ensign sunset.

IMG_3295 Sail against the sky shot from sun bathing position.

IMG_3296 The mast agaist the sky still from sunbathing position.

IMG_3299 Sunset in Marina Marti.

IMG_3301 Morning light in Marina Marti.

IMG_1269 Gentle splash.

 

 

 

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We have gone from Our Greek Island Home on a Greek Island holiday. No dog walking, kitten feeding or animal rescue for a week! We are on the island of Kithira, a beautiful island between Crete and main land Greece and it is bliss. Here is a taste of what touches our senses every day. Now I will jump back into the crystal waters and swim my heart out. Happy summer holidays

 

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Todays dog walk was bliss. It was just like spring but without the spring flowers. There was so much warmth in the sun that I could sit on a rock and take off my jacket. The dogs loved it too sniffing everything in sight and taking their time to stop and take in the view. I felt so lucky to be living here in beautiful Greece.

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After heavy rain, thunder and lightening there is a break in the weather. Blue skies encourage me out of our warm village house and into the countryside. I decide to take the dogs, Nellie and Hector out along the track down to the sea. The walk is just over an hour and all down hill so it’s an easy one. Matthew will meet us in the car and we will collect driftwood on a nearby beach for the fire, so the uphill part, which I really ought to be doing on foot, will be on wheels. It’s a beautiful walk, although it’s cold the air is fresh and feels good. The sky is so clear and blue and I can see Turkey in the distance. When we get to the sea there are other canine friends to meet us and the dogs run up and down, they are excited! All goes according to plan until Nellie rolls in the most enormous runny cow pat, its her idea of Channel No 5. She is covered. I hold her by the scruff of the neck her body trembling with fear whilst Matthew douces her in sea water. This alone will not be enough, baby shampoo and a shower is the only hope. The trip up the hill in the car is smelly to say the least but it is to get worse…….. I look back to find Hector vomiting on the back seat. He had decided not to roll in the runny cow pat but eat it! And no it didn’t agree with him. So out of the car I get with the two dogs walking the rest of the way home. Matthew is left to drive back to the village and clean the car out. Is this an alternative to children I ask!

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