Thursday, 27 December 2012

The last blog in 2012 from Lesanda...

We hope you have all had a very merry Christmas and Santa has brought all your heart's desires but more on that later.  As this will be the last blog of 2012 I thought it might be nice just to reflect a little on the massive changes we have gone through this year.  Especially changing to a water based home rather than a land based one.  Up to now that is going very well although not without teething problems.  We have met many new friends this year and wish them all well as we go into 2013.  Last week, through the miracle of Facebook an old acquaintance who we met in Kefalonia years ago got back in touch with us.  It's great to be back in touch June and hope when you are out here again we can get together some time. 
Sanny doing the washing
Alison & Peter's humble little abode.
 A question that we have been asked many times by people who don't have boats is how do you manage to do your laundry, do you have to take it all to a laundrette?  Well, as the picture on the left of San on washday shows, we have a little twin-tub washing machine which stacks away in one of the cockpit lockers and comes out when needed to clean my skiddies.  For drying we just hang things out on the line suspended from the boats rigging or along the guard rails.  You have to be organised though as space is at a premium, especially on a small boat like Lesanda.

 Back to Yuletide   We spent Christmas eve to Boxing day with our good friends Alison and Peter who have the Katoghi restaurant up in the mountains at Vafkeri.  They very kindly provided us with a proper bed, the first time Sandra and I have slept in a "proper" bed since June, so as you can guess we relished the opportunity.  We tried to repay their kindness by helping with the preparations for their Christmas feast in some small way, although as usual we got the better end of the bargain!
The old Olive/Wine press in Vafkeri.
 Christmas itself was an excellent affair, there were eighteen of us including Alison and Peter all around one huge table for an eight course extravaganza.  It was superb and enjoyed by all.  I suppose the only downside was the entertainment as Paul forgot his guitar and he struggled with mine and I was no better, we had better blame it on the booze Paul!  We did have an hours sing song later when most people had gone though, by that time everyone but Pete and Alison was drunk anyway.
Pete & I with the makings of the huge table.

Alison & Sanny just getting the table centres right!

A layout fit for a king.
 We came home yesterday after helping square up the restaurant with them and having lunch up there as well (who wouldn't when you are there?) and now it's back to sleeping with the ceiling one foot above your nose!!  Thanks Katoghi for a great, great Christmas!
Christmas morning just waiting for the arrivals.

Everyone tucking in.
 I leave it there for now but we would just like to wish all our family, friends and everyone who reads our ramblings and very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.  HAPPY 2013.
Debbie, Pete and the infamous cheese board.
 P.S. Please scroll down and look at all the pictures I know there are a few but I think they give a feeling as to what it was like.
The table ain't nearly so pretty now!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A little before Christmas...

I had a strange experience the other day, I was walking through the marina unsuccessfully going from chandlers to chandlers trying to get an oil filter for Lesanda's engine, when I stopped to talk to Paul who in turn was talking to another couple who I did not know.  The lady, Linda, says to me "are you Les".  I immediately did a double take wondering if I owed money to anyone, and then cautiously answered yes.  She then introduced herself and said that she recognised me from this blog and said that I was part of the reason that her and her husband had come back out here to live for a couple of years.  They are currently staying with friends but if anyone reading this knows of a house for a reasonable rent on the flattish bits at the north of the island I'm sure she would be interested.
Some of the "crowd" at the quiz.

From the other end.
 Having as I said earlier failed to get a oil filter I have had to put the oil change on hold until the new year, I was hoping to get it out of the way before the Yuletide merriments began in earnest, but the only place which seems to have the correct filter is closed down until well into January, you'd think given the economic climate, time off would be on hold, not the Greek system I'm afraid.

Sandra and I have organised a meal and quiz night at Remezzo's restaurant on the Marina and this took place on Tuesday night.  I think, with forty attendees it was a great success although everybody, bar the winners, thought the questions too hard.  If we ever do it again, I'll have to get the grand children to write the questions; maybe not, they could be well beyond my feeble intellect.
View from our pontoon towards Lefkas town.

The quiz was very well attended and Sanny and I would like to thank everyone for making it such a special night, and also thank Nikos from Remezzo's for supplying the venue and putting on the meal and wine.  Thanks all.

Finally I would like to wish everyone who reads my weekly diatribe a very happy Christmas and just in case I have not recovered for next week a great, prosperous and healthy 2013.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

It's getting so tha needs t'at on...

Our Festive little boat, even in the rain.
The title, for those who aren't of a northern extraction, means it's getting quite cold here.  I'm  still wearing a tee shirt most of time but am starting to get some rather strange looks and I think the shorts have now been abandoned.   It's nothing like in the UK mind but I don't think we've been out of single figures temperature wise all week and in the mountains there has been snow.  Peter and Alison had some up in Vafkeri last week and the mountains on the mainland are showing their winter plumage once more.  We have also had a deluge of rain in the early part of the week making it difficult to have the windows open on Lesanda, thus getting loads of the resultant condensation inside, which is currently causing us a real problem as the bedding gets wet over night, well at Sanny's side it does so not that much of a problem :-)
Snow on the mountains for Chrimble.

I think that we will have to invest in a much more powerful dehumidifier, the one we brought out from the UK just will not remove enough water fast enough to be of any real use, I guess it's just another thing which will be going home with us when we take the car back.

On Tuesday, San and I had our first Daltons, this won't mean anything to most of the people back at home but everyone here will know exactly what I mean.  They are a Giros (Greek fast food) bar, and we have been going to get a giros from there for over four years now and never managed to do it, we have had them all over Greece but not from Daltons.  Some people advise keeping the place at a distance whilst others wax lyrical about it, so basically you've got to try it and draw your own conclusions.
Us with Peter before we left Vlicho.

So with our resident giros expert,Peter, in tow we bit the bullet and went for it!  It was excellent and had grated carrots and green peppers in it which I have not had before, as far as giros goes we will certainly be going again.  Pete did take a couple of pictures of Sanny devouring hers but as yet they have not arrived, if they get here by the time I've finished writing this I'll add them to if not well there's always next week.  In the meantime Pete is in this picture taken while we were still in Vlicho awaiting out cockpit tent..

Visited our Greek friends in Assos yesterday and as usual they were delighted to see us although Jorgos was down in the olive groove getting in this years harvest we still managed to catch up with all that's been going on in the village since our last village and also come away with our head spinning with all the Greek language which we don't very often use nowadays.  On the way back we decided to have a drive to Paleros and go to the Indian restaurant there.  Good job we did as they are shutting down for the winter on Sunday, get you skates on those who want to go!  Great meal and a good day out for us.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Storms in the offing...

After a few days of ill tempered weather Sandra was feeling rather fed up with life in the marina.  We where we were getting bashed by the boat next door whose lines were a little slack.  She is a Portuguese yacht and is much larger than us, so therefore when she swung about she met us with only our fenders between us, and moved us much more than we would have normally moved in the wind (which was recorded at around 50 knots here in the marina).  The Portuguese vessel is unattended but is being looked after by a marine company in the owners absence, until yesterday we had not seen them ever come and look at it though.  We asked the marina staff if they could contact the company and get someone to come and tighten her up a bit to make our lives a little more comfy and low and behold in the afternoon three guys turned up and did exactly that by adding another lazy line to her bows and generally tightening things up. 

Two "lazy lines" on both mine and next door boats.

And two stern lines at each side too.
We thought this was a good thing so Today I have added a spare lazy line to our boat and also doubled up the stern lines to make Sandra feel more secure.  Not that we were unsafe or anything but if you think things are wrong you will never settle.  Anyway we are now belt, braces and an additional bit of "massey harry band" around the middle.

On Monday we went to Ioannina with Alison and Peter from the Katoghi restaurant to get us a new telly (Christmas box to each other) and some decorations for the boat, and also for Pete & Alison's restaurant.  With a little judicious packing it all went in the little clio's boot, not an easy feat!  So yesterday we decorated the boat ready for the festive season.  The set of lights we bought lasted all of four hours before going tits up!!!  So now we will have to buy some more, don't get your lights from Jumbo every one.  You may just be able to see the blue lights around the gantry in the photo, these we have had for at least twelve years and despite one or two being out and a couple of the boxes which go over the lights being lost, they are still working fine, a testament to British standards maybe.

Last night we we went to the movie night at Porto to watch "The Bourne Legacy" an excellent film although I did have doubts about it when it didn't have Matt Damon in it!  As a pre show film Sharky brought along a short film of the Red Devils parachute display team of which he and Kev were both part of (back in the day!)  It was superb with all of the footage taken by the teams own cameraman.  It just goes to show how messed up these squady's really are when they will do things like that.  All hail Kevan and Sharky!