My Life in Greece. Part 1~Beginnings (1996)

I was bored of life. I had just spent seven years (since leaving Secondary school) being a student and in education, only to be trundling along again in education, running after day-to-day work as a Supply Teacher in Birmingham, UK. All my friends and my boyfriend had graduated and gone so I was spending my time alone in a city where I had lived for four years having the time of my life as a Degree Student (3D Design; Jewellery & silversmithing) and then as a Training Teacher (Art & Design). It was dire.

My Mum’s boyfriend found an ad in the local paper from a girl who had just come back from Greece and was looking for a Teacher to go and replace her. I called up immediately and she told me about the place and the school. It sounded amazing as I had always wanted to live abroad. I was hankering for some adventure.

I called up the Headteacher of the school and we spoke. He told me it was a private school, starting at 3pm and ending at about 8 each evening and on Saturday mornings. He sounded nice and said that I had a very clear and calm voice and when could I start?

I arranged my flight and got my money sorted out. I spoke to Mr Kouros again and he booked me into a hotel in Athens, giving me only a few directions as to where to go after I arrived. My boyfriend was upset, but I couldn’t contain myself, I couldn’t wait to go. It was early October when I landed at Athens Airport, a suitcase of clothes, some basic items such as shampoo and shower gel and a few sets of smart clothes. And my smile.

The hotel was in Omonia Square, which I didn’t know then, was as rough as a badger’s ass. I checked in and all I could hear was beeping off horns, screeching tires and shouting. My room didn’t have a view, well it did, but it was mostly of a brick wall. The whole place was a throwback from the 70s; marble everywhere, dark wood furniture and paneling. The Reception guy was nice to me when I arrived but I never saw him again. The others were stand-offish and clearly bored. I was homesick.

I ventured out that evening as I was starving. I was a strict vegetarian but managed to find a fast food place on a corner of a busy street that sold margarita pizzas. It tasted weird, but I didn’t care. I daren’t venture out too far, being paranoid I’d get lost and not be able to find my way back to the hotel. It probably had a name I couldn’t pronounce so that would have been why. I was petrified to talk to people back then when I was 23.

I had taken three books to read and hid away in my (tiny) room until bed. I showered and couldn’t stop crying. It dawned on me that I was in the biggest city in Greece, didn’t know a soul and didn’t even know where I was going. I had a name: Agrinio. That was it. We didn’t have mobile phones back then in 1996, so I didn’t have a lot of contact with my Mum or boyfriend. They must have been having hernias worrying about me. I did get to call my Mum from the phone in the hotel lobby, but briefly as I didn’t know how much it was going to cost.

A message was waiting for me the next morning at reception. I was on the way out to find some breakfast as I didn’t even realise that it was included in the cost of the room. Mr Kouros had left a message to say I was to remain there another two nights as he was trying to organise somewhere for me to stay in Agrinio. Oh the joy. I spent the next few days doing exactly the same as I had been doing. Sneaking out for food, hiding away in the room and reading, with a lot of tears in between.

My first memories of Greece are not so great. Little did I know that things were about to get a whole lot more bizarre…





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Ethical Silver – It’s not rocket science.

Originally posted on Greg Valerio:

Silver jewellery was the product I fell in love with when I first got into the jewellery trade. Practically it was cheaper than gold, but I found that it was also a lot more versatile. I could afford to be more creative and diverse in my product approach. From the fashion perspective it made total sense and its affordable diversity allowed me to give my customers a continually changing selection of new ranges that didn’t break their bank accounts or mine.

On an ethical front it was the search for a fair trade silver source that got me into the ethical issues in the jewellery trade. I was intentional about wanting to be a fair trade jeweller. I was equally clear I did not want to go down the ‘hippy chic- hemp underwear’ design cliche that was rightfully associated with the idea of fair trade jewellery at the time.


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The Silent Angels- Chapter 1 (taster extract)

the nomadic angels:

Here is the first draft Chapter of The Silent Angels. Please read and leave a vote or comment. Thank you!

Originally posted on Into the afterlife......:

new idea for front cover 2015 final

The Silent Angels

Chapter 1


I long for the night. I can hide with my comfort blanket of darkness engulfing me, where no one will disturb me. I have many hours of peace ahead. I sprawl out on the orange mattress on the balcony and brave the crisp wind, my face gazing up at the indigo ink blot sky. I watch the swirls of the clouds blink- blink- blink and then sleep, blotting out the mischievous twinkle of the stars. The smoke from my cigarette twirls and dances like a fluid ballerina up and up to meet the sky, changing colour like a chameleon from silver-white, to pale blue, to black. When it’s finished, I let my eyes droop until I dream of faces that merge and expand, their features elongating and shrivelling, then winding around and looping through each other, hooking on to coiling snake-like entities that shimmer…

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My first novel Abandoned is now for sale in paperback on LULU

Casey is sixteen & does not appreciate her parents or her privileged life. When her family moves to a remote old mansion in the countryside, she is determined to rebel. Bored and angry after leaving her friends back in the city she decides to defy everyone, refusing to make friends with the neighbours and determined to be alone. But her bad attitude is about to change. On a woodland walk she comes across a house that looks exactly like her own, but is burned out. It haunts her with terrifying feelings which draw her back there again and again. This begins a rollercoaster ride of fear, sadness and hurt. The house weaves the web which entangles Casey with the boy called Lee and her fated future. Gradually, Casey begins to piece together the sinister clues from her journal entries and sketchbooks that manifest themselves in that house. Eventually they lead her to a terrifying discovery. Can she look deep into herself and mend her selfish ways before she destroys herself and the people she loves?
A review from a satisfied customer:
”I really enjoyed this book, despite being about 20 years older than the average reader of this kind of genre. It keeps you guessing until the end, as there are two stories elaborately woven together, and you’re not quite sure how it’s all going to work out. Highly recommended for a lazy afternoon’s read, especially if you’re a teenage girl with an attitude problem!”
Buy it here:
This is my first novel so please, if you enjoy the book, leave a review on LULU and tell all your friends about it.
You can also follow Casey by subscribing to her WordPress Blog here:
She is always happy to discuss teen issues and lots of other subjects. (The paranormal, relationships and human behaviour are three of her favourite topics of the moment!)
For background information and discussions about the issues raised in Abandoned, please head over to the WordPress Blog here:
You can find inspirations used for Casey’s World. Find images of her attic room, clothes and fashion styles, and her art work. See the ideas I used for her woodland area, the burned out old house and her ragdoll, Eliza.
Read Lee’s diary and discover how he really felt about Casey and how the story unfolded through his eyes.
Listen to Casey’s Spotify playlist while you explore!
Look out for the sequel to Abandoned~ The Silent Angels
for front cover silent angels 4
Read the first 2 Chapters here:
© Serena Grey ‘Abandoned~a teenager’s journey of self discovery’  and ‘The Silent Angels~time will tell’ 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from these Blogs’ author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Serena Grey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chapter 2~ Personal diary entry~ Chloe

the nomadic angels:

Chloe’s diary entry in The Silent Angels. Let me know what you think!

Originally posted on The Silent Angels:

Please read Chapter 2 here:

Chloe’s Diary Chapter 2

Sunday August 3rd“Rien ne pese tant que un secret.” ~La Fontaine

I’ve been wondering around by candlelight, looking for a place to make my haven and solitude. I didn’t think I would suffer as much as I am with all these strange and volatile vibes swirling and penetrating my head and body like tidal waves, drowning and suffocating. The others don’t understand how overwhelming it gets sometimes, why would they? They don’t have my gifts, which despite my mama trying to tell me, I still see sometimes as a curse. Lee tries, bless him and I love him all the more for his unconditional love and regard.

This room is the least affected of all the ones I entered last night. This building is rife with life; past, present and future. I can’t distinguish yet, who belongs where…

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Chapter 2~ Personal diary entry~ Simon

Originally posted on The Silent Angels:

Please read Chapter 2 here:

Simon’s Diary ~ Sunday August 3rd

Against my better judgement I have ended up in a room across the hall from Casey and Dez, in the ‘annex’ as they call it. I can’t hear them and they can’t hear me, (fucking hopefully) which is cool because as obsessed as I am with her right now, I don’t want to hear them having sex. I don’t want to hear how much she loves my best mate. I am burning up inside and I can’t seem to control how I feel about her. It’s against everything I believe in to supress my urges like this, but in this fucked up situation I can’t do anything else. She loves him, she told me. To her, that means everything. I told her that I needed to hear her say that she feels the same about me, and to…

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