The whole country was covered in fine orange dust, from the Sahara, for days. My eyes were red and sore, the atmosphere heavy and dull, the horizon obscured and our car covered in orange streaks after a feeble few drops of rain. Thank goodness the skies have finally cleared and days are warm and sunny. The car is still a streaky mess.
The air was so damp that we lit a fire for a few nights. That should be the last of our fires. I've cleaned the wood stove and I don't want to see any more ashes. They've been strewn all over the garden all winter. We don't need any more fertiliser.
The whole extended family has been vaccinated from 18 year olds up. Grandchildren to grandparents, cousins and in-laws. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Cafes and tavernas are opening with outside seating on May 3 which is the day after our Easter Sunday. No doubt all the island will be out if its a nice sunny day to celebrate this step back to normality.
Meantime Easter is coming up fast but it will be an easter similar to our last. No-one is allowed to travel back to their villages for this, the biggest holiday of the year. Many will try of course. There are sure to be loop holes.
The candle lit parade which takes place on Good Friday will take place this year but it won't be a gathering of the entire island. Each church will transport its flower decorated bier around their immediate neighbourhood . The midnight service on Saturday night will take place at 9pm, instead of midnight, with a curfew of 10pm. A huge difference from last year when the priest and chanter were the only ones at the midnight service. This year there will be worshippers outside. Its an important event because we receive the holy light on this eve which lights candles and shrines around the home.
23rd April is St George's day. Kronia Polla England. Because it lands in the middle of Lent this year the fiesta will take place on Monday after Easter Sunday, when my oldest grandson will surely be celebrating with his friends. Cafes and tavernas will be open with a curfew of 11pm.
This weekend is Palm Sunday when we can eat fish. On Saturday I shall make the sweet breads called Lazarakia to mark the rising of Lazarus.
Then Holy week begins with so many traditions and for some lots of church going.