Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Suns Out!

 The sun came out, the wind died down. A marvellous day for walking beside the sea. I put on my mask, sent my SMS no. 6 for permission, made sure I had pockets for ID card and phone, put on jacket and gloves and off I went. Such a palaver.

The boys are fixing the boat. Look how clear the water is, how calm

The snow on the top of the mountain is all that's left of our icy Siberian temperatures

The eucalyptus tree is usually surrounded by sunbeds. In a few months

Is it a bird? Is it an UFO?
No it's just something we rarely see anymore.

A view from over Neorion Bay

Monday, 18 January 2021

Another one of those Days

 Ooh baby it's cold out there. 

There is snow falling all around us, so it seems, but up where we live it's just plain icy. I went out this morning to throw out yesterday's ashes, fill up the wood box and give my wild marmelade cat some biscuits but that's all.

I quickly put together dough for a loaf of bread and got some fasolatha, traditional bean soup, out of the freezer.  The rest of the day has been spent toasting bits of bread and cheese in the oven of the wood fire, changing channels and sipping red wine.

Snow coming down over the hills on the mainland. This photo is taken by one of my daughter's from her balcony.

We did have a quick shower of hail but otherwise not even a snow flake.

And this is a photo taken from the house by the sea .  A slightly different view from the blue skies of last week

And my own view today.
One pot has the soup, with the addition of a hot pepper and the other has a pot of water to wash the dishes later

Saturday, 16 January 2021


 I didn't walk outside today. The icy storm from the north named Leandros, Leander to you, reached us in the early hours of the morning .

I lit the wood fire at 10am. The house was cold and damp. Now it's warm and cosy.

We have stacks of wood around the room and are all ready to hunker down for a few days. It's snowing in the northern suburbs of Athens. 

This blanket is getting heavy. Ideal for working on in this weather

I made chicken soup and we had a few glasses of red wine. It's television and crochet time.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Family Walk

Last weekend my walking programme began with an 'outing' with the girls and the dogs.  It was another sunny day but the atmosphere was dull and the air full of Saharan dust.

There were loads of people up there. walking in the ruins, driving around or like us getting exercise with a view.  From some vantage points, on a clear day, we can see the outskirts of Athens and Piraeus.

The police car passed at some stage but didn't stop to look for masks or sms no. 6, permission to take outdoor physical exercise, walk the dog or feed stray animals.


A dusty horizon.  Looking down towards the harbour of Vagionia, below the ruins of the temple complex dedicated to Greek god of the sea Poseidon.  This whole area would have been full of houses, docks and warehouses once upon a time

The girls came up from town and brought coffee with them.  After the walk we sat to chat.  That is Junior and Molly with us

An elderly olive tree.  

The threshing floor opposite the temple site.  I don't think this is part of the ancient ruins.  It's old, but not that old

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Sun Shiny Day

 Fortunately these last few days have been warm and bright.  We have been out for doctors appointments and  filling out of papers. Today I was in short sleeves with just a light jacket so I didn't have to roll up my sleeves for  a vaccination.  We both got a pneumococcal shot at the local chemist.  6 weeks ago we got an ordinary flu shot and it looks as though sometime in May we may get a covid shot.  Covid vaccine is now being given to over 85 year old.  There were a couple of over 85s in the pharmarcy when we arrived and they were rightly displeased to find out the island doesn't have any vaccine and probably won't for a while.  If they want to get vaccinated they must go to one of the hsopitals in Athens or Piraeus.

When we finished our jobs today we got a coffee-to-go and a couple of sesame rolls and sat in the sunshine, inside the car and watched the goings on around the central market.

There are still plenty of people around, many continuing their old habits, in masks.

The usual patrons of our favourite cafe.  Now they have their coffee in a plastic cup and sit on the stools stacked around the perimeter.  If the owner is warned of a police patrol he shoos them all off to the benches across the road

The rest of the cafe

There was a 'crowd' around the fishing caique so we stopped to see if they were selling any fish.  But no-one had been out. 

Further down the quay there are nets  piled high and covered up.  No restaurants are open to buy the catch.  The big boats are not going out at all

These nets have been here for a while.  Weeds are growing up amongst them

These balmy days are due to come to an end tomorrow.  An icy front called Leandros is coming down from the Siberian steppes.  By the weekend temperatures should be at freezing point and central Athens is forecast to have snow.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021


 Some photos from today's walk in the fresh air.

The door of the little church at the end of the line. The whitewashed piece of marble on the right I'm darn sure is/was  part of a column from the Temple to Poseidon. The ancient ruins are just up the road

A typical rural road

Obviously the first of the spring flowers

A small herd of sheep being brought in to be milked, fed and bedded

It's essential I have my phone with me so I can show the police, if I'm ever stopped, that I have the SMS for permission to walk.
Having my phone with me means I can take photos. That makes the walk a bit more interesting. I'm always on the look out for a scene or everyday, for me, feature which I might be able to show you in my blog.
I get  one view on the way and a different one on the way back. 

Small things but ones which make a difference to me.

Sunday, 10 January 2021


In these strange days when you're more or less confined to home it really helps to have something interesting, creative, to pass the time.  I thought I would be able to read more books, watch more TV programmes of my choice but it rarely turns out that way.  I have a hundred things to do everyday and there still isn't enough time to to do it all.  I still have to cook and clear the ashes and get rid of a few cobwebs.  Clothes still have to be washed, but not necessarily ironed, beds changed and carpets vaccumed.

However, that's morning stuff.  Afternoons, after the essential siesta, there is more time for me.  Thanks to my daughters I have begun a regular walking programme.  The festive season was too much fun and food and I seem to now carry a few extra kilos.  Those have got to go and I need to get fit.  My summer exercise is swimming but I twisted my ankle and sank down into that couch and rarely rose from its depths even when the ankle was healed.

  We have a treadmill which has the evil eye.  The xmas tree was set up on top of it this year through lack of space.  We took it down on New Years eve. Before twelfth night.  It seems that is unlucky.  Ye, right.  But when we turned the treadmill on it came to a grinding halt.  So I have been pushed outside to get exercise.  Dragged and pushed, not quite screaming.  What better place to walk.  We live in the wop-wops.  Fresh air and no-one else to encroach on our space.  The thing about walking is that when you've walked half an hour or so then you have to turn round and walk back again the way you came.  Boring.  Which is why I liked the treadmill.  But with encouragement I am overcoming that.  So many ways to go, so many different turns to make.  I'm getting to enjoy it.  Or I will.

 One of my many hobbies is crochet.  And knitting.  But crochet is faster and all you need is a hook, a bit of yarn and imagination.  If you make a mistake it is so easy to pull it out and continue on.  Unlike knitting

I'm making peggy squares, also known as granny squares.  I'm using whatever yarn leftovers I have on hand.  Sewing in all those ends is a bit of a bugger and you need a few hundred squares to make a decent size throw or blanket but the project can take years.  Who cares.  It's calming and satisfying to see the squares mount up.  If I had enough yarn in just one or two colours I could even make a vest or a jersey, may even do so.

One xmas I knitted dozems of these stockings to hang on everyone's christmas tree.  

Meanwhile the male half of our duo is fixing appliances of every sort for friends and family.  How often does a kettle, iron, vaccum cleaner, bedside light give up the ghost.  If you don't have a handy man then you chuck it and buy another.  Not us.

When it's freezing he brings his repairs inside to the living room.  That's ok.  If he's happy then so am I

Baking takes up time.  Sourdough bread or quick bread when its cold and wet and we don't want to get into the car and take a trip down the mountain.  I'm trying not to bake cakes and biscuits.  Easter isn't that far away and we will once again have a house full of easter baking, cookies and sweet bread.  

I'm making a cookbook of all the New Zealand, English and Gre-nglish recipes we make at Christmas.  I think our house hold should celebrate a Greek easter and an English Christmas.  Traditional people do not agree and we always have some fatty pork at Christmas too, like it or not.

But brussel sprouts, yorkshire puddings, stuffing, roast vege, real gravy,  pate, xmas cake and lots of chilled sauv blanc are essential for me to feel that xmas spirit. It's all being recorded for posterity. 

And now my cousin C in NZ has given me another project.  She wrote and published a book on her extra-ordinary life, her idyllic upbringing in NZ in the '50s and 27 years in Lesotho.  She has asked us all to write 3 pages on our own lives and she will publish a second book.  It's a marvellous idea.  Where to begin, where to end.