Saturday, 18 September 2021

Photos. Poros


An inventive way to keep the flies off  the fish. Tassels on  rotating rope

But this is where we mostly buy our fish.  Straight from the kaïki of cousin Tassos

If we disappear for quarter of an hour he'll gut and scale them too

An imaginative light shade at a harbour side taverna

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

14th September

 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.

Church of the Holy Cross
all decked out for it's fiesta

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

Home News


 September now and there is a noticeable drop in temperature.  Hurrah.  The next two months will be quiet-er and cool-er.

Not many around here have picked their grapes yet.  The harvest seems to be later this year despite the heat waves, one after another this summer.

The serious wine growers have plenty of healthy grapes to pick.  Unlike us.  This is more or less the extent of our grapes this year.  There are a few more bunches but mostly they have shrivelled on the vine...........

.......... and turned into raisins

An iced coffee with a paper straw.  Here you can buy a coffee and can still be drinking it 2 hours later.  A paper straw is not a good idea.  The bottom half, which sits in the coffee, starts to dissolve.
I drink my coffee quickly but traditional greeks do not.  There's a lot of blah, blah, blah inbetween each sip.  Coffee sessions are usually drawn out debates

Thanks to my cousin Ch who sent me a parcel of NZ Listeners and newspapers.  The Listener is basically a TV guide but that brief description does it an injustice.  It is a magazine to inform and entertain.  I read everything from the letters to the editor, current events , sports, book reviews, well informed articles on everything under the sun and the best crosswords and puzzles which make me scratch my head and think.

This puzzle, puzzler is my absolute favourite.  He gives you one letter and you have to solve it from there.  He's being doing these puzzles for donkey's years.  Last time I was in NZ, 2006, I found a book of them and brought it back.  I do the puzzles in pencil, rub them out and do them again, after a few years when hopefully I've forgotten the solution.

Thanks Cuz

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Poros Photos No 3


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.  

As you can see from this photo it is vaguely in the shape of a heart.  It is nowadays promoted as the Island of Love, Eros, and a romantic setting for a wedding.

The island is not far from the coast and the grandchildren often row over there or even swim the distance for a picnic in the grounds of the little white church dedicated to the Virgin  Mary

One of many ancient theatres in Greece.  This is the Epidavros theatre not far from us .  Their summer season of greek comedies and dramas has just finished

A rather different view of the island.  It does rain here, sometimes.

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

Fishy Dishes

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

Here's Captain Pano again with his shrimps and spaghetti
A favourite dish in Greece.  K cooks it for us now and again though the shrimps he cooks aren't quite as big as these

K's downhome 'taverna'
Fish night on our balcony

One crab fed two.  They didn't eat only crab obviously but you can see the size of it from the claw.  K steamed it and dug out the meat, piled it into the shell with a little olive oil and lemon juice.  The meat in the claws was broken out with a walnut cracker

Seabream lightly cooked in wine with carrots and zucchini
Grilled octopus

Fish souvlaki.
Marinated and grilled once again by K
The fish is called 'morona'
The english translation appears to be 'sturgeon'.

K and his cousin of the same name tucking into that fresh cod
45 euros a kilo.

Just a note on ordering fresh fish.  K and his cousin K went into the kitchen and looked at the fish available.  Pressed and prodded and looked at the eyes to see how fresh it was.  Then they told the chef exactly what they wanted, how many fish and how to cook them.  The chef weighed out the fish in front of them and after everything was agreed on they came back to the table happy campers.

You can order one fish or one kilo and usually they will fry or grill, bake it or even turn it into fish soup if you're prepared to wait

My traditional Greek husband loves cooking and eating fish.  He even prefers it to pork.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

No WiFi

 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!