K went for a haircut today. There are usually 3 barbershops in different parts of town . They were all closed . The owner of one has retired, one was closed up tight, one had a phone number and a sign
'Hair cuts by appointment'
So he made an appointment.
One of the 3 breadshops has closed . But bread, one of the staples of Mediterranean life is sold at the grocers shop. Wine is sold cheaply in a 1 1/2 litre plastic bottle and olives are scooped out of a sack into a plastic bag, black, green, salted, wrinkled or not.
The lemon trees have lots of fruit and my oregano plant is still flourishing. It doesn't mind a bit of icy rain.
Those are the basics of life here. Old neighbour Vaso would add an onion, strong and raw.
Most of the cafeterias are still open but only a few on the main waterfront strip have numbers of coffee drinkers.
All of these cafes have only a tiny amount of space inside for tables so the outside area is surrounded by plastic wind breaks and gas heaters. It can be freezing out there. But regulars will still appear to pass time with their chosen company . And smoke.
There are some which get virtually no sun in the winter. They've closed, till April maybe when Easter visitors arrive and it's a little warmer.
Tavernas, restaurants, close for a couple of months and then in March start cleaning and painting for the new season. Only 4 or 5 stay open.
English friends wanted to eat souvlaki, the Greek fast food. The souvlaki shops, souvlatzidika, are all closed .
We sent them to a waterfront restaurant which hopefully will be able to serve them pitta bread, tzatziki, fried potatoes and grilled chunks of chicken or pork.
Grocery shops close at 2pm and only re-open at 5pm on 4 days of the week. Winter hours. The big supermarket seems to remain open all day.
On Sunday all shops are closed, except those cafes and tavernas.
A drive through town at 3 in the afternoon is like creeping through a ghost town. Banks, offices, chemist's, the few shops, are closed by 2.30 and everyone goes off home to eat their bean soup and have a few glasses of warming wine.
Nightlife still happens. This is Greece! Those cafes and tavernas which are open will go on till the last customer staggers home. There will be noisy voices, music after dark.
The little taxi boats still ply the straits every 20 minutes. The car ferry leaves every half hour till the afternoon when it's every hour. We are not isolated. The hydrofoil from Athens comes in 3 times a day.
The temperature today was 11oC with a brisk northerly. The sun came out for a while . A little sun and a good wind got a load of washing dry but I brought it in at 3 and hung it on chairs near the fire to get rid of the chill.