Thursday 28 October 2021

Flying the flag


28th of October is a Greek National day and my brother's birthday.
Long live my brother P and the  Democracy  of Greece

Most houses fly the greek flag for these national holidays.
This one is flying from an in-laws balcony in Athens

A neighbourhood flag

Down in the town. A flag blowing in the wind beside another of those little churches

And our own flag which K put up two days ago

Today we are down in town in our Sunday best waiting to see our grandchildren in the big parade.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

The Autumn Garden

My tiny little winter vegetable garden is planted, except for the garlic.  Vegetables planted out in the earth get choked by the clover/oxalis so I use planters which are easier to keep weed free.

Rocket, spring onions, lettuces and leeks.  In other pots I have parsley, celery and still some green pepper plants.

Youngest grandaughter helped plant the leeks. It was nice to have company. This one likes gardening but she doesn't like having her photo taken

The greening of the garden.  Soon this whole area will be overgrown with clover and nasturtiums.  I love the green growth, as long as it's not in my pots

The lettuces and leeks come in bundles of 20.  I plant the surplus wherever there's a bit of space.  These are in with the hydrangea which will be dormant till spring


The only show of colour
The thornless bougainvillia given to me by my son-in-law

We had a young lad to come in and clean the backyard.  Gone are the weeds and piles of dry grasses and branches.  Gone too are a few bags of old bits of wood, iron and assorted other treasures.

Monday 25 October 2021

Around Town


At this cafe you can sit in the soft comfort of an old armchair.
Come early, there's only one of them.
Was, only one of them.  
I imagine it has been dragged indoors now after our mini monsoon.  Great selling point but not for us.  It's not at a 'K approved' cafeteria. I don't dare to sit somewhere K does not deem worthy of his presence .

Further down outside a fish taverna is a replica of a wooden fishing boat from the next door island of Hydra

And here are fishing nets laid out to dry along the waterfront.
The summer season is coming to an end and these nets will be folded up and covered for the winter.

Thursday 21 October 2021


More washing machines?
Yes, more
How many washing machines can a fellow have?
As  many as a fellow wants
Which is far more than a fellow needs

We now have two more washing machines adorning our front yard.
Thanks to neighbours who bought new machines.
So these are second hand, were broken, are now fixed and waiting a new home.  I hope.  We already have two in the back yard.

The monsoon began and they're still in the front yard.
They'll be moved out back very soon.  I hope.
Family members want them, but just not now

One gets lifted into the back of the car with the help of young grandaughter .  She's a rower so her arm muscles are very well developed.

She gets extra exercise hoeing up the weeds
in the road below our wall.  The earth was as hard as concrete.  It hadn't rained for months

And then comes a stretching workout trimming the thorny bougainvillia

There's always work at my house for idle hands!

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Photos. More

 Poros photos.

Hnadmade greek dolls and a greek flag display in the Weaver's shop.
She has a loom set up back there and gives lessons if you want to learn.

28th October is a major national holiday. Soon there will be Greek flags flying everywhere, including outside our house.

Kyriakos, Captain of the water taxi Socrates pushes off  on his short journey across the strait to the mainland.
1 euro for a 5 minute trip.
  A boat leaves from either side every 20 minutes. 
They can be hired to dash across if you think you'll miss the hydrofoil to Athens or just have a leisurely cruise around the harbour.

An alley way downtown

A tiny little church hidden away behind the harbour, squeezed in between  houses
This church is dedicated to Agios Taxiarchis.
His fiesta is on 8 November along with Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Sunday 17 October 2021


 Tomatoes and peppers

Looking back to summer.  That's not long ago.  A week?

The rains finally started and so winter-autumn? began.  Autumn I'd say.  It's still not cold and until the rain set in the beach bars were open and holiday makers were swimming.

Over the last few days the earth has finally had a really good drenching.  Olive and lemon trees have perked up and that lush green clover has appeared seemingly overnight.

Before all these changes we had the grandkids here for an overnighter.  The next morning they made pancakes and nutella, heaps of toast and marmite and then took over the preparation for lunch.

Hollowing out tomatoes wasn't the best part of it but cleaning the green peppers was ok

Per Papou's instructions a grated zucchini was added to the mixture. He overlooks all activities in this house. 
He got the idea from an old lady who used to cook for her taverna.   There was too much stuffing and it didn't add to the taste or texture.  It won't be repeated, by me at least.  His mother didn't do it, why should I.  

Happy, happy.  Tomatoes and peppers stuffed and ready for the oven.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Greek Wedding


These are photos from the wedding we attended at the end of September.  The photos have all come out in the wrong order.
So the commentary is from end to start.

First the couple were married and then the priest baptised their 18 month old daughter.  It's the fashion now to do both in one foul swoop.  Usually, as in this case the couple have a civil wedding and when they can afford it they have a big church wedding.  There were around 200 guests at this event.  

Their were fireworks and bursts of sparklers, rockets and a live band playing traditional greek music. 
No gunfire this time .  A week later another neighbour was married and his friends let off bursts of rifle shot before he left the house.  It's forbidden here now but is still a tradition in most places outside the cities.
The music is more or less standard around here.  The band or the DJ know what the people want.  They want to get up and dance all night long.  Greek dancing.

After the ceremony we are given a small gift of sugared almonds known as bonbonieres.  This is the pink bracelet and small pouch of almonds from the baptism.  The bridal bonboniera was a package of almonds tied up in tuille and attached to a white stone.  In fact they were both glued to stones.  A bit heavy for the pocket and too big for my small purse

Here's the babe in her new hat.  She is stripped, dunked in the font three times, annointed in oil and then dressed up in her new baptismal outfit, provided by the god parents.

 She thought it was all a lot of fun till the priest made sure she was dunked right under the water and then the screaming started.  

Here the babe, Paraskevoula (that's her name, Voula for short) is held by her mother while the priest does the preliminaries with the god parents.  He has to make sure they will bring up their godchild as a good Christian Orthodox and there's a whole spiel to read and recite

The bride and groom have just been joined in Holy Matrimony and are being led around the altar three times by the priest.  We used to throw rice and almonds at them while they did this but now the rice is thrown outside the church.  Easier to sweep up

The bride has just arrived at the church and is greeted by the groom and his parents.  The bride's father hands her over to her husband to be and they go into the church together

Most people stood outside for the whole ceremony.  Only a certain number are allowed inside due to the virus and everyone is supposed to wear a mask.  A handful wore masks and the priest wasn't one of them

The baptismal font nicely decorated for the baptism.  It is filled with warm water

The best man gets instructions on how he must cross the rings and the bridal crowns.  

All ready for the wedding ceremony

Groom and Mama await the daughter-in-law

Saturday 9 October 2021


 Revenge of a vicious piranha.  Or maybe it was a savage shark.  Only they weren't sharks or piranhas, just a band of tiddlers.  And they were out for flesh and blood.

Poor K got bitten by fish when he was bobbing about in the sea on our holiday. I got my heels nibbled but they actually bit chunks out of his leg.

We could see shoals of fish quite clearly. They didn't look more than about 6inches but boy could they do damage.

One thing I can't understand is why they didn't attack those Greek women bobbing just beyond us.

Wednesday 6 October 2021

The Best of Times

 .Our holiday is over now.  We are home and back into the daily routine.  The clothes have all been washed and some of them have even been ironed.  It's almost time for changeover, summer to winter.  Almost.  The weather is still warm though I've put a duvet on the bed.  Nights are chilly.

So here are a few last photos from our holiday.

Sand and sea.  It's really shallow as you wade out, easy to dip in slowly.  The water was not warm

One of the sparrows that always hung around the dining terrace.  A good place for crumbs

Don't know why some of these photos are so darn thin.
I got an iced espresso every morning as I went down to the beach.  One of those insulated beer can holders kept the coffee cold for hours.  

Looking the other way down the beach.  After the weekend there weren't too many people around.  Just enough and just far enough away

Everything was a short walk away.  Our room was at the end of that red brick road

All lit up at night. 
Just us and the sound of night birds
And a bar with low, easy going music to entertain us when we sat on our balcony with a glass of wine in the evening

Monday 4 October 2021

Bits and Pieces

 Our english neighbour brought an unexpected gift 

They have been doing alterations on their house since last summer.  The first thing they did was to send me a message to say there would be to-ing and fro-ing, more traffic and noise than usual.  And then this summer they brought round a couple of bottles of nice greek wine and some english chocolates.  The best sort of neighbours!

I sometimes note that traffic and parking rules don't really apply here.  We double or even triple park and leave the keys in the ignition.  Proper parking for cars is limited and everyone likes to leave their vehicle in front of the cafeteria where they drink their coffee or do their shopping.  Locals know the rules.  City slickers do not.

We found a legal parking space and went off for coffee and other busy-ness and came back to find this car parked up right behind us.  After a lot of shouting and asking around we found the owner's wife at the cafe opposite taking no notice.  When she was singled out she said her husband had the keys and went off to find him.  No 'sorry, wait a minute please'.

He eventually came along, no sorry from him either but we did get a blast of 'just be patient, can't you' from the wife.  That's 'not on' you visitors.  You may spend a bit of money but don't annoy us in this summer heat with your city ways.  

Of course, as we pulled out the husband went into our legal parking space.  No 'thank you' for that either.

It's October now and the island is still full.  The roads are mad with scooters, quad bikes and groups of walkers.  The harbour has wall to wall yachts.  Make hay while the sun shines they say.  Well, the tourists are still doing just that and the extended family needs them.

We do too to some extent.  It makes for fascinating people watching.  The yachts coming in this morning were captained by Sunday-sailors and hitting the dock or the yachts already parked up.  Lots of tut-tutting from experienced sailor K.  Overweight germans wearing speedos and alcoholic french and scandanavians drinking tankards well before the sun was over the yardarm were good for a poke (not literally) and the morning passed cheerily