I’m delighted to share blog space today with fellow dog lover and author, Jennifer Barclay. Jennifer now lives and writes on the Greek island of Tilos – an idyllic corner of the world. Over to you, Jennifer.
It was only once I started writing my book, Falling in Honey, that I realised how obvious it was that I had to come and live in Greece one day.
The story starts around my fortieth birthday, and charts two years of my life until I moved to the tiny Greek island of Tilos. (Clue: it didn’t go smoothly.)
Once I started writing, I remembered the dreams I used to have in winter, where I’d be walking across a Greek island, looking down into deep blue sea. I discovered a travel diary I’d kept when I was 11 of a family holiday to Corfu – my dad says for him the best times we had together as a family were the summer holidays.
I felt like I’d found home when I came to Tilos. I grew up in a village surrounded by the wild hills and moors of the Peak District, so I suppose it’s not that surprising, though the weather’s a little different here in the south Aegean. Being in the countryside is great for someone who sits at a desk all day – being able to shut down my computer and head out for a walk or a swim, with our half-Labrador Lisa for company.
I’ve been here for over two years and almost every day, I’m amazed that I live here. Still, I know I take some things for granted. I’m surprised when people say I write well about the colours or the smells or tastes of island life – I’m just observing what goes on around me, and I sometimes forget how magical it is.
The island’s got about 500 residents and I live in an ancient whitewashed village with tiny alleyways, my office looking out over a pre-Byzantine chapel. Walking the dog, inhaling the scent of sage and thyme bushes, I watch eagles circling above, and watch the playful goats. The bay of Eristos glitters below in the sunshine.
It’s easy to see where inspiration comes from. It’s sometimes hard to get the writing done, but that’s another matter…
Jennifer Barclay (@JenBarclayBooks) is the author of FALLING IN HONEY: LIFE AND LOVE ON A GREEK ISLAND, available in the UK from Summersdale and as an audiobook from Audible; and in the US and Canada from Sourcebooks from March 2014. Her previous book, MEETING MR KIM: OR HOW I WENT TO KOREA AND LEARNED TO LOVE KIMCHI is available as e-book in the UK and paperback in Australia from Wakefield Press. She works as a books editor (www.jennifer-barclay.blogspot.com) and tells stories of life on a Greek island at www.octopus-in-my-ouzo.blogspot.com.