5th June, 2011
The cat family which has adopted us left us a present in the Garage today. As we drove back from swimming and into the garage, the male cat ran out. As Pauline got out of the car, she found an irridescent length of rope with blood dripping from either end. It was a headless and tailess snake. Not just a snake but one of the most dangerous types found in the Greek countryside. I had to move it before it became too smelly.
6th June, 2011
The temperature is a humid, mid-80s. I’m doing lots of watering of the veg. garden but it is beginning to pay dividends. The First Early potatoes are already flowering. The courgettes are fruiting energetically. I even picked some small, sweet ones with deliciously big flowers this morning.
Went up to the Germanos shop to increase my Cosmote internet contract from 5Gb to 10Gb. The increase only costs about 10.00 per month but allows me to leave the internet on non-stop without worrying about additional charges. We then went on to the supermarket and, while we were there, we asked about transportation of goods from Athens/Piraeus to the island in readiness for our shopping trip to Athens next week. We have been given the contacts for a company called METAFORIKI SIFNOU AGGELAS .
We went on to have a wonderful swim from an almost deserted beach and then I cooked Lamb Kleftiko for lunch/dinner at about 4.00 pm. We have got into the routine, now, of tea & toast at 7.30 am, swimming at 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm, eating our main meal at around 4.00 pm and then just fruit salad and coffee in the evening.
7th June, 2011
People often ask us if we get bored on our Greek island. Why would we not prefer to spend our money visiting different places? That is usually because they have a totally different view of what we are doing compared with us. We never consider that we are ‘on holiday’ and haven’t done so for quite a long time. We live in Greece. We are part of a community with whom we share a life. We are as much ‘on holiday’ when we visit England as when we are in Greece. When you own a property, land in another country, your view of it is totally different to the here today, gone tomorrow, tourist.
8th June, 2011
Yesterday we went shopping. We went to the Hardware shop. It is a posh, new outfit with most things one could want. We bought teak oil for the patio furniture. It needs to be done twice a year in this sun. We bought varnish for the garden benches. We went on to the garden centre. This is a bit more home spun but very useful just the same. We bought an expensive huge pot and another geranium to put in it. I bought some more grow bags of potting compost and, although I have grown my own sage, tarragon, rosemary and thyme, I hadn’t got any mint. We eat a lot of lamb and wanted to make mint sauce. The garden centre had three different types of mint including the standard one we see most commonly in England. The owner was very keen to point out his knowledge of mint so I had to indulge him before I bought our plant.
As we went down to swim today, the car showed 31C/88F.
9th June, 2011
This morning we went for a drive over the island. For the first time ever, Pauline did some driving. She has NEVER, in all our time in Greece, driven in Greece. I have been suffering with my sciatic nerve and the pain is particularly prevalent when I am driving. We have been talking about Pauline getting her confidence up driving on the right just in case she is required to take charge at some time. Pauline is a better driver than me and certainly more careful. That’s why I don’t let her drive normally.
Fantastic swim today. The air temperature was 28C/83F. We had lovely waves and warm, crystal clear water. We came back and cooked pork chop, peppers, onions and potatoes. It was delicious. It was so delicious that our adopted cats appeared on the scene and, eventually, were given the scraps along with a carton of milk and water.
10th June, 2011
This morning has dawned beautifully again. We now have a routine which serves me well. We get up between 7.00 – 7.30 am. Pauline makes the tea while I open up all the bedroom shutters, nets and windows to air the bedroom and let the sun lick its way round the walls. Tea and toast from homemade bread and raspberry jam while we watch the BBC News. At 8.00 am, I put on the Radio 4 Today programme which is just starting at 6.00 am in UK. By 8.30 am Greece / 6.30 am UK, The Daily Telegraph has arrived on the Kindle and I read and listen for about an hour. Long before I’ve finished, Pauline is itching to get on with the day. Today, for example, she was outside varnishing the garden benches while I was reading. By 10.30 am I try to have the vegetables watered and we are ready to go out. Today, we went to visit the Transport company – Aggelas & Sons – which we had been advised of earlier.
The old man with the grey beard had the same beard but jet black when we first came to Sifnos more than 25 years ago. He is retired now and his sons run the company. They don’t speak a word of English but I had anticipated that and done directions to our house in English, in Greek and in pictures. It was the pictures that swung it I think. The family have five or six huge lorries and a depot in Piraeus. We will shop in Leroy Merlin for furniture and garden equipment, at Kotsovolos for electrical goods and they will be delivered by the stores to the depot in Piraeus. Aggelas & Sons will pick it all up from the depot and deliver it to our house on the island. This is why everything is so much more expensive on an island. The transportation cost are quite high.
11th June, 2011
Wonderful swimming in warm water. A few more people on the beach because it’s the weekend. Phoned Ruth tonight and had a nice conversation. Ruth sounds really happy with her new apartment although she hasn’t managed to sell her house yet. They will just have to sit tight and not give in to the Estate Agents’ demands to lower their price. It will happen in the end.