Friday, 26 July 2013

It's almost like being at work...

Mason trying to avoid the camera.
It's been early rises all this week and it's beginning to feel like we have joined the massed realms of the employed again.  We've been getting up at six o'clock every day to child mind for Finley and Mason our youngest Grandsons.  Claire, their mum, has been on earlies this week so we've had to be at their house before seven in the morning.  Well Sandra has really but it's the royal "we" you understand.

Our budding soldier, Finley.
I tried to take more photo's of Mason but he has decided that he doesn't like the attention so avoids it at all cost so this was the only one I got of him.  Finley on the other hand is the worlds greatest poser and we have a million photos of him in varying contrived positions.  Finley is the one who is deaf, and although his talking is coming on a treat, even I can understand him now, he is a real live wire and you have to keep a constant eye on him all the time.  I'm pleased this is only a part time occupation, phew.

We had the afternoon off yesterday to go and meet Tony's buddy David and his wife in York and pass on some bit's and bobs of Tony's which we brought back to the UK.  It was great to see them again and we spent a pleasant hour or so chatting before going off to find a fish and chip shop for our first traditional meal since we arrived back here, well other than roast dinners with Sanny's dad.  Anyway no time to carry on now as I'm erecting scaffolding for repairs to the conservatory roof on the house, more about that next week.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Good grief it's Thursday again...

Sandra in her dad's kitchen doing his meat and five veg.
 It's been glorious weather here in the UK since we got back although the humidity is sapping but it has enabled us to get everything just about finished in the garden in record time.  It also means that with the kids breaking up for their holidays tomorrow we will have time to do our duty for them.

Our old veggie patches were in need of clearing
When we lived at home we produced much of our own vegetables but although our tenants used the beds last year they have not bothered since so we decided to remove the rotting wooden boarders and clear all the unwelcome plants out.  We may grass it down again but we'll have to see what time is available as the seed would waste at this time of year, perhaps when we get back over Christmas but then again maybe not.

Wasps nest in our eighty foot ash tree, beautiful!
 We discovered a fantastic wasps nest about 15 feet up our ash tree.  It's amazing how beautiful nature can be, and even makes me think that wasps aren't all bad after all.   They are not bothering us as the tree is at the far end of the paddock so I will leave them to do their own thing.

BBQ time for Jess and 'Lissa
We managed to have a BBQ and invited our youngest, John and his wife Fi to bring down the kids and have a chill afternoon on Sunday.  Melissa was showing off her newly honed talents on her bicycle without the aid of stabilisers but quickly discovered that riding on grass is much harder work than riding on the road.  Fi was designated driver so John managed to help me polish of the available wine.  We left Greece without bringing any more home with us so we bought some on the ferry but it wasn't really any cheaper than buying it here.  We had a lovely afternoon and Jessica and Melissa were totally exhausted by the time it came to going home, thanks you guys for a great day.

We both got a clean bill of health from the dentist earlier in the week so that hasn't cost us an arm and a leg but we have an opticians appointment for next week and I'm sure we ain't gonna get off lightly with that one.
Well I had to have a glass sometime.
Well the pinny is half off!

Oh well I guess that's about it for this week, the car has to go for it's service and MOT tomorrow so hopefully that won't be a real drama

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Greece to the UK...

After returning from Igoumenitsa last Thursday taking Allen and Jean to the Ferry to get their flight home it was all hands to the pumps to get the boat ready for leaving for the time we were in the UK.  We also had to swap out the things we had been storing in the car and pack it up again ready for the journey home.  The latter included taking an outboard motor and generator back to England for Tony as well as our more mundane bits and bobs.

All packed up and ready we set off at four o'clock Saturday morning to catch our ferry for Venice allowing enough time for anything which may go wrong on the way, we all know about Mr. Murphy's law!  As it happened nothing did and we had time a coffee and a stroll before the ferry arrived twenty minutes early at 06:40.  Despite loading straight away the ferry did not depart until eight thirty.  For the first time ever we did not have a swimming pool on the ferry and for the first time ever Sandra had taken swimming gear on board to take advantage of it during the twenty five hour passage.  Oh well I think Mr. Murphy must have had a say in it.

The ferry journey went very well and by eight thirty on Sunday morning we were already on the road for Milan which we made in a record two hours with no commercial vehicles on Italian roads on a Sunday.  The downside; temperatures of thirty odd degrees and no air conditioning as it is loosing it gas to fast to have made it worthwhile to have gassed up before departure.  So fully loaded with roof-rack, top box, us and our worldly chattels we were doing between 85 and 100 MPH all the way and still according to the Clio's on-board calculator we managed 55 MPG over the entire journey.

Monday travelling from Kepple-Graphenhausen  in southern Germany to Zeebrugger, we discovered that the map updates which I had done to the sat nav had not been fully implemented, all the Benelux countries and west were missing, great when you are doing Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium!!  Anyway it was out with the trusty road atlas and do it the old fashioned way not that we don't know the road by now.  Having said that we did miss the correct Strasbourg turning but that wasn't really a problem.  We arrived at Zeebrugger in great time for the final leg of the trip back to dear old Yorkshire.

Home sweet home.
We got back home at ten o'clock Tuesday morning and had the caravan moved and set up fairly quickly and started to get the paddock into something like shape.  While we are away the lads do cut the grass but I like to get it neat and short whilst we are living on it, it'll all green up in the next week or two.  The big surprise was when we arrived home it was 28 degrees bloody lovely!!  Yesterday and today are not so high but at least it gave us time to get things squared up.

Saw all the grand kids yesterday, and read their school reports etc.  We are as pleased as punch about the reports they all seem to be getting on very well with their education, they must take after me!!!

Anyway hopefully more to report next week and maybe even some photo's

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Dearest departed...

Lesanda's fearless crew powering her through wild waters NOT!
 This morning we have just taken Allen & Jean to Igoumenitsa to catch the ferry for Corfu and then onward home for them from the airport.  We have had a great two weeks together and lots and lots of laughs, Thanks you two it's always a pleasure.

A couple of anecdotes from their visit: While we were at Kalamos we decided to walk over the ridge from the village to a beach in an adjacent bay and do some swimming.  When we were almost there Allen and I plotted to swim back, unbeknown to the girls, to Kalamos harbour and come back with the dingy to save them the walk back.  I suppose the distance over water was maybe three or four hundred metres but we had fins on so it wasn't too bad.
Jean and Sanny having (dare I say) a belly laugh!
 We got back and got the dingy and nearly dropped my very expensive outboard motor into the sea, fortunately it landed exactly where it fits (now that's more than lucky!)  I tried to start the engine and after a few coughs it spluttered into life for all of ten seconds and then died.  This was repeated lots of times until I was shattered.  Allen started to row the dingy out of the harbour and towards the bay where we had left those who should be obeyed, whilst I periodically tried the outboard again and again.  Checked the plg lead checked the air valve on the filler cap etc. etc. and still no joy.  Anyone who has rowed a flat bottomed inflatable dingy will tell you they are not the most compliant of craft and are hard work to boot, so with this in mind and seeing Allen was about to have a cardiac arrest I volunteered to help by us canoeing the vessel one at each side.  This didn't last long until my already very tired arm started complaining after all the attempted shenanigans with the outboard.  We thought lets give the motor one more chance, so I gave her a couple of tentative pulls with the starter cord and she fired a couple of times before stopping, only by now I'm having to put so much body effort into it the engine moved right  around sideways and Allen says what's that thing on the side, dooohhhh.  You guessed it, I had not turned on the fuel.  Plonker of the day, ME!
Deb and Jez sailing into the sunrise (YES SUNRISE)!!

Gialos Beach miles of sand but few punters.
Anyway we motored the rest of the way there and back with my not so quite and not so powerful but much better than rowing €15 outboard.  When we got the girls back into the harbour I took them right to the end near a taverna where there are some steps to facilitate getting out more easily.  The only thing was San starts to move as we draw up at the steps and Allen puts him hand on her shoulder and says stay there, this pressure make her slide down inside the dingy in fit of giggling and laughter to the great amusement of the entire taverna, I just turned off the motor and quietly rowed back to the boat hoping I had not been seen!
Once again thanks guys for a great time.

We are now just getting all our stuff together for our trip back across Europe back to the UK.  We leave at five O'clock Saturday morning to catch our ferry from Igoumenitsa to Venice and should be home to dear ol' Yorkshire Tuesday morning all being well.  We can't wait to see the Grandkids, Kids and of Course Geoff the lone parent - Then of course we will be ready to come back by the end of the week!!!