I accomplish a lot of painting and avoid the midday sun – it’s hot. I’ve been pointed in the direction of a facebook group and blog called ‘world watercolour group and the guy who runs it also does ‘daily draws’ but offers daily ‘prompts’ for a month at a time. The theme for September is ‘travel’ – how could I resist? So I’ve been using the prompts to inspire me and am now ahead of myself (for the first time this year) – I’ve done enough daily draws to take me up to the 22nd September (I make the rules, so I can do that!). These prompts have taken me outside my comfort zone too – and had me drawing aeroplanes and trains (not my normal subjects at all). The Craftsy Course has had me drawing high rise blocks so I feel like I’m being really stretched.
I am, however, an internet addict and think I need a few days off completely. Step AWAY from the computer. Maybe tomorrow (spoken like a TRUE addict!).
The first evening I haul myself off over the hill to the beach at Katsadia. Snorkelling in the evening – with the lengthening shadows – I spot two starfishes, a flounder and a wormy thing – quite big – but not a sea cucumber. They all disguised themselves with sand – until they moved. There were also lots of the fishes I’ve grown used to from the other islands. There is far more sea life here than on Samos. It’s a popular mooring for yacht too – there are boats in all the small inlets and harbours around here.
After my swim and explore of the sub-watery world, I hear music as I’m drying off. It’s jazzy music I like the sound of, emanating from the beachside restaurant/tavern called Dilaila, close by. The food is not cheap but very tasty – I had tuna tartare, beer and a greek yoghurt dessert with orange peel. Then I waddled back over the hill to the studio. I was briefly concerned about walking back in the dark – but I needn’t have worried – not only were there streetlights, but the waxing halfmoon was bright. It was a clear, starry, balmy, beautiful night.
And when I get back, there is a little party going on with Taxiachia and several of the guests on the verandah, I join them for a glass of wine before bed.
Monday was full of checks on my list of things to do – a picture posted – check – my hair cut (into a boring bob, but I can see again – no one can cut my hair like Shirley Gray at home) – check- Rent for room paid – check – emails sent – check – far too much time on t’internet – check.
Friday arrived and where did that time go? Spent a lot of it painting, reading, doing the things I love without time constraints – time held in suspension, but it still moves on. This feels like the end of chapter one, and I’m waiting for the start of chapter two: ASIA!
LIPSI: has been blue skies, white wash and blue trimmed houses and sun gleaming on the sea. Dina and Taxiarchia have been wonderful hosts – they get guests come back year after year – most of them Italian – and some for 30years or more. Not only are the rooms reasonable (not luxurious, but everything one could want) and cleaned daily, but whenever one passes, Taxiarchia is offering cake, bread, cheese, hot meals or a hug. The large house of studio apartments is smothered in bougainvillea, its tissue like blooms of pink and white drifting down like confetti onto the marble balconies and verandah – needing sweeping up twice a day.
There are yacht sail masts swaying gently in lines, with fluttering flags. The blue stripes of Greece match the sky. Palm tree fronds break up the hard lines of the scrubby horizon and the blocky cement house walls.
Snorkelling is like flying: I could spend all day looking at the underworld if I didn’t get cold and wrinkly from the wet and need to dry off and warm up occasionally. According to the information board on the harbour I have seen lots and lots of wrasse – ornate and 5 spotted – and a striped grouper and a painted comber. What I thought was a long nosed gar the other day, I have now decided was a ‘belore belore’, or sea needle. I’ve also spotted starfishes and wide eyed flounders. I’ve swum above great banks of seaweed and long stretches of sand and rocks. Today I even taught myself to duck-dive and collected shiny, mother of pearl lined shells. I like shiny.
Today was my last day on LIpsi. I bought some ouzo to share, but noone else (sensibly enough) was taking. I finished another book and also finished knitting a star jumper. Does anyone know how to get strawberry juice out of wool?