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In a name…

I have a long-standing love affair with Greece. I’ve studied the history and culture of the country, I’ve travelled around it, I’ve worked out there.

So this goes a long way at explaining why this blog (and I) have a Greek deity as a title and username. Aphaia, or Ἀφαία in the Greek (pronounced Aff-fie-ur), is one of those slightly odd Greek deities who only ever seemed to be worshipped at one location on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf.

The sanctuary dedicated to her lies in the hills, with spectacular views out over the Saronic Gulf and across to Attica and Athens to the north, the isthmus of Corinth to the west, and the mountainous terrain of the Peloponnese in the south. Beautiful indeed.

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Yay, I’m going back. In May I will be back in Athens after over a year of being away. And I have to say it will be wonderful to be going back. I’ve missed that city so much.

It is one of those places that I can never wait to get back to, so a few months to go and then I’ll be back…

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Pinched Ideas – A Year in Pictures…

Pinched from A Long-Ayelander because it was such a funky idea even if its a little late in the New Year. So here it is, a year in pictures…
Back home in the north east, from a day out in Dunstanburgh, look at the sky…
Being silly while ill… lets leave that there…

Enjoying the views (and the weather), easter break in Greece, where I ended up at Acrocorinth
Orchid fair… pretty!

A perfect spring day, Sweetheart Abbey.

Jousting at Linlithgow… scary stuff, one of the jousters dislocated his shoulder in the first session…



Back in the trenches… Pollok excavations. Always fun being an archaeologist on public digs, conversation usually runs along the lines of “You’re a PhD Student, that is great, what do you study?”, me: “Greek pottery”, and then either silence or “why are you digging in Scotland?”



Edradour distillery… I had to include this one, didn’t I?



Edinburgh Zoo and hyperactive honey badger… of course…



Undergraduate field trip to Dunnadd, we didn’t loose any students… well at least not this time. It has been known…



Castle Campbell, looking all autumny and ever so slightly depressing…



New Year in Ireland, at Glendalough

So Et Voilà! A year in pictures…

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The Cows are Chasing Me…

Seriously they are…

I first met the Cow Parade Cows in New York several years ago, then they turned up in Amsterdam. And then Edinburgh. And finally in Athens back in 2006.

Now they are invading my home…

The idea behind Cow Parade is really good, and its nice to see some of the really unusual things people do when presented with a giant plastic cow and told to customise it.

The best I’ve seen so far was a bright purple one which had been turned into a washing machine in Athens.

Sadly though I have also seen these poor cows abused. It was saddening to see that the ones in Edinburgh had been vandalised, graffiti all over them (I realise that some are designed to look graffitied, believe me this one wasn’t), one even had a broken horn. Poor cows.

It seems a shame that the only ones I’ve ever seen damaged are here in the UK. I realise that their probably have been cow attacks elsewhere in the world, but its sad to think that it happens here as well.

So if you see a cow, take a picture not a horn as a souvenir.


So I haven’t updated for ages…

Yes I am well aware that I have apparently dropped off the face of the earth… So just to prove that I am still alive and functioning, here are some pretty pictures of places I have been to recently…

So this is Sparta with the Taygetus Mountains in the background…look Greece gets snow!

And Mystra, the upper town and the Kastro… at the very top.  This picture also features my Mum’s elbow…

Monemvasia…there is a big castle at the top of that rather large rock… and no I didn’t climb to the top…

However I am not lazy as I made it to the Acrocorinth (another castle)… look how far up it is! This was taken from the top looking down onto the middle level of the castle…  the entrance is another level below that…

An ancient quarry!  Its interesting – honest! (well it is to me anyway)

And finally the Sanctuary of Hera at Perachora…pretty ain’t it.

And thats it for now…I have to get back to reading about vases, unfortunately the articles are all in Italian…oh joy.