Magical things are patient


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“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”~

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Omnia magica Ikaria
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Dear readers,
you are certainly familiar with the aforementioned quote. It’s usually credited to W.B.Yeats, however, that’s not true. The famous sentence was written by someone who was amazed when he saw for the first time through a magnifying lens the astonishing details of a beautiful wild flower! Therefore, let my blog article be for you today that magnifying lens. Through it you will be able to see some tiny beautiful details and short elusive flashes in the monotonous everyday life of our island. I’m talking about the small, rare and hidden picture instead of the big one -the one which tourism lately has turned into cliché. Let’s save ourselves from that by putting out some powerful subjective worldviews! As my friend Nana whose article I am copying here, says, this is about a…

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Afternoon in the desert of ravens 😳 by Nana Agrimi on Flickr
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«A parallel reality: a collection of special moments recorded through the years and stored in our blogs and Flickr streams, from surreal alienation to oddity, from encounters with animals to performances and improvised rituals, from riddles and witchcraft to extravagance, provocation or simple pleasurable moments and postcard-like snapshots, that’s my way to celebrate Dodecaemeron, the Greek 12 festal days of Christmas and New Year, when earth and skies merge, as they say, and daily toilers like us should stop and rest and say to themselves…»

[read more…]In Nana to agrimi's blog: 'omnia magica'

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~~p.s. A friend asked why these pictures aren’t uploaded to Flickr. One answer is that many of them would create unwanted activity. The main reason, however, is aesthetic. As I’m saying in a comment under my snapshot of Nana’s post on Flickr, first and foremost this thing should be seen a whole.
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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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When I am tired of the world


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  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Woman in Ikaria

(cropped from source)

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You know, the last thing Ikaria is known for is church life and monasticism. The people are very religious in a natural, casual way, indifferent of formalities, nevertheless always showing a sincere and full respect of higher forces which control our destinies. Whether one believes in the salvation of the soul or not, religion provides consolation because, salvation taken apart, it does speak about the soul while economics do not. And believing in the soul, the existence of a soul, whether this soul is immortal or not, is something very important in the life of the island. Religion also provides occasions for celebration and community gatherings. It also offers an explanation for natural things as well as for «luck» : God’s will. And natural things and lucky or unlucky circumstances are also important elements in the consistence of Ikarian life. To cut this short, we have churches – a lot of big and small churches. They are, so to speak, our guardians, houses of God, houses of the spirit (soul) of the community: «be good and be good to each other» (be good to God).


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Out of the world : Ikaria
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But what about monasteries? Thereupon we are a failure. Although there are a few monasteries, there is no monastic tradition in Ikaria, at least none as strong as in some other islands. In my opinion, besides our natural dislike for discipline and formalities, the most important reason is that the island is poor and cannot sustain monastic communities. The rocky soil produces hardly enough for the population so the Ikarians, even though devout believers, could not afford, so to speak again, professionals in prayer,  experts in salvation. Like everything else in Ikaria, the tending of the soul had to be done by the poeple themselves with the occasional help of an educated priest or solitary monk.


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Mt Atheras, south side
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Yet, there are exeptions. If monasteries didn’t thrive, small hermitages were abundant in the slopes of Mt Atheras. But let’s not think that these retreats were inhabited by anchorites who pursued unification with God like in Mt Athos or Sinai. Though little is known about the lives of these people, it’s obvious to me that they were more or less ordinary men and women who either by some misfortune or simply because of taste, discarded the joys of the marital bed and the comforts of village and family life. They walked away from the world, seeking solitude, entrusting their fate to their labouring hands, to good God and to Mother nature. I am all respect for them. It’s hard to believe that in am island as virgin and wild as Ikaria and in a time when most settlements were of the kind of «lost villages» (see, entry),  there were people who sought even more solitude and peace! Out-of-the-worldness must be some sort of second nature to us. The outer the better, the further the better, the remotest and most inaccessible is the best, ask my friend Nana & co about it!

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My illustrated comment in Nana's blog entry : Cozied UP
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Anyway, this entry was not meant to be a dissertation of the religious ethics of the Aegean. I have come to Ikaria for the winter and recently my friends, the explorers of OPS Ikarias, in the course of a project to create a long-distance trail from one side of the island to the other, have been in love with a wild area under the tops of Mt Atheras where according to local legends various groups of monks lived in different periods of time from the 15th century to the 1800s. I saw the photos and I found these landscapes absolutely enthralling.

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the cliffs under the plateau
view from the trail
South side: Rocks and land erosion two mt tops 1033 alt Big Boulder Hammer Hammer 2

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General view of 3/4 of the island Agios Theologos high piles tree  through the cliffs to the river waterfalls
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What made men and women walk out of the world and settle in places like this? What kind of experiences were they after? Were they looking for God? Did they want be gods themselves? Was it because of a practical reason such as piracy, oppression, social disorder and percecutions? Or is it something inherent to the human nature? Escapism? Some people just drop everything and go?.. Is that it? 🙄



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tree under the wind rock formations 2 dining room of the monks  view to the sea looking back at the heights   General view landscape Cliffs of Ryakas the entrance to the canyon
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passage 4 the passage 2 rock formations 2 rock formations 5 Rocks in Erifi Afternoon on Erifi mt plateau
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I have always been too committed to everything I do and to everybody I love to even think about escaping. But as I am growing older, sometimes I am tired of the world and this makes me wonder. Until I sort this out, you take a good look at those rocky wildernesses. Take a good look at those vast views to the mountains above, the sea straight ahead and the skies all over. I am inviting you to find your answer.

  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  

 

 

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The Two Sides


Panigiria :: Kirchweihfeste in Griechenland Maison Ikaria 01

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Dear readers, hoping that you are familiar with my idea of presenting selected material about Ikaria loaded on the internet by bloggers, photographers and writers, I am proudly presenting to you today in an interesting collation the works of two women photographers, Kerstin Hehmann from Germany and Isabelle Gressier from France. Unlike Zdeněk Senkyrik from my previous entry, whose photos are carefully set with an emphasis on landscapes, Kerstin and Isabelle come with ‘snapshots‘, the one of happy people who dance in various summer festivals and the other of silent buildings, isolated or deserted houses in wintry landscapes. It was my fancy to put Kerstin and Isabelle’s very dissimilar photos side by side in this entry. I wanted to make a point and I am very satisfied of the result. I hope that you too, my dear readers, after a little bit of thought, will be able to see the connection.

Panigiri Gialiskari 02 Maison Ikaria 02

raches 04 Maison Ikaria 03

Raches 07 Maison Ikaria 04

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Raches 08 Maison Ikaria 05

Piperi Ikaria 01 Maison Ikaria 06

Tsifteteli 11 Maison Ikaria 07

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Langada 17 Maison Ikaria 08

Langada 20 Maison Ikaria 09

Langada 21 Maison Ikaria 10

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Langada 24 Maison Ikaria 11

Langada 25 Maison Ikaria 12

Langada 26 Maison Ikaria 13

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Agios Dimitrios 06 Maison Ikaria 14

Raches 09 Maison Ikaria 15

Raches 12 Maison Ikaria 16

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Langada 27 Maison Ikaria 17

Raches 03 Maison Ikaria 18

Ladies 05 Maison Ikaria 19

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Dear readers, you haven’t grasped the connection yet? Here’s another dozen of collated shots 😳

Raches 15 Maison Ikaria 22

Langada 18 Maison Ikaria 23

Langada 22 Maison Ikaria 24

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Sitting lady Maison Ikaria 26

Gialiskari 06 Maison Ikaria 27

Langada 29 Maison Ikaria 28

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Does this picture by Kerstin of a valley lost in the mountains which doesn’t see a living soul for months and suddenly it’s stuffed with cars and people for no apparent reason, help you understand? I suppose not 😳

Langada 01

Dear readers, this is stuff to talk about for hours and maybe also make a book of. It’s our beloved ikarian enigma and I won’t bother you with it anymore.  But before I let off, allow me to suggest to you to read the following parts of an interview by Nikos Dayandas, the maker of  «Little Land», about his experiences in Ikaria. Our friend Elina found it, chose the best parts and added them in a comment under my entry about this great documentary. Here they are translated in English. This interview does not solve the riddle of «The Two Sides», yet it’s a few steps to the right direction. It’s one of the best and shortest descriptions that I have ever heard or read about life on our island.

That’s all from me for now, goodbye. The micro goes to Nikos ^^’

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Τι ν’ αυτό που το λεν’ Ικαρία;

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«Going there I realized that the island was full of young people who were indeed non-Ikarians or they were Ikarians who hadn’t been born or lived in Ikaria.»

«There is no local who doesn’t do two or three jobs at the same time; from a little garden near his or her house to the beehives at some distant hillside; from a sour cherry orchard in a field to the sheepfold in some place near.»

«It’s given that they work very hard. They just have this particularity that they do everything in their own time, everyone in his own clearly personal understanding of when is the right moment to do something.»

«When you are there, you do get the feeling that things really are a bit slower. You are surrounded by a strange calmness, everything is peaceful, the people are mild too. In Crete, for example, Cretans are intense characters. Cretan music is fast, their drinks are very strong. The Ikarian culture on the other hand is different, milder. It’s the sound of the little violin, their dance is a slow circular dance, they add water to their wine…»

«When you arrive there, your first impression is, first of all, the nature and its wildness. You see right away that the place hasn’t been developed

«You, know, because I have studied archeology, the Ikarians in many aspects remind to me of the Ionian civilization, they have almost ancient Greek tendencies. Everything they do, their pace and their activities are «all in good measure«. Or like a granny says in the film, life goes like a circle from good to bad and back again. This is, let’s say, the Heraclitean «everything flows«. The way they see things is founded on some basic ideas which are deeply rooted in Greek philosophy, even though they aren’t themselves necessarily aware of the fact.»

and the best (according to Elina and of course I agree!)

« … Ikarians also had another particularity in their society. The island has always had a liking to Communism and because the local communists had a very hard time with persecussions and exiles, after democracy was restored in 1974 the people started to reward them with mayoral posts. This is the political dimension of the mysticism of the place. So for several decades you had KKE partisans fixed in public posts through which European Union funding came and every time they said: «Leave it. We won’t take it!» They wrote all that on their balls, something that may have seemed criminal at that time, however today you can say that they may have been saved exactly because of that. Because it’s a place that hasn’t changed

 

😛


Reblog : Περίπου το 30 π.Χ.



  Δόξα! Δόξα!
Σήμερα Πρωτη του Καλοκαιριου και ενω οι λέξεις-κλειδια που οδηγουν στα μπλογκ μας μαρτυρουν ότι παρα πολλοί ανθρωποι ψαχνουν πληροφοριες για καμπινγκ στην Ικαρία, εφετος η αγαπημενη μου Νανα δεν νοιαζεται για «τις αναγκες του κοινου ενοψη του Αυγουστου» (♦). Φευγει πιο περα, μακρια. Δινει το στιγμα της, δημοσιευοντας το…  


Περίπου το 30 π.Χ.

. «Εδώ λοιπόν που λέτε είχαμε εκλογές και κυκλοφόρησε κόσμος και αν και δεν δυσαρεστήθηκα με τα αποτελέσματα, δεν την γλύτωσα και μελαγχόλησα όπως πάντα το παθαίνω με την πολλή πολιτικούρα. Ευτυχώς όμως γελάσαμε με το … (διαβαστε περισσοτερα)

Με τετοιο πνευμα, τρελη διαθεση και πολλη δουλεια…

ΚΑΛΟ ΚΑΛΟΚΑΙΡΙ!!!


(♦)Παρολα αυτα, αγαπημενοι αναγνωστες, επειδη δεν θελουμε να γινουν ποτε ξανα

http://worldwideeyes.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/freecamping_stiker.gif?w=315&h=221 αυτα τα πραγματα
η προταση μας για να κανετε καμπινγκ στην Ικαρια βρισκεται στο

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Paper Island


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Why some islands are not just islands?

Why can some islands be both real and fictional?

Why do some islands attain a second life in literature?

What do some islands seem to attract big ideas, illusions and dreams?

Why are some islands, more often than others, chosen as sceneries of tales of escape?

Why do some islands appear in novels, satires, utopias and moral tales, more than other islands?

Why some islands, besides being made of rocks and soil like all islands, can also be, as I am calling them, paper islands?

First pages of Jesuit Johann Bissel's satirical novel of 1637 with engraved allegoric title and engraved utopian map of Icaria with imaginary names of cities, rivers, etc.

I say, the more an island is an island, the more it makes you dream

Because democracy is no good in dreaming, we can say it loudly :

  Some islands are more islands than other islands

«The élan that draws humans toward islands extends the double movement that produces islands in themselves. Dreaming of islands – whether with joy or in fear, it doesn’t matter – is dreaming of pulling away, of being already seperate, far from any continent, of being lost and alone – or it is dreaming of starting from scratch, recreating, beginning anew. Some islands drifted away from the continent, but the island is also that toward which one drifts; other islands originated in the ocean, but the island is also the origin, radical and absolute.»

Gilles Deleuzes 

I have found the words of this contemporary French philosopher through a comment by a learned person in Kristin’s blog or Mararoa’s blog which unfortunately I am unable to spot now. That comment linked to a chapter of the glorious wikispace «Dream Islands» which I think, sustains and explains my humble thoughts herebefore. That chapter is entitled:

Scope of Islands

Island as a ‘catch-all’ concept

After Deleuzes’s quote it goes:

«Islands burn into the minds of children from an early age. They emerge in the first literature where they are prominent in Homer’s Odyssey, and Plato’s island of Atlantis is perhaps the most famous mythical island of all time. The seclusion and autonomy that an island suggests has nourished the literary imagination for millennia, but the island setting as a site for the spiritual, emotional, or psychological transformation of human character has remained a constant in Western literature. The Greeks were the first to develop the island-book as such, but Roman writers showed much less interest in insular themes. On the fringes of Europe, Island stories were generously developed in the ‘imrama’, which were medieval Irish accounts of mythical Atlantic island voyages of chiefs and saints.
From Homer to Charles Kingsley the island narrative..

The other chapters of Dream Islands are very enlightening too. Notably :

An antidote

«Islands are no longer bound up so immediately with a self-sufficient agrarian life, its rituals and the cultivation of social solidarity. They instead begin to function as an antidote to the increasing division of labor and social stratification of the mainland. For modern islanders their environment functions as a vehicle for the display of individual temperament, talent, and interest, which runs against the grain of a standardized mainland global consumer culture. Islands therefore become loci of the impress of distinctive personality, interest, and emotion in sensuous production. In particular, they often function as a font of individual artistic production compared with the old rituals and epics, such as the poems of Homer, primeval biblical history and the Icelandic sagas, which linked everyone to common ways of life.

An important resource for modern islanders is nature. What we seek on islands is what we love in nature. Friedrich Shiller described…»

Classification of islands

«A dream island is a distinctive and desirable place to be, which is defined within a physical, cultural, administrative, biological, mental, or virtual boundary. It is likely that most people’s dream islands would fall within the physical, administrative and biological categories.»

(Don’t miss the link to «Cultural Islands» )

 Islands – poetry and art

«Paradise or Purgatory, Heaven or Hell, islands leave no one indifferent – and least of all the world’s artists, poets and writers, musicians and scholars, as reflected in the sampling the following links : Writings and Art

Unfortunately the link to the last chapter «Islands as Utopias» is no more valid. Instead, I am giving you a link to the standard Wikipedia :

List of fictional islands

That was all on the subject and I think it wasn’t too little. Read about one of the oldest ideas in the world and be inspired. But some day leave the paper behind and follow the dream to find out what truth there is to it. Defy the distance and sail through the shoals and the booming high surf.

A real island may be waiting for you thereafter and therein.

Ikaria, October 26, 2013

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No Gas Til Tuesday (2)


_Blog Review Ikaria 2012 # 10 The Explorers (1b)_

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Hello readers!

I hope that some of you are by now familiar with my idea of reviewing a selection of blog entries about my island. I also hope that my most faithful followers have read «No Gas Til Tuesday (1)» -the first part of selected entries from an entire blog dedicated to living in Ikaria written by jandcfox. Jackie has been undoubtedly the best of that category of bloggers who I have decided to name «Explorers». Don’t misunderstand me; there have probably been a lot of people who have taken risks and had many interesting adventures in Ikaria. The difference with Jackie is that she shared her experiences with the world. And she did this through a well-written and frequently updated blog wonderfully enriched with many great pictures!

I am a mother of three and a teacher by trade. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and now, my family lives in Lancaster, PA. For the next year we are going to live in the village of Karavostamo, Ikaria, Greece. My philosophy on life? Check things off of your bucket list! What are a few things on my bucket list? Speak greek fluently Live in Greece Enrich my children’s lives

We are in the middle of September so time falls right for the second and last part. It is about living in Ikaria «off season» when the island empties from tourists, visitors and relatives; that is, living in the Ikaria of the all-year-long residents, which, some say, is The True Ikaria

What was it like? Has she won the bet? See for yourselves. Read my selection of blog entries of Jackie in Ikaria, September 2012 – June 2013

(As always, a selection of the blogger’s own words appear when you move your mouse over the highlighted links and photos. VERY USEFUL TO HASTY READERS!)

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Until Next Year! Και Του Χρόνου!

Indeed, these people have set a good example. Yes, a good example.

How unlike me, that’s all I have to say, and that says it all.

Note : As I have said many times before in my reviews, comments and credits should be adressed to the bloggers, not to me! As far as I am concerned, all I want is to send more readers to these amazing people -my explorers. All I wish is that my choices are good.

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No Gas Til Tuesday (1)


_Blog Review Ikaria 2012 # 9 The Explorers (1a)_

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Are done with the longevity thing yet? It seems so. At least I didn’t hear they wrote «WELCOME TO THE ISLAND OF LONGEVITY» on the wavebreakers or the air control tower. I think the noise is dimming to something like «Ikaria is a special, ancient and very natural island» -something that makes more sense, don’t you agree? No problem with anthropologists, it’s been ages since we boiled one in our cauldrons…

cauldron

Yet, in my opinion, our «special, ancient and very natural island» calls more for explorers.

Our explorers are usually careful not to project their own realities over a place and many are those who devote a lot of time and energy to search every pocket and fold. Our explorers take risks. Some of them too, the most admirable, share their adventures with you and me on the web. That kind of people I had in mind when I started this set of blog entries. Thinking about it, I could have just reblogged, but no, I said. I believed that my first champions, Danae, Ikaroia, Jernej and Johanna, deserved more than to recommend a link and perhaps also decorate it with a sample photo. Since then, several tributes have been paid and now, five years after, the experience has expanded. Don’t ask me how, yet it’s a fact. Some of of my explorers have chosen to live on the island!

Dear readers, today I am proudly presenting to you Greek/American Jackie, author of nogastiltuesday, who decided to leave the States with her three children and live for one year in Ikaria, the island where her father was born and has a home.

I am a mother of three and a teacher by trade. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and now, my family lives in Lancaster, PA. For the next year we are going to live in the village of Karavostamo, Ikaria, Greece. My philosophy on life? Check things off of your bucket list! What are a few things on my bucket list? Speak greek fluently Live in Greece Enrich my children’s lives

Don’t say you weren’t puzzled by the strange name of her blog? The explanation is in one of her first entries, also pinned also at the top of her home page. The point is that instead of being daunted by that good example of «greek ways», she was challenged and some years later she came looking for more. She came to understand. Explore and understand the land, the people, the culture, the nature, everyday life, the four seasons, the weather, the language and so much more. Explore, understand, appreciate and teach her three adorable children to appreciate as well.

I am a mother myself so I am familiar with the task. However, I shouldn’t identify and add my personal touch. I’d rather let Jackie speak on her own through the entries of her wonderful blog that I chose for you in today’s review.

«No Gas Til Tuesday» comes like a diary. In an experiential and direct way, Jackie writes often twice and three times every week and that over a period of several months! And I am not counting the bulky comment exchange under each entry! It would be impossible for me (and probably for WordPress) to load all the entries I have chosen in one page. Perforce I have divided the material in two parts: The first part (1a) is Summer 2012  and the second part (1b) includes Autumn, Winter, Spring and part of Summer 2012-13.

As always, a selection of the blogger’s own words appear when you move your mouse over the highlighted links to the pages as well as over the photos.

There we go through Jackie’s Summer 2012 (1a) :

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Let this very touching entry be the last from Jackie’s blog for now.

She has talked there about two feelings that I am afraid I know too well.

The Greeks have invented the richest and most beautiful words for them:

Mελαγχολία and Νοσταλγία.

I could write an essay about the topic here and now, yet WP started to jam on me. I’ve got to go. See you in a few weeks with more No Gas Til Tuesday.

Note : As I have said many times before in my reviews, comments and credits should be adressed to the bloggers, not to me! As far as I am concerned, all I want is to send more readers to these amazing people -my explorers. All I wish is that my choices are good.

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