Week 185

1st July, 2012

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Happy July, everybody.

Still hot but windy here. Plenty of tourists starting to arrive. The boat this morning disgourged lots of them. There was also a huge wedding party staying at the hotel down the road. We heard rifles being fired late in to the night as they celebrated the nuptials.

I’m ashamed to say that Pauline is still outside painting the pergola while I am preparing stuffed peppers for our meal.  A total role reversal, I know, but she won’t let me anywhere near the paint. Very sensible, really but I do feel embarrassed.

Found this picture this morning which fairly summed up Pauline & I. Inseparable.

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Apart from when there’s painting to do:

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2nd & 3rd July, 2012

Wind, wind, wind. When will it abate. The painting has continued in the teeth of a howling meltemi. Swimming, on the other hand has been cast aside for fear of losing too many layers of skin in the sand storms. The afternoons have been watching Wimbledon.

Off to Athens for a few days tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing the roar of traffic and the smell of diesel, bright lights and crowds of people.

Went out for dinner tonight and sat next to a couple from Leeds and Wakefield.

4th July, 2012

Supplied our local restaurant friends with a big bag of basil from our garden so they can make pesto. Their’s has been eaten by chickens – their basil not pesto.

Leaving on Speed Runner at 13.50. Arrive Piraeus around 17.00. Fortunately, after about three weeks, the wind has gone down considerably.

Arrived early. Taxi to Syndagma = 20 euros. Shower and out for dinner. We were on our way to a restaurant we know and use when we stumbled upon a new, Mediterranean one. We went Athenian and sat out on the pavement to eat rather than go upstairs to their air conditioned room. It was a lovely meal and delightful staff. The food was prepared by Vera who was a Greek who had lived in Portsmouth for ten years. We were served by Eleni who was a young Athenian with perfect English. Her mother is Smeragda and her father works in Piraeus. You can see. I make these people work for their money!

We ate a shredded lettuce with pine nuts and currants and mustard and honey with olive oil dressing as a starter. It was served with hard baked rye bread. The main course was griddled salmon with citrus sauce and chunky chips. We don’t usually have a sweet but this evening we had chocolate souffle and vanilla ice cream. A half litre of white and a half litre of red wine helped it all down. The price was 60 euros which is double what we’d pay on the island but it was a lovely meal.

When we got back, we watched the BBC News and saw Bob Diamond lying through his very false teeth. The Murray match wasn’t finished when we went to bed, exhausted.

5th July, 2012

Up at 7.00 am. Pauline makes tea and we have a leisurely shower. Down to buffet breakfast – fresh orange juice, bacon,sausage, scrambled egg. Toast and coffee. Croissants and more coffee. While we are eating breakfast, my iPad is downloading The Times.

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By 9.30 am, it is time for Pauline to set off for the hairdressers while I have time to write up my Blog and to read some of the paper. I don’t want to go out anyway. The temperature is expected to near 40C. Pauline returns hot but looking lovely. We decide to go for a shade-side-of-the-street saunter to a nearby cafe and have a cooling drink – a beer and a soda. Later, we do a little shopping buying some perfume for Esmerelda because she has helped us so much.

Back to the hotel for a wash and brush up. We watch the television news about a Greek throwing himself off a balcony in Athens and landing on another Greek below, killing him also. Esmerelda phoned from Sifnos worrying that we had been fallen on and crushed. We then had a couple of phone calls from the architect to say that the electricity certificate, after six years of chasing it, should be on the island that afternoon. It was in a registered post sent to a local agent. Fortunately, Esmerelda offered to collect it for us.  We can hardly believe it has finally come. We are still in our hotel room when our new Notary phones to make an appointment for Monday morning. It always seems to happen when you’re away.

About 8.00 pm we went out to eat at an old favourite of ours – Karyatis Restaurant in the Plaka. It opened twenty years ago and we have been going there on and off since then.

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The hardest part was walking back to the hotel, full and through thick heat. We had left the airconditioning on in our room and it was an oasis of cool when we got back.

6th July, 2012

Our ferry leaves at 5.00 pm. Normally, we would window shop or even actually shop. The heat was so oppressive that such activities could have been fatal so we chilled in the hotel – watching television and reading the newspaper. We had eaten another, huge, buffet restaurant breakfast – bacon, eggs, sausage, bread, fruit, croissants, orange juice and coffee so we only needed a sandwich for lunch.

At 3.00 pm, we asked for a taxi to take us down to Piraeus where we boarded Speedrunner 4 an hour early just to get out of the heat. Unfortunately, Friday night is travelling night and the ferry was packed with noisy, excited holidaymakers. We were surrounded by a huge party of French people. It is certainly noticeable that the weather in Northern Europe is affecting bookings and the islands are definitely benefiting.

We were back on Sifnos by 8.00 am, just in time to see highlights of the two Men’s semi-finals.

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7th July, 2012

Very hot and we are very tired. The island seems very busy. We decide to stay at home and relax after doing a bit of shopping for food. A bit sick to find Serena Williams winning again.

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8th July, 2012

So hot I can’t persuade myself to do anything. We are told this heatwave will last all week. Read the Sunday papers and relaxed. Quite a few meetings tomorrow so scanned in a number of documents in preparation.

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