Sunday, 30 September 2012

Skiathos symmetry ...

Koukounaries - 30th September 2012 



Ladies night and the barmaids apron ...

As the season goes to sleep you still see some funny sights ...

Tonight must have been 'ladies night' I met some lovely people from Holland, so nice I was not sure what they wanted, but we got there in the end.

There was the couple that stopped for a chat, whats that over there, Is that the mainland there ...

"Is that Skopelos"? She asked, looking at the land mass a kilometre away over the water
"No, Its the Pounta" I said ...
"Are you sure? I did not think there was another island, between here and Skopelos"
"I have been here three times and am sure that is Skopelos" and then I noticed the watery eyes ...

Another lady, yawned, her 'huge extended open mouth' reminded me, of a TV character of my youth

There is no truth in the rumour, that I am holidaying in Skiathos this year ...

Later the comedy started as I enjoyed a cup of tea. Along came one lady with the giggles, heading towards the bus stop, and at one time towards the harbour itself. Her husband managed to steer her away from the impending collision with both ourselves, and the electrical distribution box.

"She's had a glass of wine too many" he said ...

"Actually two" she said, leaning back, talking over the wrong shoulder, and raising two fingers in the air.

Somehow, her husband managed to keep her upright, and they took an eliptical course, towards the taxi rank, and the hangover from hell ...

For some reason, the passing cabaret, kept us visually occupied, long past normal closing time.

Then along they came ...

Two English roses, dressed immaculately in light summer dresses, One clearly having had a Pimms too many.
"Oh look - They go there" roughly pointing towards the Sea of Tranquility on the somewhat bright, and rather  distant Full moon  ...

The quieter one of the two stood back, as the 'Hyacinth Bouquet' type, told us what was expected. Every answer was cut short, with another statement or question, as the Pimms addled brain, failed to compute.

'Hyacinth' told her friend this is exactly what they wanted, her friend looked like she wanted nothing more, than a comforting pillow and earplugs.

"Oh come on Miriam, you have been a miserable moo all evening, Look we will go, I will pay" said Hyacinth.

Thats nice, I thought and generous too, after what she had just said ...

'Hyacinth' then as she surveyed the purse said, "You can give me your share now" ...

I really must video some of this entertainment for you ...



Saturday, 29 September 2012

Missing Jose Benito Sanchez (Saturday Update)


Missing Jose Benito Sanchez shared this message on FB:



El grupo "Amigos de Jose" se prepara para el regreso sin noticias. Hoy es un día muy duro y estamos intentando buscar la paz y la tranquilidad que necesitamos antes de un camino de regreso sin respuestas. Gracias a los que habéis hecho posible esta segunda búsqueda. Gracias por los que estáis ahí tras la pantalla del ordenador, del teléfono o de la tablet. Gracias por compartir las fotos, las noticias, los documentos. Y queremos pediros que aunque el grupo REGRESA de Skiathos, NO DEJAMOS DE BUSCAR A JOSE, y que esperemos no decaiga la búsqueda por todos vosotros que nos seguís de una u otra forma. Nada ha sido en vano, todo tiene un por qué, y creo que tarde o temprano tendremos las respuestas que necesitamos pero para eso necesitamos seguir UNIDOS y apoyarnos unos a otros por un objetivo único: BUSCAR A JOSE, nuestro amigo, nuestro primo, nuestro tío, nuestro JOSE. Un abrazo y hasta mañana.

The group "Friends of Joseph" is prepared to return without news. Today is a tough day and we are trying to find the peace and tranquillity that we need before a way back unanswered. Thanks to those who have made it possible this second search. Thank you for those who they are there behind the screen of your computer, your phone or tablet. Thanks for sharing photos, news, documents. And we want to ask you that although the group returns from Skiathos, do not leave in search for A JOSE, and that hopefully does not decay search by all of you who follow us in one way or another. It has not been in vain, everything has a, and I think that sooner or later we will have the answers that we need but for that we need to follow United and support each other by a single goal: Find A JOSE, our friend, our cousin, our uncle, our Joseph. A hug and until tomorrow. (Translated by Bing)

What no fishing ...

Spyros is grounded ...

Not in the literal sense, but there is no point in going fishing, Its a full moon, the time when fish hide from the shiny influence above. Many say it is pointless to fish during a full moon, but others are adamant that their catches are particularly good during a full moon.

The moonlight could affect, nocturnal fish, who might be deterred from light, because they could be spotted much easier and therefore run into danger to be eaten by other predatory fish.

Now the best time for fishing, is dawn an dusk. That's when you see the boats heading off to sea in their hunt for fish. So what do you do when you are a fisherman and there is no point in going fishing ?

Well at dawn you repair the nets, or take a coffee with your mates down on the Paralia.

However at dusk, its a time to scrub up, put on your best shirt, splash on some aftershave, and practise your Shirley Valentine routine.

Last nights willing 'victim' almost skipped along the Paralia, rediscovering her youth, as she arrived for her date. Well dressed, and you could actually see her blushing She was swiftly escorted off into the night, by our Greek charmer to a local taverna. For an evening of Ouzo, music and good food.

Later, she was gazing into his eyes, as the ouzo had taken effect, he was laughing, and she was smiling and curling her hair with her fingers ...

Its early now, but is that the sound of a fishing boat, that I can hear returning from Tsougria ?

Thats strange surely no-one can be fishing its a full moon - perhaps there is some truth in the story, that fishermen can be lucky at this time after all  ...


Friday, 28 September 2012

Stunning weather ...

Its just the best late summer weeks for years ...

Holiday makers departing today were saying their last farewells last night.  Some still bemoaning their first weeks weather - I reminded them it was four days, some of the rain overnight, and that they were still sporting scorching tans - and they agreed ...

My usual 'stay another week' was being met with some encouragement  ...

To be honest the island is shutting up shop and its crazy. The weather is beautiful, high 20's, and it feels even warmer. Hardly a breeze, the sea like a sheet of glass. Its like May has returned to the island.

Today we have just 300 arrivals from the UK, another 300 from Scandinavia tomorrow, and a plane load of Austrians for the final week of the season.

Last night, I rested my twisted ankle, and cramp attacked calf (Courtesy of a Kastani wasp on Tuesday) Exchanged pleasantries, assisted with a departure via FC5 this morning, and wrote a 'how to get to the airport in Athens' - 'directions from Volos guide' on a note of paper. This for someone who cannot get a flight back to the UK from Skiathos.

There has not been a seat available to the UK online, since 21st September, there are eight people on standby today, who will probably still be here tonight. Many of the reps are heading out today too, ready for distant warmer climes this winter.

Stathis the horse and cart man, and purveyor of fine tomatos, sat for a chat, crossed the road and returned with a coffee for me. I raised a glass to Sakis across a very empty street. Cars parked everywhere including in the taxi rank, where a long line of taxis snaked, along the paralia waiting for trade.

The taxi driver, I call the 'Tasmanian devil' has given up screaming and shouting at tourists, over parking. He now takes his frustrations out on his mates, as he insists they roll their cars a few centimetres, so he can join the taxi umbilical cord.

This 'Tazzy' certainly has more teeth
and to the best of my knowledge, does not rant with a cigarette hanging from his mouth ...

Surely after all these years, he must realise, someone has to get in a taxi, before they can move up. So he screams, shouts gesticulates like a footballer appealing for a penalty, leans on the car horn. Just like the tourists, his colleagues do not look up from their backgammon Olympics, and seem to ignore him too ...

Returning the frappe glass, I was called to order, by some island friends. In my trance like state, I had not noticed them sitting there saying 'Kalo Taxidi' to the girls, heading off to the rain lashed shores of the UK for a well earned break.

Looking up, the sixth moon cycle, of the summer, that i have witnessed, is nearing its fullness. In the next few days, it will wane and pass, just as summer here on the rock is doing the same ...




Thursday, 27 September 2012

Missing Jose Benito Sanchez (Search) - Thursday ...


The group of friends of Missing Jose Benito Sanchez, will be back in the airport area on Thursday morning, And then continue north. Volunteers may be in the area of the fire station in the morning


Today, the group will be searching in the area of Kastro, in the North of Skiathos.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Missing Jose Benito Sanchez (Appeal for help)


Missing Jose Benito Sanchez

Dear friends, the Friends of JOSE, want to receive your help. These days are scouring the area of Aghia Paraskevi, around the house. It is easy to contact them by phone 698 684 9687 or phone 693 895 7507. It is important to know that the group is in the area of Aghia Paraskevi and are for teams of 2 people scouring the area meter by meter. Those volunteers can contact by phone.

Unfortunately, we can not know from Spain that make each moment, because we try to communicate with them only what is important. We have not put more posters, because when we put them right when the disappearance occurred, people would take them off, and the next day we had to put them back, so we took off to search JOSE time. We have been afraid to return to happen and we thought to do search directly. We think that by now everyone in the island, which is quite small, should know for JOSE. PLEASE menecesitamos more help if you are interested get close to the area of Aghia Paraskevi or call before the phone numbers. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION

====================================================================================
I have advised the team that there needs to be more posters in town, the information boards on the harbour are all but empty, now the season is coming to an end. Next week the island is going to be very quiet.
People will be leaving tourism contracts in the next few days, and may be able to help. I have seen one small poster on a lamp post - that is all ...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ouch ...

This is the beautiful beach at Kastani on Skopelos ...


Famous for the pier scene in the Mamma Mia  film, when the boys in flippers danced on the jetty. It is also where I had a lovely swim today.



It is also the location for Skiathian's bi-annual wasp sting which this year, the venue was the Achilles tendon - left foot. I now have a muscle cramp affecting my leg,  up as far as the knee, and know this will be a regular feature for the next week or two.



I would like to add, I did nothing to upset the wasp, but for some reason, he hitched a lift on the edge of my shoe. His trip along Kastani clearly upset him, and rather than flying off and enjoying lunch somwhere - or some lovely ripe Skopelos plums, he stung me.

I hope he is considering the rudimentary elements of this mistake of judgement, as he prepares to enter eternal damnation, in that place wasps go to after death ...

Monday, 24 September 2012

Big toe test ...

Is how I judge the decision whether to take a swim or not ...

This September the water fails the test, after the recent bad weather - well certainly at Troulos any way. I made a spontaneous decision on the bus to go there.

In fact it was not a bad decision at all. I made my 'annual' bus trip on another lovely sunny morning here on the rock. The conductor asked where and I just said 'Troulos 20' ...

I have not been on the beach for - well far too many years. Now the season is near the end, plenty of room to spread your towel and watch junior enjoying the rather bracing water.

It was noticeable that no-one was in the water when we arrived. However juniors antics, gradually encouraged the grey brigade to gingerly enter the water.

However there was one rather well insulated gentleman, who went in for some extreme fishing - Whoever he was, he certainly deserved to catch a fish ...



Still we bumped into friends on the beach, caught up with island news. Discused winter plans, and the ever constant threat by Hellenic seaways to further reduce our island connections to the mainland.

Lunch at a beachside taverna , Gavros (small fishes), Calamari, Tzatziki, and a nice glass of house wine ...

Then my second and last ride on the bus for 2012, laughing with Yorgos the conductor, who has been a friend for many years ...


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Greek Taxis ...

I am very lucky that in Volos, I have Yannis the taxi man ...

He knows what we want, takes us wherever we want to go, is helpful and smiling whenever we see him. Yet whenever you step off that trusted path, you often realise you are on a different journey to what you had in mind.

Train stations, like the airport, bus stations, ferry port and hospitals are a set departure point. So they charge you extra, because they are there waiting. I call it the frappe tax, as they sit around enjoying a frappe, rather than driving around looking for business.

Whatever you call it, its clearly displayed on the fare guide on the passenger window.

In Thessaloniki as you leave the city rail station, they hassle for your business at the entrance, do you want to go here, there everywhere.

They really like to tell you where they will take you - usually Halkidiki when they see suitcases, but that is around €100 distant and probably very nice too. If I drove a taxi then i would want to get out of the city for a while as well - However only one person knows where you want to go, and when you tell the taxi man, and off you go ...

Or not - Still you explain to them, and after the third attempt at 'No just in town' then the look of disappointment appears. Then they try to give your trip to someone else - and fail. So your bags are loaded, and in you get. Then he shouts out to a mate, and another mate, then they all have a chat outside trying to get an idea where actually you need to go, and how to do it ...

At this point, my internal temperature starts to rise like that of the taxi, sitting without the aircon in direct sunlight. I get out - join the party and with the trusty 'Google Maps' application - Point out exactly where we want to go. Then they really get confused,  but it usually encourages departure.

Going the other way, yes they know the OSE rail station, where are you going ? I could take you there for €150 in two hours. Yes I really want to share your cigarettes and sweaty armpits, but I can sit on the train and do it in comfort for €12 - Once I move the squator from my pre-booked seat  ...

Athens is like New York, take the Metro, unless you want a magical mystery tour, where the drivers ask their mates in transit where to go, and a number of 'u-turns' are a distinct possibility.

In Volos the other night, I was saying go here, into this street here - see that big neon sign - that's the place turn right here - Stop ...

So I have devised a plan for next time ...

I will drive the car, the taxi driver can sit in the 'Jump seat' and we will get where we want to go for half the price.That funny box, that looks like another radio - Is the meter, it does work and prints a receipt if you put the paper in it. Because that is what should happen, just as it does with every taxi that I have used, in Larisa

Except next time, when I am in Volos I will just call Yannis and not have the stress ...



Saturday, 22 September 2012

Just another autumn day ...

Up to the hills, 52 litres of water returned to base. Skopelos framed in an indigo then pink light, as the sun rose behind the island. The lights of Glossa twinkling clearly in the pre dawn light ...

Bicycle carried up to the garage as the tyres were flat, and tyres pumped up, cycled home.

Down the harbour Apostolis and Theo, had decided no fishing, so no fish to collect for that promised lunch.

Off to work for a few hours down the harbour, high fives from the boys on the boats ...

Back to base, cut the suckers on the bouganvilla. Only as usual the huge thorns took revenge. This time, I felt the blood, not the wound. The timberlands had become soaked and there was a steady stream running down my leg. SWMBO was very disturbed by the sight. Yet once I had cleaned up - it was a pinprick hole. One that had caused a fountain that stopped quickly. Quite a mess ...

Then off to the photocopy shop, to see Yorgos. Then a quick chat, papers in hand with friends seated at Niko's. There the Skiathian felt Nikos hand on his shoulder, and was forced to sit, and a beer put in front of him by his host. A real Skiathian, offering 'the Skiathian' hospitality - Which I graciously accepted ...

Back at Base 'Where have you been' - Its warm out there I need a rest ...

Off across town to Carrefour shopping, then after viewing empty food shelves (Mental note: I must open a supermarket with food - How many own brand Irons and hoovers does this island need in Mid September)

Up to see a friend, who is a hairdresser, to get my ears lowered to an acceptable level. Sweating off the beer heading up the hill.

Note Olives ripening nicely and autumn berries colourful. Blackberries long since consumed by some lucky scavenger.

Quick snack and a nap (Eyes really sore) and some Amora powder as am getting leg cramps.

Off to work for a busy few hours down the harbour, A cup of tea, and a blueberry muffin al fresco. Met a lovely couple who read the blog and had done their homework ...

Back along the paralia, Its very quiet, however lots of friends calling out and shaking hands, asking how things are going.

Back at base, then off to Taverna Alexandros, a glass of wine, and serenaded by Christos, Dimitri, Thanassis and a very nice chat with Vasilis Koralis ...

Just another autumn day ...


Friday, 21 September 2012

Graffiti thunderbolt ...

Another journey ...

Leaving the big city for the small island, this time not with a heavy heart. However my latest journey has opened my eyes even further to what is happening to the nation.

The bus packed to the rafters, I did get a funny look when i punched my 90cent ticket - Half the bus looked round in utter amazement.

Its 90 cents for a single fare - anywhere, think a city the size of Birmingham. Or €1 as many buses as you like in one and a half hours. Ken Livingstone must be proud, his famous initiative lives on ...

You know i like to observe whats going on, well no one is paying, or validating tickets, How long before the bus company runs out of money for diesel. The bendy buses are full, whatever the time of day or night you travel. If Hitler had this form of transport we would all be doing the ministry of funny walks right now.

Interestingly the majority of the people, cross themselves each time the bus passes a church. There are a lot of churches here so the observance is quite apparent. However most of the passengers are stealing from the means of transport that allows them to pay their respects. The Greek 11th commandment, Thou ancient nation shalt not pay thyne fare ...

If they ever finish digging the metro, it will be the same, London and New York are the only places i have been with gates at the stations.

Another observation, I photographed a beautiful church the other day, Today it has a beautiful Greek protest in English, painted on the side "The government is full of Murderers"...

Parts of this city would not look out of place in India, the filth, the depravation, the squalor. I have had  enough of my city travels. Enough of the graffiti that adorns everything, more and more each day, enough of the city type of people, and the lack of personal hygiene displayed by a certain element of society.

I have met some really lovely people - but some really dumb ones too. Sadly the dumb ones usually sit behind a desk or a bandit proof screen, have a lot of stamps, and feel very important. Mostly they do not seem to have a clue.

Arriving on the platform, no-one knows if the train that is here is the one for you. The station arrival and departures boards are very impressive and very similar to the ones in Eastern Europe states. However its quite apparent the last trains displayed here were probably in the days of steam, and the engines litter most of the sidings to this day.

I actually saw one set of decaying carriages, slowly being lifted off the rails, by the tree that had grown between the couplings - In a long forgotten yard of museum pieces, as we crawled by ...

The service train, which looks like something British railways discarded of in the 1970's was hard to see beneath the graffiti tags, which reach the roof - But OSE do clean the paint off the windows, so the customers can see out occasionally.

Enforced seat reservation and naturally someone sitting in your seat. Disputing the fact that they had this seat on the previous journey, as stated on their ticket two days ago, and that their seats are in fact one coach and 30 seats distant.

Its not hard, and they do make the process easy for those who do not understand.

  • There is a picture of a train and next to it the train number, (Not much help at all) 
  • It says 'from and to' just in case you forget
  • There is a picture of a coach  and a number - so as it has five and me a ticket for three, then its the one in the middle as the outside of the train has artwork where the coach numbers used to be
  • Then a picture of a seat and a number for you to sit at. Here they help you by having a chrome number attached to the train above the window 

So how do they sit in the wrong seat ?

Settled into my seat having dispatched the squator, and their accumulated personal effects - Why do people think they have two seats, when they buy a ticket for one? The skies outside were heavy, and amazing cloud formations as little twisters dropped from the cloudbase, as it boiled and lowered and darkened in anger.

As we hit around 140kph the storm was buffeting the train, the thunder evident within the carriage. Torrential rain was streaming over the windows, like fire hoses were being played across them, and the lightning constant and all around us,

It was the Dantes inferno express ...

People got on and off, some wet, some dry and others played seat roulette like me earlier. Changing trains we boarded the Volos express, famous for never departing on time. Today no different, the driver being told on the radio he had 20 minutes, so go and have a coffee, so he did ...

On the way the low sunlight, illuminating the Pelion hills beautifuly, as the farmers combined and burned the fields. What a sunset as the skies were turned amber and radiant red, as the last remnants of the storm clouds treated us to a visual display. Out over the sea, the rain streaming down, and lightning forking down from indigo thundercaps ...

Horns blasting squealing and vibrating we shuddered to a halt - Twenty minutes late of course. and the train was mobbed as passengers fought their way on, as we fought our way off.

Welcome to Volos, and a €7 four minute taxi trip, where once again, the driver did not have a clue where he was going - But as they say ' This is Greece' ...

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Something for lunch ...

Put the kettle on, or pour yourself a glass of something, you like. Then sit back and enjoy this Video of Maria's Greek Cooking Lessons at Calma Restaurant, in Aghia Pareskevi ... 


Now go and buy the ingredients, and enjoy...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The search for Missing Jose Benito Sanchez ...

Update from the family on their Facebook page ...


Το Σάββατο 22 του μήνα, θα φτάσετε στο νησί της Σκιάθου μια ομάδα από την οικογένεια και τους φίλους του Jose Benito για να συνεχίσετε την αναζήτησή σας. Στην ομάδα μιλάει Γαλλικά, Ισπανικά, Αγγλικά και Γερμανικά. Κάνουμε έκκληση στην κατανόηση, την αλληλεγγύη και τη συνεργασία των καλών ανθρώπων του νησιού. Οποιαδήποτε βοήθεια θα ήταν ευπρόσδεκτη.

El sábado día 22 de este mes, llegará a la isla de Skiathos un grupo de familiares y amigos de Jose Benito para reanudar su búsqueda. En el grupo se habla francés, español, inglés y alemán. Apelamos a la comprensión, solidaridad y colaboración de la buena gente de la isla. Toda ayuda será bien recibida.

On Saturday 22nd of this month, will reach the island of Skiathos a group of family and friends of Jose Benito to resume your search. In the group speaks French, Spanish, English and German. We appeal to the understanding, solidarity and cooperation of the good people of the island. Any help would be welcome.

Le samedi 22 prochain, un groupe de famille et amis de José Benito reprend la recherche de José sur l'île de Skiathos. Dans le groupe on parle français, espagnol, anglais et allemand. Nous lançons un appel à la compréhension, la solidarité et la coopération des gens de bonne foi de l'île. Toute aide serait la bienvenue.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Road test ...

Number three for the Rapsani 2009 ...

I scraped enough loose change together from my pockets, raided juniors purse, and after checking down the back of the sofa - Invested in another bottle of the Rapsani 2009 ...

Actually I already had one, but putting the coins into Junior's new purse as a kind of penance is fun. Later there will be a 'WOW - LOOK' as the coins have appeared overnight.

Ordered to the kitchen to cook - which i love doing anyway, I already had an idea in mind, on my shopping expedition on Saturday.

A couple of chicken breasts beaten to within a few millimeters of their life. Sliced mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes inserted. Rolled in cling film, until appearing like a white sausage. Poached in boiling water for five minutes until sealed, then unwrapped and carefully sauteed in butter in a frying pan, until bronzed.

I had bought some smoked garlic, two hefty cloves, grated, chopped and mashed with salt until a paste (Still not owning a Mortar and Pestle or a Rolling pin despite the trips to IKEA) Added to soft unsalted butter, chopped fresh dill. Mashed together made a lovely Garlic butter. Half a fresh 'baguetta' left from the morning, sliced, and filled with the Garlic butter, wrapped in tinfoil.

The sauteed chicken breasts and tinfoil wrapped baguetta, into the oven for 10 minutes ...

Torn salad leaves, washed, the leftover mozzarella diced, a few sun dried tomatoes chopped, and mixed together with the herbed oil from their jar as a dressing.

Some freshly ground salt and pepper, and as Gordon Ramsey would say - Italian chicken, with a Campania summer salad - Done! ...

Now there are strong flavours here, and the mighty Rapsani, handled them well, too well actually, and it called for another glass. Smoked garlic in butter is heaven - and no doubt, everyone will be appreciating it today on my travels.

The only problem is that once the jar of Sun dried tomatoes is open, they do not keep well. Its not a problem with the product, its that SWMBO can sense this on the radar, and eats them like sweets. Thats how the jar bought on Saturday, came to become a dressing for salad a day later.

In fact, I am very lucky to have been left any at all ...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Rainfall ...

From 17:00hrs Friday until Midday today 27mm of rain was recorded at the Nunki observatory. Now that is quite a wet few hours.

We got away light, the Ionian really had a pasting from the storm. Very heavy rainfall on the island of Paxos where the precipitation was recorded as 110 mm!

More amazingly there were reports of people, actually being out in the pool by 2pm, and enjoying the autumn sunshine ...

That's the spirit ...

I notice we have now passed 25000 page views - Thank you for visiting ...

Customer Service - Hal 9000 ...

Regular readers will know, I like a customer service question, but really I do like the answers. Never afraid of dropping an e-mail to the CEO, if someone is a little off with their response.

Today's discussion point is that wonder of printed circuitry - The Kindle ...

It may hold 3500 books, the Encyclopedia Britannica etc, but if you step on it - it makes a little clinky noise and Its as dead as a dodo  ...

Now I never had that problem with a single paperback, let alone 3500 of them

So you e-mail amazon about a repair, they say no thanks,  they want to call you about a repair, but not us in Greece.

Like many companies they do not deal directly with this country, for some of their goods or services. Which is strange, because most of the time they are excellent, but at times Greece is like a far removed outpost of the EC. The South East Frontier looking at Asia and the middle east ...

So - You have to use the chat facility to talk to someone called Harish - who may be a robot (HAL 9000) somewhere on the sub continent ...


  • You are now connected to Harish from Amazon.co.uk. 
  • Me:Hello my Kindle screen is broken. I stepped on it, Please can you advise how, I can get this repaired. Thank You 
  • Harish:Hello, my name is Harish.I am sorry about this. I'll be happy to help you today. 
  • Let's go ahead and try resetting your Kindle. Make sure the Kindle is unplugged from the power source for me. Hold the power switch in the "ON" position for 20 seconds. Please be sure to watch a clock or timer to ensure the full 20 seconds has passed before releasing the power switch Let me know if this helps 
  • Me:No it will not, as the screen is broken 
  • Harish:How exactly did the kindle screen break? 
  • Me:See above in my opening question 
  • Are you still there ?
         There was a long pause ... 
  • Me:Are you still there ? 
  • Harish:Yes, Could you hold for a minute or two while I research this for you? 
  • Me:Its broken, take it from me, I am looking at it 
  • Harish:Looks like your kindle needs to be replaced. 
  • Me:Seems that way - Why not repaired ? 
  • Harish:We can offer you a discount on a new one 
  • Me:I would rather have you repair it, saves more CFC's being produced making a new one, and the battery gets a longer life. 
  • Harish:Do you need a new battery ? We can dispose of your old kindle for you too 
  • Me:No my Kindle is broken and just needs a repair, How come i can send it to you to dispose of but not get it repaired - Its cheaper surely? 
  • Harish:Unfortunately, your Kindle is out of warranty and the model is no longer offered, what we can do is offer a 20% discount on any of the other models 
  • Kindle for £51.20 at a discount of £21.8 plus the cost of delivery of the replacement 
  • Kindle Touch Wi-Fi for £87.20 at a discount of £21.80 plus the cost of delivery of the replacement 
  • Me:How do we proceed with this ? 
  • Harish:I will go ahead and create a replacement for you. Which kindle would you like to buy? 
  • Me:I need to see the options ? 
  • Harish:To learn more about the different Kindle models currently available, please visit the Kindle product detail pages: Kindle Touch: www.amazon.co.uk/kindletouch Kindle: www.amazon.co.uk/kindle 
  • Me:OK I just checked and see mine is available on the website Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6" E Ink Display 
  • Harish:I understand, however we offer discount only on the above mentioned models. 
  • Me:So why say its not available and offer an inferior product ? You did say any other model 
  • Harish: You can still purchase the same kindle, however I can confirm the discount not offered on device 
  • Me:Ok we will think about it Thank you 
  • Harish:Sure, For your convenience, I have already updated the comments on this case, the moment you contact us back, my colleague will be able to know your issue and can help you. 
         You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today? 
  • Me:No thank you (I so much wanted to ask for the address of e-bay)
Seconds later a beautifully scripted e-mail landed saying what he had done - I thought he's quick !

A cautionary tale - Don't say i did not warn you  ...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A postcard from Skiathos ...

Greetings from Skiathos ...

You can see it
You can hear it
You can smell it
You can almost taste it ...

Ok What is it ... ?

The rain that is falling steadily outside, and it bombards the senses, when you have not seen it for so long.

Oh and here is the postcard ...




Come on, laugh -You know you want too ...





Friday, 14 September 2012

Thunder ...

Rolling round the hills - along with a stunning lightning display ...

But we are getting away light, Cephalonia has had storms for 12 hours. Greek TV is showing dry river beds streaming in torrents, Shame all the water is heading for the sea an being wasted. The Ionian islands have copped it big style today ...

Up at the airport its been a fun day, the first flight in, from Newcastle went technical. They have had the spanners out all afternoon, It departed four and a half hours late into darkening skies. Clearly the crew did not fancy a storm lashed night at the Palace. The delights of the pelmet skirts in Geordie land won over ...

The thunderbolts started late and it seems it may be quite a night, hope all the new arrivals read my warnings, and are splashing down Papadamatis street in their wellies and shorts, feady for a night on the town ...

If not well I tried to warn you ...



Rain ...

04.34am and there is a strange sound outside ...

Its a noise like a thousand ants crossing the roof, and like someone has left a tap running outside. A trickling stream that is a waterfall of around seven or eight metres into the street from my neighbours house.

There is no mistaking the noise, Its rain ...

Its just a shower, but it signals the arrival of the autumn rain, a weather front that has been sweeping across the mediteranean, is making the first exploratory manouveres into the Aegean.

OK its not like we are on the plains of the Serengeti, as the hungry wilderbeast stand and await, but the arrival is welcomed by this parched island, if not by the advancing tourists.

I was very politely told off yesterday for mentioning the forthcoming rain. But to be honest I live here, and I know the rain is welcome, and needed too. Its not often you get a weather warning in summer either ...

When I was on holiday here, then rain, or a storm meant Bottle of Red, a Bar of Chocolate and a good book - as near the balcony as i dared. If out and about, then a lazy lunch, Sometimes retreating to a bar, and bar stool if the place filled up with water, as it did once ...

As my learned friend in Eton said to me yesterday, 

I agree, the rain is a pleasant interlude and what you make of it. I've always enjoyed lolling about with a book or just watching the rain ...

I was delighted to be asked yesterday, to recommend a bottle of wine to watch the rain with, by someone from Coventry. Lets hope he and his wife like it, and the price suits their pocket. Who knows, I could yet become the Olly Smith of Skiathos ...

Some people will be upset, by the rain, some will blame the island for it, but most of the mediteranean, has had it this week. If your honest about it, we have no control over it either.

But until then, if you do not want to hear about the weather, you have ultimate user discretion. No-one is forcing you to read about it, you can always pass the subject by ...

However, for the less informed, Brollies and Pacamacs will be available these next few days, from the usual outlets in Papadamatis street.

The sun will come out again, before you know it, just try to take each day and shower as it comes.

Now where are those wellies ...







Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rain on the way ...


http://www.metar.gr/ wrote:
Article Writing: Theodore Kondylis
Thursday, the 13th September 2012 8:24

Significant deterioration will present the weather in our country since Thursday evening 13/09, according to a statement from the National Observatory of Athens. More specifically:

Heavy rains and thunderstorms expected on Thursday afternoon 13/09 in the Ionian, with stronger effects in the evening in Corfu and Thesprotia.

The heavy rains will continue on Friday 14/09 in Western Greece, and by the afternoon and affected areas of northern and central Greece. Locally gusty south winds will blow in strong southerly Ionian and the Aegean.

Rainfall will continue on Saturday 15/09 and Sunday 16/09, affecting most of the mainland.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Weather Newsflash or Newsrumble ...


Non-Accuweather say's Thunderstorms possible today, and in the area Friday morning through late Saturday night' Looks like it will be a touch more autumnal these next few days



Other sites suggest showers from Friday until next Tuesday - Red sky here this morning too ...

Still with an eye on the sky, but not calling for the covers just yet ...

Koukounaries postcards ...

Its a lovely beach, but only a few get to see its real beauty ...

In springtime, you can sit by the waters edge, looking out over an azure blue sea. Small fish jumping from the water as some predator below seeks a tasty lunch. Its so silent you can hear dogs barking some kilometers away. Conversations carry across the water ...

Back in the 50's you could not give the land away - who wants to be by a beach ...

One enterprising man, did that and opened a taverna by the beach, here are some photos (1956) of the days before mass tourism. I wonder what he would think, were he to visit us here today ...






Now when would you rather visit ? Then or now ? ...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Plakes postcards ...

Plakes in years gone by ...





Now SifnosMan knows i am made of hardy stuff, still braving the autumn nights, but this is where i like to swim. Beautiful aquamarine colours in the water at Plakes, from the marble rocks ...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Skiathos Chill index ...

Its happened again ...

Woke with a shiver again this morning, and not the first time this week either. This is not good at all. Still not planning to reach for a sheet yet - its only just nine days past August ...

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Skiathos Weather station ...


There is a new weather station here in Skiathos. It is located in the middle of the town, in Evaggelistrias street near the Gym. 

The system is a Davis Vantage Wireless Pro2. The results, which are recorded and updated every five minutes, are displayed here

The weather station is Provided & Supervised by Nikos Paschalis, our island astronomer - In collaboration with the National Observatory of Athens, You can find his observatory website here which is based in Xanemos.

Xanemos, being at the north of the island, not suffering from light pollution, is a great location for an observatory. Nikos advises, he has plans to install Thunderstorm radar, to accompany his other services which include an all sky camera, and wind speed monitoring.

You can see the current all sky image, from Xanemos here ...

Please note due to improvements being made to the telephone network, the station may go offline from time to time over the next week or so. However it is an excellent addition to the island meteorological  services ...

Nikos advises the telephone lines are not due to be restored by OTE until Monday 17th September. The Xanemos site is fully operational. You can see the details here

Friday, 7 September 2012

Where have they gone ...

The tourists seem to have disappeared ...

Well just the Greeks and most of the Italians. Just the Brits Dutch and Scandinavians, are still here in numbers, the Finns finish next week. The ferries about to start their winter timetable on Monday, even though its the first month of autumn.

The paralia is strangely quiet, the boats are here, the yachts too, but the people have been spirited away this week.

Even Stathis was asleep in his carriage the horse dozing on its feet, waiting for custom ...

Plane spotting is the order of the day on a Friday, Still 14 flights today, same as every Friday, however now the Brits stand out from the crowd again, now that September is here. The last flight in at 18.45, the Thomson from Gatwick, soaring into the sky again an hour later, then it went quiet again ...

You cannot get a seat on a UK flight here for another two weeks - Fully booked. Same if you want to leave on the 5th October ...

Lets hope the weather holds up as the island shutters start to go down. Storms 60 miles to the north last night. An Indian summer in October, just for all those who worked so hard here this summer ...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Walking and wine tasting - 22-23 September 2012 ...

The Monastery of the Annunciation Skiathos invites you to participate in a hike in Skiathos, combined with wine tasting. 

We will start at 9:30 am from the Monastery of the Annunciation. Following old trails will arrive at the Monastery of St. Charalambos, where we expect a coffee for our first break. We will continue on our path to Mitikas, the highest point of the island, where anyone can register the name in the "Book Summit". Following the old path and passing of the Cold Well we return to the Monastery of the Annunciation. Total duration of our course: approx 2.5 hours.




Dokimasirio in the middle of the vineyard we await a buffet of appetizers along with wine tasting and accompanied by live music. Let us not forget that Skiathos already in antiquity was widely known for our excellent wines. The shop of the convent will have the opportunity to meet-and buy-and all other products produced in the monastery.
In the monastery you can go to the municipal bus, which runs from the starting point at 9:00. With the same bus you can later return to the city. For participation please call 6972705416.

The total price for hiking, buffet and wine tasting is 19 Euro per person.

source NEWSPAPER NORTHERN SPORADES & http://skiathosgreece.blogspot.gr

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Fire in the harbour ...


This morning, the cargo vessel Avantis, which has been moored at the boat yard near the end of the runway, caught fire. 

The Avantis has been moored there for the past few months and was reportedly to have been impounded since its last trip. 

The fire was extinguished by the island fire brigade, and port police, reports say the vessel has been badly damaged.


More details and photos can be found here




Photo-http://www.news-skiathos.blogspot.gr

Monday, 3 September 2012

Still Missing ...


There is now a Facebook page, set up by the family of José Maria Benito Sánchez, appealing for help …

https://www.facebook.com/missingjose.benitosanchez

and a blog article ...

http://missingpersoninskiathos.wordpress.com


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Message in a Bottle ...


Its a rough translation, of an article shared on the Skiathos FB page, about Teo Tzoumas our island environmentalist - It shows what can come out of the beach cleaning, quite a story ...


FROM HELL TO PARADISE OF TRIPOLI OF SKIATHOS
Horror traveled in waves

How a bottle that was thrown over a year ago from Libya in the Mediterranean brought together a Turk and a Greek Skiathos The letter traveled from Libya to Skiathos a message love for the sea, fear and anger over the war in Libya and sympathy for the recipient, traveled in a plastic bottle from the port of Tripoli, crossed the Mediterranean and washed up in Skiathos. Dispatcher in August 2011 a Turkish engineer merchant navy was in Tripoli and ... recipient in March 2012, a young Skiathitis, he found on the beach of Agia Paraskevi, which cleaned along with other volunteers. The latter responded and sent an invitation to the unknown friend and last weekend Ersen Emir was in Skiathos and the island kalodechtike like a favorite friend who waited long. Ersen The flew a total of 14 bottles with messages in August 2011 in the sea. The four of them had a two-page letter with pictures of the horrors of war and traveled thousands of miles through the water. In March, one of the four bottles were found on a beach in Skiathos, Theodore Tzoumas, president of the Cultural Association "Skiathos", opened with the help of a Turkish tourist read it. I put the message in an envelope and sent it in Bursa, who wrote at the sender, together with its elements. few weeks later he got a message on his cell phone: "I'm Ersen. Find me on Facebook ». The two men began to communicate, and this past weekend in Skiathos Ersen traveled to meet his Greek friend, and revealed that the next trip will be in Thessaloniki, birthplace of his grandfather. Ersen The Emir with Theodore Joyce. " s with a commercial carrying wheat to the port of Volos. He got special permission from the captain and came to the island. My joy was indescribable. We met for the first time and it was like to know year, "he told the 'Nation' Th Tzoumas. Last weekend was the end of Ramadan for Muslims and Ersen wanted to be in the home. He indeed for this reason decided to leave the boat earlier. But he could not miss the opportunity to meet Skiathos and his friend and when he learned that there was a problem, he asked permission to miss a 24 and joined the hydrofoil to Skiathos. "nation" had been reported in the case with full-page published an and two months ago, "When I was writing the messages I did not have much hope. I was pretty sure that no one will read them, nobody will even open the bottles, "said Emir Ersen and revealed that when the letter of T. Juma came to his parents, they alarmed because they do not know anyone from Greece and went ... the Police. LETTER TO "I want to experience the freedom, no more bombs," "When the bombs explode, the night becomes day, the weather shines. And when you stop, it falls quite dark, but we're still here. The sea is freedom. I want to experience the freedom and not other adventures, "wrote the flaming Tripoli seeing the bombs explode around him. It was August 2011 and Ersen sat on the bridge of the cargo ship, awaiting permission from the Libyan authorities to leave. For a while he thought not xanasalparei, but when he repented and returned to his homeland, Bursa, renewed his navy flyer. pulled this message in four copies, he wrote another 10, with different contents and in closed plastic bottles. From the highest point of the ship threw them in the water and some time traveling the gazing into the foam until he lost sight of. waited ... And then was so affected by the film of Luis Mantoki «Message in a bottle "you definitely wanted to see if you lived the Kevin Costner, Paul Newman and Robin Wright really happening. Of the 14 messages only that Skiathos has been identified. In all, however, is its location and the request must be sent to the family home in Turkey with the elements of what would find in any shore. MARIA RITZALEOU PHOTOS


Lance Armstrong ...

More revelations in this mornings Sunday Times ...
Q. Just wondering if Waterstones will now give me a refund on his book "It's Not About the Bike"


A. No. It turns out that it actually just wasn't all about the bike, after all ...

OK but its now moved from the biography section to fiction, does that count ?

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Still Missing - José Maria Benito Sánchez ...

Appeal over missing Spanish man on Skiathos - 31 Aug 2012 (Athens News article)

José Maria Benito Sánchez was last seen when he went out for his usual walk around 1pm on August 22 on Skiathos



The family of a 55-year-old Spanish-Belgian national, who has been missing on the island of Skiathos since August 22, has issued an appeal to the public to assist in finding him.

José Maria Benito Sánchez, who lives in Brussels, went out for his usual walk around 1pm on August 22 in the area of Agia Paraskevi, where he was holidaying with his family and friends, but failed to return.

At 6pm his wife reported his disappearance to the police.

Officers searched the surrounding area with the help of the together with the fire brigade and a sniffer dog. A private helicopter was also hired to join in the search.

A police chief returned in a helicopter that evening with a team of ten people. They searched until Saturday morning when they called off their search when they were called to attend to local wildfires.

Benito, who has a heart condition, does not have any of his medication with im, which means he may now have a serious coronary problem or appear confused or disorientated.

His family fears that he may have lost his memory or have left the island on a ferry.

When Benito disappeared he was wearing Bermuda shorts, a light-blue short-sleeved shirt and sandals.
He is of medium height, well-built and has dark hair.

His family would appreciate if anyone who may have seen him reporting this to the police.
Contacts: His wife, Enma Alvarez, may be reached at +30-6986-849-687 (until Saturday) or in Brussels on +32-2-346-37-04/+32-478-578-188. His sister Milagros Benito may be reached in Madrid on +34-479-4129/+34-616-883257

Καλό μήνα σε όλους Σεπτεμβρίου είναι εδώ


Kalo Minha - Good Month to one and all, September is here ...

Its happened again, I woke again with a shiver.

Still not enough for me to reach for a sheet, but the air temperature is cooling. Its a sign - {No need for anyone to run after me, with one sandal in their hand} (Life of Brian) that autumn days are nearly upon us.

The days that see the return of sheets, blankets, firewood ...

Yes it will soon be time to make contact with Yorgos, and the woodman to make, those precise  arrangements required for autumnal wood deliveries. Not too big, not too small - Move his giant elephant skinned hands backwards and forwards to the correct size required.

The 'to do' list gets longer: I need the long ladder, to fix that leaky gutter. A brush to clean the chimney, and to repair the woodburner vision panel window. A new blade is required for the trusty chainsaw. Take the time to resume the hunt for kindling supplies for the store. Oil the shutters, paint the grilles - find that ants nest, that causes me so much trouble.

Perhaps even a new (or secondhand) woodburner, if funds permit ...

All that to be done before the fun stuff, like collecting a few olives, and perhaps a tsipouro meze with friends if i am lucky.

Now all I need is the weather to hold out ...