Great Britons in Crete -
Frank and Mo Brooks, Makrigialos
"Crete's Calendar Couple Put to Good Use Their Lifelong Experience in Photography "
An interior design team of long standing, Britons - Frank and Mo Brooks from UK, moved to Crete to take advantage of retirement and the cool lifestyle on the Greek island.
By utilising their vast experience in photography and design, they channeled their talents into a new line of income generation for their new home base - producing annual calendars with Cretan themes.
Mo explains: "The idea of calendars came about after our first visit to sun-drenched Crete. When we travelled there we were looking to take a calendar back to Britain with us that captured the exquisite Southern Europe sunlight but found to our dismay there was nothing promoting and depicting the local areas of Crete we visited and have since got to know."
Why settle in Makrigialos? (Μακρύ Γιαλός)
"After much Internet searching and then after the resulting visits, and through a process of elimination, we decided Makrigialos was the place for us. The reasons are lengthy but above all, Makrigialos itself is a quiet traditional resort in the far Southeast corner of the island.
This is basically a rural community, lightly populated, an area that sports long, sandy beaches and a picturesque harbour with taverns and shops. Then there is the cream on the location cake - the nearby island of unspoiled charm, called Lefki. The island is confusingly called "Koufonissi" by the locals. Lasithi's Koufonissi is not to be confused with the other more famous Cyclades vacation resort of "Koufonissi". Lefki can be visited in the summer by a short boat trip on a small local ferry."
Location, Location, Location
"Makrigialos itself is a pleasant 40min drive to Sitiea, Lasithi's most easterly port. The jouney time is slightly less to the market town of Ierapetra to the west along Crete's coastline on the Libyan Sea. "
The Move from UK to Crete
For Mo and Frank their move to Crete was straight forward,. "We moved from the UK to Makrigialos in mid year 2004. After buying land from Abbe and Yannis of Cretan Homes we arranged to have built for us a 2 bedroom house located in the pretty village of Lagada, several kilometres along the coast, to the East of Makrigialos."
The Calendar Launch
Mo explains how she and Frank became the Calendar Couple: "Naturally, our first priority was to get our house finished. But then we set to, planning, preparing and production of our first annual calendar. That was for the Year 2006."
As Mo puts it: "Our creative experience in finding interior design solutions over the years has given us an eye for detail. This is especially true with photographs, which has given Frank and me the ability to "see" the perfect picture. We are grateful for this valuable asset when having to decide which scenic views on Crete to photograph and use for the calendars.
What locations are included to represent the months?
The Crete scenary and people are subjects chosen for the calendar photographs. Todate have included:
- Makrigialos, (ΜακρύΓιαλός)
- 2 local villages of Pefki & Stavrochori,
- Knossos, Tertsa & Mirtos,
- War Memorial near Pefkos,
- Local beaches,
- Monasteries and Windmills on Lasithi Plateau,
Note: Mo and Frank's visual choices are not restricted to the Lassithi region, but they capture many locations from all over Crete, photographed in digital format.
Mo and Frank's Crete Calendars are sent the world over
Mo positively bubbles when talking about their calendar project, and year-on-year growth: "The calendars have been wonderfully received and supported by both Ex-Pats, local residents and holiday makers. They are appreciated by those who know and love Crete's spectacular views and scenary. So far, the calendars have traveled as far afield as New Zealand."
The beautifully crafted vacation oriented calendars can be found also hanging on the walls of people's homes in South Africa, Holland, UK, Australia, Germany, Canada and Mexico. Mo points out that each year the calendars are being dispatched to more and more places.
Crete Calendar for 2010
Mo and Frank are working on the 2010 calendar and will be covering more scenic spots of the island to be the chosen as subjects of the month.
While we may live in Greece, Mo says with pride: "Yes, we are definitely both Brits, in Crete"
Crete's "Calendar Couple"
Note: In English, Makrigialos (Μακρύ Γιαλός) is the name of the town and Makry Gialos (Μακρύ Γιαλός) is how the name of the area's Municipality is written. The Greek version stays constant.
--> If you know other Brits in Crete who would make a good subject for this series, then please e-mail us at:
Postscript : As Frank and Mo have explained, wall calendars can serve as reminders of holidays and vacations, important events, and memorable occasions. And, Crete as part of Europe is a cool place where the traditional and modern coexist. The same can be said for the origins of the word CALENDAR.
"Calendar" originates from the Old French word calendier, or from the Latin: kalendarium ‘account book,’ taken from kalendae. Kalendae (Calendae) meant the "first day of the month" which was turned into Calendes retaining its original significance of "when accounts were due and the order of days was proclaimed". Today Kalends is written as Calends for the noun to mean "the first day of the month in the Roman calendar. Going further back in time, Kalendae was taken from the transliterated Ancient Greek word "kalein" which in one sense means to "call" or to "proclaim".