Saturday 31 October 2020

Our local, outdoor gym

There are exercise machines in this tiny park which is surrounded by streets, but with very little traffic, fortunately. It's another initiative by our wonderful mayor who's had lots of these outdoor 'gyms' installed all over our area. This one is round the corner from where we live, and unlike some of the others, for some reason it's rarely used - we have never seen anyone here - which is good news for us.

Now that it's cooler we have started coming here three times a week, and we love it. The number and range of the exercise machines is limited, but we do manage to get a good work-out. We stopped going to the gym in December and cannot foresee when we will be able to start going again, as we would not like to use an indoor gym given the pandemic, so this is very welcome.

The machines don't have weights - instead for each exercise you use your body weight, which is good enough.

Ken's hips were very sore the next day after he used this one.

I am still reluctant to use this one given my hip replacement operation in January, but I might just start trying it out soon.

So, we exercise here surrounded by the scent of rosemary.

Ken is working his abs on this one - it's the one he loves the most.

Finally, amongst the pine trees and other trees and bushes that I cannot name, there is a gazia tree - one of my favourite native trees. They have just started flowering, small, delicate, fluffy flowers that smell divine: people put them in their drawers and wardrobes to scent their clothes. I don't know what the tree is called in English - I tried googling it, but with no results.

Friday 30 October 2020

Summer's end

I know that the title of this post is misleading, given that we're nearing the end of October,  but our beach is closed, and this is the definitive end of the summer here. 

This is what our beach looks like now. All the beds and umbrellas gone, and even though we still have access to the beach, it's a completely different landscape to what it was before.

This is what it looked like in the summer.

This has not stopped us from swimming however.  Our last swim so far was on Monday, and it may well have been the last as the weather is changing. We may decide to continue swimming in the lake  where the water temperature is a steady 22-24oC throughout the year -  we will see how it goes.

During the last two weeks we have been going to the 'free' beach which is also near where we live.

It's a lovely little bay

and we swim across it, beyond the rocks in the distance, to the beach we  favour in the summer months, and then back.

Still lots of people using the beach and swimming

The winter swimmers will continue coming regardless of the weather. This is a group of them, in front of the winter swimmer's club hut. They use the beach as their social club, and in this instance they are having ouzos and meze.

Tuesday 27 October 2020

The art trail , October 2020 - part 1

Last week we decided to go to Athens and visit some of the private galleries in Kolonaki. It was a nice walk, and we popped into lots of galleries and had a look at their first shows of the autumn. Our taxi dropped us off at the Mastiha shop which is a real cornucopia of all kinds of products that are mastiha-based: biscuits, flours, drinks, loads of things in jars, etc.

Our first art stop was Zoumboulakis Galleries, the shop.

First we looked at the window, where it says: 'We all have psychological problems, baby'. Don't ask me, I don't know.

This shop used to be across the road, and it was one of my favourites. Since they relocated however, they tend to sell items that are reproductions of art works or ones that have been influenced by artists, and it's not as good. It's still worth having a look, though.

Mobiles inspired by Alexander Calder.

Figures inspired by Kazimir Malevich

This is an original, but I did not record the name of the artist

Next, opposite Zoumboulakis galleries, the art shop of the Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas Benaki Museum Annex

a sculpture by Iosifina Kosma

Yannis Zois

Gallery Ekfrasi is just round the corner, featuring a group exhibition

Kostas Tsolis, Now Dad, 2013 (acrylic on canvas)

Mihalis Manousakis, Untitled, 2018, (acrylic and charcoal on wood)

Juliano Kaglis, The Wave II, 2020, (oil on canvas)

Juliano Kaglis, Standing Woman, 2020, (oil on canvas)

Spiros Koursaris

Spiros Koursaris, Sixtriptych,  2020

We left the gallery, admired this tiny building sandwiched between two larger ones

 and started walking up Pindarou Street

I liked this building, and I liked it even more when I realised that it's a Centre for Researching Equality Issues

I also like this piece of street art with its pun on the drachma

The Loss and the Rest at Zoumboulakis Galleries, was our next stop.

Eric Stephany, 2020

Theodopoulos Polyviou, Zappeiio. 2020

Bryony Dunne, Mara, 2019

I find video art boring and tend to avoid it. I enjoyed this one, however.

Mara, a white tailed eagle, soars above the invisible border of Northern Ireland with a miniature camera on her back. From this vantage point, she becomes an instrument of surveillance, capturing nature. Her ease of travel over historically contested geographies points to the arbitrary and temporary character of man-made borders, as well as to the unnatural hierarchies that citizenship imposes on peoples' movement. Natural law, on the other hand, seems to cut across the dividing lines of states and species. Yet, Mara's descent onto Grianan of Alleach (Temple of the Sun)  - the ancient hilltop fort located close to the Northern Irish border - reminds us of our age-old tendency to construct walls, fences, ditches and a range of boundaries.

Dimitri Efeoglou, Amplitude 1, 2019

Dimitri Efeoglou, Untitled, 2018, (graphite, paper)

Kolonaki square is across the road from the gallery

Epinikio, by Giorgos Georgakis is situated in the middle of it