Staycation 2013

My Seven-Day #Staycation

Galatsiou Av. in Athens, August 7, 2013, 19:25

Galatsiou Av. in Athens, August 7, 2013, 19:25

#Day 1 – Photography


#Days 2 & 3 – The Game

Now you might be wondering, two days for gaming? To be honest, it’s not nearly enough. A very big chunk of my free time is devoted to games; gaming is my second best relaxing activity, after a huge cup of coffee and a book.
I confess. . .I am a gamer. I’m thrilled at the idea of games of all kinds and the great worlds they invite us in. And don’t get me wrong, I love board games and puzzles dearly, but nothing beats the spectacular experience of a computer game.

Of course there are tons of games going around, of different genres and of variable difficulty and aesthetics, so to make things easier, I approach them as two big fun families: the Hogs and the Rpgs. As in every family, you get all sorts of characters; the Hogs (Hidden Object Games) have inquisitive minds, high concentration skills and a sense of adventure, while the Rpgs (Role Playing Games) long for action, interaction and exploration.
For this year’s staycation, I chose ”Hidden Mysteries: Notre Dame” and once again ”Morrowind” (creating a new profile, as a High Elf Sorceress!). Hopefully there will be enough material for four or five lesson plans for each (which I’ll publish later on).

I normally get my Hogs from BigFish Games, but GameHouse are a good source as well. ”Morrowind” and the rest of ”The Elder Scrolls” series are available everywhere and are, in my humble opinion, a great investment for educators.  Right, down to the game(s)…!

#Day 4 – Bookworm

bookworm ˈbʊkwəːm/
1. (informal) a person who enjoys reading.
2. (especially formerly) the larva of a wood-boring beetle which feeds on the paper and glue in books.
I relate mostly to the informal meaning, even though ”enjoy” cannot describe the feelings I get when reading. I love every little bit, from the smell and feel of a book to the undiscovered universe within it. Some books I read in their original language, for others I like to interchange between original and greek translation. I’ve read all my books at least twice, some more than four times, and every time there’s the warm feeling of familiarity and the intriguing buzz of something gone unnoticed before. But I love them all the same. And there’s always room for more, as many as possible.
A whole day of staycation is dedicated solely to my top favourite pastime and any interruption is strictly forbidden. Phones are off, so the pages can turn unhindered. And I’ve got quite a few pages to go through; 2096, to be precise, written by one of my absolute favourite novelists.

ChristinaC's ReadingRules

ChristinaC’s ReadingRules

It’s 06:00, 11/8/2013, thirty-four minutes before the sun rises on my very own Marian Keyes day. Mug and kettle are close by, food will be delivered at some point and the day will start with Lucy Sullivan‘s adventures in the very real world, then some Watermelon, followed by the sparkling Brightest Star in the Sky and finally, my latest addition in the Keyes bookshelf (the one nearest to the window), The Mystery of Mercy Close.
Lucky, lucky me.
P.S. – if you haven’t read a Marian Keyes’ book yet, please do. You won’t know what hit you.
#Day 5 – The geek
My early twenties could be described as the ”technophobe years”, but 2008 was a true turning point with my introduction  to Book Glutton. Really? Social Reading? Fantastic!
Screenshot by Travis Alber

Screenshot by Travis Alber

I think this made me realise how far behind I was and how much better everything, from catching up on news to having powerful and meaningful lessons, can become with a bit of ”tech” added to it. From that moment on, there haven’t been many parts of my life without some tech input or another, which might sound kind of weird, but it’s been really rewarding.
I took a big step a couple of years ago and started attending two design courses (Photoshop and Flash). Big step indeed. Tons of terms I’d never heard before, quite a few I was sure I knew but meant something totally different, plus physics and maths, lots of it. It was a remarkable challenge and I can’t believe I actually finished them. I’m no expert of course, but for some bizarre reason I still remember how to do things and can’t seem to stop now.

So, back to the staycation post. As I find learning new things extremely enjoyable, I was looking for a new challenge. I’ve had an idea for a mobile app at the back of my mind (box 564 – categories: tech, teaching, useful stuff) for some time now, but I’m faced with a problem: no clue on app development. Nowhere better to start than at the beginning, as they say, so a to-do list for today:

  • Storyboard App to narrow down options
    Now, this is tricky. Target audience? Freelance Teachers.  How many features must this app definitely have? Five. Any room for more? Possibly, but no more than ten. Multimedia/Animation? Yes. Connectivity? Yes.  Ok, move on to step two.
  • Tutorials on Mobile App Development
    I’m doing this primarily for me=I have an Android (to begin with)
  • Ask the experts – maybe a think tank?
    Easy, he’s in the kitchen and will have a lot to contribute. He won’t be doing all the work, I promise.

Hmmm, a good start.

#Day 6 – Crafts

Oh yes, a whole day crafting! Being able to create something all by yourself is just incredible. It might not be perfect, but it’s yours, it has your stamp on it. I’m truly blessed to have two great handcraft artists in my family and today is the day to exploit them! I got them over from the DekaTessera HQ for a private seminar on wire jewellery and they have already emailed me what I’ll need:



  1. Sterling silver wire (half-hard)
  2. Coloured copper wire ( colour of my choosing-I think sapphire blue, quite summer-ish)
  3. Assortment of beads (I’ve got some awesome rhinestones and a few Czech-glass ones)
  4. My tools:
    -Pliers (chain-nose, round-nose, flat-nose, gem-setting, cutting and wire-wrapping)
    -Wire gauge
    -Ring mandrel
    -Polishing cloth

Right, get crafting!
It’s early evening, I have a slight headache and can’t feel my right index and middle fingers, but I’ve got these two as well:



#Day 7 – The Tourist

Well, I’ve reached my last day of staycation. It’s been a busy and fun week and I have decided on the best way to close it: I’ll put on my tourist shoes, take good mood and good company along and go out to enjoy Athens.

-08:30, Syntagma Square. Hop on the Sightseeing Bus for the Red Route around Athens.

-10:00, back to Syntagma. Walk to Plaka, admire and ponder at the Roman Agora, have brunch at To Kafeneion and visit the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments.

-15:00, walk back to Monastiraki for some shopping. Apart from random little treasures, I’ll be stocking on books from the Palaiovivliopoleion on Astiggos street. Raki and mezedes time, at To Hani tou Othona.

-18:30, one last stroll, towards the Acropolis this time. I’ll hopefully be at the foot of the hill around sunset, probably with a cold drink at hand and reflecting on a full day around the centre of my beautiful, historical city.

Some pictures:

Some of my new treasures:


One thought on “Staycation 2013

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