Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Guest Post - Croatia by S.L. Grigg - Bookish World Cup - Croatia



This blog post is in memory of a wonderful fellow blogger Ruth Seba. It is a bit of a mixture of a personal memory, a shared love of writing/blogging, and a travel blog, all connected to Croatia. I hope you enjoy this little taste of an exotic land.

I first ‘met’ Ruth back in 2011 when we were both blogging for a 30-Day Blog Challenge, it feels like such a long time ago now. I was blogging about mental health and Ruth was blogging for business. We very quickly became firm blog, and Facebook friends, and this led to us writing a guest post for each other, you can read Ruth’s post on my blog here.

At the time we met Ruth lived in Korcula, Croatia, where she had a jewellery shop with her husband, Doka, called Seba Dizajin. She was hoping blogging would help their small business grow… it worked. You can see her blog here.

In June 2012 I travelled to Korcula to met Ruth in person, such was our friendship, and at the same tome I could get to experience Croatia for myself, having never travelled that far before, especially not on my own!

Korcula
I arrived at Dubrovnik airport in June 2012. As I stepped out from the air-conditioned plane I was hit by a wall of heat unlike anything I had felt before, I was instantly drenched in sweat. I had a few hours to kill before my transfer to Korcula so, leaving my luggage at the transfer office, I went for a wander round Dubrovnik Old Town. Whilst it was a stunning place to visit the 35-degree heat was incredible, the first thing I bought was a sunhat but even that wasn’t enough to help prevent me feeling like I was getting heatstroke. Even the staff in the transfer office had been complaining it was too hot for them, hotter than they were used to, so you can imagine how bad it felt to me coming from cold, wet, England having never been anywhere hot before!

Many bottles of water later I was on route to Korcula. The minibus ride took us through the captivating countryside, which was beautiful, but at the same time melancholic. Evidence of the war was still clear, with pock-marked remnants of buildings and sparse, barren expanses of land, in between areas where the signs of recovery were clear. Because, for those who don’t know, Croatia was part of Yugoslavia until War of Independence in the 1990’s.

After a short pitstop at my hotel, Liburna, (I say short but what I really mean is pass out in the air-conditioned room stripped bare and wandering if it would be possible to stay naked the entire time I was there! haha) I went out to Korcula old town to meet Ruth. I had bought a few books over for her as she struggled to get books that were popular in the UK in Croatia. Ruth had a gift for me too, a gorgeous, silver filigree butterfly brooch (pictured).

It was awesome to see her little shop, just under the Marco Polo tower and watch Doka working away on the handmade silver jewellery. After I had been back to the hotel for my evening meal we spent a few hours catching up and had a couple of drinks in a quaint outside bar (The name of which I unfortunately cannot recall) overlooking the Peljesac Channel and it finally cooled down enough for me to be able to sleep once I got back to the hotel.

My visit to Korcula was unfortunately cut short, a combination of personal problems back home and being unable to cope with the heat meant I went home early.

Ruth Seba
It feels like it was only a short while after I got home that in one of our many conversations Ruth broke the news about her cancer, when exactly that was I’m not sure, but it was probably longer than it feels looking back. When she told me, I was convinced she would beat it, Ruth was a fighter, a strong, amazing woman who always had a kind word and a virtual shoulder for others even with all she was going through herself, she rarely (if ever) complained, or even mentioned her illness online.

It wasn’t until Ruth started posting about funding for treatment in December 2014 that the seriousness of her illness became apparent. Ruth and Doka were staying in Ruth’s hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand when she posted about her cancer properly for the first time. Ruth had stage 4 melanoma for which treatment was not funded in New Zealand, so she was trying to raise money to help her get the treatment she needed.

Unfortunately, on 21 April 2015 Ruth lost her battle with the cancer.

Travelled far and wide touching the hearts of many whose paths she crossed including mine. From her hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand, to Scotland where she lived for 12 years, to Croatia where she lived and worked with her beloved husband Doka.

Ruth, this post is for you xx

S.L.Grigg

What a heartfelt post and Ruth sounds like a true friend. I am so sorry for your loss, but love your descriptions of Croatia. 

Author Bio:

S.L.Grigg has been blogging since 2009 and has just published her first book Coffee Break Companion. When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading, travel, studying, and much more. She is currently training to become a Pilates instructor, as if she hadn’t already got enough on her plate!

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful that someone became a true friend after meeting online - the internet isn't always a bad place to be! Dubrovnik sounds amazing but I couldn't have coped with that heat either. A lovely tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Angela, she was a truly amazing person I wish I had been able to have more time with her

    ReplyDelete

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