Foraging fruit, finding a puppy and the return of Mr SN

Foraging fruit, finding a puppy and the return of Mr SN

Those of you that read my blog post on August in Greece a few weeks ago, may remember that I was longing for rain and cloud. Well, you’ll be glad to know that I figured out the answer to that one: If you can’t bring grey skies to the girl, take the girl to the grey skies. With that revelation, I headed to the UK because it always rains there. That’s right, I’ve been and returned to England. I swapped figs for blackberries, intense heat for jeans and fluffy socks and Greek salad for fish ‘n chips. Ironically the weather in England was glorious so I never got my fix of rain, but I did find my husband. This blog post is all about foraging fruit, finding a puppy and the return of Mr Sidestepping-Normal.

A puppy???

What? A puppy? What puppy? I want to see the puppy…you’re not the only one, that was exactly my reaction too. To cut a long story short, I found a puppy a few weeks ago. She was abandoned, dehydrated and had tics. We’re not financially in a good position to feed another mouth, but my mum kindly offered to help us out with some of the initial expenses. Consequently our canine count doubled…just like that. We bathed her, removed the tics, fed and watered her, and within a few days she began to find her feet.

I’m cute and I know it!

Fate seemed to be hinting that we needed another wagging tail about the place…it had absolutely nothing to do with me falling in love with her. The cats paused momentarily from their cat biscuits to glance at the puppy before resuming their food. Dora-dog seemed happy to share her toy basket – but not her tennis balls as there has to be a line drawn somewhere, and the chickens clucked and ruffled their feathers, which may have been chicken code for “welcome to the family” or might have been them muttering under their beaks “not another blooming animal”…I wasn’t entirely sure.

So on that note, I’d like to formally introduce Ivy the puppy to this blog and our lives. She’s a Cretan hunting hound, an ancient breed that’s been bred on Crete for thousands of years. Funnily enough, I used to walk one in my old life as a dog walker, so I’m prepared for what’s she’s going to turn into. Her character is extremely affectionate, nervous, but with an air of regal refinement. 

Foraging fruit and wild sage…

One bright morning a few weeks ago, mum and I decided that we’d go foraging for fruit and wild sage. We left Villa Theodora armed with bags and scissors for collecting the foraged finds, plus a dog, a puppy, a cat, and a laundry basket in case Ivy got tired and couldn’t walk any further. It was 8.30am and the morning shadows were still offering some relief from the sun, but with each step we took, the sun rose higher and the shadows retreated, hiding under rocks, fearing being shrivelled like raisins.

A family outing to forage figs and sage…yes there is a cat in the basket and yes that’s my mum.

We walked up the uneven stony track; the surface like dry granola. Dora-dog ran ahead, Ivy the puppy trotted along, and Ruby the cat sauntered behind; every so often finding a burst of energy and sprinting playfully. Before long we arrived at a fig tree. The perfect little fruits hung like baubles on a Christmas tree; their skins the colour of the deepest, darkest shadows on a dazzling sunny day.

The sights and sounds of Cretan life…

In the village, a dog was howling and the voice of a man over a tanoy was advertising the goods he had for sale in the back of his van. He shouted to the village, tempting them to venture outside and buy his wares. After a minute the voice was replaced by traditional Cretan folk music which crackled and echoed out discordant melodies, which drifted over the countryside.

We picked the figs, battling not to eat them all. The skins were smooth and soft, but the insides looked like a tangle of sewing threads in a hopeless knot. They tasted sweet, like treacle, and some were sticky like jam. As we stood there in the Cretan countryside listening to the music, geese honked and the smell of goats wafted in the air. Swallows soared and dived over our heads and the animals waited patiently for us to complete our foraging foray.

Foraging wild sage…

Once we’d picked enough figs to be getting on with, we headed in search of wild sage. By this point Ivy was flagging and we popped her in the laundry basket to rest her little puppy paws a while. We continued on our journey, passing an old gentleman with a face that had been baked by the sun like golden crinkled pastry. His eyes sparkled with amusement as we passed with our little menagerie in tow.

The wild sage adorned the path and smelt like stuffing balls and roast dinners. Memories of Sunday afternoons filled with family gatherings, gravy boats and pub lunches were conjured in my mind.

By now the time was almost ten o’clock and the heat had backed us into a corner with no route of escape. We made our way back home, under the cloudless sky, carrying bags of scented herbs, tired puppies and fruit, in desperate need of cake and cups of coffee.

Heading back to the UK…

As I sit here describing that day, I realise how contrasted it is to life in the UK. My trip to England was spontaneous and last minute. A few weeks ago, late one evening, I received word from my boss to say that there were no bookings at the guesthouse for the next two and a half weeks. The tourists should be streaming into Crete like a gushing tap at this time of year, but instead they arrive in drips and drops; hardly enough of them to go around.

With no work, I decided that I’d spend my birthday money and go back to the UK, with the hope of earning a bit of money, seeing friends and family and finally reuniting with my husband who’s been separated from me for the last two long months. Within a day I was back in Blighty, gazing into the eyes of Mr SN, wondering how I’ve managed without him; vowing never to be apart for so long again.

Being back in West Sussex, England…

Being back in West Sussex was comforting and familiar. People can understand what I’m saying, I know lots of people and how everything works. The rolling South Downs are lush and green, bejewelled with woodland filled with oak, ash and hazelnut. The blackberries are shiny and plump and cling to the brambles like a plague of beetles.

The last couple of months have been quite a struggle and I needed to escape. Crete is my home,  but my home is wherever Mr SN is , and as the weeks passed by, Crete felt like living in a house without furniture, carpet or curtains. Being back with him in the West Sussex town that I have always loathed recharged my batteries, offered me a break, reset my mind. Plus I was reunited with the person that makes me laugh, tut and feel eternally grateful.

I filled my days with all the things I can’t do in Crete. Blackberry picking with my sister, cups of tea at Nanny’s house, catching up with friends, fried breakfasts, hearty dinners (thank you Barbara) tea and cake and stewing the cooking apples from the old gnarly tree in my parents garden. I had my nose in a Laurie Lee book and found some work painting a friends Sussex barn.

Striving for an Enid Blyton style life…

I know I probably make life sound like an Enid Blyton book, but that’s what I grew up on, and that’s how I want my life to be. What’s wrong with milk and macaroons at 11 o’clock and roaming the countryside with a dog (or two) in tow? I reject lots of aspects of this modern world that’s being forced on me. No thanks, not for me, try someone else. Returning back to the UK felt a bit like grieving for a time that seems to have been lost. I noticed the domination of self service check-outs, refusal of cash, ridiculous rules and regulations and a high street filled with closed down shops. I also noticed how normal it is to feel anxious, stressed, fed up and fearful, plus people are more divided than ever.

Part of leaving the UK for Greece was because we can’t have our Enid Blyton lifestyle there, however in Crete we can. It’s still old fashioned, families still own individual shops, rules can be bent and I can spend my time carrying puppies in laundry baskets if I so want. Additionally, my Greek will probably never be good enough to understand the news so I don’t have to live in fear every day…suits me fine. In my life, breaking news is when a tomato is ready to pick from the garden, or Ivy has stolen a sock. I’m worried that if Crete isn’t careful, it will lose it’s way too. I feel like writing a letter to Crete. It would read something like this:

Dear Crete,

I am writing to inform you that a handful of ‘progressives’ have been operating near your island. In neighbouring countries they have been conning poor unsuspecting populations with the idea that they can improve life with technological advancements, and offer you every imaginable material possession instantly, and at a lower price than competing family firms.

Please be vigilant and inform your citizens not to approach as they may be dangerous.

Kind regards,

Mrs Sidestepping-Normal.

Returning back to Crete…

Returning back to Crete with Mr SN by my side is such a relief. He’s had a tough couple of months working long shifts, but he’s back in Crete with a sense of pride that he’s ensured our survival here, combined with an emerging fear that every time he leaves me alone, we gain another animal…what can I say?

We’ve only been back a few days, but we’re basking in the feeling of being back at home together. The struggle was worth it, we’ve earned enough money to see us through the whole of next year and we’re whiling away the days drinking tea and clearing up puppy wee. Oh, and last night there was a terrific storm, so I can tick ‘longing for rain’ off my list. All in all, life is dandy again.

So in conclusion, I’m thankful to be back with Mr SN, I’m grateful for the trip to the UK, but I’m excited to be back home in Crete. The last few weeks have taught me the following: a) forgetting to wear a crash helmet doesn’t go down well in the UK, b) I am a bit prone to taking in strays when Mr SN goes away, and c) be vigilant, puppies piddle in unlikely places.

If you’re new here, you may like to read about being separated last summer and the financial worries we encountered last year.

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54 thoughts on “Foraging fruit, finding a puppy and the return of Mr SN

  1. please write a book about your adventures…your writing makes me feel like I’m there….and it’s so cathartic on a monday morning ..working from home.

  2. Lovely blog
    Yep storm was exciting but sad for Assos in Kefalonia and other places.
    We were lucky in Crete.
    Enjoy
    The Bowdens of Karefiliana Kissamos

    1. We were very lucky in Crete. The rain was torrential but we didn’t suffer too many consequences. The soil is still wet, which shows how much must have come down. When we were out walking yesterday, we noticed that the weeds are beginning to appear in the olive groves. Our chickens will be very glad as weeds are their favourite food!

      Thanks 😀

  3. Thanks so much for your entertaining blog, in these crazy times it is a breath of fresh air, all the very best to you both and of course the animals. 🙂

    1. I know what you mean, the more crazy it gets, the more I dissolve into the pages of my favourite books, the countryside and the details of our everyday life, e.g the animals, the vegetable garden, cooking a yummy dinner etc. For me, cutting it all out is the only way I can maintain a sense of normality. It feels like we are creating a safe haven where we can live our lives in peace 😊

    1. Thank you. Ivy has well and truly settled in. She’s currently fast asleep on the sofa! It’s a tough life being a puppy!

  4. So glad to read this, it seems ages since your last post but it’s no wonder as you’ve obviously been very busy!
    I understand every single word of this blog, from not being able to resist an abandoned pup, missing your man dreadfully, and being totally relieved to be back ‘home’ in Crete.
    Folk keep saying ‘these strange times’ here in the UK, I imagine a lot more than the people of Crete do.
    I too hope that Crete will never turn into anything resembling the mess of the UK, at any time, ‘strange’ or otherwise.
    Carry on doing what you do, working hard, appreciating everything you have, and most of all enjoying every single second, because we never know what’s around any corner.
    And thank you for the beautiful photos, stories and time you share, to make us all smile.

    1. It felt like a long time since I’d written a post. I used to worry about posting regularly, but I’ve realised that it’s more important to have something interesting and heartfelt to write about than to worry about how often I post.

      I concur, Crete should never feel that it has to catch up with countries like the UK. They’ve got it perfect how it is.

      It’s my pleasure to spread a little happiness 😊

  5. Love reading your posts. We haven’t managed to get to our house in Kritsa, Lassithi all year because of family bereavements and coronavirus, and we talk about it almost everyday. We’re always wondering too about our dogs and cats – when we take them – when we leave them…. when you go back to the UK do you find people willing to look after them?

    1. Dreaming of Crete everyday is very familiar to us. We used to eat, sleep and talk of Crete obsessively whilst we were in the UK.
      We’ve been very lucky and have relied on neighbours and family to look after our animals whilst we are back in the UK. Having said that, there are definitely options and we have heard of house sitters and dog hotels with very good reputations.

  6. A lovely blog which has confirmed to me that we also are doing the right thing by hoping to live in Crete next year. I cannot wait to escape from all that is going on here in England. I’m just pining for a simple life. Keep safe all of you and enjoy your winter. You really are in the right place.

    1. I think so many people feel the same and are yearning for a simple life. I hope this blog speaks to people that are searching for simplicity and an alternative existence. Our life isn’t perfect and we still have ups and down, but I can verify that for us, slowing down and living in nature has made us feel much happier and fulfilled. I hope more people can find their way through the madness too.

  7. Wonderful heartfelt insight ..feels such a privilege to read your blog ..love it so much and is a reminder to enjoy and be grateful more. Our new edition Lola did end up back at the vets but she’s now under Cathy and is doing better. Animals do make you stop and slow down.

    1. Awww, beautiful little Lola. I’m glad she’s doing better. I can’t wait to see photos as she gets bigger and stronger. It was great to see you and the girls the other week, Phoebe and Miranda will always be special to me. In my head I’m still pushing Phoebe in the pushchair to collect Miranda from reception class! I guess that’s the beauty of having memories, you can dip back into them whenever you want 😊

      Say hi to Kathy for me – it was her barn that we painted when I was back!

  8. Your analogy of the atmosphere in the UK and the contrast with the life you can find in Greece resonates so much with me. I live in Brighton but have deep yearnings to spend longer in Greece, and I especially love Crete having nearly bought a ruin there not long ago. I’ve just rented out my bedroom and am being lured away for the next few months. Thanking you for being inspiring

    1. The atmosphere in the UK was so apparent to me during this trip. I’m not sure if it’s got worse or if I can see it because I’ve been away for a long time. The saddest thing is that people are so bogged down with it, they don’t realise how bad it is. I think they’ve forgotten what life could be like. When we were planning our escape all those years ago, we saw it as an adventure; I don’t think we realised how necessary it would be for our happiness.

    1. I understand what you mean completely. My mum and sisters find it really difficult to see the stray animals and dogs that are chained up all day. It’s such a contrast to how we keep animals in the UK. Thankfully things are really changing. People are beginning to exercise their dogs and take animals to the vets. There’s a long way to go, but I think it’s already improved a lot, so hopefully the future is bright.

  9. Another excellent article , so pleased Mr. SN is back and you’ve earned enough money for another year. Hopefully your ongoing project will be finished shortly and it will bring you a steady income next year when this awful virus has gone. All the best.

    1. Absolutely, the relief to know that we’re financially sound for another year is immense. Mr SN has definitely earned a few weeks rest…but then he’s got to get Walnut Cottage completely finished!!! He thrives on a bit of hard work 😂

  10. Hi, I thoroughly enjoy your blogs. I love your lifestyle and way of life.
    My partner and I were hoping to visit Crete again this year. Holiday was booked but sadly the day before we were due to fly, I had a nasty accident and wasn’t allowed to fly. So bang went our holiday. Maybe next year,.
    I shall look forward to reading more of your adventures with the adorable Ivy, and Dora. …I’m a sucker for waifs and strays too
    We watched you on the tv show too.
    Lucy x

    1. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear you had a nasty accident. I hope you’re on the mend and feeling better. Waifs and strays are irresistible, we could easily be overrun with them at our house but we have to remind ourselves that we can’t rescue them all. Luckily we’ve met lots of lovely local people who all do their bit to help them; the cats at our local fishing village are quite chunky and turn their noses up at the things they don’t like!

      When we did the tv show, we were filmed rescuing kittens, but they left that bit out.

      Fingers crossed for your trip next year 🤞

    1. Thank you 😊 I get so much pleasure from writing; it’s so rewarding to know that I can bring a little escapism and happiness to people.

  11. Welcome back. Really good to read your latest news. Ivy is a peach. Looking at her feet I can see she is going to be huge. But you already know the breed.

    I love reading about your life in Crete Steph.

    1. You’re completely right, her paws indicate that she’s not going to stay small for long! The irony is that a few months ago Mr SN and I agreed that our next dog would be a little lap dog as our house isn’t very big! That one didn’t work out as we planned! 😂

  12. What a lovely post! Made me smile and cry a little. Ivy is beautiful and so is your lifestyle. As a reader it confirmed that even paradise has a price, but congratulations to both of you for doing what it took to continue your best life and may next year be a little easier than this for us all. And boy, do I covet those figs!

    1. You’re completely right, paradise does have a price, things aren’t always plain sailing but I think that if you want it enough then you find a way through it. Me too…those figs are to die for!

  13. Fantastic reading , you should take up writing for a living your words almost transport me to crete and your lovely lifestyle …

  14. Hi Steph, yet again you have managed to say it how it is in Blighty, were you in Brighton by any chance?? Now there’s a Town that is changing beyond belief and being taken over by the Uni and it’s student flats, yeeuukk! Horrible!!!I
    Hopefully we are coming back to Crete next week, to sort out our winter home, (fingers crossed) so will keep you informed on that one!!
    Well done Mr SN on earning yourselves another year in blissland, an sure things will be better next year for the Greek people tourist wise, they’ve had a tough time, along with this planet we live on!!! Let’s hope a new dawn of Health is on the Horizon!!
    Keep up the good work and words Steph, take care,
    Regards
    Toni + Sue. (Lancing/ Sompting)

    1. Hi Toni and Sue,

      We didn’t venture into Brighton this time around but I can imagine what you mean. My dad has worked in central Brighton for the last 20 odd years and he can see it changing continually. It’s extortionate to get the train in, you get a parking ticket at the drop of a hat and it’s so congested and busy. It’s such a shame, I was always drawn there as a teenager because it’s so quirky and different.

      Ooooh good luck with sorting out the winter home, that’s very exciting.

      Speak soon 😃

  15. Your email arrived a few days ago and it was like an old friend writing a good ol’ fashion letter.
    If only it was longer!
    A big Welcome to Ivy!
    Glad Mr SN is home!
    Yes to writing that novel!

    1. Awww thank you, that’s so nice of you to say.
      P.s – I’d love a revival of snail mail, You can’t beat the excitement of a hand written letter through the post 😊

  16. Thanks again for your latest news. We found a pup in Corfu (or rather it found us) when on holiday many years ago. We were some miles from the hotel when it came up on a deserted country road wagging its tail. .Couldn’t stop it from following us but knew the hotel would not allow it in, so stopped at a local shop we knew and persuaded them to take it in. Hope it all went well. Nice to hear you admit so openly that you have missed your husband. During 65 years of close companionship with a “significant other” (5years courtship & 60 years marriage) I learned that the sharing of experiences is essential – it enhances the good and modifies the bad.. Unfortunately it is very hard when this sharing is no longer possible. Enjoy life.

    1. Hello! How kind of you to help the puppy in Corfu, hopefully it lived a long and happy life with the people at the shop. Animals seem to have a way of knowing who will help them.

      I feel extremely blessed to have met my husband. He brings out the best in me and vice versa. I hope to have as many years with him as you had with your wife.

  17. Always enjoy reading your blog. You write very well, and I like your sense of humour. I hope your Greek improves as I hope mine does as well. If my plan goes as planned it would be nice to be able to talk to the local Greek people in our neighborhood.
    Ivy looks like a sweet heart.

    1. Good luck with your Greek. I’ll be writing about my language learning in my next post.

      Ivy is a real sweetie; over the last few days she’s begun to try and run faster. We keep laughing at her as she tears around in a tangle of legs! I’m sure it won’t be long until she gets the hang of it.

  18. Good to catch up on your adventures….beautifully described as always. I’m reluctant to waffle on about ‘how things were’ (I’m still not 50….albeit I won’t be able to claim that for long!), but I wouldn’t worry too much about Crete and it’s wonderful people falling into some sort of lockstep with the less welcome parts of the way life develops. We discovered Crete, and Mylopotamos (Panormo) in particular in 2002 and were lucky enough to buy a house there a couple of years later. Over the years since I’ve realised that Crete and its people buy into those changes that improve their lives, while retaining a strong sense of community and a refusal to discard values and a belief in hospitality that marks Cretans out as truly unique.
    I’m entirely biased in this opinion, of course, I love the place! Please do keep on posting, reading your posts helps with the black dog depression of not being able to come back to Crete as much as usual!

    1. I know how you feel, I’m only 30 and I refer back to the way things were too! Maybe there are people in every generation that feel the advancements in their lifetime result in the loss of old traditions and ways.

      I like the concept of picking and choosing the technology/developments that enhance your life, whilst abandoning the aspects that bring nothing to the table.

      Speak soon 😀

  19. Super to read your latest blog again. Agree with all the above comments from people – you enspire people and its just wonderful to immerse ourselves in your lives, you bring it all so much to life and make us smile – well done you 🙂 look forward to news on your renovation and updates on all the animals in your life….. until then
    best wishes Sue

    1. Thank you 😊 I feel like yourself and the other readers of my blog must be very like us. As time goes by, the audience has been whittled down to a very specific set of people that all share our love of Greece, animals, nature, countryside, simplicity, an alternative lifestyle etc. It would be lovely to have a party and all meet in the real world! You never know…maybe one day 😉

      1. funny that was a thought that had crossed my mind a meet up in your beautiful sounding area, i am actually from Africa and have a place in Turkey – in what was lovely country side with cows and chickens – now sadly been replaced with concrete for the most part and i guess people like me wanting the quieter sunnier life have caused this 🙁 but we still love it there and the reminder of Africa and a more natural laid back way of life, without the 100’s of rules of what can and cant be done etc…- my husband and I LOVE nature, space and greenery , and i just “feel” your life so much and hope to one day have similar too 🙂 on a perm basis …

        1. Africa sounds so exotic, I’ve never been but I’d love to go. The older I get, the more I realise that I need animals and nature to make me feel happy. I find the world a confusing place, but tolerable as long as I can escape into nature and cuddle my animals 🐶🐱🐝🐜🦋

          All the best to you both.

  20. Once again Steph, a beautiful explanation of how it is for you in Crete. Not a lot of us are brave enough to do what you have done. Following your dream with envy. Love Mae, Reg & Dylan xxx

    1. Hi Mae, I knocked on your door when I was back in Sussex but I think you were away on holiday (Pat told me.) I’ll be sure to stop by the next time I am over 😊. Hope you are all well. xxx

  21. Ohhhh that’s awesome to hear!!! I love learning Greek. I’ve been trying to learn it for the last 30 years with my wife being Greek, and one of the first words that she taught me in the beginning of our relationship was “Sagapo agape mou”
    (ς αγαπώ αγάπη μου – I love you my love 😍) She would drag me around at Greek family get togethers or we bump into them in Greek town and she would go to me in front of them, “OK now say it! Say it!” Like you’re trying teach Ivy to “Speak! Speak!” She has tried to teach me here and there, but it’s something that needs 15- 20 minutes a day to learn. She still tells me words in Greek throughout the years, but it doesn’t stick, lol. She still makes fun of my pronunciation of “OXI”
    I think it sounds proper to me! She says I say “OH-Hay!” and I don’t. It’s “OH-hee” like the air is coming out of a flat tire.
    I watch Greek Star News from Greece not for the language so much, but for the cute female reporters who with serious somber grave faces report the bad bad news for 30 minutes and then the last 5 seconds are my favourite where they wish all the Mrs. and Mr’s a good evening with a beautiful smile and their eyes are happy and they give this cute tilt of the head with a paused cute look then remove the ear piece! Xaxaxa! I rewind it 3X and laugh with the wife.
    But I wanted to comment on your separation from Mr.S.N. for two months. That was brave of you (obviously needed) and I’m glad things turned out well. I told my wife yesterday that I would be willing to go 3 months without her so she could spend time with her “new Mom” in Greece and I’d stay here in Canada probably occupying myself by fishing every day and doing art to survive without her. What I’m talking about is something I think I could make a blog myself is how my wife found out that she was adopted when she found her adoption papers by accident when we had to move her dad into a seniors home and was cleaning his apartment 8 years ago. Anyways both her “adoptive” parents have passed now, and as of recent through our friend my wife was encouraged to do a DNA Kit that she herself did and found her real Dad and relatives (but hasn’t reached him yet on it) and so my wife did it, but to just find out what percentage of “Greek she was”, xaxaxaxa!
    We’re going on 30 years marriage this Tuesday (with no kids or pets) and she’s 64 years old, I’m 53 and this has been a real surreal ride. All those years over 50 years and you found out that you were adopted that your real family is not your real family. Can you imagine? So anyways long story shorter my wife couldn’t resist the temptation to inquire about the list of people that the DNA company revealed to her of having fourth cousins, third cousins, second cousins and first cousins. So she contacted some on Facebook. Long story even shorter as of just a few weeks ago she found out where her mother is living and that her dad is also still alive and has been communicating with both sides of her Mom and Dad’s family, but mostly her Mom’s side. She has been talking with both her (half) sisters. One in U.K. one in Athens. Can you believe it? TWO NEW SISTERS! But here is the kicker. That my wife’s Mom has not been told by the sister’s yet because she has had a heart attack recently due to her age at 84. And still no contact with her Dad yet, but we’re making progress. So having said ALLLL that, yes, I would go without seeing my wife for whatever amount of months for her to catch up to be with her real Mom and to encourage her to get better. So should I write a book or just stick with a blog!? Xaxaxaxaxa!! What should I title it? Have a great day my dear. Kisses sent to little Ivy’s head.
    P.S. I guess technology is good in some cases. 😊

    1. Hello! What a shock for your wife, life can be as unpredictable as an angry snake. It’s the most amazing story to an outsider, but of course there are lots of real people and feelings involved – I hope it all works out okay. I think you should follow your heart and do whatever you feel is right, whether that’s a blog or a book. I really, really like your writing style; it’s fast paced and interesting. Sometimes I feel like the universe is willing things to happen, and it uses people as vehicles to convey messages…if you feel an impulse to write, then definitely do it 😊

      All the best.

  22. Hi you two, so pleased you are back “in print “ Steph, have missed reading your news, sorry we couldn’t catch up in Sussex, we are virtually house bound in Cornwall, not seen our family in Sussex, missed them all, thank God for Messenger, we are still dreaming of Crete wish we could be back there now, and as we now have had to accept that our annual two month holiday in the suns of Goa is a no no, this will be the first time we have spent winter in UK,and we are both dreading it and sad that we won’t be with all our friends in Goa. I just love Ivy she is a little beauty I hope Dora dog learns to love her. As you know things are about to happen, God willing, within our family, Ellie goes in to hospital on the 5th October, I will let you know the outcome, Lily will be 2 next Wednesday and Thomas is now back at school, thank goodness he so missed it. Sending love to you and Matt from Uncle Fred and I , keep the pen pushing x x x x x x

    1. Hi both! It’s good to be back!

      I hope the winter will be mild and sunny, at least you will be kept busy with babies and children to distract you! I wish you could meet Ivy, you’d love her. Matt and I have caught Dora playing with her over the last couple of days; it’s very sweet.

      Love to you all. xxx

  23. It’s always nice to read your updates. Life is for living and enjoying the simple pleasures. Crete is
    so inspiring, with it’s rich history and diverse landscapes topped with folk who are kind and passionate.

    We were lucky enough to visit in August and our small garden has become home to a growing family of seven cats…and counting!

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