A path well trodden, but how much longer will it be?

Coming here to the North of Kefalonia  it always felt like I was coming home, arriving at the airport, the warm moist air enveloping me as I take the first step from the air conditioned cabin. The familiar face of Makis greeting me and taking my case to the taxi, the breathtaking views as we climb north driving ever higher.   I have been coming twice a year now for 6 years, a long time for me but for others I have met here this is nothing, Some people have been coming to Kefalonia for 16-20 years or more.    The farmhouse always held me, its wild gardens, olive groves, views across the ionian seas to Ithica, the wildlife,  the chickens and goats, this was a sanctuary away from the deadlines and constant pressure that hounded me  when back in the uk.   Now that the pressure is off  I wondered if returning to Kefalonia this time would feel different as I am no longer fleeing the pressure of trying to spin all the plates in the air, run a home, a business, staff, family issues and so on.  Its doubly hard when there is nobody to share this burden with me.  Designing interiors, mixing colours and textures, choosing original artworks, designing my own furniture pieces it gave me the  best feeling in the world and I was in my element, but the procurement  and installation , working along side architects, and building contractors and the male dominated construction industry who wouldnt know good design if it bit on the bum, all this side of designing took away that feeling completely.  Even though I won awards and various accolades it just wasnt enough to keep me fighting the design battles anymore.

So her  I am and  pleased to say that the feelings, even though the first two weeks have been in the coldest ever apparently, haven’t changed a bit,  I still love the island, well the norther part anyway, south more built up and busier.   Guess the one thing that has changed  is the longing to live here.  For one ,I do not like the fierce summer heat, so July and August would be a definite no no for me and two, I have found the uk version of northern Kefalonia, its wildness, rugged cliffs and coves, forest and quiet windy roads where I feel drawn to make my permanent home.   Still visiting Evreti, Kefalonia for 2-3 months each year I can have the best of both worlds, and still continue to travel and explore the uk and of course spend time manifesting creative objects into the world.

Of course with the advancing years, 70 last January, there is that little conumdrum of how much should I be spending?  how long will my money have to last, how long will I be walking in this world?  Something one never considers when younger, there is always decades to enjoy, thing to try out and if mistakes are made, plenty of time to put it right.  Now though decisions seem more important to make as not time left to rectify anything. Do I say to myself another 15 years, divide it up and spend the said sum each year?  Do I buy a house with an income, (holiday rental cottages} and run it as a small business?  Guess I am lucky that my business was successful and have these kind of issues to contend with.  I am not having the live on a uk state pension, the lowest in the whole of Europe!  Actually there was no luck, I gave my all to my company, blood sweat and tears to make it successful!  All I know is that this is whole new chapter in my life, one where for once I have the total freedom to choose, a real adventure awaits and I am very excited to watch each day unfolds and just where this path will take me

A few pics of the past weeks

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The journey continues

It has been awhile since I posted.  My life has been full and packed with inspiring visits, projects, cliff walks and so on.

North Wales and the Lake district beckoned, visiting friends, coming together on really sacred lands and holding ceremony to visiting Beatrix Potter’s first cottage by Lake Windermere.  This cottage, its warmth and love really resonated with me, my desire to move away from my large spaces and tall ceilings to a simple home, intimate, full of my own creations and a space that will feed my soul and where I can end my days here.

This desire was strengthened yet again when I visited Pembrokeshire, everything just opened up and there was the cottage I have been dreaming in came into real life, after viewing it I came away absolutely blown away with its detail, it was as if I had been walking around it in my dreams and the universe had manifested it for me.

North Pembrokhire is wild and rugged, the flora and fauna excellent and  the views tremendous from the coastal path, lovely sleepy little villages, NO costa, NO Starbucks, NO chains, in fact not much at all but what I love about the farmhouse I stay in Northern Kefalonia is right here in Wales,  I dont like hot sun and I dont go t to greece to roast on the sandy beaches,  so in a way it has everyting.  The only difference is NO swimming Pool.  Guess I will come a fan of wild swimming, should keep me fit and healthy.

So we shall see what transpires, taking my daughter to view the property again after easter.

Here are a few image of what I have been getting up to and the last one, homage to my lovely mum, 27 years ago she passed on to the next life. Happy Mother’s Day

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The Calm after the Storm

Home at last, back in the calm of my newly decorated bedroom!  Long story for another time, energy lines, changing bed around, dark blue !!

The last couple of weeks have been away installing a project in the Derbyshire Hills, extremely hectic, exhausting  but in the end quite exhilarating when you look around and see the vision I have been holding for such a long time come to fruition

Such a beautiful area Derbyshire,  this last weekend relaxed a little at the Riverside Hotel in Ashford in the Water, such a picturesque village, with its little stone bridge, church and cottages.

My work, courtesy of Yao photography

Ashford in the Water

 

 

7 days of freedom

Holiday, something I have been waiting for since christmas !!  At last 7 days to exactly what I want, no meeting to attend, no deadlines to meet,  just time for to whatever I please.  Harlaxton Manor beckoned,  there it was standing very majestically at the top of a long climbing drive, quite magnificent, but oh so  disappointing inside.  Have never seen an interior so over the top, overblown, Mr Gregory Gregory certainly did not know the word subtle ! a mixture of elizabethan and baroque architecture that seems far larger than human scale.

Not my most favourite place, I have to say

 

twenty years ago 1989

I cant believe that it was 20 years ago that I sat on this elephant heading up to the Amber fort………..  so long ago, seems like another lifetime.  I was still married then, my mum was still alive, I hadnt had to work since I married and  my daughter had just passed her A Levels,  to celebrate we went off to India together.   India was amazing, it was so inspiring in so many ways, so romantic, riotous colours, incredible architecture, roses, perfumes, silks, textiles embroideries, exotic tasting food.  We stayed in palaces, tents, lakeside hunting lodges, the famous Lake Palace Hotel and even a converted prison.  

Because of the extreme heat we did a lot of things early in the day so was up at the crack of dawn, I remember standing outside the tent (see picture) it was around 6am, we had come to to Pushka to the famous camel fair.  Frenetic was a word that I think describes what it was like, it was full to bursting with overexcited indians, the little alleyways were crammed with people and it was nearly 1oo degree F.  Have to say after a few days of that I was glad to be heading back to a palace stay, nice bath and food without sand in it!.  

Now my daughter is all grown up and lives not too far away, I have run my own business for 16 years , I have nobody to please by myself.  How different my life is now, its like a different life altogether.

However it is so wonderful to have found these photos, they have bought back to me so many happy memories.  I always promised myself I would go back, have been to Goa but not back to the areas my daughter and I travelled together.  I guess its changed so much.

Follow this link for more of india http://www.flickr.com/photos/8853574@N03/sets/72157620871325917/

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Follow this link for more images of my indian travels

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8853574@N03/sets/72157620871325917/

Image chosen for Amsterdam guide

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red-table1wow, a first.  An image from my flickr was chosen to appear in a tourist guide for  Amsterdam.  Went there for a cool weekend with my dear friend Pete.  Spent the day viewing Andy warhol exhibition.  He has to be one of my all time inspirations in more ways than one, film footage, photography, imagery of all kinds, it just kept coming……one cool dude.  This exhibition is now on at the southbank, click image to go to website.  Lady with bushy hairdo is me! 

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