Week 244

18th August, 2013

One week of the Greek tourism bulge left here. It will be nice to get back to normal. Since we put the ‘For Sale’ sign on the gate, we have become a tourist attraction. All the world and his wife cruise very slowly past with a smartphone sticking out of the car window. Late last night we received a phone call from Poros. It was the Notary to tell us a Greek-American family wanted to view the house. We phoned them and agreed 11.30 this morning. After a trip to the café for coffee, we are heading back for the viewing when the phone goes from Poros. The family have had to cancel because of problems with their ferry – the F/b Agios Georgios which has lost its anchor and is confined to port in Milos. The family have had to leave on an earlier boat. Rather disappointing but unavoidable.

We mooched around for the rest of the day – unable to settle – reading the papers and watching the football. Pauline spoke to our amanuensis who was up a mountain.

19th August, 2013

Woke up cold. Mid-August? The wind was blowing. Where am I?

Just settling down to my morning orange juice when the phone went. The Greek-American family hadn’t gone after all and would like, if it was possible, to come in the next hour to see the house before they leave on Speedrunner at 12.30 p.m.. Why not. Quick tidy up and I am opening the gate to a Greek who is married to an American and lives in Boston where my old friend, Jonathan, has lived for forty years and an Athenian member of the family which, apparently, extends to thirteen members all of whom  want to share the house at different times. They say they love the house, take pictures and the web address to share with the family and leave, agreeing to negotiate with the Notary.

Pauline speaks to the Notary who is on a ferry somewhere off Athens. She then speaks to our amanuensis who is up another mountain. Then we take a pause and life gets back to normal. Going to clean the car and tidy the garage today. What fun!

20th August, 2013

Wonderfully cool night again gave us another excellent sleep although I’m not sure I will tonight. I am worrying about a distinct lack of teak oil.


In her constant and restless quest to maintain anything that stays still and many others that don’t, my wife’s eyes have turned to the outdoor furniture and restoring it with teak oil. This morning we spent a fruitless hour or so searching all known sources without success. We’ve been promised some on Friday but which Friday, I don’t know.

My internet supply through Cosmote continues to be free. Last year, because I drop my contract in mid-year and restart the next, Cosmote asked me to pay a deposit of €100.00 – I suppose in case I scarpered to foreigner-land without settling my bill. This year, they’ve not only substantially reduced my monthly cost but deducted it from last year’s €100.00 deposit. As a result, my service has been free so far. You just can’t give it away nowadays.

With the wind substantially down, swimming is inescapable. I bet the sea will be cold after all that wind. ………….It was although the sand was hot under foot. Sat around and read The Times. It featured the joke that won funniest of the  Edinburgh Fringe:

I heard a  rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar.
Could be a  Chinese Wispa.

And then I read Tim Vine’s joke which is substantially funnier:

My friend told me he was going to a  fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him ‘Don’t be Sicily’.

That only came fourth. The number two gag was:

I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was  sole-destroying.

 21st August, 2013

The Times newspaper have been featuring a running article about names (in)appropriate to the job or profession. Yesterday there was a surgeon called Mr Gelder who performed a vasectomy and a barber called Herr Kutz. I’m pretty sure that many are fabricated but I’ve sent in the former Repton butcher who had over his shop: I.C. Blood. You see how busy I am.

Another strange weather day. The gauge said we reached 29C/85F but it felt cooler in a gentle breeze. We went down for a swim today although the water wasn’t particularly comfortable. The beach was noticeably quieter as are the car parks. When we got back, we made our meal of chicken and peppers and listened to the Test Match Special broadcast. We also had to have a very serious discussion that we’ve both been putting off for days. I think we’ve both been reluctant to raise the issue: Is Mother Cat pregnant again? We think she might be. She isn’t coming to us in the middle of the night for sausage sandwiches or demanding lumps of coal for breakfast but she is looking decidedly fatter and eating more. We don’t know if we can cope with it all again this year.

22nd August, 2013

I’m ashamed to admit that I had forgotten until Jane reminded me that it would have been Mum’s 90th birthday today. She died 5 years ago. All the same – Happy Birthday, Mum.


I bet she wouldn’t thank me for the photo which I believe was taken in 1966 when she was 39 and I was sweet 15.

The island is noticeably quieter today and this weekend should see the bulk of Greek tourists gone. A simple drive up to the shops in Apollonia attests to that. A cool night and, this morning at 10.000 am the temperature was only 24C/75F. Took two, huge bags of Basil leaves down to the local Pizzeria this morning. They urgently need to make pesto and have run out in their own garden. We threw in a bag of Rosemary and a bag of Sage for good measure.


After coffee, my wife has resumed her hobby of house maintenance. She is giving the windows and shutters their annual wood treatment. I am much busier with the Test Match on.

23rd August, 2013

It doesn’t get much more September than this. Weather cool, beach quiet, sea cold. What will happen when it’s really September?

In the last week, we’ve been concerned that Mother Cat is feeding too well and putting on weight. In the last few days, we’ve have come to the awful conclusion that she is pregnant again and, today, she has disappeared to, presumably, shell another brood. No doubt she will bring them round when she’s ready.

24th August, 2013

The newspapers and radio reports were full of declining exam results being declared this week, on the one hand, contrasted with schools and LEAs boasting that they have bucked the trend and increased their successes on the other. We are so familiar with this process and we are also so far away from it now. Now, for five summers, we have had no reason to even think about exam results and the further away it recedes, the better it feels and more pointless it seems.


The Test match was rained off in England just as Greece finally begins to embrace August with some warm, calm weather. I’m deep in my newspaper this morning when we receive an unannounced visit from a paediatric surgeon from Leeds of all places. He has seen the house advert and would like to look around. What a nice man he turned out to be. Intelligent people so often do seem pleasant. He loved the house and wants to bring his wife back to view it.

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