19th August, 2012
The Sunday Times took two hours to download to the iPad this morning which rather destroyed the work we were going to do. Strong winds made it gritty and unpleasant sitting outside but at least the temperature was down a bit – only 28C/82F. The day turned in to a real ‘slobs’ day. Fresh coffee, newspapers, Premier League Football, catching up with correspondence on the web.
I always try to read my fellow Bloggers at some stage in the day. I start with The Skiathan and miss it if he’s not written. Actually today he left a message to say he was on holiday. I hope he doesn’t get blown away.
20th August, 2012
Got up this morning and the air felt almost Autumnal. There is a strong breeze which will hold temperatures down but there is an edge to the early morning which I associate with late September. At least the tourists will soon be gone and we can get back to ‘normal’ life.
Unfortunately heatwave is forecast to return from Thursday for five days. The Skiathan has drawn my attention to a report in Athens News saying June and July have been the hottest months in Athens since 1897 (Athens News) http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/13/57762
21st August, 2012
The wind is down earlier than forecast. We went to collect the post. Our credit cards weren’t in it. We went home and phoned the bank. I did this ten days ago and had an additional address (our Greek one) added to our file. Yes of course they would send replacement cards and not charge us for the £2500.00 that had been defrauded from it. The new cards would arrive on Sifnos within ten days. That is today. When I phoned using Skype, I was passed from pillar to post and suddenly became aware our Skype credit was running down. It is automatically renewed and charged to our credit card which had been cancelled. We have a £10,000.00 facility on that card but I couldn’t get £11.50 for the phone. Just in time, an answer came: I’m sorry, Sir. We Couriered your new cards to your home in Surrey. Thank goodness Pauline’s sister was able to nip round and get them into airmail tonight for Athens. They will be in our hands by Thursday or Friday.
Went out to Captain Andrea’s for a wonderful lunch and then our amanuensis brought tradesmen round to discuss work to be done in the Winter. We also needed to discuss developments going on around us for a submission to the Community.
22nd August, 2012
Mum’s birthday today. She would have been 89.
The morning was still and reasonably cool so Pauline took the opportunity to repaint the balcony railings while I cleared some correspondence and then watered all the trees and cleared a bit of land. Pauline finished by 11.00 am and, by the time I finished at 12.30 am, the sun was very hot and the temperature was 32C/90F.
The lady at the Elinoil petrol station that we use gave us some cheese which her Mother had just made. It is delicious and we had it for lunch along with home grown tomatoes and basil and Pauline’s home made bread. It went well with an ice-cold bottle of Pinot Grigio. Pauline delivered a lecture on drinking too much wine and I hummed the Italian National Anthem – Il Canto degli Italiani – or the chant of the Italians.
After a snooze, we went down for a swim. It was wonderful, clear, cool water. The beach was decidedly quiet for the middle of August. It feels like the Season is winding down already.
23rd August, 2012
Pleasant temperature over night but the morning indicated that temperatures are rising again. As we drive out at 8.45 am, the thermometer shows 30C/86F. Collected post, downloaded the newspaper and then went up to the bank (because our new cards haven’t arrived yet) to get some money. We had coffee at Prego and looked out over Anti-Paros and Paros. How close they are. You feel you can almost reach out and touch them and yet the ferry takes so long.
Called in at the Community Offices and then off to the butcher for some wonderful beef steaks. Supermarket and home. Later, as we walked on to the beach at 4.00 pm, the temperature had reached, locally, 34C/92F but in Athens was reading 37C/98F. They are expecting 40-41C over the next few days and we will feel the knock-on effect.
Mother Cat has been missing for three days but was back this morning loudly demanding breakfast at 7.00 am.. She has slept under the rosemary bush most of the day. She asked for food again at 6.00 pm and then flaked out under the dining table on the patio. When I opened the window to speak to her, a baby kitten shot off a dining chair and out into the garden. Now we know what she’s been up to!
24th August, 2012
Mother Cat proudly paraded her new off-spring late last night but this morning appeared to have lost him/her. At 7.00 am she was fast asleep on the patio but by 7.30, she was anxiously and unsuccessfully calling for her off-spring.
Lovely day although you can tell it is going to be hot. A bit of painting today before the sun gets round to the front.
As Greek Prime Minister, Samaras, prostitutes himself around Europe begging for time and leniency, the Greeks themselves refuse to help. The Athens News has reported that businesses are stealing VAT by keeping it for themselves and not passing it on to the Government:
They quote certain islands but, to be frank, it could go anywhere in Greece and find this. The ordinary Greeks just don’t seem to have cottoned on that these businesses are stealing their money, the money that would pay for their health service and their pensions. It’s not that these hoteliers and restaurateurs don’t charge VAT. They do but then put it straight into their own pockets. On Hydra, when the tax inspectors arrested a restaurant owner for not issuing receipts, the islanders rose up against the tax inspectors. Absolutely bonkers.
As Europe absorbs Greece into its economy, they must send their own tax inspectors and house/land inspectors. Just as in the UK where property was checked individually and assessed for house tax, so Greeks must have theirs individually assessed and accurate with individual tax assessments issued. Greece is small. It wouldn’t take long. If Greeks want to survive in the modern world, they have to obey the modern law.
25th August, 2012
Up at 6.00 am and after tea but no toast we went down to a very quiet port by 7.30 am to download the newspaper. By 8.00 am we were parked outside the periptero waiting for our friend. Chatted to the Street Cleaner who, by this time in the day, had finished his job and was going for coffee. What he does do is put two, so-called intellectuals to shame. Our Greek is minimal and he is fluent in three languages having hardly gone to school. He speaks fluent English and Italian as well as his native Greek. Took a few photos as we waited. We rarely go down in to the port in peak season.
We drove back up to the house to meet the waller and the plumber. They are close friends and were coming back to complete some security work at the top of our land today but also to discuss a job they are both going to do for us next year. An hour or so and it was all done. We were free to go shopping. Ironically, we met three or four people in the supermarket who we were intending to contact about jobs. Very useful!
Back home to read the newspaper, drink fresh coffee and relax. The first football match today was the early kick-off for Swansea v West Ham.. Of course, we all hate West Ham. and Swansea played them off the park.