Week 28 - Uggh. Turned 50

Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.

Week 28 - Uggh. Turned 50

Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.

Definitely a little later on publishing this weeks’ adventures, but all will come clear in a moment! I have a good reason, I promise.

Last Sunday we headed out with Ester, Jake and Erik to check out “Hadrian’s Aqueduct” and Filotheia Hill. Not your typical tourist attractions, the aqueduct is literally on a main road, but the park was very green and gave a much needed sense of open space which is always appreciated. Overall, a really fun outing. Crazy to think that only 5 days before this was all covered in snow!

On Monday we were up early and out to Zea Marina to check out a new boat. We liked it, but we’re definitely getting much savvier and better at tempering our expectations now. Liking the boat and buying the boat are two very different things. Indeed, as we progressed with negotiations this week a crucial piece of paperwork is in fact missing and we’re having to get some specialist customs advice to work out if we can proceed. If so, then great, if not, well we still have another 9 boats on our list we can consider.

Tuesday we meet up with some new Greek friends, Iro and Kosmos for a walk around the Acropolis. You may remember Iro from a few weeks back where she helped us out at the bank by translating all the terms and conditions for our new Greek credit card. It was lovely to spend some time with some locals and learn some more about Greek customs and traditions — for example, we drink our coffee too fast. It’s considered rude!

On Wednesday, I went to stay overnight with Simon. We hung out, chatted and listened to music into the night. On the way over there, I had to cross yet another student protest. It’s probably easier just to say when the students AREN’T protesting something than when they are.

A large street protest I had to cross to get to Simon’s.

Finally on Friday we get to the main reason that this weeks’ post is a little delayed. It’s my 50th birthday (obligatory oh god I’m getting old) on Thursday next week (March 4th) so for this weekend, we decided to rent a villa in the hills of Athens with a view of the ocean to celebrate quietly with our friends.

It was a huge success. We’ve been here since Friday and Camille, Sarah, Simon, Erik, Ester and Jake have all spent time up here to celebrate with me which has been much appreciated. As I said last night during the main dinner, it’s not the 50th I would have planned twelve months ago, but it’s definitely one that I really enjoyed and I’ll always be very grateful for my “found family” here in Athens for making such a special weekend in an otherwise somewhat challenging time.

Rosie the dog had a lovely time exploring the gardens, she so rarely gets to go off lead that we weren’t sure what she’d get up to. The one night we “lost” her, it was because we were all still up chatting and drinking away and she’d had enough — we eventually found her curled up asleep on our bed.

The sunsets were spectacular. Just having a sense of space, you realise how closed in it feels in the centre of the city all the time. People spent a lot of time at various moments just staring into the distance and sighing happily — it was such a great feeling.

A highlight of Saturday evening, after cocktails watching the sunset, was the kind words that Karina had collected from friends and family far and wide. I was amazed at how many people she’d reached out to and really grateful for all the lovely things that people had to say, including from several people I haven’t spoken too in far too long. I intend to rectify that this week! It was great to hear from you all.

Reading aloud some of the lovely memories people shared with me.

When you’re in lockdown, with limited access to shops, you really have to make your own entertainment. Karina asked everyone to bring something that I had to wear during the dinner, which included a hat, a back brace, a bikini top, a necklace, bright red lipstick, boxing gloves and a scarf as a skirt. It’s a nice reminder that you should never take yourself or the occasion too seriously.

It was great to sit down at a large table with some wonderful people, relax, chat and have a good time.

So there you go, by next weeks post it will have been a full 50 turns around the sun. As I tell everyone, I still mentally feel thirty, although there is no doubt my body is telling me I might just be a little older than that now.

Thank you to everyone who contributed, it’s really appreciated, and of course a massive thank you to Karina who put in so much effort in planning and organising to make it such a great success.

Until next time!

Tim & Karina