Tuesday, 11 February 2020
The 'Flying Catamaran' disembarked hundreds of new recruits this morning. It's training time at the Naval Base. 2 weeks of fun in the sun, some weapons training and learning how to march for these conscripts about to begin their one year compulsory service in the Greek Navy. Sunday they'll have a few hours out to meet their Mum's and Nan's and girlfriends and clog up the tables at our waterfront cafe. In 2 weeks time they will swear allegiance to flag and country and go off on a few days leave before beginning their service on ships, if they have no one to put a good word in for them or even a far flung island off the coast of Turkey. Anyone with an inside influence will be on shore duty at some base or installation close to home so they can enjoy Mama's cooking and clean clothes.
Carnival has begun in Greece, 3 weeks of dressing up and having fun before the fasting of Lent.
20 February is a big meat eating day and time for fund raising dances and big parties at tavernas and hotels. Most people attending these affairs put on some sort of costume or at least a funny hat. We stay at home and BBQ chops and sausages and so do most here on Poros. I'm a party pooper so staying at home will be fine by me. We are sure to have neighbours or friends here with us. Traditional husband is a very social person and insists on following the customs.
Then Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera), March 2nd, is the next big holiday and feast day. A feast without meat, or fish. We'll be dining on shellfish, octopus, kalamari and taramasalata (fish roe sauce).
Then Lent begins. And finally the Orthdox Easter. Easter Sunday is April 19th this year for us. A week earlier for the rest of you.