So let’s get on with the second instalment of “Kefalonia with teenagers.” The first week of our holiday flew by. For a change of scene, we hopped onto the ferry that trundled into the harbour every morning and headed over towards the mainland for an afternoon.
Prices were about 30% lower than in Fiscardo so we had an especially nice lunch and did a bit of kaftan shopping. The distinctive thrum of a Greek ferry engine transported me right back to my student inter-railing days when a group of us island hopped, sleeping on the decks of ferries overnight to save money on accommodation!
White Company gold lustre t-shirt; Boden chino shorts
As our villa was on the East coast of the island, we had spectacular sunrises but the sunsets weren’t as good. It was only a 10 minute drive to go over to the West coast and watch the night fall from a beachside bar.
(The youngest was directing me to try new poses as he said the old ones were getting boring)!
Hush Grecian dress; Zara sandals
You can tell by my face that I’m concerned that the ice is melting in my Margarita back at the table!
This bar is called Acqua at Alaties beach. It is number one on TripAdvisor for Kefalonia and is worth a visit for cocktails although I wouldn’t advise eating there. Mr MC lost the following day thanks to a rogue serving of sardines.
One of the things I love about having a family of boys is the easy banter. I often look around at families who have girls and see how different the camaraderie is. For us it centres around who can swim fastest / furthest / hold their breath under water for longest / dive from the highest rock / win the most board games and on it goes. It can be exhausting and it can also be very funny. These pictures sum it up and it’s what generally happens when you ask boys to smile nicely for the camera.
I scold Mr MC so the eldest takes over!
You may remember that one of the goals in my things to do before 50 post was to spend a day on a speedboat. It’s my absolute favourite pastime when we’re on holiday – this is as we set off, I’m sporting a newly purchased Greek kaftan along with the rose gold Havaiana sandals which were perfect for the pebbly beaches.
Kaftan bought in Greece; Havaiana sandals
We had a relaxing morning puttering around the North of the island, stopping at empty beaches that were accessible only by sea.
We motored round a few famous super yachts – here is “Sir” Phillip Green’s – this, by the way, is just one of two equally sized yachts that he had, there was a spare in a bay around the corner! We also saw JK Rowling’s which is even bigger.
Mr MC and the boys were off with their snorkels. Because of my shoulder injury (which I try not to moan about too often but I finally have an appointment with a specialist), it wasn’t easy to get back on the boat…
… so I spent some of the time with the eldest doing this.
After their day with the biologists the boys were able to identify what was endangered so knew what they could catch which included these beautiful starfish that they brought up to show me …
… and then released carefully back into the sea
We hit a choppy patch and the waves were so strong that a fish was washed on board to the youngest’s delight
We motored across to Ithaka for a souvlaki and calamari lunch and then spent the afternoon doing it all over again. We had a small mishap when we realised we were late back and Mr MC opened the engines without drawing the anchor up. It remains with the shipwrecks on the seabed!
Our last few days were spent between pool and beach. Here are a few more pictures of pretty Fiskardo
Another of our breakfast dates
Mango linen t-shirt; Boden chino shorts; Zara sandals; Boden clutch
We made friends with a family of cats who lived near our villa. Each one was named by the youngest, this was Sophia who seemed to sense a kindred female spirit and stuck by my side.
She was a cat with aspirations and was determined to be in the shot.
White company sleeveless wrap front cowl top (just released in this year’s colour); Hope silk trousers; Clarks jewelled sandals; Mulberry clutch; Lizzy O wrap bracelet
I awarded my best buy of the summer to this Hush frayed linen dress which was so easy to slip on over a bikini.
Hush frayed linen dress; Boden espadrilles; Boden clutch
The last couple of days brought me to the debate of whether or not to do swimwear shots. It isn’t something I feel especially comfortable doing but it’s crazy how we all suffer from body confidence issues so much more these days when the media bombards us with daily displays of perfection. It’s only when you go to a beach that you realise what different shapes and sizes we all are.
You soon notice that the most beautiful women there aren’t the most honed and toned – in fact they often look the most miserable, I suspect they’re hungry. The women who hold your eye are the happy looking ones who are just out there enjoying themselves. So I’m joining lots of other over 40 bloggers, everyday women who eat food and drink wine, who have done their bit by posting their unretouched bikini pics.
Fat Face bikini
Day two – when the boys felt it was all looking a bit too serious they decided to join in:
Boden swimsuit – now an absolute bargain in clearance.
Here’s last year’s shot while I’m at it so that you can see the subtle difference that the Coolsculpting has made to the area around my tummy button.
I know from the response to my post last year that lots of you feel you can no longer wear a swimsuit. The thing is that this sends the wrong message out to our children who feel so much pressure to look perfect. It’s really important that they can see that women’s bodies change over time and learn by our example that it doesn’t mean they should be hidden away in shame.
Joanna from Poppys-style always kicks the over 40 swimwear season off, encouraging us all to take pride in our bodies whatever their size, shape or age. Here’s her 2016 post. Whilst I was away, my friend Catherine at notdressedaslamb also wrote a post on wearing a bikini over 40 along with a link up.
Unfortunately because of the poor wi-fi I missed joining it but if you would like to see what other normal women of our age are wearing at the beach you can see lots of them here. In the end it was so popular that she has followed it up with another post here. There’s going to be a revolution I tell you – we’ll be wearing our bikinis in Tesco next (but avoiding the chiller aisle maybe).
So this brings us to our last night in Fiskardo. An excuse to dress up a bit…
Mango sequin top (now in sale); Mango maxi skirt (now in sale); Zara sandals; Mulberry clutch; Lizzy O bracelet
…and savour the last few hours with the boys before we all return to our hectic lives.
On our last day we spent a few hours in the capital, Argostoli, watching the loggerhead turtles pop their heads up out of the sea. I have come home feeling full of sunshine. I feel incredibly grateful that we had such a lovely holiday, nothing went wrong (as it sometimes does) and no-one fell out (as they sometimes do). I’m grateful that the eldest joined us, that we could go to such a lovely place and, well just grateful for everything really.
I’m going to bring our holiday to an end with one last Grecian reference – it’s one of the reasons I chose the villa that we stayed in. Every morning as I opened the French doors to our balcony, I looked out over Ithaka and thought carefully about this poem because it says all that ever needs to be said about an individual life really.
(If you aren’t familiar with it, there are lots of Homeric references but to simplify it, the Laistrygonians etc are symbols for pointless worries, verse 2 items are symbols of your physical, intellectual and sensual experiences and Ithaka, of course, is the end of your personal journey).
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbours seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
If you let that poem guide your life, you will always stay on the right track, making the most of your journey, not the destination.
The new season at Midlifechic
So now it feels as though we are wrapping up Summer. Autumn stock is arriving and hopefully we can all justify buying some new clothes. I have a few interesting projects planned so I’ll kick off next week with everything new, I hope you’re ready.
By the way if you were looking out for me on Instagram stories I apologise – I’ve seen so much nonsense on there I didn’t want to add to it so I thought I’d let it settle down a bit before I try it. I wish everyone in the UK a brilliant Bank Holiday weekend and everyone in the rest of the world a happy Friday. Do leave me a comment – just to let me know you’re still there.
Final summer sale update: Boden clearance has an extra 20% off until Monday here