17+1 ways to learn Spanish in 2017

“Two thousand seventeen” was missing from one of my previous posts, but not from this one. After all, seventeen is one of my favourite numbers and when it came to write down some simple ways of practicing Spanish daily (one of my dog resolutions) it seemed about right.


Below are a few such ways and I’ll keep them short and simple. Continue reading


A story for a new language

Ten days ago I set my 2016 resolutions. One of them was to learn Spanish. I had started many times before, but had never managed to keep it in my daily programme. Ten days ago I discovered Duolingo and the new possibilities it opened in exploring new languages. Now, after ten days, having managed to stick to my commitment, I am proudly 20% fluent in Spanish (according to Duolingo). So, I am glad to celebrate it with my first post in Spanish – well, it is only a paragraph at the start of the story, but bear with me! And many apologies to the Spanish-speaking in advance, for the mistakes that you most probably will encounter.

Hijo de la luna

Tengo una amiga. Su ropa es verde y azul y blanca. Mi vestido es amarillo gracias al sol. Ella tiene muchos hijos e hijas.  Yo no tenía hijos, aunque quiería. Hasta que esta mujer, una hija de mi amiga, me dio a su hijo. El nombre de mi amiga es Tierra y yo soy la Luna. Y esta es la historia de mi hijo, la historia del hijo de la luna. Continue reading

My favourite motto

In a world where ugliness tries to prevail in a thousand ways and in thousand forms, it is ever more crucial to protect our world from it. It is even more demanding to bring beauty again into light, and bring light itself in our lives. Everybody knows that earth, our Earth, is not Paradise. But each and every one of us, can create their own paradise, or at least make the most of what we are given.

As the lyrics of one of my favourite songs (collaboration between Within Temptation and Tarja Turunen, former singer of Nightwish) suggest:

No we’re not in paradise
This is who we are
This is what we’ve got
No, it’s not our paradise
But it’s all we want
And it’s all that we’re fighting for

I first heard this song while I was abroad, studying at a foreign university, in a foreign country, giving my best for a very demanding M.Sc. course. All my powers were dedicated there, but my heart was back home, in Greece, where nobody knew what the next day would bring. And this song reminded me of my country and its people. And whenever I listen to it, I shiver and draw courage at the same time. Because it is true. This is all we’ve got and it is in our hands to fight for it, to make our lives better.

So I am urging you all to follow what my favourite motto says, the one that distills the exact essence of my blog and also my conscience.

Make the difference.
In a world of misery
you should bring the light.

It is nothing but the translation of a haiku that I had attempted to write in Greek a while ago, but if you see it everyday, it will convince you that you can make the difference. And trust me, you can.

Shudder before the beautiful band!

In less than a month, a dream of mine – God willing, weather permitting – will come true. My Prince and I will attend a concert from our favourite band, the band that has bonded us beyond borders. The band that has kept us company in difficult times and the one that has kept nightmares away.

This band is called Nightwish and it has been mentioned a lot of times in this blog. And it is time for another one; and many more in the near future… ‘Cause in honour of the band, their new singer, their new album (number eight) and their tour, I announce that during next month the Diaries will be holding a crossword contest – tribute to Nightwish.

Anyone in the world can participate and there will be a couple of cool prizes. So, stay tuned! And shudder before the beautiful!

Όλα είναι μια συνήθεια

Όλα είναι μια συνήθεια, τελικά. Έχεις συνηθίσει να παραμελείς το ιστολόγιό σου; Θα συνεχίσεις να το παραμελείς, μέχρι να σου έρθει σφοδρή επιθυμία να γράψεις κάτι. Έχεις συνηθίσει να γράφεις καθημερινά; Θα συνεχίσεις να το κάνεις, έστω κι αν αυτό σημαίνει να γράφεις απλά δυο τρεις γραμμές με τις σκέψεις σου. Προς το παρόν, είμαι στο μεταίχμιο. Αλλά θα βάλω τα δυνατά μου να γράφω δύο περίπου καταχωρίσεις την εβδομάδα. Όχι απαραίτητα μεγάλα άρθρα, ούτε περισπούδαστα, αλλά απλά και καθημερινά.

Αν πάντως θέλεις συνειδητοποιημένα να βάλεις κάτι στην καθημερινότητά σου, είναι σίγουρο ότι θα τα καταφέρεις. Και όταν τα καταφέρεις, θα αναρωτιέσαι πώς ζούσες πριν το βάλεις στην καθημερινότητά σου, γιατί θα έχει γίνει πλέον αναπόσπαστο κομμάτι της.

Κάποιες συνήθειες που προσπαθεί ο μέσος άνθρωπος (και κυρίως οι γυναίκες, μην κρυβόμαστε πίσω από το δάχτυλό μας) να αποκτήσει, είναι η καλή διατροφή και η γυμναστική. Γιατί δεν είναι απαραίτητο να πρέπει κάποιος να χάσει βάρος για να αρχίσει να προσέχει το σώμα του. “Νοῦς ὑγιὴς ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ” έλεγαν οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες κι είχαν δίκιο. Για κάποιο λόγο όμως, το δεύτερο μέρος μας φαίνεται βουνό.

Continue reading

Élan means zest

Nightwish is one of my favourite music bands; if not THE favourite. I’ve enjoyed their songs with each and every one of their singers; Tarja, Anette and now Floor. Regardless of what has happened off-stage, I love their music and it has never failed me. Including their long awaited single, named Élan, which was released two days ago. The name of the song reveals only little of the passion and energy Nightwish put to their music every time.

Élan is a teaser for their new album “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which is to be released on the 27th of March in EU, 30th of March in the UK and on March 31st everywhere else. The band members behind the new album are: (the always mesmerising) Tuomas Holopainen, Marco Hietala and Emppu Vuorinen, new singer Floor Jansen (she rocks!), Troy Donockley (master of the pipes) and drummer Kai Hahto (replacing Jukka Nevalainen for this album).

Back to Élan, the music video on YouTube already has more than 3.000 likes and almost 200.000 views. Some of them are proudly mine, as the repeat button hasn’t stopped since last night. You can listen to it right here, while also following the lyrics.

Continue reading

Εκεί που κι οι βασιλιάδες πάνε μόνοι τους

Τώρα έδωσες όρκο και για να τον τηρήσεις πρέπει να συνεχίσεις να διαβάζεις.

  • Τι κοινό έχουν ο Περικλής και η Κοκό Σανέλ; Σίγουρα όχι το φύλο, και σίγουρα όχι τον τόπο καταγωγής και την εποχή.
  • Έφαγες σήμερα σάντουιτς, μπεσαμέλ ή πάστα σεράνο – ξέρεις όμως ποια είναι η προέλευση των ονομασιών τους;
  • Από πού ξεκίνησαν οι λεγόμενες “κακές” λέξεις;
  • Ποιος αριθμός έχει χρησιμοποιηθεί όσο κανένας άλλος; Καμιά μαντεψιά;
  • Και τέλος πάντων, τι κοινό έχουν οι Ρίτα Χέιγουορθ και ο Γούντι Άλεν, πέρα από το ότι αυτά είναι μόνο τα καλλιτεχνικά και όχι τα πραγματικά τους ονόματα;

Continue reading