13th May, 2012
A quiet and peaceful day in the sunshine with the newspaper only marred by the football. I wasn’t expecting City to fail so it was all the harder when the came back from defeat in the final seconds. Still it is good to have another name on the Championship. I was more sorry for Ruth in Bolton.
14th May, 2012
We think Mother cat must be giving birth in some bushes down the road. She only comes once a day, scoffs her food hurriedly and scarpers in that direction. Islanders say it is a common sign of a pregnant mother. We hope to see some little ones soon.
Pauline made marmalade with tinned Seville pulp that we brought with us and some whisky that we already had.
We were expecting a possible thunder storm but it never materialised and nor did a Greek Government Coalition either.
15th May, 2012
Today, Olga came to visit. It was quite a shock but very nice. A few days ago we were in the Supermarket (corner shop) and I happened to pat a little girl’s head and pull faces at a baby as I’m accustomed to do wherever I am when a lady standing in a group with these children and other adults smiled quite pointedly in my direction. I’m usually mistaken for a paedophile but this lady was obviously quite warm to my habits which is always a good start. When we left the shop, she came out and made a point of speaking to us. Her name, she said, in excellent English, was Olga and she owned the restaurant over the road. We told her where we lived on the island and she said she had lived for a long time with her husband in Knightsbridge, London. We made our customary polite invitation to come and see us if she was passing our house which nobody would be unless they were going up the mountain to the Monastery. Well, four or five days later, who should draw up outside our gate but Olga.
She came in and spent an hour over coffee telling us that her husband is a fantastic chef and he had been employed by a very rich Greek shipping family who lived in Knightsbridge as their head chef. She was employed as a Nanny for two lovely children of the family. As such, they had travelled the world living in Australia, Japan, etc, but mainly in London. There she had met the Queen when she came to Dinner with the family. After about fifteen years in service, they had enough money to build a property and restaurant on their home island and that is where they now stayed. Her daughter, she said was 16 and at a difficult age. She would like her to go to University in England where your politics and the party you voted for didn’t condition your offer of a place.
It was a lovely, surprise visit and we will go to her restaurant soon – probably on Friday evening.
16th May, 2012
As so often happens, when the suggestion is we may get rain, the sun comes out at its hottest. Greece is generally saying goodbye to any rain from mid-May to mid-September and so it is proving. After breakfast, we drove up to Apollonia to do some shopping. En route, Esmerelda phoned Pauline to thank her for the jar of marmalade. It had been their best breakfast ‘ever’. Poor old girl.
Back home for coffee. I think I’ve said, I’m running out of ese (easy serve espresso) pods and I have a batch back in Surrey which Phyllis and Mandy are kindly arranging to post out to us. I’ve had two or three coffee makers here but we haven’t liked the results. We blamed the water, the coffee and the machines. I bought an ese pod machine for home – a Cusinart I bought through Amazon for about £140.00. I thought that was cheap after replacing our £100.00 Tassimo again. I found lots of companies selling individually wrapped Italian coffee espresso pods in ese form much cheaper as well. They turned out to be a revolution. I brought them to Greece and found they worked well in my DeLonghi machine as well. Coffee does make life good.
I may have spoken too soon about the rain. The most reliable forecast on Greek television – ET3 – has just forecast rain for Thursday and Friday. Could be wonderful.
17th May, 2012
What a day and it’s only 3.3o pm. When we were working, we would be spending all day every day with hundreds of people all around us, demanding things constantly. Our minds and bodies were accustomed to it and prepared for over forty years of exeriences. Now, most of our time is spent quietly together or with our own thoughts. When we are in association, I tire easily and quickly.
Today we went down to check our post. We walked on to the cafe which was empty apart from being bathed in lovely sunshine. No sign of the rain that was forecast. The pictures below show the cafe empty and with Pauline in the foreground and the owner, Vangelis in the background.
We had coffee at around 9.30 am. Along came Esmerelda and Kristos and, soon the time was 11.30 am. We walked on to collect our ferry tickets for our trip to Athens in July which we had booked on the internet. We had to negotiate ‘window’ seats but that was sorted out. We walked on a little and, about 1.15 pm, we went to Simos restaurant for lunch. It was very cheap and we couldn’t eat it all. A huge Greek Salad like a mountain followed by chicken and potatoes / pork and potatoes. We just had a carafe of white wine with that. 21.00 / £17.00 total bill was a bit like the old days. We drove up to Apollonia and then home for coffee.
At 6.00 pm, we had to be at Luciana’s home. She had paid a visit to us and it was only courteous to return the visit. She lives with her husband, Nikos and their two children in a small, rented home on the other side of the port.It seemed a very happy home. Pauline made a plate of raspberry buns as a present. They are Albanian. Luciana works in hotels during the tourist season but has less work in the winter. Nikos, who used to be a primary school teacher, does anything here. He built our wall in the winter. He is currently whitewashing people’s houses. Later, if the tourist season develops, he may wash and maintain cars for a rental business.
As we were preparing for bed, the sound of rain drumming incessantly on the roof could be heard and the patio was getting a good cleaning. It lasted about an hour. Afterwards, everywhere smelled wonderful.
18th May, 2012
The morning felt fresher but with blue skies and sun. After breakfast, the clouds came over the mountain; there was a flash of lightening, a crash of thunder and a fifteen minute downpour. Soon the sun was out again but we are expecting some more of this today followed by gradually increasing temperatures over the next few days, reaching 28 – 30C.
Today, in contrast to yesterday is an ‘In Day’. I am writing my Blog and web pages. Pauline is sewing and making biscuits. I have just received an email from our architect to say that our illegal garage has been made legal at a cost of 900.00. His fee for the work and for creating a new document to get ‘full’ electricity which will be done in ten days is 1000.00. So, for 1900.00 or £1500.00, all problems can be solved. We may get drunk on fresh coffee to celebrate.
19th May, 2012
We have to wish Caroline Happy Birthday today. It is quite incredible but she is 50. It means that every one of Dad’s children have outlived his ridiculously short life of 49 years. It seems from her message that quite a few of us held our breath as we chested the tape. Well done, Caroline. Let’s hope that we will celebrate a few more decades yet.
It is a day of heavy rain interspersed with stong sun here. The architect is bringing round the all important paper which will legalise our garage and with an even more important stamp which will legalise our electricity supply.