A milestone year. I turned 70. Oldest grandson 21 and two grandkids turned 16. The 16s are excited about now being able to get a license for a motorbike/scooter. They both already ride their parents’ bikes. It's just the paper work they need.
Just about everyone here has some sort of 'motor' bike. Electric ones are very popular because you don’t need a license or insurance. The damn things are silent and can be dangerous. You really need to look both ways before crossing the street.
It has been a quiet year for us, except for September and October when we had loads of visitors from Downunder. They can finally travel freely.
The summer season, from May to the end of October, was a busy one. Roads were clogged with cars, our local beach full of annoying ‘foreign’ bods. There were times, mid August, that we preferred to stay at home to keep away from the crowds.
September and October, when the hordes had left, nephews and nieces appeared, some for only a few days, others for weeks. We had a fabulous time with them all meeting up for coffee down on the harbour or an evening meal in one of Kosta’s favourite tavernas. Oh those wonderful accents.
My younger brother and wife stayed for 3 weeks. We gathered for g& t’s and a couple of BBQs. They hired a quad bike and tootled up to our place to drink coffee and catch up on those 3 lost years. A perfect chance for K to feed them more octopus and greek delicacies. They never left with empty stomachs. That would have been a crime in his books. He extended them 'greek hospitality' as only he can.
Of course we had all-the-family gatherings at our place
too. K would have been very disappointed if he hadn’t been able
to feed them all. There was octopus, greek salad and tzatziki on
every one of our menus plus the usual ton of meat or fish. And local wine and
ouzo.The weather stayed fine and even at the end of October the younger
visitors were still swimming.
The dreaded virus is still around. Mostly forgotten. We all caught it, except K. We have all been vaccinated and everyone had an easy time of it. Slight flu symptoms, a headache and that was it.
It's economic crisis time again. Did that already in 2012 . It really does make for a quiet life. I love it. Kostas hates it. He misses his daily meetings with friends, chewing the fat and drinking raki. He’d be happier down in Poros where he could walk around to his favourite watering holes and socially interact with more people.
I can happily spend days up here, 6 kilometres from the harbour, hardly seeing anyone.
Though I must admit I did enjoy a coffee down on the waterfront in the summer,
people watching and listening to the men gossiping. Whoever says women gossip
hasn't spent much time in male company.
I still write my blog, woffling on, but not as often as I used to. I find I'm writing the same thing year after year.
The summer vegetable garden was a disaster. I planted some tomatoes. We ate 5 cherry tomatoes. It got too hot and everything was burnt brown. I kept the mint, thyme, oregano and the roses alive. Now I've planted a few lettuces and some rocket. They're growing, at the moment. I'm not a gardener. I have had successes in the past but my heart is not in it anymore.
More weight off this year. Still some more to go. At least I seem to have found some sort of balance . I walk most days, now up to 3-4 kilometers. Almost 3 years ago I started off with intermittent fasting Lost a lot of kilos. Got bored. Became a vegetarian. Lost more kilos the next year. Got tired of lettuce and chickpeas. Now I’ve done a 180o turn. I’m eating carnivore - meat, fish, cheese, eggs, lots of butter and a bit of salad or vegetables. Still losing . Blood results, blood pressure perfect. More energy. I hope I don't get bored with this regime too soon. I rather enjoy being able to eat scrambled eggs for breakfast every day and cheeseburgers for lunch, without the bun. Nothing with flour or sugar allowed. No fruit. But I do have a glass of wine now and again.
Erdogan, the Turkish PM is still making threats and
says he will invade the greek islands one dark night. And his latest hate speech, threatening to target Athens with his missiles. He’s drumming up support for himself
by attacking Greece, hoping 'his people' will forget the country is almost
bankrupt. Turkey has elections sometime soon.
Then there's the other face I prefer not to see on TV or news apps. I hear the voices of Putin and Erdogan so often I recognize them without having to see faces. The Kiev Ukrainians were like the Athenian Greeks, civilians living western lives with their big international chain stores, nice cars, cosy apartments, children expecting to grow up to be doctors, lawyers, artists, muscians or such. Then suddenly their lives were torn apart, cities bombed, villages razed, millions became refugees. It makes me shudder. I hope it never happens to us or our children or grandchildren.
After being on the cataract waiting list for 18 months we revisited the doctor. Gave him 200 euros under the table and my op was immediately scheduled. Like Immediately! He strode over to the calendar and said 'is the 16th ok for you? You'll be first for the day'. Actually I was the last . One eye down. One more to go in a couple of months.
And another year bites the dust.