27th September, 2009
The log burning stove was installed in May this year after a six year wait. From the moment we arrived in July, temperatures have precluded trialling it. Tonight the temperature went down to 22C (70F) and we thought we had better take the chance while we could. I had been chopping up wood and filling the baskets. The stove is a clean-burn Jotul wood burning stove that hardly emits any smoke. The gases that are produced by burning the wood are used in the second burn which makes it much more efficient and environmentally friendly. Not that Im bothered about the latter at all but, if it gets one extra points and points make prizes, Ill have them.
28th September, 2009
We leave the island on this day next week. That fact rather drives our agenda from cleaning and servicing the car to eating up the freezer. I am being forced to have pork chops twice in a week, Bolognese Sauce twice. Pauline says Ive got to have at least two and possibly three Rocket salads before I go. All the windows and doors have been cleaned and oiled. The tree watering is tapering off now. Come to think of it, I havent heard from the OTE about my telephone line. I was told it could be two weeks or two years. Its two weeks on Friday. Im starting to get a sinking feeling.
30th September, 2009
Wonderful day today. 29C (85F). The beach and the sea were lovely and quiet. The swimming was fantastic. Across the bay and back now only takes us forty minutes because we are getting so fit.
This is a picture of Miss Last Day of September.
1st October, 2009
If anything, the weather was warmer and more perfect today. All looks set fine for the rest of the week, for the Elections on Sunday and our departure on Monday. It is always a bit of a worry when leaving a Greek Island. Sudden strong winds can blow up and all boats are cancelled leaving one stranded and isolated. This is particularly true of the recently introduced and much faster Hydrofoils. They are less stable than the huge, ex-British Channel, Ro-Ro ferries. Ferries are usually cancelled when the wind gets to 9 Beaufort. Hydrofoils cant really cope with 8 Beaufort. On Monday, October 5th the only vessels going are Hydrofoils so the strength of the wind is crucial. It is forecast to be 4 Beaufort which will be wonderful.
This is a picture of Mr First Day of October drowning. It is not clear which will save him first the boat or the church!
Today we picked and bottled our first jar of olives to take back to England. Pauline is very proud.
2nd October, 2009
A notice went up on a post down the road from our house. It was from DEH. You wont be surprised to learn that it was all in Greek. I can read some Greek. In fact, I am better at reading it than speaking it but this notice was part hand written and contained words I had never seen. I was my usual anti-social self. When we drove back from swimming yesterday, I took the notice off the post so that I could go through it at home with my Greek-English dictionary.
I forgot about the notice until this morning. We got up at 7.00, as usual, and over a cup of tea I was just struggling with the notice and saying to Pauline that I thought it was from the Electricity Company, when the power went off. DEH is the Public Electricity Company and the power went off across the island for four hours this morning. It is amazing how much one misses such a service particularly on a Greek island where it is the main source of so much. All our water is pumped by electricity. All our heating, lighting and cooking relies on it. There is no gas on the island apart from in bottles. For four hours we couldnt flush the toilets, make a drink, cook bacon & egg or watch the BBC News. The world just imploded. We had to sit outside in the sun until normal service was resumed.
3rd October, 2009
The big day has arrived I have to watch Pauline cleaning the car. Shes also good at checking the oil and tyre pressures. Most people on the island think she drives the car as well and are shocked to see shes not watching the road. Most of them have never seen a right-hand drive car before. Fortunately, that means I can cut them up and Pauline gets shouted at. Anyway, the car is the order of today because the house will have to be packed up tomorrow ready for leaving on Monday morning.
Below is the view from our patio where we drink our first coffee of the morning and our last coffee of the evening. This is a view we wont be seeing for six months. The next Blog entries will be posted somewhere in the University town of Patras and then again on board Superfast in the middle of the Adriatic.