Thursday, 29 August 2013

Back to Lefkada with No.1 Grandson...

Jan-ma and Daley bear, having a pint.

East midlands airport - small but perfectly formed.
 We left early Monday morning for East Midlands airport to catch our eight o'clock flight to Corfu.  It has been about thirty odd years since Sandra and I last flew from there and it has grown significantly in that time but still maintains it's small regional feel.  The fact that it is the only airport I know of where you can have a cigarette after you go through to the departure lounge make it a bit of a bonus, even though it's a fenced off outside area.  It does mean the the two or three hours you are there are not quite so tortuous.

Deb and Liz, don't ya just luvem!
After landing at Corfu complete with our loads of luggage, Sandra and I brought tow folding bikes back with us as additional luggage and we did wonder if JET2 would manage to get them here on the same flight!  No need to panic, although we did have a little fright when they came out on a different carousel to our main luggage at Corfu airport.

"Big D" and nearly as big Les.
 Then it was taxi to the port and missed the ferry by about five minutes so had to wait an hour and a half for the next one but hey ho, we are chilled enough to take that on our shoulders.
Would you buy a car from this pair?

Fluid intake on Milos beach.
 Jeremy picked the three of us up at Igoumenitsa complete with all our baggage his poor little car didn't know what was about to hit it I don't think.  You could fair hear the screams when it saw these three huge people and myriad bags heading towards it.
Dale Chick magnet incarnate.

Anyway Jeremy got us all safely back to good old Lefkas, thanks mate, very good of you.  Being well tired by the time we had provisionally unpacked, and with an invitation from Deb, Jez,  Liz and Tony to dine out we availed ourselves of the opportunity before flopping lifelessly into bed.  It was so humid though that we didn't manage a good nights sleep.

After a second bad night I decided enough was enough and rigged up the two 12 volt car fans we had bought in the UK and last night was bliss.  The noise of the fans didn't bother us at all it was so lovely just to have air!

Walked with Dale to Milos beach yesterday so that he could have a swim and watch the kite surfers in action, I think he was very impressed but by the action and the beach.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Last few days...

San, Libby, Joe & Adam in Peasholme Park.
Heaving Scarborough front.
 We took our elder grandchildren to Scarborough last Friday.  Without being biased I have to admit they are an absolute pleasure to take anywhere, such well behaved kids are a rare commodity these days but equally they are all full of quick witted banter too to which end we had a fantastic day at the seaside.  Of course I did try to steer the boys away from from the amusement arcades explaining that they were just designed to relieve you of the burden of carrying money but all to no avail.  So the immensely rich Corrigan family add some of our money to their coffers, bahh, humbug....

Adam and Joe try to make Jo Corrigan even richer.
Libby "I'm a Supa Mogal"
 On Saturday we set out for our much delayed visit to see Mo & Mark at Wyke.  Maureen was in excellent form, probably the best I've seen her for some considerable time.  Mark however, was feeling rather ill and in pain so he didn't manage to surface from bed all day.  I think in many ways things are improving for them both but no where near as quickly as we all would have wished, and Marks latest surgery doesn't really seem to have been the success we would all have hoped for but neither have the risks the surgery entailed come to fruition either so we should be grateful for small mercies.  Maureen is becoming a modern day female Percy Thrower, she is getting an expansive horticultural knowledge behind her and putting it all to great use in their garden which seems to be somewhat of a sanctuary for her.  Good luck you guys see you over the winter sometime.  

Scarborough Beach.

The tram bus down to the beach.
 The rest of the week has been spent in preparing for the return from God's chosen county to the lands of the Gods.  We have been having last minute visits to friends and relatives who we have not managed to see or those we have only seen briefly and packing stuff away.  As anyone who knows San will vouch she likes to be as far ahead of the game as she possibly can be very rarely do we have the last minute panics, it more likely that we've packed away things we still need to use.

Deb and Jez's dolphin encounter
I had a memo from Jez and Debbie earlier in the week from somewhere in the Amvrakikos gulf whilst cruising.  They came across a school of dolphins which kept them company for some time and they sent the attached photos for which they get the credit and I acknowledge their copywrite and the reproduction fee is currently winging it's way across the ether...
Amazing criters.

Anyway, as far as the UK is concerned this will be our last missive  before we leave on Monday for Corfu and hopefully we'll see the Lefkadians next week and the Yorkies sometime over the winter.  Sorry to anyone we didn't get to see this time but I'll write on Sandra's report "Must try harder" :-)

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The return of NORMAL British summer...

Have day-glow jacket 'n' wellies will get into bother!
Just though I would include this picture of our youngest grand son, Finley, as it shows what a "bugger up the back" he really is mischief personified.  You can't help but love him though.

Sandra entertaining the troops.
The weather in the UK has finally got back to what it is normally in summer, sunshine and showers.  We can't complain though, I have only had two occasions since we returned to the UK when I have not had shorts on and one of them was a funeral, it's been a great summer and we are thankful it wasn't the washout which we experienced last year.  Now with only a week and a half left before we go back to Greece the child minding duties are diminishing.  Chris and Jane's kids to take to Scarborough tomorrow and a couple more days for Sandra to child mind for work purposes and then we will be packing up ready for the trip.

Auntie Jean giving a thumbs up to her party.
On Saturday we went down to Sandra's cousins house for her Auntie Jeans ninetieth birthday, hosted by Paul and Nicci and attended by her many relatives young and old.  She is a lovely, and very intelligent lady who seem to not be showing her age hardly at all.  She thoroughly enjoyed her day and being the centre of attention.  Here's to the next ninety Jean, cheers.

We are booked into to see Mo and Mark on Saturday trying to get something into this years schedule is tricky and I know that they have a things to do and appointments to keep as well but we really did want to get over to Wyke at some point before we returned so see you guys Saturday.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Doing the day(s) out...

Spent this week being an engineer, Bricky and tour guide.  First thing was to reseat all the ridge tiles on the house extension and also re-point the gable ends.  I think the original mortar must have been a rather sandy mix and thus weathered fairly quickly as the extension is only 13 years old.  Anyway it's all OK now.

Then there was the engineering, when we had the table on the boat altered to make it into a duel drop leaf table, resulting in more floor space in the saloon, I only made temporary supports for the leaves.  I needed a workshop to manufacture something more appropriate to the job bearing in mind they need to support all that food that Sandra keeps forcing on me and the weight of several hefty elbows!  To this end I have made two E shaped aluminium sliding supports which will travel back to Greece with us later this month.  Hopefully they will be more than up to the job.

Sandra in the meantime has been continually doing the child minding thing for Finley, Mason, Jessica and Melissa.  Fiona, the girls mum, had to have her tonsils removed last week and her Grandmother passed away the following day so she needed a little extra help this week.  Get well soon Fi.  So on Monday we took the girls to the "Sea Life Centre" at Scarborough.  We had a fantastic day looking at everything from jelly fish and sea horses to sharks and penguins.  I think my favourites though were the otters, it's not often you get to see the reclusive creatures close up, beautiful.  The girls I thinks loved the seals especially at feeding time.  Unfortunately I forgot my phone and camera yet again so no pictures I'm afraid.

Yesterday we took Mason and Finley up into the North Yorks Moors were we spent the day on the steam railway, a must for anyone visiting Yorkshire.  We visited Goathland (the fictional Aidenfield in Heartbeat.)  The boys loved it especially Mason who is thrilled by anything mechanical and in no time at all he had the working of points on the lines figured out and was wanting to know when Ford Anglia's came into being.  Smart lad!  Although they didn't know about Heartbeat the did know about Harry potter, and Goathland station was Hogwarts station in the films and the Anglia which was the flying car is also there so a double interest for them here.  Fish and Chips in Bridlington and then home completed a thirteen hour day for the tired little fella's.

On Wednesday it was our 37th wedding anniversary and we went to the Thai restaurant in Escrick with good friends Allen and Jean as it's their Anniversary on Sunday, we had a good night reminiscing but were really shocked by the price of drinks at the end of the night the girls had a wine and soda each and it cost £13.50, you could have got slaughtered for that in Greece.

When we got home last night our lovely tenants, Andrew and Lesley gave us the cake in the picture for our anniversary, thanks you two, a very nice but unexpected gesture.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Whoops late again!

Two little angels at lunch.
 Firstly once again sorry for the late publication of our weekly missive, but this time it's all down to "t'intanet".  The UK is abysmal with it's internet in rural areas and I suspect here in Yorkshire more than most places.  Whilst they are making a great play about how many people get get one hundred megabytes per second  we here in Yokefleet would be satisfied with half a megabyte a second most of the time (when you can get anything) it's about as good a dial up used to be fifteen years ago, which is pretty downright bad.  In Greece although we have lived in some very isolated places the provision of internet has always been better than this.  Greece of course is bankrupt and Britain so far isn't, but there are people trying to run businesses over this, RANT OVER.

Two little demons at play
I have been giving my back some severe exercise this week with the repairs to the conservatory roof at our house.  This meant collecting a trailer load of scaffolding erecting two towers (could be a name of a film that!) and then manufacturing a platform out of ply and four by two timber to span between them and over the offending roof.  Making the platform in total took about eight hours doing the job about one.  The good news is that in true Yorkshire fashion the whole job cost me about one pound!!  Everything but the sealant was begged or borrowed.  We finished just in time as the heavens opened and gave the completed task a thorough testing, success!  I disassembled all the towers and decided not to return them to there owners for some time as the forecast over the next few days was for more thunder storms which duly happened.  So with no more leaks in evidence I once again borrowed the landrover from the farm next door, the big trailer from the vicarage in the next village and returned the scaffolding to it's rightful owner and all the wood for the platform to "number one sons" storage.  Thanks to all the people who loaned my bit's and bobs and of course to Gary who helped me with the heavy stuff.

Florence Nightingale AKA Nit Nurse!
Still on baby sitting duties this week in fact so much so that Sandra has been doing one family and me another at the same time.  Needless to say I took the easier option of the girls, Jessica and Melissa and Sandra had the herculean job of controlling the monsters from the black lagoon, Mason and Finley.  We love em really.

We had to go to funeral of an ex working pal of mine on Tuesday who has died pretty much out of the blue as far as I was concerned.  Ron was a great guy and will be sadly missed at our occasional get together's.  It was very nice to see a few old colleagues there though, it's a real shame that the only time you see some people is at these sombre occasions.

Oh well we will hopefully be on time next week internet allowing!