The power of positive thinking and related matters

Being a man who normally sees a glass half empty rather than the opposite, attempting to change the habits of lifetime does not come easy! However, for the last couple of years I have tried to amuse my family by adopting an approach to life (in name if not necessarily in spirit) which contradicts normality. So for 2014, I created a certain amount of hilarity as Mr Fun, then last year as Mr Adventurous and for 2016, I have decided to be Mr Positive!

So, the year has started on a ‘positive’ note but whether anyone has noticed any difference, has yet to be reported!

But the purpose of this particular Post is really more to let our avid readership know what we have been doing over the past few weeks and to inform you all know that we will be away in China and south-east Asia for the next six weeks. This means that there will not be another Post for at least until March, partly because I doubt we shall have time but also because the WordPress site is apparently blocked by the Great ‘Firewall’ of China. It seems somewhat unlikely but is apparently true!

We have had a hectic time over Christmas and the New Year. Annie and Gid arrived from Tanzania a few days before the festivities got underway.

We had a ‘traditional’ Christmas meal on Christmas Eve at our house,

a swim at Tholos Beach on Christmas morning

and went to Bobo’s taverna later for roast goat, which we had arranged in advance.

Kate and Dod arrived from the north-east of Scotland the following week and took up residence in Pauline and Chris’s wee guest house in the village, coming to us for meals, fun and film watching etc.

Pauline and Chris hosted a party on New Year’s Eve (about fifteen or so folk). Everyone contributed food and a great time was had by all.

As there were a fair number of Scots, a demonstation of Scottish Country Dancing featured as the main entertainment – ‘The Gay Gordons’ and ‘The Dashing White Sergeant’ being enthusiastically received! (No pictures – sorry!)

We fitted in a number of trips to local places of interest

and then, a few days later, we all went to Hania where we stayed in an AirB&B in the Old Town. It was a great place to stay and although many restaurants and some tourist venues were closed, we had a great time, including watching the Epiphany celebrations and eating some wonderful food.

While there, Sheila and I also made a trip down memory lane to visit Blue Beach on the Akrotiri peninsular, NE of Hania where we spent a holiday with friends (Moira and Linda and families note) in 1994. Much has changed since then but the beach remains the same – just waiting for small children (and in some cases big kids  – Stewart) with their lilos to ride the waves!

The recent snow on the White Mountains made a beautiful backdrop to Souda Bay

and Falasarna beach was as beautiful as we remembered (see also cover picture).

Everyone then returned to Hania, Annie and Gid to get the flight home (via Frankfurt and Amsterdam) and Kate and Dod to visit Knossos and the Archaeological Museum – a great trip with great friends!

We pushed on for home and settled down to get ready for the Orient. Greek lessons re-started this week so we have been getting back into studying and we hope Manolis will give us a few exercises to do while we are away, just to keep our hand in, so to speak.

The weather has been great for the last week, so this afternoon, I had a short cycle ride along the dirt road to Tholos, high above the olive trees.


The beach was looking at its best and the sea inviting. We did swim earlier this week – Sheila for somewhat longer than me – but the water was quite cool!

So in my new spirit of positivism, the new year has started on a good note. It was great to have friends here to share the festivities and the house seems very quiet now everyone has gone. We are looking forward with a mixture of excitement and trepidation to China where in addition to seeing the sites, we will spend time with our friends, Gillie and Alan and also, Graham’s partner, Emily who is studying Mandarin at Ningbo. We are going to Hong Kong with her to celebrate the Chinese New Year and in a rather strange quirk of fate, hoping to meet up with friends from Banchory who just happen to be in Hong Kong at the same time. And then onto Vietnam, Cambodia and fly back from Bangkok at the end of February.

We’ll be back in March to report positively on the latest developments!




5 thoughts on “The power of positive thinking and related matters

  1. Martyn Peters

    Happy New Year to you both and sounds like you have an amazing holiday ahead of you, so just wanted to wish you a wonderful and safe trip and look forward to reading about it in March. It might have stopped raining in the UK by then ! 😀


  2. Annie

    John, it looks like you will be Mr Fun, Adventurous and (hopefully) Positive all rolled into one this year with the big China etc safari coming up! Phew!
    We had such a wonderful Christmas and New Year with you both, can’t thank you enough for making it all so fantabulous. It was lovely to meet Hans and Hanneke again, to meet Maria and Nikos, to enjoy great food with the crazy Manulis [sp?] and to meet Paulien and Chris and be part of their hogmanay celebrations. Not forgetting the being all together with Kate and Dod for the first time in ages! Have a fantastic trip and look forward to hearing all about it on your return. xx


  3. Veronica Willins

    Well a big “HAPPY NEW YEAR to you positive adventurers and hope that you have a safe and fabulous time travelling around! Malcolm and Mirka have been to these magical places also and brought back lots of unusual items that i have here. No doubt it will be very interesting and educational also as well as lots of Fun and nice to meet up with family and friends. In the meantime we are coping with snow, floods and storms but the weather over there is good enough for swimming!! Who said it was a “fair world”!! Take care, God Bless and look forward to hearing from you when you return. Happy Holidays. The blog is great to follow and love all the beautiful scenery. You will see some fantastic places in your travels.
    Love Veronica xxoo


  4. Liz Turner

    Dear John,

    We’re on BA2552, arriving at Heraklion at 13…35 on Tuesday, May 3rd; we leave on Thursday May 12th. at 1500 hours and the flight number is BA2553.

    Cheers! Liz.



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