Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Strange sights ...

Ever watched someone who has been on the lovely Mythos, trying to eat an ice cream, and hold a conversation?

Take it from me, it's not pretty, and can be messy ...

Readers please do not try this at home ...

Hello to ...

Claire and Andy ...

Friends of the blog. Nice to meet you, hope you enjoyed your holiday ...

Another Meltemi ...

Yet another very windy day ...

Anothe one that confined boats to harbour, banged shutters and sent plastic bottles flying down the street. The ferries arrived under clear blue skies, disgorging hundreds of people down the ramps, into the fierce warm breeze. Mostly young Greeks here for fun in the sun, and a night out in the clubs.

At 6am its like a football game has finished as hordes of young Greeks return from club strip. Even at 8am many are still populating the lower end of Papadamatis street - enjoying crepes from the 24 hour cafes that are there. Meanwhile some of us head off to work, through the sickly sweet aroma of freshly fried crepes and honey balls.

Greek honey balls ...
The principle diet of the Greek mainland traveller appears to be gyros, crepes, honeyballs and yoghurt with everything. Sometimes to great excess, but clearly its a cheap option, and one thats greatly enjoyed, as some waistlines show.

Its when you see some of the really good tavernas empty in July, you wonder what is going on, Its the fast food outlets that are making money. The traditional family tavernas loosing business, to the lure of the austerity food option.

Sometimes, I wonder how much longer this can go on ...

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Water Water everywhere ...

... and not a drop to drink


Well in town anyway ...

Monday, 29 July 2013

Bad luck ...

It happens to us all from time to time ...

Even captains of industry. So you pop over to Tsougria, only for tourists to climb up to the church, to see who is on board. OK - So you change islands.

After mooring your superyacht, by a deserted beach. You light up a Havana, and sit back to watch the sunset. Only for seventy tourists to turn up for the weekly beach party.

Guess who this happened to tonight ...

Up anchor Lionheart and away ...

Captured by 'The Skiathian' paparazzi ...

Here she is slipping its mooring just a few minutes ago. I wonder if Sir Phillip Green read last nights 'Skiathian exclusive' whilst enjoying a cigar, and decided it was time to go PDQ?

© The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved
Maybe its rather too warm, that's without 'The Skiathian' paparazzi, being on the case  - after all the thermometer is 30 degrees at 1pm ...

Its a lovely yacht, and the crew were immaculately turned out in their number ones. Hope he and his guests enjoyed their short stop, here on the island, and will pop back for Lobsters again soon ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Lionheart ..

Sir Phillip Green has dropped anchor ...

He has moored on the old harbour, in his superyacht Lionheart.
Just a thought - I wonder if he will have to call the Mayor, like last year. When protesters picketed his boat, protesting at UK company tax avoidance ...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Airport fun and games ...

Monarch MON 7027 of Friday 26th July 2013

A woeful delay, of over 24 hours, for Monarch 757 JSI-VOL-MAN, flight ZB7027 / MON7027

It has been delayed overnight at the airport with a technical fault. An aircraft engineer came up from Athens last night, more arriving on a small jet from Athens, earlier this morning. I understand there are four engineers on the case, they have been trying to fix it ever since.

It was airborne earlier this morning, however after a test flight, it landed back here in Skiathos at 11:10am ...

Monarch G-ABJ

Scandanavian flights, are  backed up all over europe, with minimum 2.5 hours delay, on the busiest day of the week for Scandanavian passengers. MON 7027 has its been blocking a much needed parking space. Now I understand, that spare parts being flown out and will arrive here at 18.00hrs this evening

Revised estimated take off now 20.00hr s Skiathos time, with passengers taking lunch in town ...

Later update:

Monarch 7027 airborne at 21:05, however someone in Yorkshire said Skiathos airport website shows only the olympic plane since 0900 your time?

I replied - The airport website is a joke, take it from me it's just departed

They said - Still no sign of anything taking off as at 1924GMT

I replied - The mark one human eyeball never fails ...

Hexapus ...

The Daily Mail reports the unfortunate end of a hexapus nearby over on the Pilion ...

Most of the locals who have seen this, say they would have eaten it too.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mossies ...

After the rains they are back again ...


Tonight - Skiathian 2 : 0 Mossies

 21:50pm Latest score - Skiathian 3 : 0 Mossies

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Good morning from Skiathos ...

Where the sky is blue, the port policemans whistle is shrill ...

The Express Skiathos has just docked, packed to the upper deck tarpaulins with young Greeks. All here for fun in the Aegean Sun.

The harbour looks aquamarine blue, it's being oxygenated by the turning propellers of the ferry. The shoals of grey mullet suggest a different story. Our busy harbour filled with yachts and motor cruisers ensuring the food chain is well supplied.

The trees on the harbour, still green after their roots absorbed some of the recent rainfall. No sign of drought scorched leaves yet.

Some swallows doing acrobatics over passing articulated lorries. A seagull with black tips on its wings, drifting along effortlessly in a sky of infinity blue ...

Then the sound of silence returns, as the Express Skiathos, now riding higher in the water. Slowly lifts its ramps, slips its lines and glides slowly out of the harbour heading for Skopelos ...

Another day at the office ...

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Oops Proteus (2) ...

Proteus limped out of here at 10am. Clearly having trouble with power ...

Later update: After a lap of Tsougria, and the departure of Artemis and Express Skiathos, Proteus loaded at Skiathos and departed for Volos. Lets see what happens next ...

19:00 - A familiar chugging noise announced the return of Proteus - apparently all in working order, and a departure toward Alonissos.

Alls well that ends well ...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Oops - Proteus (1) ...

The Proteus ferry has broken down tonight, here in Skiathos.

Its late arrival from Volos, forced the Express Skiathos to hold outside the harbour, for around 30 minutes this afternoon.

Tonight it remains firmly attached to the harbour, with the crew standing around looking rather puzzled.

After a three hour delay, it has unloaded its cars and freight back onto the harbour here. In addition - apparently one lady in the early stages of Labour ...

Hellenic Artemis was forced to dock, on the outer sea wall, this evening. Its crew no doubt enjoying the spectacle nearby ...

Busy bee ...

Thats been me these last few days ...

Meanwhile I did manage to escape to achladies beach for a swim. Much to my enjoyment, and some quality time spent with the camera. 


Lovely views across to Skopelos and some lovely flowers on a beachside house.


Whenever I see sunflowers, they make me smile, and remind me of my father. He grew one 16 feet high, in our old coundil house garden. Its main support being an adjacent concrete lampost. The head on it was huge, people stopped and asked how he did it.

We had a friend who had access to a farm, and he had brought us a tractor loaded with chicken manure, This did wonders  the comtopost heap, which was adjacent to it, and the sunflower ...


On the photo above you can see some very busy, achladies bees, here in close up ...


Or better still ...

A busy bee ...
All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved


Monday, 22 July 2013

Thunderstorms again ...

Started at 2am ...

Heavy rain woke me, and the almost constant lightning that lit the room. Followed by claps of thunder that rattled the windows. Despite this the rest of the house remained sleeping.

A quick dash around the house, to switch off the electrical supply, and disconnect the internet router. Currently there are delays of up to six weeks for telephone repairs on the island. Many having their routers short terminally, due to power surges down the telephone line.

Opening the front door, to see a wide eyed cat, sitting on the doorstep. Like me watching the torrent down the street. It's eyes saying please do not send me out into that. I closed the door, leaving my feline friend in peace - and the dry shelter shelter of my doorstep.

Another storm went through about 4am. They seem to pass as quickly as they arrive. We have had heavy rain until 9am. Now at 10:30 the skies are grey, the air is cool. Once again someone is doing a roaring trade in PVC pacamacs, for the tourists.

Express Skiathos now departing for Skopelos over a mirror grey still sea.

Good morning from Skiathos, have a great day wherever you are ...

After the storm ...
15:00hrs update: Scorcher here right now. Just like last week, the clouds have cleared, and its a gorgeous afternoon ...

19:45hrs The fuel tanker Apostolis arrives, listing slightly to port, as it reverses to the ferry dock. Yet more petrol arrives arrives for our thirsty island. JETXV only departed at lunchtime ....

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Hello to ...

Janey & Bev ...

Thank you for the thoughtful delivery for junior.
Much appreciated ...

1000th post - another milestone
Thank you for visiting ...

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Skiathos Airport expansion update (2) ...

Looks like the long awaited airport works are about to start ...

Large earth moving equipment being unloaded in the port. They are not digging foundations, or scrapping roads with this kit.

It only just fitted in the Express Pegasus ferry, and they had big problems getting it unloaded. Apparently they could not unload it this afternoon, in our cramped port. So they had their moneys worth on the ferry instead.





Now that the equipment has been unloaded, JetXV is back in port with more aircraft fuel. It's only been away for just two days ...



Update: 19/07/13 - 06:54am

Νέα Προοπτική για τη Σκιάθο on their Facebook page

Για την ενημέρωση σας σήμερα ήρθαν τα πρώτα εργαλεία εκσκαφής για το έργο του αερολιμένα Σκιάθου! Το έργο ξεκινάει συντόμως . . . :)

To update you today came the first excavation tools for the work at the airport of Skiathos! The work starts soon ... :)

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Skiathos Documentary ...

Who do you recognise in this old video ?

New pages added ...

Two new pages added to the pages section, on the top right of your screen.

The programme for the Attikon Open air cinema

Nikos Paschalis 'Earth and Sky' exhibition, at the 'Little picture gallery' in Papadamatis street.

Further pages to follow ...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Stormy night ...

There's nothing like a thunderstorm to keep you on your toes ...

Last night it rattled on for four hours, from 2am. Plenty of rain, torrential at times. All the storm drains have washed through into the harbour. Everything is clean and smells fresh again. It's all dry again apart from where ladies are flooding the streets with hundreds of litres of water as they wash the balconies. Strangely the water they are using is not as good as that dispensed overnight by the heavens above.

Geof passes by by on his bike smiling. His vegetable garden will have enjoyed it's dousing. Island friends soon enjoying further fruits of his Labour.

Grey clouds overhead, non smiling tourists on the harbour.

Happy day's - for some at least ...

Strange sight: Port policeman dressed in waterproofs, looking at a portly middle aged and tattooed British tourist, dressed just in swimming trunks in pouring rain.

Sun breaks through the cloudbase at 10:35am

Monsoon conditions, torrential rain at 11:00am. Just seen a tourist umbrella totally destroyed in front of me by the tempest.

12 Noon - Bad light and rain stop play. Early lunch being taken at Mr Koziakis grill house ...


Its a tough job but it had to be done. I shared this photo with a vegetarian earlier, nearly made a convert ...

Here we are at 14;15pm and people strangely still wearing pacamacs were heading for the bus. Needles to say the weather the topic of many peoples conversation - It was very warm around 29 degrees ...




180 degrees of wall to wall sunshine, yet people only speak of rain ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Led astray ...

Junior was led astray by a school friend today ...

I had joined SWMBO for a beer in the shade at Syraino. In the process Junior met some friends. This meant me covering large areas of the Paralia to keep in touch with what was going on.

In the sun it was thirsty work. I traded my trusty FIX for a draught Carlsberg ooops Mythos ...


Junior and friends decided to have lunch together, would we like to join them, the parents said ? A great invitation and a lazy afternoon at the fish taverna on the old harbour.

One thing led to another, as it often does ...


One meze followed another ...


Then another ...


You get the general idea - A nice boat came in too ...


Some more fish arrived ...


Another boat ...


Oh dear ...


... and pop in for a tequila later, they said - Only I saved that invitation up, for another day

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Hello to ...

Claire`s mum - Pauline ...

Who apparently reads the blog.
Claire and Andy are off for lunch at Kati Yiorgis next Monday ...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Oregano ...

I have been talking to people about Oregano ...

Here you collect it in June/July its free and grows everywhere. My man for this kind of thing is Vasilis Koralis. He picks me some every year from his secret supply up in the hills, far away from the dog walkers.

Just the other day he delivered my 2013 consignment, this time in full view of the public. Some were rather amazed that it did not arrive in a jar, or a cellophane packet like the factory version.

Skiathos wild oregano, is mighty strong stuff, its pungent heady aroma filling the kitchen with a fragrant scent, that someone outside the window said, 'that smells like someone has spilt some dried herbs' ...

If only they knew what was going on a few feet away ...

Here is the fresh oregano, that has been dried outside, in the Skiathos sunlight, luckily out of the breeze.


Like Aladdin's lamp you rub it gently to get a response. Its best to do this a few times, just to make sure you do not have any twigs in the dried leaves concealed in your harvest ...


You are left with a nice sized pile of leaves, the twigs the ladies say can be used as a 'bouquet garni' in soup or stews. After a quick whiz in the food processor or blender, you have a year's supply of lovely oregano for your Greek salads or soups ...

A half litre jar of fresh oregano ...
Even now - some hours later my hands - even after numerous washes, Still have the scent of what must be an oil in the dried leaves. As I said, its mighty strong stuff ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved


Top up the tanks ...

Just how much fuel can this island use ?

We have had three fuel tankers visit here this weekend. Jet XV delivering fuel to the airport, taking three days to do it. At one time the Apilotis petrol tanker, moored across its bows delivering via the harbour breakwater. Then EKO1 moored most of the weekend delivering petrol as well.

All of them having to move, in and out of the harbour to accommodate the arrival of ferries. Then you have the ferries backed up outside the harbour, waiting to unload as the port is busy. Some people say why do we need a new ferry port - well come here in summer and you will see very clearly why ...

Its another windy morning, crazy weather again. How much longer can it last?

Well all week it seems, apparently ...

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Nail biter ...

But even here Skiathian was cheering on the boys ...


Great Test Match, and England won by 14 runs

Australia 280 & 296 off 110.5 overs
England 215 & 375

This umpire gave Haddin out straight away, his head looking behind, gave the game away ...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Safe journey ...


Kalo taxidi to David, Marice, Andrea and Katherine
Lovely friends of the blog from Cape Town

Sorry to hear you planning your return, to the Cape this evening.

Keep in touch ...

Hello to ...

Jane G & Ernie, friends of the blog ...

Nice to meet you, with the "Legendary" Townboy this evening ...

Hello flower ...

This mornings courgette flowers, freshly picked up in the hills ...


Photo by kind permission of Golnaz Messdaghi-ashtari, who also happens to be an excellent cook. Her suggested recipe, for them can be found here ...

Did the earth ...

... move for you ?

It did this morning for me, at around 8:24 am local time ...

http://www.geophysics.geol.uoa.gr/stations/maps/recent.html
A rumble from mother earth, to give us a gentle wake up call this morning. Further details here ...


Friday, 12 July 2013

Day off ...

Yes I allowed myself one ...

Actually the boss did, but after work this morning I escaped from Skiathos for a few hours. I jumped on to the St Antonias, part of the co-operative of boats.

Destination Tsougria ...


After a short ride over turquoise seas, and a fly past from a Thomas Cook Boeing 757, as it lined up on the distant runway.

 It was great to see the golden sandy beaches of this lovely little island. SWMBO and Junior heading swiftly down the beach and laying towels in their favourite shady spot.




The beach bar looked fantastic, and is a credit to Spiros and his team. Clearly making a lot of effort to keep everyone fed and watered. Its a little oasis and I love it.


For me its about the beach here, and the shallow waters, SWMBO and Junior soon enjoying the warm waters and feeding the small fishes, with stale bread under the water. This soon turning the water into a feeding frenzy of aquamarine activity.

If you see this ball ...
After a glass of something, I felt a need to study the back of the eyelids. Later waking to find out Junior's favourite ball, was well on the way to Evia across the heat haze and the sea. More fun in the shadows and a picnic. My fishing line remaining unused, once again on this trip - Avrio Avrio ...

A chat with friends in the shallows, a league of nations, Austrian, Greek and English. Its good to talk ...

We decided on the spur of the moment, to hitch a lift on the Eleni boat back to town. The brothers making a great fuss over SWMBO and Junior in front of their customers. Refusing to let me pay for drinks, and being extremely generous with their hospitality ...

A surprise drink for SWMBO ...
All too soon arriving back on the harbour, after a very enjoyable crossing, from Tsougrias ...


Later, Vasilis Koralis popped by for a chat, delivering me a bumper crop of oregano, from his secret supply lines up in the hills. If you feel the need to explore when you are here, then join him on one of his walks - Its a great experience.


The evening ended with heavy skies, and after dark, a lightning show over the Pelion. Along with a few distant rumbles of thunder. A sprinkling of rain - That one friend has described as 'Heaven shedding a tear on Skiathos' this evening.

Kalo Nikta apo Skiathos ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Lunch anyone ...

It had to be done ...

After all we live on an island, its a shame not to enjoy, a taste of the fruits of the sea ...




Something for carnivores ...


The view was quite good too ...


All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Footnote: Congratulations to Stig, for correctly identifying the restaurant - just from the plate used. That's attention to detail ...

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Windy days ...

Yes its warm, but again its breezy here ...


If you needed evidence that the Meltemi winds are occuring, then you can see it quite clearly from the forecast above. This is the way it has been now for over a week. Hopefully today is the last of the draught from the north. 

Only that will give way to heat, and for the last two days you can almost smell the heat of summer. Amazing how much water, you consume on warm windy days, as temperatures begin to rise. 

Alvi and Nikos at Kabourelias are equally hospitable and generous, when I pass by after work. Insisting on 'one for the road' only for that glass of chilled Alfa beer, to vaporise through the body, and out through the pores of the skin. 

Only two weeks until the start of crazy August ...

Monday, 8 July 2013

Manic Monday ...

Spread yourself thinly ...

Thats the only way to do it today. I have to put the final touches to a friends house in readiness for their arrival tomorrow. I have to do some shopping for their welcome pack, stock the fridge, and get some potted greek basilico to ward off the mossies.

Before that some work and who knows get to put a few smiles on some happy tourists. The weather is still nice and warm, we have been palgued by high winds, that dry you out like papyrus. I have been drinking water like its going out of fashion - well ever since Townboy tried to drown me with beer the other day.

He popped in to see me yesterday, and vanished just as quickly. However he confirmed, what I have been saying - He had never seen it so quiet in July. Last night though tourists returned to the Paralia, there were new faces speaking Greek - but perfect English too ...

The Cypriots have arrived with the first flights arriving here yesterday. The people of Cyprus visiting our island to cool off from the inferno of a Cypriot summer ...

There was a Greek wedding last night, and inmpromptu Greek dancing in the road, as the bride made her way to the church. Must say the whole thing was great holding up the traffic ...




... and later the bride ran the length of the harbour with her new husband. Clearly eager to start married life together, followed by their guests ...


Later update: 

Upset a neighbour, cleaning after 10am, that does not count for Greeks who can flood the street day and night with hundreds of gallons of water. Told this one " how many beans make five" as the rule here is no disturbance from 14:30 - 17:30. 

This brought on the "do not understand look" Hostilities will resume at 18:00hrs sharp ...

Chopped another few metres of mutant bouganvillia to terra firma. The noise of the ladder also causing concern. Thankfully the ladder is Greek, as are the clippers, although the user is English, which according to the Daily Mail today, means I am Euro sceptic ...