Saturday, 31 December 2011

New years eve ...

A sedate affair back on the rock ...

More Silent night, that sing 'a' long a Paralia. However around 10 minutes to midnight, (Greek Maybe Time) there will be a cacophony of noise, as shotguns are fired into the air.
Mainly by guys who can afford the cartridges, but who have trouble reading the watch after a few tsipouro's.

Here the fireworks being sold on the street are huge. Commonly available are rockets around 2m high, the warhead around the size of a magnum wine bottle. Roman candles and thunderflashes around 30cm high, and like the barrel of an anti aircraft gun.

If they had this artillery in 1939, I think Adolf may have taken a detour !

Off to fill sandbags, tape the windows and dust off the old tin hat for tonights aerial bombardment. Council defences active from 20.00hrs down by the river.

Have a Happy and safe New Year ...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Ethnos.gr article on logging at Mandraki ...

Ravage WOODS NEAR TO KOUKOUNARIES

Google Translation ...

They made the pine wood of Skiathos

Cleared Skiathos, cutting trees in a rare beauty in the woods south of the island in order to use as firewood in fireplaces and woodstoves.

It is estimated that 1 / 5 of the forest has been destroyed in accordance with the special needs many years to restore the previous state

It is estimated 1/5 of the foresthas been destroyed by special needs, and will take many years to recuperate.
Cleared Skiathos, cutting trees in a rare beauty in the woods south of the island in order to use as firewood in fireplaces and woodstoves. To make matters worse, cunning reached the point of cutting olives from groves fenced areas on the north side, and oaks from inaccessible places.
"It's terrible what happens. The forest Mandraki, which is a continuation of Koukounaries, cleared every day and now the situation has come to a head.We decided to set up teams of volunteers to guard the forests and will ask the municipality controlled crossing in the woods, the winter months, "said the" nation ", the chairman of the cultural association" Skiathos "Theodore Tzoumas.
Destruction of
Illegal logging has destroyed a large part in Mandraki. It is estimated that 1 / 5 of the forest has been destroyed in accordance with the special needs many years to restore the previous state.
Mantraki has characterized the woods, like many other Skiathos-A Presidential Decree of 1977 (GG 248 DI77, 13/06/1977) and is necessary to protect the flora, fauna and outstanding natural beauty of .
"In Skiathos of 48,000 acres, the 30,000 acres are forests and all forests are classified as aesthetically. We understand that there is an economic problem and tightness in the household, but the solution is not to be felled forests, "he said Tzoumas.
Information indicates that the island is not logger in previous years, the inhabitants procure wood from Volos. This year, however, is much less timber arrived, but the backyards of many homes and warehouses are filled with wood.

Still keeping an eye ...

On the broken toe ...

Still hobbling around but the swelling is going down. Have been perfecting handyman techniques between coughs and sneezes. Never had so many colds/flu like symptoms in such short succession.

Hope to get out and about in the next few days - fingers crossed ...

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day ...

Where in the UK you go shopping at 6am, to buy everything no-one else wants

Where in Skiathos the highlight is the Olympic Air flight, and watching football via Satelite TV

Its a sleepy day when nothing really seems to happen ...

Perhaps this is why I am having Wodka and Herrings, after a walk under grey skies, with many others who do not seem to have any idea what to do ...


Its Cherry Wodka, and very nice it is too ...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Καλά Χριστούγεννα!

Happy Christmas - Wesołych świąt - Καλά Χριστούγεννα! 
to friends, and fans of the blog both near and far.

May this Christmas bring you happiness, not only now but in 2012 too ...

Friday, 23 December 2011

Its all about the weather ...

The winds have not abated it seemsHere are some quotes from friends on the island ...

Power dropped out,,, Arrrggghhhh

Skiathos is very cold,wet&windy.

The wind is unreal today!!

Can't believe the Athens plane landed & has taken off again in this weather ! well done that pilot !

They would never have landed a plane in that weather in the summer!!

Forecast for 30th & 31st is as bad but with snow thrown in for good measure and a wind chill of -8 c

Cold enough today mate, freezing actually .....

But in the face of adversity they said ...

Had a nice lunch, despite the freezing cold,wet & galeforce windy weather

I love the winter, logs at the ready, beer for the game later, lovely cosy house, Ahhh what more do you need ....

Well as a friend said to me once ...

 "Its foul here today, nothing to do but sling another log on the fire, and open up a bottle of red"

So that is probably what they will do again today ...


Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Big storm ...

Word reaches me from friends on Skiathos, that they are battened down behind shutters, as the big storm has arrived.

One of my Greek friends said, "Even the skies cry because you are getting older, the storm is upon us" which is slightly better than one message from another who wished me "Many years with white hair" ...

This week the storm has crossed Europe depositing huge amounts of snow on the alps. Now Greece is feeling the brunt of heavy rain and winds. Eyes will be cast across the water for signs of snow over on Evia.

Thats if they can see it today - White Christmas for Skiathos - I wonder ...

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Winter has arrived ...

Its the winter solstice ...

Which as the shortest day, happens to also be my Birthday. OK short days mean long nights, so I get to have a good nights sleep after celebrating. Trouble is I broke my toe today - Too much fun, and as a result sleep is proving a little difficult ...

However Cherry Vodka is a great painkiller - Like Tsipouro, I can recommend it ...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Airport redevelopment - finance news ...

Seems the people at Andravida (Western Greece) are a little upset.  They were promised €29m for their airport, in 2011. However the projects were re-assessed. Skiathos still has its €19m to proceed, and Andravida misses out.
http://www.patrisnews.com/news_details.php?id=7178

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Travels with Junior ...

We had a smashing time today - After five days of colds we needed to get out and about. So we caught a bus, and with about 2km to go, so did the bus - taking out the rear of someone's car...

After a brisk 2km walk in the cold - Junior needed some fun, so we went to an indoor childrens playground - Skiathos take note - Something for kids.



Use of all toys and equipment, just €3 for the first hour, then €2 per hour thereafter. There was a childrens party area, Seating for adults, Tea and Coffee available and a large Plasma TV to keep Mum & Dad entertained.


We know of course, it will never happen ...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Eye for a Bargain ...

Thomas Cook - Voted our worst airline (Even after Ryanair) have a sale on ...

£65.99 one way including taxes in August, book by midnight 16th December !

For that price who cares - Book it quick ...

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Coughs and Sneezes ,,,

Thats been us the last few days, as Junior caught the mother of all colds ...

This has duly been passed to Mum and me, and we have continued our trip (Sponsdored by Lemsip) as best we can. Now in the cold lands, its relatively warm for the time of year, and rain is forecast.

The mornings start sunny, then cloud up by 10am. However in the UK its snowing, which is what we expected to find here.

Off to clear the head with a bracing walk in the woods, which will clear the head but probably not the chest ...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Still travelling ...

New experiences on our travels including the first sight of Snow, for junior ...

Travels going well, however a virulent cold bug, has laid both the girls low. This may affect our plans for the next few days.

 However 'back on the rock', its sunny and warm. A partial eclipse of the moon was seen last night, (Second one this year) Friends in Kolios reported frost in the valley yesterday morning, and -2 degrees later the temperature was a pleasant 17 degrees ...

Latest news: Some works have started at the airport, drainage pipes are being laid. Hopefully there will be extra parking spaces for aircraft in time for the new season.

An additional winter flight from January 3rd, by Olympic Air, every Tuesday from Athens to Skiathos. Departure from Athens at 12.10 and Expected departure from Skiathos at 13.10.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

On Holiday ...

I am in the grey lands, sadly lacking in foraging opportunities ...

However back on the rock, I hear the island is blessed with glorious sunshine.
Here I am blessed with the mother of all colds, and 1001 things to do in a short space of time.

Its home from home, but a long way from the little rock in the aegean, we are lucky to call home ...