Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The twilight hours of another year ...

Another year slips slowly away ...

So until next year Καλή χρονιά! (Good year) to friends and family near and far. To Sifnosman and Barty the Parianos, and the guys over on Skopelosnews - and especially to those of you, who I have met this year - either in person, or friends who are in regular touch via the blog.

As we start 2015 it will have its own challenges, not least for SWMBO. She starts her Chemotherapy treatment in the next few days. Many of you have been in touch, and supported her, both financially and with such heartfelt messages of support.

We know its not going to be a great year for us, but we thank you, along with the hundreds that visit 'The Skiathian' each day, for making it all worthwhile ...

Skiathian, SWMBO &  Junior
Usually on 'a small island in the aegean' and all the best for 2015 ...

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

How was your Christmas ...

Ours was great - just too much fun ...

The laptop has not been much fun though, it's been in for repairs. So now they are completed, we are back online - for now at least.

Christmas eve was about food, 'eat drink and be merry' Spending Christmas with friends, following their traditions.  Lovely fresh fish from my early morning trip to the fish market the previous day. Where I bumped into a great friend of the blog, JH on just about the busiest day of his year ...

JH with a fruit of the sea ...
Friends in Skiathos - This is a 'codfish' (Hake) ...
Well I did not quite bump into him, I had been planning it ever since we had to change our plans, the week before. SWMBO having been in Volos, has been lost deep in thought, Did we stay at home, and rebook the ticket, rather than loose them? When would be able to use them again ?

SWMBO decided, let's enjoy Christmas. Her friend Joanna, had said 'please come' ! So decision made off we went. Must admit it was a hectic few days, SWMBO in Volos, at the hospital, me at home, packing, and junior having been unwell too ...

I had brought JH something to enjoy over Christmas, and he was surprised to see me, just after 6am. It was great to see his office, I really enjoyed wandering around, seeing the fish from all over the world. So many people buying fish and shellfish for their Christmas meals. He said it had been crazy since 3am ...


I returned to base, and watched the sunrise from the top deck of a London bus. Rather different from Taxiacharis, Where the sun should be rising south of Skopelos at the moment.

We had a great Christmas eve meal. It consisted of 12 courses rather like a meze. It included some lovely fish, and shellfish from my early morning trip ...


Quite an amazing Christmas day we had. We went with our friends to their church with them, at lunchtime. When we left, we were introduced to many people, Then invited to have Christmas lunch, with Joanna's future brother in law, and his family.

Amazing hospitality, a delicious meal, and a great fish dish, followed by lovely cakes.


Then later we went back home, only to do it all again - Our hosts had guests on the way ...



Boxing day, and as Malcolm the famous 'educator' asked - What do non pugilists do on this,day? I replied 'get sloshed in front of the TV, watching the racing' ...

He asked my opinion, as usual it was hopeless. The horse I picked was the one he liked. Poor Malcolm, his choice was doomed. It went from second to fourth in the final furlong - at least it did not fall over...

Later we headed out into the gathering storm to the west end, to see the lights, rather windswept, and very wet we enjoyed our evening out. Junior upset we did not have any of the snow, that they had elsewhere. However we did meet someone else ...


SWMBO & Junior are having a great time. Junior has some new friends, and SWMBO has relaxed, Medical problems behind her for a few days at least.

Me I am catching up with friends and workmates, more about that later.
Eat drink and be merry, yes I know what that is, all about now ...

Back home in Skiathos, it's snowing. I should have placed the bet with William hill ...

The island is waking up to a white dusting this morning. More on the way over the next few days. Nikos Pascalis is reporting a temperature of -5 at Xanemos ...

Hope everyone is keeping warm, back on the rock ...

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Quality time ...

Christmas eve is upon us ...

I am spending some quality time with SWMBO & Junior. Like many who live on the island, you can feel the claustrophobia at Christmas time. The exodus from the islands to the mainland, can make it a very quiet time on the island.

This year it been great to enjoy the seasonal activities, the bazaar, the lights, the Christmas village. The island has really made an effort this year. Likewise in Volos on the mainland, much effort in what are very tough times in Greece.

You know that SWMBO has had a tough few months. The last week she had some very upsetting news, we have again, some very tough times ahead to deal with.

This in mind, we had planned for some time, for SWMBO, to see her mother. Unfortunately the second leg of the flights, had priced us out, by the time we got the results.

So we have taken up the offer to see friends for Christmas ...

Junior is having a great time, with our friends dog. We await the tooth fairy, as we do not know if the Skiathos one, has roaming coverage. SWMBO is enjoying the sights and looking in the shops.

Me I had a great time surprising a great friend of the blog, and 'Skiathos mate' yesterday, on his craziest working day of the year ...

So for a few days Skiathian, is going to be doing something different, and spending time with friends, and his family. Before SWMBO starts the treatment ...

Enjoy your Christmas wherever you are, I hope it's a great one.

Happy Christmas, One and all ...

Monday, 22 December 2014

A message from Teo ...

Dear Members and Friends,

On behalf   of the Board of the Cultural Association "Skiathos"
Wishes for health and optimism!

To 2015 completed 10 years of action of the Cultural Association "Skiathos"
10 years of action for  the protection of the environment, cultural heritage and support financially weak. With the financial support of members and friends, the Association has implemented more than 250 actions.

Please find below a collage with photos of the most important actions.



With the start of the new year will receive information about the course of our actions.

Warm Wishes
The Board
www.syllgos-skiathos.gr

------------------------------------------------------

Thank you all for your kind wishes on the occasion of my birthday.
As someone once said, 'Another year older, a new one just begun' ...

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Χρόνια πολλά για μένα ...

Happy Birthday to me ...

In accordance with my own tradition, I am having a day off. So will be off for a nice cup of Mint tea, and a slice of cake, with SWMBO & Junior some time later.

Happy winter solstice, it's a Sunday, so that reminds me. The sun will soon start climbing in the sky again. It will soon be summer again ...

Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are ...

Friday, 19 December 2014

Tonight - International Women's Club - Skiathos ...

A message from Amanda ...

FRIDAY 19/12 5pm-8pm - International Women's Club - Skiathos
Skiathos Waterfront @ Santa's Little Houses

"It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ....... "


Please join us for a taste of our traditional Christmas things....


GLUEWEIN, HOT CHOCOLATE, HOME-MADE SWEETS & SAVOURY BITES.....
our traditional 'STEFANIA &GARLANDS (see below) will be for sale.


All proceeds are for local needs.


We hope to see you .... & Merry Christmas!

If you want to see more of whats been going on at the Christmas village, it opened last night, See yesterdays updated blog post here ...

ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΗ 19/12 5μμ-8μμ International Women's Club - Skiathos
Παραλια Σκιάθου - Στα Σπιτακια του Αγ. Βασιλη
"Αϊ Βασίλης έρχεται..................."
Θα χαρουμε πολυ να μας κανετε παρεα - να απολαυσουμε μαζι τα παραδοσιακα ροφηματα μας (ζεστο κρασι & ζεστη σοκολατα) με σπιτικες λικουδιες ....
Συνγχρονος, θα εχετε ευκαιρια να αγορασετε κατι απο τις χειροποιετες γυρλανδες & στεφανια (δειτε απο κατω!) ... οπως παντα, τα κερδη μας δινονται σε τοπικη αναγκη.
Σας περιμενουμε .... ΚΑΛΑ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΑ ΣΕ ΟΛΟΥΣ!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Christmas village, at the Old port ...

Will be officially launched tonight, Thursday, December 18th at 8 pm ...

There will be Christmas carols, sung by Skiathos ladies.    

The Christmas village has been, created in the old port. In the area where there was the old playground. There are 6-7 houses, the nativity manger, a christmas tree, and the house of Santa Claus.Where there will be the mailbox of 'Saint Nikolaos' where the children will post their letters.

During the holidays there will be music, and festive Christmas music each evening from 5pm to 8 pm, The cafes and ouzerias, in the port will offer their products, with a 15% discount to all residents,

The events will be held until January 6th ...

Source: Skiathos-news

Earlier news: There was a lovely Salmon pink sunrise this morning, as the Proteus ferry departed for Volos ...

Late news:

That was a lot of fun, what a great night that was. Carols, around the christmas tree, children by the nativity, The Paralia was packed in front of the christmas village, Hundreds of locals, young and old alike turned out on a cool crisp night to enjoy the fun

Santa Claus or Vasilis as he is known here, arriving by boat with presents from Lapland - Well we live on an island, and there no snow for the sleigh to land on yet ...



Fireworks lighting up the sky over the harbour, with the accompanying explosions echoing across the town. (Two big explosions from the mainland quarry, rocked the island during the day)


Santa or Vasilis even made a speech, to the crowds, the children and adults alike loved it ... 


Traditional (Skiathos) songs were performed by a choir, and then the children from Gigi's dance classes performed for the crowds.


What a great night indeed ...

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Calendars, and Islanders - Date for the diary ...

Its been a busy day for me ...

Tonight is Juniors 'school celebration' for Christmas, So the children have been given the day off to prepare for their evening performance.

My Invitation ...
Mums are busy preparing cakes and biscuits for the after show party. It will be interesting again to see if the local widows are in the first two rows again, and make a swift exit for the buffet like last year with 10 minutes to go ...

Earlier this year the trick at the last get together (OXI Day), was to stack your plate, and run for home. These were mums who had children at the school, but filled the larder - for reasons of their own ...

Junior is battling another chesty cough, we have been to see our excellent paediatrician at the Skiathos health centre. Hopefully we will be 'fit to perform' later. Likewise we cannot afford for SWMBO to pick up an infection before she sees the Doctor again ...

Calendars - Its that time of year ...



The Retired Seamen's Association of Skiathos 2015 calendar is now available, here on the island.
If you want a copy - €5 plus P&P - I have another 10 reserved with Vasilis our friendly butcher in Tries Hieraches - If you want one, then please let me know quickly, you can contact me here ...

This year its theme is colour photos/prints of sailing ships, and has been printed in both colour & Black and White. If you purchased one for this year (2014), I have already sent you an email - Check your inbox/spam folder. Thanks to those who have been in touch. If you have ordered one - Its purchased and will be on its way in the next few days ...

Island news: A message from Amanda to fellow island exiles ...

This Friday Evening 19th December,

The (Foreign Females' Freedom Federation aka International Women's Club - Skiathos) will be spreading some Christmas cheer, in one of the spitakia (Our lovely new pine 'German style Christmas market' stalls) on the Old Harbour. 

Join us for a gluewein!

Not to be missed - Yammas ...

PS - No photo of the spitakia - its tipping down out there ...


Monday, 15 December 2014

It certainly feels like Christmas ...

Festivities were getting going this weekend ...

As is usual for this weekend of the year, the skies started to clear and the rain stopped. It all started on Saturday with the first of the children's parties, this being held at the primary school. We spent the evening at the children's activity centre - Joyce 'n' fun along with a number of Greek families. 

Then on Sunday in clear skies as usual, we had the annual Christmas bazaar at the Gymnasium school. Its one of the great social occasions of the year, organised by the International women's group. Many people spending a lot of time, preparing cakes, ornaments and delicacies for sale, to support the event. 



The children spend a lot of time too, either making cakes or things to sell,  or trying to raise funds with the sale of the school calendar. Anything they sell goes towards organising, and paying for a school excursion.


The Skiathos sailing club stand ...
Once again the Scouts seemed to be really involved, and certainly the ladies who look after the play area classroom, deserve a mention. The noise and excitement, aided by sweet rewards for the children is certainly a busy class. 




Loved the face painting stand where queue management, was enforced by a ticketing system. I hope Carol gets her voice back soon, It was far busier than any airport friday ...

Vicki doing a great job ...
SWMBO spent a lot of time thanking people for their support. It was the place to meet and greet. Junior had a great time with friends. Gigi's dance classes put on a great display once again.


Then once the display was over, the ladies all started dancing - A Skiathos flashdance ...



Then you had an option, Cake or Souvelakia. The senior school boys and girls running a very efficient souvelakia stall once again ...


In the end I met up with SWMBO in the coffee area, as she could not flashdance with all the mums and kids, and I enjoyed a 'glass or two' of the mulled wine ...

Video here by Skiathos aerophotography / aerofilming services ...

We left quite late, and on impulse decided to go for a tsipouro, After all it was a nice afternoon, and a great way to sit outside for an hour or so. Certainly it was a good idea, as some friends were at Kabourelia enjoying the 'same idea' ...

We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours, enjoying Julian's jokes, which seemed to go down very well with the meze - or was it the tsipouro, or was that later ...


So we headed home, agreeing too meet up again later. I lit the woodburner, watched as it took hold and warmed the room ...

...then not a lot more else, Waking up after the tsipouro induced 'sleep of the devil' - Some two hours after our agreed rendevous time - Will have to make apologies later ...

Elsewhere on the island, many of the Brits were enjoying the annual 'Christmas lunch' at Mylos, very good it was too by all accounts ...

Now to make plans for another trip to the mainland with SWMBO - crazy week ahead ...

Friday, 12 December 2014

Timber ! ...

Time to get the wood in ...

No easy task as whatever supplier you want to use, their supplies are wet from the deluge we have been suffering. So as my usual supplier could not be contacted, it was time to try someone new.

So through a friend, who has a friend, who turns out, to be the son, of a friend. The telephone lines buzzed and a potential delivery time, became a confirmed delivery time. This became an offered earlier delivery time - Probably he had spoken to his dad, But we were engaged in a cross town paper chase (Twice across town yesterday)

So at the appointed hour, (A dry day between foul weather days) a truck appeared, just as I was changing a light bulb. Having navigated the street, He had to back out and do it again. Then truck pointing in the right direction, We set about unloading it all.

So first you get it inside the house, our friend asks where is the cellar. A question I am often asked, one that I would love to ask the man who built the house. The probable answer, there is a very large and impenetrable rock under the house.

So you throw it all in from the truck, onto SWMBO recently 'lovingly cleaned' floor ...

This process is designed by me to awaken, any scorpions, or other infestation hiding away in the wood pile.


Then you pay the man, as you are both sweating profusely. He needs to go and have a beer - or do it all again somewhere else. Then you find you cannot shut the door, so relocate part of the woodpile, so that you can. 

Its at times like this you appreciate, that the woodman has cut all the logs to an apprpriate size for the woodburner. I will not have to chainsaw up any of this delivery ...


Then you pop out to collect Junior from an after school activity, just as the skies darken and threaten to deposit another deluge of rain upon us

Then on my return, sort out, and start to stack the wood. I split the delivery three ways. 
  • Split logs
  • Round logs
  • Branches (For kindling)
In this process, I met two of the largest spiders, that I have ever seen. Having introduced themselves to me, I captured them, and introduced them to their new winter home, my neighbours tree.


Its a tricky job balancing and stacking the woods. There were a couple of minor landslides, the stack is inclined to topple over. You find a nice lump of olive, and gently knock the stacked woods - like nails back into a tight formation.

This is when your back starts to hurt, SWMBO comes to survey the situation, makes you a cup of tea, and makes a tactical withdrawal from the scene ...



The first row is now completed, then you sort the woods for the next row, and start stacking again. Keying the second row, into the first row. Its rather like building a wall. Then if you have done it more or less right, it should end up look something rather like this ...


So three hours later, I now have a sore and stiffening back. I had consumed two cups of tea, and torn the knee on my ancient jeans. T shirt saturated, as I had shifted a 1/4 ton of wood around four or five times. There had been three spiders, two huge, one small. No scorpions, some black ants which bite.

Stig and Pelle in Norway will be laughing at this - Its second nature to them. They are probably on their second tree of winter - JH I know how you feel. I 'Hake' being like this  ....

Then you spray the entire heap, with an entire can of ant & cockroach killer. Ensuring a thick application around the wall and floor where the pile is located. Any creepy crawly that touches the line of insecticide, will not proceed much further ...

This also happens to be one of just a few occasions, that SWMBO - Never castigates me for the state of the mopped floor tiles, the footprints or anything else ...

Later update:
Weather has been foul again overnight. The trawlers stayed in port again, due to the weather. The school run this morning, and the streets were awash. Looks like it will be much better from tomorrow. We do need some sun here on the rock, and it looks promising in that direction ...

Thursday, 11 December 2014

New word for the day ...

I learned one overnight - Weatherbomb ...

Its something affecting the UK, I seem to remember it being a regular occurrence, but if its online in the newspapers, it must be true.

In the USA they have the Pineapple Express making landfall, so its all happening across the globe.

Seems we have another one coming too ...


'Skiathos slammer' ...

Its a bit nippy here once again this morning, the clouds very low down over the hills. There is a distinct hint of windchill in the breeze. These could be the last two days of rough weather, before the sunshine finally returns ...

This is a photo of Tsepelovo, Zahorohoria ~ Epirus circulated this morning on twitter, Yes there is snow here in Greece ...

Photo - @Amazing_Greece
I was very pleased to get into the bakery for a warm up, after the school run. Further down PapaD the vegetable stall was doing a good trade. 

I looked in the back of the fish van, He has not been around much lately. However all he had was a couple of trays of prawns or shrimp as they call them here, and a few cutlets of something rather bony, and undiagnosed,

Perhaps the trawlers are not braving the elements, or is it more to do, with the recent full moon.

No fish for me today - again ...

PS: To my friend in the UK with a bad back, Sadly no Hake (Codfish) landed here big enough for a tray, to give you pain in the lumbar regions ...

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Little summer ...

A day without rain  ...

Well at least for now. Yesterday (Tuesday) was wet and very windy. It chilled you and soaked you almost simultaneously in the morning, later it was just cold and breezy. I just love that feeling of a raindrop descending and making landfall, via a building roof tile, straight down the back of your neck.

I made good use of my dwindling olive wood supplies last night, to keep us warm, and dry clothes. Outside the streets despite the strong breeze, were swathed in woodsmoke.

Its normal here in town to light the fires early, there not being a lot of sunlight to keep the interiors warm. My neighbours light theirs at 1pm, others though burn wood all day ...

This morning, I cut up the last of last years wood supply. Its now all bagged up ready for use. However still two logs remain to be cut up, as the process has blunted the mighty chainsaw. So its time for me to order some more wood. This has not been without its own difficulties, my phone having crashed this year, taking with it all my numbers, so I am trying a new supplier ...

As I type, a neighbour is hard at work with the chainsaw, Perhaps he took the lead from me ...

I have crossed town twice this morning, on the paper trail. No change there, and will do the same again tomorrow as its half day closing on wednesday, here on the rock.

'Virgin olive oil' being delivered around the streets to elederly neighbours, this morning. 15 litre drums the normal method of delivery. Its not been the best harvest year for the owners of olive trees, Many have lost a lot of the harvest to the poor autumn weather. Others have decided not to pick them, as the return is not worth the investment, on a reduced yield.

Sadly it looks like the supermarket will be our supplier, for the next two years. If this is replicated across Greece - Then watch the price of Italian Oil go through the roof. Much of Greece's harvest takes the ferry, and changes nationality once bottled ...

Only 15 days until Christmas day, Before that we have another stormy few days ahead, then it should be fine for the weekend, and the annual Christmas bazaar ...

Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas lights ...

The festival of St Nicholas on the 6th December, saw the great 'switch on' - here in Skiathos ...

A quiet affair here, but then he is the patron saint, of our neighbours over on Skopelos

Must say how nice it is to see an effort being made, with the Christmas lights this year, the ancient 'Blue Dalek' christmas trees, appear to have been 'exterminated' ...






Not too sure that the environmentalists, are seeing 'eye to eye' about the use of real trees, but they certainly look good ...

These photos were taken last night (Sunday) just an hour or so, before the rain returned. It has been a very wet start to the day once again.

The wellies are now available for rent, any takers ? ...

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The sun is out ...

Must be Sunday ...

The church bells, gave the game away earlier.  It was lovely to walk the streets to get the bread this morning. Sunlight reflecting off the buildings, taking your senses away from the damp feel of the streets.

I popped into the 'Fourneo' its going through a refurbishment. Still its open and the bread, from the ring road bakery is lovely, I could not resist picking up one of their delicious 'Olive breads' to go with the loaf ...

Simple breakfast ...
It had to be done, What do you think ?

Strolling onto Palio Limani, I could see a bank of fog, over near distant Evia. A silver strip reflecting the sunlight over a dead calm sea. Much closer and adjacent to me, there was much haste being made. 

Tables were being wiped down removing the heavy overnight condensation. Cushions appearing for outside chairs, Table cloths at Kabourelia, and screens being opened.

If all goes well, It could be a sit outside for a while kind of day ...

Further along, the locals were sitting outside their favourite kafenion. There was much discussion, laughter and friendly greetings. The sun has lifted spirits, as well as coffee cups, to the background rattle of dice on a backgammon board.

At Tries Hieraches, Papa Yorgos was busy undertaking the service. He was clearly audible across the church square, with a waft of heady incense on the breeze. A steady procession of ladies, well dressed mainly in black, making their way towards the church from all directions ...

Me - I was just heading home, with lovely crusty fresh bread. The Olive bread to be warmed to give off the scent of the oregano its been dusted, and baked with this morning.

Just another Sunday morning, all be it a sunny one for now, as the clouds start to build. 

Enjoy yours wherever you are - Good morning from Skiathos ...

Late News:

SWMBO has posted an update, you can read it here - then click on the Updates tab ...

Friday, 5 December 2014

Expresso and a Kourabiedes ...

A great way to start the day ...


It may be damp outside and sticky rain in the air. But this is a mighty fine way, to start your sixth year on the rock ...

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Ring-a-ring o' roses ...

Ring-a-ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down ...

'The rhyme has often been associated with the Great Plague which happened in England in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of the Black Death in England. Interpreters of the rhyme before the Second World War make no mention of this; by 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in the United Kingdom. Peter and Iona Opie, the leading authorities on nursery rhymes, remarked:

The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, and posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and "all fall down" was exactly what happened' (Wikpedia)

The Greek (Skiathos) version goes like this, and involves a telephone ...

You have to call Athens, to get some results for SWMBO. A friend offers to assist, and as they are Greek, they also have a much better knowledge of how the system works than you. So you accept gracefully.

Only - The other end of the phone line, they do not answer, Keep trying over a few days ...

Despite calling the number you have been given, It transpires that its the wrong one. Six different numbers later you get through to the right department, and the right floor of the hospital and have also by passed Tameio.

(Skiathos) Can I have the results of the tests, for SWMBO?
(Athens) OXI! - No! we do not give them out over the phone. You have to collect them here between 10am & Noon.

OK but we are in Skiathos.
We are 10 minutes from the metro.

Do you know where Skiathos is ? It takes a day to get there, and another to get back.
Skiathos ???

Can you fax them to me?
OXI! - No! we cannot fax results

Can you E Mail them to me?
OXI! - No! we cannot E Mail results

Can you Courier them to me?
OXI! - No! we do not use a Courier to send results.

Learned friend is getting more and more exasperated, and probably regrets offering assistance.

It turns out that (Athens) is not empowered to do anything other than answer the telephone, 'Call back in one hour and maybe someone in authority, can make a decision' other than 'You have to collect them here between 10am & Noon'

I suggested that we offer the use of a carrier pigeon, apparently that worked in WW1. One friend in PapaD remarked that is too modern a resource for some here (They were Greek) ...

So we go to the coffee shop and 'fall down' into the outside seat. Its cold and damp here, despite sunshine breaking through after last nights heavy rain. The clouds are down on the hills, and a nippy breeze blowing down PapaD.

The benefit of being there, we see lots of people all asking after SWMBO's health, and remarking how 'well she looks' which has lifted morale considerably with the patient ...

In addition I had an 'excellent cappuccino' whilst my own internal thermometer cooled rapidly ...

One hour later, and we return again only to be told by (Athens) 'You still have to collect them here between 10am & Noon' 

Learned & exasperated friend is going red in the face, and blowing a gasket down the telephone. It soon transpires no-one in authority has returned, to make a decision.
Call back again in 10 minutes ...

We go for another walk, I notice some people are now starting to avoid us. Perhaps they think you can catch cancer by airborne infection, from an affected party. I admit I now have a sniffle, and SWMBO is shivering - Very soon we will both fall down ...

So 15 minutes later, and as many after the time that the hospital office closes (Midday) for results, we call back again. I decided to stay out in the street, there was an area just out of the breeze - That was in full sunshine and radiated warmth, to my face but not my cold damp feet.

SWMBO emerges in a state of high anxiety - Like the man from Del Monte, they have said yes ...

I nearly fell over with the shock ...

Someone was going to switch on the fax machine, they will send the results to us today! I went inside trailing dirty wet footprints across the newly cleaned tiles. Our friends were putting up christmas decorations. To our left the fax machine burst into life. We looked at it in shock rather than expectation.

It cannot be ...

Out popped two sheets of paper, a header and the test results - The correct name too. We thanked our friends graciously and departed across my slippery footprints back into the street outside. We headed up the hill to see the guys at the medical centre.

The result of the free test, which has taken two weeks, and numerous phone calls, decisions required by higher authority, and use of a fax was just three words.

'Take another test' ...

Meanwhile ...

'Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat' But whats happened to the Blue Daleks ??

A real tree at Tries Hieraches ...
A real tree at the Bourtzi ...
Fairy lights on the street lights ...

In addition the Golden galleon at the top of PapaD has appeared, The illuminated Xronia Polla is hanging over the Bourtzi.

'Christmas is coming to Skiathos' ...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Olive Tree Will Always Be Here ...

My friends at Skopelos news, posted this the other day ...

Its too good not to share ...



I like it ...

Monday, 1 December 2014

Kalo Mina - Δεκέμβριος ...

Kαλό μήνα σε όλους - Good Month - December ...

Its the first day of Advent, and the last month of the year, just 25 days until Christmas, and 31 more until the quietest day of the year - New years eve, bar the shotguns at midnight. Yes it's December - the official month of acceptable daytime drinking. (Yes I meant coffee) ...

Well it's the season to be jolly. Some signs of seasonal cheer around the town starting to appear. Some nice window displays as one or two shop owners make an extra effort.


Christmas trees in quite a few of the house windows. Still too early for me though, but there is not a lot else to look forward too, before the exodus to the mainland - or further afield begins for the holidays in a few weeks time ...

The island hopper flight to Athens on the 14th is full, hope it fares better than yesterday evenings which was cancelled, unable to land it returned to Athens ...

We have not made any plans for Christmas, We are still in limbo whilst SWMBO awaits her test results. She did venture out yesterday afternoon for a short while, to meet a friend for coffee.

Last week the annual walnut delivery arrived at Carrefour, and were once again flying off the shelves. Ours being swiftly consumed by Junior shortly after we bought them on Saturday, Who loves them with a passion.

The Christmas decoration supplies (or whats left over from last year) have also appeared, with the seasonal sweets, including my favourites, the Greek Christmas Cookies (Kourambiedes) - Resistance is futile ...

The social event of the month once again is the annual Christmas Bazaar, organised by the International Women's Club. This should take place on Sunday 14th December (Date TBC) at the High school. The ladies are probably working very hard to make the arrangements, I did see them out and about in PapaD on Saturday.

A glass of mulled wine, souvelakia, and seasonal fare on what we hope once again, will be a sunny day. That's after the next batch of bad weather, heading our way, later this week.

I wonder if the blue daleks, our famous Christmas trees will re-appear, They seem to be in shorter supply each year. Perhaps the mother ship is beaming them up, rather like the christmas music that used to be piped down PapaD. The illuminated galleons, and dolphins will probably be back though.

This weekend has been milder, sunny on Saturday and grey with some brighter moments on Sunday after the early morning rain.

Its mild and still grey overhead, leaving the streets feeling damp again this morning ...

Late News: The delayed flight from Athens arrived just after lunch. Bargain hunters in Athens would have picked the flight up this morning at a €30 discount. It seems the 'Xronia Polla' sign has been hauled up into position, over the ferry office, at the bottom of PapaD.