Wilf & Pam Burgess at Pamela's House, Astratigos, Kolimbari, Nomos Chanion, North West Crete.

The Mediterranean sea...
 Two Million five hundred thousand square kilometers (970,000 sq miles) of sun kissed ocean, lying like a huge, turquoise/indigo blue pond bounded by the coastlines of Southern Europe, Asia and North Africa.

The Coastlines of no less than 14 countries whose names list like a whose-who of the world's hotspots. Greece, Turkey; Syria; Israel; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Egypt; Libya; Tunisia; Algeria; Morocco; Spain; France; Italy; Yugoslavia and Albania.

When I was growing up in the UK the 'Med' meant the South of France, Spain and maybe Italy - anything further was the stuff of books, films, romance, danger and excitement! Living in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean, on Crete, just wasn't real. Casablanca was a film. Egypt was pyramids. Saudi Arabia was Laurence. Athens was a place on the radio dial and names like Tel Aviv; Cairo; Alexandria; Benghazi; Tripoli; and Tunis meant sand, soldiers, WWII and, for the very adventurous the French Foreign Legion..... We British were conquering adventurers. But the only way for most of us to see the world was to join the army.. Or the navy... Or the air-force.... Or emigrate to Australia!

Renovating a house and living on Crete was not even an impossible dream. While Freddie Laker opened up 'cheap' package holidays to Spain, I was re-building an old Royal Enfield motorcycle on which with a friend was used to tour northern Europe. That was 'cheap'. It was 1961. The 'med' was still the 'med'. A house on Crete was still unthought of. Two lifetimes away. Thirty years in fact. 1991

And by that time it had all but fallen down......................

Ruined house, Astratigos, Nomos Chanion, Crete. House ruin, for renovation, Astratigos, Chania, Crete.