Monday 27 May 2024

All sorts of Prep

 More clean-up jobs have been crossed off the list. More cooking and cleaning done.

This has been a busy week. We had a run of name days and birthdays which had to to be celebrated in the traditional fashion.

Monday was Saint Lydia. Granddaughter Poppi was baptised Lydia and I creep in there too . Linda, Lydia.  Near enough.  We all went out for pizza.  No dishes

Tuesday was Ks name day and also another 5 members of the extended family.  Close family came for pork and pita bread.  Etc.  This first night finished quite early.  Sigh of relief and the girls helped clear up.  Grandchildren are in the middle of exams and need early nights.

Wednesday was another feast for 6 of K's close friends.  Roast lamb and potatoes on the menu and many kilos of wine.  Greek men sure know how to talk.  2 of them went home at midnight as they had work the next day but the old age pensioners carried on till 2.30am.  I cleared most of the table and did most of the dishes well before that and didn't bother to stay up to see the last one off.

Friday was a friend's birthday.  Lots of chat.  In English.  And at a taverna on Galatas. Most enjoyable and  no hard work involved in that celebration.

Now it's more cleaning and prep for overseas visitors.

Our house is named Villa Linda.  Cringe.  The sign had faded away but it's paint job was on Ks priority list.




It came down



Was cleaned and revarnished.
And went back up again
Bit hard to read isn't it?
Hooray.



The shade cloth over the side balcony was tidied up so the holes are hardly noticeable.
You won't notice them when you arrive, will you little brother!


Poppi and friend prettied up the breeze blocks with drawings of butterflies and flowers.


This very old piece of sculpted furniture topped with a heavy piece of marble, at the front door, has  been taken away to be cleaned and varnished.

Now I must remove greasy handprints from cupboards and doors, do a bit of window cleaning and scrub the loo.  

Fat and oil dissolver has been sprayed over the bbq marble to try and get that glistening white.  
None of this will last long because next week will be one long week of greasy bbqing and oily cooking.  

That's life in a welcoming greek home with traditional people sharing their timehonoured lifestyle, customs and culture with revered guests.






Saturday 25 May 2024

Something 'New'

 Something old, something new, something blue


We have a new, to us, car.  A Poros runabout as my brother says.
It's a Skoda Fabia, far smaller than our old wagon.  Easy to drive and so far easy to park.  I did suggest we should hang a tyre from the wall where we park at home so I just bounce off if I go too far.  K was not impressed.  I will park without scraping or banging, or else.




We are protected on all sides.  
The first thing he did was glue a couple of icons and a blue eye on the dashboard to keep away the demons

There was a lot of faffle about whether road taxes had been paid.  Poor Accountant daughter was getting half a dozen phone calls a day from her dear Dad just when tax deadline was looming and she was far too busy for shenanigins.
K was in heaven.  He loves sitting on the phone sorting out red tape, asking endless questions and then phoning back again to make sure he got it all right, and then asking more questions. He eventually arranged the transfer. Papers which can take up to 6 months to be finalised were done in a week.

It got it's service and a paint job and then it was off to the Warrant of Fitness/MOT/KTEO place.  
The Auto Warrant place was a new one, in our nearest city, Nafplio, an hour or so away.  I was most impressed.  They offered 2 sorts of free coffee and there were jars of mints and soft lollies (sweets to most of you) to help yourself from.  But it was all sorted out in 20 minutes and I only got time for one cup of coffee.   I took some mints and used the toilets!
I'm impressed with the 'new' car.  It has a petrol gauge which isn't back to front.  When it's full it doesn't show empty.  
The electric windows go up and down without a push from me and they don't disappear down into the depths of the door.  
The radio works all the time, especially since we also had an aerial fitted.  It picks up greek stations and local english rock stations too.
The glove compartment opens and closes without being yelled at.
Luxury.

Best of all the road tax is half the price and insurance is cheaper too.

But all that really matters is that K is happy with it




Our old car was to be taken away by one of the local undertakers who wanted it for a spare.  He agreed on the price, went for a test drive and shook hands with K.  They were going to fix the papers the next day.
The next day he changed his mind.
So it sits under an olive tree covered in red dust.  
K has already, since then, arranged for it to be taken away for scrap. 

A huge thank you to my family who made it happen.

 












Thursday 23 May 2024

Photos From a Greek Island

 


A wall of sweet smelling jasmine. The sea always  in the background


One of those blue and white houses for which Greek  islands are famed. It has tiny balconies with a panoramic  view of the bay and the channel across to the mountains on the mainland 


Rays of the sun illuminating the blue sky. 
Old stone houses in our former neighbourhood


A yacht from New Zealand
Of course we need a photo when one of these rarities appear in the marina



Steps. Steep steps
Poros town is built on a hill. 
The sky today is clouded with Saharan sand



When the sun shines the blue and white shines too


Steps, alleyways and more steps all the way up to the top of the hill.

Poppi took the photo of the Kiwi yacht.
The other photos were taken by my daughter Elli as she walks between office and home.

Thanks kids.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Before and After

 Spring clean-up. 

We've got visitors soon from the land down under.  We must  polish the brass and clean the silver. The fatted pig is ready for slaughter. 


Our front wall needed a good whitewash


The railings were well past their paint-by date and getting rusty



The eagle holding the bell over the front gate.
K have him a paint job.
I've just noticed the bell. That's one piece of brass that hasn't been polished, yet. 



The walls were whitewashed and the railings sanded down and painted. We thought the railings were painted white till the wall was finished. The railings are actually off-white. Never mind, they're look a damn sight better. 


A bit of pruning on our neighbours land.
These bushes are called 'pounari' and they're a damn nuisance. They are trimmed right down to the roots every year and regenerate even stronger, and they spread. To remove them the roots have to be bulldozed out. 
To continue....  they were growing too close for comfort to our BBQ and are a fire hazard. We are going to bbq a pig there soon so our friend cut a wide corridor with his handy little chainsaw. 


Shade cloth in place. It's got a few holes but will do the job for another summer. 



Now we need the council to get it's act together and fix up the road. The edges were dug up for new water pipes. After a 2 year wait. 
6 months ago they assured us the road would be tar sealed before Christmas. When the new Mayor was elected he assured us the road would be concreted before Easter. 
Now he says they'll come, sometime, and concrete the entrance way to everyone's house. There are only 5 houses in the road. 
So we wait. And hope. 

It's all part of the Poros experience. 
Ouzo, octopus and rustic 'charm'.


Thursday 16 May 2024

Early Morning Coffee

 Yesterday we had to go down, not into town, but as far as the bridge which separates the two islands which make up Poros. The bridge goes over a small canal, about 3 metres wide. Most visitors hardly realise they are driving from one island to another. Blink and you've missed the connection. 

So, to continue, it was only 9am and we had a 2 hour wait so we walked along to a coffee shop right on the water. 


Looking out towards the hills of the mainland and the quiet harbour in front of the Naval School where fishing boats tie up.


The new recruits were being quick marched along the quay. We could hear the officer yelling out orders. Then I heard church bells from the cathedral in  town ringing out a slow death knell. Both sounds used to be familiar when we lived in town in earshot of naval and church activities. 




The neo classical building that houses the headquarters of the Naval School. The base is a training school for navy conscripts




A line of majestic palm trees along the coast road


Sunflowers and bougainvillia




Fisherman, cousin Tasos, coming in with the morning catch
 



Tuesday 14 May 2024

Seasons

 


My garden
13th March
The greenery are nasturtiums and some sort of clover. I don't think it's oxalis. It looks like the pictures of wood sorrel found on Google. Clover-like leaves with yellow flowers. It grows like mad in winter, as do the nasturtiums, and dries up and completely disappears in summer.
As you can see below.


14th May

And this how it will stay till October/November depending when the first rains come.

If I'm lucky a few pumpkins may provide a bit of green ground cover . A few have sprouted in the enclosed plot on the right, so there's a chance we may have something to harvest at the end of summer.



Saturday 11 May 2024

Sotirakis

 So much has been going on  these last 2 weeks I haven't had time to post about our latest Poros Bazaar.  This one was in aid of another dog


Little Sotirakis
He has problems with his eyes and needs a slew of tests and an appointment with a specialist in Athens

                                                                 

Our 2 tireless Organisers. Waiting for the first customers on a warm Poros day.

Jan from England and Cecile from Belgium.  Both are very long time residents.   Local-aliens like me



Rudi
The boy who benefitted from the first bazaar.  He needed special medecine which the bazaar helped provide.  He has put on weight and become a happy healthy dog.  He lapped up lots of attention



Happy browsers


Jan sorting out the donated clothes.  Most were donated by another English resident.  Beautifully tailored, in excellent condition



My daughter Danae has an eye for a bargain and sorted out something for all of us. She found a dress for me which fitted perfectly. Only trouble is that I haven't worn a dress in years and although it looks great I feel oddly bare. I'm used to having my knees and legs covered by trousers or leggings. 


A friend of ours doing a clean out donated half a dozen paintings
K wanted this one.  We have no free wall space.  Thank goodness someone else snapped it up


Refreshments
Coffee
Sangria and mint water 



And the main items
Books. English and a few greek and dutch

It wouldn't be a bazaar without a raffle.  And the perfect prize/s. Free haircuts and nail care.  
I've won a free haircut and boy do I need one. I'm like a shaggy sheep dog 😄