Saturday 30 September 2023

Evening Thoughts

 One simple pleasure whilst on holiday has been to sit in the evening on our balcony listening to the call of the Scops Owl. It's call rhythmically breaks the silence. I love too watching the lights of aeroplanes as they blink through the night on their way to and from Athens airport. Their flight path often seems to be just above the tops of the trees, the lights disappearing and re-emerging in the clouds.

Scops owl.  Γκιωνης (Gionis) in Greek

The owls hoot is short, insistent, calling for a mate.  I can hear it all through the night. I like hearing its endless hoot but I imagine it could drive some to insomnia.

If you want to hear more about this bird then read 'My Family and Other Animals' by Gerald Durrell about his time on the greek island of Corfu, Kerkyra to the greeks.  He adopted a scops owl and named him Ulysses.  

The planes are far enough away not to be heard but I always wonder where they are going, a short trip to a greek island or a long haul to a far away land.  I think of the times I sat,  waiting for touch down. The squeal of wheels on the tarmac meaning a return to another culture, a foreign world till I got used to it again.
  Or sitting back in my seat to get comfortable at the start of a long journey.  
Looking down at a cosmos far below. Wondering about the lives of those people in the clusters of tiny houses, small white villages, snaking roads, rugged islands,  miniature ships sitting on the sea.

K listens to Greek music on his phone or searches youtube, thankfully with headphones. At the moment he is searching for traditional recipes from Grandpa (Papou) Tassos.
But this doesn't last long. After a while he will ask 
'don't you have something to say to me?'
His enjoyment is conversation. Listening to the sound of his voice, and others .
He's already dreaming about Xmas feasts, what he can cook for  my birthday, both months away.
He likes to 'programme' these events well in advance.
I don't like to programme anything. A last minute decision is more my style. It drives him crazy. 

His pleasure is anticipating the enjoyment of traditional Greek food and drink, discussion, conversation, debate with friends, telling of 'tall tales'.

Football, food, the Navy. 

  Sometimes, we  look back at all the friends, friends of friends and family who have passed through our doors experiencing a little of our Greek way of life.  Of days gone by. Our memories though are not quite the same.  Either I have forgotten a lot, or his  memories have been 'enriched through time'.

What did the Queen say about the memories of a certain member of the royal family:

'Some recollections may vary'


  1. I'm a last minute person, no planning. I would love to drop by for one of K's feasts! Plenty of meat and fish would be great.

  2. Thanks for the owl sounds. I never thought I´d hear a Scops owl one day when I read 'My Family and Other Animals' all those years ago. What a lovely way to spend an evening on a balcony, listening to owls and reminiscing.

    1. I was playing that video on our home balcony last night. We don't seem to have night birds here and certainly not the scops owl, although there is a pine forest very close by. Now and again we may hear another sort of owl hoot but that's not often.

  3. That is an adorable little owl. I love the sound but yes it might get annoying while trying to sleep. A tawny owl fly past me last night. I love them so much.

    1. I love the hearing the hoot of an owl. Not something we usually hear though there's plenty of forest

  4. I think I would enjoy a Taverna Crawl with K.

    1. I'm sure it would give him great delight to take you on a tour. But you'd in for an earful as well!

  5. Oh yes, some memories do vary :)
    I think I would be one who would probably be driven nuts listening to that owl - but, on the other hand, listening to a morepork all night, that I love :)

  6. Oh the morepork! My father used to be able to imitate the sound of the morepork and they would call to each other. Lovely memories

  7. What a funny sound! Nothing like the traditional "hoo hoo" I think of, or even a screech. -Jenn