Friday, 25 January 2013

Well I suppose it is winter after all...

Hail stones like tracer bullets!
 We have been having some rare weather this last week, over the weekend we had a savage hail storm complete with high winds which gave us quite a battering.  Some of the hail was the size of marbles and I was surprised that there was no damage sustained by cars etc. given the ferocity of the storm.  Fortunately Sanny was out swimming in the pool at the time it happened so she didn't have to feel the boat lurching around like something with a touch of the devil embedded in it.

Looks like fish food in the water.
The pictures don't really tell the story very well as there was no way I was actually going to go outside in it and be battered by damn great lumps of ice. 

The only good day this week was Wednesday and we took the opportunity to go to Ioaninna with Gerhard and Cherie who are in a boat just down the pontoon from us.  They had never seen the capitol city of Epirus before and, I think, they had a wonderful day out.  Although that might have been because we called in at IKEA and Practika as well while we were passing.  Coming home we called around at Jorgos and Mantha place in Assos to wish them happy new year and saw our old landlord and his wife from when we lived in the mountains.  They seemed thrilled to see us again, although this always seems to be the case when we go back to our first Greek home.

Sandra with Deb & Jez in Indian with no power.
The reason for the blog being a little late this week is twofold, one, I forgot until just before we were due to go out last night, and Two I thought it may be an ideal opportunity to tell everyone how we spent the money that was collected for us after the new year bash   Amidst all the Thunder and lightening last night we set off with Jeremy and Debbie to Paleros to the Panorama Indian restaurant to spend our ill gotten gains on a curry.  We had a couple of drinks at the yacht club bar in Paleros and whilst there all the lights in the region went out, adding considerably to the ambiance of the evening but it also begged the question would we be able to get anything cooked to eat!  Debbie got out of the car outside the restaurant to make sure that we were going to get fed and promptly stuck both thumbs up in the universal "everything's OK" type sign.  The only lighting was candlelight but fortunately Sanny had a torch in her bag so we could get to the loo OK. The food was cooked by gas and charcoal and the kitchen lit with more candle's.  We had a great night out but we always have a good laugh with those two anyway.  The only downside to the night was that the candle in the picture somehow set fire to the tablecloth but San tipped a glass of wine over it and normal service was quickly resumed.  The power was restored mid way through the night but by then we had got used to the idea of not having electricity anyway so it didn't really make a difference. Thanks to every one who contributed in the collection we all thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Birthday Boy...

Snackets which Sandra made for the evening.
On Saturday night we went to see the latest incarnation of the islands band now called "White Beach" at Mama Mia's in Nidri.  The first set was truly awful and as Peter and Alison had booked them for Alison's Daughter's wedding in the summer, I feared for the worst!  Alison and Peter where due to be with us to watch the performance and I was pleased that they hadn't made it for the first set as they were still working up in the restaurant.  Anyway the second set was an improvement, I think the singer, Andy had been suffering from nerves, it's not easy getting up in front of people and performing but he seemed to be settling now.  When Alison and Pete arrived towards the end of the second set the band were beginning to flow and actually made an half decent job of the third set so we were quite pleased for them.  Given that this was only their second performance in this formation I think they did quite well at least at the end.  Anyway they have still kept their wedding gig booking!
The Gang toasting the Birthday Boy!

The weather this last week has been rather wet and rather windy at times.  In fact we were bouncing around quite well on Monday and Tuesday.  Sandra has managed to get through it all fine without having to resort to sea sickness tablets, I'm beginning to think that perhaps she has a touch of the old sea dog in her after all!!

Wednesday was my birthday, thank you to all those people who sent me cards, messages and texts, wishing me birthday greetings.  It's quite touching that so many people bothered, I mean I'm only the one that tags on behind Sanny, she's the popular one!
A rare picture of me with not so rare glass in hand!

San, made nibbles for Tony, Liz, Deb and Jez to partake in on the boat (just so I could stow away all those expensive pressies!!) prior to going across onto the mainland to the village of Plagia for a meal last night.  It was excellent value and thanks you guys for taking us.  Ah well another year older, I think someone might start insisting that I grow up soon and act my age but without a Zimmer frame that will be hard.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Normality Returns...

Picture of the card we were sent.
 The festivities are now over for yet another year and I think that everyone here seems to have had a great Christmas and New Year.

After I had returned home from guitar practice on Friday lunchtime last week Debbie came around to our boat looking quite moved, and holding a card in her hand.  "What do you make of this" she said, and when we looked it was card from the the people who had been to the new years bash which Sandra helped organise to say thank you, which was very nice.  But there was more, inside was a substantial sum of money, the guys had been round with a hat to collect for Debs, Jez, Sandra and I, in appreciation of what had been done.  I think it took us all very much by surprise, in fact I've never seen the female part of this foursome so gob-smacked and speechless!!  Thank you very, very much from us all.  The picture (above) on the card must be representative of someone but it can't be me because the teeth are in better nick.

The local marching band.

 Monday the 6th was Epiphany and here that means Marching bands and orange dipping.  I'm pleased to say that the weather this year was much better than last when, by divine intervention, the sun only came out for the briefest time while the cross throwing went on.

This years event was fine weather all the way if a little on the cool side.  The band, priests and local big wigs were all in fine form and the street sellers of oranges did a roaring trade in fact the one nearest to Tony and I all but sold out.  I guess that if you can't sell oranges on that day then you can't sell em at all!
And of course no march is complete without the clergy. 

Last years swimmer (Courtesy of Lefkas Life).
This year there were eight potential rescuers for the crucifix, however, things didn't go exactly to plan and all but one of the guys never saw it thrown the first two times.  On the third time of asking the priest pretended to throw it to make sure all the guys dived before launching in for real. I don't know if the guy who rescued it the first twice actually retrieved it on the final attempt.

I borrowed the picture of the boys retrieving the cross from the Lefkas Life site, but I think this is from last years swim, although the picture was so good and I thought it demonstrated very well what was going on.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Ring in the new....

Taking up their seat for the new years Dinner & Dance.
 Sometimes the benefits of being a sparky in a long lost former life have positive outcomes.  Nearing the end of the old year a man a little further down our Pontoon, Gerhard, was having problems with his electrical supply to his boat, he could only run via his inverter so his mains power was being supplied by his batteries.  He had found the problem and procured a new contactor to replace the faulty item but as it was not identical didn't want to risk changing it himself and blowing up his pride and joy.
San grabs a snog from Kev, with Linda so close - RISKY...

Ravin' the night away.
 He came and asked if I would have a look after Sanny had mentioned that I was electrically minded, and we soon had him up and running.  Today he has brought me a bottle of vintage red wine from one of the best vinyards in Austria.  As he used to work in the wine industry I'm sure it'll be great but I'm putting it away for my birthday and not going to share it with anybody!
EY ZHN, the venue. 

We had our much awaited new years bash at EY ZHN pronounced EF SIN, and it was marvellous. We had great food and company and those who survived long enough got to see the new year in at twelve o'clock & two o'clock (British new year).  It was organised by Debs and San and the music was all put together by Jez and a great selection of music there was too, something for everyone and not Tamla Motown all night!!, even some rock for me!

It must have been about three o'clock when we got home but I was still up at eight, I really must get this insomnia sorted.

We hope everyone has a great New Year, we are certainly going to try to.