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Inspirations and Distractions
Travel, yachting and lifestyle magazine for the Ionian Islands and adjacent mainland Greece. Vol. 5, Issue 2 – June 2014 Publisher and Editor Barbara Molin Advisory Board Yannis Dimopoulos Justin Smith Layout Ryan Smith Advertising email@example.com
Our lives tend to be a mix of ups and downs: roads taken, not taken and those we wish we had taken before we became distracted. And sometimes we become inspired and a new direction is revealed. And so it is with our stories this month. Barbara de Machula never disappoints even when distracted by life's more difficult aspects and we are grateful for The Art ofDairy Farming, which she sent from a hospital bed. We wish her a speedy recovery. Ned Kelly, who is a newly published novelist is both inspired and distracted in his work as he and his wife, Barbara enjoy our lovely Ionian Sea aboard their yacht, Grey Glider. He shares his life aboard with us in Inspiration From The Ionian. Our cover photo this month is Corfu Town by Miriam van Veldhoven-Janssen who with her husband lives part of the year on Lefkas island. She says that the inspiration for her photography is 'what else but the magical Greek light'. Happy reading... ≈≈_/)* Barbara Molin
We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of each issue. However, we cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions. The contributors' opinions are their own. Printed in Greece.
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T h e Ar t o f D ai r y F ar m i n g
B ARBARA DE MACHULA Poem for my hospital drip bottle.
hello mister drip we are stuck with each other without our mutual company not worth to bother.
I have been a bit tight in the chest for sometime, especially at night waking up, not breathing well but of course it was winter and we all caught a cold somehow, somewhereâ€Ś This minor affliction did not keep me from pushing my dairy destiny, since my little goat, Amaltheia was ready to meet her handsome lover and start a baby. Eventually this would result in an abundance of milk and - how great, finally after all the trial and error of cheese making - my own Amaltheia cheese factory. The local priest, a wonderful, kind man who has a gentle touch with animals could provide the groom, and Amaltheia was adopted for a while into his beautiful
herd of goats. I could see immediatetely that she was the foxy one, and when the marriage was over we were pretty sure she would have a great baby. Indeed, on the 30th of March, an adorable, little, white fellow was born and became my pride and joy. It jumps and plays everywhere, drinks milk from its mum and there is plenty left for the cheese. There my farmer's lessons came in handy. A few local heroes taught me how to milk my lady and pretty soon it became a routine to milk her twice day. She gives me about two litres a day and it is such a joy! Keeping a goat appears to be hard work, because you need to keep the stable in a decent condition and because my lady loves fresh hay and dried grasses, so these also need to be available. Since the hay is dusty, I might have caught some mould or germs that made an end to my dairy dream in a tough way. On a nice Sunday in April, I decided to get some cough medicine and because I couldn't find a local doctor's surgery open, I ended up in Lefkada hospital.
There, I was told that seemingly my body was falling apart, with strange creatures in my lungs, a racing heart and on top of everything, a nice case of diabetes. (yes, I know I'm too fat). Before I knew it, the nurses stuck all sorts of needles in me, monitoring and testing and after a few days I was transferred to the big hospital in Ioannina for treatment that you could call a chemical warfare in my veins. So, from there I write to you, being sure that when I get out of here, I will continue my dairy adventure. Meanwhile, Amaltheia has a good temporary home where they milk her properly every day. I must say, though, they serve a wicked chicken at the Hotel Ioannina, as I call the hospital, and the doctors are my personal handsome vampires. Also, I managed to make a lovely yoghurt before I left, so I cannot wait to get back to normal life again! Meanwhile, keep the germs out! Barbara de Machula is an artist and writer originally from Amsterdam. She lives on a farm on the side ofa mountain close to a monastery near Palairos.
Inspiration from the Ionian
NED KELLY Last year was our second season of sailing in the Ionian during our thirteen years on board ‘Grey Glider’. She is a Warrior 35, strong as an ox and a venerable old lady of the sea. Our first season was seven years ago and I’m ashamed to admit that we hurtled through on our way from Turkey to Italy. This time was a more leisurely affair and we realised how much we had missed. The warmth and friendliness of the locals, the predictable and manageable winds and the beauty of the islands and anchorages made it a wonderful experience. I think I’m retired, but keeping a yacht in seaworthy condition is a job in itself. I do, however, like to write and the peace and tranquillity of anchorages like Vliho, Lefkas, in stunning all-round scenery, leaves the mind free to turn to the muse. A bonus to this is the sheer variety of characters: locals, visitors and other yacht crews that abound in and out of the cruising seasons. In addition, Greece and the Ionian in particular provides millennia of history. Who could fail to be inspired by Ithaca the start and finish line of Odysseus’s fantastic journey and adventures of Homeric fame? Or how the civilised world was changed by Octavian’s victory over Mark Anthony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium? At times, though, that there are too many distractions to write. One fascinating day in the Gulf of Amvrakia we were privileged to see a total of fifteen separate pods of dolphins over the space of a few hours while sailing under a delightful breeze. This breeze accommodated us by changing from east in the morning to west in the afternoon and thus permitting us to sail the length of the gulf in both directions in one day. Could a day on a yacht be any better? Of course it can. With 'Grey Glider' secure in a sheltered anchorage, Barbara and I took a short trip in the tender and soon were sitting on a terrace sipping Ouzo and watching a spectacular sunset. Whether it was the splendour of the day or a particularly good chef but I have the memory of a wonderful meal followed by a peaceful night of sound sleep.
There are times when a yacht requires removal from the water for essential maintenance and such times are always worrying for the Captain. The Ionian had one more pleasing experience for us up its sleeve. The liftout at the Aktio boatyard was happily free from any excitement. The staff were welcoming and friendly and the work carried out professionally and very reasonably priced. It was probably the least worrying lift out and return to the water we have ever had. All in all one of the best cruising seasons in our experience. It was with great reluctance that we bade farewell to the Ionian to cross over to Italy for the winter in a marina where we had prebooked. We are planning to return this year as we are sure of having another year’s worth of distractions. Now armed with the season's experience, I’m halfway through writing the sequel to my first novel – without distractions! Ned Kelly is an Irishman with interests in rugby, flying, sailing and writing. He started writing after being unimpressed with books bought at airports His novel, Until the Fat Man Sings is available on Kindle.
Published on May 27, 2014