Come along for the journey!

Come along for the journey!

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Hooray - Jean Phillipe has flown over from Israel to join us for a few days of fun! The boys have gone off in Jackson to go camping at the holy rocks of Meteora and to take a teetering hike to visit the monasteries on top. Oh, and eat lambs' ribs, a local speciality and recommendation from Maria. Let's hope they make it back okay :)

Friday, 25 September 2009


So we have done what we planned to do...driven 3,000 miles to sunny Greece to see our friends Maria and Polis who are setting up the Salvation Army here. It only took 6 weeks:) We have been getting our heads around all the work that they are doing and helping whenever we can.

So far we've been delivering food to needy families, feeding the homeless late at night with a weekly Soup Run, shadowing Maria in her work helping girls in the Red Light District and helping organise what will be a huge jumble sale in an empty factory. There is a tremendous amount of loving, generous and supportive people around and it's all been very touching. It's exciting to think about how much more they will be doing a year from now. There is so much need and the phone is constantly ringing...we look forward to returning next year to help in a more structured way...and collect our car for the voyage home to England.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


After our family fun, we enjoyed a few eerily quiet days camping at the beach resort of Platamonas...with the tourist season over, it was just the locals and us. The weather on the mainland had been great the whole time we were out in the storm on Skopelos, so we made the most of the sea and sun. Feeling very chilled out...we're ready to hit the big bad city of the North and see Maria and Polis.

Sunday, 13 September 2009


As a rare treat during our year abroad, we got to catch up with family...on the Greek island of Skopelos. It was great to spend some good quality time together. We imagined we'd be on the beach, soaking up the sun together, maybe rent a boat and find some hidden beaches - but the weather had another idea and it decided that the English showers should pay us a visit. Not too much of an issue, we just holed up and played cards for 3 days straight. I think at one point we'd gotten up to about 800 points in a very long game of cribbage before we realised we'd been at a cafe for 5 hours:)

The sun did make an appearance, so we made the most of it by renting buggies and cruising all navigable roads on the island...and a few nice muddy off road bits too! Before we knew it, we were boarding the ferry back to Volos on the mainland to go pick up Jackson to head north to Thessaloniki...very strange waving goodbye to your family on a Greek island. Ho we went.

Friday, 11 September 2009


Sorry we have gone missing in action - we quite literally have been off the map, busy discovering the backroads Europe. In the South of France we had an 3 amazing weeks at Oskar and Mackenzie's house near Nice. Then we drove down the coast of Italy to the famed Cinque Terre, before we crossed the country via Tuscany to catch a ferry across the Adriatic Sea to Greece. We - and when I say we I mean Kris - drove us across mainland Greece in a day so we could catch a ferry to the island of Scopelos, where we are now, with Kris' mum and Steve, plus our sis and her beau!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

SKULLS: (Skopelos, Greece)

Whilst searching for yet another 'Mama-mia relic' to fuel Mum's hunger to tread in the footprints of the stars (Pierce Brosnin is scraping the barrel a bit), we came across a Church with a small shed of human skeletons, including a load of skulls. The theories we came up with(what an imaginative bunch our family are), included that this was:

1. A sinister mass grave of poor locals who can't afford a decent burial;
2. Remains of priests from the Church who are interred on site;
3. Remnants of fleeing Turks!!! (for maintaining nationalism).

Well as it happens, our good friend, Polis dug up his father recently here in Greece! Nice. Herein the mystery is revealed. Turns out, in Greece, people have fairly elaborate burial rituals, over four services! On the one hand this may serve to help communities grieve more effectively; on the other, it certainly boosts the Churches income. Clever clever. Firstly there's the burial. Then, 40 days after your poor lo' Pop dies, there is another service, usually at home. After a year, there is another service at the Church. Then…three years later they dig you up, and chemically disintegrate your bones.

"Why"? you might ask. Well it's because of the premium on land, predominantly in urban areas. "Well why don't people just get cremated in the first place"? you may rightly ask (asking a lot of questions aren't you!). This was one Polis couldn't enlighten us on either. However, after a trip to the museum / birthplace of Alexander the Great (nr. Berea), we discovered that the ancient pagan greeks only ever cremated to ensure their loved ones souls would escape their body to start the trip to the underworld. Perhaps the Greek Orthadox Church chose to distance themselves from their roots? There you go…this blog is educational as well as occasionally inane. You learn something, and waste employer's time.