Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter magic all around us!

 It’s a very cold and snowy day today in Greece, and winter has finally settled in for good.
I love snowy weather because we don’t often have it in my city and we are all looking forward to ‘white’ days and nights. 
I suppose it is good to have snow for some time and see the place transformed into a winter wonderland especially when it is Christmas time.
Last week, I was lucky to spend sometime in the country and I really couldn’t get enough of the beauty of the landscape. There were hills and mountains all around a long and wide valley, with farms, picturesque villages  and a river. When we arrived, I could see smoke covering the horizon, like a cloud hovering over the rooftops. I think it came from the chimneys.
 It was Christmas Eve and people were preparing for the big night, lighting the fireplaces , setting their tables for their festive dinner and welcoming guests. I love this special feeling that you have just before Christmas Eve and Day. A feeling of anticipation, of warmth and joy in your heart .I always try to find some quiet time by myself to think about the essence of Christmas on that day and feel the serenity and love it brings along.

On Christmas morning we set off for the mountain. Our destination was a town, perched on the cliff , a tourist destination which was unexpectedly quiet when we got there, probably because it was already lunch time and few people were around. The view is great but what I like the most is the beauty of the route you follow to get there.   The trees have almost lost all their foliage and the remaining leaves are trying hard to keep their balance on the branches. I love the colours. All the hues of brown, grey, yellow and green, pale colours but very vivid and ‘strong’,when the rays of the winter afternoon sun appear through the clouds.  
 But what I am really attracted to, in this beautiful place ,are the barns and sheds that are scattered almost everywhere along the route. They stand by the street behind fences or wires, you can see them in the distance, hidden behind bushes or trees in a farm, rambling or in good condition, deserted or in use, they are everywhere.  

They are very humble, easy to make structures, used to store tools, logs, wood or to shelter animals and people   who work in the farm. I don’t know why I like them so much. I suppose it has to do with my obsession with small ‘houses’ like birdhouses, doll houses , attics etc. J .

  They are small,  but they provide shelter and warmth in the ‘middle of nowhere’ , when it is cold and rainy, windy and snowy on the mountain . One can think of many stories that could be related to them, especially on Christmas day when ‘magic’ is in the air…….
Anyway, I took some pictures of them, so here they are.
After we had wondered around for some time, taking pictures and breathing in the crisp mountain air ,
we were very lucky to come across a lovely cafĂ© and pub and rest for some time before we went back home.  Do you like its welcoming entrance? How warm and cute this is!

I will leave you here for now my dear readers from around the world ,with some pictures of my Christmas decorations which I love and make me feel like a child again , who believes in Santa and waits for its presents underneath the Christmas tree.

Happy New year to all of you ,no matter where you are in the world and  I truly wish you to  soon overcome whatever makes you suffer.

Tina  xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Oh Christmas Trees!!!

Four more days to go for Christmas and I’m really looking forward to an early morning Christmas service at a small stone village church, the singing of carols, the warmth of the glowing candles and this feeling of serenity and happiness that the Day brings to my soul. It is the time to cease and count our blessings and be grateful for what is offered to us and the people we love.
Last weekend, was Christmas tree decoration time in my little world.
My tree is an artificial one. I used to buy real ones for some time in the past, but though they are beautiful and make the house smell of forest air, they have certain disadvantages . 

The decoration of the tree always takes a lot of time and effort, but it is always a joy I enjoy sharing with my family. We put on Christmas music and we open the boxes  where I keep the ornaments. 
The whole place becomes a colourful, messy, sparkling heaven where pairs of hands little and small, search through piles of ornaments for their favourite ones to hang first, from the tree.
The whole process takes a long, long time and some arguments about what looks best where, but the outcome is quite satisfying, especially when we turn on the fairy lights and the whole tree shines and gleams.
I like white, silver, golden baubles, flowers and feathers and very few wooden, tiny painted toys.
 My sister   loves   real trees and always opts for the cutest, small, colourful toys and red ribbons. Here is her tree, which I helped her decorate last Sunday.

If you have a little girl, a pink or fuchsia tree might be a good choice.
Do you like this one?

A happy snowman, a robin and a crochet star make it very stylish and cute. What do you think?

Anyway, no matter how big or small your tree is, or even if you choose not to decorate a tree at all, what matters is what is in your heart and soul .Don’t forget life is what we make it. So Merry Christmas to all of you, no matter where you are in the world and may your heart be filled with the warmth of Christmas.
If you wish to dream a little bit, look at the scenes of this   little village that travels you to the land of fairy tales, winter beauty and festive mood.  I love this sort of decoration and I catch myself day dream, every time I look at the little houses, the shop windows and the tiny sledges. I wish I was there!!

And I will leave you here dear readers, with some pictures of the central square in my city, Athens. We are a maritime people and as such we used to decorate little boats at Christmas and as you can see, we still do. I liked the boat a lot and especially when the colourful water from the fountain appeared in front of it. That was from last night.

 A very festive Athens, with people walking in the central streets, doing their shopping for the days ahead, taking pictures with ‘real’ Santa Clauses and ‘reindeer’. A happy  crowd in a ‘warm’ winter night.

Warm wishes to you all!!!
Till next time,