Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Sailing Boats in the Distance

Shocking weather day today, so no good for photos! I have in my file this painting, which I think is fabulous. Unfortunately I don't have the artist's name, but I think the painting is just like my view some days when I strain my eyes to see the yachts, then remember I have binoculars!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Greetings from Spain

I had a nice surprise to receive emails today from not one, but TWO of from my english friends living in Spain: Rona & Rick in Marbella and Lesley & Ron in Javea. Lovely to hear from both couples, and of course on a windy wet day in Dubrovnik I began reminiscing about my time in sunny Mallorca. So, rather than dig out my many photo albums of Mallorca to post a "spanish photo" here are two photos of our clean and unpolluted Adriatic Sea.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sunday 29th March

Windy, rainy day today and very noisy with the sea pounding on the rocks below. We all can't wait until spring actually springs! Our clocks went forward last night, so will be lighter at night which is good, but would be nice to see sunshine at the weekend! Hopefully April will be better.

Dubrovnik Apartments

I spent a delightful afternoon yesterday with Michelle and Andrew, my American friends who bought a property here in Dubrovnik in 2006. They have created a successful business called Dubrovnik Apartment Source which has thousands of satisfied customers over the 3 short years they have their company. From studio apartments up to luxury villas with swimming pools they can find the ideal rental property for holidaymakers coming to Dubrovnik. It was great to catch up with all their news, as I haven't seen them since last summer. As if Dubrovnik doesn't keep them busy this dynamic couple also have rental properties in Prague.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Meeting Robert Dallas

I had the great pleasure to meet the famed architect Robert Dallas this morning as he walked into our office. Over the last 40 years he has become synonymous with his distinctive style of authentic houses created in the traditional provencale manner adapted to modern living. This style he is introducing here in Croatia as he has fallen in love with the country. His past clients have included Michael Schumacher, Sir Roger Moore, Rod Stewart and Sir Sean Connery.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

One Hour from Dubrovnik

Here is a nice memory from summer, photo taken by our good Azure friend Tomo. Ston is a settlement an hour from Dubrovnik, a great sight as you can see. The spring waters are ideal for growing the world famous mussels and oysters so you see the unusual growing beds floating on the water. The Peljesac Peninsula is in the distance, a remote area perfect for vineyards and the award winning wines. All an hour from where I live.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Grand Hotel Park, Dubrovnik

I was blown away today by the transformation of Grand Hotel Park, a 4 star hotel in Lapad, Dubrovnik which has been recently refurbished. The exterior is wow with lots of glass and the bedrooms (I always ask to check out hotel bedrooms, for research) have flat screen TV's, state of the art power showers and attractive room design. My mother, sister and brother stayed at the hotel over the years. always 6th floor, sea view - they would not recognise it now. The lobby and reception totally are different too. Well done. One to recommend for sure.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Very comfy cat

Took this an hour ago, when the cat was comfortably positioned between 2 cushions on the sofa. An uneventful sunset today with lots of mistral wind so not so great for photographing the outdoors. We're due 3 days more rain, what a wet winter!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Spring Cleaning Time

Whilst Edin is sailing in Rijeka today, I got down to spring cleaning - the windows. We have two side bedroom windows with a beautiful view to the island of Lokrum. During the summer we had Mari Cha IV massive sailing yacht - 140ft / 42.6m. So no photos of me cleaning, but here's a nice memory of the huge yacht through the window!

Saturday, 21 March 2009


Well I was hoping to wake up to skies like this today, for first day of spring (or was it yesterday? the meteorologists can't agree). But no, our temps have dropped and we have a chilly day ahead. The flowers on the market in the Old Town are so expensive, so thought I'd find a nice photo of daffodils instead.

Dubrovnik's Oyster Festival

Have been to the Old Town this Saturday morning and saw they were celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph. 10,000 fresh oysters from Ston were going to be available. Live Croatian music was being played together with samples of wine. As I had popped into town for a coffee, I didn't feel like eating oysters at 10.30am after coffee ... now perhaps it they were serving champagne...

Friday, 20 March 2009

OKA - inspired interiors and accessories

I'm pleased to see the Spring newsletter from OKA in my inbox today. OKA is a UK based interiors and accessories company, originally online catalogue but now with 12 shops. Although a tad on the expensive side for me I love their new outdoor living range. I can just imagine this funiture on one of my balconies though may have to settle for one of the above cushions though!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

How's the weather?

I took these today as I had a meeting at the Hotel Argentina and had to walk through the Old Town. Inviting sea! The sun came out and temps about 13 degrees (55F) or more. Hazy skies. Workmen are out on the beaches and restaurants gearing up for the tourist season which starts next month. Very pleasant day for 19th of March.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Long Lost Friend

I was over the moon today to receive an email from my good friend Melissa who lives in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, we had lost touch for years. I knew Melissa when I worked in Alanya, Turkey in 1993. Then when QE2 made a visit to Australia in 1999 we met up again. I have photos of Melissa back in the UK, so thought I would post a photo of palm trees of Townsville. Great to catch up! Hope we meet again in the future.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Dr Hauschka

I received today in my inbox the newsletter of Dr Hauschka, one of my favourite natural cosmetics. A small range is available in the Bio & Bio health shop here in Dubrovnik and actually is cheaper than in the UK, but prices are creeping up all the time.

Hotel Bellevue, Dubrovnik

Four minutes walk from home there is the sumptuous 5 star Hotel Bellevue. Refurbished a couple of years ago and now one of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels. All the staff are so friendly and service is excellent. Great sea views. The foyer is a stunning mix of dark wood, stone, leather and light blue, but the professional photographers seem to have missed this, so will go with my camera soon. Email me if you want a better rate than usual!

Monday, 16 March 2009


Suffering from "flu" today, so stayed at home. I felt something coming on for a week and so with itching eyes and face, not a good look for the office. Improved now. This is dawn from our balcony a couple of months ago, beautiful. Now dawn it about 6am and sunset is 6pm. Clocks spring forward on Saturday night so we will enjoy longer days.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

So what did you do this Sunday?

Have just come back from an exhilerating day on our friend's yacht. We sailed round the local islands and then for lunch on Kalamota, a car-free island near to Dubrovnik. Sails were up on the way there, with 10 knots of wind, but the wind died down for the return trip. Look at the weather today! 15th of March and it's fabulous - 14 degrees (57F). We had the Adriatic to ourselves, hardly any other boats around. Crystal, clear, unpolluted seas.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Los Azulejos Tequila

On our window sill we have some impressive tequila bottles. Edin's former Mexican employer had a business interest in Los Azulejos ("tiles") and gave Edin these two gorgeous bottles. The small sample one still has tequila in it.

Floral Petals

From the wonderful bouquet of flowers my client sent me two weeks ago (with a gorgeous card saying "to the best real estate manager in the world!") all that are left are these beautiful pale pink petals. Will see if they dry well. The deal has gone through, the contracts have been signed and Peter will take possession of a fabulous new apartment very soon.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Cool Wave

I look at all the gorgeous photos on my Canadian friend's blog House of Turquoise daily. Here, Erin introduced me to the stunning artworks of Charles Wildbank. I just love his "Cool Wave" artwork, and this fits my Azure theme perfectly. Coincidentally Charles was commissioned in 2004 to paint a mural for Cunard's Queen Mary, Cunard being a company I worked for for 5 years. Also he painted the portrait of David Hockney; I originate from the same city in UK as this illustrious artist and have posted his earlier works here 10 days ago. Now, how can I get my hands on a "Cool Wave"? Isn't it gorgeous?

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Mum's Birthday - 11th March

Special Day Today, 11th March, Mum's birthday! I called her this morning, but still she hadn't opened her presents at 9.30am. She receives about 30 cards every year; very popular! I chose a super gift online from Liz Earle, the UK based natural cosmetic company. They really make presents special with their gift wrapping & a joy for the recipient to open. I have used them for many years. Try them!

Signs of Spring

Today has been a shocker! Rain, heavy rain all day and loud thunder all morning! Enough to keep all 3 cats home. Such a contrast, as yesterday I took these photos and tomorrow is due to be the same. I was pleased to see my first daffodils and they made me smile as soon as I opened the gate. Lovely spring flowers in a spectacular garden.

Dubrovnik's Patron Saint

Here to show you the flags of St. Blaise, or Sveti Vlaho, the patron saint of Dubrovnik. Every year there is a festival in the Old Town with all the church flags and parades along the main promenade, or Stradun. This is held in February, so I am a tad late posting this, but good to see the photos again.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Before and After, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

I came to Dubrovnik for the first time on a 2 week holiday in 2000. We visited the hotel Dubrovnik Palace, which was then a ghost town. Evidence of the war was everywhere, with scrapnel on the walls, holes in the concrete, broken glass, grafitti ... the hotel had seen better days. To show the length of time the hotel had been derelict you could see palm trees growing on the balconies. It was an eerie feeling to walk around. In 2004 the hotel reopened as a 5 star under the ownership of Goran Strok (Donald Trump of Croatia). Transformation!