Sunday, 31 August 2014

The last day of august ...

Crazy August is coming to an end ...

Waiters are resting tired feet, Papadamatis street is not as busy, shopkeepers are looking less stressed. Tonight after the ferries have departed, for the mainland, it will seem a lot quieter.

Another coach load, just departing for the mainland ...

Someone said to me yesterday "Its over, today is the last crazy day" one week ago, another said, "Now the seasons at an end" Greeks consider August to be the last month of summer.

It's also the last day in office, for our mayor Mr Plomaritis, tomorrow Mr Prebanzanos is back in charge.

The last few nights it's been cooler, on my way up the island its noticeable the heat has lessened, thanks to the Meltemi winds. It's pleasantly warm by day, with a gentle breeze. Clouds around in the morning, that vacate by lunchtime.

Tomorrow it's September, traditionally, when the weather starts to break. If we believe the forecast, then true to form Tuesday should be interesting. Not least because many of the tourists are checking weather apps, and making plans, just like our new mayor ...

Off for a swim later with junior, yes I deserve it ...



Saturday, 30 August 2014

The airport on English friday ...

Was a nightmare yesterday ...

Unless you travelled from Birmingham, Luton or Stansted. Everything else was late or very late. Many passengers sitting on the aircraft in the UK, when they should be sitting somewhere on Skiathos.

No parking available at JSI, due to missed slots, technical faults and that last essential visit to duty free.

Anyone left enjoying the airport view at East Midlands, Gatwick,  Manchester or Newcastle now knows why the airport her is being expanded. 25 flights yesterday arriving on this rock, the ones from the other countries made it in and out more or less to time.

The Munich flight, not staying overnight this week, affecting the Scandanavian flights today. The mighty condor breaking three tyres the other friday, is that a new record ...

A day of Hello and Goodbyes, hello to Leigh and Steve, Maureen and Dave (Just missed you at the airport) Steve the 'townboy' is here, Ken & Brenda who spotted me later (Ken - Junior says you are a good friend!) then the whirlwind of blonde plasma energy that is Suejet appeared and ran through the tables to give me an emotional hug ...

I said farewell to Stig, who by his own admission 'is not good at saying goodbye' safe journey back to Oslo today 'Stig Marti and Pelle' let me know if the 'cough mixture' made it home OK ...

I have been feeling really under the weather, for about four days, I think last night, the body had started to feel a bit better. Batteries recharged after the jump start from Sue. On the recommendation of the 'great sage' we treated ourselves - Well its crazy August and everyone who works here, knows what that has been like. Just a few days left before September ...

This was just what the doctor ordered ...
I have seen three sunrises this morning, One over Alonissos at 06:55. The sun an orange ball of fire in a tangerine sky. Then peaking its head over Skopelos from a different vantage point.Then later popping up over the pounta, hows that for a 'Good day sunshine' ...

Which is what we have in store, for a few days at least ...

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Under the weather -Take 2 ...

Skiathian is still feeling, under the weather ...

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Until then - Enjoy ...



I still prefer the Monty Python version, but this is brilliant ...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Easily led ...

Astray by the Scandies ...

Yes Scandies, not Norwegians, Pelle is from the dark side. I learned yesterday he is Swedish. Or as we used to say on the England football match days. He is a Swede, and not a Turnip ...

One thing led to another, and we undertook our own ice bucket challenge - Skiathos style. Recycling little glass bottles. The boys from Scandinavia know all about ice, this is bucket number 5 ...

Photo - Stig Tørnvall 
Our version is called the ark. Note they are all in a row two by two, which was about the time we went home - 2:22 ...

Photo - Stig Tørnvall 
Thanks to Pelle Marti and Stig, for leading me astray, a great night out once again ...

Later update, 18:38 ish ...

Lovely warm sunshine, slight breeze, legs are toasting gently in the evening sun. No idea what has happened to the local cicadas. No buzzing strum noise for some time lately. The swallows are not performing acrobatics either. The local pheasants are making their cluck noise like a turkey.

Special mention for the mum leading her teenage girls out onto the main road, by the Astoria. If you had looked the right way, you would have seen me. I am sure the girls had quite a fright, I did too.

It's now getting dark earlier, around 20:30 so if you are walking along the main road in Troulos. Please have a torch so motorists can see you. Likewise walk single file, not three abreast in dark clothing ...

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Under the weather ...

Skiathian is feeling a little under the weather today ...

Nothing to do with the humidity, caused by the clouds above. Just feeling dog tired, hope things improve shortly. I have an invitation to go out with the Scandies later this evening. Stig Pelle and Marti, may see Skiathian go face down in his meze, at this rate ...

Lets hope an afternoon nap, followed by a tepid shower (water company permitting) recharges, my flat batteries ...

It's cooler than of late, there is a breeze, and the intermittent cloud cover, is giving the island a grey day feel, on what is a 90% blue sky day.

The perfect option would be a hammock, and a good book. However replacement good books, are hard to find, many now rather forlorn, and threadbare, as so many now use e-readers. Can't see many leaving their trusty e-reader on the shelf or bar, for the next incumbents ...

Neither is an e-reader, good at balancing over the eyes, for that all important afternoon nap.

This Friday I am supposed to go to a concert, let's hope they do not have an effects Microphone. Or the sound of me snoring, May disrupt the ambience of the evening.

Sleepless in Skiathos zzz ....

Later update:

I watched a lovely smooth landing by Monarch Airlines G-MONK undertaking the MON5394 service from LGW. Sadly no camera but great to watch this afternoon ...

The Achladies set are back in town, James Fox, Laurence Fox, & Billie Piper are back on the rock. They flew in with the 'Duchess of Angeliki' this afternoon. Somewhat surprised at the red carpet, the actors were trying to keep a low profile, until they realised it was not for them.

Swiftly ushered through arrivals, with just a waft of expensive perfume, and a wave, as she stepped into a waiting Mercedes with blacked out windows - 'Pinkygirl' is currently residing on her favourite sun lounger, at the Angeliki, looking out to sea, over a very large cocktail - Welcome back Marg - enjoy your holiday ...

20:00hrs T minus 90 minutes, until Skiathian raises a glass with the Norwegian branch of the Boomerang club, Stig Pelle and Marti here on neutral territory ...


Monday, 25 August 2014

Skiathos fruits ...

When you have too many, what do you do with them ...

Now the oregano season is, almost over, the harvest has been dried and stripped from the stalks. Some have been blitzed and put into jars for later use.

I have not been able to get fresh sage. It's great at this time of the year. No time to get up into the hills to collect some. Drying it would be easy with the heat at the moment.


We have Apples, pears, figs a plenty at the moment. However unlike the lemons it's a short period when they are ripe. We have developed a taste for the fresh figs, which are delicious and so very sweet.


SWMBO has been busy, Fig cake anyone ?




Greeks like sweet fruits, they go very well with yoghurt as a dessert. So now we are trying making our own sweet fruits.




Apple compote, a pear compote, and an Apple pear and fig marmalade. I think the Skiathian 'figs in syrup' is the star of the summer, and hopefully the winter too ...


Here on the island we had some strange weather again. Meltemi Winds from 6am, towering angry clouds, to east and west, rays of sunlight bursting through them, as I visited the bakery this morning. 

Blue skies over the island itself. Later it clouded up, then the sun burned it's way through, and the Meltemi relented. Thankfully no rain as some sites were advising.

This evening the humidity is back, it's warm and that lovely feeling of sweat dripping down the back of your neck.

Yesterday the water was cut off in town most of the day, creaking infrastructure rather than a planned cut to save some of it. The island needs more water, it seems our fortnightly dousing is not enough ...



Over in Blighty, it seems your God (insert preference here), has nominated you for the ice bucket challenge craze that is sweeping the nation. 



Hope you enjoyed your bank holiday monday, and remembered to do everything in twos ...

Two cats two dogs two goats two sheep etc, as they all board the ark ...


Friday, 22 August 2014

Silly things to do on holiday ...

Every once in a while someone amazes you ...

I was speaking to someone yesterday, and they told me they had been to see the private doctor. Now a few euros lighter in pocket, and wearing a plaster. 

They volunteered the information of how and why they were now wearing the plaster. I was not really interested, but they wanted to talk ...

'I stood behind the plane at the airport today, as it took off and it blew me over'

I looked at the lady in disbelief, its one of my pet 'why the heck would you do that' things that I see here, and it amazes me to this day.

Can I ask you something? I said ...

She just stared at me and did not say a word.

'If I gave you £1000 would you stand behind an aircraft at Manchester, when it was taking off'?

'No' she replied

So why do you do it here?

'Everyone does it' she replied ...

'Well some do, but not everyone, the tour companies would run an excursion to do so - if it were a money spinner' but the H&S issues probably rules that out ...

The aircraft engines, (as they are accelerated) throw up small stones, like bullets. What if one of those were to hit you in the eye? They are even known to break car windows.' neat Kerosene exhaust is not exactly beneficial for the lungs either is it ?

'Oh I have insurance I will get my money back' she said diverting the conversation ...

What's the excess £25 I asked? (Expensive plasters)

'There were loads of people on Friday, when we were there'

The police are often called by ATC to move them away, I said ...

'Well they didn't then, or today, and if its dangerous, they should do something about it'

I thought - Daily mail reader ...

'They should put some signs up'

That confirmed it - Daily mail reader ...

What's wrong with the ones that are there?

'There aren't any' she said ...

I said 'You cannot miss them, they are two metres long, and one metre high. Either side of the runway'

Signs in Greek and English ...

'There are no signs just a traffic light, she said, and if there are, they should put them behind the planes, where we all stand as they take off''

So they can get blown into the sea, along with the rucksacks mopeds and everthing/everyone else ?

'Its fun' she said and wandered off ...

I love the aircraft, and that you can get close to them, you can see the pilots. Many of whom wave to the public at the end of the runway. I enjoy taking photos of them - when I have the time. 

Sooner or later though, someone will get an injury, from a stone. Its plain stupid for any sensible adult to want to stand behind a departing aircraft. Especially one containing 37400lb of thrust from each unit. They are designed that if they fail, they send the damaged bits of metal out the back - just where the guys wanting a 'bit of fun' are standing inhaling the fumes.

Is it me ? 'Sheeps head no brains' as someone once said ...


Thursday, 21 August 2014

An infinity blue view ...

This is where they get the name from ...

The sea and the sky almost became one today, its the sea version in blue, of a skiers 'white out' in the alps.


It really is a beautiful island, here what I call the 'United colours of Skiathos' ...


A little later and feeling hungry, I made a diversion. Near to the site of my Tarzan impression from last summer. The figs are ripening, and over-ripening on the tree. Its a shame to leave them there so you know what happened next ...

Kalomosika - Lush yellow figs

Then I saw some apples, well it was a shame to leave them there too ...


I shared them with some friends from Athens, the card school ...


The final day of their holiday, spent as always playing cards next to me - Kalo Taxidi ...

Later update:

Fresh fruits from Skiathos ...
Juicy sweet fresh figs ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2014. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

3 - 3 - 3 ...

It's been one of those days ...

Three litres of water in, three litres out through the pores, and three nutters ...

I have met some absolutely lovely people today, including amongst others, the 'SWIF with son' an EN&T doctor from blighty, and a special mention for the lovely Gerry and Norah who are stopping off here on another Aug/Sept Hellenic adventure. No doubt they will read this in October ...

The Skiathian has been run ragged all day. So looking back it's been quite a customer service testing kind of day.You get to meet all types here, and see relationships stretched like piano wire.

This morning whilst surrounded by all and sundry, one lady was giving me the verbal. I listened intently, and focused just over the shoulder at passing traffic. Eventually the pressure cooker run out of steam and "you said's" ...

I looked her in the eye, and said "I am sorry, I do not believe we have met" ...

'You see, I spoke to your husband, you were by all accounts, still in bed. You are not in full receipt of all the facts, but I am sure you will be, when he explains why you are 24 hours early'

'That's not the point' ...

'Well actually it is, that's what we had agreed, and I said, I would call you tomorrow. When we are able to resolve the issue' ...

Later I met a migrating resident, extremely rude, and probably a specialist in colonic issues. That's because that's the location, where their head was firmly located. Most people from that part of the world are charming, however there is always an exception to the rule ...

This evening, I watched as a Brit was executing the slowest manoeuvre known to mankind. Their hire car stuttering along in the wrong gear, stalled on the junction. OK Its not their fault but the gears and everything are in the wrong place. The locals, Greek and probably Italian too, were getting rather musical with the car horns.

Our friend shouted out of the window, at someone. They could not deploy the Hellenic shrug, due to the closenes of the steering wheel, to owners belly, and that they were leaning out of the window, so executed the perfect Hellenic finger instead. Rendering the Liverpudlian type muted in stunned silence ...

Ok it's not as warm as it has been. However it's still getting a tad warm under the collar, out here on the streets.

Crazy August continues unabated, here on the rock ...

Later update:
Happy clapping continues at the taverna, and Zorba was 3 minutes early at 21:27 this evening ...

Papadamatis - Readings from The Murderess ...

Check out the page on this link - Papadamatis - Readings from The Murderess ...

NOTICE OF D.E.Y.A.S.

NOTICE OF D.E.Y.A.S. 

Inform the residents and visitors of Skiathos that the water pumped from the only source of water supply water network observed severe signs of deficiency.

If they confirm the D.E.Y.A.S. will perform a scheduled vacation water with all its attendant for everyone.

To avoid this from now permitted or drinking water only in absolutely necessary uses (which 
should likewise be made ​​sparingly) and prohibited uses such as watering, washing cars, roads, etc..

Possible non-compliance will result in a large consumer of fine service and the police which has been contacted. Skiathos, August 13, 2014

In other words save water, or supplies will be cut for everyone ...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Every day in every way ...

Things are getting better and better ...

Unless you are a donkey, this is a Santorini version


He trudges his way daily up and down from sea level, to the town above. Carrying people who are too unfit or rich from the excess food they consume on cruise ships, to the town above the caldera.

The 'Skiathian' version climbs the steps on foot, as a beast of burden. He emerges breathless in the heat, trying to locate a room in the wilderness. He knocks, the door opens and is met by an Italian lady covered in bling, immaculately dressed, and drenched in perfume.

Then looking over her reading glasses, at the Englishman, thinks her nightly prayers have finally been answered. It was my toughest assignment yet ...


Somehow I made it back unscathed, and without breaking a leg, on the 300 or so steps back to sea level. I do love the Italians, they are such a crazy funny nation of people ...

Later update:

More Italians and another SWIF (Single White Italian Female) this one from Rome, with tall son in tow. Very funny comparing city life, London to Rome. Clear skies and an orange glow,as the sun sets over the Pelion.

Had a text from my old boss (she would handbag me for that) good to hear from you JP.




Monday, 18 August 2014

Meltemi (take2) ...

The winds are still blowing ...

All night a cool breeze after the rain. Yes rain in August, bucketing down, it was lovely. This morning everything is fresh and clean again. However the skies,are dark and threatening once again.

11am: The card school are back, and they greet me like an old friend. They start after breakfast, and play until they have a late lunch. They sit in the same seats, today's game is much more relaxed. Perhaps the cooler air has had a calming effect.

No cicadas again today, even though the Meltemi has died away. Hardly a breeze, and a bank of cloud stuck over the island. Sunny over the mainland and to the south.

Today I am eating fresh yellow plums, fresh from the tree and lovely soft fresh figs.

12:20: The tourists, have all headed off to town on the bus, in huge numbers ...

13:00: The sun has come out, the stampede back from town will start shortly. A swallow tail butterfly, colour yellow passes slowly right to left. Beautifull, elegant and gracefull. The sun has warmed up the card school, quite vociferous once again ...

14:02: Looks like it's lunch for the card school. The baize has been lifted and they head off to the pavillion (Oops) for a well deserved lunch - Probably followed by an afternoon nap, dreaming and counting the drax they just won at the casino ...

Just in time - raindrops falling ...

15:30: Very busy in town, surprising as there are clear blue skies overhead. Whats the matter everyone - Its not too late for the beach - Its the best time for a swim ...

19:00: It's a lovely evening, clear blue skies. Sadly I am at work, not at a "VILP" party with junior who is really unhappy about it. I have to make amends later, it could work out expensive ...

It's rather quieter than of late. It appears the mainlanders have probably now boarded the ferries, and departed ...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Meltemi ...

The Meltemi winds started at 6am ...

Clear skies, clear air and clear roads. Where are they all? Still a warm wind and it's shifting the dust in little twisters. Mini tornadoes passing by on the road.

The wind has silenced the cicadas. Clearly they do not like the breeze, and have retreated somewhere out of the draught.

Some Greek pensioners from the mainland have set up a table next to me. They like the shade, and have quite a vociferous game of cards on the go. It's lasted five hours. Quite interesting antics, very competitive. They were very appreciative, when I moved the sunshade for them ...

Gave someone a lift, felt something brush my leg. Sadly not the charming Italian lady in the passenger seat but a huge spider. Luckily she'd did not see it either ...

Hello to the Scandies, many thanks to Pelle & Marti for the supplies. You know how to make SWMBO happy. Last night I put a smile on another ladies face. We were out with friends, at Syraino. The lady concerned has had a tough time, and is emerging into a happier period of her life. So I bought her the "famous cake" for what is missing in her life ...

It was the poshest swearing that I have heard - well since that time with the chalet girl, and dropping her off the balcony into a huge snowdrift ...

Midnight update:

Not only is it still windy, it's tipping it down outside ...

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A message from Soren in Denmark ...

Friend of the blog, Soren from Denmark writes ...

Hello Skiathian

Our beautiful and lovely adopted cat Jiggi from the dog shelter in Skiathos since 2010, living at our home here in Denmark, suddenly disappeared from our home 12th July 2014. We searched everywhere inc posters etc, had a nice call today from the cat society in Denmark, he as found well and alive and is back home after + 1 month.


The only reason he came back was the ear tatooes and neck chip applied by the wonderful people at  the dog shelter at Skiathos, I can only wish more people would spend part of their lives "at home" with proper and lively, beautiful animals adopted from Skiathos.

See you soon, the entire family returned last Saturday after two weeks in Skiathos.

Cheers
Sören Nielsen
Denmark

Friday, 15 August 2014

Water shortges, outrages and works (2) ...

Read between the lines, you should get the right idea what its all about...

Call for essential water use Skiathos 
NewsSkiathos link here

Concern residents and professionals of the island of Skiathos has caused communication DEYA Skiathos posted yesterday department website. 

Reportage: VANGELIS PASIAS "waiting" for tourism while traffic peaks is in accordance with professional Skiathos communication DEYA for programmed water. According to a notice posted on its website yesterday DEYA, the service informs residents and visitors that the water pumped from the only source of water supply water network observed severe signs of deficiency, and water levels have reached their limits. manager DEYA Skiathos, n. Ioannis Sarris, said the issue is serious and also, there is no second source to ydrodotithei network. Drenaje to address the problem, it is conceivable to make a planned vacation water. "We will make sure there is water with controlled stop if the phenomenon and worsen if not unheard our pleas to reduce use," said Mr. postal. Sarris. otherwise Compliance fines Drenaje Skiathos appeals to residents and tourists to the island be proper consumption of water resources only absolutely necessary uses sparingly and prohibits uses such as watering, washing cars, roads, etc.. Failure to comply consumers fines by both the service and the police who have notified about. Blow to tourism According to professionals of the island, this is a blow to tourism in the heart of the tourist season. Mr.. Eleftherios Hatzis is concerned about the impact that will have on tourism scheduled vacation water. "We will do our job with bottled water. What troubles us is not having an impact on tourism, "said the TACHYDROMOS Mr. Hatzis. Another practitioner said that holidays are often failures in the network which are used by residents of Skiathos but not, however, and tourists. rightly do Mr. Ioannis Alexandridis said that people DEYA do their job properly in order to reduce the overuse of water is observed due to the high volume of tourists.

Greek Holiday weekend is here ...

Today August 15th, this is a holiday in Greece ...

Greeks all over the country will celebrate one of Christianity’s most significant days, the Dormition of Virgin Mary. Some call this day “the summer Easter” to show the importance of the celebration, and many thousands of people attend religious services throughout the country. - See Greek Reporter here:

Here on Skiathos, as the church bells ring out this morning across the island, not only is today the 'Ascension of the Virgin Mary' Its also the name day of all the Maria's -χρόνια πολλά!

We also have English Friday, at the airport. Travelling holidaymakers will arrive and depart along a very busy Skiathos main road. Its going to be a very busy day on the roads as Express Pegasus and Skiathos, disgorge another huge cargo of cars onto our congested road for the weekend. Every vehicle on the island that can be hired is out there earning money.

Waiters will be at optimum stress levels and tavernas packed to the rafters this weekend. Its the peak weekend of summer. The next few days make or break the summer ...

In the midst of the heat and humidity, I have my own little stress test :)

My aged mobile decided to restore itself to factory settings, last night. Deleting most of my contacts. Probably the result of the heat and humidity here.  Its been giving up the ghost for some time now, I knew that moment I bought SWMBO a new phone, the writing was on the wall - Isn't technology wonderful ...

If you have my number, please text me with who you are, and I will happily restore you to full accessibility.

If I do not hear from you - Goodbye and have a happy life ...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Water shortges, outrages and works ...

Its all about water ...

The signs are up in town, ΔΕΥΑΣ, the water company are appealing for island visitors , and residents to conserve water supplies. The effect of a dry winter, increased use of supplies, and problems with the distribution network - Mean that the reserves are being severely depleted.

Not only are we drinking lots of it due to the heat, we are badly in need of extra supplies to keep the island going. This week the water company turned off supplies in town, due to a supply issue for around 10 hours.

There are now 'serious concerns' that the water supplies, will need to be cut to conserve water, during the next few weeks. In addition this winter the works to replace the water mains,will result in loss of service for extended periods.

Keep a few buckets of water filled for emergency use, or pop down to the harbour if you need some water to keep the house services fully operational ...

From http://www.newsskiathos.gr/

"Replacing internal water supply network in the city of Skiathos' budget of EUR 2.436 million.

As he said in his statements. Agorastos,  't is the water source of life. With this project proupologismou2,4ekat. euro we resolve the water Skiathos for the next 40 years, replacing the obsolete water supply network. Our goal is to ensure adequate water quality and the improvement of daily life for residents and holidaymakers on the island. Through the NSRF support in practice the Sporades substance works which are a hope for these areas as they create leverage in the local economy and society . "
From Thessaly regional governor signed the tender approval of Thessaly Managing Authority for the project, to proceed with the competition on the relevant Regional Unit of Magnesia & seeds as implementing agency of the project, for the procurement and execution. According to the program contract developer and operator is Drenaje Skiathos. 
His work was included in the NSRF in April 2014 and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Operational Programme for Spatial Unity "Thessaly - Central Greece - Epirus 2007-2013 'and is included in the Integrated Development Plan of the Island of Skiathos (Skiathos WHEN).     
The project the replacement of antiquated, outdated, inappropriate and inadequate water supply innermost center of Skiathos. Includes construction - replacement of existing asbestos pipe and iron pipes with polyethylene pipes and the installation of new mains, which will supply water to the town of Skiathos from existing water tanks. The design of the water network was designed to ensure the required supply and taking into account the water needs for the next forty years. Total will be built or replaced water supply pipes length 4.8 kilometers. Upon construction - replacement of the entire network will improve the quality of drinking water supplied, will ensure the required supply will become more flexible distribution of water in case of failure or failure and will reduce water losses from leaks.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Local Government: Money from Thessaly for improvement works ...

Three new projects worth 1.1 million. Euros from ESPA Skiathos

Decisions the NSRF three new projects for Skiathos signed by Mr. Prefect Thessaly. Costas Agorastos reaffirmed in a statement that it is "central priority for the electoral district, the practical support of Sporadic projects merit."

It works:

- "Improving housing and the old basketball court at the Municipal Stadium Skiathos' budget 460.000 €.

- "Improving roadways in Xamenos (from the airport to the beach Xanemo)" Budget 425.000 €.

- "Reformation public spaces and square playground trinity of Skiathos' budget 302.708,45 €.

Details:

It is part of Thessaly NSRF project "Improving housing and the old basketball court at the Municipal Stadium Skiathos' budget 460.000 €. The project falls under Priority Axis 4 "Sustainable development and quality of life in Thessaly" financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is part of the Integrated Development Plan of the Island of Skiathos (WHEN). Project promoter is the region of Thessaly and Lord and operator of the Municipality of Skiathos.

The project concerns the improvement of the existing facilities on the island basketball pitch, the town of Skiathos. The situation today does not guarantee nor safe use by young people and their users, but neither continuous operation since it is open.

The improvement relates to the field of housing construction with mixed grids and special fixation with cell membrane exposures, the floor structure in accordance with the applicable specifications, seats, auxiliary locker rooms, etc.., Proper lighting, required equipment and landscaping.

"With the completion of the project, a space for recreation and sport in accordance with the essential safety requirements and functionality available to users throughout the year. The upgrading and housing of the field was a constant demand of students and institutions of Skiathos. With this project, the Municipality of Skiathos acquires a modern space for sports and recreation, "said in a statement Mr Prefect Thessaly. Costas buy.

-Entassetai NSRF Thessaly project entitled "Improving roadways in Xamenos (from the airport to the beach Xanemo)"), budget 425.000 €. The project falls under Priority Axis 4 "Sustainable development and quality of life in Thessaly" financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is included in the Integrated Development Plan Skiathos Island (WHEN). The main project is the Municipality of Skiathos and operator of the Thessaly Region / Regional Unit of Magnesia and grains.

The project objective is to improve the existing paved access road from the airport to the beach "Xamenos" and the construction of the road around the lake.

With the construction of the project improves access to transit from this street residents and visitors to the island. Also, the construction of roads around the lake will help enhance the natural wealth allowing the road user to communicate with the natural environment and the wetland area. Therefore, there is a direct impact both on the quality of life of residents and the further development of tourism. 

-Entassetai NSRF Thessaly title- project "Reformation public spaces and square playground trinity of Skiathos' budget 302.708,45 €. The project falls under Priority Axis 4 "Sustainable development and quality of life in Thessaly" financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is part of the Integrated Development Plan of the Island of Skiathos (WHEN). Project promoter is the region of Thessaly and Lord and operator of the Municipality of Skiathos.

The project involves a reconstruction of the Plaza and playground in neighborhood "Ag. Trinity'within the limits of the approved urban plan of the Municipality of Skiathos and the supply of necessary equipment. The area of ​​the square, in which is situated the Church of the Holy Trinity, has a total area 659.27 sq.m. and at this stage the surface is completely covered with asphalt, except for one section of trees to the west of the area, so the area was unregulated parking.

The playground area has a total area of ​​1067.62, m, is randomly planted with trees, and in its present form contains outdated and non-functional organs sports and recreation of children. The proposed interventions aimed at upgrading portions of the two public spaces (Square- Playground) and their integration through the paving of the road segment interposed between the two, resulting in the creation of a multipurpose gathering space and recreation.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Its a Conger ...

If Sunday was a convoy, Monday was a conger ...

A snake like procession of cars, up and down the island, last night a second gear crawl. August is busy, and getting busier. Motorbikes everywhere, and approaching and overtaking from all directions. The junction at Acropolis, would pass for one in India if there were some Tuk Tuks ...

I did tell you the grapes were ripening ...



My Greek friend gave me some more olives, I had offered to pay for them previously. Payment was difficult, it required intense negotiation, and translation ...

'You wash this hand, then the other, then use both hands to wash your face' ...

Do you understand it ?

Well I do not ...

It means 'you help me, so I help you, and you owe me nothing' ...

I have around 5 kilos of gorgeous mauve and black olives, beautifully marinated in herbs and lemon. He will not take a thing for them. In Borough market in london, they would be sold in little cups around £4 a portion, and you would go home very happy. I must have around £100+ worth at those rates.

How do you pay back, generosity and kindness like that ...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Its a Convoy ...

That's what the road from the harbour is like ...

Ferries arriving packed to the top decks, each discorging a hundred or so cars each from the mainland. The port policeman going red in the face, is it the sun or the whistle, that is doing all the damage.

The lunchtime convoys from the mainland, via the harbour, snake their way down the island, gradually getting smaller, before dispersing at Koukounaries.

Some very impressive vehicles, jousting with the taxis,  including a top end BMW 4x4, that has promptly broken down, and has to be recovered to Athens. Where a computer technician will diagnose what the Skiathos dust, has done to the engine management system.

Mossies are out in force, down the island. In Troulos this morning, some people were looking like they should be quarantined, rather than be witnessed, scratching at lumps and bumps, like chimpanzees.

Picked some apples this morning and a few peaches, warmed by the sun. Quince fruit everywhere, but it will be a month or so yet. Pomegranetes are begining to ripen too. I watched locals picking vine leaves. Strange to see little old ladies, heading home with metre long creepers, destined to be stuffed with rice, not the compost heap as someone suggested to me. Again local people picking green figs, to be Sun dried and preserved.

Lots of crazy people around, the near full moon last night, was a stunner. Tonight it will be at full intensity. Lots of young people heading towards Bananaista, for the party tonight ...



Plenty of high summer madness, going on, down below the full moon, here on a 'small rock in the aegean' ...

Friday, 8 August 2014

Full moon Friday ...

Very impressive it is tonight too ...

Still its been another strange weather day. Sun, rain, winds, clouds of all types and formations. Followed by heat and humidity. Its been quite a mixed bag all round.

Its the peak of the season as we head up to the Greek August bank holiday on August 15th. Many mainland tourists arriving today and tomorrow, the race track, sorry main island road, is very busy indeed. The taxi drivers duelling with all road users, their Mercedes must be fitted with radar, and a road version of TCAS ...

This last week the sparrows must have, flown the nest. My feeding time has stopped, they no longer visit me begging for scraps.Instead the wasps are invading their space, looking for crumbs and scenting anything sweet.

I have been looking at Grapes ripening on vines, even tasting some which are ready to eat. Fresh figs are being picked. The rain and storms have come in time to aid the olives which are swelling on the trees.

This evening I watched the Thomson to London Gatwick, taxi, turn and roar off up the runway before departing into almost still airs and a blue evening sky. Not many more English fridays to go now, we are in single figures ...

Things must be going well in the harbour, so many yachts anchoring out in Megali Amos bay each day. A nice Gin Palace, at anchor down in Sklitheri bay.

Talking of Gin ...

A very good friend visited yesterday, and very kindly gave me a bottle, of my/our favourite Gin. I was quite taken by surprise, and then spent a lot of time thinking what to do next ...


I still have a few lemons left, Its not a bad idea is it ...

Tonight another good friend, gave me a bottle of his Olive oil, OK its nearly two years old but it still made me cough. A sign of the phenols contained within the oil, they are responsible for that prickly feeling at the back of your throat. That makes you cough a few seconds after you swallow it. 

Very tasty indeed, if perhaps a little cloudy, but delicious with some balsamico, and some dry bread.

Goodnight, from August 'full moon friday' on the rock ...



Thursday, 7 August 2014

Monsoon ...

Rain - Lots of it too ...

My friend Panos said last night, 'I have to get home its going to rain'
I said 'Well that's a pretty good forecast as its raining already'
He replied, Yes but I think we are going to get a lot of it' ...

We had lightning illuminating the skyline, and raindrops had been falling intermittently as the weather closed in. The raindrops turned to a steady stream, and then to a downpour, that has continued throughout the night, and into the morning.

A downpour that hammered on the roof, and the graphic from Nikos Paschalis, at the Skiathos Weather station explains my early morning alarm call ...



The rain accompanied at times by a booming crash of thunder, during the twilight hours.Its like a September storm but here a month early.

However 'normal weather' (for August) should resume tomorrow, once the storm front has cleared through ...

13:00hrs A lunchtime torrential downpour, lashing this part of the island. Roads awash, not seen a downpour like it for quite some time - tropical rain ...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Pressure points ...

If applied correctly seem to resolve problems ...

I have been banging on desks, cajouling, encouraging, and finally unleashed the secret weapon - SWMBO.

Our neighbour, has suddenly seen the light, and so have we this morning. The triffid of a bouganvillia, that has been a bane of our lives, has been cut back hard by the council. There is,a promise that it will be finally removed in October.

It's damaged our house, which equates to a Hellenic shrug. So we need a new chimney pipe - but you would need one anyway ...

The next episode in street wars will be much more explosive, when my neighbour arrives from the mainland later today. Hopefully we can keep out of that argument ...

Living on Skiathos, can require the skills of a diplomat ...

Late update:

Thunderstorms crossing the island since 17:00hrs. We have been allowed the luxury of rain, lightning flashing across the sky. Pink lighting bolts, electric blue flashes that illuminate the skyline. Rain in big droplets that refreshes, but not enough to dampen. Then steady rain that washes the street.

Tonight a 'warm' glass of red, the first in ages, and a take away from my favourite taverna, where rainwater is flowing down the street;

22:37 The occasional rumble of thunder, a refreshing wind, the breeze sending the curtains horizontal, out into the street. An aircon free night in prospect as we secure the shutters ...

Monday, 4 August 2014

Time to remember ...

Its a hot afternoon once again here on Skiathos ...

I wonder if it were the same 100 years ago, the day the first world war started. I am an lucky, in my lifetime, I have never had to put on a military uniform. I have never been called on to fight anyone, on behalf of my country.

I remember the cold war and seeing 'anti aircraft missiles' being set up on my town green, where we played football. I remember the testing of the air raid siren, and the public information films ...

I read a piece yesterday, in a UK newspaper regarding my grandfather's younger brother. Killed in 1916 on HMS Russell in Malta. His life extinguished at the tender age of just 17 years. Had he lived, how big would the family be now, how many cousins etc would there have been?

His mother died a few weeks later, of heart failure. She was buried in a paupers grave, in the local church. You can but wonder why she passed away, a broken heart ...

How many will pause to remember tonight - or wonder what might have been ?

From the UK Daily Mail ...

Families are being asked to leave on a single light or candle to commemorate the moment prime minister Herbert Asquith declared Britain had entered the First World War at 11pm. Buildings around the country, including The House of Parliament, Tower Bridge and 10 Downing Street, will be included in the 'moment of reflection' between 10pm and 11pm, leaving just a light illuminating a window. The plan is inspired by the words of then foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey, who said just before the announcement: 'The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.' The initiative will coincide with a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey.

Tonight I will light a candle, and wonder what might have been, hope you do too - Thank you for reading ...

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Church bells and clubbers ...

Makes an interesting mix on a Sunday morning ...

Awake early and its another sticky morning. Church bells ringing out over town. The Greeks have great stamina, they are still out enjoying themselves, and on the way home after their Saturday night out. The dustmen are doing their best to make as much noise as possible in the street, along with the clubber's making their way home.

My 'Saturday night out' was changed last minute to a 'Saturday night in' Still I did have the benefit of Junior saying 'I have a nice surprise for you' and it was too. Junior has been assisting SWMBO in the kitchen. The result a lovely moist banana cake, very tasty and great with a cup of tea!

At this time of the year cooking in the heat is quite a challenge, so I appreciate their efforts. I have to say the appeal of hot food, has not been there for a few weeks now. I have been into the 'salad and yoghurt' phase of the year for a while.

I have always been sceptical of the vegetarian diet. Mainly because, I would find it quite hard to follow, yet it seems that is what I am doing more or less. I am only eating meat around once a week. When I do, then now I do notice the heavy feeling, in your stomach afterwards. However had been really looking forward to some fish meze last night.

Junior and SWMBO are almost 'fruitarian' (If there is such a thing) they consume all fruit that comes into the house. Fresh apples and pears from the island, a gift from a friend, vanished within a few hours. Peaches are another favourite that disappear like magic whenever, I bring them home. As for grapes, I only ever seem to see the stalks that have been left behind, as evidence of their previous existence.

The heat had ripened the bananas before they could be consumed. They have to be really yellow or considered 'bad' by junior, hence them arriving as a cake ...

Does a cake count as part of your five a day? ...


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Steamy Saturday ...

Last night's storm, was a damp squib ...

Rather like ordering a Vindaloo, and getting a Korma, but not getting any rice with it. Remind you of anywhere local ? Yes we had a shower of rain, not enough to water the plants.

Yesterday's expeditions recovered some yellow plums, so tasty and eaten warmed by the sun. Some of the figs are ripe, but you have to be careful of wasps. Grapes are ripening on the vines, and looking very colourful, as they change from green to mauve.

I donated my last copy of the "Skiathos Calendar" to my friend from NYC. I hope she enjoys reading it, and puts it too good use in the future ...

I understand, I have a fan base over on Kalamaki. Good to hear you enjoy the blog, and thank you for the kind words ...

Looking forward tonight to a tsipouro meze. Will raise a glass to my friend in Norway, who has yet to sample the oak aged version. I never thought trolls were sceptical, but open minded souls ...

Unlike the flies, that keep nipping my legs as I type ...



Friday, 1 August 2014

Late news ...

"Καλό μήνα σε όλους"

Tonight - Cool air - a noticeable draught ...

A triple flash of lightning, and a roll of thunder - Yes a storm would do nicely thank you. Sadly it was not to be, however we did have an hour or so of cool air, blowing through the house

An aircon free night ahead perhaps ...

Delay in Olympic flight, from Skiathos to Athens - 29/07..

The NewsSkiathos site reports ...

Delay in Flight Olympic from Skiathos to Athens 

by telephone yesterday 29.07.2014 at 9:19 in the evening at the offices of the MESSENGER unknown load has warned that bomb plane Flight 081 Olympic. The aircraft would perform flight Skiathos - Athens at 9.45 pm and will depart from National Airport, Skiathos' Alex. Papadiamandis. " The flight had 78 passengers in total. 
By 9:19 in the evening, when he took the warning call to the offices of MESSENGER, had boarded inside the aircraft no passengers by 78. had just loaded their luggage, which had passed of relative control. 
Upon information received by the police reacted immediately and evacuated the aircraft from passenger luggage and checked thoroughly suitcases of a passenger one. Checking luggage were present special canine explosives detection, to detect possible bomb. 
The passengers of flight delays of departure, initially puzzled but after mobilization of the police realized that something was happening and when informed that there was a warning about bomb in aircraft that would travel to Athens terrified. 
Worth mentioning that airport security was informed by the postman after warning phone call made ​​to the offices of the newspaper. As mentioned above, the mobilization of police was immediate and surveys conducted both inside the aircraft, as well as outdoor space to Skiathos airport. In police investigations participated expert dog for detection of secretory materials. 
Delaying the flight was great as well control procedures were carried out by police late at night. 
however no one can explain what were the reasons and intentions of the unknown man phoned bomb on an aircraft of Olympic Airways flight that would take place in Athens. But the stranger knew that the aircraft was given the time to Skiathos National Airport "Alex. Papadiamandis and preparing for flight. 
Finally it turned out it was a hoax and the flight departed from the airport of Skiathos to Athens 11: 25 in the evening with a half hour delay. ATHENS TSIRGI