Friday, 30 December 2011

A Very Creative Christmas in Athens

I was really looking forward to going to Athens at the end of December as I only had a couple of gigs and most of my time there would be spent relaxing in a very nice hotel.

I brought along my laptop to be able to keep up-to-date with emails etc and thought I might take a look at some old song ideas if I felt in a songwriting mood.   Well, once I arrived at the beautiful hotel in the suburbs of Athens and saw the breathtaking view from my window, instead of relaxing (as was my intention) I felt totally inspired and got straight down to work.  I went on to finish almost 7 new songs which along with one I'd written earlier, makes 8 new songs for my next album.  Very excited!  There's something about the sea that makes every part of my body just go "aaaaahhhh".  I don't know what it is but it makes me feel relaxed yet full of energy all at the same time.  I went for a walk along the beach one morning and wrote an entire song in 30 minutes.

I moved to central Athens after a few days and interestingly the feeling left me almost immediately.  I touched up a few lyrics but it felt nothing like the burst of creativity I'd had.  Something about the sea just does it for me.

Hopefully it won't be too long before I get some of those songs recorded but until then, here are some photos of that little corner of Greece that filled me with so much inspiration.

View from hotel in Central Athens.  No beach but still breathtaking!
Syntagma Square - Not sure what he's protesting about but he was very dedicated to his cause.

Trees decorated with cans for Christmas in Syntagma Square

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Tale of Three Cities: Hong Kong, Moscow and Athens

It's been a very busy month!  Three cities in 3 consecutive weekends.  Felt like a resident of Heathrow Aiport but luckily I quite enjoy flying and I absolutely adore travelling.  It was my first trip to Hong Kong and a welcome return to both Moscow and Athens - two places I'd visited earlier in the year. 

I'm going to back to Athens in 3 days and returning once again to Moscow in February.  What a lucky girl I am!

Hong Kong

View from the window of my hotel room - spectacular!

The first meal ended with mango pudding.  Was very excited to receive my first Asian fortune cookies...

... and loved the fortune I was given.  Hope it's true!

Hong Kong is shopalicious - but sadly there was no time for shopping.

Occupy Hong Kong!

View from the hotel's roof top terrace at sunset.  The HK skyline is absolutely stunning.

The final meal.  My pianist ordered frogs legs!  There was no way I would eat them but I was informed that they tasted like "chewy chicken".


View from my hotel room.  A grey day but not as cold as I feared.

The venue in a very upscale area in the suburbs of Moscow. Very plush!

The very imposing Ministry of Foreign Affairs building.  Just looking at it made me break out in a cold sweat at the thought of some Kafka-esque nightmare

Just opposite my hotel is what used to be the "Golden Palace Casino" but as all gambling is now banned in Russia, it's been transformed into a nightclub.  Tacky but I love its kitsch design especially the palm tree streetlights!


View from my hotel room

This suburb of Athens is by the coast and is absolutely beautiful

Sunset view from my balcony

A brisk afternoon walk by the sea - aaaah so peaceful

I love trees and thought these looked especially beautiful