William & Harry

William and Harry in action. The two princes took part in a polo match for charity reasons in Ascot during last May. I was quite lucky to be able to see both of them playing polo in professional way and at the same time having fun with each other! It seems to me that Harry was starting the jokes and William was following full hearted!

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Prince William.

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Prince Harry.

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William and Harry.

Paris : Window Shopping

It’s not difficult to guess the meaning of  ‘window shopping’ and as the Urban dictionary explains :When one visits a store or mall to admire goods rather than to purchase them. The ‘shopper’ seems to be looking so intently at the glass in storefront windows that he appears to want to buy the window itself, hence ‘window shopping’. Most of the time, this was what I was doing when I had some free time for myself  after the family’s responsibilities.
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As I was walking along  the street of St Honore du Faubourg, I saw, in the distance , a big queue . I couldn’t imagine what was about. Someone usually doesn’t come across with queues of people in posh areas and particularly posh areas of Paris. When I approached a bit closer  the mystery solved and replaced by a big surprise. People are queuing for a pair of Louboutin. Aυτά είναι./

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Emma Thompson with her own Louboutin at her hands,   yesterday at Golden Globes ceremony! You understand now, what it is about the whole fuss!
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The shop window  had only one pair of high heels with the red sole.

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Macaron is the new chocolate. La Duree,Champs Elysee, is the famous french bakery with the most exquisite macaron.

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The famous Maxim’s restaurant, rue Royale no.3. Onassis, Kalas, Duke of Windsor …were regulars.

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Love this cute building and the clock on the top.

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Some silvers to have work to do during moody days.

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Next to this synthesis there was a red one, but I preferred the white one.

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I was attracted by this beautiful tutu, but I didn’t exactly work out what kind of shop it was.

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Love the small chair for the little bambini. Beautiful atmosphere.

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Dior for the little ones.

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One of the most famous Hairdresser in Europe during the 80s.

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A bit retro and beautiful dolls.

Perhaps, January is not the cruelest month but it is close. It is a long month and the big spending has already taken place during Christmas. But again, February is coming and with it, the sales season. There you are, a  good reason to feel cheerful 🙂

Let’s talk about men : Parole Parole

manon70 catherine deneuveIt is common truth that with different set of friends there is different agenda of discussion. With some we talk about kids, husbands, with others about career, cooking… With my friend Marta,  the main topic is “men” and whatever comes with it. At the end of any conversation, she always says to me “let’s talk about men”.

When I met her in London in my last trip, after having exhausted every topic relating to them, we decided that it is time now, after so many years, to change  our prototype of the desired model of man.  Both of us felt that we have outgrown  this kind of witty, babish, good looking man with great sense of humour, aka Hugh Grant. We need something more manish, perhaps more brutal to fill in our occasional chatting and dreams.

She proposed something French. Since the French language and accent is very sensational by itself I agreed.  I proposed to give to our object of desire, flesh and bones, as for example 150px-Bernard-Henri_Lévy-tau-1to look like  the french philosopher, film maker … potpourri kind, Bernard Henry Levy.  Marta didn’t know him but an instant search on the iPad, convinced her.  At the moment, he is the perfect choice until we find a better picture, he has brains, looks, attitude, nobility and most important, hair, I hate bold men, she announced confidently.

We were happy with our agreement -a kind of sharing a secret- which keeps in some way this long friendship alive and interesting so many years. We kissed each other and said goodbye until our next rendezvous.  She was flying back to Madrid and I was flying back to glamorous Kazakhstan.

Not too long after arriving in Astana I skyped her and the following discussion took place:

-Hey Marta, I’ve just arrived in my base and I have great news for you!

-Let me guess, you didn’t have delays and the weather is perfect in Astana.

-Hmmm, something even better.

-You were upgraded to the first class.

-Bingo! You got it but something even better happened.

-You had an emergency land in Paris and you met this brainy man with the big nose.

-Nope, no landing until arriving at my destination

I made a pause and  because I was too excited to delay my news I said:

-but  I slept with him!

-With whom?

-With the our look alike prototype, the brainy man with the french nose (I always correct Marta with the details such a nose..)

Marta’s eyes and mouth had been transformed to real big circles.

and she said coldly and abruptly:

-No one can sleep in the airplane’s toilets.

-Of course not .

I answered back and continued.

-You know in the first class the seats can turn into beds and so this gorgeous french man sat next to me. He was much better than Levy- taller, thiner, fine characteristics, elegant outfit (a grey suit with a polo white shirt button up) a ring in his small finger showing his nobility, head  full of hair like Levy! And oh boy! What an accent!  His every second word was starting with the sound “w”!

-So he sat next to you and what happened? Marta said.

-Despite the free seats around us, neither of the two  moved to a more spacious  seat and  when it was time  to sleep I decided to follow his example and  I pushed the button to flatten my seat and sleep next to him. He advised me to wear the mask in the eyes for the light and bless him, I  really had the best sleep ever in an airplane! In the morning, we had breakfast together, I mean I had full breakfast, he had only a coffee -no wonder he was so slim- making me feel a bit  guilty about….

I wanted to continue to talk about my guilts and food  but Marta interrupted me saying:

-And after what happened ?

-That’s it, I said goodbye to him and I came back to my flat and open the skype to say to you all these great news!

Marta was looking at me with a mischievous expression.

-Do you know his name?

-No

-Did you manage to get a photo of him?

-Unfortunately not and you know, he was much more handsome than Levy. Better face and he was so tall and slim, french nose….

-Ok, if we haven’t any evidence, photo of him… we have to stack with this brainy man..with the nose, you had proposed until next time, when you will be more brave.

-What do you mean  more brave ?

-More brave to get a picture of our object of desire, silly Penelope!

Wedding a la Kazakh!

At last , summer is here in Astana and  its inhabitants want to make the most of it. To say the truth, in no other place  I have seen so many weddings to take place as here in Kazakhstan’s capital. It’s a fact , Astana is in its prime and running  a baby boomer period. There is an urgency to increase its population and the government supports it in every way.  The following pictures are from the  wedding of my new Kazakhstani friends.
P1070287Don’t get confused : This not not the wedding reception of a member of the socialist party(pasok) in Greece but a wedding a la Kazakh! Our Kazakhstani friends chose green as colour theme for their wedding. Don’t forget the green is the colour of hope for the future! A very wise choice!

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The bridesmaids were wearing the traditional Kazakh outfits with the feather on top of their hats.

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Dancers with the same outfits as the bridesmaids were introducing the bride and groom who were following behind.

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The Maid of Honor (lead bridesmaid) with her beautiful green dress- to match the colour theme.

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Part of the ceremonial  Kazakh’s wedding traditions: The couple’s mothers were wearing the same colour (green) dress. I think, it was a very nice idea and brought a nice harmony in the environment.

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And the party starts with a performance of the Kazakh dancers!

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There was a scandal about the horse meat in Europe but here in Kazakhstan, horse meat is their traditional food . The main dish was  horse meat with a kind of handmade pastry (hilopites) and onions. And the special meze was the horse’s willy!

There were four courses of food : Meat with salad, pastry(katsiapouri), meat, fish, meat. Interestingly, there was no cake.Perhaps, the latter is the only thing that differentiates the Kazakhstani weddings from all  the rest weddings in the western world. But there was a lot of Vodka. And when I say a lot , I mean A LOT, in some way it replaced the water!

What I realised, once more, is how much I love Weddings. And I’m looking forward to attending some more during this  summer in Hesperia! Every kind of weddings among different races, sexes, classes …  !

Lean In

Lean In is the title of the new book of the wonder woman of the Facebook Sheryl Sandberg. In her book and new website, she urges women to create a supportive circle among them, in order to move forward in their career, their life and even to get help with their problems.  A concept that in many ways,  women and people in general, who are in a weaker and underprivileged position have already adopted it in order to carry on with their everyday life.

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The first time I came across  a very sound supportive circle of women was the  Georgian women in Greece. After the collapse of their country’s financial system, many  women came alone-most of them without husbands and family- from Georgia to work, either as cleaners or looking after elderly people in Greece. They created a supportive cluster among them  by sharing apartments, finding jobs to each other, replacing each other in their shifts when a problem was arising and generally being supportive physically and emotionally to each other. Since I have quite a few acquaintances among those women,  I’m watching their way of life all these years and I noticed that they are getting happier by being altogether and trying to support their families back to their country.

51bRawVMdcL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_Another example of a supportive circle of women that I came across, this time in a novel, was in Elis Shafak’s (turkish writer) book  “The Bastard of Istanbul” . The theme mainly is based on a circle of women  living  in the same house. After the death of the men in an extended family, the women decided to live the same house  and support each other. At the beginning, I found a bit unbelievable the story but when I asked my mother, who has extended family in Turkey and she has experienced their way of life, she reassured me that it is not at all strange in this society, for women to live together or at least to have a very strong supportive circle among them.

Living in Kazakhstan lately, I realized that the above phenomenons are not limited to the female circles. Everyone , in some way, depends on  each other for carrying out everyday tasks. The oxymoron is that despite the widespread reputation of Kazakhstani being corrupted, the common people really support each other. It took by surprise the fact of how easily trust each other. An illustrative example is the way of finding a taxi : simply by raising one’s hand to stop the first car that passes  – the way we are doing hitchhike in the West. When I asked my Kazakhstani friends, how they  trust a totally stranger to drive them , they responded by shrugging their shoulders -meaning that it’s a common practice for them.

Perhaps the West  has  to adopt  new ways of thinking and practice the “Lean In” concept to get through during  the hard times of this never ending recession. The Thatcherite era of individuality and independency -with her own words “there is not such a thing as a society”- may have come to an end for the time being.

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In the background, woman stops a car in a main road of Astana.

Grace Kelly exhibition: a blockbuster

Grace Kelly exhibition in Astana was really a blockbuster. It was one of the best I have ever attended. The same exhibition took place, some time ago, at the Victorian & Albert Museum in London and now makes the tour around the world. Prince Albert was present for the inauguration (without Charlene). The latter, simple fact(and others…), makes me think that no woman can replace his “goddess”mother!

The exhibition took place in Pyramid, Astana.

At the entrance, her huge portrait was dominated.

In this photo, the  similarities between Prince Albert and Grace are obvious.

It seems to me (as you will see and other photos below) that all the real “glam”personalities  appeared during the period of sixties.

Yul Brunner’s letter to Grace.

The section with all her dresses was really a feast in our eyes.

I am proud of having a copy of her purple dress 😉

She was wearing this dress when she had a big reception with other royalties..Princess Aga Khan was second best after Grace.

Hmmm, I’ m not sure…Grace is more pretty but Jackie has something different…

Hope you enjoyed it, without spending and getting into trouble whatsoever. For that reason the dedicated bloggers (like me) exist 🙂

Notes from a small island in the Atlantic : Ile de Re

The annual pilgrimage to the small island of the atlantic, Ile de Re, once more charged our batteries, this time, for a hard and probably eventful winter.  If you ask me why you are so faithful to this island, the answer is simply because we like it. Of course, there are plenty other reasons which can easily win a debate like :

-It is very close to Paris. Catch the train London to Paris and Paris to La Rochelle, cross the Bridge and there you are, on the small island with its own microclimate, which means the same period of sunshine as Cote d’Azur without the heat of the south. It fits perfectly our case-after our baking time in the desert of Abu Dhabi.

To ετήσιο προσκύνημα μας στο μικρό νησί του ατλαντικού, Ιλ Ντε Ρέ, έλαβε μέρος και αυτό το καλοκαίρι και μας γέμισε τις μπαταρίες για το δύσκολο και μάλλον γεμάτο γεγονότα χειμώνα.
Αν με ρωτήσετε γιατί είστε τόσο πιστοί σε αυτό το νησί, η απάντηση είναι απλή, γιατί μάς αρέσει. Φυσικά υπάρχουν πολλοί λόγοι που εύκολα κερδίζουν μια αντιπαράθεση.’Oπως παραδείγματος χάριν:

Eίναι πολύ κοντά στο Παρίσι. Παίρνει κανείς το τρένο Λονδίνο-Παρίσι και Παρίσι-ΛαΡοσέλ, περνάει τη γέφυρα και βρίσκεται στο νησάκι με το δικό του μικροκλίμα, που σημαίνει ότι έχει την ίδια ηλιοφάνεια με αυτή της Κυανής Ακτής χωρίς τη ζέστη της. Το τελευταίο, ειδικά, είναι πολύ ανακουφιστικό μετά από το φούρνο της έρημου του Αμπού Ντάμπι.

-Park your car and use your bicycle all day without strains because of the island’s flatness and coolness.
-Παρκάρεις το αυτοκινήτο σου και ανεβαίνεις στο ποδήλατο χωρίς καμμία δυσκολία, καθώς το νησί είναι επίπεδο και το κλίμα δροσερό.





-Proper food and comme il faut restaurants. Very famous for its oyster(the best I’ve eaten so far) wine, salt, apricots…
-Το φαγητό και τα εστιατόρια είναι πρώτης τάξης. Τα θαλασσινά του και ειδικά τα στρείδια είναι από τα καλύτερα που έχω φάει.


-Good place for proper surfing.
-Καλό μέρος για κανονικό σέρφινγκ.




-Every morning, in this endless beach we were spotting a different starfish out of the water and every time we were putting back in. An act of feeling good for the rest of the day! #TheGodOfSmallThings
-Kάθε πρωί σε αυτή την απέραντη παραλία βρίσκαμε και έναν παραστρατημένο αστερία και τον βάζαμε πίσω στο νερό. Κάτι τόσο μικρό, που όμως μας έκανε να νιώθουμε όμορφα όλη την μέρα! #OΘεόςΤωνΜικρώνΠραγμάτων

Ι’m not sure if I won the argument, because there are so many places around the world and so many nice islands particularly in Greece!
Anyway, I rest my case and I wish all the friends of this blog a nice autumn! / Εύχομαι σε όλους τους φίλους αυτού του blog καλό φθινόπωρο 🙂