Monday, 3 October 2016
29th of the month. At 7.45am there is already a line of 15 people outside the bank. We have till the 30th to pay the 'special' housing tax and the next instalment of our income tax. Pensioners get paid on the 29th and line up to receive their few hundred euros and pay all their obligations.
This month we had been away and left payments till the last minute. By the time I took the photo I was no. 21 in line, waiting for the bank to open at 8am.
Drimia maritima, the autumn bride. These have suddenly popped up covering the fields around us. Apparently they appear in times of drought, though it didn't seem to be an unusually dry summer. It is the flower head of a huge bulb with long green leaves called the boska. By Christmas the flowers will have died away and the bulb will have sprouted a frill of long green leaves. Hippocrates (Hippocratic oath) the father of medecine used the plant to treat jaundice, convulsions and asthma. They are very bitter and poisonous and even the goats avoid eating them.
At Christmas and New Year the big bulbs with their green leaves (weighing a kilo or more) are dug up, the bulb wrapped in silver paper and then hung on the front door for good luck. We don't carry on this tradition though most do here, including my sister-in-law. Now I have googled and researched the boska I may hang one on our door this New Year. We will certainly have plenty of bulbs to choose from.
The boska keeps on growing even when dug up, is thought to have magical powers and symbolises rebirth.
This boska stands guard in the middle of our neighbour's driveway
The old fire road which goes around the back of Poros past the sewage plant is slowly being covered by young pine trees. They have grown tremendously over the summer from young saplings (in the photo below) to 2 metre trees. In some places the road is already down to one lane and if they are not trimmed soon the road will become a path. This path through pine trees mind you is a beautiful drive with views of the village of Methana across the bay and the mainland right down to Piraeus.
The council cannot trim even a branch until the Forest Service gives it the go-ahead. In Greece you must get permission to trim or cut down a pine tree even if it is on your own land. Years ago pine forests were burnt or logged to build houses and forests were disappearing, hence the prohibition.
A breath of greenery
The first of the wild cyclamens have appeared
Our local bay with clouds in the sky and definitely an autumn feel
There are still swimmers and a few tables of coffee drinkers but gone are the long hot days and the crowds of beer drinkers and sunbathers.