Saturday, 30 November 2013

Feeling hungry ...

You will be after this ...

I know many of you like the food posts, that I add here from time to time ...

I discovered a lovely blog the other day, its called My Little Expat Kitchen
Take a look, its full of lovely photos and recipe ideas, shared by a Greek lady called Magda in Holland ...


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Looks nice again ...

But strange as it may seem, its bitterly cold ...


North winds, straight from Scandinavia, via the Russian steppes. Skiathos is currently 11 degrees, but with the wind chill feels somewhat less ...

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

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

There is only one way ...

To describe today - Glorious ...

Beautiful crisp air, azure blue skies and if you want a negative a nip in the wind. Its a day to wrap up, put on the sunglasses and top up your vitamin D levels in the sun.

Thats why I am off to the post office, ring road, and just about everywhere else instead ...

I did watch Proteus loading this morning for its solitary trip to Volos. Well for as long as I could, as the sunlight was burning the eyes as it reflected off the harbour. Proteus returns on Thursday morning, loaded to the brim, with people and goods. Our solitary ferry until December 16th, then it may finish as Hellenic return to the fray.

Pleased to report, the house is still nice and warm, after the woodburner did its job, roaring away on woodmark 5 last night. Not one drop of the forecast rain landed here yesterday.

I hope today stays as good as it promises it will be ...


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mixed bag ...

Once again today ...

Just about every type of cloud type you can imagine, in the sky this morning. Some dark and brooding, others high up in a blue sky. It changes from minute to minute. So much different to yesterday, where the sunshine burned the skin, as I enjoyed a cappuccino at Mythos bar ...

Work of art ...
Last night at the after school classes the parents were all talking about the weather and the storms that missed the island. Here it is supposed to be getting cold, and very wet, with strong winds. However so far, it seems again to have passed us by. (12:25pm - Definately colder and there is a nip in the wind)

This is nothing, compared to the storms that went south and over to Rhodes. Three dead and another still missing in the floods. More storms hit there yesterday evening - Latest information  ekathimerini.com

Rhodes ..
The accountants are going to be busy. Tax bills are in the post, ekathimerini.com report that Property taxes for 2014 are 8 times higher than in 2009. Luxury tax notices are being sent out by the Greek authorities, details here and if you pay up early you get a discount.

Looks like we can expect a lot of pallets to go missing, to be used to fill up redundant swimming pools, and some 4x4's to be found floating in the harbour, minus their registration plates shortly. 

The Conundrum:

So if it gets cold, you need some extra firewood, to burn to keep warm,  in your soon to be illegal woodburner. Your stash of firewood, is located in the former swimming pool, and you need your 4x4 2000cc pick up truck - formerly an 'Agricultural vehicle' to do and retrieve it. 

The cheap fuel that should be used as heating oil, was being used in the 'Agricultural vehicle' so they raised the fuel tax prices to that of diesel. Result no one buys heating oil, and burns wood instead, resulting in a 70 percent drop in demand and tax  revenue ...

The tax man always gets you in the end - All the fun of living on a green island in the aegean ...

Busy day on the blog again yesterday - 705 page hits - thanks for visiting ...

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

Monday, 25 November 2013

Something to ...

Brighten the start to your morning ...

Well those who follow by e-mail from work at least.






Amazing light this morning, puts a spring into your step ...

Have a great Monday morning wherever you are ...

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

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Quiet Sunday evening ...

In Papadamatis Street ...



Throws another piece of 100 year old wood, into the inferno, that is the mighty woodburner in disgust ...

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

Wet Sunday afternoon ...

Followed by a pink sunset as the showers cleared ...

The raindrops started to fall around 1pm, sending us scurrying from the playground. Junior and I having been having fun on the swings.

Yestserday's €5 bag of fish has been converted into a fish soup, with an aroma that is perfuming the house. Garlic bread is in the oven, and a chorus of cats miaowing outside the front door waiting for scraps ...

The fish soup was quite good, even though it had been quite fiddly to prepare with the small bones. The 'Cornish fish seasoning mix' donated earlier in the summer by 'Lady Amanda' was really good indeed, and comes highly recommended.

Looking at the blog traffic, It always amazes me how some visitors find the blog. Here are today's entries, from those who have not discovered how to bookmark the page to favourites. Seems they must be regulars as I see these entries quite often ...
  • the skiathian
  • skiathian
  • skiathian blog
  • sifnos house for sale          (Sifnos Man will be pleased)
  • greece nikos plomaritis skiathos (Avid reader)
  • sea urchin                          (Thousands search for this - tread on one and you never forget)
  • skiathoslover1 blog             (Its called the Skiathian)
  • anes lines proteus             (Desperate to find out this weeks timetable)
  • homebatis zürich               (Someone after a taverna reservation)
  • how to cook horsemeat       (Really !)

Right click on the link http://skiathian.blogspot.gr/ and you should be able to save the page to favourites

19:02pm and the island hopper has just departed for Athens ...

Cloudy Sunday morning ...

Still airs and grey skies overhead ...

Still mild though, southerly breezes. Probably going to get some rain today. That's the forecast but that can be wrong, it was the other day. We enjoyed the sunshine these last few days, even though it's been a bit breezy from the south.

On Saturday afternoon, and two black swans were swimming in the harbour. Getting lots of attention from the locals, as they cruised up and down in quite choppy conditions.





Fish soup for lunch today, maybe some home made bread too ...

Covers off in Brisbane, the sun is out again. England about to go 1-0 down in the Ashes series ...

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

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A taste of the sea ...

A trip to the fish market tonight ...


Sunday lunch for €5 ...

Friday, 22 November 2013

Now the storms have passed ...

The sun is shining again ....

Last nights storms passed us by, and the afternoon cleared to a beautiful sunny day. Well what better way to try to clear the wheezy chest, than to resort to alternative medicine ...


It was a real scorcher in the sun, So some Apostolakis tsipouro, with Anchovies, Langoustines, Codfish, Tuna, and Calamari ...

OK I am feeling sun-kissed, and a 'lot better' but the damned chest cold is still there.

Best not mention the cricket ...

Late update: Excellent link posted to me by Janeybos - The Tsipouro story - here

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Extreme Weather Conditions, Nov 21st-22nd 2013 ...

A severe weather alert has been posted by Keep talking Greece ...


The alert is for today 21st and tomorrow 22nd November.

You can read the details here ...




Later update:

The storms passed us by, but this is what happened in Rhodes ...


Ashes ...

A man has to do, what a man has to do ...


The Ashes - 1st Test match at Brisbane, watching from 'a green island in the aegean' ...

England playing well, good toss to loose today. This is the wicket that may shake the series up.

Michael Clarke - ct. Bell b. Stuart Broad

At tea the Aussies are 153-6 or 82-4 since lunch ...

Great fight back, by the Aussies with a 100 partnership. Take the new ball Captain ...

Result - two more wickets ...

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Day of the Panagia ...

Rain from 04:30am ...

Not the best start to the day, nor for me either. Juniors cold has worked it's way through the house. Just when I thought I had it beat, it's laid me low again. Last night SWMBO said, I sounded like Darth Vader without the mask.

No Panagia for me this year - Grounded ...

The rain has been heavy at times, with distant rolling thunder. There has been some nasty weather in the Mediterranean, these last few days, even a cyclone over Sardinia, that system is heading into the Adriatic, putting Venice in danger. Plenty of snow for the alps too.

Our current bad weather crossed the mainland overnight, hopefully loosing its energy as it passed. The Ionian islands, beautiful in summer, are a desolate place in winter. Our weather system should head east. Still we have a damp few days in prospect ...

Friends in the Platanias valley, that's not another tremor - Its just me coughing ...

08:30am and the rain has passed over towards Skyros ...


Proteus is loading for its trip to the mainland ...


Junior arrived at School, everyone being briefed by the teachers, to collect their children at 11:00am for today is the Panagia. The baker told me to take two loaves today, they are closed tomorrow, for the return of the icon - Panagia day two ...

The Skiathos Calendar by Betsy Barnard mentions ... 

Panayia Kounistra (The presentation of the mother of god in the temple, 
i.e. when she was taken to serve in the temple as a child aged about 12) 

On the morning of the 20th the miraculous icon is brought up to the top 
church and taken out of the town about 2.30. The bells ring in town at about 
1.00. People follow on foot on the old road to Kounistra. At the monastery 
of Kounistra an evening service, all night vigil, bonfires food, much 
feasting. Buses run to the monastery all evening. 

Early next morning, about 5am the icon is taken back along the old road to 
town, people following on foot. To Ayia Triada about 8am, down the old paved 
road to the Kalo Pigadi and along the main road to the Tries Hieraches. 
Service 9 - 10.30 ...

The weather held off, and in sweltering sunshine, the villagers started their way to Kounistra. The Icon made its way up to Acropolis, many of the old ladies were getting the first honour of carrying the Icon ...

The gunmen start the Panagia off with a bang ...

Not a good day to be a seagull ...
Vasilis our Butcher, ensuring things are done correctly ..
Pappa Yorgos ...
The people of Skiathos ...

Friends are pleased to see you ...
The icon passes from one villager to another ...
The Lady passed the icon to her Grandaughter
here with the Mayor Nikos Plomaritis ...
The Icon ...


Now the icon is on its journey, the clouds have started to build. The picnic baskets and candles will need to be kept dry tonight, as many of the villagers will stay at Kounistra until the morning, when they return to town with the icon ...





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

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Haircut ...

The time has come ...

Must be winter, had my last haircut today, next one will probably not be until spring 2014 ...

Skiathian - April 2014 ...
It's not been a bad day today however more rain on the way for the next few days. Tomorrow is the Panagia Kounistra, the walk across the hills, serenaded by the men with guns at Acropolis ...

Schools and offices close by midday, and its an island holiday until Friday ...


Monday, 18 November 2013

Hint of promise ...

Of a better day today ...

9am: Its nippy but there is blue sky around. It may be a better day today.



You can see the weather is better again today to the south. A sunny day down there again, whilst we have been under the grey clouds.

I opened the door this morning, to take Junior to school - Still coughing after one week. I nearly fell over a pile of wood, left by my neighbour. As I picked up the bag the door opened up the street, and there she was, waving to me.

The wood has probably been on the doorstep since 5am, and she has probably been watching over it since then. Hanging on the door, a bag of sweets for junior. How's that for a neighbour ...

Junior waving to her, calling out a 'Kalimeera' and sending a blown kiss, before running off down the street, to school.

Every year my lovely neighbour, leaves wood on the doorstep, usually for me to cut for her. Negotiations will have to take place about this delivery too. I usually return small logs, to her doorstep, for her tiny woodburner.

I made a new friend today, here he/she is ...


Hello, I am cute take me home ...
A little shy but a very young kitten, fluffed up against the chill.

All in all, its not been a bad start to the day ...

Later a tour of the ring road tool shops, actually some great advice and a point in the right direction. A swift sprint to carrefour, and met up with my friend Stamatis in aisle two. Back to his place for coffee, on the terrace in intermittent sunshine, and a look at his new chimney system.

Strangely still leaning at an acute angle, this time bolted that way and still leaning against the roof. This time its a more robust chimney. Its bigger and wider than before, and as its insulated with shiny aluminium - Its probably reflecting light across town like a huge sundial ...

Tomorrow we meet up to have fun with a ladder, who knows what will happen next ...

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

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Wooly ...

You would need one today ...

Grey cotton wool clouds, seemingly weighed down over the island again. Everywhere seems dark and dismal, compared to the retina burning light of summer.

It's very breezy this morning, everyone in winter coats, to keep out the cold. Many walking or riding mopeds with handkerchiefs held over their mouths, to keep cold air out of your chest. Seems strange, but try it, it does work. At least it has not rained for a few hours.

We all have an image of the island, as eternal summer when you view it from afar, with holiday photographs. When you live here it does not take long to find out, that's not always the case.

When I moved here, it rained or was wet for around six weeks.  When the sun comes out we are like sunflowers and enjoy its warmth, if we can get a position out of the wind to enjoy it.

This morning that will not be the case, but at least the woodburner, did its job again last night. The stones are warm, and its feeling cosy in the house, against the chill outside. Many on the island loiter in the coffee shops, just to keep warm, cherishing a glass of water. The owners ever hopefull they will actually order a coffee, on days like this ...

Someone said the other day, why do you fancy an English pudding, you are on Skiathos. Well honey sets like concrete in cool weather, and you cannot eat balaclava bricks all winter. Likewise the puds and meals of northern climates are amazingly suited to island life in winter. Stews can be made and last a couple of days, follow the Greek principle. Food cooked today tastes even better tomorrow.

I fancied some fish the other day, needless to say the trawlers have been in port ever since. Same again today it seems. Shame as I now have the fish stew meze recipe, from my favourite ouzeria.

Lovely fresh vegetables available in Papadamatis street, as the island enjoys its second spring. Lettuce, spring onions, dill, parsley, leeks, the last of the aubergine and peppers, the first broccoli, and cabbages, both red and green.

A good time to eat healthy, especially with the winter coughs and sneezes. Junior is so good at bringing them home for us to enjoy.

Yes another 'good book, glass of red, and a bar of chocolate' kind of day - but as it means going out  to buy it. I think I will stay indoors ....


Friday, 15 November 2013

Still raining ...

Its a monsoon ...

Its really a wet one at the moment, heavy rain through the night, and again this morning. I nay have the first case of trench foot on the island this winter.

Not the best start to the day, first my glasses broke, then the mobile phone died, and I was caught in a torrential downpour in Papadamatis street - Onward and upward - The day can only get better from here.

Have a good dry and trouble free morning, wherever you are ...

11:30am

There is a tidal wave flowing down the street, and also one through the ceiling, into a neighbours house. All hands to the pumps ...

12:12pm

Its stopped raining (Only Joking) ...

Later update:

Well it finally stopped raining this afternoon. The ants with hobnail boots were not on the roof anymore. I made my way up to Carrefour, winter coat on to keep out the chill north wind. lt's now a sultana and walnut free zone. It must be the Christmas pudding makers.
It's much colder now, and tonight, the woodburner is doing its job once again ...

Thanks to Angela (amtgold) for a pudding recipe, yes no syrup either. I also laid my hands on some huge granny Smith Apple's. It's,as near a bramley as we are going to get.
Apple pie, or Apple crumble - tough decision ...

Ants jumping up and down up on the roof again ...

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sultana free zone ...

Seems the island is a sultana free zone ...

In summer the local Carrefour had loads of packs, of golden sultanas. They are really good, trouble is any kind of fruit in this house, dried or fresh is considered to be fare game, by SWMBO and Junior and devoured. Put them in the cupboard, find the wrapper in the bin a day or so later.

It's getting worse now, that junior can reach more or less anything, now that it's been discovered, that a chair makes a handy step ladder, as well as being good to sit on. Walk into a chair in front of the fridge, when you have just woken up, and you will know what I mean.

Last week, I bought bags of currants (allowing for some losses), and there were no sultanas in the shop. Currants have survived unscathed, as there were severe warnings put in place as to what would happen if taken.

Note: They may have been replaced, SWMBO did some shopping the other day, and they seemed eager for me to take out the rubbish lately. (Conspiracy theory)

Neither of the supermarkets seem to have them now, for around two weeks. Is it the pre Christmas cake and pudding rush ? Have sultana exporters frozen imports to Greece? Perhaps there is no room on Proteus for sultanas on the food truck, now that space is prioritised for food deliveries.

Can you make 'Bread and butter pudding' without sultanas ...

Now it's colder, I just fancy an English pudding, and for now am thwarted. Even an Apple pie is a tad difficult, no such thing as a bramley here. Greek apples tend to go to a pulp when cooked. Another thing you cannot get is suet. So Steak and Kidney pudding is off the menu too, and Jam roly poly.

At least I can make some custard, but for now better stick to bread making ...

Footnote:

Its still raining ...

Ist porridge of the winter consumed, damn good it was too. Thank you to the porridge runners.

One of my South African friends just became the 200,000th reader of the blog. Thats two 'Wembley stadiums' in old money. Truly humbled -Thank you all for visiting, wherever you are in the world ...

Later update:

Its probably been the wettest day of the autumn, so pleased the woodburner is fired up. No point going out unless you want trench foot. Full of cold, thanks to junior LLAP ...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Nice and warm ...

Well inside, cool and damp outside ...

The mighty woodburner roared into life this evening ...

The temperature in the house has cooled noticeably in the last week. Junior has imported a cold into the house, which has made its way through the household.

The time had come ...

After some final amendments to the chimney, we fired it up.

Heat ...

There is something about the way that the heat  from a wood fire is so good for the soul. My winter tasks of cleaning and feeding the beast, has begun in earnest. Tonight it has consumed the Norwegian wood, brought down by Stig. It also enjoyed the windfall from Koukounaries.

Instant drying for the washing, so SWMBO is happy, and a toasty feel in the house.

Its good to have the mighty woodburner back in action ...

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The earth moved a little while ago ...

M 4.8 - GREECE - 2013-11-12 18:09:27 UTC


Magnitude ML 4.8
Region GREECE
Date time 2013-11-12 18:09:27.0 UTC
Location 38.90 N ; 23.09 E
Depth 10 km
Distances 116 km NW of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 20:09:27.0 2013-11-12
57 km E of Lamía, Greece / pop: 47,246 / local time: 20:09:27.0 2013-11-12
6 km S of Oreoí, Greece / pop: 1,293 / local time: 20:09:27.0 2013-11-1

Revised as a ML 4.9

Shook the house here on Skiathos with a side to side wobble.
Quite an active location over on Evia ...


Broadside from mother nature ...

Looks like a wet few days ahead ...

Last night the thunderstorms started around 4pm. We received our fair share of rain, as well as the thunder and lightning, it went on for around six hours.

The last roll of thunder that I heard, before sleep took over - was like a broadside from a Battleship. Nature can be pretty impressive ...

This morning, the cloud is down the hill, never a good sign. The skies are grey, rather breezy down the harbour. Its a warm wind, and despite the grey clouds, the sun tries to break through from time to time.

Looks like it could be a wet one again later though ...


Monday, 11 November 2013

Ioannis bakes ...

A selection of Olive bread ...

A loaf baked in a tin ...
The pave ...
Tasting time ...
Now the problem is, that its disappearing as fast as I can make it. Its like we have a mouse in the house, only this one uses the bread knife, rather than nibbling away at the end of the loaf ...

This bread is moist and with a firm crust, and could have done with more olives. Its destined to be enjoyed with cassolet, a little later this evening.

I also have an idea what bread, to make for the next one too - Feeling adventurous ...

16:00hrs: Just in from a sprint back from school. Thunder booms out across the island, as dark skies deposit a sprinkling of rain upon us. A large band of thunderstorms passing through the Peleponesse, and Corinth this afternoon. Looking forward to that cassolet and perhaps a glass of red as a treat ...

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

Remembrance day ...

I attended the annual service down on the Paralia ...

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."

After 4 years and 97 days the guns finally fell silent today in 1918 ...

Its a shame there were not many in attendance there this year, but those who make the effort are appreciated. Those that did, we observed the two minute silence, with friends at 11am, on the 11th day, of the 11th month ...

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Lazy Sunday ...

Seems yesterdays post regarding cough mix, will be required soon ...

Junior had too much fun up in the hills yesterday, and has a chesty cold this morning. I had too much fun up in the hills yesterday and had a sleepless night. Must say though the Oak aged Tsipouro is really something else. Likewise the tsipouro made up at the Evagelistra monastery, is well worth a try ...

I felt well and truly stuffed, after a few glasses of some really first class, gold medal Gree wine, and a lovely fish lunch. Even today feeling a bit lackadaisical. Its been a bit of a grey day too, after yesterdays glorious sunshine. Juniors cold meant we could not attend a barbecue, with friends on the beach this afternoon either.

Early hours of the morning, this being the Remembrance weekend in the UK, I watched The Blitz - Londons firestorm. Its available on 4OD and made compelling viewing, having worked in the area covered by the film.

I rather like this photo, issued this morning and circulated by a number of agencies ...

The Cenotaph in London: We will remember them ... 
Here in Skiathos we will hold our own Remembrance service, tomorrow - Monday 11th November at 11:00am. Meeting in front of the Submarine Memorial ...

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Kale Spera ...

Good evening from Skiathos ...

After a lovely afternoon, a fish lunch, a glass (or two) of wine, organic tsipouro (the way forward) it really was a great afternoon (You know who you are) thank you ...

Sunset colours - 9th November 2013 ...
All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Coughs and colds ...

Its that time of year ...

Make sure you have some of this ready as the weather gets colder. A great recipe for sore throats and chest colds makes about 2 cups
  • 2 lemons thoroughly cleaned and sliced
  • 2 piece of ginger about the size of your pointer, and middle finger together sliced into coin size pieces
  • Honey (about 1 cup-maybe more)

1. In a clean 12 oz jar (2 cup size) distribute lemon slices and ginger.

2. Pour honey over it slowly. This may take a few tries to let the honey sink down and around the lemon and ginger slices. Make sure when the honey has filled in all the voids, there is enough to cover the top of the lemon slices by a smidge.

3. Close jar and keep refrigerated. The mixture will form a loose or runny honey. Add a spoonful with some hot water and drink as a tea. (If you have juicy lemons the mixture may turn runny but this is OK!).

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Let there be ...

Bread !

It looks like another cake, but in fact its my noble first effort, at a 'Tomato and Herb' bread ...


It was all made by my own fair hand, I have made home made bread before, quite successfully. Just what you need after some wet weather overnight. The only trouble with making your own bread, is that you want to keep on eating it.

This was great straight out of the oven. Lovely when toasted, and delicious with Olive oil, and Balsamic vinegar and a few olives.

Junior calls it 'Pretty Bread' ...

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

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Thunderstorm and lightning ...

Winter is supposed to arrive next week ...

However it did a pretty good job announcing its arrival, at around 04:15am with thunderclap that shook the house. A few intermittent thunderclaps, and the steady percussion of rain on the roof, that soon became a torrent. The street outside awash, and for once in a while the storm drains cleared through to the sea.

Still I am feeling pretty good, the freshly oiled shutters are closed, and doing their job.

The work list goes on, but the most important job of all has been completed, as my aching back will testify.

Ah yes - Skiathian is now ready for winter, which as I said earlier is apparently arriving next week (Despite what that brilliant flash of light, and booming thunderclap outside, that suggested to the contrary) ...

Olive wood really is quite attractive to look at ...
This was the first delivery, to the house around a quarter of a ton, and back breaking work it was, just to get it stacked nice, neat and safe. Each piece of olive wood, is between 30-40cm long., and a log can weigh as much as 8 kilos.

Later I had some more delivered for a friend on the island, that was rather hard work. I had to shift it twice to get it to the storage. Around 40 return trips, carrying logs - who needs gym membership. Now I can carry three or four, split logs at any one time, So naturally I dropped one big heavy one right on my foot.

It made me dance quite a bit, but luckily this time it missed my brittle metatarsals - They are OK, well for now at least ...

So the firewoods in, both here, and there, the wellies are ready by the door. Pappas Yorgos is ringing the church bells. Winter can start whenever it likes ...

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

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The postman ...

Parcel for you Ioannis ...

So off to the post office, with a spring in my step.
Has juniors missing package finally arrived (Day 28)

The postmen say - Your parcel has arrived!
Excellent - Bravo - Joy all round.

Er thats not it, thats something else, I say ...
Look posted 28th October, here 4th November

What is it then they say?
I will have to go home and check - and stagger towards the door ...

Home and time to open it ...

What can it be ?

A box of Polystyrene foam and carpet underlay!

Hang on a minute ...

Its emergency rations sent from a foreign land ...


Thank you Steve (LancasterkebabMan) for the beer, Mint Balls and Kendal Mint cake.  Will look forward to testing this at altitude in the forthcoming weeks. The bottled delicacies will be saved for a later date. Probably next month the annual Birthday & Christmas combination ...

Thanks too, Malcolm (Educator) for the reading material, again will enjoy this by the fireside, along with the book from summer.

Truly touched and amazed, by friends of the blog's generosity over the last year. The parcels and packets have made all the difference, to our 'life on a small island in the aegean'.

You all know who you are, thanks again to you too ...

Footnote:
Happy Guy Fawkes night, tad breezy here on the rock for fireworks tonight ...


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

Monday, 4 November 2013

War Hero in my family ...

I actually watched some TV on Saturday night ...

I forsook Strictly and stumbled across he last few minutes of a programme, about The Great Escape on Channel 5. Just those few minutes of which were so interesting, I was truly miffed that I had missed the rest.

I tried to get to Sagan for my birthday a few years ago. The weather intervened, and its not much good tramping through the woods to see the memorial in a blizzard, and when they are buried under 30cm of snow. Let alone escape from a tunnel like those brave men did one night ...

Next up was War hero in my family again captivated, as David Gower and Sara Cox, discovered with historians, what their relatives had been doing, as brave young men back in 1944.

I had been doing just the same, some reseaching about my father, just a few minutes before the programme aired.

So this is my discovery, made on the internet, just before the TV programme. My father was serving on HMS Wager - Prince Phillip (of Greece) the first officer on HMS Whelp. Prince Phillip is married to someone important in Blighty, cannot remember who ...

HMS Whelp - HMS Duke of York - HMS Wager
Whats it all about ? - Well the newspaper cutting, is of part of the 'British South Pacific fleet' the British representatives at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945. Yes my father was there just as he told me he was.

He told me stories which I wish that we had captured, in writing, whatever happened to the photos.

He told me about depth charging submarines. Nearly drowning at Trincomalee Ceylon. The junks armed with machine guns, that popped out of the side of the boat as you drew near. Suicide attacks by Japanese aircraft, crossing the line ceremonies, overseen by Neptune, and meeting Americans at Guam.

I joked with Trevor last night on FB about the photo, he asked 'if it was from the war, and was Uncle Albert there'. Strange thing was 'Uncle Albert' flew a Lancaster, he got a DFM, and a mention in the London Gazette. I cannot imagine having done anything like, what they did, myself at the age of 21 ...

War hero in my family, guess now we will never know ... 

Footnote: 

I sent a tweet to David Gower, on twitter, last night with the photo above, after all we had something in common. His Uncles having taken a major part in the D Day landings, in 1944. I had thoroughly enjoyed sharing his experience on TV. 

His 7000+ followers on twitter now know my father did something too - Thank you David for sharing that with your audience ...

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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hybrid solar eclipse - 3rd November 2013 ...

Video explaining the solar eclipse of Nov 3/2013 ...

It seems we will be able to observe a partial solar eclipse a little later this afternoon.

Keep talking Greece advises it will be visible at the following times

Athens:  3:08 pm – 4:05 pm
Thessaloniki: 3:16 pm – 3:47 pm

So Skiathos 3:12pm - 3:56 pm 'ish' then ...


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Morning start ...

Up in the hills ...

Time for a water run, to top up the tanks. Pre dawn it was definitely very dark, rabbits taking flight at my approach. The spring has slowed quite considerably now autumn is here. It took ages to top up the bottles, but I got there in the end.

The sky lightened to reveal large clouds, these have parted from time to time to allow us a blue sky. It seems like its going to be a grey day though, as clouds build from the mainland. Its cool, but too warm to put something thicker on.

On the way down the alp, a pheasant took flight, in front of me. I swerved left and right, and he lives to look down a gun barrel another day. Looks like we will still have to make do, with chicken for Sunday lunch though ...

Into Danos bakery, on the ring road, for some lovely warm bread with a crisp crust, fresh from the oven. Very tempted to just eat it myself, its aroma was amazing.Two nice apple boxes, relocated for winter kindling supplies ...

Early morning in Papadamatis street, and the vegetable sellers were setting up their stalls. The fish seller also setting out 'yesterdays' catch for sale. He sold all but a nice sized red snapper by the time that I returned, but at €20 a kilo, he seemed destined for a very nice lunch.

Later, I met a couple who are here on holiday, they like it so much have returned for an autumnal walking trip. I do admire the out of season visitor, going the extra mile to enjoy the island. Never having been here out of season, they flew down from Manchester, had a four hour wait and over to the island on the hopper. They said the connection was perfect, allowing time to relax, with a beer before flying over ...

Very much as earlier mentioned its been a grey day, and this evening its again cooler. However with winter approaching the island is alive to the sound of men working with chainsaws. Having delayed a delivery, with the promise of better weather, it seems tomorrow is going to be the delivery day.

Another step nearer the mighty woodburner roaring into life ...


Friday, 1 November 2013

Kalo Mina - Νοέμβριος

Good Month to the fans of the blog, καλό μήνα σε όλους ...

Feeling rather tired after a sleepless night, not the best start to the month. A coffee with friends yesterday afternoon, the likely culprit. However its been a predominantly grey day today - unlike the sunny days of October (Yesterday) So I have crossed town a few times on the paper trail, we so enjoy here.

Home alone today as SWMBO is in Volos. Highlight of the day on the afternoon school run, Junior said to me the lunch I had made - Meatballs in a tomato sauce, was 'delicious' - wonder if 'The Observer' need a junior food columnist ...

I must admit that the feedback, was quite a surprise, OK they were actually not bad at all. So I am feeling quite good about myself after that. Rewarded with a few hours at the playground, Junior certainly having a lot of fun.

Proteus came into view, just as we were inspecting the days catch, down at the fish market. A kilo of prawns, are €3 at the moment. There were some small rays like thornbacks, some large mackerel, small hake, around 30cm long which are called codfush here. As always plenty of squid, both large and small.

Plenty of locals taking away the days catch to enjoy at home, however nothing that really took my fancy.

From Sunday the Proteus is our only ferry, it will be quite busy indeed. Nice to see those leaving the boat were well stocked with goods.

One friend came down the ramp clutching a young lemon tree, with fresh lemons swinging too and fro. He was very pleased with the tree, and said it was destined for a balcony pot. I told him he needed to get out more, and suggested a rendezvous with the lemons and some gin ...

Pappa Yorgos passed by, he said hello, after a 'busy afternoon'. Not quite sure what he made of Junior shouting 'Daddy look its your friend' though, but he did smile.

Back home indoors SWMBO and Junior, said whats to eat? There was freshly made tomato soup, and bread, I had to pop out for half an hour.

It was later, that I went to try some of the soup, only to find the saucepan, had been completely drained, and two rather guilty faces, were enjoying a bag of popcorn for desert ...