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!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Tourists are thinning....

Being Spied on by a donkey. 
 As the weather is now cooling and the tourist season is drawing to close things are beginning to return to normality here on Lefkada.  The traffic levels are returning to their normal unhurried best and the only thing to watch out for is the Greek drivers.  When the tourist are here you see all kinds of stupid things happening with people driving on the wrong side of the road and people on hired motorbikes who have never ridden one for years and look decidedly unsafe.  But now the peace and tranquillity of the island is returning until next May.

The view over Vournikas.
Sandra has now decided that after all this time here in Vournikas we should take a little more exercise, we used to do a lot of walking when we lived on the mainland but since moving here we just have never found the time.  With this in mind we set off the other afternoon to walk down the road behind our house which leads to Fterno at the other side of the hill behind us.  You get spectacular views from the road and there seems to be a permanent katabatic wind (from the Greek katabatikos (going downhill))  which keeps you cool.

Sandra in walking mode.
The track leads around the mountainside and from one side you can see the whole of Vasiliki bay and over Sivros and Vournikas and from the other you overlook the village of Fterno and the Island of Meganisi.

On route we had a curious Donkey which seemed to be keeping an eye on us, but this was probably because some friends of Liz's had been staying in the house next door for a couple of weeks and going up there armed with buns and carrots to feed him.  He probably thought we had food parcels to share as well but unfortunately no!  I am a Yorkshireman after all!

View over Fterno overlooking Meganisi.

Tony and I watching the rugby.
 We Spent last Saturday watching the Rugby world cup on TV, it's nice to still be able to get some sport while we are out here.  Just over a week ago I nearly was ready to pack up and come home because the BBC have altered their transmission transponders on the satellite and now we cannot get the BBC News channel and thus no red button access to the sports coverage

 Formula 1, Snooker, Football etc.
After a couple of days I discovered that the video streams are being sent out for the red button coverage on a few obscure frequencies which you can see through the add channels function on you decoder.  If anyone wants to know how get in touch, I've already sorted several people out.

Vasiliki bay this morning.
I have started to do some work around the garden now that all the visitors have left, you don't want to disturb their holidays after all, or is it that I'm looking for an excuse to do "nowt"!  Anyway much of last years branches that were pruned from the trees were put down a gully at the side of the drive to dry off and be usable as firewood this coming winter.  I've started dragging these out and chopping them up into usable sized bits.  Unfortunately because I haven't been doing anything physical for months my hands are now blistered and I'll have to rest up for a couple of days before doing some more :-)

This morning we have a a lovely little walk around Vasiliki stopping for a coffee here, a pita gyros there, ahhh this is the life...