καιαμάνι

 

This is Greece, where we have a house called Kaiamani (καιαμάνι).

Kaia or khaya is an African Xhosa word for home and Mani is the area where our house is. It is in the Peloponnese, one hour's drive south of Kalamata, in an area called Plagia Nerospila, meaning ''Hillside of the Water Caves'' in Greek. We were told that millions of years ago these caves were washed out by the sea which was much higher then.

Our municipal district is Neochori, which is in the Exo Mani, just behind Stoupa. Our nearest village is Aghios Nikolaos, about half an hour's walk away, with a beautiful harbour with fishing boats. There are various tavernas, kafenions and Ouzeries around. We have the majestic 7000ft Taygetos mountains behind us and only olive trees between us and the Ionian Sea.

Looking at these photos, it is easy to see why it is classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty. This is the real Greece! Mani is also the word for "jewel or gem" in Sanskrit.

Lee's handmade jewellery company is called "House of Mani", a deeply significant name.

Lee & Tony