Photography and oil painting update

I have been practicing with my new camera that I got for my birthday and sampling a new way of painting after watching Bob Ross. He was on during lockdown and since I think we’re soon to be locked down again I thought I better get cracking.

The Lefkás pictures are not mine by the way. (Also, I’m still reading the feminist books as I took a break for my birthday to visit friends and have my parents visit me.)

The struggles that women face when trying to become self employed

I have found that doing your side hussle as a way to keep yourself occupied because your unable to get a job means that your side hussle will fail. I have tried and tried and tried some more. I have worked to the point of burnout with no success.

If you are a self employed woman like myself you don’t have the pre existing business connections, the capital (money) or the resources to make it a commercial success. You also have our paternalistic society against you. In order to make it in a man’s world you have to deny your femininity. This means no relationships or children which is such an inhumane and demoralising way to live. Most women can only persist with this for so long. Eventually, their hormones get the better of them. By this I mean they might have a breakdown because there life just isn’t fulfilling anymore. They come to the conclusion that there is more to life then work and money.

If you do manage to have a child which I haven’t you will most likely find that you are not able and do not want to devote yourself to your job like you did before. Your priorities have changed but the working world hasn’t. Covid may have granted us a lifeline here with working from home but you have other new issues here. You now have more time and energy since you are no longer commuting but you still have the childcare problem in addition to your housework plus there is now no separation between work and home life. One intrudes on the other and everyone knows that bringing your work home is a bad idea. Trying to be a super mom is a disaster waiting to happen.

Most women that I’ve seen start new careers on maternity leave to earn extra money find that it is not sufficient which is why most mum-entrepreneurs as they have been called stop within the year. They don’t have the support that is required to really make there businesses a success. There is not generally anything wrong with them but the financial situation is usually what sways them.

I have come across a lot of women who have tried to start their own business. They have not lasted. The home beauty business model is flawed. Avon ladies are not particularly successful neither are the Virgin cosmetics girls or the ones selling Ann Summers products. Pick any company that relies on women to host parties and/or sell to their girlfriends and within a year they will quit. They don’t get the benefits associated with their old jobs like the socialisation that comes with after work drinks.

If you are always a stay at home mother then you start to yearn for a life outside the home like you did before otherwise you come to resent your new life which is no good for the child’s development. You miss adult company and conversations so much you wonder why you even thought having a child was a smart idea. Talking becomes very difficult as all young mums know since your life now consists of in the Night Time Garden and Peppa Pig.

I have seen that in Lefkáda that female business ventures tend to work out better as they have big extended families to help out with all of the different tasks of daily life. They also have a much bigger support network so socialisation isn’t so much of a problem. However, even over there the ones that are apart from their family groups haven’t managed to make such a success of things.

Life is all about balance and if your supports are not present then your life is going to be uneven. You can look at raising a child as the cherry on top of a multi-tiered cake. If the layers below are not stable then the top will add too much pressure resulting in the collapse of all that is underneath it. We need to help each other out so that all women live the lives they deserve and if they desire children they can have them in an environment that is conducive to a healthy childhood. It prevents a lot of later issues that may not be able to be fixed in the future.

Lockdown art

Since here in the UK the lockdown is only just starting to be eased with shops opening, social distancing being reduced and the ability to see friends and family through bubbles I thought I would show some of my art that I have made recently.

Lefkás inspired ones followed by Coronavirus inspired ones and pictures of the area.A boat on the lagoon in Lefkáda

A boat on the lagoon in Lefkáda

A boat by the shore in Lefkáda

A boat by the shore in Lefkáda

A beach in Lefkáda

A beach in Lefkáda
A collection of dystopian, coronavirus and loss inspired artwork
A collection of dystopian, corona virus and loss inspired artwork

The sporting events that didn’t happen in 2020

The sporting events that didn’t happen in 2020

The news cycle of spring 2020

The news cycle of spring 2020
The house
The house

A lake view with pier and bridge

A lake view with pier and bridge

The house with next door chicken farm

The house with next door chicken farm

Another view of the lake by the swing

Another view of the lake by the swing

The lake and the house

The lake and the house

Reflection

I have recently been having a look at my old photographs as part of an exercise for photography club and I came across some which really sum me up as a person.

First of course is Greece. I love this view whether it’s in reality, a photograph or a painting I have done. I also love sunsets in case you hadn’t guessed by now. Sorry but I’m slightly addicted and obsessed with this time of day. Just so you know and we’re clear on this point 😉 I just like the simplicity of Greece and how natural and uncomplicated things are there. It is of course a mirage as I’m always on holiday there but we all need a little fantasy in our lives.

This is who runs the restaurant that we go to every week in Greece. You’ll notice that I’m dressed for dinner and for once I actually wearing a dress and jewellery. I look damn good and there is a sunset as well as there being the obligatory glass of alcohol. I’m not sure what we are celebrating but life is there to be enjoyed so why not have some champagne every now and again?

To continue on with the imaginative theme this is my husband on our wedding day. I am Cinderella who has finally been allowed to go to the ball and he is Robin Hood. He is my saviour and in the tradition started by Shrek everyone else who came to the wedding was dressed up in historical or fairytale attire. It was a wonderful day that hasn’t yet been bested in any of the subsequent weddings I have been to.

This is me relaxing outside in Greece at my in laws house. I like to read quite widely on a range of topics to kind my mind active. Also I do like to try new things “the curious kitty aspect as it’s been named” hence I’m reading a book about how to make cocktails because I’m partial to them.

This is also me having a drink surprise, surprise while watching the World Cup. I love watching football or soccer to Americans. I’m neither masculine or feminine really. A combination of both but some days I’m definitely more of one than the other like here I’m indulging my laddie side. This is is also in Greece but you can tell this is only a British thing on this occasion by the people in the background.

This is also me again quite laddie, interested in culture (Pirates week celebration in the Cayman Islands where I used to live), history as it’s a replica ship, being part of a hive of activity but also quite distant. I keep myself to myself while the world carries on with its business. It’s almost like I’m in a separate time zone as I’m able to observe the world around me but unable to fully interact or integrate into it. My husband who I met here helps me enormously with this. I think it’s also sunset here too.

This is my latest sunset picture which shows even in the UK we can have some pretty stunning scenery. It’s good to appreciate the places that you spend time in as that allows you to become settled. Sunsets allow you to notice that everything no matter how beautiful has its time but it can be reborn the next day into a new shape with new possibilities.

This image shows how much I like reflections, symmetry, rivers, parks, nature and while we all have flaws this doesn’t totally obscure who we are. It shows that we all were learners once with room for improvement. It’s up to us whether we actually continue to do that or not. It is also another place I have lived in for a short time. These are however not in chronological order. also my brain doesn’t like to always put everything into the correct order so this is a good representation of what happens in my mind on a regular basis.

This combines my love for travel, history, art and architecture. I like the clean lines that are present in Art Deco but also the idea of form and function as espoused by the Bauhaus movement in Germany of about the same time. There are also sculptures and nature present which is 2 more boxes ticked for me. Lastly this was taken when I went on my best friends hen do when we went to a gay bar as we like to do things slightly differently to usual. See below for more explanation.

This photo shows how absolutely bonkers I can be at times because this was my hen do. I went to the zoo wearing this, got my face painted to match and then came home to drinks while watching Eurovision. This was my maid of honour whose wedding I’m shortly going to and for which I am also maid of honour. I like the reciprocity here.

Sometimes pictures can explain much better than words ever can the things that mean the most to you in your life. Here I am with the people I spend the most time with on a trip to Northern Greece. We were on a wine tasting tour because we wanted to see more of the country to better appreciate the terroir as well as the history and culture. It’s useful for language purposes too. Finally I like to travel to see more of the world so that I can get an understanding of the way others live.

Finally these are people who I thought would be my forever friends as I spent a lot of time with them but due to circumstances in their own lives it wasn’t meant to be. This is good for me to remember that there are many paths in life that we can can take and while some seem very good initially, they don’t all turn out the way we expect them too. Change is an essential part of life and we need to accept the good while also making room for the removal of those things that were not so good in the end.

You might notice a distinct lack of people my own age but I’ve never been very good at socialising due to my Autism; plus when your self employed there is a lack of people to associate with in the first place. You need like minded people and there not generally found in pubs no matter how many you go to or how frequently you visit them. I’m in no way an alcoholic but alcohol allows you to release your inhibitions so it’s easier to try to connect.However, due to not being particularly social due to the anxiety and panic it can cause and not having the usual prerequisites like having a job to talk about; this makes things very difficult for me. There is only so many times you can talk about the weather, what was on TV recently and the drinks in your current establishment.

So the social isolation is quite crushing at times no matter where I am. This is why I’m trying to better myself with languages, art, photography, journaling, philosophy and learning about who I am as well as my place in the world. Neuroscience and psychology are helpful here as well as biochemistry.

I hope you like this insight into my life

Angela

100 common phrases in Athenian Greek

This lady is very easy to understand, she explains herself well and there is the written examples of the phrases she is teaching you in English and Greek.

Compare this to my version How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases and you will notice differences because island Greek is simpler and abbreviated. It’s also not as correct but still gets the message across. The main things I can think of is that sit down καθίστε η κάτσε κάτω and I don’t know δεν ξέρω (the Lefkas version doesn’t emphasis the separate words and blends them together) are said differently.

Best wishes

Angela

My Art

Vasiliki bell tower acrylic paint on stone
Vasiliki bell tower acrylic paint on stone
Vasiliki pastel on watercolour paper
Vasiliki pastel on watercolour paper
Graphitint and pastel on watercolour paper
Graphitint and pastel on watercolour paper
Lefkás town ink on canvas
Lefkás town ink on canvas
Lefkás Library acrylic paint and paper
Lefkás Library acrylic paint and paper
Lefkás town acrylic paint on canvas
Lefkás town acrylic paint on canvas
Cypriot church gouache on card
Cypriot church gouache on card

If you like my art that I have previously shared, Some of my own artwork and Some pictures of Lefkás. You can now see it all on my Instagram account that I have created just for the purpose of sharing with you all. AthinaMinerva7

Best wishes

Angela

Xenofontas Gregoris 1902-1988 Lefkádian doctor

Xenofontas Gregoris Lefkádian doctor
Xenofontas Gregoris Lefkádian doctor

He is commemorated on the island by not only having the above statue but by having the new hospital named after him. This is quite something and we had the current prime minster of Greece Alexis Tsipras over to open it.

Xenofontas fought against the Nazis and was against the junta that later took place in Greece. So he was extremely patriotic but google doesn’t seem to think he exists.

Best wishes

Angela

Other museums in Lefkás

Since I have covered all of the museums that are in Lefkás town I though I would spread the net a little further to encompass the rest of the island. Here I have to thank tourist websites for the information especially GoLefkas.gr It has Greek and English versions. This is due to the fact that neither me nor my husband drive. (Long story)

The church museum that is housed at Faneromeni Monastery and is mentioned here.Saints associated with Lefkás, their churches and shrines. Also has a maritime museum and zoo. It’s located about 3km outside of Lefkás town. For the festival which is on Monday 17th June this year, there is a huge market there and all the visit it after being blessed. It is one of many bank holidays which always occur on the actual day instead of the nearest Monday.

Folklore museum Sfakiotes (North Lefkás mountains) is a place dedicated to crafts that took place on Lefkás when it was isolated before the modern era of communication and travel. It’s very much a community place that showcases the education of the past. It celebrates the life Antreas Lazaris who was awarded by the Academy of Athens in 2013 for his extensive contribution to folkloristic history in Lefkás and to which a lot of the items used to belong to. There is also a room dedicated to Hristos Katapodis who had amassed a needlework collection and a costume room.

Radio, Phonograph and Gramophone museum Karya. (Central Lefkás mountains) This contains lots of the above equipment for listening to music. It was founded in 2015.

“Apollon” Music and Literature club Karya. This was founded in 1956 and until recently had a music school (2000) and put on theatre productions (1996). However they do still put on a 3 day representation of a rural wedding and a ‘Riganda’ festival. It has lots of documents from its operations in the past and costumes.

The museum itself was founded in 2012 to preserve Lefkádian traditions. It is in the old primary school and although it’s free you have to arrange before hand for it to be open.

Folklore museum Karya. Started in 2017 also in the Primary school, it contains more clothes, tools and everything else that was needed for life in the olden days.

Heritage museum Karya. This is the museum dedicated to the karsaniko stitch that is unique to Lefkádian embroidery.

Meli 51 Palakatouna/Neohori. (South central mountains Lefkás) This is a museum created in 2016 dedicated to bee keeping. It is however temporarily unavailable to the public.

Lefkáditiki Winery Syros. (South mountains Lefkás) This is a winery with a museum attached to it that tells you a bit about the process of wine making.

“Fabbrica” Olive oil museum Syvota, which is a tiny village at the bottom of the island. It shows the processes necessary for the production of Olive oil. It also has a tasting space for local products.

Lygia Sea museum (coastal central Lefkás) This is located in the primary school so you have to arrange with them when to visit. It was started in 1991 by pupils to encourage development of knowledge about all creatures that have lived or currently live in the sea.

The whale fin museum in Kastos which is a little tiny island that you can reach on a trip boat,

Best wishes

Angela

The battle of Actium

This was a famous battle between Cleopatra, Marc Antony and Octavian. There are details about this famous battle in the Archeological museum In Lefkás Town. There are also plenty of details here on Wikipedia Battle of Actium.

I can’t add anything there that isn’t already there since it was so long ago. I just need to add it for completion of the history of the area. Since there is also nothing to see or record in any way I can’t even give you any pictures.

Best wishes

Angela

Santa Maura fort Lefkás

A 14th century castle built by John Orsini to defend the island against the numerous invaders who have fought to control the island since the buildings’ creation – Venetians, Ottoman Empire, French, British.

The castle has passed through many hands to belong to the state now. You can visit but it’s closed on Tuesdays.

It is however a shadow of its former self being a collection of ruins along with the nearby church but events sometimes take place here. This is the reason why Battle for Santa Maura.

The army was based here and some of the honourable mentions from the Famous Lefkadians post were born here.

I have only been here once and it was on a day that it was closed so there no pictures for me to show.

Best wishes

Angela

Apostolos (Lakis) Santas Greek soldier 1922-2012

His family come from Lefkás while he was born in Patras. They put this gravestone up in front of a children’s playground which carries his name. The area is known as Apostolos Santas square. They also have a big sewing shop in town if I’m correct here since it’s an unusual surname.

He took down the German flag from the Acropolis on 30th May 1941 which is what it says on the gravestone.

Big Wikipedia article on him Apostolos Santas.

Best wishes

Angela

Aristotle Onassis Greek shipping magnate 1906-1975

This is the statue dedicated to Aristotle Socrates Onassis that is on the Nidri harbourside. This is across the water from the island Scorpios that he bought from the Greek government and lived with Jackie Onassis Kennedy. Most people know the story of his life and for those that are unfamiliar here is the Wikipedia article Aristotle Onassis and there are 2 biographies on him. I’ve read them both, Ari and Nemesis. He is buried on the island of Scorpios but no one can get anywhere near it when the now owner a Russian billionaire is in residence. The only people allowed on the island are workers to create a super luxury resort which has been talked about in the local press but it’s still very secretive the goings on. However you can learn some more about him in this article Skorpios.

There are pictures of his time on the island in the Gramophone museum Lefkás town.

Any infamous people like this from your country?

Best wishes

Angela

Andreas Kalvos Greek poet 1792-1869

He was a major part of the Heptanese school of literature along with his fellow Zakynthoan Dionysios Solomos However the 2 never met and there is also no known picture of Andreas Kalvos.

He was a wayward soul hence he wasn’t recognised in his hometown and country until much later. He traveled widely through Greece and Europe having many affairs, marrying a couple of times and producing a couple although they often died shortly afterwards. Thus his life was full of sadness which powered his poetry.

He also taught Italian and Greek to help finance his restless nature. His become disgruntled with his family and his patron which led to his inability to settle anywhere for any length of time. He was constantly moving in search of something he couldn’t quite get.

Since he died in England it wasn’t until 1960 when George Seferis was the Greek ambassador that he arranged for the body of Andreas Kalvos to be returned to his native Zakynthos.

He is part of my series on Greek poets.

For a look at my other work see here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Dionysios Solomos Greek poet 1798-1857

Dionysios Solomos introducing a George Seferis chapter
Dionysios Solomos introducing a George Seferis chapter

He is considered the principal poet of the Heptanese school of poetry of which he was part of yet this set contained amongst others Aristotle Valaoritis, Ioannis Zampelios Spiridon Zampelios and Andreas Kalvos.

The reasoning for this is that Dionysios’s education on Zakynthos had been in Classical Greek and when he lived in Italy, Italian. When he tried to write in a more modern form (Dimotiki) it was extremely difficult for him as there were no poems to act as a reference since they were previously in Katharevousa. Therefore, he had to create a whole catalogue by himself.

It was himself that started the poetic revolution that questioned what version of the Greek language that people write in compared with how they talk. In typical Greek fashion this was only resolved in the 1970’s. So for approx 150 years they were unable to decide which should be the official versions.

Even Byron perhaps did not have that much effect on the Greek people although he did influence Dionysios. As usual this is not always corroborated by all the sites I have read but since people of similiar minds all tend to congregate in the same place he probably did have have an effect on him.

For perhaps a more authentic take and some clarity read this Dionysios Solomos.

He is part of my series on Greek poets.

Aristotle Valaoritis

Ioannis Zampelios

Spiridon Zampelios

Andreas Kalvos

For a look at my other work see here Series links.

Best wishes

Angela

Heptanese school of literature

Heptanese School of literature.

This was the school of literature that Aristotle Valaoritis belonged to as well as Ioannis Zampelios who are very famous Lefkádian poets. Andreas Kalvos and Dionysios Solomos are in there too. The articles written about this school will tend to focus on people known to that locality ie you come across ones written from the view of a person from Zakynthos as Dionysios Solomos was from there and this one is written from the perspective of a Lefkadian since that’s where I am. Hence I mentioned Valaoritis first where usually you would see a note about pre Solomos, Solomos, and post Solomos poets.

The Heptanese school is characterised by a love of nature, freedom and homeland with reference to the role that religion played in their lives. It was also folkloreish in content and often romantized life in a way only poetry can taking inspiration from Italy. They were written in Dimotiki or Demotic as apposed to Katharevousa which is to say its written in the common Greek that was spoken as opposed to the posher, purist form which was a simplication of Ancient Greek that was used for formal, business occasions.

As I have already written ample amounts about the Lefkadian poets and I have never been to Zakynthos I can’t tell you much more as that’s the real centre of this particular movement.

For information on the other schools of thought see here

  • Series links contains the rest of my work like all of the poets mentioned above and more.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    Brain, Mouth and Me

    Brain, Mouth and me have known each other a long time but we have a difficult relationship. Brain likes to learn everything in the entire world and then have Mouth recite it to all and sundry wherever possible. This creates problems for me as that’s not how you communicate with people or connect with them. It’s almost a verbal barrage of information that is nonstop and only relents when there is no more information to impart. This can take a long time and usually is stopped by them leaving as the event has finished.

    The other scenario that happens is where Brain is feeling remorseful for the above situation so refuses to give Mouth any words. Even if the day has been relaxed and I have done exactly as Brain and I wanted, Brain decides No! Yes I understand what you asked, meant, what I need to say in reply to you but can Brain release those words to Mouth? Oh No!

    It’s highly embarrassing after 13 years to still be unable to say “τι θα θέλατε να πιείτε?” Μια Μπύρα Παρακαλω, “μικρο η μεγάλα?”, μικρο ευχαριστώ, “τι θέλις να φάε?” θέλω ένα τσιπούρα σημερα, etc.

    Thanks Brain for causing all this distress for Me by not allowing Mouth to say What would you like to drink?, A beer please, Small or Large?, Small please, What do you want to eat?, I want a sea bream today, etc

    It’s not a lot to ask but to have all these words at your command yet the inability to use any of them is soul destroying.

    Have you experienced this before and if so how have you overcome this?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Some of my own artwork

    I thought as a nice follow up I would share some of my paintings with you.

    Nidri bay in watercolour
    Nidri bay in watercolour
    Vliho bay watercolour
    Vliho bay watercolour
    Vliho bay
    The sunset over the Princess Islands. Watercolour
    The sunset over the Princess Islands watercolour
    The sunset over the Princess Islands.
    On Nidri hill watercolour paint
    On Nidri hill watercolour paint
    On Nidri hill.
    Dimosari waterfall acrylic paint
    Dimosari waterfall acrylic paint
    Dimosari waterfall.
    A mountain goat I walked acrylic paint
    A mountain goat I walked acrylic paint
    A mountain goat I walked.
    The view of Nidri bay from high up.
    A view of Nidri bay from high up acrylic paint
    The view of Nidri bay from high up.

    What do you all do besides blogging?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Philharmonic orchestra 1850 and museum

    This is the 2nd oldest in Greece with only the one in Corfu being older. It took part in the 1864 union of Greece, the 1896 Olympics, the 1906 intercalculated games and in 1983 was awarded by the Academy of Athens.

    There has been a famous conductor in the past called Nikos “Morinas” Thanos. He was born on Lefkás in 1930 and he was the leader of the Orfeas Music and Literature Club of Lefkáda, the Philharmonic Society of Lefkás, the Philharmonic Society of Amfilohia which is nearby and the mandolin orchestra of “Apollon” in Karya on the island.

    He also has a maritime museum in the basement of the Faneromeni monastery. It contains his handmade ships and tools. There is 60 in total and there is a variety of styles from British, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Chinese.Other museums in Lefkás

    There is also a youth band festival here in the summer but when I went past I couldn’t find any opening hours. When I looked online it said it’s open 5-10pm which is very unusual.

    It does however have the street it’s on named after itself so that’s handy.

    Maria Callas has sung opera on the island as has Agni Baltsa. If your into music check this out Heptanese School of music.

    For my other work see here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela