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.
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!