Cool for the Summer

Ugh. UGH. I just glanced at the date and realised that in one month’s time I will be returning from my holiday. Which means in one month and one day, I will have nothing to look forward to except autumn, which is a tenuous thing to look forward to when a) this weather might last until October, and b) autumn is rarely as autumn-y as I’m expecting.

I mean, there are some other things to look forward to. It’s my birthday in September? I recently joined a cashback website and am interested to see if it makes me any cash? Life is actually pretty decent given that I’m living in a first-world country in a house with good plumbing? But still. I’m so excited for my holidayyyyyy that it’s hard to look past it. There will be (more) sun! There will be (non-Thames Estuary) sea! There will be tasty (not cooked by my mum or I) Greek food! Oh yeah I’m going to Greece what a surprise. Well I kind of have an excuse; a friend is celebrating her birthday in Zante, so I’m going to backpack from Corfu down to Kefalonia and then to Zante. It’s going to be My Family and Other Animals meets that time I went backpacking before. I’ve got extra packing cubes this time, and I know what I don’t need to take versus what I do. It really boils down to packing cubes.

Who else is going on holiday soon? Who has had a holiday recently? My uncle recently sent me photos of somewhere in the north of Scotland that apparently has its own micro-climate and I shit you not, I thought it was the Mediterranean. It wasn’t until I squinted at the mossy stone walls and distinctly rolling hills that I thought ‘could this actually be north of the boarder?’ I can’t remember the place’s name, but as soon as I remember it I’m adding it it the list (also: York, Malta, the Giant’s Causeway, Rome, Haworth in one of the Yorkshires where they Bronte sisters lived, Cornwall, eastern Greece, New Zealand).

I’m going to attempt a minor digital detox while I’m away, so fully expect some bullshit ramblings from me on my return about the joys of getting back to nature and interacting with other cultures. Maybe I’ll stay out there and avoid any potential crises and just finish dragonnovel underneath an olive tree or something. Use up my freedom of movement while I’ve still got it. Hm.

Lawrence Durrell in the Durrells 2016

Summer Buzzin’

This is one of those weeks where I’m glad I’m a freelancer. I go to work in short shorts, I have lunch in my garden and I start the day watching my dogs lollop around the field with the canine equivalent of beaming smiles before flopping down inside all day like sleepy cherubs.

pinterest.com/pin/6896205649449915
pinterest.com/pin/6896205649449915

It’s also one of those weeks where Instagram stops working, I realise that I’ve got a lot of birthday and holiday-related expenses coming up and I just splashed frappe all over myself and the kitchen.

Still, maybe by the time I get to Zante the euro will have been replaced by a skills-based economy in which my particular brand of cute sarcasm will be gold dust… and maybe Brussels will have cancelled the debt, handed out icecream to every Greek citizen and worked out a solution to the refugee crisis.

Actually, while I’m thinking about it: I shall be offline from 26th July- 6th August, mostly because I need to retrain my brain not to assume every second sound is an email. My Etsy will be on ‘vacation mode’ – it’s going to Tahiti with its girlfriend – and I might schedule some posts for here/Tumblr/wherever to remind you all I exists… hopefully on a beach or clifftop with some nice music and some decent Fanta.

Okay I have to stop typing now because I’m having this paradoxical experience of daydreaming about my holiday while quashing suffocating terror that I can’t really afford one. If this were a Tweet, #freelancelife would be apt.

Enjoy the weather while we have it and drink lots of water!

Skinny Jeans and a Hoodie. The Tan Fades Rapidly.

  I guess no one liked the Greek title of my last blog. It meant ‘good afternoon’, though I can’t remember how to pronounce it, I lost my phrasebook. The hits counter has gone way down since I started exploring foreign languages.

  Having returned home yesterday evening after eternity on the M25 thanks to a lorry fire and oil spillage on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge that no one bothered to clear up, I am home. Sitting amongst junk, considering going next door to see Maxim and Isobel, and ask Maxim why he sent me an email with a picture of spam and  the repeated words ‘i like carrots!!’ Then again, he was jabbering in an Irish accent earlier…

  I will get to typing up The Zante Diaries 2010 and sorting out numerous videos and pictures, and should have the soap opera up vaguely soon. Vaguely.

  Until then,

  Home (away from) sweet home.

  I have just noticed the sign is missing. Both of them are. Clearly taken before my time…

Καλημέρα

Yasas. I wuldtranslate itintoGreek but I only have twenty-five minutes of Internet time left andhalf of it ismaking the space key and backspace work. I think I willnot bother editing it as an example of theHotel Valais’ crappy keyboards.

  I could tell you about the weather,but we allknow that Zakynthos, as an Ionian island, is HOT.I am sweating aswespeak. There was a powercut thismorning,which waseitherdue tothe strikes or the fact the generatorexplodeda week ago and no onebothered to fixit properly. We walked past and thought somelocals had started a barbeque,but alas… Itwas all Alykanas’ electricity going down the pan.

  Holidaysare a brillianttime to put everything into perspective,andI have suffered many a revelation since I’ve been here. When we getback I am finally sortingout the crap under my bed,knitting a scarf with my grandmother’s help (she doesn’t knowthis yet) and generally taking a Greekattitude toeverything…

 … If allelse fails, dance. There is always time for a coffee. Credit cards are the workof the devil.

 I have a confession: I haven’t video-blogged because I’ve been toolazy totalk. Instead I’mkeeping The Zante Diaries 2010, in honour ofabsent friends. I willpublish it on here, along with some photos and videos Ihave shot, over the coming weeks. Well, by Christmas.

  I was not pleased todiscover that a certain band had not aknowledgedtheirfans on a day dedicated to their awesomeness. That albumbetterbethebest bloody pieceofworksince fish and chips wereinvented. If not,well, I know karate. Gerard Way does not.

  Hope you’re all enjoyingbeing away from school,I have sent a few of you postcards. To the aforementioned absent friends, I didn’t bother. Figured you already knewabout the scenery…And Mum’s latest ventureis to bring you out here for herfiftieth, so you might get lucky after all?!

  Comment and tellme where you all are, what you’re doing andwhat the temperatureis, and I will bring you back Ouzo.

I don’t even have to mention the space bar.hereand. It’s thirty-odd degrees out effortthoughthe  can’tmakemean you  Thatdoesn’t  Only joking,I won’t get the comments until Friday evening at the earliest.

No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teachers’ Dirty Looks

  We just said an emotional farewell to Fred, who is off to someone’s home while we go to Zante.  I couldn’t accompany him to exile, it would overwhelm me. Plus he moults a lot this time of year and frankly I don’t need him sitting on my lap for the journey.

  I’ve had a crappy few days (what is with people dying when you least expect it, even though it’s expected?) so the summer holidays haven’t really sunk in yet. I’ve been busy on eBay, buying Pugsley’s vintage tea set and teasing her about it, wrapping it up with love, care and fairy godmother dust. For such a smart person, Elizabeth, you are surprisingly easy to wind up. Open that box before the sixth and I will chain you to the inside of a bus. Underneath a chlamydia advert.

  While I’m in Zakynthos I’ll be video-blogging to keep busy, along with swimming, sleeping, trying to learn Greek and not think about impending funerals. Funeral. I sincerely hope no one else kicks the bucket. If they do, I am going to have a word with my karma. I do try to be nice to people.

  Unless I can wind them up about their crushes. Then, sorry, I will mercilessly take the piss out of them. It’s a tough habit to break.

  Have a good fortnight, lovely readers in front of your screens, I will hopefully blog from Zante while I’m there. Happy International My Chemical Romance Day for tomorrow… I firmly believe Frank’s last photo and album stuff will be released on the 23rd. For the record. I think I will go and watch Torchwood and avoid packing.

  Does anyone else like Jack’s dress sense? I feel the need to buy an expensive forties military coat, a silk waistcoat and a fob watch. Also a stopwatch.