Saturday, 18 September 2021
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
The Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross
In the Greek Orthodox church this is one of the big feast days. But not in the way of eating. It's a day of strict fasting, like Good Friday. No oil and absolutely no, meat, fish, eggs or dairy. Too bad if it's your name day. You'll be celebrating with grilled octopus and squid and sharing out almond cakes and dark chocolate with nuts. But, there's no limit on the ouzo, wine and raki.
We ate liver and onions.
K, although a very traditional greek, is exempted from these rules and regulations for health reasons.
My sister in law went to the little church at the end of the harbour with a bunch of basil and brought back Holy water to sprinkle round the house. Everyone takes basil to church on this day. It's a holy plant because when Empress Helena discovered the true cross there was a basil plant growing there.
In older days and even now the good greek housewife will place her blessed bunch of holy basil in a basin of water, leave it to soak for a few days and make sourdough starter from the liquid. Don't bother if you're a young woman and it's your time of the month. It won't work, so they say.
Schools opened on the 13th. All my younger grandchildren have to do covid tests twice a week until they are vaccinated and wear masks during lessons. They are allowed to take them off during breaks and gym out in the yard.
They are all down on the list to be vaccinated and hopefully that will happen this week. At least they won't then need to do those twice weekly tests.
Friday, 10 September 2021
Wednesday, 8 September 2021
Another view of Teacher's Island, Daskalio. There are other islands with similar names all over Greece. They were the out of the way venues for secret schools during the hundreds of years of Turkish occupation when it was illegal to teach the Greek language or history.
Friday, 3 September 2021
Angela, the rains are a coming! The ants are out in force. They are scooping up any crumb they can find and the tiny little red ones are getting very aggressive. Their bite stings and there's a fierce slapping of arm or leg. Rain has been forecast for northern Greece from tomorrow and it may rain here on Sunday. The ants say there will definitely be rain.
Up further North in the city of Katerini a warehouse of oregano was destroyed by fire. 40 tons of oregano. I wonder if you can get high on oregano fumes. I find it difficult to get my mind around 40 tons of the stuff. Oregano is light weight. How big was the warehouse.
Our national tennis hero Stephanos Tsitsipas has blackened his reputation lately. In the early stages of the Covid crisis he was the leading man in the ad campaign, wear your mask , keep your distance and stay home. Now he has publicly said that he hasn't been vaccinated and won't unless he's forced to. He says he's young and fit and eats healthily and won't catch it. You'd think he would just keep his mouth shut but he and his father kept the story going for days . Being young and healthy isn't going to keep him safe if someone with the virus coughs in his face. It didn't help at all when Greece is trying its best to get everyone vaccinated.
Now he's in the news again for taking long toilet breaks during international tennis matches. One opponent, on camera accused him of taking his phone with him and consulting his Papa who is his coach. The camera swung around to where his Papa was sitting and there he was texting on his phone. He lost the match by the way.
Playing against Andy Murray in New York he took a 9 minute break. He later took another long loo break, halted the game to change rackets and then had a medical time-out. These major players are not amused. It breaks their rythym, which is probably what he wants. He was booed at the US Open after another break playing Adrian Mannarino.
Foreign firefighters who helped put out Greece's wild fires this summer have been given vouchers to return and enjoy a holiday in Greece. There were hundreds of firemen fighting the fires , from 11 EU countries and 12 non -EU. Last week we watched on the news as a convoy of Romanian firetrucks left for home. They got cheered all along the way.
And last but never least there have been 6 cases of the new variant of Covid 19 reported in Greece. MU, first appeared in Colombia back in January and has now been found in 39 countries.
Thursday, 2 September 2021
Looks like we have internet . It was a bit patchy yesterday but good enough let us do all the online work that had to be finished. We paid the phone bill as well, now they have finally got us functioning again.
When at a fish taverna, order fish
Tuesday, 31 August 2021
Boohoo. It's been almost a week now. Life without internet. Almost.
K phones the phone company 2 - 3 times every day to either complain or find out what progress they might be making. Not much. It's not all Poros, just our sparsely inhabited part of the island. Maybe they're not too worried. I bet they would never leave the whole island without internet.
But they didn't reckon on my traditional Greek who loves sitting on the phone 'chatting' and will not stop until he gets action. He's notified all the neighbours too and make sure they are phoning for daily updates.
None of the operators really know what's going on even though they're here in Greece and not in India. But his constant prodding has given us free 10GB worth of data.
Know how fast that disappears when you're listening to YouTube podcasts all night? Not very long.
We've been out for coffee a couple of times to use the cafe's WiFi . That's ok when I'm reading but not when I'm trying to type something on a tiny screen with big-people-fingers.
And it's the end of the month so online payments have to be made. What a hassle.
We can live without Facebook, blogging, Viber, Whatsap or Instagram. But I don't want too!