Week 278

20TH April,2014

Last night we went to bed around 11.30 pm and heard the beach being blown up at about midnight. It was only a small explosion by previous years’ standards but it was audible.

We are not remotely religious. Easter used to mean holidays. Now it means the shops are closed and television schedules are more dire than usual. Nowhere could this be more true than Greece.  We had a few visitors today with Easter presents but, otherwise, it was an ordinary gardening day. Actually, we went out to download the Sunday newspaper and we cooked a leg of lamb for Dinner but in all other aspects we didn’t acknowledge the calendar at all. We certainly felt better for it. How confining it must be to be tied in to those ancient rituals. Even so, some still need them and they have our pity.

21st April,2014

A noticeably warmer, gardening day. We are getting on quite well with the work. We have been here a week and away from England for two. It feels like a lifetime already. All this fresh and garden labour is driving my weight down again. I was hoping to keep these clothes for the duration but I may have to order new before October.

22nd April,2014

Warmer even at 7.00 am today. 23C/71F registers first thing. The wind is coming from Africa and the temperatures are set to rise. We may actually turn the underfloor heating off today.

A busy morning will start with downloading the newspaper to the iPad, visiting the Post Office to collect a parcel. I must say, they have become very efficient now. Our 60 Kgs in three parcels that we posted the day before we left England was reasonably cheap to send and arrived days before we did. I hear my friend, Giannis, has gone back there temporarily so I’m hoping to see him. He contacted me a couple of times in Surrey over the mum winter. We will go on to see the Notary in her ‘new’ premises. They have a lovely view. We met there before Easter. We will go to the café to upload this Blog. I am going to speak to Cosmote too, hopefully, organise Internet on the Go and top up Pauline’s phone. A bit of shoping and then back to garden clearance in the afternoon.

The newspapers are full of David Moyes’ impending doom. Personally, I would still like to see him given more time but it’s a cut-throat business. If Ferguson hadn’t been given time, the long era of triumph would have been stillborn!

23rd April, 2014

Out early but our parcel has not arrived yet. The reason is probably Easter delays. Working temporarily at the Post Office again, Giannis is sorting me out with a new (5th) mobile internet, USB stick. The new one is much improved and includes wi-fi reception. I know most wi-fi passwords in the locality so that will be helpful. I might opt for 20Gb instead of 10Gb this year although it may be a bit of an indulgence. We have quite a bit of news from and for the Notary at the moment so we are going to be seeing plenty of each other over the next few weeks. She tells us that her children loved our Easter presents and have declared us their favourite English people.

It was almost mid day by the time we got back to the house. It already felt like quite a full day. We decided to go out for Lunch. We drove down to Miropi restaurant. We had already had a nice chat with Apostolis (who also looked like he’d lost weight over the Winter) and now we were warmly greeted by Moshka who has always been a friendly favourite of ours. We met Nikos’ fiancé. She looked a nice girl. Her father, an electrician, helped us last year. We also had a lovely, long chat with Christos and his brother at the cafe. They were warm and spent some time trying to persuade us not to sell our house and hoping we will commit to the island for years to come. There are so many, lovely people on this island.

We hadn’t been home long when there was a light, respectful tapping on the front door. It was a courier delivering our parcel from Surrey.

24th April, 2014

Pauline gets her State Pension today. It comes round so quickly and always makes us laugh. She gets £451.04 every four weeks not every month. It is a small amount but better that a poke in the eye with a sharp stick as the saying goes. It almost pays our Grocery Bill which is helpful. When I get my State Pension in just under two year’s time, I will receive £640.00 (at today’s value) per four week period which will boost our income to around £1100.00 every four weeks on top of our Teachers’ Pensions. We have Greek island friends who would be very happy to have £1100.00 (€1300.00) as their full pension for a month. It would be nice to help them.

It is thirty years since I completed a research M.A. in the History of Ideas. It was research into late nineteenth century left wing thought. I did it while I was working full time. Now I’m retired, I’ve decided to challenge myself to some research in political thought through history. I am going to discipline myself to review the timeline of political thought development from Confucius, Plato and Aristotle to the current day. I will review things in my Blog as I deal with them intellectually so, be warned. When I get back to England, I will continue with my book about life on a small and very parochial Greek Island and the fascinating characters who people it.

25th April, 2014

Had two lots of potential buyers round the house yesterday, both for second viewings. They came with the Notary who we are getting to know very well. We are back to see her again this morning to sort out the required Energy Efficiency Report for the house and fill out the Well Registration forms. Paper, paper, paper – just what ex-teachers love!

It’s a beautiful day and I would rather be spending time in the garden but these are important matters to resolve. Maybe there will be time this afternoon. Did my INR test yesterday and it was at its optimum of 2.5 which is wonderful. Nowadays, I email the UK hospital and they reply within an hour with Dosage Advice. It’s a fantastic service.

I came out in a shirt and sweater this morning and, already, it is too hot. Met Giannis outside Prago Café this morning and he said my Mobile Internet stick and contract is ordered, payed for and on its way. He will phone us in on Monday to collect it. Wonderful. Thank goodness for that. The Notary has offered us free use of her wi-fi whenever we want. We are almost living with the Notary at the moment. She has been wonderful. We spent two hours with her this morning. We’ve set up the Energy Efficiency survey, completed the Well Registration, taken it to Nik in the Community Office and had it accepted. The process involved half a dozen phone calls including two to the plumber. Nik did a search on Google Earth for the co-ordinates and everything was filed probably never to be seen again. As he pointed out, this is as much to stop people opening new wells/bores or re-opening old ones without permission as it is about licensing working ones.

I’ve uploaded this on Pragonet which is lovely. They make good coffee and Pauline has a huge cheese pie which makes me feel sanctimoniously good. We ate out last night after a stressful/exciting day. We had chicken souvlaki and grilled vegetables. Pauline had bread. We did drink a little wine. Today will be a light one with fish and salad.

26th April, 2014

Up at 6.30 am today. It is a delicious, warm morning. It will be spent in the garden. Later, there are two football matches to watch and three more tomorrow. I’m going to get so fit.