Week 175

22nd April, 2012

The most wonderful day – a typical high summer day in England. The sky cloudless; the air still; the temperature in the mid to upper 70Fs, the birds everywhere singing and cavorting. It is a day when one has to be glad to be alive.

We spent our time cleaning outside. Pauline cleaning the windows and I was pressure washing the patio tiles, urging the red, mountain dust of the past six months out of the grey-white tile tops. It is a delightful job in the sun and I only suspended it for Lunch and the United match. Pauline had made a pear, lettuce and blue cheese salad with mortadella and olives. Delicious – not how you could describe United. What were they thinking of?

I went back to my cleaning for another hour or so before a welcome shower and a glass of wine. Pauline baked cod and roasted potato slices outside in our new patio oven and we ate outside as the sun went down and the stars came out. A most wonderful day.

23rd April, 2012

The day has started exactly like yesterday – glorious weather. Our cleaning regime outside will continue.

Well so we thought. What actually happened was that, after downloading and browsing The Times for a while, Pauline decided we needed shopping. We drove up to the supermarkets in Exambla and bought fresh vegetables including celery for Waldorf Salad which we are hooked on at the moment. We returned home to find a load of steel netting dumped outside our gate. We had asked the Albanian, Nikos, who built our wall to top it with goat-proof, steel netting. It is standard fair on Sifnos. I texted Nikos (in English) that it had arrived and, by 2.30 pm he arrived to fit it. Because of that, Pauline and I suspended our cleaning for bush pruning so Nikos could have a clear path to work. After a couple of hours working in incredibly hot sun, I was ready for collapse and we decided to have lunch on the terrace. Ham & salad with a glass of beer was enough and then Nikos turned up. It took him just over an hour to build the fence and he was off till tomorrow when he will come and build steps up to our new electricty box. We are not using it yet but ‘soon’ (and we’ve only been waiting six years) we will have a new electricity meter installed in it and we will have to pay the full price for electricity. Below is a picture of where our new electricity box-mount stands and the fence on the top of the wall.


You can just make Pauline out in blue in the gateway at the far right of the picture. Just having coffee after lunch when our slumbers are broken by a noise clattering down the log burning stove’s chimney pipe. I immediately send Pauline up on to the roof where she discovers two, energetic birds are trying to build a nest on top of the mesh cover we had put there to discourage them. Two years ago we had young birds sliding down the pipe like it was a fairground attraction. We kept having to open the glass and release soot covered chicks to an open window.

Luciana, Nikos’ wife walked all the way up to our house with a presentation box of biscuits. She had a glass of wine and we chatted for an hour before driving her back to her house.

24th April, 2012

A delightfully warm 23 F today. We really didn’t do a lot. It is so easy, in retirement, to just indulge one’s whims. Today, we spent an hour or so on a bit of gardening and another hour at the shops. The rest of the time was enjoying the weather, reading, chatting and just enjoying ourselves. In the evening, the Albanian, Nikos, came up to trip the tops of the steel fence finishing off our new wall. He stayed for a drink but, by the time he left, it was time for THE MATCH.

Who would have believed the drama that was to unfold: two down, two one,  missed penalty, wonderful goal scored by ………..Torres!

I need to wake up and go to work – John! John!

25th April, 2012

Even warmer today – 24F. Some of our day was spent at the hardware shop buying flexible water pipe – 100 mtrs – to attach to our drill pump to water the olive and fruit trees.

There are not many ferries on service yet which is a little worrying but there are not many tourists to support them. The photo below is the Adamas Korais from Zante Ferries coming in on Wednesday. It is nice to see the supermarkets replenished.


The rest of the day was spent trying to fit our new water pipe. I spent quite a bit of time watching Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry and watching Prime minister’s Question Time.

26th April, 2012

Quite a day today. We went out for lunch at the Fish Restaurant in Kamares. It has been a hot one with the temperature reaching 28C at one point. Even so, we sat outside by the sea’s edge and ate the most wonderful Greek Salad with soft Mizithra cheese and followed that with grilled sea bream and potatoes. A carafe of white wine finished us off.


Home for coffee and a snooze.

27th April, 2012

Unbelievably, Mum died four years ago today. I can picture the days surrounding this event with such clarity and yet four years have intervened. I hope she found what she expected. On Ruth’s instruction, Pauline & I have raised a glass of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo to her. I doubt she would have appreciated it.

The temperature continues to rise here. People were splashing about in the sea yesterday and today, by noon, we have already reached 25C.

Mother cat started making loud, whaling noises this evening and, when we investigated, we saw her with another cat.

28th April, 2012

Mother cat was not here for Breakfast at 7.15 as usual this morning. We had our showers and breakfasts and were just about to start our day when who should turn up but Mother cat. I was given the job of telling her off. I decided to give her extra dried food – not to reward her but to slow her down. I’m working on the belief that you can’t behave badly on a full stomach.

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