Sunday 2 August 2015


A large clay pot sealed with bread dough.  This goes into the wood fired oven and cooks meat in its own juices for three or four hours.  This time it was a chicken.  All we added was lots of garlic, salt and pepper. 

A plate of snails stewed with onions and tomatoes.  These are sucked out with  lots of noisy satisfaction.  If you're shy you could always pick the flesh out with a toothpick .  The tomatoey, saucy juices are sopped up with lots of heavy bread and helped down with lots of cold white wine.  A typical mid summer dish.

My butternut/squash harvest.  I make sweet pumpkin pie, savoury pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin puree and roast pumpkin.  Anyone coming this way, please put a packet of proper pumpkin seeds in your bags (along  with the pineapple chunks and vegemite).  We don't get proper pumpkin here, alas


My hydrangea (called an 'ortansia' here, delightful word).  It originally had pink flowers but now just seems to have green blooms.  I read that it is the Ph of the soil that determines the colour.  Anyone got an idea how I can get the colour back - besides having the soil tested?  That is not going to happen.  I have since cut off all the flowers and am waiting for the next growth.

Summer treasures - not from our garden.  Melon, watermelon, figs, peaches and grapes.

Our local beach, Vagionia Bay.

Ghika the goat, this years resident at the beach bar.  He loves to eat towels. 

Refugees.  Still coming over from the close by shores of Turkey in their hundreds of thousands.  They eventually get to northern Greece and the borders of Scopje, Croatia, Bulgaria , where they are not welcome any more even though they just want to pass through. 

This is a transfer of population which is going to change the stability, cultures of europe.  Four million asylum seekers are expected.  As some one recently pointed out to me, that is the population of New Zealand.

Greek schools opened with a lack of 13,000 teachers.  270 did not open at all because no teachers had been posted to them.  One of our primary schools is trying to teach with two teachers missing and the intermediate has  three teachers less than needed.  It will be mid October before new teachers are appointed.

Elections this Sunday.  Whatever government is formed they will have to carry out European austerity measures. 

Second-year memorial service for my brother-in-law at the Poros Monastery.  No-one was happy when my sister-in-law Dina announced this service would take place in the monastery church.  The monk, Loukas, is very strict and is always giving lectures on the correct dress for women and the inferiority of infidels like me.  However, we were lucky.  He was away for the weekend and his place was taken by an extremely friendly black priest from the nearby town of Methana.

Also I saw that the notice on the door of the church has been changed.  Women wearing 'men's clothes' used not be  allowed inside the church at all.  Now they may enter but will be refused communion.  I still stood outside the door for the service.  There is not a very friendly feeling up there.

Dina made a big tray of funeral wheat which was bagged and shared out by my youngest granddaughters.  I made a 'fanouropita' which is a raisin cake made without eggs, milk or butter and it was darn good. After the service we 'retire' to the monastery's 'social' room where some of us make the small cups of greek coffee, others (women of course) share out the koliva (wheat with sugar, cinnamon, raisins and almonds) and I cut up and plated the cake.  We all had coffee and mastiha (which is a sticky liqeuer), cake and cinnamon biscuits.  Usually we then listen to a lecture from Loukas the monk.  This time we just cleared up and went down to the little coffee bar below under the spreading chestnut tree for a freddo cappuccino.  

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