Friday, 30 September 2011

Time to go fishing ...

Its 1st October tomorrow - the trawlers are ready ...

That's the start of the winter fishing season, and the new harbour, now has the 12 Apostles and the Skiathos making final preparations to go to sea. Nets have been repaired and loaded this morning, new warp ropes stretched and plaited to take the nets. 

The boats have been fueled and the weather worn tanned faces, of the fisherman glance upward as they look at the fast passing clouds - as they get ready to start work again, watched over by tourists in shorts and T shirts.

The squid boats were out in force last night with around two dozen lights on the water in the distance towards Evia. I am very pleased about this, as I now have 5 kilos of squid in the freezer ready for winter.

After the recent days of high winds it appears as if we have a week or so of relatively calm weather. Perhaps a little rain, but am off on travels shortly - man on a mission ...

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fish fingers ...

Not those in breadcrumbs - mine ...

Just spent an hour cleaning these beauties


The fisherman dropped me in 5 kilos of sarithas, they are rather like a mix between a herring and a mackerel. Best served grilled or fried they were so fresh you could smell the sea. Some were still stiff with Rigamortis.

Some are ready for tea, and others bagged and frozen for autumn suppers. With the promise of more to come in due course ...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Anemos ...

Strong winds continue to disrupt the port ...

Once again sailings are cancelled and boat trips are at a standstill. The Express Skiathos continues however, with an almighty grinding noise, that echoes across the port, as the anchors are deployed to hold the ferry steady.

The winds are from the North east, and there seems no change for the next few days ahead.  The promise of rain later this week, does little to raise the spirits of the ever decreasing numbers of tourists.

Today the Dutch and Finns departed, their summer at an end. The Thomsons from Gatwick and Manchester bringing new arrivals to a breezy island, with apparent stormy skies ...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Just back ...

From a breezy water run up to Taxiacharis ...

First signs of daylight creeping through the clouds, as i returned. Town was rather quiet, the silence only interrupted by a passing scooter, and drifting rubbish being scattered by the breeze.

Numerous cats everywhere taking breakfast, amongst the black bags. Tiny kittens playing in the road on the Paralia. New ones being created by an amorous tomcat, just a few feet away.

Nikos the baker, and his son sitting outside the bakery - waiting for the dough to rise in the proving oven. The gentleman who looks after the church, crossing himself as he unlocks the gates of Tries Hieraches.

The street cleaners all hard at work at the start of another busy day.

An early morning taste of island life, from a small rock in the aegean ...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Its nearly over ...

Summer is drifting into Autumn ...

The holiday season has around 12 days to run.  The real Skiathos is getting ready to return from its summer siesta.

October is but a few days away, some hardy tourists will brave it out until October 14th, but the the island is going to sleep.

Tavernas close overnight, tables and chairs are stacked and gone the following morning to winter storage, along with pots and plants. A vacant shell where days earlier, people laughed and dined. Chefs, waiters all departed  - some for the mainland, others to work on the land and building works this winter.

Thoughts turn to a post season Tsipouro lunch on the Paralia - It will not be long now. Lets hope we get to enjoy some sunshine too ...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Stormy afternoon ...

Thunderstorms have passed by the island overnight. 

Its been intermittent sunshine with spots of rain, all morning. 

The weather forecast was very bad, and last night the small boats scurried from the old harbour to the safety of the new harbour as a very strong southerly wind hit the island.
This dissipated the storm front all over Greece, as hundreds of thunderstorms, rather than one huge one.

However its our turn now, Its thunder and lightning and tipping it down with rain here at the moment.

At least the streets are nice and clean again ... 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Bouquet Garni ...

Of a different nature ...

Strolling along the paralia this morning, and there was my friend Vasilis Koralis.

Vasilis has been busy all summer guiding tourists around town, and into the hills on his nature walk. I have been pulling his leg about getting me some nice oregano, from his secret supply base up in the hills. Now being a gentleman of 'mature years' he has asked me to remind him - each time he has forgotten. He had other things on his mind.

This time it was me who had forgotten, and he who was laughing, as he realised it was me who had a 'memory dump'

He handed me a carrier bag outside the port gates, full of oregano stems, and several branches of fresh bay leaves. The fragrant hit when the bag was opened, was full on. Several sniffs later, i had sneezed and cleared the sinuses back as far as Koukounaries.

Thankfully no one had us confused with inspecting any other type of herb. But now almost ready, is a winter supply of lovely Skiathos Oregano - ready for the jars ...

The Walks of Skiathos Island by Vasilis Koralis

The 60 page book includes full colour photographs and reproduction prints by local artists. See http://www.skiathosinfo.com/walks.htm

Sadly the book itself is out of print, but is available for download at just 8 euro from Skiathos Direct  Reviews of the Book can be found here


Monday, 19 September 2011

Sunrise ...

Well just before it actually ...


Coffee cup inhand chatting with a friend, and listening to a dawn chorus of dogs. They were barking out a warning, that there was a hunter with his dogs in the hills. 

I counted five different dogs all sending out a warning, and a distant hunter whistling his pack to order.

Then off to chop firewood, and store it under cover before rain arrives on Tuesday night ...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Greek submarine Lambros Katsonis (Y-1) ,,,

Some photos from this mornings memorial service ...







Panagiotis Beglitis - Minister for defence, on behalf of the Greek Government and people 







The Mayor Mr Plomaritis





 Cdr. Vasileios Laskos and the crew of the Lambros Katsonis are remembered

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Around the Rock ...

I fancied a day out ...

So it was 'all aboard the skylark' and off we went, around the island of Skiathos.

1st Stop - Lalaria
The white marble beach, at the north of the island ...




2nd stop - Kastro
The old town of Skiathos ...

 

3rd stop - Kati Yoygis - Pelion ...

Located on the Aegean coast, Katiyorgis is one of the closest points to Skiathos island. Due to this fact the venue is much frequented by visitors from Skiathos, who make the short journey by boat to dine on fresh fish at the tavernas.


At sea between Kati Yorgis and Tsougria Island ...




4th Stop - Tsougria Island ...

The island the Beatles pop group tried to purchase, back in the 60's. However still in the safe hands of the Evangelistra Monastery, and the FIX brewery company.


Homeward bound towards Skiathos ...


Monday, 12 September 2011

Today in the Cafe - 10 ...

How to make friends and influence people ...

1. Greek approach

'Give me your phone' Our host said ...
Why ? - Use yours 
'I dont have one and, I need Tea cakes and a lift from ADNAMS MAN in the morning' !

Notice a theme here - FREE
So - No Mobile phone or WiFi, and no take away service to the office last night.


2. Xenos (Stranger) - in this case - English approach

Along come two lovely lady friends, and they give me a bottle of Tsipouro 
Now thats what i call good friends and its tucked away for a winters day, along with some promised free firewood, for the mighty woodburner from ADNAMS MAN ...

Spent the evening working as a friend's fleet co-ordinator, he works in a hotel, and he has two happy guests this morning.


ADNAMS MAN Reminded me to get the chainsaw sharpened this morning.
So perhaps a tsipouro after a day in the woods with the boys this autumn, Looks like its a done deal to me  ...

Strikes and the Tax squeeze ...

Taxis
Taxi cabs in Greece on strike from Monday morning at 5:00 Taxi cabs in Greece on strike from Monday morning at 5:00 and will be on 48-hour strike
Credit link: http://livingingreece.gr/strikes/#ixzz1XjZKeuIm
Air traffic controllers
September 15: Air traffic controllers in Greece announce four-hour work stoppage from 14:00-18:00 to hold a general assembly, during which airports will close and flights suspended.
Credit link: http://livingingreece.gr/strikes/#ixzz1XjYkYSp2

Greek labour unionists threaten to block new property tax ...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/12/greece-tax-labour-idUSL5E7KC0MY20110912 

 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 ...

 This morning, ten years after an act of mass murder that changed the course of history, relatives of those killed will be led onto a leafy square in downtown Manhattan for a memorial ceremony – the focal point of a national day of remembrance.



Ten years ago, I remember Stan the security manager running into the office, shouting at me to turn the TV on. We did and saw the second plane hit the south tower ...

A day that changed history forever ... 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Tomatoes ...

I am overun with them ...

I am the lucky recipient of 2-5kg of tomatoes every couple of days from Stathis, who is one of the horse carriage drivers, To say they are good is a gross understatement, they are succulent red parcels of warm sweet summer sun.

An unbelievable taste of summer, and a gift from a friend with a smile.


What to do ? 

The fridge is full, some more on the balcony ripening further. and a bag full in the kitchen. Much as I love a greek salad, we need something else to make use of the ebundant harvest.

Only one thing for it, time to make some soup for autumn days ...

Ingredients


  • 1.5kg ripe tomatoes (Stathis are best - anything really ripe)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • a good pinch of dried basil
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes) 
How to do it, you can find the method here

The result is one litre of delicious Tomato soup - eat with fresh bread and enjoy ...


Friday, 9 September 2011

Today in the Cafe - 9 ...

Would you like a cappuchino ? ...

Yes i said, that would be great, viewing the early morning arrivals from Skopolos. They were tired and hungry, and so am I. My cappuchino arrived, I tasted the lavazza coffee - Only it was cold.

'A' I said, this cappuchino is cold ...

'Yes of course it is, the machine has not warmed up yet' ...

I looked at my watch, 08.40am - and yet another example of excellent hospitality and great customer service (Not) ...

In a previous life and whilst in London, I remember me telling someone the coffee they supplied was rubbish. I put it in the bin and they complained. Well I was right, and something was done about it. Here I just walked away and did not pay.

Earlier, we pointed out a table with new arrivals, for some reason, they were not being served. The reason given was 'I do not know them' ...

Some people just deserve to go bust ...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Fruits of the sea ...

Nets were set at 4.30am by the light of a distant half moon ...

Drifting around chatting, Apostolis smoking and sipping a coffee. The stars pre dawn are quite amazing, and the silence only interupted by the chugging of another fishing caique heading towards Tsougriaki, in the indigo light.

The island lights are clear and sound travels great distances clearly across the water. Eyes become acustomed to the night light, and ears tuned to the sound of fish splashing in the moonlight.

Taking in our nets as the sun rose two Dolphins emerged and escaped, something I am quite happy about. They had made their own entry and hopefully had a good feed as our catch was not enough to cover the fuel cost. Michaelis will be a busy man repairing the damaged nets.

However we have a feed of fresh Marithas, a Striped bream. a Sardilla or two and some Barbarouni which are often sold as the more expensive Red Mullet ...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Strange Visitors ...


This morning there was a new boat in the harbour ... 


Sadly it had moved further into the bay by the time, my camera could be found. However it dispensed many well heeled tourists onto the Paralia to recycle their wealth in the community.

One thing it seems is that as you get older, you feel the need to go on a cruise and be pampered. Another thing with age is a touch of forgetfullness and a level of confusion.

Imagine mine, when an imaculately turned out gentleman from Italy - Wanted to book a trip on Sunday, despite explaining to me he had to be back by 16.30pm this afternoon - When the boat is scheduled to depart.

We got there in the end ...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The United Colours of Mrs Socks ...

Mrs socks is a lady who has a green grocers shop on the ring road.

She is famous for wearing socks, even on the hottest of summer days. Today was no different, however camera to hand i was taken by the colours of her shop.



I defy you not to pick one ...