Our Holiday in Ciovo, Croatia – and ‘I Like Your Writing.’

All the world appears to mill around Gatwick. The stress is obvious, the security a necessity, the patience of everyone varied, the wait tedious.

It’s with great relief we settle into our seats on the plane knowing that, on our arrival in Split, we will be met by Mr V, the taxi driver, kindly arranged for us by the owners of  the apartment where we will be staying in Okrug Gornji: https://www.homeaway.co.uk/p443630

We are met there by Bozena, the owner’s representative who, despite having to wait for us to arrive over an hour late, due to the delay of the flight (it is past eleven at night), greets us with a wide smile, picks up my suitcase and almost runs up the thirty-two stairs to our pent house apartment. A quick tour around, helpfully explaining the air conditioning, shutters and lights and off she goes. We go out onto the balcony and wonder at the vast expanse of lights reflecting on the sea below us.

 - Night view

 

The sun, pouring through the window, wakes me at 5.30am.

I pull up the shutters in the living area and go out onto the balcony. Below, the red roofs of the houses contrast with the stark white walls. The clumps of trees that intersperse them, soften the lines of the whole village.The sun lights up the sea, revealing the shifts, the currents,  in the expanse of  water. In the distance I can see the mainland and the various blue-grey hills of the islands around us with the stretches of dark trees and pale shingle-edged inlets. Too much beauty not to share. I wake my husband.

 - Main balcony with 3 seater swing and sun lounger

 - Light airy lounge with satellite TV/DVD/CD player

 - View from bedroom balcony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our holiday begins with a stroll down through the narrow streets to the Mali Raj restaurant for a  tasty and  nutritious  breakfast  (this is a restaurant recommended many times in the apartments’ visitors book and we are to have most meals here throughout the week. None disappoint.)

Then a short stroll down to the harbour and a walk along the beach path. people smile, greet us, are friendly.

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A lazy day that ends with a glass of wine and a glorious sunset.

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On the second day we walk to Trogir; a walk along a busy road but with interesting sights to see; the buildings, the wild flowers, the gardens, the houses. It takes us thirty minutes and we’re glad to be walking on the long bridge over the water to the town to search out a refreshing drink in a cafe on the wide promenade.

Trogir is set within medieval walls.. The cobbled streets are fascinating; narrow, old buildings with Romanesque and Renaissance architecture  including a magnificent cathedral and castle.

Since 1997 Trogir has had World Heritage status.

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Later, before setting off on our walk back to  Okrug Gornji, we sit and enjoy a local beer at a bar by the water and near the busy, fascinating market.

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But before leaving, we stand and admire the yachts … and dream of winning the Lottery!
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The next day we go on a route march to Dango

The photos speak for themselves

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And we have a wonderful lunch at the Konoba Duga restaurant there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At night the heavens open… we have a glorious storm that lasts until the following morning

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The rain stops and we’re off walking again.

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Over the next three days  we explore the area in the daytime. At night we sit together on the swinging hammock on the balcony, reading and enjoying a glass (or two)  of wine until the light goes

It’s our last night. We enjoy the final sunset of our holiday

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Then:

‘I like your writing.’ he says.

We’ve known one another for almost fifty years, been married for forty-six.  But he’s looking at me as though he’s never seen me before.

He’s just finished the last book of my trilogy, Living in the Shadows. He sits back and says it again. ‘I do, I like your writing.’

I want to ask why but I know he thinks he’s said enough. And it is. He’s read all three books over the last week. I’ve not known him do that before, he’s a man who barely sits still, who loves being outdoors, loves walking. But we’re on holiday and we’ve walked during the day. In the evenings we sit and read on the balcony of this lovely apartment.

I hadn’t realise he’d brought the books with him; they’re the ones I’ve used when I give talks and readings and the first, Pattern of Shadows, is, after five years, looking distinctly tatty. I’ve said nothing about it even though it’s been hard not to watch him while he’s read; tried to figure out his expressions.

Pondering on his words later I realize why I didn’t ask him why he liked the books.  It’s enough he told me. There are times when we’ve been walking, or watching a programme on the television when he’s said,’you’ve gone again… you’re thinking.’ And he’s been right; I was writing in my head. And times when I have actually sat in front of the computer writing and before I’ve known it hours have passed. I’ve dragged myself away to make a meal, to see if he wants a coffee, to flick a duster around the rooms to salve my conscience. And I see him watching me as though puzzled.

The expression on his face makes me feel guilty sometimes. But not often. I wrote in secret for years. Sometimes for long stretches of time – but mostly – when life takes over ( work, moving houses, illness, the family, other commitments) – sporadically.

I’ve loved our life together. There have been many ups and downs, celebrations, disappointments, exciting times. There are not many things I would have changed – perhaps the petty arguments, the struggles in our early years when we fought to find our places in this thing we call our marriage. But those times passed and we made this ‘thing’ our own, learning from mistakes ( or making the same ones over and over again until they became a family joke/tradition/ something to be sighed over in resignation).

I know this man I met so many years ago. We were both hesitant in commitment, both lacking in confidence, both coming from parents whose marriages were acrimonious, where quarrels were never resolved.

I’ve seen him grow into the man he is and I know – I’ve always assumed – he knows me. We finish sentences for one another, I can be thinking, planning something we should do, and the next moment he says the words. We share the same sense of humour, laugh often. We make love – okay, not as often as thirty years ago but it’s not a bad record. (I’m hoping he never reads this post, by the way!). We hold hands when we walk, when we sit together. We know each other’s needs: a touch of empathy, comfort, sympathy, reassurance.We know one another better than we know anyone else in this world.

Yet, never before having read anything I’ve written, he’s now looking at me  as though he’s just had the answer to a question  that’s been hovering in his mind forever.

I like your writing ,’ he says again. He leans towards me and we kiss.

It’s enough. I know he understands why I need to write.

 

Links:

Amazon. co.uk

Pattern of Shadows: http://amzn.to/1OpM6TI

Changing Patterns: http://amzn.to/1PPmzki

Living in the Shadows:  http://amzn.to/1PWBLiV

Amazon.com:

Pattern of Shadows: http://amzn.to/1QyPHN6

Changing Patterns: http://amzn.to/1JOTMxc

Living in the Shadows: http://amzn.to/1PGK108

 

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42 thoughts on “Our Holiday in Ciovo, Croatia – and ‘I Like Your Writing.’

    • It is a lovely place, Colleen. I’m afraid I’m going to be even less visible for a while (and I will miss seeing/reading everyone’s posts.) But my WIP should have been finished months ago and the publishers won’t wait forever. I’m taking on more classes and workshops – so – together with going so often to be with my mother, something had to give. I’ll keep popping back every so often though Jx

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  1. This was such a lovely post, Judith. Croatia looks absolutely gorgeous, and the apartment beautiful and it seems, ideally situated.
    I also loved the tenderness with which you wrote about your husband. It seems that he now has a new understanding of you and why you write. It is lovely that you still have such a strong relationship after any years together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a real pleasure to have read a wonderful post you’ve shared not just of your holiday but also of your marriage, Judith. It was a delight to read and a true love story not just about writing, but also of a very loving relationship.
    Welcome home.

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    • Thank you, Tess. It’s exactly as the photos show – and such a relaxing place. We would have liked to have booked a fortnight but with things as they are with my mum, I didn’t dare. I wasn’t sure whether to add the postscript – it was just something that came to mind after I’d watched David reading my books, and after what he said. In the end I decided it just fitted the week and went for it. So glad you thought it okay. Jx

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  3. Judith this was a beautiful post. It gave me goosebumps. Thank you for taking us on your trip with us and the gorgeous photos. And I also want to say that so much of what you said resonated with me. My husband is my biggest cheerleader, although he really doesn’t understand my writing world. So it was just lovely hearing that your hub read your books and commented. 🙂 xo

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    • Thank you so much, Debby. That piece of writing came to me as we sat on the balcony overlooking the wonderful view and was a musing really. Wasn’t sure whether to put in in the post but it felt right there. It’s another world to our partners, really, isn’t it. But, even not reading any of my writing before, David’s always encouraged me. Doesn’t always understand when I stagger back to bed at four in the morning having had an idea for the book at eleven the previous night. But then I think that might just be my cold feet! Jx

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      • Well, it’s nice to know I’m in good company. It certainly is the pattern of a writer’s life. Inspiration strikes at strange hours. I tend to stay up late while hub goes to bed around 10pm. He always says, ‘Goodnight, see you at 4am’ lol, that’s his sarcasm and humour, although I’d never come in at 4, I’ve been known to at 3am 🙂 xo

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      • Love a sense of humour in husbands. Mine has now been snoring for four hours. Suppose I should go to bed as well now I have classes tomorrow. But I’ve managed two thousand word, Debby so well pleased. Night now. Jx

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      • Wow Judith, you’re a writing nightowl. I do my writing in the mornings. And of course, some greatest ideas come once I’ve comfortably slipped into bed. 🙂 Sleep tight! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent. I have a long suffering wife who puts up with my hours lost in a new book or screenplay. She understands that I’ll never write a Booker nominated literary novel but still enjoys my books, I think because she knows “my voice.” Reading a loved ones book is something I know can be awkward for partners. My children won’t read them, my son once said, “it’s wrong, urgh.” I know what he means. We open ourselves, expose thoughts and dreams, nightmares, hopes and fears that others keep locked away. Not easy for our family.

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    • I think you’re right, Nigel. the readers who actually know me say my voice is in their heads when they read. Personally I feel sorry for them – not sure I like my voice at all. But if hubby and friends like the books for that reason, that’s fine. And you’re right on the other count – all our hang-ups spill out onto the parer/screen. hard for family to read.Judith

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  5. What a lovely journal – on the level of both travel and intimacy with your husband.; and such beautiful holidays do that, don’t they.
    We had a cycling holiday to Croatia a few years ago and had a wonderful time.

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