100 posts – a centenary rave

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane…
by those who could not hear the music.”

Angela Monet

No doubt there are thousands of people who thought I was insane when I first came here… but perhaps Ms Monet is right, “they just can’t hear the same music… or in some cases, any music at all”.

[DISCLOSURE: It’s a stunning Sunday afternoon in Oia and although it’s against blogging rules… I am sitting down to write this with some lovely Santorini chilled Rose. This means there is every chance that this post will quite possibly suffer from a gradual but steady decline in poise, style, logic and eventually… reason].

It’s been about nine months since this notebook started it’s life as a blog. In that time there have been a number of things that have happened as a direct result of this digital diary. I have become aware of so many talented, creative, diligent, intelligent, funny and caring people who blog around the world. This has been the most pleasurable aspect of this whole experience. Another aspect of blogging that I have loved is the fact that it has motivated me to go searching this magnificent island for images that otherwise I might never have seen. I know this has been said before by endless numbers of bloggers… it’s cliché.. but, in my case at least, it’s true. I know for a fact that since this blog started I have been a lot more aware of photo opportunities, often my mind making mental notes about going back to a place to take pictures, or just quickly pulling out my small Pentax and clicking away.

This morning for example… it is was a  g l o r i o u s morning on Santorini, and my favourite large cruise ship is in port (Grand Princess), so rather than have coffee on the balcony at home I took everyone to the winery to enjoy the late-autumn sun and the “not so bad” view from up there:

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the volcano asleep in the deeeeeeep blue…

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the island bathed in winter sunshine and the ships floating in what
must surely be the most magnificent natural port in the world !

The autumn/winter light is truly magnificent… not nearly as harsh as the summer sunlight. In fact it’s almost like having a soft filter over your eyes as you look out to a view that, even after all these years, still triggers denial messages in my brain. This can not be real the brain says… you must be looking at a postcard or a photograph or a painting. Alas… it’s real !

It was quite different last night though… when we had one of our rather frequent power outages in Oia. The light wasn’t anywhere near as abundant as you see above. But then we are used to it, we are prepared for it and as you will see below… even that situation brings it’s own magic when you live in a cave house. We may not have had lights… but the small candle windows I dug when building this cave tend to add their own charm, in a humble sort of way:

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But enough of the cave…. even though I know that a lot of you want to read a lot more about it – I promise to be a good boy and write more about what it’s like to “live in a cave” in the near future .

In the meantime…this is the 100th post, so let’s get on with it.

There have been some great experiences in the past nine months as a result of this blog. I have discovered numerous other blogs by people all over the world who decided to “find their passion and make it happen”. I have also come across people who are elegantly expressing their passion through their blogs, be it for design, travel, cooking, languages or simply for “life” itself. It really is a wonderful form of self expression. Some bloggers are more diligent than others, some blogs have an agenda that’s not always discussed, some are clearly obsessed, some are simply expressing the hidden frustrations of the writer, some are hysterical, some are thought provoking and some showcase the hidden talents of incredibly creative people who are (for some unknown reason) stuck in a holding pattern…. living a life that is not yet fully aligned with their passion, or indeed their talent.

For me personally it has been difficult. Never been used to making my views and/or thoughts very public…. so this has taken a bit of getting used to. Having said that this blog was never going to be about cushion-covers or wall paint. Whilst I fully understand that most people are not really interested in my views and they simply come here to have a look at some island pictures…I was never going to hold back from writing about passion, dreams or the problem with feeling “comfortably numb”.

I am also extremely grateful that at least some of you agreed with me on the concept of “RESPECT – spreading the one-word message” and have gone out of your way to email your photos. Frankly… it’s worth maintaining this blog just to promote that simple message to anyone willing to visit & read that page, or becomes motivated enough to write our message on some spot of their favourite part of the world.

In the coming weeks the blog will change… but I have decided to keep it going.

There is much to be done on this island and the blog will help raise awareness on many issues. There are also a lot of places to see and discover in Greece and indeed all over Europe. I very much look forward to exploring and sharing these with you.

To all those that have visited and left your comments regularly…  I thank you sincerely. Your comments have encouraged, challenged, inspired and sustained my writing.

To all you “lurkers” that visit the blog often and never leave a comment…shame on you. If something is worth reading, then its worth commenting on… good, bad or indifferent. Still, I’m a nice guy and as Neil Diamond said to the tree-people during the Hot August Night concert “I’m singing for you too”…

But seriously… you should  consider “coming out”. Not much fun writing to yourself…and even less fun writing for ghosts.

In keeping with blogging tradition on the occasion of the 100th post…here are some things about me you may not know (you may or may not give a
flying fig about all this of course and I wouldn’t blame you… but here it is anyway)  ;-)

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Not easy writing things about yourself, so I figured  we can start with the questionnaire used  on the guests invited to “pretend school”, sorry…. Actors Studio.

Favourite word: I have two (or one and a combo).

– simplicity

– understated elegance

Both represent a way of being and a personal style that I admire greatly.

Least favourite word: (another combo) reality-TV

A sound or noise you love: At the end of a long day… get a crystal/glass tumbler, pour some single-malt whiskey (or your favourite drink) in it and “two” ice cubes. Then bring it to your ear, close your eyes and shake….

A sound or noise you hate:  Hmmmm… lots of those. Sound of people nagging about all that’s wrong with the world… but never doing anything about it  OR politicians starting a speech by saying “my fellow ………ns”

A profession other than yours you would love: Architect, Disney Imagineer

A profession you would hate: Politician

Your favourite curse word: Depends on mood…

If God exists…what would you like him etc etc etc: Just a BS question …not worth an answer !

Other nonsense:

Fave cuisine: Mediterranean / Japanese. Having said that, I am an absolute foodie…so most good food cooked well is a delight to me.

Fave meal: Linguini a la vongole… I have tried hundreds around the world, but I think I make the best, if I say so myself (it’s only taken me 25 years lol).
I love the ritual of the dish and I think that fresh clams and pasta are the perfect flavour combination.

Fave flavour/taste: Norwegian smoked salmon… with a squeeze of lemon juice and ‘nothing else’.

Fave band of all time: that would be Floyd… (the pink variety)

Fave music: Love most kinds… but jazz is my music, with classical a close second. Oddly enough… i love classical for the perfection of composition by the masters, where as I love jazz for its’ improv beauty… the imperfections that make it unique. What master Miles used to call the “one-note off” sound.

Fave instrument: Cello… the only instrument that comes close to a human voice. Many focus on the melancholy of it, but for me… its the resonance !

Fave country: Europe…. yes yes yes, I know it’s not “a” country… yet. But I love being in it. Love being a European and I love having the incredible choices that it offers me in terms of travel, culture, endless discovery and experiences. I want a T-shirt with “my name is M… I’m a European” !

Fave city: Rome – the city, the people AND the coffee (the only place in the world you will find a barista dressed better than the patrons… and the patrons are often dressed to kill ).

Fave mode of travel: train (the slow-luxury kind), ship (the old-luxury kind)

Fave sport: Test cricket

Fave insult: “he is not a Greek God…he’s just a god-damned Greek” (from the inimitable Brian G. upon meeting his daughter’s new boyfriend).

Fave words of wisdom: “when it’s all said and done Michael…it’s only the great adventures you remember” (from the unique & wise Rex Lopez).

Biggest regret: There can never be enough years… enough lifetimes, to learn all the things I want to learn about !

Something you completely believe in but can’t prove:

1.  Every city has the newspapers it deserves

2.  In every news story you read… the first two lines are the news. After that its personal opinion.

3.  Nothing is beyond the reach… of the singularly motivated human mind.

Fave quote about women: “Passion is the best make-up for a woman… but, cosmetics are easier to buy” ~  Yves St.Laurent

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11 responses to “100 posts – a centenary rave

  1. Congratulations on your 100th Blog Post Michael…for a minute there I wasn’t sure where you were going with continuing to write this blog and I panicked…eeckk! So love reading about your adventures all over the island and carving out your cave and your encouraging words about following your passions…and your pictues are amazing. Can’t wait for the next 100 posts, fondly, Roberta

  2. Excellent.

    Just the perfect 100th post.
    Thought provoking, with glorious images and
    a large dose of
    Understated Elegance.

    Know that I’m tossing you
    a grand ( understated … . ) bouquet!

    Judith

  3. Delurking to say I enjoy the blog and to congratulate you on your 100th post. Bravo!

  4. Beautiful post, I can taste the rose and I certainly hear the music. Love reading your thoughts on life and I love to visit Santorini often….Lisa x

  5. Congratulations on your 100th post!
    I have so enjoyed your blog ~ as you know ; ) ~ and of course the pictures… keep up the good work! Well done!

  6. Congratulations on the centenary please keep up the good work,your wonderful words and pictures keep me going while I am away from your lovely island.
    Thank you so much
    Take care
    Val

  7. I’ve commented a couple times before but I certainly lurk a lot more than I talk. Nothing personal… I’m that way in “real life” too.

    Found your blog while googling everything there is to know about Santorini. Have read every post. Appreciate seeing the island thru your eyes and that is not just the terrific photos but your descriptions of the lofty and mundane. Now that it has been several months it seems I can feel the change of seasons and the ebb and flow of tourists, but since it hasn’t been a full year yet the cycle isn’t complete and I don’t know what to expect in winter and spring. So please keep going at least one full year!

    You’re like a webcam with a narrator. It feels a little bit like I’m there, through your stories.

    Thank you. (A fellow Floyd fan.)

  8. Michael, enjoyed this post and the candle windows look great. Like Antoine, I look forward to hearing about winter in Oia, while we are sometimes knee deep in snow. All your posts have been great, helps me to think outside of the box. Sheila

  9. Love all the insight into your world and head. Haven’t been your way but it is incredibly beautiful.

  10. Thank you to all of you for your kind comments… hope you can all keep me company over winter. promises to be a very interesting season indeed !

    PS: special welcome to KB… “delurking” has it’s special rewards ;-)

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