Wednesday 26 July 2023


Something new 
Family fun for everyone

as this semi-submarine  is called, is cruising around Poros this summer taking tourists and locals out for a tour of the seabed.
This depiction is from their site,  Pan Saronic. It shows exactly how it works

They say
'with the upper part staying on the surface and the lower part, with it's large windows, you get the sensation of a real dive'

12 spaces available, airconditioning, and from what we've heard its only 15 euros for a 45 minute underwater experience.  There are night tours too.

Forget the Titanic, you could jump out of this and swim to shore.  If you had to.

This is the photo I took

I don't think I'll be trying it.  Me and small boats do not get on well together.


Sunday 23 July 2023

The Navy

 If we want to go out in the evening now our first choice is always the little canteen/taverna at the beach below the Navy base.  It's open only to Navy and ex-Navy personal and it's subsidised.  In other words, it's very cheap.

Navy themed paper tablecloths
It's entirely self service.  Glasses, proper knives and forks and a jug for the wine are provided.  Everything else is one use only.  The paper plates, scraps, cans and other rubbish are wrapped up in these cloths at the end of the meal and we throw it all in a large bin on the way out

Sitting right on the beach hoping for a breeze

I did mention that Sofia's taverna had the cheapest greek salad at 5.50 euros.  Well I was wrong.  This salad, with feta cheese is 1.90.

Pork souvlaki
The menu is pretty basic.  Pork and chicken souvlaki cooked on a grill.  The young conscripts there are excellent grillers. It's all well seasoned and tender.
There's tzatziki, fried potatoes, greek salad, pizza and a few other things.  Pork chops, probably bifteki (grilled hamburger), a good selection of beer and wine from a cardboard cask. 
Enough to keep most people happy

Obviously if we want to eat out from now till the end of August, this is where we come


Poppi, Papous and Nels

Proud Papous, loves to show off his children and grandchildren to all his navy comrades.

He served at the base here for over ten years,  and planned most of the electrical work at this canteen.  The present Commander was deputy on the base while K was there and tells everyone how valued he was and how dearly he was missed after his retirement.  Big happy smile.

Thursday 20 July 2023

Sardines and Bay Leaves

 Sardines, bayleaves and NZ football victory

A few branches of bay leaves drying under the umbrella in the summer heat

sometimes we eat them grilled
sometimes we eat them fried
Today we ate them baked, for twenty minutes, with onions, fresh grated tomatoes and lots of garlic

After scoring NZ's goal against Norway
NZ 1 - Norway 0

The FIFA Women's World Cup opened in Auckland NZ yesterday with a win for the Football Ferns (name of the NZ team)

It was a terrific game, shown live on Greek TV.  That was a huge surprise.  
I watched the game, only because the kiwis were playing and it had me urging them on and actually enjoying the game.
Meantime I was having a football conversation on social media with friends in England, sending results to family in Malaysia, reading the live commentary on a NZ website while watching in Greece.  Isn't it a wonderful world

Wednesday 19 July 2023


We haven't been covered by Saharan dust clouds today but something worse, a dense cloud of smoke from the wildfires near Athens.  

The midday sun should be blazing bright and burning in these 2 photos.  I think they say the sun still burns on days like this, whether it's natural cloud or a cloud of smoke or dust.
You just don't feel the burn till it's too late

    Evening gloom at midday

Photos by Poppi

During July and August the roads around us are closed off in the evening and no-one besides residents should be driving around and then only to and fro from home.
 Except those going up to eat at Paradise taverna. 

 Smaller roads going into the pine forest are closed with barriers.  
The Navy school, council workers. fire brigade and volunteers patrol all night, and during the day are on fire alert. 

Dozens of houses in areas around Athens have been destroyed. 
 We haven't had a big fire here for some years.  I hope it stays that way for many more years.  Our house is on a dead-end lane.  We could easily be caught like rats in a trap.

Very high temperatures and strong meltemi winds are predicted again for this weekend .  Strong winds fan flames and so many of these out lying areas are  surrounded by pine forests.  Exploding pine cones can carry fire for many metres, across roads and into new areas of dry grass and scrub.

Besides drinking lots of water, keeping cool and looking after the elderly there are all sorts of other instructions popping up.

- Water your garden in the morning not in the evening.  Though this seems to be so you won't disturb the mosquitoes who might have bedded down for a nap.
- Fill up your car after dark.  This is too avoid handling flammable liquids during hours of high temperatures
- Keep shutters closed to keep out sunlight.  I do that and our bedroom is much cooler than the rest of the house where there are no shutters.
- Have a cool shower or put cool water on your skin.  K does this, running under our outdoor shower at regular intervals.  I put my head under the hosepipe today.  It felt marvellous.  I should have thought of it before.  It's all very well for K wearing only a pair of shorts to stand under the shower and then drip dry.  It would mean a change of outfits for me.  Too much trouble

What really makes a difference to summer life is getting up early, before the real heat begins, to cook and do any absolutely necessary housework.  I can remember when we lived in an apartment in Piraeus I used to mop the floors at 2 oclock in the morning.  Marble floors, which were always deliciously cold.  I often slept on those marble tiles with only a sheet under me and a pillow for my head.  But then I could sleep anywhere without any trouble.

Monday 17 July 2023

Goats and Food

 I'm taking July a day at a time.

The heat goes on and on. 

Yesterday was brutal, today there's a breeze. The Meltemi has started blowing. It brings slight relief . 

High temperatures are predicted for another week at least. What's considered a high temperature? I would say anything over 38oC.

Mid 30s are typical till the end of August.

The wild goats, a herd of 30 or 40, roam in search of water every night.  There's plenty of water bubbling out of the ashphalt but they, along with stray cats, dogs and weasels, drink  our small offering in a bucket as well. The bucket is empty by morning.

There are 5 million goats in Greece I read. Traditional people love the meat, roasted with lemon potatoes, or on the spit, and the cheese and milk.  Feta is made from either goat or sheep milk.  Goat milk feta tends to have a milder taste.  So 'they' say.

Traditional people eat the head, suck the teeth, and pretend to delight in crunching the eyeballs when they have a suitable audience.  The feet are made into soup along with some of the innards.  Nothing is wasted.

This herd of goats is safe though, from us.  K does not shoot or hunt.  Our neighbour shoots however, at anything foolish enough to stray onto his property.

Even with this heat K still wants to eat as normal, though we usually only have one main meal, late in the evening.

We ate fish soup for 3 days. Boiled Scorpion fish which have nasty spines. The fisherman scaled and gutted them .  Fish soup may not seem like an ideal summer meal but we don't eat it hot. It's quite light, the juice of the fish, lemon juice and oil. Sometimes I add rice as well and it has zucchini, carrots, celery and potato boiled with the fish. 

Today I have boiled some  mutton. Again it doesn't sound like an ideal dish in this heat.  But we eat it cold, with those Greek staples olive oil and lemon juice. Potatoes and zucchini were cooked in the sauce. 

Hopefully K will eat that for 2 or 3 days . I'll eat a little bit of that meat but  boiled eggs, cheese and salad are more to my taste.

One evening last week at our local tavern, Paradise

K is eating a huge plate of spaghetti with rooster stewed in tomatoes.  We are not shy about asking them to put the leftovers in a packet.  That was another meal for K

We do eat a lot of vegetable meals too. Stuffed whatever, ratatouille, stewed aubergines, green beans and potatoes, boiled greens, peas and tomatoes, giant dried beans, fava and naturally greek salad with everything.

Friday 14 July 2023

Acropolis Closed

 The Acropolis is temporarily closed because of a heatwave.  A lot of you have already had heatwaves and now it's our turn.  A week of red hot temperatures.  42o - 45o celsius.  45o C is  113o F.  

The Acropolis hasn't actually closed but it's not open between 12 and 5, mad dogs and Englishmen having been foolish enough to venture up there in the midday sun.  The Hellenic Red Cross has been handing out bottles of water to the tourists, a few of whom had collapsed in the heat.  

The Acropolis is Athen's, probably Greece's, most popular tourist attraction.  There are something like 17,000 visitors a day and it is time to start crowd control.  Anyone wanting to go up there will have to book their ticket and a time slot, so we have heard.  I scrambled up there many, many times in my first years here, with the girls when they were young and with family.  That was many years ago.  Been there, done that.  The marble steps leading up to the top entrance are steep and slippery.  Many a visitor has slipped and fallen and a few have broken limbs.  There are plenty of other ancients sites that are easier to visit and far less crowded.


 Naturally on an island like Poros it's a few degrees 'cooler' but there's a hot wind and the last 2 days we have spent the noon and after-noon hours in airconditioned bliss.

We put the airconditioner on in the smallest room and use it as a sanctuary.  By 5pm we are going stir crazy.  It's time for watermelon, iced coffee outside on the verandah.

This morning's bounty.
Little by little
The tomatoes though sweet have very tough skins and are not pleasant to eat.  I have plunged all those tomatoes, the cherry ones and the normal size, into boiling water and removed the skins.  Then I made a simple tomato sauce.  Tomatoes, salt, a little sugar, oregano, boil and blitz.
I asked Mr Google and he says they need more water.  I have been watering daily and twice daily during extreme heat.  I'll give them extra water and see what happens. 
Neighbours gave us more tomato plants and a cucumber.  There's not much space left as I've just planted a dozen pumpkin/squash and they'll be  trailing all over the place in a few weeks.   I hope they'll be spreading themselves out and producing little squashes and such.

So far this summer we have had no ants inside the house.  In summers gone by they have been a major nuisance, hordes of them converging on every scrap or crumb at the speed of light.  There are still large ants outside.  Did they eat the smaller ones who lived in the door jambs?  There seemed to be so many I was afraid they were hollowing out the walls and one day we'd have a major collapse.
Very mysterious.  Even the little red man eaters have disappeared.

Not complaining!!  Just wondering

Of course the water problem continues.  Twice this week pipes have been cobbled together and as soon as the repairmen leave the pipe bursts again.  
As you can see the wild goats use the puddles as watering holes and come up morning and night to drink.  One afternoon after a cobbling job on the pipes we got a bit worried the goats wouldn't find water so we put a couple of buckets out in the road.  By evening the puddles had returned and grown into lakes.  No need to worry about a water source for the goats. 


I cut them up into easy slices
And then cube the peel so it can turn into compost 

Watermelon peel can be made into a sweet preserve  but I'm no longer inspired to make such things, which no one really wants to eat.  The compost benefits instead.

Monday 10 July 2023



Incy Wincy Spider
Climbing up the pole.

This awfully big spider has kept us company on the balcony the last few nights.
He patiently swings up and down, assembling his silken web

We have had either wind or rain the last few nights and his web has been destroyed by the elements

But there he is again, swinging across the balcony on his silken threads.
There are plenty of mosquitoes and jumpy-flying things for him to catch for his dinner.

Thursday 6 July 2023

Wine Instead of Water

 We took time out to enjoy a summer's evening

Saturday night everyone goes
So this seaside taverna was pleasantly full but not packed.

It is called by locals 'Sophia's taverna', one of the last with seasonal greek food and good prices.  Sophia has the cheapest, and the best, Greek salad on the island.
Last year it was 5.50, this year it's 6 euros.

Down on the cosmopolitan islands of Myconos or Santorini (which is renown for its local tomatoes grown on volcanic rock) a greek salad goes for 14 or 15 euros.  

Our dinner companion, keeping us company from the next table.
I thought he was an Alaskan malamute but he's some kind of husky.  A gentle giant.  He got a lot of attention from the waiters and other eaters.  I wasn't the only one taking a photo

Full moon over Poros harbour.
The lights are from the mainland village opposite

We have given up on our water pipes.  the last geyser was fixed on Monday.  By Tuesday morning they had burst again in two different places.  There are worse leakages elsewhere and we are 'on the list'.

Meanwhile the Mayor is asking us to be careful with water usage.