Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The End is Nigh

Με λίγα λόγια...

Κάπως έτσι τελειώνει ακόμη ένας χρόνος.
Λέμε μακάρι όλα να πάνε καλά. 
Ευχόμαστε προ πάντων υγεία και αγάπη.
Δυο πολύ σημαντικά συστατικά.

Παν οι κακίες, τα ψέματα και όλα τα άσχημα του 2013.
Καιρός γι' άλλα τώρα...


Να μη ξεχνούμε να χαμογελούμε παιδιά..


Here's hoping for 2014!!!








Happy New Year 2014 Everyone!!!










             


Tamalo - Spanoudakis



Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Christmas Carol



A Christmas Carol





Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.
 ~Carol Nelson






It was the Winter of 2008 and everything was buzzing in the streets. The Christmas decorations had been put up since early October and the shops were selling like crazy, despite the recent economical crash that plummeted the entire country.

I can still remember every detail about that cold December day. By that time, it would have been already 2 months I made the decision to move into the world’s capital, London, in the hopes of making it on my own. Of course the results hadn’t proven fruitful, since by each passing day my hopes for landing my first job were falling apart.

There’s something magical about the holiday season though. I could never really explain it, but it always felt like, just like the dead spirits roam the streets on Halloween, at Christmas all the angels were floating about. It always felt like Christmas was the Angels' Season.

Hence, I’ve decided not to lose my courage, what was left of it anyway and go in with a bang. I was lucky enough to score an interview session at the Theatre Royal,Drury Lane, where for the first time – after a long time – the musical Oliver!, would be staged, a musical which had previously been directed by Sam Mendes, himself. The name on the title role – a Mr. Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean (as he was best known), was music to my ears.

Even the thought alone of working in that place gave me the shivers. But I was willing to give it my all.

I prepared my gear, I put on my thin worn out coat which was the closest thing I had to something resembling a young business woman, and headed for the tube line nearby my house. My dream to make it in the big city was something of a fantasy by that point. Every time I’d take a tube ride it would be another reminder of how awfully I had failed my parents, but most of all myself.

A few days before, there was a huge argument with my mother. She had also started losing hope of whether I could afford to stay longer without a job. She could not support me, and her patience was also running thin.

Just to make things worse, a stop tube ride away from where I was staying at the time, the main offices of ‘TECHNICOLOR’ were there. This was the company that started it all; my dream to become an editor. My visit to the building the year before with my University delegation, had sparked something so extraordinary, I just couldn’t help but shudder at the thought of not fighting it out till the end.

I remember that I would always choose to sit on the tube carriage at the right hand side and would always make sure I got a window seat for the ‘TECHNICOLOR’ sign viewing. It was there for me to see always, and keep me hopeful that someday…someday, I would walk those halls again.

Likewise, I would do the same ritual on my way back home every evening with the ‘BBC TelevisionCentre’ sign. This was at the ‘White City’ tube station. It always reminded me of ‘Gotham City’ for some reason. Like everything was awaiting for me there. And I would always make sure to get a seat that would allow me to view that sign. Every day, after an exhausting route of visiting shops, handing out countless CV’s and going to a variety of interviews, I would allow myself to think on those tube rides home, that someday, I would make it.

So, in the chill of that December day, I walked into the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, to be interviewed for an usher position. The pay was basic wage salary, but at that point, I would be glad even if I got that.

I entered the sliding doors into the burgundy carpeted foyer and asked to be directed towards the interview rooms. They showed me into the inside circle foyer where the steps where hanging from left and the right hand side into the Upper Circle Stalls. I sat down by one of the velvety burgundy sofas and waited.

My anxiety was sky rocketing by now, but I tried to keep myself calm by looking around through their brochures and their various leaflets for the theatre up-coming season. As I tilted my head at one point, there he was, standing all proud and arrogant in front of me, with that know-it-all look in his eye. It may have been only a statue, but deep down I knew that he was staring at me, piercing through my soul asking me whether I was strong enough to succeed.

It was him; Shakespeare; a bronze 6 feet long statue, that had this mocking stare on it, like he knew that the theatre is not something you apply for a job to do, but something you were born to create. He knew it back then, I knew it all too well too.

Still, I had to start from somewhere. And once they called in my name, I dashed to the secluded room in one of the theatre back rooms.

Despite it all, I was bubbly and friendly and smiled so genuinely that I even surprised myself. That look he gave me down the corridor moments before, it was like a lending hand from an angel, letting me know that I should be my most genuine honest self and that all would be well. And so I did.

The questions were answered, even the ‘tell us your greatest drawback’ one. God, I hated this question in interviews. Sometimes, I still do. I learned to work around it since then. The interview was held by two mid-thirties business like women. Assertive and straightforward, they knew their way around a man’s world well and how to manage people. I liked them for that. I aspired to be just like them one day, back then.

By the end, I was feeling a tad hopeful and that maybe this time my luck would smile at me. As I walked out into the blistering cold again, my heart was flapping about. Like something was beginning to awaken. Just being in the theatre, gave me a reason to smile and be hopeful again.

I walked around Covent Garden, the place to be for theatre people; you know one of these festive alleys which are full of trinkets and Christmas gifts galore. All of a sudden, everything felt so warm, so magical. Like a wand touched my heart and it begun to believe again.

I reached the great round hall near there, where there were musicians and street artists performing. The bronze man, the clown, the juggler. Every corner was filled with someone or something. In the middle of the Covent Garden square there was a quartet playing. They were playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.

I was mesmerized.

The music, the atmosphere, the lights, the feelings. Sudden I was full of love. I forgot about my empty pockets and my saggy shoes. My body did not matter anymore. I was floating. I felt intoxicated by this celebration of love. I was experiencing a moment of full love.

Never in my life, have I felt so full than I did in that single moment. Maybe it was the gloriousness of the music, or the smiles on the people’s faces. Although I was all alone, I was feeling complete.

The music was so majestic, I could not be unpinned from that spot. I was glued till the end. And when it was all over, the love was still dancing in my heart. I walked around the festive stalls and felt joy and satisfaction.

I remember that, that afternoon, I did not feel like a failure anymore. I was feeling like doer. As I started to make my way back to the tunneled tube station of Covent Garden, I thought to myself that today was a good day and that I wouldn’t cry.

The tube ride was quiet this time. Not too many people on board, no much hustle about in the carriages. I reached back home by early evening time. The house had just started buzzing with the housemates cooking and wrapping Christmas gifts.

I felt awful for not being able to buy something for them, but then again, I felt more awful for my empty belly which was growing impatient too. So I decided to put on the pot and make some good ol’ rice and veggies.

It is wonderful, when you think that you will have a quiet evening in and then all of a sudden one phone call can disrupt your whole routine.

Not too many hours had passed since I left from that back door theatre room and I received a call. My initial thought was that this was the ‘rejection phone call’. On second thought though, I realized that ‘rejections’ were only coming through the post and not through the phone.

I picked up the phone and listened carefully. ‘We loved you, we liked your personality and we are pleased to inform you that we would like you to join us in our winter season for Oliver! as a head usher.’

One word: flabbergasted!!!

My mouth dropped, my hands were starting to sweat. My mind kept shouting ‘I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT, I KNEW I’D MAKE IT!!!’. My mouth was thanking the interview lady and promised not to disappoint.

Finally, after 2 months of running up and down all over London like a maniac, after so many CV’s and so many nights of crying and praying, I landed my first job at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. It may have been just an usher job, but it was mine and that was my achievement.



Every December since that day, the song I heard back then in Covent Garden, will always make me remember that the greatest and the worse thing to hold onto in this life is hope. But the greatest feeling to see you through it all will always be love.
It doesn’t matter where you are, what you do, who you are. As long as you love genuinely, then all will turn out just fine.



This story is a piece of my life, I hardly share with people, but it always makes me remember to value and appreciate all the things I already have and not the things I am striving or wished I had.



I wish every single one of you in this blogosphere a Happy Holiday Season, filled with hope, love and good health. Make sure you say I love you to the people you truly cherish, however far you may have strayed. Make sure you say your ‘I love you’s’ now, today, and don’t waste any life that passes you by.




Merry Christmas Everyone! 





                          


Pachelbel - Canon in D Major 


Monday, 23 December 2013

A Very Parallel EAT, PRAY, LOVE




It's that time of the year again.

Ήρτεν ο τζιαιρός λοιπόν να λάβουμε ήμεϊλ που τη Πρασινάδα μας. Τούντην φορά ξέρω το άτομο. Τούντη φορά είπα, "yes, θα έχω προβάδισμα". 

Αμ δε. 

Εμπήκα που λέτε μες το μπλογκ της αγαπημένης μου Ίνας τζιαι τι να δω;;;; Σποραδικά ποστ  - μα εμένα γιατί μου φαίνεται ότι γράφεις πολλά;;; ίσως επειδή τζιαι εγώ πλέον γράφω όσο συχνά όσο τζιαι η Ίνα - τζιαι μετά ένα κενό.

Σε κάποια φάση ο ηλίθιος μπλόγκερ (άντρας πρέπει να είναι) δε με αφήνει να προχωρήσω πιο βαθκιά. Εσβηστήκαν αλλόπως. 

Όπως τζιαι να' σhει. Επειδή έσhιει τζιαι μερικά χρόνια που χωρκοϊρίζουμε μες τες μπλόγκογειτονιές, την Ίνα την ανακάλυψα (όπως τζιαι τους περισσότερους δαμέσα) μέσα που το μπλόγκ της Πρασινάδας

Πάντα κάτι με εσύνδεε με το μπλόγκ της. Οι σκέψεις της, ο τρόπος που εκφράζετουν, τα συναισθήματα της, η ψυχική της ενέργεια. 

Γι' αυτό λοιπόν τζιαι this Christmas Season αποφάσισα το δώρο μου για την Ίνα να είναι (κάπως κοπάρισμα του περσινού) ένα ταξίδι αυτο-ανακάλυψης τζιαι απόλυτης ψυχικής τζιαι πνευματικής ειρήνης. 


Ίνα μου, this is your gift from me my darling.
Hope you enjoy the journey! :))










EAT - PRAY - LOVE 


Αντίθετα με την ταινία, εγώ θα σου νεκατώσω λίγον το ταξίδι σου και αποφάσισα να αρχίσουμε από εδώ:


BALI

Σου έχω διευθετήσει να περάσεις 6 αξέχαστες και χαλαρωτικές ημέρες σε ένα από τα ωραιότερα meditation and spa retreats:

Με λίγα λόγια, welcome to...




Escape the World 

Escape the World retreat is designed for anyone desiring to touch base with the self, practice daily meditation and soft yoga while enjoying a unique and relaxing Balinese vacation. 


Mερικά ίνφο για το τι θα περιλαμβάνει η εβδομάδα σου:


All Inclusive Retreat
• Transportation from / to Airport / South Bali 
• 5 nights of comfortable accommodations 
• 15 well prepared meals 
• 5 morning meditation and yoga - 2 h. 
• 4 evening restorative yoga - 1.5 hour 
• 2 Spa Treatments 
• Purification Ritual and Blessing Ceremony 
• Balinese Offering class and ritual 
• Yoga with a view of Batur Volcano 
• Bicycle excursion (Inclusive yet optional) 
• Guided rice field walk 
• Government tax and service 

“ Escape the World ” for 6 days and 5 nights 


Τζιαι το πρόγραμμα σου το οποίο είναι ΘΕΪΚΟ, believe me:



PROGRAM ITINERARY - ALL INCLUSIVE JOURNEY 

Day 1 

Transfer to ONEWORLD retreats at Kumara, 
Ubud From the airport or anywhere in South Bali 

17:30 - Restorative Yoga Session 

19:00 - Introduction Dinner 




20:00 - Informal lecture about Bali 

End of day 1 - Sweet dreams 

Day 2 

07:00  - Yoga and Meditation program - 2 hours 




Breakfast 

Relax for the rest of the morning and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. 


Spa Treatments of the day   


You can choose between: 

Herbal Aromatic Facial - 1 hour This age-old treatment softens, moisturizes and firms the skin, promoting new cell growth. First a refreshing cleanser is applied, followed by a peeling and exfoliation treatment using a natural herbal scrub. 


Next, a face, neck and shoulder massage with a steam treatment followed by manual extraction. After the application of a facemask you can relax deeply for 15 minutes while it does its wonderful work! The treatment concludes with an application of a refreshing iced towel and moisturizing cream. 

OR 

Herbal Massage - 1 hour 15 minutes 
Your herbal massage is based on Ayurvedic principles, and uses warm oil and professional hands to balance the chakras, the key energy points in your body. 

17:30 - Evening meditation and restorative yoga 

18:00 - Dinner 

Evening meditation and purification ritual 





After dinner, we will be taking you to Tirta Empul, Bali's most sacred spring pools for a purification ritual. This mystical place is visited by Balinese from all over the island, a local mangku (priest) will carry out the prayers. 

An exceptional way to begin the holistic retreat. 

Good night and sweet dreams! 



Day 3 - LOOK AT IT, FEEL IT AND ALLOW IT TO BE! 

Experiencing a day in silence 


                    


Today is a day for contemplation and to concentrate on your inner self. 
Silence helps one to reach a different level of consciousness and a better understanding of the self. The results are usually very enlightening and can be amazing. 

07:00 Yoga and Meditation program - 2 hours 






Spa Treatments of the day 



Ayurvedic Chakra Dhara Massage - 2 ½ hour 

Ayurveda is believed to be the oldest healing therapy. It is a holistic science that is more three thousand years old and focuses on health prevention longevity and natural healing. 

An important part of the Ayurveda massage is called ''Chakra Dhara'' which consists of dripping warm herbal oil on the chakras (key energy points) in order to balance the energy flow and purify the body, mind and spirit. The therapist skilfully treats your body with an array of repetitive and slow movements such as kneading, squeezing and rubbing, resulting in the elimination of toxins and other organ's impurities. The results are unbelievably good! 




Lunch 




Today, enjoy the privacy of your own table and in silence! Afternoon to contemplate... 







17:30 Evening meditation and restorative yoga 

Dinner 

Candlelight dinner served on your own terrace 




Day 4 

Silence remains until breakfast 













05:00Departure for Gunung Batur - One of Bali's most spectacular volcano Driving time +/- 45 minutes 

06:00 - Meditation and yoga program With a splendid view of the sunrise behind the Volcano Batur 

08:00 - Breakfast and end of silence 

Return to Ubud 

Optional Cycling 




Experience 22 km of downhill & 700m of uphill bicycle tour discovering a different Bali! 






Lunch 

17:30 - Meditation and restorative yoga 












Dinner 





Day 5 

07:00 - Meditation and yoga class 

Breakfast 

                     



Morning activity - Walking the rice fields of Bali 




Organic lunch surrounded by rice fields 

Free afternoon 

17:30 - Meditation and restorative yoga 

Sunset Cocktail 

Last Dinner 





Day 6 

Meditation and yoga class 

Breakfast 

Balinese Offering Class  








The ritual of presenting offerings to the Gods is an integral part of the daily life of every Balinese. 

This interesting class helps you understand the intricate work involved in the simplest offering and explains the meaning behind the ritual. 




Closing Ceremony Lunch Transfer to your next destination 




End of journey.



Μετά που αυτές τις 6 θεσπέσιες ημέρες στο Μπάλι, αποφάσισα να πάμε κάπου πιο κοντά μας, αλλά θα συνεχίσουμε με τους ίδιους περίπου ρυθμούς...του απόλουτου relaxation.


Έτσι λοιπόν, είπα να σε πάρω στην όμορφη Γαλλία, σε ένα απομακρυσμένο μέρος (μεν ανησυχείς - εν θέλω να σε σκοτώσω), κάπου έξω από την Λυόν.

Εκεί θα μπορείς να μείνεις καμιά εβδομάδα σε ένα όμορφο chateau (με αξάντ πλιζ η προφορά) διακοσίων χρόνων σε μια περιοχή χτισμένη από τον 12αιώνα.


Σου παραθέτω (εις την αγγλικήν σόρρυ) περισσότερες πληροφορίες και φωτογραφικό υλικό:






Le Sapin Bleu is a beautiful 200 year old house built on the site of a 12th century chateau. The house is full of character and still has some of the original parts of the old chateau visible including two vaulted cellars.









Le Sapin Bleu is found in the middle of the magnificent Livradois Forez natural regional park. The park is situated in the Puy de Dome department of the Auvergne region of France. 






The area is of outstanding natural beauty and offers extensive opportunities for exploring its beautiful landscape, towns and villages all year round. Every season, with its changing colour provides evermore possibilities.






There is something for everyone, walkers of all abilities are spoilt for choice with hundreds of miles of footpaths to explore, artists and photographers will not know where to begin. 






There are plenty of tracks for mountain bikes, 4x4 vehicles, fishing, boating, swimming in rivers and lakes, climbing, hang-gliding, horse riding, castles, markets, festivals, skiing, pretty towns and villages and of course eating regional specialities either in local restaurants or with us for an evening meal, a vegetarian option can always be provided on reservation.






Our spacious gardens are available for you to relax in or take a dip in our heated swimming pool.

The area is also popular with touring motorbikes and we can offer secure garaging for 4 or 5 motorbikes and bicycles.







Επίσης θα σου δώκω τζιαι λογοτεχνικό υλικό για να διαβάζεις να σου κρατά παρέα. 


Μερικές εισηγήσεις μου είναι new age philosophy ή απλό philosophy όπως:





Ο Paulo Coelho, τον οποίον πολύ πολύ πιθανόν να έχεις ήδη διαβάσει,
αλλά παρ' όλα αυτά, εν αρκετά καλός να σου κρατήσει
παρέα.





Ο Αλμπέρτ Καμύ, ο οποίος θεωρώ εν αρκετά σημαντικός
για να σε κάμει να απελευθερώσεις το πνεύμα σου
ακόμα παραπάνω.


ΤΖΙΑΙ ΤΕΛΟΣ...



Ο OSHO, ο οποίος σε κάμνει να αγαπήσεις ακόμα 
περισσότερο τον εαυτό σου τζιαι την δύναμη
της ψυχής σου, αλλά τζιαι των 
άλλων. 



Κάπου δαμέ μπορείς να εκουράστηκες να είσαι μόνη σου τζιαι ίσως να θέλεις τζιαι λίγη μουσική τζιαι να δεις κόσμο, έτσι θα σε ταξιδέψω πάλε κάπου κοντά που τη Γαλλία....στο Βέλγιο. Τζιαι πιο συγκεκριμένα στο Antwerp.





Στην αρχή θα επισκεφθείς την πανέμορφη πόλη με τα κάστρα, το ζωολογικό κήπο τζιαι του καθεδρικούς ναούς:






Αλλά το ταξίδι σου δεν είναι μόνο για να δεις τα attractions του Antwerp, 
αλλά για να παρευρεθείς σε μια συναυλία που θα παίζει εκεί κοντά.
We will see Avicii!!!!





                  



Ξέρω ότι ακούεις μιαν ευρεία γκάμα από τραγούδια, αλλά είπα μιας τζιαι θα ήσουν αρκετά κοντά, να πεταχτείς στην συναυλία του στο Βέλγιο. 



Αφού χορέψεις τζιαι απολαύσεις τη συναυλία, με ποτό τζιαι κάμποσο ξεσάλωμα, θα φτάσουμε αισίως στον τελικό προορισμό τούντου μοναδικού ταξιδιού, με περισσότερη χαλάρωση τζιαι άπλωμα της ζάμπας αυτή τη φορά. 

Last Stop - ALICANTE, SPAIN!!!






H Alicante βρίσκεται στα ανατολικά παράλια της Ισπανίας, κοντά από την Valencia (καλά σχετικά κοντά) όπου μπορείς να απολαύσεις τις υπέροχες παραλιές της (more decent than Cyprus, from what I hear) τζιαι θα μπορέσεις να ριλαξάρεις ακόμα παραπάνω. 

Θα είσαι μια τουρίστρια με τα όλα της απολαμβάνοντας την Ισπανική κουλτούρα (θα δεις τζιαι το κάστρο της Αγίας Βαρβάρας - δε φώτο πιο κάτω). 











Αλλά πάνω απ' όλα το φετινό μου δώρο, δεν είναι μόνο η χαλάρωση τζιαι οι μοναδικές εμπειρίες, αλλά η απόλυτη αυταγάπη - από τον εαυτό σου, για τον εαυτό σου.

Θέλω να τελειώσω το δώρο μου με ένα ποίημα από μια νεαρή κοπέλα, την Lang Leav, η οποία με συγκινεί ιδιαίτερα το τελευταίο διάστημα, τζιαι νομίζω περιγράφει αυτήν την αγάπη που πρέπει να έχουμε όλοι για τον εαυτό μας. 






Ίνα μου, καλή μου, έχει 3 (σχεδόν) χρόνια που σε διαβάζω, τζιαι προσωπικά πιστεύω ότι είσαι ένας εξαίρετος άνθρωπος. Σου αξίζει κάθε ευτυχία στο κόσμο, ηρεμία τζιαι πολύ πολύ αγάπη.

Ελπίζω να σου άρεσε το ταξίδι-δώρο που σου έκαμα για φέτος. Αν τζιαι έλειπε το φαΐ (είμαι σίγουρη ότι στη Γαλλία τζιαι την Ισπανία θα εγεύεσουν τα παραδοσιακά τοπικά εδέσματα), πιστεύω ότι αυτό το ταξίδι το αξίζεις τζιαι στην πραγματικότητα. 

Τζιαι ευχή μου είναι κάποια μέρα να το κάμεις!!!


Καλά Χριστούγεννα αγαπημένη μου Ίνα, πάντα με ΥΓΕΙΑ, πάνω απ' όλα, με εσωτερική ηρεμία, ΕΛΠΙΔΑ τζιαι τέλος....ΑΓΑΠΗ



All the best my sweetie. 

xoxo ΧΟΧΟ xoxo XOXO











Judy Garland - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas