Two ferries from Sifnos, via Mykanos, and we arrived on Tinos; our second island in the Cyclades, chosen because it didn’t have an airport. Yet again we had no idea what to expect. We were self catering this time and our host suggested we pause our taxi to stock up in Tinos town; valuable advice because the next day was Sunday.
There was another good reason, which dawned on us as we zig-zagged from Isternia down to Ormos Bay and our delightful accommodation.
The nearest shop now, was a mile away, winding back up the cliff!
We were relieved that our fridge was now full and our host reassured us that there were three tavernas and also a sandy beach in the bay.
How the island helped me in mind, body and spirit
With no car this could have been a frustrating location, but we soon relaxed, with the certainty that we were meant to be here, to unwind, to heal from the trauma of the last two years and learn ‘to be’ once more.
Most days we wandered down to the beach, had a swim, sat and absorbed the view, enjoyed a light lunch before an afternoon siesta in the shade of the veranda. This gave us time to read, to talk and think of life. What a relief it was to be on holiday in the sunshine.
Most evenings we enjoyed supper at one of the three tavernas, where we were welcomed and treated to mouth watering Greek cuisine.
It was a press the pause button on life; refreshing, calming and just wonderful!
How was I inspired by our visit to Tinos?
We only had two trips out ~ one to be dropped off at the top of the hill to enjoy the breathtaking views, an ice-cream and to wander down the winding path back to the bay The path was an amazing feat of engineering from between the world wars. Although I am sometimes scared of heights (why do I live in Scotland you may ask?), the path was wide enough so that I could breath easily. The men who built it were truly inspiring and I’m sure there are stories to tell of those times.
The second trip out was to visit the lovely village of Pyrgos, where carving in marble, a treasure still mined on Tinos, could be observed in awe.
I spoke to one of the craftsman and asked him how much one of the small seahorses on the wall cost. 45 euros was his reply and then he showed me a block of rock he would carve another from, the template and one partially carved. ‘Do you know how many hours one of these takes to make?’ he asked.
I had no idea.
‘About 80 hours,’ he said.
Wow, I thought and then I compared it to my craft of writing a novel.
- Loosely planning ideas, beginning, middle and end
- Several months to write the first draft
- A couple of months for edits, beta readers and revisions.
- Working with an editor until the manuscript is ready for publication.
Typically that’s at least six months.
Does the reader appreciate this hard graft?
Would I have appreciated the carver if I hadn’t watched him at work? If I had bought that seahorse in a gift shop?
I gained much inspiration from Tinos; a beautiful island. I relaxed and felt ready to face the world again, but the greatest lesson I learnt was to value the work I do and to feel proud of it, as the master carver I met certainly does.
How much do you value your writing?