Week 143

11th September, 2011

After a football free weekend last week, I was looking forward to some good entertainment this weekend. Apart from United’s slaughter of Bolton, 5 – 0 (Sorry, Ruth but Bolton were lucky to score 0.), the other five or six games I saw were poor quality and boring.

The day was saved by the most wonderful weather. The sea temperature is 25C/77F according to our forecaster and the air temperature was 28C/83F. It’s not boiling but it feels very pleasant. We had a beautiful swim in crystal, clear water.

12th September, 2011

With the possibility that the woodman might appear with his team ‘after 9.00 am’, we were up and outside by then. We have got an ongoing job of land clearing and leaky pipe checking (for leaks). That’s what we got on with. By 12.00 am, it was clear the woodman wasn’t coming today. We were tired and sweaty. Showers and out shopping. Back for coffee and then it was time for swimming. Once again, we did our mile in wonderful water. There were about three ‘wrinklies’ couples on the beach. Since June 1st, we have swum about 100 miles.

Back at the house by 3.00 pm and, after a shower, we have a little snack of a few crisps & nuts and some little bits of garlic sausage with a glass of wine. We are going out to dinner tonight so we just want to get ourselves through the next four or five hours of hunger. By 4.00 pm, Pauline is reading her Kindle and I am snoozing in front of the News. The Greek government are talking about a new property tax. The next thing I know, it is 6.00 pm. The cats are clamouring at the windows to be fed. The small snack at lunchtime is still filling our newly shrunken bellies and we cancel the dinner out. We’ll do that tomorrow.

13th September, 2011

The wonderful weather continues. After a bit of gardening, Pauline phones the electrical shop about our broken brush cutter. It’s repaired. We go up to collect it and it illustrates one of the delights of Greece. When we get to the shop, the machine is repaired and working. The shop hasn’t done it and they make no charge. Why? we ask. Because Georgios was passing on the bus and he knows about these machines. He repaired it. He doesn’t want paying. What can you say but Thank you.

A few days ago the Garden Centre man said he was waiting for insecticide for the blight on the lemon trees. Today, he said it had come in. We bought it and a sprayer. He told us how to dilute it and apply it. We will do it tomorrow. We really are going out to eat tonight.

First we have had a lovely swim. Although there are only a few wrinklies this year, this is the sort of transport that they seem to like to arrive on:


We did another mile of swimming in wonderful water although today the tide was going out strongly and we had to fight it. The photograph below illustrates our swim:


14th September, 2011

Still, blue skies and 33C/92F today. After breakfast, we did three gruelling hours of garden clearing, testing and repairing the leaky pipe network. After a short recovery period, we went off for our swim. The water was warm and still.

When we came back, Pauline phoned the woodman who confirmed that he is delivering materials tomorrow evening and his team will start work on Friday morning. Tonight we have to spray our lemon trees with an insecticide. Apparently, all the citrus trees of Sifnos are suffering from thrips which can be erradicated with this spray. We have six citrus trees and I have to cover my skin, my mouth and nose before I start the job. At least the evening is still.

We are a bit worried about our cat family. They are incredibly close and supportive of each other. They are constantly kissing and cuddling each other; they don’t fight over food; they are together all the time. In the past few days, Mother has started to change. She has gone off on her own, been a bit moody and struck out at the kids. We are not sure but we think she might be pregnant. The kids are finding it very hard and Little Ginge, particularly, spends all her time near to us, crying. I can’t take it. I’ve told Pauline, she’ll have to come home with us.

15th September, 2011

A hot (33C/92F) but difficult day today. We went up to the electricity shop to change the clarify our billing address because we had not received our last two paper bills even though the charge had been deducted from our bank account. The man at the electricity shop did that on his computer but told us to contact the accountant, because there was a problem. In order to get ‘full’ electricity, one has to submit the paper which the planning/building authority issues after the building is completed. This paper says that the final building has been checked and it adheres to the original plans. Only then can people have full electricity switched on. Our papers were submitted four years ago but we still haven’t been granted full electricity. Apparently, our papers were submitted to the Authorities in Milos as normal. Milos sat on them and when finally questioned, said only Greeks could submit their papers to Milos. Non-Greeks had to submit them to Athens. The papers were submitted to Athens and passed. In this process, the original paper has gone missing and only a photocopy remains at the accountant’s office. The electricity shop says it cannot switch on full power without the original paper. This is not good news and could delay matters even more.

16th September, 2011

After six months of asking, the woodman says he is coming today. We will see. Today has reached 33C/92F with a slight breeze. We worked hard in the garden for two hours or so and then had a wonderful swim. Pauline made pizza for our meal. We eat so little now, one, homemade pizza absolutely fills us.

The woodman arrived at 6.00 pm bringing wood and saying the job would be done tomorrow. We cannot believe it. I got so emotional I kissed him. He seemed quite pleased.

17th September, 2011

At 9.00 am, we were outside drinking coffee when the woodman and team arrived. They set to work and we sat and watched. The woodman’s wife’s uncle began in the laundry. Because non of us speaks a common language, I had produced diagrams on my computer of what we wanted and where. He seemed delighted with those. The woodman and his brother-in-law began to dismantle the pergola. Half way through the morning we offered coffee which they laughingly declined because it was Nescafe not Greek coffee. But the homemade tyropita or cheese pies that Pauline baked were wolfed down with a bottle of water. They will work until 3.00 pm so we will miss our swim today. The first football match is at 14.45 pm (Blackburn v Arsenal) so we won’t have time. We will have to do double tomorrow.

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