Saturday 29 October 2022


 28th October is a most important date.  'OHI', 'NO' Day

Celebrated in Greece and Cyprus and by greek communities all over the world.  Commemorating the day in 1940 that Metaxas, Prime Minister of Greece , said a resounding 'NO' to Mussolini's ultimaton that Greece open up its borders and allow Italian troops to occupy Greece or go to war.  'It is War' said Metaxas and so it was.  Greek troops beat the Italians back over the Albanian border and it wasn't until 1941 that Germany began their occupation of Greece which lasted until 1944.

Many houses fly the Greek flag.  K always raises the greek flag on our flagpoole, this time accompanied by the NZ flag, representing the ANZAC (Australian and NZ Army Corp) which fought alongside the Greeks.  Both my Uncle and my Father took part in the Greek campaign

On the island there is a parade of school children down on the harbour accompanied by the Municipal band,
wreath laying, speeches and the National Anthem

Some of our grandchildren participated

Here's Poppi, hair flying, leading her class

In the northern city of Thessaloniki there was a huge military parade including the latest armoured combat vehicles (tanks) and a flyover of the newly acquired Rafale jets, helicopters and a spectacular demonstration by a F-16.

All very grande.  It was a warm sunny day so we watched the parade on Poros, took photos of the grandkids, drank coffee and a few beers and then took our latest kiwi visitors out to lunch.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

A Trekking We Will Go

Our dear visitors left their trekking/hiking sticks with us.  

Apparently very good for climbing hills and certainly they'll keep me steady on dirt tracks. 

As soon as you turn out of our gate there is a long, well maybe 100 metres or so, hill.  I've only just started walking again so I was prepared to be puffed after the first 20 metres but with one of these sticks I power walked to the top.  Great fun too.  I can challenge (and beat a retreat) when faced with a barking dog, knock a fig, pomegranate or the neighbours lemons to the ground and surreptitiously fill my pockets,  poke and investigate interesting rubbish and strange objects in the road without actually having to touch them.

Hmm, the next day that hill wasn't quite so easy.  

Some things of interest from my first walk
Clumps of wild pink cyclamen everywhere

A bougainvillia still in flower covering a fence on my walking route

'Our house is a very, very, very fine house'

Vagonia bay in the evening light
One lone and hardy yacht at anchor

Farmyard friends
They all rushed up to the gate to be fed
They were disappointed

Stacks of firewood

Olives are ready for picking

So are the pomegranates but they belong to a neighbour who is in Athens. My stick can't quite reach them to knock down a few

Sunday 23 October 2022

Poetic Poros

Here we go again.  Poros. Poros.  Poros
And I've got ready yet another Poros post after this
All seems well in paradise.  It is a wee parádiso if you don't scratch the surface and visitors don't.  They see that shiny veneer on top and are happy.  As it should be.

So here are more glimpses of greek arcadia.......
A scene of simple pleasure and quiet

 Two Greek poets have won the Nobel Prize for Literature.  George Seferis in 1963 and Odysseus Elytis in  1979

During the summer of 1946 Seferis spent some time at this villa on Poros overlooking the sea and wrote some of his more famous poetry. He and his wife visited often.

He wrote about the island -
'Poros has something of Venice. The canal, houses connected by boat, glamour, idleness, sensual temptation, something lustful.  A  place for distinguished international lovers, providing much magic.' 

In mid summer I would dispute that picture. It has become a place over-run with people, noise and hustle. 
However on warm evenings, walking beside the sea or in the narrow backstreets with the aroma of the nightflower filling the nostril,  moonbeams and distant lights dancing on the water, Poros is full of romance and poetic enchantment.

This is the canal, only a few metres wide and not very long either.  It divides the two islands of Poros, the smaller one with the harbour and picturesque white houses climbing up the hill and the larger island with its pine forests and beaches.  Small fishing boats pass through here, under the low bridge, to the closer fishing grounds in the Saronic Gulf. The bridge is too low for bigger boats.

It's other 'canal' is the narrow passage which separates Poros from the mainland. 

In 1936 american writer Henry Miller described his arrival as he sailed through this passage as

'I don't know which affected me more deeply, the story of the lemon groves just opposite us or the sight of Poros itself when suddenly I realised we were sailing through the streets.  If there is one dream which I like above all others it is that of sailing on land.  Coming into Poros gives the illusion of the deep dream.  Suddenly the land converges on all sides and the boat is squeezed into a narrow strait from which there is no egress.  The men and women of Poros are hanging out of the windows just above your head.  You pull in right under their frosty nostrils, as though for a shave and a haircut en route.  They can walk faster than the boat if they choose to.'

'I will cling to Poros...if I should ever have the choice of attaining Nirvana or remaining behind to watch over and guide those to come, I say now let me remain behind, let me hover as a gentle spirit above the roofs of Poros and look down upon the voyager with a smile of peace and good cheer'

From his book
'Colossus of Marousi' 1941

Thursday 20 October 2022


 Poros -

Perhaps it's the island...

Time seems to freeze here..

It's the island of Calypso**...

One has to make the decision

to leave Poros for Ithaca* at some point.

The concrete Ithaca***.

The sea smoothly moves

like silk in grey,

blue, purple and pink colours...

I'm leaving Poros

Without knowing if I will ever find

the great serenity I felt 

In the mornings here lately 

- Greek poet Georgios Seferis

* Ithaca is another greek island in the Ionian sea (towards Italy).  It was the home Odysseus, hero of the trojan war, returned to eventually after a 10 year sea voyage of perils and entrapment.

Ithaca also stands for a place of haven.  

**Calypso. The nymph who imprisoned  Odysseus for 7 years, keeping him from returning home to Ithaca and his wife Penelope 

***The concrete Ithaca. The city, Athens.

The red and white morning hydrofoil leaves for Athens, taking away the first group of visitors

Sunset over the harbour

And looking over the town

One of my daughter's neighbours is an artist and a sculptor
He has an exhibition outside his front door

Steep steps and narrow alleyways

You can't get lost
Just walk downhill and there will be the sea and the harbour

Monday 17 October 2022

Photos of Poros Visit

The second lot of visitors have come and gone.  The weather stayed mainly fine, we enjoyed many morning coffees either gossiping down on the harbour or on our balcony catching up on family and reviewing the years gone by.

My brother and wife came through europe carrying heavy cases and have left with much the same weight I should think.  What did they drag all the way through Europe this time?  4 kilos of Raro drink mix and a kilo of marmite.  Oh aren't they wonderful.

What's Raro?  For us its the taste of NZ.  It comes as a powder in rather heavy bags, just add water and dream of home.  All kiwis know of it of course.  The drinks come in a myriad of flavours, orange, mandarin, mango, pineapple and mixes thereof. My girls love it.  

And what did they replace the weight with?  Good Greek olive oil.

On one of our farewell nights we went up to the taverna up the road.  Its under the grapevines and is perfect for small children.  They must have had a few rowdy greek children because there was a new sign up.  Only in Greek

Attention Parents

While enjoying our space please make sure your children do NOT -

- throw stones in the fountain

- steal the table numbers

- destroy the garden or pick the flowers

- smash the garden lights

- break the playground equipment


Our active kids did none of that!  They played hide and seek and had their photo taken on the hammock.  The hammock?  Yeh, the weight of 7 kids was too much and they did break that but it was end of season and it was at the end of it's life anyway.  Plus the owners are family!  Always helps

We all had our photos taken on my daughters rooftop as the sun went down.  

Contemplating Poros

And they all met up again with my greek sister in law
Here they are, my two sisters in law with hardly a word in common just enjoying each other's company

The obligatory family BBQ at our house

All organised and cooked by our traditional Greek

I think, I know, a good time was had by all

And they're coming back really soon

Touch wood

Sunday 9 October 2022


September and October we are finally embracing our Downunder Family

The Australians eating Greek

Cousins drinking greek

The morning after
Dark glasses hide a lot

Cousins reunited again
A few years have passed but family just clicks back in

The kiwis arrive!!

My little bro and sis-in-law

Kiwis girls eat Greek
It's usually men surrounded by food, but they were all gathered at the other end with their beer and wine

Nephew learns from the Greek mastora how to grill offal, pork and chicken. He was a great pupil. Got his hands in there cleaning intestines, chasing off wasps, layering the meat on the spit and enjoying an Alpha or two.


Sunday 2 October 2022