Writing again..

Platon smiling
A cool breeze slipped through the shutters, and the tinkle of goat bells crept into my consciousness. The warm, breathing, body beside me sighed and rolled closer into my legs; wagging his tail, before lifting his head to check whether I was awake, finally! As if he’s been waiting for all eternity for the pleasure of my company. Every morning I am greeted with the happy expectant face of Platonas (my puppy), eager for another beautiful day of playful adventure, full of joy and optimism, which must be contagious, because I never feel any different. Once he is satisfied that I am actually awake, he gets up to inspect my face, and pushes his big black, wet nose into it, in response to the kissing noises I make. Then he stretches his bottom high in the air and his chest low, in a classic play bow; waiting for me to stir, giving in to a slightly impatient cuddle if I’m not quite ready to get up. As soon as I push back the covers, he jumps to the edge of the bed, showing off his impressive ‘downward dog’, front paws on the floor, back legs still on the bed (and he’s a tall dog), until he gracefully jumps down, and scampers around, wagging his tail, waiting for me.

Our home on our favourite Greek island is an attic apartment; which sounds very urban, but is actually on a small farm in a cute little village. We have the most amazing view across the sea to the neighbouring island to the east, and across the valley to dense forests of olive and cypress trees to the south and west. Platon impatiently rings the goat bell I have tied to the balcony door handle, even though I am only a few steps behind him, and we step out together to watch the morning sun glisten on the sea, having spilt over the mountains of Ithaki, bathing the early fishing boats and the occasional cruise ship on passing. Platon then pops up onto the sofa to watch patiently as I make coffee, he knows that the day starts with a leisurely cappuccino and sharing of cantuccini (those deliciously crunchy, Italian, almond biscotti). I potter around the kitchen, tidying up the crockery in the drying rack, shaking out the table cloth over the balcony, and watering the herbs (basil, mint, and chives) on our doorstep with the water from the washing up bowl. Our water is delivered by tankers to a big stone ‘sterna’, and we are much more careful than mains usage. Then as the coffee pot starts to gurgle, I froth the warm milk and Platon makes a space for me on the sofa. He sits with his paws on my lap, lowering his chin to look up at me most appealingly, as I dip each biscotti into the froth, and waits for his share (once I’ve nibbled away any almonds in his half, as they’re not good for dogs). My mornings are no longer my own, to check in and reflect on my feelings, but are filled with more love than I could ever imagine; and more than a little slobber as he dribbles in anticipation for each morsel of our shared breakfast. I wouldn’t change them for anything!

I don’t really know why I stopped writing before Platonas and I found each other in a barren wilderness; him literally starving, me (with a car load of food shopping) wondering which direction my life would take. I guess it was a combination of things, moving to California for a summer, finding myself anxious to get up and out in the mornings rather than savouring my thoughts and feelings (hideous, nosey landlady vs. coffee at the beach watching the early surfers, no competition really!). Then there was a feeling of change, lacking a plan, full of uncertainty, and a fatigue from giving, (which I am sure sounds selfish, but was actually a form of self-preservation). After my summer in Cali, and a brief encounter in London, I came to Greece, (my sanctuary), and just let myself ‘be’, as I waited to see where the flow would take me. Floating in turquoise seas and walking ancient paths through olive groves and crumbling ruins; choosing quiet and solitude, and adoring the simplicity. Then I travelled a lot, (Mexico, Florida, Colorado, New Orleans, and more of California), worked with some Olympic athletes, and got caught up in a relationship for a while, none of which was conducive to journaling. Then I returned to Greece for a few weeks holiday, found Platonas and stayed for the summer, briefly moving to Italy in the autumn, before driving home with my best ever travel companion to London (a tale I will write about soon). Winter was stressful, for all sorts of reasons, but my loving ‘little boy’ never failed to warm my heart and induce laughter at his comical character. Every spare moment was spent snuggling on the sofa together, walking around the vast and enchanting cemetery, or chasing each other around until we both collapsed panting and exhausted. Writing was not a priority.

It felt like months of waiting to return ‘home’ to Greece, and now we are here, we are appreciatively soaking up every sunny second. And each day, as we head to the beach after breakfast, wander along shady goat paths in the afternoons, or pop into the port for shopping and coffee, with a cast of delightful characters; I can feel my thoughts forming sentences, committing to memory the feelings as I relish them, and feel pulled to write to share and remember these precious moments. And now, as my attention is drawn to the raised head that angles inquisitively, I am being called to walk up the hill, amidst my landlords garden of tomatoes, onions, (and all sorts of vegetables) as the goats potter around them; to sit under an old olive tree and feed Platon ice cubes in the heat of the day, him crunching noisily, and me telling him why I’ve started writing again. Because I never, ever, even for a nanosecond, want to forget any of this chapter of my life that he’s spending with me. X

Blessings & love, Hxx

An indulgent start


Good morning everyone! Today I woke early to birdsong, and lay in the darkness waiting for sleep to reclaim me before my brain started spinning. The birds realizing their error stopped chirping since the dawn was not yet ready, I imagined them curling up in their nests, tucking beak under wing to sleep again, as the privilege eluded me. I snuggled deeper into my nest, curling into swirls of white duvet, searching for dreams, but unable to release conscious thinking.

Eventually the day arrived; cool, damp and misty, and as the hour turned into a reasonable one I got up for coffee, accompanied with that tired craving for comfort in the form of an almond croissant. So I dressed immediately, before giving myself time to contemplate, wrapping up in my scarf and coat, and headed over the road to the café. It’s a grey day, and the morning traffic was getting busy on the main road as I approached, focusing on the cosy, welcoming lights of the café on the other side of the street, glad I’m not a rush hour commuter, as people ran for the buses amongst the crowd walking towards the train stations. The baristas greeted me with cheerful smiles, bemused that I didn’t want my regular coffee order, just a croissant to take home and devour whilst curled up on the awesome sofa.

The dampness of the day seemed to creep under my skin in the short distance I walked to procure my breakfast, so armed with my latte and indulgence on a plate I swathed myself in some extravagant cashmere blankets dear ADS gave me yesterday. I lit a candle, scented with suede patchouli, a comforting smoky fragrance wrapped in vetiver bourbon and oakmoss. Then I turned my attention to breakfast, smiling at my treat, pulling apart the flaky pastry to reveal the sweet almond paste, and licking sugar dusted fingers. Food is a fundamental pleasure, and whilst I don’t advocate croissants for breakfast professionally speaking, I do think it’s important to feed the soul and mine just happens to desire a sweet, sticky, almond croissant on occasion : )) I hope your day starts beautifully too, and that whatever you treat yourself to, you thoroughly savour every moment! Blessings and love, with a sugar dusted grin ♥ Hxx

Good morning

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke early, a little too early if I’m honest, but once my brain kicked into gear, I knew sleep wasn’t about claim me anytime soon. So I got up to make coffee and watch the sunrise, it’s been a while, and I wanted to witness that magical start to the day, where we welcome a clean slate, pristine and waiting for our potential wonderful, as well as our mistakes and learning.

I snuggled up on the sofa with my latte in the semi-darkness, and sat quietly observing the light seep into the sky. It’s another cloudy day in London, so it was neither dramatic nor stunning, but a gentle moment of peace nonetheless. The wind swayed the branches that still bear a few leaves in the nearby trees, and the geraniums persist in the window boxes, defiant and proud against the elements.

I had a big bowl of porridge for breakfast, with a zesty pink grapefruit and creamy Greek yoghurt, topped with cinnamon and almonds; and sat with my laptop addressing correspondence. I wish there was a more efficient way of managing email, and sometimes feel swamped with the deluge of notifications and spam that clutter up the important messages. I also perused some books I’m interested in on Amazon, which is ridiculous since I already have a stack waiting with another queue on my Kindle, and wonder why I’m not making time to read them. I think part of the problem is that although I have things to be getting on with at present, I’m not so busy that I’m diligent at getting things accomplished in a short space of time, becoming absorbed in the current projects so that the day slips away too quickly, and before I know it I haven’t made time for xyz. So today I’m making some changes to my list, setting deadlines to goals, and looking at what I want to achieve both personally and professionally, to help keep myself on track.

I hope you have a gorgeous day wherever you are, and that you can find a moment to appraise your achievements and goals, to check your direction. We don’t always need to know our destination, but direction, and something to aim for can give us a sense of purpose when we’re struggling through our journey, don’t you think? Let your meaning in life motivate you, and keep smiling : )) Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}