March 5, 2018

I slept like a baby last night under the pink toile bed head. The Grand Bretagne is a gracious old hotel with a huge high-ceilinged foyer and ballroom on the ground floor. The architecture suits the ornate swagged curtain decor and massive central ottoman. Like many grand dames, it has its own personality. The staff are superb.

Last week I had a small balcony on the first floor overlooking Syntagma Square, the old palace w...

March 4, 2018

Before I went to sleep last night, I set the alarm for 5am. That would give me plenty of time to have a coffee, maybe two, take the small bag of rubbish up to the bin around the bluff, shower, finish packing my suitcases and then pull them around the harbour to the ferry. 

I half-woke in a dream about folding blankets. As if I were leaving somewhere. A sudden lucid thought penetrated the fog of sleep. Leaving? Leaving? I sat bo...

February 26, 2018

The forecast said the rain would stop today by 10am. It did. A strong wind blew it away. I called in to say hello as I went past the archives to exchange emails with Eleni. She said she'll contact me if she finds anything. 

Then I set off for Mandraki Bay. 

It's east of the port, and was the docking place for Hydra’s navy during the 1821 Revolution. Two small forts were constructed on either headland to defend the fleet against...

February 25, 2018

I am lying in bed listening to the church bells ringing as they have for centuries. 

When I rose early to make a cup of coffee I seemed to have twice as many bones in my left ankle as I did yesterday morning. Where is Angelika when you need her? 

The walk up to the monastery yesterday afternoon was quite spectacular. George from the shop three doors down asked me where I was going. 'Up to the monastery,' I answered, po...

February 24, 2018

This was the weather when I opened the shutters this morning. Luckily it's fined up to a blue blue day.

Did I tell you I texted Iliana a few days ago to ask where I'd find the apartment manual? I haven't been sure where to take my rubbish - instructions and how-to's, doctor, chemist, dentist, laundromats, restaurants, all that sort of helpful stuff.  

She lives in Athens and only comes here for the summe...

February 23, 2018

After yesterday's walk I hobbled to the kitchen to make my morning coffee like an old crone! Nothing permanent that another good ten kilometre walk on uneven rocks won't fix.

It's a dripolator machine and I've never had one. My first cup on the first day was so strong it would have put hairs on a baby's chest. The next day I used water from the soda water bottle. Sparkling coffee could be the new thing. 

This morning it was...

February 22, 2018

I love the way the seagulls wheel above the harbour in circles, round and round.

Yesterday when it was raining they landed and stayed put.

I discovered the significance of the double-headed eagle - no prizes for guessing the clue was the church setting. Apparently it's the most recognisable symbol of Orthodoxy today apart from the cross. 

It was also the official state symbol of the Byzantine Empire, symbolising the unity be...

February 21, 2018

Thankfully the weather held this morning for my visit to the archives and my tour with Maria. This afternoon it rained properly with the occasional a clap of thunder. Not quite the tropical storm, but Hydra's gentle version of it! Every now and then, just to show there was no malice, the sun peeked through before the next rain shower arrived.

I wanted to be at the archives at 10am to see Mrs Adamopoulou before she became b...

February 20, 2018

Each night I close the shutters to keep in the warmth. Each morning I open them, never knowing what the day's weather might be! Today I was greeted by cold and grey. Low foggy cloud hid the tops of the mountains behind the town, draining colour from the landscape. I was glad I was seeing it from inside.

Showers came across now and then. A few people were in chatting in small huddles under awnings, or hugging the sides of t...

February 19, 2018

The temperature today has been 4º-9ºC. Sounds cold doesn't it? It's actually been fairly pleasant with not much wind.

My 2am snack last night - how healthy is that???  Might make up for the florentines I've been buying at the Tsangaris almond shop. Of course I didn't eat any breakfast!

11.30am

I just came home from a long walk up in the oldest part of town, on top of the hill at Kiafa.

The first people to settle here on thi...

February 18, 2018

This is dawn from my window this morning. I keep forgetting that there are pigeons sleeping on the terracotta roof next door. They couldn't give a toss about the fine wire fringing along all the ledges. I don't know who gets the bigger fright when I throw the windows open - me or the pigeons who rise into the air with a huge fluttering of wings. They fly away and I don't see them come back. I wish I could apologise.

But let me...

February 17, 2018

I adore this place! It's been such a glorious day - at one stage I wasn't wearing a jumper! Isn't the water beautiful? I've spent most of today writing, with the exception of a couple of outings...

I came to Ydra not only to find out more about the characters in my book, but to understand the place I'll be writing about. The day to day life, the people, the streets, the sea, the country. You can read about it in a book, as...

February 16, 2018

You know those winds that blow straight through you even though your jacket is zipped up? The ones that make you look down to check that you really did put your scarf on and wonder why you left your beanie at home?  We had one today. 

Not all day though. This morning it was raining, after lunch it was miserable, and late this afternoon it became icy-windy-sunny. Just my cup of tea. 

When I woke I decided I needed to make a list...

February 15, 2018

I woke at 3.30am and opened the bedroom shutters to the sound of rain. Yesterday's wind had dropped and cold air rushed into the room. The pigeons I'd woken on the next door roof flapped their wings in protest then settled down again.

I worked on the computer till dawn.

Costas told me yesterday to go to the bakery near the Piraeus Bank. At 7am I wondered if my waterproofed shoes would stand the onslaught. The thought of bread fr...

February 14, 2018

Two hours by 'slow' ferry from Athens today, yet I'm now a world away. 

My taxi driver to the port of Piraeus was called Euazzelis - pronounced ev-aye-yellos. When I exclaimed over the bitter orange trees again, he said 'you will try not to eat them.' He's right. I will try. Not to.

He asked why I was going to Hydra. I said I would do some writing. 'You really look like a writer,' he said. I'm glad I didn't say I was going to do...

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March 4, 2018

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"I never travel without my diary.  

One should always have something

sensational to read on the train."  

                                - OSCAR WILDE

shelley dark 

email: shelleydarkwriter@gmail.com

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© 2017 Shelley Dark