Week 3

The week has started well. I woke up to find an email from Jonathan Kelly in Boston, Massachusetts. He lives there with his wife, Kathy who he met in Repton nearly 40 years ago and his two dogs. He also has two grown up children. He is well and happy and sends the family his best wishes. What shocked me is that he looks exactly as I remember his father 40 years ago – right down to the jumper and the background of boats.


I also received a lovely photo from Dave Beasley of himself in his garden/small holding. I can’t believe he’s gone grey.


January 5th, 2009

Today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year across Britain. I can confirm that. I went back to work.

January 6th, 2009

Stavros phoned today. He had arrived back in Sifnos but he was suffering badly with gastric flu. Nikos had been sick at the airport and on the plane and they had stayed at a Piraeus Hotel before getting Agios Georgios back to the island.


January 9th, 2009

Found a lovely little Italian restaurant in the backstreets of our home town. Strangely for an Italian restaurant, it is called Mona Lisa and it is owned and managed by Greek-Iranians but the cooking is wonderful. Like a typically homespun Trattoria, it is small, quaint and in a basement.


It is informal, welcoming and crammed into a small space. See this local review. We had:

Crostini with salad and olives
Deep-fried cheese
Chicken breasts in cream and garlic with seasonal vegetables
Hot chocolate pudding with ice cream
½ Litre House White
½ Litre House Red

The whole meal came to just about £45.00. It’s hard to believe nowadays. No wonder we had to beg for a table.

January 10th, 2009

The week has finished bitterly cold. It is only -3°C today but it has been down to -5°C over the past few drives to work. Greece is about 11°C – day and night at the moment. Still cool but acceptable.

Week 2

This is the week when my previous Blogs have petered out – but not this time.

Do you remember Keith Venables? His family lived next to Grandad Coghlan and Peter Stimpson in Well Lane. His Dad, Peter, was on the Scout Committee with Mum and they became friends. Keith left Repton Primary in 1959 – three years before me – and then he went on to Etwall and the Staffordshire Police Force for thirty years leaving in 2000. He now lives on the Greek Island of Kefalonia where he is an entertainer for seven months each year. How do I know all this – I found his posting on Friends Reunited.


Looks a nice island. It is particularly popular with wind surfers – which tells you something about the weather.

December 29th  2008

I emailed Keith via Frends Reunited and got an immediate reply. He remembered the first three children – Ruth, John & Robert – and asked after us. He has been living in Greece – Kefalonia – for the past seven years and a couple of years ago bought a villa. He supplements his police pension by doing some sort of entertaining in bars or hotels in the summer season. Keith left Repton Primary three years before me so he must be 60 years old now.

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At least Keith doesn’t have this. Rioting continues in Athens in spite of snow in Viotia, north of Athens, on Saturday.

December 30th, 2008

It is 30 years ago today that Pauline & I were married. We were anxious because when we woke up that morning there had been a very heavy snowfall and the men who gritted the roads were on strike. It was touch and go whether anyone one would arrive. Pauline’s Family phoned to say that they couldn’t get across the Pennines.

We set off for the Registry Office in Huddersfield accompanied by Chris & Kevin Dagg. Fortunately, both families made it plus lots of friends.

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The wedding was followed by a ‘Blessing’ at Meltham Mills Church

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and then wonderful eats, all made by Pauline , back at 164 Huddersfield Road where we spent another happy five years before moving to Slade House in Helme.

December 31st, 2008

What a end to the year. This morning I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation or irregular heart beat. I have to have a heart scan and they want me to take Warfarin – a blood thinning agent. Pauline is terrified that I will suffer a brain bleed because of it.

Happy New Year everybody.

January 1st, 2009

Today I launched the new Sanders Website. I hope to develop its content along with this Blog over the next 30 years. Something to look forward to, eh, Bob?

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January 2nd, 2009

We drove over to see Stavros in Hull this morning but we just missed him. When we got home, he had left a message on our answer phone to say he was on the train back to Luton Airport for their flight on Easyjet back to Athens.

The Times reported this morning that Stelios’s father had died. He was born in Cyprus in the Troodos Mountains and, subsequently named his company Troodos.


Pauline & I were there in 1994 – 15 years ago.

January 3rd, 2009

We have finished the holiday by pressing on with our house refurbishment in England. We came home from Greece in the summer, where work is now largely finished and anything that needs doing can be taken care of by Stavros, saying we must do something to freshen up our house in England. We have really got on with it. New bedroom furniture in Bedroom 2 and in the Dressing Room have been followed by new carpets throughout the house and new windows right across the front of the house.


Quarry Court

Week 1

December 25th, 2008

Welcome to the Hellas Blog on Christmas Day 2008. A particular welcome to all the Sanders Family and those closely associated with them.

December 26th, 2008

Boxing Day – Who needs it? Spent today driving around the Moors in weak winter sunshine. They remind me so much of Greek Island scenery – desolate and brown, undulating and punctured by volcanic rock erupting through the heather.

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At least the girls looked good.

December 27th, 2008

Spoke to Stavros about our log burning stove – a Jotul. We bought it in Halifax and had it shipped out to Sifnos. I don’t think Stavros has been confident about installing it because the stove – a F250 – has stood in the lounge for nearly four years uncommissioned. The installation instructions are in Norwegian and he is Greek. At last we have linked him up with a Greek installer and the job is going ahead in January ’09.

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All I’ve got to do now is find some logs on an island with few trees. Any ideas?