Week 234

9th June, 2013

Out this morning at 8.30 am and down to the Café for coffee. Ordered some pork joints and fresh cheese from Moshka to be picked up tomorrow. Back to read the Sunday Times and then cleaning. Every year the windows and doors get treated with a special solution to maintain the paintwork and stop the wood drying out. Usually we do it at the end of the summer and they are at their best when we leave. This year we have done it early so we actually get the best of gleaming, rejuvenated woodwork. We’re getting a bit worried about Mother Cat. She came and ate three, huge meals today and yet she is really skinny. She appeared so hungry that she began to take an interest in my tomatoes. We are eating our first, ‘cherry’ tomatoes already and very sweet they are too. TOMS

We should be picking courgettes in another week. The green, bell peppers won’t be long either.

10th June, 2013

If there is a cleaner, tidier house than ours in Greece, I’d like to see it. The grounds have been cleared and raked rubbish removed. The patio, walls, windows and doors have been washed and treated and polished. The inside has been relentlessly mopped and dusted. I think we’ll give it a rest for a while. We were supposed to start swimming today but, after four solid hours of cleaning, we both felt shattered and collapsed with our newspaper and book.

11th June, 2013

Down to the post this morning. Two letters – Cosmote (Internet Bill) and Nova (Satellite Bill). Both were completely in Greek. I knew what both said almost immediately. The first told me that my monthly bill for 10Gbs was €30.00 which is excellent. The speed is so good that I don’t notice the difference from my Broadband service in Surrey. The Nova wasn’t a bill at all but an enticement to take a new, HD box. I have an HD Television and I have HD in Surrey but it really doesn’t seem worth it here. Although I got the general drift of the letter, I put some bits into Google Translate to find that they were offering the inducement of 6 months free service. Even that didn’t do it for me.

I can’t believe I’m writing this especially as we approach the middle of June but rain is forecast for the next three days. Last night, there was some lightning over the port. Even though Sakis (ET3) and the BBC (Met. Office) are in agreement, ever the sceptic, I am starting my next round of plant garden watering this morning.

It is 8.00 pm and I’m beginning to doubt my own scepticism. This is the view from our patio looking out over Kamares harbour.


12th June, 2013

Oh, Sakis. Just as we were getting to know each other, just as we were becoming nightly friends, they abolish you. They say you were too extravagant and far too expensive. Maybe it is true but it was nice while it lasted. May be I am in the minority but I mourn the passing of Et3 and its meteorologist, Sakis Arnaoutoglou. Last night the state broadcasting company was summarily closed, ending the life of Net, ET1 & ET3 television channels and a number of radio channels including ERA, Voice of Greece & Kosmos. Where now will I go for detailed and thoughtful weather forecasts? The BBC?


13th June, 2013

I’m going absolutely ‘BATS’. I suddenly realised I was once again trying to revert to 2012. Whatever the year, it really isn’t looking like any rain will bless us. Still, we should be careful what we wish for. Skiathos & Skopelos seem to be getting everybody’s rain. My garden would welcome a bit but not a streetful and, particularly, not all at once.

It is hard to believe that Samaras didn’t consider the effects of his actions in closing down the entire Public Broadcasting Network – ERT – but is he surprised at the international condemnation of it this morning? Even the employees admit it was over-bloated and corrupt and the government had been negotiating with unions for a year unsuccessfully. However, they will have to get on with a replacement quickly or the accusation of censorship of the press will stick.

All day the dark clouds bubbled and passed, bubbled and passed. Rain? – No rain. By 5.00 pm, we decide to do some watering. An hour later, watering finished, the sun comes out and ………. it begins to rain. Not heavy, earth wetting, Skiathan rain. Just light and gentle moistening. Well it is mid-June in the Cyclades.

14th June, 2013

The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed-
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.

Mercy visited us in buckets over night. The middle of June. I don’t remember such a merciful visitation in June for a long time.

The Greek Union of News Journalists (ESIEA) has, wrongly in my opinion, decided to extend the total news blackout until next Tuesday. By then a week will have elapsed without proper national discussion of the closure of ERT. This is a mistake. They should be out there, making the case not muttering behind their hands. The Coalition meet on Monday to hammer out a compromise. It is being stressed that this issue is not a Coalition breaker. There will be no early elections. Things in the economy are too serious for that.

14th June, 2013

Hold the front page: Weather Returns to Normal. The garden continues to show the benefit of the recent rain but the day has opened with clear blue skies and sunshine. The temperature is 25C/77F and rising and there is a light breeze. What more could one want?

Well, if you were living in Surrey on this fine Saturday, you could look forward to 13C/55C for your barbecue. On the bright side, however, you’re living in the right area because the recession since 2008 has exacerbated existing inequalities because the divide between the North and the South and it is growing faster than at any point since the Second World War, according to The Times.

We are becoming egg-bound. Pauline returned Kiki’s basket which she had, so kindly, given to us filled to the brim with fresh eggs. Kiki asked if we liked them and when we confirmed that we did, she immediately promised another basketful. We are not complaining. They are absolutely wonderful and she is so kind. It’s just that, an hour later, we were up at Elinoil buying petrol and we weren’t allowed to leave until we had taken another gift of fresh eggs. What lovely people! We are going to Olga’s for Dinner but it will be omelette for lunch.


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