Wednesday 6 December 2023

Xmas and More

Erdogan, Turkish President is visiting Greece tomorrow. He will be staying 4 hours. Enough to get in a few meetings, have a Greek lunch and hopefully leave without any incidents.  He will be travelling with 3 planes and 3 limos, all reinforced with 14cms of steel, protection against chemical attacks and heaven knows what else. 
 Greece and Turkey are talking. 

I had to go and give some blood early this morning for a thyroid test. I've already had the results. All normal. 
The lab was beautifully decorated for Xmas. It was a delight to enter. There were garlands, wreaths, lights, Santa's and baubles all through the rooms. It was bright and cheery

The cafes, offices and shops all have Xmas decor 
Poros is starting to look very merry

I made a few jars of pickled onions
And the first Xmas cakes which I have given away. 
I call them Xmas cakes but they're really only boiled fruit cake with a few extra spices and a couple of shots of whisky poured over them

Our Xmas crackers arrived, from Athens. 
The Chinese giants Shein and Temu had 6 crackers for 22 euros. They didn't look anything special. 
So I looked at the Greek giant, the chain called Jumbo. They've really got on the Xmas wagon. 
1 packet of 4 crackers for 4 euros. Perfect. I bought 3 packets and a packet of festive paper napkins with gnomes on them. All for much less than 22 euros. 

Last weekend we celebrated 5 Sagitarrean birthdays, including mine. 
71 and counting. 
An absent Grandson turned 22.
2x17 year olds and a 50-something.
It was a good day. 
The girls polished off some Prosecco and a bottle of excellent Marlborough (NZ) sauvignon blanc. 
The boys drank the wine recently received from the family vineyards near Corinth. 
Stuffed chicken roll and potatoes, with gravy, down our end of the table. Boiled lamb, tzatziki and fried innards down the other end. 

Today, 6th December, is St Niks day. Name day for Niks and Nikoletas. He's Patron Saint of the Greek Navy so there was a church service and parade of his icon round the Navy Base. We should have gone too but went to the blood lab instead and then had early morning coffee on the waterfront. 


Friday 1 December 2023

Olive Oil

The olive season around here is more of less over. Most of our neighbours  gathered their olives but it was a short picking season. Weeks instead of months.
Some trees had olives, others right next to them had none.
Some neighbours thought it wasn't  worth the effort this year.

5-6 kilos of olives  produced a litre of oil.  That's about average 

Picking in the paddock next door, playground of wild goats. Even though the trees have been left to the elements and had their lower branches stripped by the goats they still produce olives most years.

  The land is owned by a family in Athens who have been trying to sell it for a long time.  The olives are picked by relatives on the island and the family takes a small percentage of the oil.

Years ago they were asking 100,000 euros for the land.  It's a rough piece, long and narrow and in need of a bulldozer to clean it up. 
A fire hazard in summer.
I'm not sure how easy it will be to build on either. Archeological and forestry laws tie up everything here in red tape.

We had a couple of bad storms and if the nets aren't down then they fall to the ground and are the devil to collect.
Years ago the villagers wouldn't leave an olive unpicked from the tree or from the rocky ground underneath. Elderly women would be stooped double hunting out every last olive. Nowadays if it's not in the nets then forget it.

Choosing the best olives for preserving.  
These are my girls, all family. 
They harvested the tree in the garden, not for oil but for the olives.

Little Red Riding Hoods 
Collecting goodies for Grandpa 😄

K asked them to pick out a bag of black olives for him to salt. Every black olive is bashed with a hammer and then left in salt for a few days. You need to be a traditional Greek to enjoy these strong tasting wrinkly olives. 
The green ones are soaked in water for a week to get rid of the bitterness, then preserved in oil and vinegar. They're more to my taste.

Then it's pruning time.
Vaso and her family are out everyday cutting the olive trees down to size

Here is Vaso with her trusty shears (secateurs), bent over, snipping and cleaning the twigs from fallen branches. She is happy still, at 85, to be able to help. 
Her son with his chainsaw trims the trees . Vaso gets the bigger branches ready for firewood and her daughter drags any other branches into a pile for burning.

Soon the neighbourhood will be smokey from bonfires of these prunings. They have to be burnt as soon as possible. If they're left they attract insects which are detrimental to the tree and next year's harvest .

A few months ago we secured 2 x 17 litre tins of last year's oil before the price went up.
I don't how much it is going for now but it has more than doubled in price.

Wednesday 29 November 2023


Tuna on a tile. 

You've seen a similar photo before
Tuna cooked in the oven on a roof tile.
This one is well seasoned.  It has roasted a lot of tuna
Clean the tuna, let the blood drain out.  Stuff the belly and head cavity with lemon slices, garlic and oregano
Bake 40 minutes
Let it cool a bit.  Remove the flesh from the back bone and generously douse with a lemon and olive oil dressing.
  Juice from a couple of lemons, double that amount of olive oil, a little salt, a sprinkle of oregano, a squirt of mustard. 
Put that all in a screw jar and shake well.
Eat.  With a green salad, bread and wine

Spinach pie
Filling ... 
Spinach chopped and sweated, lots of chopped dill and fresh spring onions
One egg
Lots of grated or crumbled feta cheese. 
Mix well

Homemade pastry.......
400-450 grams all purpose flour
200 grams water
70 grams olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsps vinegar
Mix well and knead till soft and elastic
Let it rest 20 minutes and then divide in half.  Roll out each piece for top and bottom of the pie

What the hell
Something has turned my cauliflower and broccoli leaves into lace work.

Half a dozen caterpillars.  White cabbage butterflies?
Boy can they chomp through these plants.
But not any more.

Friday 24 November 2023

Dogs and Drugs

 To continue on from the last post.....

If you don't own a dog or are more of a cat person, like me, then big barking dogs are fearsome beasts. 

Years ago when we lived in town I used to walk around the smaller  island in the morning.  On the back road there was a small herd of sheep guarded by two dogs.  The sheep were usually found down a small bank near the sea and could only be heard but not seen.  Somewhere nearby were the dogs.  Every damn time I walked that road they would suddenly leap out at me barking and snarling.  

I knew more or less where they were but their appearance was  so sudden and so menacing that I almost had a heart attack.  I was so angry at being frightened that I would shriek at them and run passed.    In the end I stopped walking that way altogether.  It was too much for my nerves.

A few of our neighbours have hunting dogs but they are kept under control and are well fenced in.  Hunters are not keen on losing a good hound.  There's a sweet little white dog called Snoopy who runs free.  He barks like mad protecting the house and grounds but will actually wag his tail when approached.  He's the epitome of  'his bark is worse than his bite'.

Then there are the other dogs. Big and noisy. Behind fences but free. They follow me along the fence line barking and growling.

Unfortunately there are some on almost every route I take.

My girls both have dogs and I am quite happy to dog-sit them on occasion, and give them back again.  They are dogs I know and trust.  Unlike the 'strange' dogs I meet or hear on my daily ramblings.

Now for sneakers on  powerlines.

This appears to be a worldwide phenomenon.

They've appeared in Beijing, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Spain, Lebanon and now Poros. Australia apparently is a 'hotbed of errant show throwing'.

Wikipedia calls it 'folk sport' and there's a site called 'Shoefiti' that apparently tracks hanging shoes.

Does it mean

-that this is a place for drug deals

-or is it a commemoration of a wedding or the end of the school year. 

Scratching of head..??? Ehhhh?

-that someone was just bored and had nothing else to do with their old trainers.

-its simply a prank

-a young guy who lives nearby lost his virginity

-its a form of art

Heavens to mergatroyd, what else will I hear.

The only young boy who lives anywhere near is 10 years old and his idea of fun is doing wheelies on his bike so I'm crossing that off the list.

It's not the end of the school year and no one around here has got married recently.

A place for drug deals?

Beside the rubbish bins way out in the wop-wops? 

 It's out in the middle of nowhere but cars and bikes pass now and again and there are local farmers in their olive groves, herding sheep or cutting wood. Two shady characters hanging around under dangling shoes would stick out like a sore thumb.

There are drug dealers and users on the island but I doubt anyone would wind 5 kms up the mountain to get their dose. However whether it's true or it's an urban myth it's known even by my young granddaughter, who does Not buy drugs or use them.

As for it being a work of art.
No way! Naaa, not these ones.

I'm still voting for a stupid joke by the rubbish men who found an old pair of trainers in the bin, climbed up on top of the truck and tied them there.

I got bored googling the damn things. 

Wednesday 22 November 2023


Do you ever look up when you're outside?

A pair of athletic shoes hanging from the wires. 
They haven't just been slung up there from below . The laces look as though they are tied on.
Who?  Why ....well, why not?
From the top of the rubbish truck I'd say, by bored council workers.

It doesn't matter where I walk up here, I have to pass barking dogs.
These two seemed really dangerous, loud barks and big teeth.  K had a talk with their owner and he said they'd retreat if you shooed them away.
One was outside the other day and I told him to shut up (nicely of course) and he did lower the tone and backed up.  
When I took this photo I had to get closer, closer to the big fence. And they did retreat. 
Every time I took a step forward they took a step back.

All the other dogs are also behind tall fences and I hope they stay there.
Their barking is loud and insistent.
I have my trekking poles but they're all only for waving around. 
Once, a few years ago, I came upon a pack of dogs. 3 or 4 of them and they didn't look friendly. I retreated slowly and thank goodness they didn't follow .
They must have escaped from one of the rural parcels of land up here. Guardians of olive groves and rustic sheds.
Most of these are large dogs on the end of big chains.
 Thank goodness I've never seen them since.

Monday 20 November 2023

This and That

Now and again the sea rises and gushes through flood channels onto the road.  There is no tide here to cause  a surge of sea water and it isn't excessive rainfall, causing the sea level to rise.

The sea water forms a lake  for almost a kilometre along the harbour

All that salt water can do damage to your car but these kids are having loads of fun

Ladies who lunch
I'm front left
At the end of summer, as days cooled down, I suddenly became a social butterfly, Poros style.
As well as going to the cinema three times in one month/year/summer I also got to wine and dine with English friends .
We coffee-ed and lunched, chatted in a language I savvy and didn't have to interpret. My glass ran-eth over.

Grandson, who lives in the city, taking their kitten, Diego for a walk. Coffee and catnip?

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Peppers and a Pumpkin

A little bit of nothing

Our troll guarding the last green squash

One pumpkin/squash out of so many that we spied in the garden.
The goats came and ate all the leaves. They left this tubby little specimen hanging on the gate, still attached to it's vine. We had rain, we had sunshine and there it hung, going nowhere, doing nothing. So I cut it off and will wait for it to go yellow.

Red hot peppers
Our best crop this year. 
They come up by themselves and grow with no help from me.
That's probably why they do so well.
I'll harvest them and dry them but we still haven't used last year's or those from the year before.
They're very spicy. A little goes a long way.