Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Santorini Summer 2011, Travel + Life Abroad

Tell them …

I find, sometimes, it is rather difficult to write when I am on the island. You’d think, with the cast of characters and the cinematic setting, stories would abound. And they do. But when it comes to putting them all down on paper, I get stuck. I lie in bed at night and I think, ‘must write something tomorrow. But what?’ And then I stare at the ceiling for a little while, have a sip of water and start thinking about how I need to cancel my current health insurance and switch companies.

I suppose, if I am pressed to find excuses for myself, it is difficult to focus here. The weather is always perfect which makes one feel like they must be in it all the time. Particularly if one has been beneath grey skies for the past six months. Thus, typing madly in the shade with a cup of tea begins to pale in comparison to lying like a starfish under the sun and frolicking in the salty surf and suddenly, days have passed without the employment of a third of one’s mental faculties.

And strange, nay, interesting things happen everyday. As I type, behind me, one of a trio of beautiful women from Dubai, is having her right foot massaged by the resident beach masseuse, as she draws long, languid breaths from her personal shisha pipe. I never wanted this blog to be scrappy, daily, unstructured updates. It was always about fulsome, rounded, structured pieces. Ideally. (Whether or not this has actually been achieved is a different matter. The intention was there.) And, really, if I were to attempt to report on all of the odd occurrences – why just the other day, I found myself on the receiving end of an invitation into a swinging marriage – this blog would be filled with scrappy, thin, unstructured updates. And we can’t have that, can we?

Then I think, vignettes Liv! Vignettes are the answer. They’re quick. Intense. Involved. Informative. Rife with alliteration if I really let myself loose. I think, tell them of your tarot reading with Yolande, the resident woman-of-all-mysterious-trades who has a lover twenty years her junior and a penchant for vibrant scarves. Tell them of the cards spread on purple velour, the devil appearing twice, forcing Yolande to bathe the cards in the ocean and politely ask for some space from my ‘strong character’. Or tell them of the people you meet at work – the Australians who restored your faith in your own people. The hilarious British couple who can’t say no to shots after their second pint. The bizarre (yet strangely delicious) shot you all mixed up together in search of the ‘Jammy Donut’ they’d experienced in Essex. Of the man with the oversized bum-bag who danced so freely last night, so nimbly in his sling-back crocs, with such liquid movement, such disregard for rhythm and indeed public decency, you never thought you’d be able to breathe again. Or, tell them how you jumped off those rocks yesterday, the same ones from last year, but how this time you didn’t give yourself the chance to think about it, because that’s when you talk your way out of things. Or tell them how you learnt last night, finally, at the ripe old age of 26, that tomatoes in toasted sandwich retain heat like nothing on this god forsaken earth.

For God’s sake tell them something before your ideas curdle and your brain idles and you resort to stilted, chronological monthly essays that drag them through the minutae, in real time, because you don’t know where to begin and when you don’t know where to begin, you always begin at the beginning which isn’t always a very good place to start.

But it’s just so sunny … maybe a quick dip before work is in order … just a quick one.

*** Oh I have just been informed the woman having her right foot massaged is the boss. The other two beautiful women are her maids. Fantastic.


  1. Tristan Whitley

    3 July, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Liv, I envy you. Here i am sitting in a cold and dank office in Kirrawee having a quarter life crisis. I want to change, but I’m scared. If I leave this job, then what? I have the perfect opportunity to spend next year in Europe. Parents are going to be living in England (perfect home base), Philip is studying medicine for 36 weeks straight in Melbourne and I have no commitments here… well, with the exception of building a career. I’m scared that when I return to reality in Australia, I won’t have a job in an industry that I spent 6 years studying for. But what’s the point of building a career that i despise every second of? I guess I’m disillusioned into believing that there is a faint glimmer of hope that this job will improve. But what’s the point of living if you don’t take chances? You did and you’re exploring corners of the world that I could only dream of. What’s your secret?

    1. Liv

      4 July, 2011 at 7:55 am

      My love, the only thing I can tell you, is take the chances. There’s no other way to put it. There are no secrets, no books to read, nothing. The secret is to book your ticket and see what happens.

      When I graduated from my BA, I was 21. I saved up and took off on a 6 month trip and I remember thinking, at 22, as my trip neared its end, ‘oh God, what’s next, what am I doing to do with my life, what sort of career am I going to build, who is going to hire me, what if this, what if that …’ and I was 22. Why was I worrying about that at 22?

      What are you worrying about at 25? You have studied, you have work experience and you have your whole life ahead of you to build that career. What’s a year in Europe going to take away from that? Nothing. What it will do is add to it, in a way you never considered. The people you’ll meet, the things you’ll learn – about yourself and the world around you – are invaluable.

      The corporate world and the industry you’ve studied and worked so hard for isn’t going anywhere. You will return after 12, unbelievable months, and find work and it will be so simple, you’ll wonder if you were ever really away at all.

      You have the time, you have the opportunity. The secret is simply to say yes.

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