Thursday, 26 June 2014

A foreigner visits...

Moved in at last.
 An eventful and busy week since the last blog.  We've moved out of Sandra's dad's house and into the caravan last Friday, even managed to get the old guitar tuned and thrashed for a hour, grand to have some privacy but thank you to Geoff for putting us up for a week and a half which we got the caravan base and the paddock sorted.

Early morning invader.
Saturday morning bright and early we had a close encounter of the hot air kind very close to our neighbours barn.  I love to watch them glide serenely over the landscape.  As usual I had task waiting to be done though so after a few minutes I had to start bring the hedges into something like shape.  Almost got them finished when my hedge trimmer decided it just didn't want to do any more.  I had to go and borrow Sandra's dads for the final fifteen feet of hedge.  Oh well if it ain't one thing it's another.

One hedge down two to go.
Sunday morning we picked up Jessica and Melissa to take them out for the day.  Not the usual day out for kids because we needed to get a couple of comfy chairs to sit in the awning (when we get time). Knowing that the IKEA chairs we used to have when we lived at Vournikas were really comfy we thought we would go there and get a couple of them.  The kids loved it, trying out all the chairs, couches and beds.  Melissa had just had her hair cut shorter the day before and had to stop at every mirror in the store just to admire herself, vain child that she is!

Number three sons extended family
 When we got back to John and Fi's house they had returned from their trip to some reptile show or other and had the snakes out while they assembled new toys for the snakes to play with.  It's the first time I have ever seen a snake eat a mouse live and not on TV, very impressive I must admit. Note the bulge in the middle of the one in the photo.

Pete, Sanny and Geoff with bubbly.
 We had a visitor to pick up at York station on Tuesday from "darn sarf" Peter (ex of the Katoghi) was staying with us for a couple of nights prior to moving into his new home this coming weekend.  We had a great time and a good laugh and it was really great to see him on good form.  In the limited time we had, we trailed him around a few of the local sights, had a meal at the local pub and a walk along the river bank trying to explain where all the water came from the buggered our house up.  I'm sure he had a super time and will be coming again when he gets the chance.

Seeing Pete onto his bus in York this morning.
We managed to ensure he was on his bus for the return journey so hopefully by the time this gets published he'll be sat down in Luton thinking about his next big adventure.

Thanks Pete for a fantastic couple of days.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Bit of a test for the old back...

BRrrrr, Finley takes a dip.
 The weather is still set fine although overcast and cool here in the north.  We have had a few days with temperatures in the mid twenties though so we can't complain.

Finley and Mason have the swimming pool set up in the back garden for when it was quite warm but Finley doesn't seem to notice that it's got cool, it was about seventeen degrees when this picture was taken.  They breed em tough up north tha' knows.

Big Woman - Big Hammer.
This settled weather has enabled us to get on with making the new hard standing for the caravan now that the grass is nearly under control.  San and I have worked like little Trojans this last week.  Number two son Chris was taking up fifty or sixty three by two paving stones in his new back garden and we thought we might avail ourselves of the opportunity to have an hard surface not only under the caravan but also under the awning, and it means the next flood has to be a little deeper to get in!

Handy with a sack barrow too!
 We were going to bring the pavers in our car after we lifted them and placed four in the back with seat down, the suspension went down to it's stops so we went slowly home with just the four.  I guess they weigh something like eight stone each so it was only the equivalent to two big adults in the back!!  Anyway after getting them back to Yokefleet I decided to go and see the farmer next door and borrow his Land Rover and flat bed trailer to get the rest, it's not worth damaging the car.
four down, twenty nine to go.

A well deserved sit down for Sanny.
They have made great job and we are really pleased with the results especially at the price, or is that the Yorkshire man coming out in me.

I spoke to Pete (ex of the Katoghi) the other day and he is doing really well now.  He has got himself a job with property to live in so things seem to be taking a step in the right direction for him now.  He is coming up to see us next week, all being well, and I'm sure we'll have a serious catch up then.

We have finally got paid from the insurance company last Friday and our tenants have handed in their notice to leave the property early next month so with luck we should get a day or two's rest prior to starting the decorating fiasco.

I really don't know how we ever managed to fit in going to work.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Well we're here....

ZZzzzzz She just doesn't have the staying power.

Spot the tractor - six foot weeds.
 We had a good trip from Lefkada back to good old Yorkshire but it was a long day setting off from the Marina at 9 0'clock Greek time (07:00 BST) and actually arriving at Sandra's dads house at 02:30.  We had a super meal in Athens airport, deciding to have a proper meal at the restaurant in the airport rather then the MacD's which most people plumb for.  The restaurant is called the olive tree and although not cheap as you would expect in an airport, it was excellent fodder the best we have ever had in a public place like an airport.  The flight was delayed by 45 minutes which meant that even if we had a good, quick flight home it would be nip and tuck if we caught our train for the onward journey.  We landed just 15 minutes later then expected so the pilot had done well to catch up but then we had the gauntlet of passport control to get through!  We were not worried, we had chip and pin and would get straight through!  No - all the machines were closed and we had to queue.  We had a frantic dive towards the station to catch our train and get the tickets out of the automated machine, two minutes then to get to the platform.  The guard was standing whistle in mouth when I spotted him from the balcony above.  I shouted for him not to let the train go we were at full gallop, (not a pretty sight!) we just got there with the guard grabbing Sandra's case and almost pushing her onboard, then the two hour journey to York.  She was buggered and went to sleep, too much exercise is definitely bad for you.  Anyway Number three son John met us at York and then drove us the forty five minutes home.  Thanks John.
Two and a half days of hard graft later.

Some of the mountains of hay, anyone got a horse?
Later on Tuesday I went down to have a look at the paddock which I knew would be in a state.  Our neighbour, a farmer, had thought so too and knocked quite a lot of it down with a tractor and flail mower but it was still a massive task awaiting.  Two and a half days later I've got it something like although it'll take two or three weeks for it to recover.  We have tons of hay in big piles all around the periphery but it'll rot away in time.  I can now set about getting the caravan base prepared to move onto.

We have had confirmation from our long standing tenants that they are leaving in early July so we will not start our redecorating until then.  Good luck Andrew and Lesley with your new home, it's been nice knowing you.

We have not had time yet to go visiting Grandkids etc. but will get around to it over the weekend hopefully and maybe some more interesting things in the meantime.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Jobs Jobbed...

Sunset from Mike Ruffles

Well I think almost all the jobs we had to do on Lesanda are now complete.  The weather seemed to take a plunge back into winter again this week well perhaps something near a normal British summer, some sunshine but with a coldish breeze.  Out of the wind it has been fine and warm.  Mike Ruffles published Monday evenings sunset photo on Facebook on Tuesday just to cheer us all up from the persistent mud rain we were having all day.  Sand brought up from the Sahara was deposited all over us.  We normally get this in winter but it's bloody June now!!

This muck in the cockpit doesn't look much but the it's under cover.
Obviously, the rain necessitated the boat being washed again on Wednesday which I'm pleased to say was a much better day, so now she's all bright and white again.  It has to be done because it sets like concrete if you don't get at it pretty quickly.
The last remnants swilling overboard.
We have started to pack things up in readiness for going back to the UK.  We are having some new upholstery work done by Takis at Yacht Shelters whilst we are gone so we are really looking forward to having comfy seats and a good bed when we return in September.

Just a final word about the insurance problems we've been having before I leave.  I still haven't got a single penny out of them but I know what I should be getting (not the full claim but I never expected that) and the loss adjuster has passed it off to the insurance company for payment so hopefully soon, fingers crossed.  We will be decorating all summer I guess as the current tenants are soon moving out.