Thursday, 28 June 2012

Gypsies once again...

Mason on his sleepover.
 Well it's been all go since we got back seeing people we haven't seen for some time and also trying to help out where we can with the family.

Friday night we had Mason over to John's house where we were house/dog sitting, for a sleep over.  We had a great time and he really enjoyed not having Finley about so as he put it "I can have some peace".  I'm really astonished by how his reading has come on, when it was bedtime, Sandra found one of the girls books to read him a story and he insisted on reading it to us!  The words which he didn't know he read in syllables and then discovered what the word was.  He also added proper expression to what he read putting some excitement or questioning in the appropriate places, most impressive for a six year old.

Finley "helping" grandad wallpaper!
 Saturday and I had agreed to wallpaper one of the rooms in Gary, our eldest's, new house.  He had just moved prior to us coming back to the UK from Greece, the house is a real state and very large so he'll need all the help he can get.  Finley decided he would like to help of course which meant that everything takes much longer as he's really into everything.  He's amazing though as for a deaf child he can make you understand anything.

 Allen and Jean had returned back to the UK from Cyprus during the week and we had them to visit on Sunday.  With our car situation which, as I explained last week had altered our plans for going to London for the Olympic games, well we were going with Jean and Allen but they have also cancelled so we are both going to have a few weeks with nothing planned (yeah right!!).  I think Allen is already booked up helping another friend of his with some Park home stuff but we may at some point look into having a day down there on the train just to say we have been.

We had a super day with them and out for a meal in the evening before watching England's demise in the football which I had recorded.  It's funny how you can just start up again where you left off with good friends.
Back in our comfy Caravan.

Well this morning John, Fiona, Jessica and Melissa arrived back from their holiday in Rhodes.  They are all browner than we are but I suspect they have made the most of their fortnight in the sun, and who could blame them.  The upshot of this is though that Sanny and I are now once again homeless, awwww.  The good news is that we had everything already to move into in the paddock at home and once more we are gypsies!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

It's a bit brass monkeys...

Just tying Izola to our car, I've pulled worse!
A couple of days before we set off on our journey back to the UK we were recruited, along with several other brawny chaps, by Tony to help erect the mast on Izola.  Doing it the manual way rather then get a crane to lift it into position.  Unfortunately that's what had to happen as the laws of physics proved why they are laws and also I got two head wounds into the bargain.  Never mind Tony we are all a little wiser now!

Just entering Venice.
We set off for the UK at about 5am with the couple of hours drive to Igoumenitsa.  We were slightly apprehensive about the trip as the car had been a little awkward in the past week and if it's going to go wrong it'll go wrong when then there's a ferry to catch. The old girl was a little difficult to start and the car wasn't much better but we made it with time to spare.  The ferry was about an hour late and the trip ended up being quite long although I suspect the this particular ferry, "Kriti II" is slower than the ones we have had before.  The sail from Greece to Venice was 27.5 hours on the boat and we were fast embarking and disembarking.  Note to self, check it's not that ship for the next crossing!

Now what did I do with that spare top gallant sail.
 The car problems actually got a little worse en-route through Europe and we were hoping that nothing would go seriously wrong we had resolved to change her after going down to London for the games.  The games was now being thought of as dispensable.  Towards the end of the trip from Venice to Germany the engine management light came on, we stopped started again and it went off, another twenty miles and it's on again.  Stopped again and checked all the fluids etc. and it looked OK.  No strange noises but that could be famous last words!
Out with the crap.
 From Germany to Zeebrugge the light wouldn't go off and we had a slight noise coming from the turbo but we decided as we were so near to getting back to Blighty we would risk it and get our mechanic to have a look the next day when we arrived.  This we did and with some sucking of teeth and scratching of heads he agreed to lend me his car while he looked at it.  Two hours later he brought me it back saying that he had fixed the diesel leak (I had that all the way home but knew what it was) but he suggested that if I was changing the car to do it sooner rather than later and definitely not to put it under any stress in the meantime!  We went out later that day and found another car, so it seems that pulling the caravan is now out of the question.  I hope Allen and Jean aren't too disappointed that we won't be going to the Olympics.
Lawn tidy and summer home erected.

New car - not up to towing the van though!
The car is a Renault Clio diesel £35 road tax so it won't need sorning when we leave it here next year.  It claims to do over 70mpg so we should be better off all ways but we'll wait and see with that one.

Anyway that out of the way we have been temporary dog owners since we arrive back in Yorkshire.  Dino, our youngest son's dog is home alone while they are on holiday, well not actually alone as we are house sitting as well.  He been great, follows me everywhere I go unless I shut the door in his face, I can't do with being watched on the toilet!
Man's best friend - Dino.

We managed to go and see Maureen while we still had the big car, didn't want to put all Marks stuff in the new one and break the suspension.  We went to the new house and only saw Maureen but she looked really dapper in her blue boiler suit!  We will go and see them again when they have actually moved house in a couple of weeks time.

We have got our caravan all set up ready for us to move into in another week and also had a good turf out of rubbish in our garage, so I get to have a good bonfire and keep warm as it's only about 15 degrees here a week or so ago we were in the 30's.  Looks like were're set for a few more days rain before (big assumption) things start getting better.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Last blog from Greece for a while...

As rare a sight as the Venus transit.    
 It's now almost two weeks since Geoff went back to the UK and his presence is still being felt here.  I had to include this picture of him in the Katoghi getting money out of his wallet just to prove that, despite many rumours to the contrary he does know the combination to the lock and also how to disarm all the booby traps on route to withdrawing money.  A rare event I know but here is incontrovertible evidence.

Vasiliki by moonlight.
Being the insomniac that I am I was up at 4am the other morning and thought this picture from our balcony looking over Vasiliki bay was well worth the effort of trying to avoid camera shake, well it works for me anyway.  

Stuff piled up ready for it's move.
We have spent much of this week packing up our house prior to us going back to England for the summer.  Most of the furniture has been sold to one couple who are setting up a new home on dry land in Evia after living on board a yacht for a great many years.  In this respect they are doing an exact mirror image of what we are doing which is quite fortuitous for us both.  Other bits and pieces, like the big telly and oven, we have delivered to their new owners during the week.  I think we are all very happy with the outcome.  
Timoni, the sister ship to ours in Sivota.

Yesterday we found out that "Timoni" the sister ship to our new boat, which has been bought by Tony and Liz, was sitting in Sivota.  So we've been on a little hunt to try and see if ours has appeared down here from Corfu yet.  We didn't find ours but at the moment it would be a good man who could tell the difference between them, That is until I get set loose with saw, hammer and angle grinder!!

Oh well, that's about it for now, we leave Vournikas on Monday morning at about 5am to get our ferry from Igoumenitsa to Venice.  We should arrive home sometime Thursday morning all being well and then it's twelve weeks away from our beloved Greek islands, never mind I'm sure the grand kids will deflect some of the gloom.  Next blog from blighty if the snow isn't too deep!