Thursday, 29 December 2011

Out with the old...

Sandra's Dad and Sonia waiting for Xmas lunch.
 Well for us it's been a very hectic time, we don't seem to have been to visit as many people as we'd planned but hey, you can only do so much.

We had Christmas lunch with Sandra's dad and his friend Sonia at the Rose & Crown in Gilberdyke.  The food was excellent and while Geoff stayed quite traditional with duck we three deviated somewhat from the norm and had sea bass, langoustines and scallops for our main course.  Anyway it was all fantastic food and great company, it's certainly the best Christmas lunch we've ever had out, and by no means the most expensive.
Sunset outside the pub after xmas lunch 3:30 here - Shocking!

Adam, Libby and Jo show off their new bikes.
 I couldn't eat anything else for the rest of the day but as usual Geoff managed to have some supper later!

All the grand kids seemed to have got what they wanted from "santa" despite Chris and I have to do an eleventh hour mercy dash to town at nearly tea time

on Christmas eve when Adams xbox blow up and most of his presents needed it to be working, fortunately we managed to get a new one unfortunately it was another couple of hundred quid which could have stayed in Chris's wallet!
Finley & Mason walking the river bank.

On Tuesday we had another mission of mercy to perform as Gary and Claire came down with a mystery D&S bug (I suspect it was food related!) and we had Finley and Mason for the day.  We had a great day together out walking on the river bank but when you start to feel anno domini pulling at you something has to give and the next day Sandra was totally shattered so the promise to take them out to McDonald's was put on hold.

Anyway we are setting off back to Athens on the 21:45 train from York on Saturday so we should see the new year in at Manchester station all being well, but the good news is we will be back in Greece on New Years Day.

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

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

Maureen with the world famous venison pate.
It's been all go since we returned to England, first day back we were commandeered into baby sitting, making up for the times we are not here so it's not a problem.  Next day it was off to York to get all the Christmas presents for the kids big and small, Sandra's dad in tow wanting to get all his presents as well.  We came home with a car full of gear and a very thin wallet, bah humbug I say.  The saving grace is we came home with a a madras from Asda for tea so I got a spice fix and Sandra got her retail therapy.

Some of the tonnes of apples that needed moving.
 On Sunday we took four of the grand kids to the Christingle and carol service at the church.  They enjoyed it immensely especially the bun fight afterwards.  Monday and we went to visit Mark and Maureen at their temporary home up near Bronte country.  A very nice area but probably not entirely wheel chair friendly for Mark.  We had a great day with lunch out and a wonder tea provided by super chef Maureen including some marvellous venison pate on toast.  Thanks for a great day and a good laugh you two.
Sandra propping up the bar.

Ready for the big day in the local pub.
 Tuesday was time for clearing up all the dropped apples in our paddock while it wasn't raining.  Tonnes of the things and my gave up before I had hardly scratched the surface.  I decided therefore to get the garden tractor going and run the lawn mower over them several times to bruise, cut and generally battering them so the rot away quickly.

 Geoff, Sandra's dad, has given that many apples away that people are hiding from him now when they see him coming. 
Melissa, Sandra and Jess having some snuggle time.

We had a walk down the the pub in the village yesterday and had a couple of well deserved glasses of wine mind you a glass here is the same price as half a litre in Lefkas and you get over a litre in the new taverna in Lefkas square for less money!

Today it's baby sitting again for the day so I get to use proper broadband and Sandra get's cuddles everybody is happy!

Only a couple of days left now until Christmas so both Sandra and I would like to wish everybody who reads our blog a very merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous and happy new year.  Sorry to all those people we can't see while we are here but maybe we'll have more time when we return in the new year.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Back in the USSR err UK....

Sunday's Jungle crew minus me.
 Sunday saw the last race of the winter race calender.  All to play for as in the last race when we thought Jungle had achieved only gained second place, when the official results where published we found out that we had actually got first again after the handicap adjusted times had been worked out.  The end result of this meant that the final race still had the ability to award the seasons champions to either "Leona" or "Jungle", down to the wire with 3 wins each.

"Jungle" made an excellent start to the windward/leeward race around the cans at Lygia, and despite one or two errors from the crew (all of them including the skipper!) we had an excellent afternoons sailing in quite blowy conditions.  The end result being that we ended up second by nineteen seconds so had to let Neil and "Leona's" crew take the glory of overall seasons winners.  Never mind there's always next year.

Monday we went out for a meal with Jez, Debs, Tony and David to the newly opened taverna just off the main square to Lefkas town.  Excellent value for money as the nights food and drink only came to fifteen Euro a couple.  The food wasn't bad at all although in true Greek style wasn't the hottest meal you could ever eat but having said that it was tasty, wholesome and plentiful as was the wine flowing copiously throughout the meal.

Wednesday we set off on our journey back to the UK at four in the morning, we had planned to set off at five but as we were both up at two thirty we thought what's the point in hanging about.  We had a good journey to Athens stopping just before Patras at the same places the buses stop at for a toilet break and coffee.  Watched the sunrise over the gulf of Corinth, beautiful, and never had much traffic at all until the motorway section which goes through Athens itself, which of course you would expect.  The flight home was three quarters of an hour longer than it normally is as there were strong head wind almost the entire journey (according to the captain anyway) so we were a little later to Manchester airport than we had planned but fortunately we still were in plenty of time to catch the train we had booked.  Got a big shock when we got to York and found it was freezing though, to think we used to take this cold weather entirely in our strides.  Anyway called into the fish and chip shop on route to take some good old British staples home with us, and good they were too!  Mind you at £5 for fish and chips they wanted to be!  Our day travelling ended up being nineteen and a half hours from door to door.

Shock Horror - It's bloody cold here!
This morning, up at six o'clock, which was really eight o'clock according to the internal chronometer, went out for the first cigarette of the day as is my want, and found myself standing in an inch of snow, you just don't seem to be able to get away from it here nowadays.

We've had all day babysitting for number three son today, well not for him but his daughter Melissa.  We've had a great time all us children together!  Saw Jess and her mum off this morning as the snow was beginning to melt and have been slobbing all day since!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Conclusion of our olive harvest...

Deb & Jez's pruned tree.
Jez, Deb, Sandra & Tony at the press.
 On Friday the travelling band of would be olive harvesters made it to Jeremy and Debbie's house in Pondi near Vasiliki at the south of the island.  As with Tony's trees there was only one which had any real quantity of olives on it and it was precariously positioned on a very steep scree slope making it awkward to get the olives off

the tree.  We decided to use the net underneath a third of the tree at a time and use our plastic rakes attached to long poles to pull the olives off the tree and into the waiting net below.  Due to it's awkward location and the fact that it was not getting pruned, it turned out to be a bit of a tough task and both Tony and I shed blood for the cause, but hey, that's the British way isn't it.

Jez, Tony & I waiting for our turn.
We also had a very large tree which only had a few olives on to prune and try to convince it to fruit better in years to come.  Jez was feeling brave and pounced up the tree like an uncoiling spring, chainsaw in hand to do his lumberjack imitation.  Although, for Monty Python fans, I never saw any evidence of high heels, suspenders or a bra!  The tree loping really opened up the view down to Vasiliki bay as can be seen from the top picture.

Our 85 Kg of Olives seem poultry against other's tonnes.
We devised a better way to get rid of all the debris which you tend to collect with the olives this time.  We utilised my garden vacuum with a net over the end to stop the inlet sucking up olives and blew out the leaves and small twigs.  This was very successful in comparison to the hand sorting we had used at Tonys, but later at the olive press we found out that we need not have bothered at all as part of the process gets rid of all that stuff for you and some of the farmers olives were coming in full of leaves and even small branches.

Deb, Sandra and Jez emptying into the hopper.
 We ended up with 85 kilos of olives off two trees which wasn't a bad result at all.  With a little ringing about we found a press nearby which we were assured would be willing to takes our meagre (in comparison with the local farmers) offerings.  Thus the five of us set off for the press complete with our lovingly picked sacks of olives.

Filling up the oil.
Sandra with the finished product.
These meagre pickings became apparent when some of the farmers were weighing their bags for the days picking at 300 + kilos.  The Press was packed with loads of farmers and they were quite amused by the five of us taking in the whole experience several of them tried to explain the sequence of events to us and laughed at our miserly little bags waiting to go into the hopper but we were not to be deterred and I'm sure we won a respect from the locals that we foreigners were prepared to do the local thing and took such interest in it.  In the end the guy who owned the press normally takes payment in oil from the crop at a rate of about 12% to 13% of the total but Tony had asked if we could pay with having so little to press we would like all the oil.  When it was eventually squirted into out waiting cans he waived his fee, which was very nice of him.  We ended up with sixteen litres of our very own, from tree to can, virgin olive oil.  The next day we took the press owner a bottle of wine to show our appreciation.

Thanks to Deb and Jez for the fine meal Jez cooked for us on Saturday night it was a great night with great company.

After a couple of wet days breakfast coffee in the sunshine.
Sunday was race day again on "Jungle".  It was another close race and at this moment I don't know if we got the desired win to keep the season alive with one race to go.  We know that we beat "Leonne" which is the yacht currently leading the rankings but we had a serious racing yacht "Cocobill" which was about 10 minutes in front of us over the line and although his handicap means he gives us time it will be a close run thing.  Last race of the season coming up this Sunday so we really need to know whether it's still possible for "Jungle" to win, time will tell!

The early part of this week the weather has taken a turn for the worse and we've had some rain and hail and quite strong winds but by Wednesday afternoon things started to look better which was good because we were going out for a meal in Lefkas town with our great friend Kev & Linda.  The night seemed to fly by and we had a great time talking and after our meal we went back to marina to pick up our car as we set off for home the clock said 12:40 I thought it was about half ten!  Thanks for the great night out you guys must do it again soon after we get back from the UK.

Last picture shows Sandra having her breakfast coffee outside in the morning sunshine, I say morning but she didn't get up until 10:30, lazy bugger!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Tic tic tic tic.... The olive harvest is on us again.

Well the weather here is still warm currently about seventeen degrees for most of the day and although cool after the sun goes down, it's certainly nothing to complain about.  I guess that it is not quite as good as this back in dear old "Blighty" in fact looking at the news from the UK it looks very blustery at the moment, although I did see this morning on TVAM that they were talking of draught conditions if they didn't get some rain soon in some areas.  This makes me smile, as we have had two small rain periods perhaps amounting to an inch of rain since we returned early September.  There is no talk here of water shortages, the farmers are still irrigating their crops and shock horror, people are still getting washed!  Well most of them anyway.  If a small island in what is currently being rated as a third world country can always have plenty of water, without having to desalinate it, then why can't Britain get it right.
The "Strippers" not quite "The full Monty!"

We had Sunday lunch out this week at the Katougi restaurant in Vafkeri.  Very nice food and great company too.  We had a really great afternoon with Peter and Alison and also with Ray and Linda who just happened to be there as well.  Only just made it back home in time to catch the Grand Prix which would have been a catastrophe!  

Pirouetting over the abyss.

We had arranged over the weekend with Tony, Jez and Debbie, that we would attempt to get Tony's Olives in on Wednesday.  Tony was aquiring some bags and a net and we would arrive tooled up to do the business.  Although there are at least four olive trees on Tony's land this year only one of them has any olives on it and it's laden.  It also needed to have a bit of a haircut so after a little perusing we decided that instead of knocking the olives down into a net we would prune it and take the fruiting branches onto the patio were they could be stripped, riddled and bagged ready for the press.

Mid day break
Lunchtime was home made soup and hunks of bread, delicious.  I think Sandra may have to open a Cafe, her food always seems to go down well with other people.  

Chopping the tree back has at least made it so you can see Lefkas and the marina from the lower balcony.  I did have to leave one long branch however as it was supporting Liz's  washing line and my name might not have been worth much if she couldn't get her washing out when she returns from her trip to the UK, I could blame Tony but she knows it wouldn't have been him that was so severe with the tree.  Guilty as charged!

The end result.
It was very labour intensive work but rewarding and today I'm feeling as stiff as a very stiff thing.  I think we ended up with about forty kilos of Olives off the one tree but as yet I'm not sure how much this equates to in term of the golden nectar that is extra virgin olive oil complete with blood sweat and tears!

Anyway, that's the Lefkas town end of things done next it's on to Pondi tomorrow to start on Deb and Jez's Olives hopefully they will be easier to get at but who cares have saw will travel!

Our neighbours and landlords Tree & Mike arrived home safely this week, although Tree is only home for a week before setting off back to the UK again for a bit of a knees up I think.  Anyway both say they are pleased to be back in the sunshine and we are all pleased to see them here.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

 A little more has happened this week starting with the race from Lefkas to Preveza and back.  The need for crew for Jungle is obviously dire at this time of year as once again I was invited to take part for additional ballast and as someone to release the right rope at the wrong time or alternatively the wrong rope at the right time but never mind!!  The pictures show people waiting just outside of Lefkas bridge prior to the start of the race which was going to be reduced to just running around the "cans" as the forecast was for little wind.  We had already been out into the bay for a practice and the wind wasn't nearly as light as the forecast suggested.

So the decision was made for the race to more or less follow the original course of going down the west coast around a buoy up the Preveza and around another buoy and then a reverse of the above coming back but the cruiser class (the slower boats) just going straight back to the finish.

We got off to a great start hitting the line within milliseconds of the start gun and in a very close third place around the first can.  The first three all took very different routes up to Preveza and it was difficult to say who had made the correct decisions and the wind was dropping by the minute.  Still in third behind Neil in "Leonne" and a big 50ft Beneteau but still nip and tuck.  Again we all had differing plans coming back but it looked like we had made the best plan we looked in front in the very light airs.   Then the wind came and the Beneteau started to catch very quickly and was fifty yards ahead at the buoy.  Neil was trying to pass but we managed to keep him in our wake all the way to the line, which meant "Jungle" was second over the line but easily first on handicap.  Four and three quarter hours of sailing and about five minutes separating the first three boats can't be bad can it!

On Tuesday we took Debs and Jez for a tour of the area where we used to live.  The pictures show them at Zeros Lake and the springs of archaron.  We also called into the kafenion in our old village to introduce them to some of our Greek friends in Assos, I think they were very impressed by the village welcome for it's prodigal sons (and daughters).  It seemed to come as a little surprise to them the depth off feeling they seem to show towards us and of course despite the long hard recession that they are currently enduring they wouldn't accept payment for our drinks as is always the case with these wonderful people.

We finished off the trip with a nice meal in a small taverna in Preveza which Deb and Jez knew of, it was excellent value and also had some variation on the menu which is quite unusual as many Greek tavernas have the same tried and tested fare which they stick to all of the time.   Thanks for making it a memorable day for us you two!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thursday again already!

Good grief is it that time already!  I haven't taken any pictures at all this week so you'll have to be satisfied with my verbal meanderings.

Last Friday we went to the pontoon party at Lefkas marina and had a great afternoon in the warm sunshine meeting with people who were new to the Island for this winter and also with others who we seem to have known for years.  There was an abundance of food and wine available but Sandra took the flask and we had tea and coffee, although I did have a couple of glasses of red wine prior to coming back to the south of the island.

Unfortunately since Friday the weather has taken on a much colder turn and the nights have been well into single figures at around six degrees and the days have only been in the mid teens so it's felt rather cold here.  In fact the electric blanket has made an appearance although it only needs to be on a low setting.  We have had the fire blazing away for the last week in the late afternoon until bedtime but only had the central heating on for a short time when we first get up.  Yesterday and today it's felt somewhat warmer so hopefully the weather is now going to improve, today the breeze has turned around more to the south west from being stuck in the north west for the last few days so hopefully that bodes well.

Sandra has been poorly since last week also which has stopped us doing much this week, she actually spent almost the whole day in bed on Tuesday although she seems to be much better today, you know what this "woman Flu" is!!!

I would think that by now most people who read this blog will be aware that the price of meat here in Greece is quite expensive, well if you didn't you do now.  We bought a chicken from the butcher in Sivros, the next village to ours, the other day.  It cost eight Euro's which must be at least twice the price of a similar sized bird in the UK.  However with a little of Sandra's creativity we have had four meals from it which ain't really bad value.  We had a traditional roast dinner, sandwiches the next day and then from the carcase Sandra has made enough of a heavenly broth with dumplings to have another two meals each from.  All in all that chicken really didn't die in vain!

Oh well, that's about it for today hopefully there'll be more to talk about next week.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Mid November already!

 Yesterday was overcast for most of the day so we had our first fire of the winter, very nice to snuggle up in front of a glowing log fire and watch Harry Potter on the telly!

We have finished pruning the tree's at Mike and Tree's side of the property well the big mulberry tree in particular.  It grows around fifteen feet every year and if it's not pruned hard back will produce fruit on this years growth next year, this is fine but it makes a real mess of the patio when all the purple splodge falls on it.  It will grow quick enough in spring to provide shade for the punters who rent their house over the summer period.  I've also chopped back the two "triffids" adjacent to our balcony as I was a tad worried that they may take over the world in the coming months, anyway it all looks nice and smart now.  We got about two kilo's of almonds from our almond tree and very nice they are too.
We have ventured out for a couple of walks this week.  The first just around some of the paths and roads within the village, looking at how much effort this year seems to be going into the olive groves.  There was talk of a big deal being signed with the Chinese to export olives and olive oil there but whatever the reason there are olive groves being tidied up this year which I have not even noticed before, could the the "economy crisis"!  There also seems to be a great deal more growing of vegetables on spare land going on, I think the austerity measures are certainly beginning to bite.

Walking through the groves suddenly you come across a stone lion on a gatepost in the middle of nowhere, I assume it's some sort of gate guardian but who really knows?

We also had a walk around our local monastery which is only a couple of miles away and although it's not actively used by monks there are still services held there I assume for christenings and marriages.

As can be seen from the pictures it quite old and in a bit of a state but someone seems to be taking care of the main church part of place.

This afternoon we are going out to the pontoon party at Lefkas Marina.  This is a sort of afternoon social event aimed at the newcomers to the island who are planning to spend their winter here this year.  It will give them an idea of what entertainment is available and what, where and how they can access things.

It's also a chance for the people, new and old, to meet and greet with everyone and swill down all the food with some wine, not that any one really needs an excuse to do that!

Whilst out walking Sandra has been picking bits of autumn foliage to make arrangements for the house and bring a bit of that stunning autumnal colour inside.  The hillsides are now looking very red with the changing leaves although many things here stay in full leaf throughout the winter.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dining and Digging...

 Now that the clocks have changed it's getting dark here at around 6 o'clock and despite the fact that the days are still glorious the evenings are beginning to get a little cool.  In fact so much so that we have had to switch on the heating for an hour on a couple of evenings which is enough to bring the house up to a reasonable temperature although I'm sure some of our friends here would definitely disagree.  Tony is not happy once it get below thirty degrees.

Sunday evening we went out for a dinner party to Tony & Liz's, with Linda and Kev there also it was a great night, stimulating if sometimes misguided conversations and of course good food and wine, I was treated to Bordeaux rather than my usual supermarket bricks!  Thanks Liz for a fine meal and all of you for a great night out.

We've finally got all the garden into shape as can be seen from the pictures it looks rather nice now even though I do say so myself.  The oranges are getting more orange by the day and hopefully it won't be long before Sandra can start making some more delicious marmalade, we have just ran out of the stuff she made earlier on in the year.  This years crop looks like being a bumper one so there should be enough for Sandra and Liz and also plenty left for juice.
 Today I have been chain sawing again to get the last of this winters wood which I had secreted away ready for when we need to light the fire and also cut down some branches to be stored down the drive side in order to get dried for next year, I would have liked to have chopped down a little more of the holy oak as it's constantly dropping acorns and leaves on the car but I would need a triple extender ladder to do it and Sandra is not keen on me pirouetting at heights with a chainsaw in my hand!  Can't understand why!
Just quick birthday wishes to our daughter in law Claire for this coming week on 11/11/11 that'll never happen again well not for another hundred years and I won't be around to comment or if I am I'll have had great value out of my pension!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Homeward go the girls

Sandra's birthday meal.
 Last Thursday was Sandra's birthday so we decided to have a meal in Lefkas town with a few close friends and obviously Jane and Pat who were staying with us.  Sorry about the photo quality as the light was low.  Sandra had a great night and I even drove home for a change!
She wants to thank everyone for the cards and gifts.  She's a big girl now that she finally got out of her twenties....

Went out for our last meal with Jane and Pat on Friday night and decided to show them a proper, none tourist, Greek Taverna.  So we went to Nionios's in Sivros, the neighbouring village to ours.

Dancing at Mike's Birthday party
Here you can chose your own chunk of meat from his butchers shop adjoining the taverna and then he'll cook it for you.  This is swilled down with village wine and the bill is scribbled on the tablecloth after all is finished.  Absolutely no frills eating but to be fair this is reflected in the bill after the meal, two courses for four people and a litre of wine for thirty six euros, can't be bad.  Jane ordered the liver but wasn't expecting quite what she got as it comes cooked wrapped in stomach lining to keep all the juices in.  After she'd tried it I swapped her for my huge pork chop but she didn't manage a great deal of that either.  Never mind, Pat had the appetite to demolish both her chicken and the pork so there wasn't much left at the end.

And the band played on
Saturday morning we took the girls to Lefkas bus station to catch the coach back to Athens and from there they were overnighting at a hotel prior to the flight back to Manchester.  We had a great week with them and I've not laughed as much for ages, so thanks you two!

 Saturday afternoon was the party next door which had been organised by Theresa (our landlady) for her husband Mikes 75th Birthday.  There were about a hundred guests, a band called "Edjukatid Porc" and of course the mandatory BBQ.  I think that everyone had a great time the band played my kind of music which probably means that it wasn't to some peoples liking but hey ho.

Must be wearing that shirt for a bet mike! - Happy Birthday.
As can be seen from the photograph Mike had to wear the traditional silly shirt but at least his legs were hidden from view!!  Anyway the weather gods were on our side for the day and a great time was had by all.

Since then I don't think I've stopped gardening but now at least all the garden down the side of the house is back to it's pristine best.  I will start to tackle the rear of the house next week when I can feel my back again.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Worra laugh...

Hail on the sun lounger.
 Last weeks end we had some quite spectacular Thunderstorms and with it the temperature has dropped not reaching twenty degree's in the early part of the week, Thankfully we are now back to at the right side of the twenty mark.  I spent about half an hour trying to catch some of the lightening on the camera but this exercise ended in abject failure so I'm afraid it's just a photo of the ice left over from the hail.  Sandra and I had all the lights off in the house whilst sitting and watching the spectacle.  Nature can provide the best fireworks display of all. 
Les' Angels at "the springs of Achrion.

Church at the springs.

Ladies who lunch!
Sandra's School friend Jane, and Jane's friend Pat arrived for their visit to us on Sunday evening after catching a flight to Athens and then getting the bus to Lefkas.  As they are going on Saturday morning it meant that really they only have five full days with us but I'm sure that Sandra and I will never forget them.

It's been a week of almost constant laughter up to now what a ray of sunshine they have both been.  On Monday we showed them both around the islands resorts and did a little coffee here and a snack there type of thing before going out for an evening meal at Mama Mia's in Nidri which was top rate.  Tuesday we decided on a trip around the mainland to show them where we used to live and introduce them to our Greek family.  After the mandatory coffee stop with Mantha we headed off to the Spring of Achrion which is worth a look and then over the mountains via Souli  where we stopped to try and see the wild horses again and failed and also had the worst ever coffee and tea we have yet to experience in Greece.  We won't be calling in at that taverna again!  Onward to Paramythia and then Parga which the girls seemed to fall in love with, this is understandable as most people do!
Sunset at Lygia.
Where's captain Ahab!

Trouble getting afternoon snacks as most places were closed but we managed in the end.  We decided to go to the famous fish taverna at Lygia (on the mainland not the Ligia on Lefkas) for our evening meal and watch the sunset over the sea, magical.  After about fourteen hours of looking around we got home and went straight to bed ZZzzzzzzz.

Yesterday, Wednesday, we went for a trip around the Island taking in Eglouvi and the Lentil growing region where they sampled the fresh spring water from the wells and onto Karia where the girls where introduced to Brenda I'm sure she's a character they won't forget in a hurry!  Time for a swim now and we go down to beach at Gialos where Sandra and Pat both take the plunge while Jane and I content ourselves with whale watching, THArrrrrr she Blows.......

Sandra would just like to thank all the people who have sent her cards and good wishes for her Birthday today, she's having a great time and going out tonight for a meal with close friends.  Happy Birthday Darling xxx

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lazy ol' week

Now that my cracked rib has stopped plaguing me I have started to do some of the gardening which is urgently needed, you would not have believed how things have grown over the summer whilst we have been away, new growth in excess of 12ft on some plants, that'll teach me not to repair the watering system won't it!.  What were nicely open borders are now crowded to such an extent that they are beginning to kill off some of the less vigorous plants.  Before that can be started though I need to clear out the branches stored to dry down the side of the drive.  Cleaning out this space is essential t make room to put the large branches from this years pruning to dry out ready for the fire next year, although it may not be for us, it will be ready.

The other major thing to get rid of before we start in earnest is the myriad holly oak leaves and acorns from the trees bordering the house.  These get in among all the cobbles on the garden and are a real pain to get rid of.  So with this in mind this year I brought the garden vacuum back to Greece with me, with this I can blow them all (well mostly all) into a heap and then suck them into the bag with much less effort and not nearly as many scratches from the dried thorny leaves, they are like mini triffids! 
Sunset over Vasiliki bay.
The weather has improved and although we have had to have a couple of meals indoors this week we are now back to eating "al fresco" and long may it last.  The sunsets here happen to the right of this picture and thus behind the mountain to us but last night it stretched itself a little to give us this picture just before tea was served.  Not bad to sit out with a Metaxa and Coke looking at a view like that is it!