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Entries in Greece (1)


Into the (smokey) dog days and daydreams of  beaches

When you’re a kid, summer seems to stretch on forever, one languorous day following the other. Looking back, I was luckier than many of my classmates, since my family had a cottage at one of the nicest beaches on Lake Huron. 
The beach at Amberley was always sandy; I don’t remember ever having to pick my way over rocks and stones or wade through weeds when swimming.
Long, hot, humid days were followed by warm nights falling asleep listening to the waves crash on the beach, then the swishing sound as the water pulled back out from shore. 
As I get older, summer seems to speed up. The days are packed with details, errands, tasks, things to get done. Instead of the lullaby of the waves, I fall asleep with a to-do list for the next day clamoring in my head, “don’t forget! Better write this down, you’ll forget!”
Luckily, I have a couple of antidotes when my mind gets overactive, reading being one of them. I picked up Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and A Dip in the Ocean: Rowing Solo Across the Indian Ocean by Sarah Outen, and The Rough Guide to Greece.
The Rough Guide was a little bit of a whim,  but I’ve become obsessed reading about the best places to eat in Santorini, and where to find the best beaches on Crete.
 I can hardly put it down and a plan is forming for next summer: the hypnotic rhythm of the ocean waves, long stretches of white sandy beaches dotted with colourful sun umbrellas, that unbelievable mediterranean blue…
As I’m writing this, a storm system from the southwest pushed in a shocking amount of smoke from the forest fires that are devastating British Columbia. I’m headed that way for a few days later this week and I can’t help but feel concerned about how people have been living in that smoke for these past few months. I
don’t know what to expect; the plan was to enjoy the beach in Invermere. I’ve packed a new book to take along, a memoir about taking up flamenco in Spain. I’ll pack the Rough Guide to Greece, too.
Fires are wreaking destruction in parts of Greece, France, and Spain, too. I found the photo above on the internet (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9488070/Forest-fires-in-Greece-Spain-and-France.html)
We're into the dog days of summer, and perhaps this will turn into a staycation right here at our own lakeshore, but I’ve got a good stack of books as an antidote - or bonus! - to whatever this week brings.