We have been an island for three days now. For the first time in a few years we have no link to the mainland. Naturally the supermarkets have been wiped out of supplies of things like fresh milk. However we have some in the freezer and are not unduly concerned.
However my eyebrows raised earlier in the butchers when the lady in front, bought €84 of fresh meat in this a time of austerity. She did strain to lift the bags off the counter, and out of the door. Perhaps a relation works on the ferries. I brought the butcher back to earth with my 'Miso kilo Kimas' - 1/2 kilo of mincemeat.
Mind you they do not worry here, its not the gristle that goes through the mincer when you are not looking. A piece of sirloin - yes that will do nicely ...
Rummaging through the cupboards, 'Joy of Joy' yesterday, I had found a jar of red curry paste, so last night we had flavour - A Thai red chicken curry, which had poached in coconut milk - Another refugee from the back of the tins, that I had been reunited with.
This afternoon they must have been going through the depths of the dry food store at Carrefour - A taco pack with all the ingredients to make a tasty Mexican meal. All these spices should ward off what is a lot of coughs and sneezes here on the island. Warm weather and cool breezes followed by warm nights by the fire and there are a few red noses and chesty colds around.
A coffee earlier by the woodburner at the undertakers, discussing this weeks comings and goings. Well goings sadly. This week two of the older gentlemen passed. One a man who walked many miles, early in the morning, with his walking stick, and always spoke to me. The other a neighbour, sadly had I known, I would have attended what was a very well attended funeral, and I had passed by on the way to the school.
Theodore was the last of the caique builders, the hand built wooden boats that were built on the foreshore by the Carnayo restaurant. No one does that anymore, Its a trade that has passed away too.
Theo used to sit with the old boys in Stamatis taverna, They welcomed me as a neighbour when, I sat there alone one Pasca. Interested that I had come to Skiathos and raised a glass with me.
I remember showing him a photo in the Retired Seamens Associaton of Skiathos calendar, of him as a young man, building a boat. He was pleased that I recognised him. Here he is, the photo tells you a lot ..
What I liked was that even in the twilight years, he was still impeccably dressed each day. In addition he was an incurable romantic, and after a few glasses of watered down wine, was prone to declare his affection for my neighbour. Usually with his walking stick on their windows late at night, on his way up the street.
The February page of the 2013 calendar, is a man standing on the ribs of a boat that is being built, its quite appropriate really ...