Tagged: Greece

Nepotism x

The work of a musician revolves around people and communication, which means Covid has crippled the industry. However, nothing can stop the communication – for those missing their culture, my sister – Harriet Mackenzie, internationally renowned concerto soloist who has performed across five continents – is giving a special, hands on concert –

‘Thanks to all the wonderful people who supported my concert in November, I’m doing another concert online from here on 14th February! To thank my audience, it’s Audience Choice! Here are the options:

Another Solo Bach work- Another Baroque work such as Telemann or Locatelli 

An Ysaye Solo Sonata

a Contemporary work- Kriesler 

Recitative Scherzo Caprice

A solo Piazzolla Tango-

A Paganini Caprice

Another romantic work like the Paganini I played in November, which has accompaniment, but works well without it.

Massenet – Meditation, Ponce – Estrellita could work well?

a composition of my own- an improvisation
– my own solo arrangement of a jazz standard.- my own arrangement of a folk/world music melody, Kosmos style, but for solo violin.

Please do let me know if you have any preferences! – harriemack@gmail.com

Love from Spetses,
Harriet x ‘

For further details – click here – the info starts of with a bio of Harriet – you need to move further down this page to  find: 
Concert on February 14th at 8pm.  
Underneath this is  
– click on this to buy.
Once you have purchased your ticket you will receive an acknowledgement, a booking confirmation, with a code (booking reference) which you will need to use.  You can download this.
1 hour before your concert, you will receive an email through the address provided at time of purchase with a bespoke link and code to connect you to your concert experience. When it is time for your concert, all you need to do is 
click on the link sent to your email, enter your code, and enjoy!
The concert will be available to view for 48 hours following the performance, so you can even watch it twice if you wish or if you are unable to watch at the time you can watch later!!


Laters, Kate x

Marianna Leivaditaki x


Yesterday I had a look at the Toast website; like stepping into an indulgent shop where you know your senses are going to be softly stroked and where your shoulders always drop.  It’s not just the clothes, but the styling, the photographs, the rich vein of history and timelessness that runs through every piece, the pride and the quality.  I always look at their magazine, see what tasty morsels there are and low, behold, there was this article about the Head chef of Moro Hackney, Marianna Leivaditaki and her childhood in Crete.  It’s a beautiful piece and well worth a read, speaking an exotic language of freedom and hard work, of dreams and ambition.

(All pics Toast)


Marianna has a new cook book out, which after reading the article has found a place on my wish list (if there is one, slight criticism, its over the cover – all this rich history and the designers hand over a school text book? But maybe that’s just me) The book is full of stories, pictures and glorious recipes – and once again, there’s a sense of authenticity, the thread of time and a real beating heart.


For me, it’s a chance to taste and re-live the magical time we had in Greece this year. Something to cherish as the season changes.


Laters, Kate x

Greece 2018

What better way to embrace the autumn than with memories from the summer..the following are a few of the best from our soujourn in Greece where if there’s a theme running through it’s crystal water and the beauty of clouds. And the fact that for a whole month my kids only wore one swimming costume…


Laters, Kate x


There was a fire at Aghii Anargiri yesterday, the place in Spetses where my parents have their holiday home and where we just left last week.

To put the first picture into context, this is the view from the balcony.  The House with the awning is the same house with the awning in the fire picture in the bottom left corner…the fire came down from the hills on the left.  My mother was at the house – my father, sister, niece and three friends were all at another beach -Xylokeriza – they all made it to safety, though some with only the swimming costumes they were standing in.

There was a huge fire in 1990 that many of us remember with horror: Nothing can prepare you for the sound, noise, speed, smell. The difference with this fire was it started in the morning which gave the helicopters and water planes a chance. The downside was the high winds, ready to whip the flames back into action.


Today’s media update:

The wildfires on the Argosaronic island of Spetses and at Anavysos, east of Athens, were under control on Wednesday morning after a difficult night with strong winds that threatened to fan them further.

The forest fire on the southwest part of Spetses appeared to be contained by the dozens of firefighters on the island.

The fire broke out on Tuesday at noon at the forest near Aghii Anargyri, near the top of the island’s mountain, and headed west toward the beach before swinging south toward Xylokeriza. This is the same forest area that suffered from the 1990 wildfire. It has undergone extensive reforestation.

The few scattered holiday homes in that area were not damaged, thanks mainly to the rapid response of the local and regional fire service. Six helicopters and at least three airplanes contributed to the battle with the fire on the touristic island up to late in the evening on Tuesday. A helicopter and two aircraft resumed operations on Wednesday morning along with 70 men on the ground plus many volunteers.

The island’s mayor Panayiotis Lyrakis spoke of a possible arson, on which his deputy, Paraskevi Stofyla expressed her certainty.

Swimmers at the popular beach of Aghii Anargyri were evacuated with sea taxis as the flames appeared particularly threatening.

“The blaze passed passed by 10-11 holiday houses but fortunately there was no damage caused,” stated Lyrakis.

My family are now making their heartbroken way back to their house.  This was the stunning bay of Xylokeriza, where most of our group were swimming that fateful day.

This is it now.

Whilst grateful that lives are safe, all who know this place as a heavenly paradise will appreciate the sense of grief and bleakness to see it so ravaged and hurt. We await to see the pictures of our beautiful bay.


Laters, Kate x

Save the day..


When writing a post for this Blog, sometimes it’s planned – more often than not, it’s spontaneous and every now and then it’s fate.  This is a fate post – with a long list of things to do this morning, none of which I’ve managed to get done, I came to my keyboard late wondering what on earth I would write.  Then I opened up Heather Clawson’s post of the day from Habitually Chic and need, love and fate all collided.  Heather had posted pictures of a stunning house in Spetses from an article in Architects Digest which is telling as it was only last week we were on the island.  What makes it more poignant is that today is my parents 49th wedding anniversary and they are still out there…and there is nothing my mother likes better than a good nose around a house – this is for you mum – Enjoy and happy anniversary!

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Laters, Kate x

So Wright..


The news around the world isn’t great at the moment.  Condensed down, the underlying message I’m hearing is that big things don’t work (Didn’t we learn anything from the Romans?).  And yet the drive to continually make everything bigger and supposedly better runs deep, because if you don’t…you’re a failure; The economy has to grow, companies have to grow..countries, even religions all want to expand till they become these slow moving bloated beasts that eat up everything in their way, with no joined up thinking except feeding this thirst for size and dominance. It’s a big day for Greece today.  I don’t know what the right answer is..I’m not sure there is one, except maybe they should never have joined the EU in the first place. But it seems to me that things are becoming more and more about power plays than people.


Thank God for the whimsy of fashion….and the joy that is Linda V. Wright, former model and fashion editor, born in Texas but oh-so far removed from a rodeo riding stetson toting stereotype.


Now living in Paris and running her own shop, Crimson Cashmere,


She’s a lesson in graceful, chic yet expressive dressing.

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Like the world’s best perfumes, she’s layered in classics all with subtle, different flavours.


(All pics from pinterest)

You want to sit down with her at a striped bistro table in a busy Parisian street and ask, is this really all possible? Can life really be this easy? This sassy?

Laters, Kate x

Special Spetses x


This is where we’ve been, so this re-cycled post seems fitting..


My connection to the island of Spetses goes back two generations when my grandparents were first offered land there to build a holiday home away from the pollution of Athens.  They’d travelled to Greece from the highlands of Scotland following the depression – the story goes that my Grandfather, Robert Mackenzie, a Classics Scholar, was offered a job sweeping the floor of the EMI factory.  Something went wrong with one of the machines and he fixed it..and then rose quickly through the ranks to become managing Director of EMI in Greece at a very special time: it was the cheapest place in Europe to record and make records and consequently drew talent talent from across the board from the Beatles to Maria Callas.  My father was born there, although he was sent back to boarding school in the Lake District at aged five..it used to take him two days of travel by plane with a pit stop in Rome to get home, all in a converted Lancaster Bomber.


In my grandparents time, this house was the inspiration for John Fowles’s book, The Magus – he taught English at the once famous school (now a conference centre) on the island, said to be the Greek equivalent of Eton, he would walk all over the island in the quiet of the winter months in search of solitude and ideas.  The house was owned by an eccentric millionaire and was then (before the great fire: another story) hidden from view by layers of huge pine trees.  As a child, I went there for tea with my Grandmother to be shown faberge eggs and ancient seals.  I don’t remember it, but I do remember the millionaire ended up in jail for forging an ancient land deed..with a biro.


Just down the valley  is the bay where my parent’s house is…virtually unchanged. This picture is taken from the balcony of my sister’s parents-in-law’s house….Greece lies deep within the family blood and it’s special to have a proper Greek family that has linked the time and generations together.


My sister’s In-law’s house is next door to Madame Pourri’s on the hill – she’ll be ninety this year and is still going strong with a swim every day…….she was evacuated on the same boat with my grandmother and my father as a small child when the Germans invaded in the Second World War…first to Egypt, then eventually to South Africa.

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They spoilt us with a treat normally reserved for Easter…roast lamb..my absolute favourite!

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Bella and Charlie are now the third generation to enjoy this special place and it’s unique atmosphere, where even walking on water is possible…


Spetses is famous for it’s pine tress, crystal clear waters and the coloured stones on the beaches: yellow, green, pink..each one a gem.


It’s very much an Athenian resort island with a siren call to all the big yachts of the Mediterranean and a play ground for the super rich….but always over seen by Laskarina Bouboulina…an incredible lady with seven children from Spetses who became an General of the Greek fleet and an Admiral of Russia and led the Greek navy in the battle of independence against the Turks….Greece will always be a land of beauty, mystery and contradictions where anything..absolutely anything is possible…



Leaving, as we arrived on a speed boat – we were all sad to go, but we had another adventure ahead of us..to the island of Lefkada…and we’ll be back….it’s only au revoir..


Laters, Kate x

The Final Hurrah!


Seems a shame to let them languish in the photo library, so – ‘ello sailor! here they are…the last chapter of Greece 2015 starting with standing on the beach, ouzo in hand, looking back to Leonidio..


Walking back to my parent’s house.


We’d timed our return well..the figs were now ripe!

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We travelled to different beaches..I was the one running behind. Not.

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Spetses is renown for it’s clear waters..I have yet to find a place to compare.


Charlie got obsessed with fishing!

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Success! (There is the world’s smallest fish inside his pot..)

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Tiger shark!

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For our last evening we were joined by my sister and her daughter, Bea – a much-loved cousin, who were just starting their holiday as we were ending ours.

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Sitting on the wall, saying goodbye and waiting for the bus to take us to town – the first stage of the long journey home.

It was a fabulous holiday – and all those concerns we went out with based on the reports in the UK media were totally unfounded – Greece is staggeringly beautiful country with so much to offer in terms of beach, food, hospitality, history and more besides.   Now they need all the tourists they can get – if you get the chance, go! – it really is the garden of the Gods.

Laters, Kate x