Thursday, September 29, 2005


'Even one of their own prophets has said "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons" This testimony is true.' Titus 1:12.

Always felt this was a bit harsh of the Apostle Paul, and having just spent a wonderful week a Crete I can definitely say that however true this may have been in the 1st Century it no longer applies. Cretans in my experience are a very warm, gentle, hard-working and honest people! (I wonder if this is why out of the many churches I saw in Crete, none were dedicated to St. Paul?).
We just got back from a very chilled out holiday in Elounda in Crete with Su's mum and Geoff. Elounda is a fairly small town on the North East coast of Crete beside a lagoon which is almost entirely cut off from the rest of the Mediterranean and is surrounded by mountains. Upon our arrival in Crete, we picked up our hire car and an hour later we were enjoying a cold beer and this view in a sea-front Taverna - the Cypriana before we'd even unpacked our cases. Just behind the Cypriana was our apartment. From our balcony we enjoyed this view :

It really was an incredibly chilled out holiday. We went on a few trips, such as visiting Knossos a Minoan palace which was kind of impressive, due to it's size and age. The effect was spoilt a little bit, however, due to the fact that it has been largely reconstructed (using lots of concrete) according to one guy's interpretation and it was hard to tell which bits were original.

We also went to a place called the Lasithi plateau, a fertile region in the middle of the island which is covered in orchards and vineyards and lots of windmills which were used to pump water to irrigate the region. Extremely beautiful and very quiet except for the bells of a few mountain goats.

Our last outing was a boat trip to an island called Spinalonga which was the last Leper colony in Europe. A fascinating and beautiful, if tragic, place.

Most of our days, however, were spent lazing on beaches :

strolling along harbours :

or in tavernas!

It's a hard life sometimes!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Ashes 2005

What an amazing summer of cricket we have had. Congratulations to the England team on regaining the Ashes. (which never actually leave the MCC museum at Lord's anyway, but hey). Matt Rees sums up my feelings nicely. I can't remember a time when cricket so captured the public imagination. Even Su almost became interested. Anyone who still thinks cricket is boring must have Attention Deficit Disorder.
Now, to everything there is a season, and now is the time for a little gloat. The Australian side have been amazing and one has to admire the likes of Warne and McGrath but there are some words to be eaten by the Aussies (curtesy of Metro newspaper) :

'I think I was saying 3-0 or 4-0 about 12 months ago, thinking there might be a bit of rain. But with the weather as it is at the moment, I have to say 5-0' Glenn McGrath

'England will lose the five-Test series 3-0 and the margin will be worse for them if it doesn't rain. If you put the players from Australia and England up against each other it is embarrassing. There is no contest between them on an individual or team basis.' Jeff Thompson

'I'm not looking at it as being the first to lose them. I'm looking at being another Australian captain to retain the Ashes.' Ricky Ponting

'I don't really care much for all this "are they closer?" I really believe that it's all about us - if we are executing our skills I don't believe there's a side that can get close to us.' Matthew Hayden

'This England team, while they are better and on track, I can't see them beating this Australian team in a game.' Ian Healy

'I definitely believe if any of our batsmen get out to Giles in the Tests they should go and hang themselves. But I'm confident that won't happen' Terry Alderman (Giles took 10 wickets)

'One day we'll lose the Ashes and it will be as horrific as waking up after a night on the drink in a room full of images of Camilla Parker Bowles' The Daily Telegraph, Sydney