Week 283

25th May, 2014

The last week in May, 2014 and the Mediterranean has arrived on Sifnos. Well, it is warm to a noticeable degree. I’ve taken to having the Living Room windows open all day to get some air through. I’m wearing short-sleeved shirts and the quilt has disappeared from the bed. A single sheet cover is enough. It happened a couple of weeks earlier last year but we are not complaining. Garden clearing was much tougher today in strong sun.

We have been here six weeks and out of Surrey for seven. Pauline cooked half a pig today. It was delicious with braised celery and onion.

26th May, 2014

A hot 29C/84F today but feels hotter. It is actually uncomfortable. We listened to the BBC Today programme at 8.00 am (Greece) / 6.00 am (UK) to hear about the Mad Men of Europe escaping (temporarily) from the asylum. All across the Continent balmy far-right wingers and just as balmy far-left wingers have posted protest votes. Right, Left, they don’t realise that they are part of a continuous circle united and meeting in madness.  Little good will it do them ultimately but they can strut, goose step and salute their bonkers flags for now.

Because of the heat, we were out working on the land by 9.00 am and finished by 12.30 pm – exhausted and wet with sweat. We have just completed another level and, interestingly, a number of people – friends, taxi drivers, local farmers, lorry drivers all stopped to compliment us on our work. It makes no real difference but it was nice.

Cold pig for lunch. The pork had developed a wonderful flavour over night. Pauline knocked up a quick pear & onion compôte with cinnamon and ginger to go with it. How wonderful! She is so clever. We are also gorging on white-fleshed peaches at the moment.


I’m sure we’ll soon get tired of them.

27th May, 2014

So hot out in the garden today. We could only cope with three hours work as the temperature reached 27C / 81F by 11.00 am. Still, we worked, made a difference and lost a lot of sweat. Chicken and onions with beans for our meal today.

28th May, 2014

A hot and humid start to the day. We began garden clearing at 9.00 am and managed about 3 hrs. The two, old pensioners we employed last year managed double that every day for eight days.  We were dripping with sweat throughout. We are really making an impact and have nearly cleared two of the three first levels around the house. It is enjoyable and really impacting my weight loss. I have lost over a stone (6 kilos) since we got here six and a half weeks ago. Pauline bought clothes for my new shape when we were leaving Surrey and they are already beginning to feel big.

I’m never hungry now. I am eating so little that I’m not surprised I’m losing weight. I thought that was the cause of my blacking out spells but, when one happened today, Pauline tested my blood pressure and it was very low as was my pulse. We think that, since I’ve lost weight, I don’t need the same quantity of tablets for high blood pressure. That will be something to address when we get home in October.

29th May, 2014

According to newspaper reports today of a study published in the Lancet, British girls have become the fattest in Europe – mind you, they are only followed marginally behind by Greek girls. How could they let themselves go like this? It is such a crime to be obese! According to the survey, 29.2% of girls under 19 are obese compared with 29.1% in Greece.


The difference is that the UK NHS is going to be given funding to address the issue by sending the overweight on slimming courses at the Nation’s expense. I bet that doesn’t happen in Greece. I’m pleased to say that I have lost a stone since I got back to Greece and it has been largely by forcing myself to do physical labour. It’s wonderful to be holier than thou!

The weather has changed in the blink of an eye and gale force winds with fairly heavy rain has hit us although it is still 23C/71F. It is quite exciting to see the ground we’ve cleared turn dark with moisture. Good job we brought gallons of heavy duty weed killer with us because there are going to be a lot of weed seedlings in the next couple of weeks after this.

30th May, 2014

Well, it was some evening/night. The rain was stronger and more prolonged than anticipated and some of the gusts of wind were very forceful, leading to us moving furniture off the patio. Our job today was to move a haystack of cleared vegetation down to the lower level. Instead, the wind had done it for us and we were clearing the gate. At least we weren’t feeling as fed up as this owl also caught in a violent storm in North Yorkshire yesterday and featured in The Times.


Coffee at the café and a meeting with the Notary this morning then back to read the paper and clear the patio of last night’s debris. There’s nothing like living life in the fast lane …. and this is nothing like it either.

Interesting late afternoon second meeting with the Notary has left us with decisions to make over the weekend. We know what to do! Opened a bottle of wine and Pauline cooked sweet & our prawn balls. Wonderful!

31st May, 2014

Well, say goodbye to May 2014 for ever. You will never see it again. Actually, it has turned out to be a lovely, lovely day today with warm sunshine – only 24C/75F – with a light breeze. After shopping and filling up with petrol, we did a three hour stint in the garden which felt good. Actually, we have been on the island for seven weeks and this is only our second tank of petrol. It cost €90.00 to fill up. We always go to the Elinoil garage which currently has a sticker on its pumps advertising the longevity of the company’s establishment. 1954 – 2014 it trumpets.


The garage owner was keen to point out he was of the same vintage. Bet I know who is richer!


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