Thursday, 28 January 2016

and it goes on and on and...

Uniquely wrapped bottle from Lou & Pete.

Joint Party with Irene.
 Well this sixtieth Birthday just seems to be going on and on.  On Friday we had a joint birthday bash with Irene who was sixty a couple of days after me (young whipper snapper that she is!).  We and a group of close friends had a meal at a new restaurant which has opened in Lefkas in the premises which used to be the shell.  I can't remember it's name now, could be the effects of all that wine!

We had a smashing evening and most of the Greek people who were in the restaurant also joined in with the party and dancing after a little cajoling from Sanny.  I think we did our bit for international relations when we apologised for spoiling their evenings when we left but they all insisted that they had also had a great night.

Sharing a joint cake - very sweet.
The Birthday cake was given to Irene and I by the restaurant which was a really nice gesture.  They also added to the lashings of wine on the table during the meal, thanks for that guys.

Last night I had the my final and bestest birthday present.  Jez and Debs took us for a "bub" (Indian meal) to Palairos.  I could not have asked for a more appropriate gift given the fact that I would eat Asian food until it came out of my ears!  Thanks for another great night you two it was superb and the food was divine.

Not forgetting the dancing.
I am hoping that we can now get back to normal and I am no longer in anyone's spotlight.  This means I can continue my life as a pseudo Victor Meldrew and sit in a corner contemplating my navel.

The nights have been very cold for a week or so now until yesterday when the warmth arrived back.  It was a super day getting to about twenty two degrees in the afternoon and staying around ten degrees overnight, much more to our liking.

Greek dancing too.
We think it's probably been the best January weather wise, we can remember in the eight years we have been out here.  And despite the fact that the nights have been a little cold we have not had any frost and only a couple of days with rain, most of the other days have been bright and sunny if cool.  January and February are normally quite wet months but the forecast looks good for the next couple of weeks and by that time it will be getting towards spring.
G Pontoon from Lesanda's bows.

 I think that's about it for now, we will get on with planning our little mini break around the Peloponnese which we hope to be going on in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Happy Birthday to me...

Me in a Ioannina bar.

Having a quaff.
 We've had a super week to start my sixth decade the only downside being that I'm now officially a fossil.

Last Saturday was my sixtieth birthday and to celebrate Sandra and I went to Ioannina for an overnight stay at the Kastro guesthouse within the old city walls.  Great place to stay and spend some time at if you've never been before.
Bonsai - Asian fusion restaurant Ioannina.

Don't look at the camera, there's food to order.
I can really recommend both the restaurant and the hotel.  It's not always easy finding different food in Greece but the Bonsai gives it in spades, all things Asian can be got here from sushi to spring rolls.  We had a mixed starter for an appetiser and then we both had a szechuan, Sandra's duck based and mine king prawn all washed down with some delicious wine and a free desert to end with.  Gorgeous petal!

Despite the fact that it rained persistently all weekend we had a great time and even managed to fit in a trip to IKEA hoping that they would have some ham left over from Christmas in their food hall but unfortunately they didn't.  Never mind we still managed to spend some money there as you do.

Tuesday evening we went out with Deb, Jez, Tree and Mike to Nidri and after a couple of drinks at our favourite winter watering hole in Nidri we ended up eating at Zio Fede's Italian restaurant.  We dined and drank and talked all night.  It's many months now since we had been in the company of Tree and Mike so there was much catching up to be done.  I can very much recommend their ravioli and Sandra's sea bass was excellent too.   Try it and see.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

There is light...

Ex-Work colleagues night out. (Pic. courtesy of G.C.)
It's been a full week this week starting with an evening out with some of my ex-work colleagues last Friday night.  It was great to find out what they are all doing now and to toast absent friends.  A shame not everyone could make it this time but there maybe another opportunity in the summer.  My god but some of you guys are looking old, I'm pleased I managed to keep hold of my youthful good looks!
At last the scaffold goes onto the Blacktoft church.

Blacktoft Village (Sandra's dad's is the far house)
 The other thing which has started just before we left the UK was the scaffolding erected all around the village church.

This meant a lot to Sandra as it's about eighteen months since she organised a flower festival to celebrate her father's ninetieth birthday with the proceeds going towards re-roofing the church, which is very close to Geoff's heart.  We thought we had provided the last bit of funding needed but it has still taken all this time to get things moving.

We have been asked many times by people who sponsored our event when it was going to happen and you do feel a little like a charlatan getting funding under false pretences when nothing happens.  But all's well that ends well.
New 12 volt power selector switch fitted.
 Then it was back to good old Lefkas complete with bits and bobs for the boat.  I got a set of screwdrivers confiscated at Manchester airport (they were packed by mistake) but despite airport security showing interest in my various bits of hardware they eventually let me through.

It was good to get back to Greece just for the light, we seem to have been living in darkness or near darkness for the last month and I couldn't believe it when my glasses almost instantly reacted when we got off the plane.  It's not the sun or even the warmth, just the level of light that you miss.

New toilet pump fitted.
Anyway, having got back we have had a busy time fitting various bits that we returned with and that's just about all the planned work completed now.  So for Allen's benefit all that talk of "another winter job" when you were here, well another winter is only half way through and they're done.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

In with the new...

Party time with optional Karaoke.
 Happy new year everyone and we hope you all have a fantastic 2016, may all your endeavours reap the rewards they deserve.

New years eve for Sandra and I was spent at the village local.  Walking there meant we could both have a drink or two.  We got ourselves a seat in the corner with the plethora of young people who entertained and amused us all night with their attempts at out-dancing each other.
Waiting for midnight

Complete with twirling light sticks.

On the Saturday we decided we had had enough of the meat and twenty seven veg diet which Geoff will have twice a day everyday when Sandra is at home catering for him and we had a night out with Allen and Jean in Beverley.  Of course this was another farewell as they were setting off the next morning for their tour of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for three months, so it'll be quite some time before we get to see them again.  We finished off at the best Indian restaurant in the area, Dine Bangla, marvellous!
We have spent the rest of the week getting bits and pieces ready for going back to Lefkas on Sunday.  We are almost there now and looking forward to seeing something other than leaden sky's and rain but that's England.

Geoffrey has finished his second course of antibiotics and is much improved  in a physical sense but is definitely showing his age now and as such we have arranged for Sandra to fly back home for a couple of weeks later in February, that is if we are not required before that.  I think we will be also coming back to the UK again in spring probably for most of the rest of the year.  You gotta do what you've gotta do.