Friday, 17 May 2013

Planning afoot!

Well it’s now under a week until I fly off to Crete with my mother in tow. Today was spent finalising my decisions about how I want to spend those first two weeks and picking out accommodation. It takes a surprising amount of mental energy to plan that kind of thing out, especially when you’re thinking about places you’ve never been and a climate that differs somewhat to the one you’re currently in. I’ve had to try and guess at when I’ll want days off, assume that places are as interesting as I’ve hoped, pray that they aren’t more interesting and I don’t end up wanting to spend more time there than I’ve allowed for. As it stands I have the first fortnight planned and hostels booked.

The last twenty days, the ones I’m planning to spend in Turkey, are still only ideas. As helpful as the internet is, it’s still not perfect, which is surprising and frustrating. Fifty years ago this kind of a trip would either have been much more expensive because I’d have needed to pay a travel agent vast sums of money to use their many contacts and years on the job to book accommodation and transport in advance; or much more of a jump into the unknown, take a chance and blind adventure style of thing. I’m not sure I’d have been brave enough to do that, I’ve been able to read reviews of how the breakfasts are in hostels that were written last week and decide where to stay based on that. 

The other thing consuming all my time, is thoughts of packing. I’ve got the clothes pretty much sorted I think, but the shoes! Good lord, choosing shoes hasn’t been nearly as fun as it would usually be. I’ve been trying to be eminently sensible about it all, picking comfortable flats and allowing for the fact the heat will probably make my feet swell up a size. Sensible is tedious. Also, my feet are a size 6.5/7 to start with, I don’t own any footwear you could classify as dainty yet I’m going to be partnering these shoes with floaty dresses and wide brimmed sunhats. The chunky soles and wide straps necessitated by the heat seem utterly incongruous. 

Oh well, they’re bought now. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hello there!

First a note of explanation: I’m a Classics student which means I spend a thoroughly disproportionate amount of time thinking about fairy tales and life two and half thousand years ago. The title of my blog comes from a short ditty I penned about a year ago, one that goes something like this:

Hungry, hungry Harpies,
Hungry, hungry Harpies,
They're stealing food right out your mouth,
They're torturing the dead souls,
They're hungry, hungry Harpies.

Hungry, hungry Harpies,
Sexy, sexy Sirens,
Hungry Harpies, sexy Sirens,
Battle to the death!

I have a soft spot for harpies, the Greeks essentially came up with a mythology for evil seagulls stealing their picnics (hence the hunger). Also my boyfriend calls me his little Harpy. I choose to believe this affectionate nickname is in reference to the original harpies who were beautiful, winged women with lovely hair; not the ugly, malformed creatures they became later on. Please no one try to take this delusion away from me.

So… Ancient Times.

I’ve been a history geek for as long as I can remember, it seemed to have more day to day applications than Maths and my parents didn’t do much to discourage the obsession.

When I was twelve I started taking Latin in school, I was awful at the actual learning of any language (as I’m sure my many long-suffering French teachers could testify) but Latin was exciting in a way French wasn’t. It was a dead language but one that we still use. And it was filled with history; our textbooks didn’t follow a fictional family around while they did things the editors had decided were ‘cool’ and ‘relatable’ like in French. They bought slaves from the market, escaped pyroclastic flows and went to war against wild Celtic women.

In a few weeks I’m going to be twenty two and just before that birthday I’m flying out to Greece where I will, for the first time, visit lots of the sites that I’ve spent the best part of a decade reading and dreaming about. I’m very excited.