Sunday 25 September 2022

One Down

Not for vegans or the faint hearted!

We were invited for a roast dinner today


The meat was surprisingly tender and there was no 'ripe goat' smell.

It slow cooked in the oven for 3 or 4 hours with olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. No salt or pepper. Lots of potatoes too.

It was only 17 kilos so it wasn't one of the bigguns.

Neighbour says he won't shoot at anything unless it's on his land. The herd got under the wire a few days ago. Fair game. They'd damaged quite a few olive trees . 
One down, the rest scarpered and haven't returned ....yet.

The leaks were patched up but K just told me there's now water bubbling up from the road right outside our gate

Thursday 22 September 2022

Visiting Day

 Visiting day at the Naval Base.  The new recruits have had a week of confinement at the Base here, plus another week or so at the main marshelling station in Athens.  They used to spend 6 weeks here but now it's more like 3.  Learning to march, handle guns, peel potatoes, garden.  Basic training.

Every greek male is supposed to do time in the armed forces once they reach 18, with very basic pay. Time in the Navy was 2 years but it's down to something like 9 months now.  Not too much time to spend away from Mama but a nuisance if you're studying or starting a new job.  It can be delayed until after your studies and those escaping overseas can now get some sort of exemption.  They used to be nabbed as they re-entered the country and sent into the army.

Our oldest grandson has put his conscription off till he ends his studies in a couple of years time. 

The 2 Sundays here at the base they are allowed out till 4pm.  A few hundred young sailors are joined by several hundred mothers, grandmothers, girlfriends and a few Dads all eager to fuss over their young boys.  

We hadn't realised it was visiting day when we went for coffee and arrived at the lower gate of the Base to find young lads dressed in white flocking out into the parking lot, heading for the cafes and tavernas in town.  

From experience we knew it was touch and go whether we found an empty table at our favourite cafe.  While K parked up I dashed for our cafe which is first in the line of harbour cafes.  I grabbed a table, not our usual one, but with a view of goings on and out of the sun.

The regulars were noticeably absent, either by choice or because 'their' tables were already occupied

Mamas and Grandmamas bring tupperware containers of meatballs and dolmathes to feed up their sons who are fading away without their homecooking

Sailors, sailors everywhere

Sunday 18 September 2022


Our herd of wild goats have returned.  They have found a water source.  The leaky water mains.

The pipe was fixed last week and a few days later it burst again.
Happy goats.
The piping all the way down the road will have to be replaced.  Sometime.  Sometime never.

Here are just a portion of them having a drink.  The herd must be well over 20, from huge billy goats to frisky youngsters.  The latter are in danger of being wiped out.  Our neighbour just bought a new gun

We hear them most nights now, rearing up and bringing down the lower olive branches, chewing up any branches from our lemon trees and bougainvillia that hang over the fence.  That's fair game, I don't mind them trimming the overhang.

The house on the other side which has been vacant for a few years has just yesterday been rented out to a dutch couple.  They arrived while I was watering the garden. I naturally came out to see what all the fuss was about.  We don't do 'fuss' around here normally.

There they were, the nieces of the aged aunt who once owned the house, our local estate agent and the foreign couple.  They all came over to tell me what was going on and the dutch, or maybe  it was Austrian, woman introduced herself. I was taken rather by surprise, thought they hadn't spotted me having a snoop and didn't quite take it all in. 

They obviously weren't told to keep their big garden gates shut because we could hear the goats having a feast in their garden last night.  I hope the olive trees aren't too badly damaged.  It will be olive season in a month or so.

This neighbourhood is becoming quite cosmopolitan.  We already have english neighbours, who only usually come for the summer, then there's me from NZ and now we have Dutch/Austrian.  They have rented for all the year but from what I understand they will only be here for a month.  A year long holiday rental.

The last few days we have heard a few rifle shots from next door. Neighbour says he's 'trying out' the new gun. On what?

And yesterday there was a huge explosion which rocked the house. I don't know where that came from. Maybe a fisherman was dynamiting fish down in the bay.
Or the navy was detonating depth charges.

This morning I was woken by the sound of a shotgun going off very close, six times. It was another neighbour, across the valley. Though the shots were so loud I thought they were outside our front gate.
K phoned him straight away. He was scaring the goats from his land.

Then tonight I really did hear a kerfuffle outside our gate. A large smelly billy goat had managed to grab one of our rose bushes and was munching away and another was breaking down Vaso's fence to eat her carob tree. 

They've survived and multiplied for several years now.  

No shotgun is going to scare this lot off. They roam over kilometres of forest and  ancient rocks, feasting on olives and occasionally destroying vineyards and vegetable gardens, eating roses and trimming lemon trees. 

Saturday 10 September 2022

Grape Harvest

 Elderly neighbour Vaso was due to start her grape picking on Monday, red and white. But it rained. So she will have to wait a few days for the vines to dry out.

Most years they would be picking only the white grapes now and leave the red for a couple of weeks. But they're ready early this year. The sugar content, which son Vangelis checks on with a little gadget, is spot on 

This is some of our harvest. We haven't had such a good crop for years.
The red has been very well watered but the white, at the end of the garden, got no water . The white is sweet and the skins not too tough for once. They both have seeds but are still ok for eating. 
The red grapes especially have been tough and sour in years gone by. 
I wonder what made this year different.
July was quite cool but August was the norm. One heatwave after another.
We had so many bunches we gave a lot of them away to neighbours.

Last year the bunches turned to dried up raisins on the vine. This year they're full of juice

Vaso doesn't pick anymore. She's the supervisor. It will be her son, daughter and son in law who do all the hard work. They're a hard working family, following the example of their tough old Mama. When it comes to harvesting their grapes, olives, lemons or oranges the family pulls together and does the work, even though the daughter and son in law live in Athens and are retired professionals, teacher and engineer.

The volume of their grape Harvest has gone right down in recent years. They juice the grapes themselves, and put it in barrels.  Once upon a time they nurtured 5 hundred litres, or more, of wine
Not anymore. They'll probably manage to process just enough for the family. 100-150 litres. 
The son says he will pull out most of the vines next year and keep just enough for the 'house'. It's too much trouble. Though they have their own wine press , machines, barrels and paraphernalia. 

Tuesday 6 September 2022


 Treasures still treasured in our back yard

A trolley.  Essential for hauling washing machines and ovens in and out of the yard

A pile of paving stones.  Leftover from the front entranceway I presume.  Some day, some inheriting child will have to remove these.  Or maybe they could be used for making paths.  That's probably what 'he' had in mind.  Another project dreamed up and never completed

Metal awning posts and various pieces of heavy pipe.  Another project.  A retracting awning for the back terrace.  We even had a huge yacht sail which was to go on top.  That has disappeared into someone else's backyard

Two rusty ends of a big hot water heater.  The rest of the heater was used to make a bbq.  I must make a note, these can probably be chucked in the next clean-out.  Without too much resistance.

The BBQ was completed and gives him much joy.  It's the third he has made from old water heaters

Bit hard to see amongst the rest of the junk but these are the two wrought iron ends and the back of a wooden bench.  Great idea.  Could possibly come to fruition though they look in need of lots of TLC

Monday 5 September 2022


 A moody Monday. Overcast and noticeably quieter. Schools open next Monday and visitors are disappearing fast.

A film is being shot on Poros.
It's called Kyuka. In Japanese it means 'holidays'.  Not sure where the Japanese fits in.  It's a  film about 3 family members, father and two children who come to Poros on a yacht. 
All locals who want to take part can/could register.  I didn't

We were down in the harbour for shopping very early this morning and found a legal parking.  But really, why bother.  You only get blocked by some idiot and can't get out.
We waited 10 minutes for this guy to turn up and I waited for an explosion from K and an
open palm gesture

A real insult and usually accompanied by some very salty words

But instead this guy got a smile and some friendly banter.  A friend of K.  He got off with not even a slap on the wrist.  And then waited till we backed out and took our park so he could go off and have a drink with his friends.

GRRRRRR says the grumpy bear

It was quite cool this morning and while we were having coffee it started to rain.  Hurrah.  

But it was only a 10 minute, quite heavy, shower

Still it has cooled us down and given us a glimpse of autumn

Saturday 3 September 2022

A Big-ish Clean-up

 September. We are finally having overseas visitors. An excuse to get rid of a little more rubbish and do a little cleaning.

They've all been here before so they know what sort of house we keep. A rather disorganized one.

But one where you won't go hungry.

Yard work and removing big rubbish always seems so much easier to me.  Instant rewards.  Whereas I'm the only one who is going to notice if the furniture is dusted or the floors are cleaned.  Or there are smudges on the cabinet doors, or the windows are clean, or the doors need scrubbing after pouring rain and red saharan dust, or, or .  In fact if all those jobs got finished I think anyone entering would notice a shine.  The biggest indoor job is going to be taking down all the pictures and plaques around the fireplace and cleaning the soot off the wall before we start this winter's fires and smudge it again.  That's what I hate,  it all gets dirty again.  All our windows and doors are open 24 hours a day still, with bug screens.  The dust floats gaily in settling all over the room in a nice thick coating.  Spider webs can be removed but the spiders are still here and more webs will appear overnight.

So, to outdoors.

We needed all the help we could get. Yes, that's Another washing machine to be removed from our back yard

Still a bit of cleaning to be done here but big rubbish has been removed A young lad fits a very large fan. All ready to cool us down when we have a family gathering.  We won't be bbq-ing because there is still a fire hazard but the outdoor cooker and gas grill will be fired up.

Another 'mastora', as in a whizz at fixing motorbikes, and second cousin once removed, had a look at my quad bike. It has been out of action for a month. The lights went out one night coming back up the mountain. Not a good time for bike lights to fuse. K on his motorbike drove alongside me to light the way and I turned on the flash so others could see me .
The road was damn dark but mostly empty.
I'm over the quad bike and would quite happily just use the car but the boss has decided that it must be fixed.


This carpet should have been cleaned and stored for the summer but it's huge and it got left, folded up outside.  Now it's finally cleaning time

In amongst the folds were a dozen or more of these wasp nests.
They are made by a wasp with dangly legs which here is called the 'builder wasp'.
They come away easily but leave a muddy mess.  The carpet had to be scrubbed back and front.  It's cleaned and dried now and put away in it's protective bag.  

And now what is left to be done is for K to bundle up all his tools and fill up another rubbish bag with old rubbish bags, empty oil cans and the like so I can wash down the tiles and clean all the outdoor chairs in time for our welcome meal for the first family visitors from Downunder.