Week 84

25th July, 2010

A really hot one today and humid too. Even in the early morning it was 31°C. By swimming time at around 2.30 pm it had reached 39°C. Too hot to do anything so did nothing after a refreshing dip but watch the motor racing.

26th July, 2010

We are not sure exactly when Dimitris, the tiler, will start work but today, as we were painting the front of the house and I was covered from head to toe in white paint, a lorry drew up and delivered dozens of bags of tile adhesive. We can only paint at the front of the house because of the heat and then only until 11.30 am because the sun is so high and hot it burns your hat off.

27th July, 2010

As we furnished this house, it has amused us to include objects & pieces of furniture that are founded in our past. For example, we have a settle or bench which is solid oak, slightly ecclesiastical in style and dates back to 1850. It was made for Oldham Town Hall Council Chamber and I bought it for Pauline for her 30th birthday – nearly thirty years ago. To have that in a house on a Greek island rather stretches the connection but amply illustrates a segment of our life. In just the same way, we have a trunk that Pauline had as a student when she went up from Oldham to her College in Tottenham in 1970. Her Mum, who literally had no money, had to save hard to buy her the trunk but was determined she should have everything other students would have. This trunk represented a considerable sacrifice on her part. 


It is on its last journey and is used to store things here in our garage but it maintains that sense of obligation that Pauline has always carried around with her and links her strongly with a wrinkly, little old lady still fighting the fight in a warden-assisted apartment in Oldham.

28th July, 2010

Won’t bore you with the monotony of it but carried on painting. I’m really beginning to enjoy the achievement. The house is so sparkling white that I need to wear my dark glasses. We have been working for a week now – painting hard in the morning and swimming hard in the afternoon. It has been so hot that it has been difficult to eat too much. By lunchtime today, I said to Pauline, “I think you’d better weigh me.” When I stepped on the scales, we found I had lost a stone in a week. I must be careful. I’ll be making Jane (2) look fat.

Another strike has started in Greece today. We’ve had the civil servants, the lawyers, the tourist workers, the seamen, the airport workers, the taxi drivers. Last week all hospital doctors were on strike for a week. Today, the lorry and petrol tanker drivers went on strike. Within hours, petrol stations across the country had run out of fuel. Queues of cars formed along roads leading to petrol stations. Fortunately, our island has just had two petrol ships in to replenish the two petrol stations on the island.

petrol.jpg  petrol21.jpg

29th July, 2010

The downside of the petrol strike is that no supply lorries can get to the island. We are almost out of Mythos. I’ve still got plenty of French & Italian wine but I’ve been trying to eke it out with iced Greek beer. Mythos is the beer of choice in Greece. When I first came to Greece nearly thirty years ago it was dominated by Fix Beer and that has just been relaunched. They all taste the same to me. 

Only 33°C today. I’ve had to put my coat on. Don’t need so much iced beer, fortunately. The tiler arrived tonight to say that he would start work tomorrow. We are looking forward to having the work done but not to the disruption which will probably last a month.

30th July, 2010 

Received a lovely email from Jane (2) this morning. She is a nice girl for someone so skinny and fit. 

Hi John
I missed your email a couple of weeks ago, so read the blog and found out why. I will continue to read it as I like to see your news. Hope it doesn’t get too hot out there though. 39 is pretty warm! (see global warming article in Times today!)
Take care
Love Jane

I replied:

How lovely of you to find the time to write. I really appreciate it.  Have you retired yet? You must be old enough now! You need to do it before your legs give in and you’ve overused them already. I can tell you, it really is fantastic. I read the article in the Times yesterday and noted that it came from the Met Office who forecast the ‘barbecue summer’ and the ‘mild winter’ both of which turned out to be totally wrong. Maybe third time lucky …

Are you having a holiday or is Farnham all the holiday you need. I don’t want to alarm you but a number of interesting properties have come up in Farnham recently. We might be neighbours after all. There’s a reason not to retire. Thanks for the email.
Love John

30th July, 2010 

Very hot day today. Four young men were barrowing liquid cement up the banking to level up the patio prior to laying the tiles. It is so hot, four or five inches of cement is dry enough to walk on in half an hour.

t_1.jpg  t_2.jpg

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