Return to Samos Island, Greece


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For those of you who are familiar with my love of Samos Island and have read my posts  or book about the many characters and life on the island  you may be pleased t0 hear that I am returning.   It may seem a strange choice at this time but our friends, family and people of the island are doing it tough at the moment and they help (see my facebook page for updates) Our house and self contained unit is perched on a hillside in a village with views of Turkey and the sea port and the island

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Want to visit the island? Want to sample Greek Cuisine?  Want to see where I live?   https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/8996219?checkin=30-05-2016&checkout=06-06-2016&s=GXT6JudI – for the “Chicken House”

 

 

In Who’s World does Melbourne top the Economist’s liveability rankings for a fifth consecutive Year


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Down Town Melbourne

I often wonder how these polls are worked out and who is consulted.  I’ve lived in this city for 10 years and can truly say that I do not find it so.

On the upside Melbourne has coastline, sporting events, festivals, celebrations, a thriving night life, good entertainment venues, an arts scene  and so much more to offer.   But it also has a large homeless population,  unemployment, crime, a struggling infrastructure and an underfunded public services

Reports of homes selling for 10 times median annual income, and 6.7 years of saving (as at June 2015) are sadly true.  Small one bed units in apartment blocks often sell for 340 000 plus.  Add on stamp duty, fees and sundries and your looking at probably 360 000.  I could buy a detached house with acres back in Yorkshire for that!  

Over the last 10 years my ability to afford rented  accommodation close to the city where I work has diminished and I have had to move further and further out to the industrial part of town.  I have never been able to save up enough of a deposit for a house and the amount I would have to borrow would cripple me financially.  

Rentals  go for 380 a week in industrial areas and that is cheap compared to the more desirable suburbs.  Rented accommodation in this price range is often sub-standard, devoid of basics such as wardrobes, heating, off road parking, garage space, not noise or draft proofed, has a landlord who does not respond to maintenance requests without having to resort to serving notice on failure to meet contractual obligations. 

Utility bills are a shock compared to when I lived in England, I could buy a bottle of good wine for the cost of a glass in a restaurant, cook a  tasty substantial meal for 4 plus for the cost of a plate of food in most dining joints.

Unemployment is up, crime rate is also up.  I drive to work and everyday I hear on the radio of some nasty road accident or violent act.  Daily I see people drive through red lights, weave across the road because they are high, drunk or on their mobiles.  Every two days or so I have to perform an emergency stop because someone has cut me up, driven out of a side street or walked across the road without looking (well they are but it tends to be at their phone!).

If I use public transport instead it is still stressful.  The train it is often late due or cancelled due to to vandals, accidents, crime incidents or so rammed full that I either cant physically get on or am held up by the press of bodies.  On certain lines I have witnessed people shout and intimidate passengers because they are drunk, high or just aggressive..  

The sad thing is that despite all of the above disadvantages the city has a lot to offer. Yes Melbourne is a livable, and lively, and lovely.  But the MOST livable in the world?  I don’t think so.     

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

Winter Woollies and Wellies


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Counting the months since I posted last, I realize that time has moved faster than I realized.   Winter in Melbourne has been grey, cold and wet. Snow on the beaches, wild bitter winds that topple trees, hail damaged cars, tropical downpours – but worst of all –  skies blanketed with charcoal edged storm clouds that blot out the sun.   My body deprived of warmth aches inside out, flu is rife, sick leave is up and it’s hard to be cheerful in this sunshine deprived city.   Like England, the main topic of conversation has been the weather.  Like England, winter woollies, wellies, thermals, hats, scarves and gloves are being layered on as the population rugs up.  Unlike England, the majority of us shiver in our brick and weather board houses with little or no heating or draft proofing.    Arriving home from an office environment akin to the outer Hebrides on a  blustery day because we cant turn the air conditioning off, I don a beanie, scarf, thick dressing gown, ugg boots and switch the money eating electric heater on.    Never has cooking a meal seemed so appealing as it is an opportunity to soak up some of the heat given off by the oven and hobs.  Sadly, I find myself reminiscing about my centrally gas heated house in the UK, remembering times I looked out on icy white streets snug and toasty indoors in nothing but shorts and teeshirt.  Damm I miss radiators.

 

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Arid


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Namib Desert. Namibia

As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

The Beach Bungalow Build – Zanzibar. Now published as an e book


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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00VLU4CV6?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/532570

Forward

Sue Llewellyn backpacked around Southern Africa with her partner, Peter, for five months.   Along the way she met a local man, Ame, trying desperately to make enough money to build a house to support his wife and child by running a seafood beach bar and restaurant in Zanzibar, Tanzania.  At the time he was a one man operation and dreamed of owning three bungalows and a successful restaurant.    By reviewing the restaurant on the net and introducing him to a friend who was teaching tourism, Sue set in motion a serious of events that led to the Beach Bungalow Build.   Sue and Peter returned to Zanzibar at the end of their travels to assist with the project, planning to stay a few weeks but ended up living in the isolated village of Pingwe for over two months.  The story of life on the island and progress of the build is depicted through a series of connecting stories and  photography.

I am proud to announce my second book which can be found at Amazon by clicking the above links – Smashwords gives a 30% sample for the reader to try.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Reef


 

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Plenty of opportunities here for those photos of fish, diving, sharks coral and all things associated with reefs.  This picture has been taken from a plane of the   reef off the coast of Zanzibar.

 

 

As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Ephemeral


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THE DUST FROM THE JEEPS CREATED THESE PICTURES AT  DAWN ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA.


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A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Float


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Water lilies floating on a pond at the Kings Palace in Cambodia

As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Raindrop


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As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

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