15 May, 2011
Glorious Summers day. Not a cloud in the sky. Almost too hot to garden. We both had to wear hats. There is no breeze and the temperature is reaching 26C/78F. The house has been open to the world today to keep cool. The big news of the day, of course, is the Head of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn being arrested in US on rape charges. The Greeks feel totally vindicated. They hate him with a passion and all he stands for. He is on Greek TV News bulletins all day every day and has been since the financial crisis broke. He is (was) the Leader of the Troika International Monetary Fund, EEC and European Bank who have tormented Greece for the past couple of years and, in their eyes, caused so much unjustified suffering to people who dont deserve it. The fact that their main antagonist is actually a rapist just about confirms their view that they are unjustly oppressed like the Hotel maid. This will run and run.
The football, to bring us back down to earth had all the hallmarks of after the Lord Mayors Show. Chelsea were poor and Spurs managed to maintain their dignity. West Ham could have produced a magic trick but, instead, decided to hand one to Wigan.
For those who are anxiously following the gardening reports in this Blog, I continue to prick out salad seedlings and succession sow new ones. Tomorrow will be annual and perennial herbs Flat Leaved Parsley, Tarragon, Sage and Mint. The Sweet Basil plants will be ready to plant out as will the Aubergines. The first potatoes are already showing through and the Peppers and Courgettes doing well.
The lemons are holding up. Another photo of them:
As predicted, Straus-Kahn dominates morning news on Greek television. If he can break the rules, why cant we?, the Greeks say.
16th May, 2011
Another wonderful day. Glorious sunshine, blue skies. The countryside around is still green and beautiful. We are coming to the point when I will have to stop recording the weather unless we get particular highs or lows because Another wonderful day. Glorious sunshine, blue skies. Will become the norm for the next four months.
The day has been really enjoyable. We haven’t been out of our grounds but really enjoyed our gardening. We put in six large leaved Basil (Vasili) plants today and four strong Aubergines. More garden has been cleared. Lovely, home-made lunch of chicken and salad for lunch. This afternoon, joy of joys, our 3G internet service was reactivated. At last we can work from our Study at home. Life is just wonderful! AND ……I’ve just picked up Ruth’s email from LIVE.
On Saturday May 10th we will be moving to our new address.
We wish Ruth & Kevan 50 years of happiness at their new address.
17th May, 2011
Got up this morning to find a scuffle going on in the log burning stove. As I went to the glass door, two gorgeous, little, silver grey birds the size of wrens tweeted at me, Let us out! Who could argue with that. We had been meaning to cover the chimney with mesh for weeks but at least we had cleaned the fire out. Having just got out of bed, I was stark naked. I opened all the windows and doors, held a large towel up to the stove door and Pauline opened it. Good as gold the two little birds flew straight out of the window, free to play another day.
Quite a start to the morning but, now we have the internet, we can listen to Radio 4. At 8.00 am we put on the 6.00 am Today programme. What joy! When we first moved into this house, we were bought a pot – a Grecian Urn – as a present. Today, I got round to using it. After that, we went up the outside steps, which are really just decorative nowadays, with Pauline to stop all future birds playing in our chimney.
18th May, 2011
As you know, Dear Reader, I am as strange as the day is long. Late last evening, after going out to dinner, Pauline & I watched an enjoyable but emotional film about families, loves and relationships. I cried buckets as is usual now. Suddenly, as we went to bed, it came to me. If one of us died, we don’t have good photographs of the other. We photograph everything but ourselves. I told Pauline we were going to do something about that immediately. I opened a new folder called Posterity Photographs and took the first pictures. Here are Beauty & the Beast.
19th May, 2011
Woke up in the early hours of the morning to the sound of thunder & lightning and pouring rain. Got up with Pauline to watch the sound & light show across the bay. The noise over the roof meant it took some time to get back to sleep and we finally got up feeling tired after 8.00am this morning.
We went up to see the woodman, Kostas. He is the best on the island and his wife speaks perfect English which is really helpful. We want a more permanent cover to our pergola which, traditionally, in Greece is covered with bamboo matting but it is starting to fall out of favour. Bamboo attracts bees and over a few years of hot sun dries out and falls apart. We want thick, wooden slats painted white at and fixed closely together with only small gaps in between. It is important to have some gaps because the strength of the wind could pull a solid roof completely off and lift the pergola legs out of the concrete at the same time. The new roof will look a bit like this:
20th May, 2011
The weather is set fair to be mid-70Fs and lovely and sunny for the next week. Before we go out gardening, Pauline is making sausages this morning. They are one of the things you can’t buy here. A few years ago, Pauline received her Long Service Award from Oldham LA. She bought a couple of kilos of fatty pork yesterday. One of the things she bought with her Award was a meat mincer and sausage stuffer (As you do!) and we haven’t really had a lot of time to use it. We’ve brought extra big, Hog Skins with us and today is the day to stuff them. I am chief stuffer and taster.
Pauline made 5lbs of sausages. We had sausages for tea and they were absolutely wonderful. We are going to try Pork, Apple, Sage & Onion next time.
21st May, 2011
We have been here on the island for exactly five weeks. We filled the car up with petrol in Athens just before we got on the ferry and we have filled it up once on the island. Mind you, one filling did cost it 80.00. We will not need to fill up again for at least another week. A tank of petrol every three weeks is just amazing and illustrates how small the island is. Nowhere is very far away.
Received an email from Jonathan Kelly today. He is in Boston, Masachusetts and has been for 35 years. I have revived our friendship and have been communicating with him since Mum died. Unfortunately, I will miss his visit to England.
A scorching, hot day today. We have virtually completed the first round of garden clearing and vegetable sowing/planting. We have:
5 x rows of potatoes
2 x rows of shallots
3 x rows of onions
4 x courgette plants
6 x Sweet Basil plants
2 x rows of Rocket
2 x rows of Cut & Come Again Salad plants
4 x Aubergine plants
4 x rows of Salad/Spring Onions
2 x rows of Flat Leaved Parsley
2 x rows of French Beans
We have so many lemons on our trees, Pauline has decided to make Lemon Marmalade.