Week 247

8th September, 2013

Coffee at the café and then jobs around the garden. We meet our friend the proprietor of Absynthe Pauline finished cleaning the bathrooms. They look as if they were newly tiled yesterday. I have been uprooting leaky pipe from mature trees that don’t need it any longer. I will use it in the vegetable garden next year.

Early and wonderful swim in beautifully clear but quite crisp water. Hardly anyone there at 1.30 pm on a Sunday. Home for shower and then out to Vathi for lunch to our favourite restaurant on the beach. We had salad and grilled fish in idyllic surroundings. We were amazed to find little, secluded Vathi really busy with lots of older, well-heeled tourists who were lingering over expensive meals.


9th September, 2013

Reasonably warm – about 27C/81F – but rather breezy day. September wind has an edge to it and can be particularly felt first thing in the morning and when the sun goes down. As a result, we decided swimming wouldn’t be the most pleasurable experience and gave it a miss.

Spent some time in the garden grubbing up kilometres of leaky pipe which have been down since the trees and bushes were planted. They have largely outgrown the system’s capabilities. I will recycle it in the vegetable garden next year.

I have certainly written before that my daily drug prescription is enough to increase my weight in itself and would certainly require a pension of its own if it were not entirely free. Diabetics get free prescriptions. Over-60s get free prescriptions . Being an over-60 diabetic, I am considering charging the Health Service for the right to supply me. I get pills for my diabetes, for my blood pressure, statins like every other person in the world and warfarin for my atrial fibrillation. I am not proud of it, I can tell you, and I’d much rather not take them but, if they give me a better life, so be it.

Eyebrows were raised in the new surgery in Surrey when I asked for a six month’s supply of my prescription. I told them, quite innocently, that we were going to our Greek house. They told me that they could only write prescriptions for two months duration and, if we were out of the country for more than three months, we would be taken off our surgery’s books. Apparently, new rules about health tourism mean that people cheat the system so regularly that they had to tighten up the rules. As soon as they realised that we were genuine, a doctor took us aside and told us how to build up a increasing supply of our prescription drugs by reordering early so that, by the time we come away, I have more than a six month supply with me. Originally, they said I should buy my own drugs in Greece. That was never going to happen. For one thing, I probably couldn’t source half the items and, for another, after 40 years of paying in to the system, there was no way we were going to be disadvantaged because of those not entitled cheating the system. I have just put in a repeat prescription and will return to 6 months drugs when I get back.

10th September, 2013

Magical, magical day. Wonderful weather – calm and reaching 31C/88F – and very quiet island. This is the quietest September we can remember. The beach and sea were almost deserted when we had a wonderful swim at around 4.00 pm..

This morning we went down for the Postal ritual. Then back home to read the paper before I did watering while Pauline threw the strongest weed-killer known to man at every plant that has had the temerity to grow where we didn’t invite it. I did a bit more ground clearance and then collapsed exhausted. After that, the swim was so refreshing.

The cat has gone beserk. Our local supermarket has an Italian brand of catfood for the discerning cat. Mother Cat loves – with a passion – a mix of salmon and beef with gravy. She can’t get enough of it. Well, I’m quite tempted myself. Today, however, Pauline had some Lamb which she has had in the freezer since Easter. We have just under a month until we leave and her judgement is that we won’t eat this lamb after all this time. She decided to give it to the cat. It was enough for two, big, cat meals.

After the first meal at 6.00 pm which was bolted down, Mother Cat sat at the back door until Pauline relented and gave her half of the other portion. Ten minutes later, Mother Cat broke all known conventions and walked all round the outside of the house to where we were sitting under the pergola to demand more lamb. She has never done anything like that before. We couldn’t refuse her. Pauline gave her the rest of the lamb. Goodness knows how she ate it. This really is a feral cat with style.


Apostolis, our neighbour who works at the Electricity Company called round to discuss recent developments. I’m glad we’ve got to know him. Going round to our amanuensis and husband for lunch in the next couple of weeks. Should be fun.

11th September, 2013

The Community path alongside our road has been attacked again. Fortunately, I’ve been photo-cataloguing it. This time, on the pretext of sorting out the drainage, what was once a donkey track is being turned into a motorway. The photos taken today show that digging out yesterday went far into the rock beyond what was needed for drainage pipes and the preparation work is clearly for concrete to build improved access. As you can clearly see, the gable of our wall has been badly damaged in the process.


Our neighbour came by this evening to see what had been done and then brought others to look at it. The police have been round a few times recently. I expect them again tomorrow. Fortunately, I have plenty of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos to illustrate the enormous changes taking place.

12th September, 2013

The unauthorised desecration of this Community path continues along its author’s ‘slowly slowly’ plan. Locals have checked with Syros and Milos in the last couple of days and no authorisation has been given for this activity. There was no need for the drainage work. The gully was good enough as it was. We know a number of locals who are furious about the cavalier behaviour. We will hand stage by stage photographs to them from pre-digging to now so they can illustrate their complaints to the police and we are off to Syros in just over a week to make our own case.


As you can see, the one thing this is not about is drainage.

13th September, 2013

A hot, muggy, sticky day. This sort of weather rather saps one’s energy. However, we had a good swim in a pleasantly deserted sea.

Our amanuensis phoned to invite us to lunch tomorrow. That will be nice. The Notary has invited us for Monday. It is good to talk.

14th September, 2013

A really enjoyable day. Simple pleasures like shopping started the day. Later, we read the newspapers and relaxed. A sharp swim across the bay and back and then off to Lunch at the home of our amanuensis. We had a delicious salad with spinach pie


followed by a wonderful dish of chicken and celery and finishing with bitter chocolate ice cream. The food was wonderful but the conversation was even better. We stayed for at least three hours and arranged for them to come up to us next week.

Drove home to watch the football. Really enjoyed Man. City held to a draw by Stoke and then Chelsea being beaten by Everton. Both were good matches.

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