Thursday, 30 December 2010

When the show was Over

What a great Christmas we've had, if only all the kids and Grand kids could have been here it would have been sensational.  It started with a seventieth birthday party on Christmas Eve for Denise given by her partner Andrew at the Oasis taverna in Lefkas town.  We all had a superb evening with plenty of good food and wine and of course the great company of friends old and new.  Denise was delighted with all her gfits and revelled in being the centre of so much attention.

Part of the party.
Deb and I
Christmas day arrived and Santa hasn't brought me a chain saw :-( but he had brought me some other lovely gifts and the chain saw is being fetched from Athens by Jeremy and Deb as they drop Deb's mother off at the airport so hopefully the firewood supply can keep rolling in.  Sandra is paying for it as a slightly early birthday present.  Sandra's Christmas was a lazy one for her as she is normally doing everything for big family meals at home and this year we were were going to Vlicho Yacht Club.  After a chilled morning we Skyped all the kids in the UK to see and hear what was going on with their Christmas mornings.  Skype is fantastic for keeping in touch with the kids as being able to see them in real time as well as hear them makes it the next best thing to actually being with them.  Sandra's Dad is well impressed with it and has said that he'll have to have a computer so he can share in it without having to go around to the boys houses!  I think when he masters the VHS video player we may consider it!!

Tony, Sandra and Liz
Lunch at Vlicho was great, again plenty of good food and copious quantities of wines and great company.  I must really thank Ruairi, Vicky and all their staff involved  for their tireless efforts throughout the day which has helped to make this one Christmas which neither Sandra nor I will forget.  After Christmas lunch we were very professionally entertained by Bob on the guitar and  his glamorous assistant on a home made sound box which produced a very impressive percussion noise.  We left at around 9:30 as we had promised to call in at Tree & Mike's next door to have a Christmas drink with them.  They were still entertaining when we arrived so I had to help him clear some of the whisky.

Boxing day we had at Tree and Mike's house with about another dozen or so people again all food, drink and talk.  Unfortunately I had to excuse myself from the food as I had still had enough from the day before and just joined in the Christmas pudding (because I just can't resist it!).

Bob and his Glamorous assistant! 

The boat in Paleros plaza

Monday dawned and it was off to Nidri for the start of the Paleros race.  Not much wind to be had but we managed to get started and to be fair once we had cleared Nidri bay we did get a little spurt on but then it deserted us.  Tony, Liz and I were on "Izola" and spent most of the afternoon seeking what bits of wind we could find but Liz had brought along some food supplies so it didn't really matter.  Slowly during the mid afternoon most people gave up and switched on their engines and motored into Paleros we gave it until 4:30 but in the end had to bow down to reality and start the motor if we were going to get into port before night.  The distance is about 8 or 9 miles and we probably didn't do much more than half in four and a half hours.  As "Izola" is really only big enough for two to sleep in any comfort Sandra and I had been across to Paleros a couple of weeks ago and booked into an Hotel so Sandra went around in Mike's camper earlier in the day and had got herself all comfy.  The Hotel was the Thalassa just outside Paleros and was excellent they actually gave us wine sweets and coffee which we had ordered and wouldn't take payment for them and at 55 Euros for the room wasn't too expensive for a good quality hotel.  Our evening was supposed to have been at the only Indian restaurant within a million miles of here and I was so looking forward to it but unfortunatley it hadn't been booked and was closed so we all ended up at a Greek tavernas which was good but not Indian and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!
Paleros evening - Mike and Tree nearest.
Don't cry Liz the food will soon be here!!!

Next day sailed back to Nidri in a bit of a blow, you wouldn't believe the contrast to 24 hours earlier.  We should have sailed back to Lefkas marina with "Izola" but the channel down the side of Lefkas was so rough with the northerly wind coming straight down it that Tony, the master marina aboard, said that we would be all day tacking through it and the engine wouldn't be powerful enough to make any headway so we decided to leave it overnight at Nidri again.  Two hours later and the wind had moderated somewhat so perhaps it could have been done, if only we all had hind sight.  Anyway we had a great sail across with a little genoa and no main up we still got almost 8 knots out of her in winds we learnt later were blowing at 28 knots about force 7ish - Great stuff.

Wednesday Tony, Liz and I took the yacht back to Lefkas marina and had another amazing sail although the wind wasn't as strong and certainly not as gusty, we seemed to have caught the best of it and again with it being out of the north we had to tack all the way down.  Tony even let me be skipper for over half the journey so I was as happy as a pig in the wet smelly stuff.  Thanks Tony and Liz you made my Christmas!!

Today we've just been chilling for the day and getting some stamina stored up for the new year festivities on Friday night.  I have managed to wash the car and get it looking smart again so not a completely wasted day.  See ya soon...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Twas the day (and a half) before Christmas...

Half a tree on the fire in Mantha's Kafenion
Well Christmas is nearly here and I'm sure everyone back in the UK will be getting either very excited or very depressed about it, I hope you are all of the former group rather than the latter.  Christmas here in Greece is not the major festival it tends to be in the rest of the western world although here on the island they are more into it than on the mainland where we used to live.  We were up there yesterday visiting our Greek "family" and friends and despite a few small things like an odd decorated Christmas tree you wouldn't think that there is anything much going on.  In fact on the telephone the other day talking to Christos (the son of our good friends Mantha and Jorgos) he was wanting us to go there on Saturday to celebrate his name day with no mention of Christmas, this seems really strange as the Greeks are a real overtly religious people.  Jorgos is not even having time off for Christmas day and Boxing day both his petrol station and the cafe will be open as usual.  On Lefkas things are a little different there are many street decorations and the shops are decorated for the festive season although neither to the extent which people at home would expect and it's only really happened in the last couple of weeks not since the middle of October like it does in the UK.

Snow at the side of the roads where we turned arround
The IKEA store in Ioannina has finally opened and last Saturday Sandra and I decided we would go and have a look to see if we could get some opening bargains on a Settee and dining table and chairs.  From here it's about a two hour drive to get there but we were to incorporate it with some general shopping at the large supermarkets in the city and also fill up with diesel at Carrefour  which is the cheapest we know of 1.31Euro per litre (about £1.11 / lt at today's exchange rate) it can be as high as 1.48Euro (£1.26) and you can see two garages next to each other with over 10 cents difference in price.  Any way about 5 miles from the IKEA store the traffic stopped and we noticed that nothing was coming from the opposite direction so we thought there may have been an accident as there was quite a bit of snow on the road sides and Greek tyres are very often tread-less.  We spoke to a guy who was stood at the side of the road on a telephone who explained that there had been a snow slide off the side of the mountain which had blocked the road and it would be a couple of hours before it was cleared.  After a brief wait we decided that we would about turn and head for Arta to do our bit of shopping which we did.  A couple of hours later we thought shall we try again while we were relatively near and so tried again this time we made it.  The store is huge, bigger and better laid out than the one in Thessaloniki (or the one in Leeds for that matter) and has a huge great Jumbo store next to it as well.  We made a note of the things we might buy as they didn't seem to have the opening bargains I had been hoping for, and decided to return again in the middle of January when they might have a sale on.

Sandra loading wood into the car for the fire at home.
We were supposed to be going to Assos on Monday but when we rang it seemed that Mantha would be going to hospital that day so we resolved to go Tuesday.  Sandra, taking no risks thought she would ring and make sure Tuesday was OK but no!  Mantha was going to hospital on Tuesday instead so we arranged Wednesday.  This was lucky for me because Tony and Liz were bring "Izola" their small yacht from Lefkas marina down to Nidre in preparation for the race on the 27th which leaves from Nidre.  Seeing as I now had the day free I could have a sail down with them.  Unfortunately the trip was almost entirely directly into the wind so we had to beat up all the way into a quite choppy sea.  we did however stay surprisingly dry given that it's such a small boat.  3 Hours later we were safely moored up in Nidre and back with Sandra who had been enjoying a coffee whilst we got there.

The ultimate four by four transport
Sandra and I have been out this morning scavenging for more firewood to see us through the festive period, and on the way back passed a couple of ageing Greeks in the olive grove harvesting their olives and parked at the side of the road were their donkeys so we thought that being that time of year were donkeys and stables are at the forefront of everybody's minds we would take a couple of pictures although I don't think that Mary and Joseph would have had ther stepladder strapped to the donkeys side!
Have Ladder will travel!

Anyway that's about it for now just to wish every body a fine, happy and healthy holiday season and a great new year to come Kala Christouyena as the Greeks say.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christmas is coming the Waddy's are getting fat(ter)

Well only just over a week to go before the Christmas excesses begin, what tree did I fall out of?  We seem to have been having an excess for several weeks now, we have been eating out a little too regularly really and I'm hoping that it's just the time of year rather than the extraordinary sociability of the Lefkas ex-pat community.

We've just got filled up with oil for the heating, hot water and Stanley (Arga type) cooker at a cost of 77.3 cents per litre (about 65.5p in Brit money) which I think is considerably more expensive than it is at home, I think the last time we filled up at home it was about 50p but then again that would be for 1500 litres rather than the 300 my tank only holds 400) I have got today, but it's still another £200 gone ah well that's the penalty of being out here I suppose.

The Cake!
Sandra managed to get the Christmas cake decorated the other day not with Marzipan and icing as most Christmas cakes are but covered in fruit and nuts and then glazed I think it looks rather appetizing but we've yet to sample it and you should never judge a book by it's cover, however, I'm totally confident it'll be much better than it would have been if I had cooked it!

Sandra took some of her pals around to the recently opened Jumbo store at Louros on Monday for a girlie day out with retail therapy (I think that means spending money!) while Tony and I fitted a sea toilet and cooker into "Izola" in preparation for the race to Paleros the day after boxing day.  Liz and Tony will be spending the night on board her after the Indian meal in Paleros which is the ultimate antidote to Christmas excess.  Sandra and I have been around to Paleros today in the car and booked into the Thalassa Hotel so we can at least get a good nights sleep before the sail back home the next day.

The Christmas tree in the small square Vournikas
Mike and Tree, our long suffering landlords have been fitting radiators into their villa this week so I have been assisting them in their endeavours.  I think it must be getting a little cool on and evening now as they seem to be wearing fleeces most of the time, mind you this morning there was a good covering of snow on the mountains to the north of us albeit a couple of thousand feet higher than we are.  The cold air the Britain got over the last couple of weeks is now fairly well settled over us although not nearly as cold down here.  Currently today is about 8c falling to about 4c overnight.  Next Thursday is forecast as 18c falling to 12c overnight.  Don't think we are in for a white Christmas.
Nativity scene outside a house in the village.
 The Greeks now seem to be getting into the seasonal spirit there are more lights going up in the village although nothing like happens in the UK.  There is however, a couple of really unusual ones which if I remember after dark I will go down and take some pictures of and add them in here.

Oh well I did and here they are, got a few more but no room here for them.
Close up of the nativity

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Busy week on the island ....

Ready for the briefing - Maureen,  Mark and I in the centre
Arriving at Lygia for the race start
We have had what seems a really hectic week this week, starting with the boat race on Sunday.  Once again Tony agreed to increase his handicap by having me as a crew member.  We had Mike, Keith, Tony and I from last times and also with the addition of Tree (my long suffering landlady) who's also a part owner of the good ship "Jungle".  Before the race Tony stated that he was turning over a new leaf and going to be Mr. Chilled and not get wound up by the frailties of his long suffering crew.  His resolve was sorely tested right at the start of the race when due to his expert sailing skills we were late to the start line and ended up being about 8th or 9th across it!  Thing went from bad to worse when we got around the first buoy and tried to put up the spinnaka.  Unfortunately Keith had tied the ropes on incorrectly and when we pulled it up it was all tangled and upside down, good old Keith, but Tony still didn't blow!  This corrected we soon started gaining a few places as we headed towards the island, we then dropped the spinnaker and rounded the island in pretty good shape in about 4th place.  Up with the spinnaker again and again we cocked it up, whew!  Anyway suffice to say that we crossed the finish line in third place on the water making us second on handicap in the race, we only lost it by two and a half minutes so had it not been for the cock ups we would have won.  And Tony completed the whole course without exploding, Mr Cool incarnate methinks!
Heading for the start line

Tuesday was a curry night organised by Maureen and Mark at Il Porto cafe on the marina in Lefkas.  They have been debating whether to shut up for the winter season due to lack of trade so M&M decided to try and drum up some trade for them and try to keep them open for a while longer.  Everyone brought a curry dish and bargies, rice, noodles and the rest and then we all shared the results, everyone had more than enough to eat and as is usual with these things there was stacks left over at end.  It was a super evening with some great food and also I guess about sixty or more customers for the bar so I think everyone won.
Up Spinnakers - well for most anyway!

Arriving back at Lefkas Marina
I've spent the last few days wielding a chainsaw and cutting up some reserves of firewood for the winter because the bottom edge of the cold weather that Britain has been suffering is going to come across us sarting overnight tonight according to the weather forecast.  It seems that night time temperatures are going to get down to around 4 degree (FOUR!) and only getting up to about 8 or 9 during the day.  This looks like it will stay with us for about a week so I'm sure that up in the mountains at Assos it will be bloody cold maybe even a frost, good job we moved down here.

Not bad for being well into December is it?
We still managed to find time to go down for a coffee to Vasilliki and a lounge about in the harbour though despite all these things to do.  Our social life seems to be really busy at the moment it's almost like we have moved to a new country and not just an hour down the road, however, this may just be down to it being the festive season.

Well that's about it for this week, hopefully there will be other things to write about next week.

Friday, 3 December 2010

And the snow it did snow...

Over a Foot and Counting
Still Snowing?
The weather has been very rough in the UK for over a week now and I hope that everyone who read this blog over there has managed to keep themselves safe warm and well fed in the bad weather.  I hope that there isn't a quick thaw which will cause flooding problems for some.  It's great to look at and smashing for the kids (old & young) to play in but not much fun for people to have to travel in and commute to and from their place of work.  Fortunately we don't have to think about such things as it's still around 18 degrees here and although we have has some rain in the last few days and also some stiff breezes it is still very mild for the time of year.  No doubt we shall pay for it when we are all sat outside (well semi outside) having our Christmas lunches at the Yacht Club in Vliho.  I have "stolen" some pictures of our home village from my son Chris just to show what it's been like in beautiful Yorkshire.

Snowy Yokefleet, Yorkshire
Onto things in this neck of the woods.  Last Friday we dined out in real style on a 63ft Motor yacht, the property of Dave, Sharon and their daughter Sara.  They invited us to have an evening meal with them and it was excellent by any standards, truly fantastic fare.  What a luxurious setting, I came away feeling quite envious but I don't think the bank manager will agree with me or lend me the necessary wonga to achieve it but hey ho a mans got to have a dream!  Once again thanks very much to Dave and Sharon for a fantastic evening.

Our spirally tinsely Staircase
Mini Tree all in Red and Gold
The biggest Poinsettia in the world!
Wednesday we went to the newly opened Jumbo store just outside Louros near where we used to live on the mainland in order to get some Christmas decorations and a little tree.  Although we had planned to bring ours out from the UK when we came last September, unfortunately the car was ram jam full of other things including Sandra's dad so they got left in the storage facility (Garage!).  We did consider strapping Geoff to the roof but thought he may object, so we left the decorations and tree in the UK.  The prices of Christmas decorations in Jumbo are cheaper than the UK but things like fibre optic trees don't seem to be available here yet, although you can get sets of 120 LED lights for about 4 euros so it's not too expensive to light the place up.  After this we went up into the mountains to spend the rest of the day with our Greek friends in Assos and as usual they were delighted to see us.
Outside Lights

Thursday, newly equipped with the makings of Christmas we had to decorate the house inside and out, although to be fair Sandra has not gone OTT like she would have done in years gone by and things are quite subtle by her standards.  This done it was decided that we ought to not risk none delivery given the UK weather and order all the kids Christmas presents on line.  Amazon is great for this as they will gift wrap and put personal messages on the parcels.  I'm sure the kids get more fun from the paper than the presents at times!  Anyway that done we thought we may as well continue and send the Adults stuff also so that means that Christmas is now all boxed up and sorted.  However, it did mean that I couldn't find time to write the blog yesterday as we were out for a meal with friends in Lefkas town in the evening.  It's hard work this retirement!

Well that's about it for now, hope everyone keeps safe and warm over the few weeks and hopefully I'll manage to write something more next Thursday.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A great day for the race....

The intrepid crew of "Jungle" L to R Dave, Tony, Keith, Mark and Les

Victorious after day one! Liz helps us down a couple of beers.

At the evening banquet
This last weekend saw us starting a new phase of our lives out here by being part of the boat racing community.  I helped crew "Jungle", a small J24 yacht partly owned by our good friend Tony, on a two day race to and from the island of Meganissi, the outward leg starting on Saturday afternoon at Lygia harbour going around the back of Scorpios and on to port Vathi on Meganissi.  We had a five man crew (or perhaps I should say a four man crew plus me) Tony, David, Mark, Keith and myself.

And some Greek bouzouki music into the bargain.
Lots of people eating more than they should
Sandra and Liz (Tony's much suffering partner!) couldn't see the start of the race at Lygia as they had to get down the coast to Nidri in order to catch the ferry for Meganissi and be there for our arrival.  The first leg took us about two hours forty minutes in fairly light winds.  I must confess to pulling the wrong ropes several times but fortunately the rest of the crew were forgiving enough and didn't force me to walk the plank, mind you I think it was only because it would have slowed them down!   Anyway we led all the way although we were fairly closely followed by one yacht.  When we got the entrance to Vathi bay we were unsure of which side of the finishing buoy we should go this caused us to have to tack twice and loose some time but fortunately the following boat also hit some slack air at the same time so we ended up with about a four minute plus advantage to take into the second leg.

The race had been sponsored by a Greek family who had lost a son to some Albanian pirates and used this to commemorate his passing.  They supplied a free evening of food and drink at one of the local tavernas on the harbour front.  The food was excellent and must have been continuously flowing for about two and a half hours with myriad jugs of wine always being passed about the table.  After the food one of the Greek gents produced a bouzouki and the others encouraged the group of people to join in the merriment.  We stayed in an hotel overnight and expected having the mummy and daddy of all hangovers in the morning but surprisingly all heads seemed clear the next day.

Busy getting ready to set off for the second leg.
The next day the race controller said it would just be a straight race back to Lygia, the experienced yachties didn't like this idea as it would just be a straight drag race as no tactics would come into play and it was just downwind all the way with all the big spinika's flying.  This was over ruled and a drag race it was but I ended up being a bit (a lot) of a passenger.  The spinika takes a great deal of tweaking and I couldn't read the signs quick enough to stop the sail collapsing but fortunately Keith and Mark worked very well as a team especially Keith who was stood all the way home pulling and releasing ropes sometimes with quite a heavy load on them when gusts came, and when they did we really flew.  We ended up being second across the line but less than 2 minutes behind the leader who was the same rival we had in the first leg so the overhaul winner came down to times and taking the handicap system into account.  "jungle" being a fast boat owed something like 6 seconds an hour to the other one and with around 4 hours racing time this was twenty odd seconds off our first leg lead but fortunately we still had enough in the bank to end up aggregate winners of the race.
Mingling around the start line at Vathi

I think I have a great deal to learn about competitive racing but it'll come given practice and some expert tutelage.  Anyway, I've got all of two weeks before the next race!!!

Our Landlords arrived back home (next door villa to us) on Tuesday after driving all the way from England, I mean not going to Italy and getting a ferry across to Greece but taking the eastern European route through Romania, Bulgaria etc.  They seem to have very much enjoyed the trip so that may become an option for another time when we drive back to the UK.  They seemed very pleased to see us and we are going to have a meal together at the village taverna on Thursday night so that's something to look forward to.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Tony and Liz arrived back from their "Italian Job" at the end of last week and came down to our end of the Island to see us on Saturday.  It was really good to see old friends and we spent most of the afternoon slowly consuming alcohol (well Tony and I did) whilst talking of the marvels that they had seen whilst on their tour which went from Venice in the north east to Sicily in the south west, taking in most of the major historical attractions.  Both Sandra and I were quite jealous and resolved to try and see something of Italy the next time we are there rather than just travelling straight through the country.  As a tribute to the Italian afternoon we had, we decided that the Italian restaurant in Nidri was appropriate for our evening meal so with more wine and a very nice meal a great day was completed.  Thanks to Liz and Tony for the Italian gifts and the company.

Grounded Ferry from our house through the mist
We looked out over Vasiliki bay yesterday morning (Wednesday) and to our suprise it looked like a ship was trying to create a shortcut to Italy by going through the peninsular rather than around it.  Later there were some reports on the Greece news websites about it.  It seems it is a Malta flagged ship, "Kolossos", had 20 crew, 58 Lorries and 11 drivers aboard.  It was going from Corinth to Ancona in Italy and there are no injuries. 

Grounded ferry again taken from Vasiliki ferry terminal
This morning (Thursday) the ship is still wedged firmly onto the rocky coast with a couple of tugs in attendance.  It seems that there is some damage and divers are now looking to see what the extent of this is before they move it.  A couple of comments on face book suggested it may be a "Greek Radar" or "Ouzo navigation" which caused the problem but local opinion is that the skipper was asleep!  With modern instrumentation this really shouldn't happen even though the weather was foggy they don't really need to see where they are going! and there is a light house on the point of the peninsular anyway.  I think the Captain may be looking for another job now.

Gourde given to us by a neighbour
One of our Greek neighbours came yesterday to give us a gift of a carrier bag full to the top with tomatoes and also a gourde and we don't really know what to do with it, (clean suggestions on the back of a ten euro note).  Sandra says that she'll treat it like a pumpkin or marrow but time will tell.  I'll let you all know next week what it's like assuming I survive the experience.
 I've just printed him off a copy of the picture of the ferry accident as they are very excited about it all.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Looking to the heavens...

Happy Birthday to Claire, the wife of number one son, who's birthday it is today Thursday 11th November.

The new dish after I had dismounted it from the wall
You can see the stand arrangement which is really not strong enough.
This week has been dominated by trying to set up the big Satellite dish which we brought out from the UK.  We have always been able to get ITV C4 and C5 as well as many of the SKY channels although struggled with the +1 versions.  We could also get BBC News channel which is very handy as it gives access to the interactive things on BBC such as F1 racing etc.  However, I still think that the BBC produces the best drama and comedy programmes on TV and as such we thought that getting a larger dish would give us a better chance of being able to get BBC 1 to 4.  With this in mind we had the opportunity of a 2mt dish which was surplus to requirements from our good friends Allen and Jean.  It didn't have an LNB so I bought one which was matched to this dish off EBay for 75 quid whilst in the UK over the summer.  Our existing dish is only about 1mt but has performed quite well in the time we have been here in Greece.  The new dish took a day to put together correctly as misalignment of the panels would affect the performance.  I then had to wait a couple of days before I could mount the thing as we had quite stiff breezes and I didn't want to use it as an hang glider.  Anyway, it took another day to get it mounted and tuned into the Astra satellite; it can be quite tricky because you are aiming at something the size of a mini 33,000 miles away in space.  I was very disappointed because after several hours of tweaking I still couldn't get as good reception as I was getting with my other dish which is half the size.  In the end I have taken it down and mounted my old dish in a permanent location, I had it temporarily mounted on the balcony after moving house but now it's down in the garden in a nice sheltered location and getting better reception than ever, even getting some of the missing channels!  Moral to the story is that BIGGER isn't always better!  Anyone want to buy a big dish with an LNB?

Thursday, 4 November 2010


Sandra outside in her nighty doing a bit of computing!
It makes a real difference being in the new house in Vournikas, we really feel at home here.  Sandra has been getting used to  baking and cooking with the Arga type cooker which is very different to a conventional cooker, but the food is just as good as ever!  It's much warmer in this house although we have had a small fire on an evening it's not really necessary.  It makes us smile to think of the old house at Assos with the "thermansi" blasting away in the corner burning more oil than would run the car for a week and producing more black smoke than heat.  We would sit huddled near the heater with the side facing it being very warm but the side facing away being very cold, me visualizing Euros going through the roof.  This place is well insulated so even though it's a much bigger lounge/kitchen it's an even temperature all around.  The other thing is it's considerably warmer here on Lefkas than it is up in the mountain and at this time of year up at Assos there seems to be always cloud surrounding the village thus it's a very damp atmosphere.


We have spent much of this week bringing the garden back into shape.  It was originally laid out with minimal maintenance in mind but things were a tad overgrown.  Some things have been put in the wrong place as they are choking each other but will have to wait until Tree & Mike get here to see what they think, whilst many of the creeping plants were many feet over the stone covered walking area.  Anyway most of this has been completed now and the garden looks a real picture as you may be able to tell from the pictures.
The gathering at Lefkas Marina
 Sandra and I went out for a meal at an Italian restaurant in Nidre on Sunday night, we thought we would have something a little different to what we had been eating recently  and very nice it was too.  We even saw a couple of people who we hadn't seen for some considerable time so that was nice also.  Of course we had to be home for 10 o'clock for the X-factor!

Today, Thursday, we have been to a pontoon party on the marina at Lefkas.  This is just really a social get together for the people who are on the island for the winter as a way of introducing people to each other or re-establishing with old acquaintances, a bit of take along some food and drink for a communal table, what we used to call an American supper back in our caravanning days.  Very enjoyable afternoon and met some new people also arranged for Christmas Lunch, thanks  to Linda and Debs and thanks to Debbie and Jez for inviting us today.

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Move...

This week has been taken up primerely with moving house. Last Friday we took the first car load of stuff from Assos a week before we had planned to taking advantage in a break in the generaly rainy weather. Whilst in Lefkas with the first load we picked up the trailer we were borrowing from Tree & Mike to make it easier to bring over the major item of furniture and washing machine etc. Then it was back to Assos for our last night in the Epirus mountains. It's about one and a half hours from our old home to our new one so not really a problem going back to visit the good friends we made there. Up Early on Saturday morning to dismantle the satalite system and get the trailer packed as well as the car and top box once more and then with a wave and good wishes our life as Assos residents comes to an end.

Pictures 1&2: inside our new house house in Vounikas.

Lifting all the furniture up into the new house was backbreaking to say the least but at least it's now all done and dusted. Waher plumbed in and cloths lines tied up so Sandra can get on with her domestic science as she was beginning to have withdrawel symptoms.

We have been collecting wood and (after having borrowed Mikes chain saw) sawed it all up for fuel, it's absolutely marvellouse having not just one but two ways of heating the home up when we have been used to have little or no heat at all.

Picture: First log fire and lovely and toasty it was too.

We have had a few swims in the pool since we have been here the weather down at this level seems to be about four degrees warmer than what it is up in the mountains.

Picture: Sandra making the most of the pool while the weather is still warm enough.

We actually returned to Assos yesterday to check that everything was fine with the old house and hand the keys back, and also to say goodbye to some people who we missed with moving a little prematurely. Everyone seemed really pleased to see us you would think that we had been missing for months! Jorgos had also taken delivery of a new SKY+ box for me which I had ordered from England but it had not arrived when we left but fortunately it's nice to have friends.

Picture: We can still have our evening meals outside, well sometimes anyway!