Week 144

18th September, 2011

The swimming just gets better. Nobody else in the sea. Warm, clear water. Air temperature almost permanently hovering around 28C/83F.

Had the pleasure of watching United destroy a rather ageing and shabby Chelsea.

19th September, 2011

The woodman didn’t turn up to finish the job today which worried us a bit but we were told to go to the tiler’s shop to arrange for him to send someone down to put the final coatings on the roof. It gets a red, rubberised coating followed by a white coating to reflect the sun away followed by a varnish to keep the whole thing perfect. The tiler’s wife said it would be a week before they could get to us so we are keen to follow up on that before we leave.

The sea seemed even warmer today and the swimming was delightful.

20th September, 2011

The  woodman, Konstantinos, his brother in law, Adonis, and his wife’s Uncle, Giannis, arrived at 9.30 am to complete the work on the roof. It has been a really professional, high quality job.

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Amazingly this afternoon the sky has turned cloudy and we are told that we have a 30% chance of rain tomorrow. Everyone here will love that – apart from a few tourists who are left. We haven’t seen any ‘weather’ since May. Every day is hot, dry, blue sky and sunny. Nice to have a change at last.


21st September, 2011

Last night we thought there would be a huge thunderstorm. At 11.30 last night, we were sitting outside watching almost continuous sheet lightning flashing just behind the mountainous bowl in which Kamares Bay sits. The lightning was not followed by thunder but it was fairly hot and humid. We went to bed expecting to hear the beat of torrential rain on our flat roof in the middle of the night. It didn’t happen and this morning brought blue skies with fleecy clouds. It feels a little fresher than normal so, maybe, the prospect of rain is going away.

We are continuing jobs in preparation for closing up the house. We leave in twelve days and there is lots to do. I have written before of our hardwood windows & doors which were supplied by Sylor. The paintwork is electromagnetically applied which means that rather than having to repaint every year as most islanders do, we have a ten year warranty which is already in to its sixth year and standing up well. In order to keep up the standard, we are supplied, free of charge, with a ‘Care Pack’ which contains a bottle of liquid detergent and a ‘water-based impregnating agent’ both of which we apply each Autumn. We are also given a WD40 can for the hinges and other metal work. However sceptical we may have been at the outset, Pauline has religiously done the job each Autumn and the warranty will easily be fulfilled and, probably, another ten years.


We went up to the woodman’s to speak to Maria, his wife, and to pay the bill. It was €1100 but worth every cent. As we drove home, I suggested we call in at the tiler’s shop to speak to his wife, Katerina, to see when they were coming to put waterproofing on our new roof. It just so happened that three men had returned from a tiling job early so they were immediately despatched to our house. It is so un-Greek-like but it was magical. With thunderstorms predicted for tonight, we now have a waterproofed roof which will do the next ten years. The workers will come back tomorrow to put the white coat of paint on and then again on Friday to varnish the whole thing.

22nd September, 2011

Well, it’s happened. We’ve had our first rain since early May. There was no thunder & lightning,  just a heavy drumming on the roof as a ten minute monsoon style rain hit us. It was 3.00 in the morning and we got up to watch in excitement. Little Ginge & Little Tabs were cowering under the outdoor furniture. This was their first ever experience of rain. We opened the door and smelled the freshness before leaving the cats to their fate and going back to bed.

The morning has broken with warm sun and clear, blue skies. Isn’t this how life should be organised? Heavy rain at night and warm, bright skies during the day. Pauline is painting the underside of the pergola roof. I’m cleaning the bathroom. It may be a reversal of traditional roles but we each do what we can. We are a good team.

It is two and a half years since Pauline & I did a day’s paid work. Our pay arrives every month at a rate that means we notice no difference from when we were in work. Every day I feel something of a fraud. In April, while Teachers’ pay is frozen until the end of 2012, our pay will increase by 4.5%. In a year, Pauline will receive her old age pension in addition. We won’t need it but we will invest it if we can find something worth putting it in to.

23rd September, 2011

Pauline is painting the edges of the pergola in a freezing, early morning temperature of 22C/70F. No wonder the cats wolfed down their food and went off to snuggle in the garage. I don’t think we will be swimming today.

The temperature eventually did reach 26C/79F but we didn’t go swimming. Two young men appeared for the third day running with huge cans of varnish to put on the pergola roof. It now has a thick, red, rubber layer covered by a white layer covered by a clear varnish. That is it now. Pauline painted the edges white today and she will do the same to the underneath tomorrow. I will not write about it again – unless it blows down.

Greece has no money. Local government is cutting back everywhere. Amusingly, all local, Greek Authorities will be expected to balance their books by 2013. What one would be able to correctly infer from this is that they don’t balance their books currently and haven’t done for years. They just go cap-in-hand to central government for hand outs to make up the shortfall. Often the shortfall is scandalously large. We went for a drive round the island and were surprised to find that large portions of the road system were being freshly re-tarmaced. Some of them, in our view, didn’t really need it. Something fishy is going on!

24th September, 2011

Woke up early this morning …………… on the bedroom floor with blood pouring out of the side of my head. It was just after 6.00 am. The room was pitch black because the shutters were closed. I wasn’t drunk.

As I woke, I felt myself falling – not surprisingly because that is exactly what was happening to me. I had rolled off the side of the bed and caught my ear on the pointed corner of the bedside cabinet tearing my earlobe. I take a long time to come round in the morning. I didn’t this morning. I knew immediately that I was on the floor and something hot and wet was dripping from my ear. Pauline was instantly at my side with a huge towel to mop up the blood. I take Warfarin and my blood doesn’t clot. The fall had torn my ear lobe and the blood flow was insistant. The photograph below was taken four hours later and the blood had just begun to clot.

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