Monday 27 September 2021


 All quiet on the Western Front.

No news of marauding Turks, wildfires, nuclear subs, border walls, viruses or yet another wife killing, 10 so far this year. 

The cafeteria doesn't open till 9 so no use getting up early. Capuccino and cheese pies to look forward to.

Yes, we are on holiday. My traditional Greek man, and me, are getting some r &r so he doesn't add another wife to those statistics.

I think I post the same pic every year. This time though we are on the 2nd floor. We observe without being observed .

So green and so clean

 We are back at the Naval resort. One week of absolute relaxation.  The restaurant has a good variety of cheap food. The rooms have been cleaned and disinfected. No housework, though I did sweep the sand off the floor yesterday.

The beach has umbrellas and sun-beds and pedaloes and canoes for the very active. WiFi is a bit spotty but I have a collection of books and magazines.

The weekend was busy. The beach filled up with active personal, families in tow. Now it's just the hardy, the retired and the retiring. This is the last week before it closes for the winter. It's quiet. Almost too quiet for traditional Greek men who seek discourse and dispute.

  The sea water is cold until you can make that first dunk. Then its glorious.

  The only sounds are from the groups of Greek ladies bobbing in the sea whose shrill voices carry a very long way over the water.  

Even after swimming way down the beach this morning I could still hear them quite clearly, yap yap yap. I block them out but K picks up all the latest gossip.

Saturday we got up at 6 and drove 4 hours back to the island to attend a wedding. Crazy. Then 4 hours back on Sunday, later in the day, to continue our holiday till mid week when we get the boot.

The weather forecast is perfect for dozing over a book, icy swims and ouzo and octopus, that I don't have to prepare, on a  terrace that's not ours.

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.