Friday, 31 October 2014

Its been quite an afternoon ...

As reactions go, ours must have been up there amongst the best ...

I am sure my mouth dropped open, and SWMBO burst into tears.

I am absolutely stunned by the response, and generosity of the English community, and their friends here on Skiathos this afternoon.

Thank you to Adrian and Chris Gromit, and everyone who contributed to this afternoon, at the King and Queen Bar Skiathos ...

Stormy morning ...

Happy Halloween from Dante's inferno ...

I thinks its the seventh day of rain here on the island. Last night a thunderstorm, that deposited heavy rain through the early hours. The early morning being heavy showers followed by brief non downpour interludes.

School run this morning a rather damp affair, rained on twice but keeping dry inside my rain wear, and my aged dunlop wellies. I admired the locals sitting outside the food cafe, under the awning, and being annointed by passing splashing vehicles enjoying their daily caffeine fix.

Papadamatis street bakery was a warm glow. Lovely fresh bread aromas, my bread swiftly securely wrapped against the elements outside. The clouds over the hills so dark it was almost an indigo black. Just as I arrived home the heavens really opened. A torrential downpour, its a raging torrent out there, and the percussion on the roof second to none ...

Today is the start of class action. The school children are going on strike today, at the main schools in protest at the education system, This now 'annual event' sees them march down Papadamatis street, demanding better education for their future.

The children meet the teachers before hand, to discuss their objectives. The teachers being democratic try to persuade them to avoid action, Learn at school, and not take action, that further harms their time of learning. The protest will last around two hours - however the march itself seems doubtful due to the poor weather.

On Monday the children will take action against the teachers. They lock the teachers out of school, probably for the entire morning. School here lasts around four hours a day, depending on lessons taken ...

SWMBO - Its six days to go, last night she went out with friends. Hopefully today one of her trusted Cancer partners, who has been such a 'rock of support' in the past, will arrive from the mainland.

Later  if you are on the island, Adrian & Chris (The Gromits) have arranged a fundraiser. Its being held at the 'King and Queen' pub in Skiathos town this afternoon. Starting at 3:30pm, we hope to see you there ...

I am advised that here is ample room outside, to park your kayak or inflatable dinghy in the street. 'Uncle Michael' will probably be fishing straight from the bar ...

Thursday, 30 October 2014

SWMBO - Seven days to go ...

6am and the silence of the pre dawn here in Skiathos ...

Amazing day yesterday, friends visiting the house,  word has started to get around the village. I was stopped three times in Papadamatis street by Greek friends from the island.

Locals interested to hear how things are progressing. Can they do anything to help? I learned a lot from one friend, who has been through a similar experience, with a close family member,

SWMBO had a call from her friend, someone in town, had passed a donation to her. So I went out last night to see the couple, and say thank you. They were lovely a little shy, but we have met a few times. Just wanted to help, no thanks needed.

I notice the Greek people do something different (to what I am used too, as an Englishman). It is a simple physical gesture, that they make, and I understand now what it's about. It happened again twice yesterday.

It gives you strength ...

Over a thousand people have read the post from Saturday, about SWMBO. The vast majority of respondents I do not know, However they are in main mentioning, that they are fans from here the blog.

Thank you to each and every one of you, whether you read the post, responded or not ...

So seven days to go today, until SWMBO starts out on the journey of her life.

Today we review again where we are. Plenty of advice in the FB and email inboxes, from people who know about fundraising. It's much appreciated thank you.

Watch this space ...

PS - Hello to our friends in Volos, see you soon
********************************************************************************
Island friends

Adrian & Chris (The Gromits) have arranged a fundraiser at the 'King and Queen' pub in Skiathos, on Friday afternoon. Starting at 3:30pm hope to see you there ...

SWMBO x x
********************************************************************************

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

OXI Day ...

Is a national holiday here in Greece ...

Sadly it started raining at 8am, and looks like it will rain on the planned parade, which is a great shame. I know junior and the school children taking part, are all very eager to wave their flags today down on the Paralia.

The church bells are very busy, as the commemorative service, progresses at Tries Hieraches this morning.

At 3 a.m. on the morning of October 28th, 1940, Emanuele Grazzi, the Italian ambassador to Greece, delivered an ultimatum from Benito Mussolini to Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas.  Il Duce demanded that Metaxas allow the Italian army free passage to enter and occupy strategic sites in Greece unopposed.

Faced with this demand, Metaxas delivered an unequivocal response in French, the diplomatic language of the day, “Alors, c’est la guerre.”  This brief phrase, “Then, it is war,” was quickly transmuted into the laconic “Oxi,” the Greek for no, by the citizens of Athens. 

The Ultimate history project website gives an excellent explanation here

SWMBO and I did enjoy seeing Junior and classmates show, at the school yesterday. Junior reciting on stage, and clearly enjoying singing the Greek National anthem, along with very enthusiastic waving of the Greek flag on stage ...



Now me not ever having been taught European History at school. 

'History - I am almost word perfect on the Stuarts, Tudors and Plantagenets. This being rolled out every year, until I gave it up for European studies and Geography - much more interesting'

I have read over the years, that the actions of the Greek forces, pushing the Italians back into Albania, and continuing the battle in the mountains, disrupted the war to such an effect that German troops were sent to the Balklans. This ensuring that the Eastern front campaign slowed, then stopped and froze.

Hitler’s Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel admitted during the Nuremberg Trials:

“…the unbelievably strong resistance of the Greeks delayed by two or more vital months the German attack against Russia;  if we did not have this long delay, the outcome of the war would have been different in the Eastern Front and the war in general.”

Churchill paid homage to the Greek resistance by claiming,  “…until now we would say that the Greeks fight like heroes. From now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks.”

However the German troops invaded Greece through the border with Yugoslavia, Greece endured three years of occupation - We cannot imagine what it would have been like to hear a broadcast like this ...

Monday, 27 October 2014

Post 1501 ...

Well post no 1500 on Saturday, was a tough one, I just noticed the post number ...

Where do we go from here, well firstly apologies the disruption in blogging service. Since SWMBO posted her story, I have been catching up with the tide of emails, and messages of support.

Many thanks for those messages, you do not know - however many will, what they mean to someone going through this journey. In our case for the second time in as many years.

Most of all thank you, to the readers of the blog, many whom I do not know - or who do not get in touch via the feedback facility. So many of you have been in touch since offering support.

We will send out a message to you all, from the account in due course. There are a few glitches with payments being returned to sender, The host site sits on a Paypal platform, unlike a bank where you just simply pay in.

I have learned a lot about Paypal, fees, end user charges and e-cheques these last few days.

Amazingly the brain has kicked in after five years in exile, I can still find my way round a spreadsheet when need arises.

To be honest both of us are gobsmacked by the news confirmed in Athens, Likewise we have to keep up appearances. The main comment we have had, all year, is that SWMBO looks fine, We have nothing to worry about. Now we also have Junior to worry about, who knows much more about mum this time, and that something is going on ...

Quote: 'Find one doctor daddy not one a week' ...

Two weeks today we start another journey, one made a lot easier by friends like you out there. However we do not know what will happen next, or how long it will take, like many of you who have been there before.

What we knew, was going to be a tough winter for us, has certainly become a lot harder now ...

Saturday, 25 October 2014

SWMBO ...

This is a post I hoped I would never have to write ...

Many have asked who SWMBO is - It means 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' Its just a bit of fun, where I refer to my wife. She shares our Skiathos experience, along with Junior. Many of you already know them both.

Now they may creep into some photos here, from time to time, however I always refer to them both, by their pseudonyms. I try to keep them private, from the blog. You know them a little, some of you know them a lot more.

What you may not know is that in the last few years, is that SWMBO has been battling Cancer.

Like the Boomerang club, that I started all those years ago, for those of us who come back year after year, to this rock in the aegean. We now know that the Cancer, has come back to visit us again too ...

Its not something you plan for, and despite all positive vibes from everyone, its a hidden enemy. Its there every day, you know its always at the back of your mind. Its been a healthy twelve months following the end of all the treatment - then the news confirmed by the doctors in Athens a few days ago.

So SWMBO is running a fundraiser. Its her idea, to try to ease the financial burden. Last time I was able to fund the expenditure. This time sadly I cannot do it alone, despite best intentions ...

So here is a message from SWMBO to you via Skiathian ...

Later update:

The FB page is live here
Twitter - follow @fightforlife5
E Mail - here

Update from SWMBO on the fundraiser scheme here




Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Its sunny again ...

Autumn though is expected to arrive shortly ...

The barometer has been dropping alarmingly over the last 24 hours. Outside though its a stunning glorious day here on the rock.

The weather forecast for the next few days is for rain, its much needed. In fact the forecast for the weekend looks interesting - Is that 'Hurricane Gonzalo' heading our way ?



Now the olive press is open for business, the rain will make olive picking much more a laborious process. Lets hope the forecast is wrong for all involved. Heavy dew on grass this morning, and wood supplies being delivered to houses around the town.

Its the name day of Dimitra and Dimitrios, on the 26th October. This is the day you are supposed to light your woodburner - If you are Greek ...

Its a popular name day as there are many Dimitra and Dimitrios, They like to keep warm, so expect the first smog of the season then - weather permitting ...

Later update:

Noble English blood, has been deposited in the Greek blood bank ...


Good to see some island Brits paying in too ...


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Friends resident here on Skiathos (2) ...

The blood donor van from Volos, is here ...



It will be open for donations on the harbour, near by Goldfish bar on ...

Wednesday 22nd October 09.00-13.00 & 18.00-20.00.

Photo of the truck as requested by steve_p53 ...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumn sunshine ...

Continues on the Paralia ...


Although the autumn leaves are falling, the sunny days of October seem set to last a few more days, before the temperature drops. Its been a great October so far. Nice sunny days for walking on deserted beaches, or even taking a swim.

Lovely sunlight to sit on the harbour, reading a book, For some a coffee, some a beer or a glass of wine, or just taking in the view.

Lady A departed this morning, and visited us yesterday after two weeks here in the sunshine. Philiposs is enjoying the sights up in Thessaloniki, after attending a friends baptism. 

Stone pebble  sweets not part of Lalaria ...
Its the wedding and Baptism season here too, and again this weekend there were celebrations taking place. Congratulations to everyone and best wishes for the future ...


Oh and some more wedding bakalava, and some more 'haimali' for us to enjoy this week.

Ever wondered why we have three dentists on the island - now you know why ...

Evening update: 

Chatting with my friend Stamatis, whilst he was fishing with a hand line - He caught a 'σουπιές' (soupiés) Cuttlefish. The καλαμάρια - Kalamari are in the harbour tonight, and plenty of Skiathities trying to catch their supper ...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Friends resident here on Skiathos ...

The blood donor van from Volos, will be visiting Skiathos this week ...

Photo Sam Tzanaki- Eley

It will be on the harbour near by Goldfish bar on ...

Tuesday 21st October, 18.00-20.00 and
Wednesday 22nd October 09.00-13.00 & 18.00-20.00.

If you are not aware already, If you were to use the Greek Healthcare system - Should you need blood products, then you or your family are required to do your bit, By donating for the assistance given to you by the people of Greece.

If you have blood - already in the bank, then were you required to withdraw it when the time is needed you do so without problem. You can also donate from your account, to a friend in need.

If you are in Volos, the donation can be made at the hospital, The Blood donor office is located adjacent to the casualty department ...


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Volos ...

One good thing about going over to the mainland, is visiting Volos ...

'Volos (Greek: Βόλος) is a coastal port city in Thessaly situated midway on the Greek mainland, about 326 kilometres (203 miles) north of Athens and 215 kilometres (134 miles) south of Thessaloniki. 

It is the capital of the Magnesia regional unit. Volos is the only outlet to the sea from Thessaly, the country's largest agricultural region. 

Volos is the homeland of mythological hero Jason, who boarded the ship Argo accompanied by the Argonauts, and sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece to Colchis'

I like the city, its my favourite of the big three, it has all the things you miss from living on an island, and its as cheap as chips. It has plenty of shops and well stocked supermarkets. A great cafe society on the waterfront, even in the middle of winter.

Apparently the average coffee consumption per person is 1.3kg per year - In Greece its 5.5kg - In Volos its probably a little more than that ...

It also has great seafood, sold direct from the boats to the customer every morning. Something sadly missing here.







'Built at the innermost point of the Pagasetic Gulf and at the foot of Mount Pilio or Pelion (the land of the Centaurs), Volos is the third largest of Greece's major commercial ports (after Piraeus and Thessaloniki), with traffic by ferry and hydrofoil to the nearby Sporades Islands, which include Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos'

Now Thessaly also happens to be the home of Tsipouro, the drink of Northern Greece. So if the Pagestetic Gulf is on your doorstep, and its full of fish (Dolphins too the other day, leaping out of the water)

You have great fresh seafood on your doorstep, then you also have an excellent location for great meze's too. So having hit the shops, with a whislestop visit to Lidl & Jumbo, loaded down with bags, and an hour to spare. The Skiathian dragged SWMBO into an ouzeria, for some well earned, 'mid travel' R&R ...


Lunch: Grilled fish steak, Smoked mackerel salad. A potato salad, Two tsipouros, Bread and a litre of water, Just after the photo above was taken they delivered a plate of octopus, So the lunch for two as shown above was 'quite expensive' a 'grand total' of €10.50! 

We could have missed the ferry home because of it, and the waiter chased us along the harbour, to give us a box of eight pipping hot freshly cooked honeyballs - the 'complementary desert' for the ferry trip home ...

Now tell me you do not fancy a trip either to, or via Volos ...

Friday, 17 October 2014

Flying visit ...

But I am back now ...

I walked these steps and many more ...
Well for all the wrong reasons, yet its an amazing place to go ...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Airport works and privatisation news ...

Still ongoing ...

However the construction phase is nearing the time, when they will start to pour concrete. The levelling of the land has been completed, and landscaping of the perimeter road.

Aggregate is being laid, as a base for the concrete. Trucks are transporting the stone to the area during daylight hours. Earth movers are then shifting it into position.

These photos taken from some distance, may give some idea of how the works are progressing ...





Three investment groups Friday submitted a binding offer for the grant of rights to use, operation, management and operation of 14 regional airports in the country, announced the HRADF.

These airports are divided into two groups:
Group A includes airports Thessaloniki, Corfu, Chania, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Aktion, Kavala
Group B includes airports Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Skiathos.

Specifically submitted binding offers for both groups following consortia:
  • CASA (Corporation America SA) - METKA SA
  • FRAPORT AG- SLENTEL Ltd
  • VINCI Airports SAS - AKTOR Concessions SA

In accordance with the procedure laid down in the invitation to tender will follow the step of checking the validity of the technical bids and completeness of documentation. After the relevant recommendation of consultants of the project, The Board of HRADF at next meeting will approve the investment vehicles that qualify for the next stage ie the opening bids.

The award of the contract awards expected to be completed in November.
Source:  http://magnesianews.gr/

Skiathian has some urgent business, he will be back soon ...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Skiathian - Spentzofai ...

Well here it is - the design and execution phase ...

A 'Village sausage' ready for the pot ...


Simmering gently, in the pan ...


The finished product ...


It was very tasty, however for me could do with a bit more spicy heat. However SWMBO is not great with the spicy foods. Like most Greek meat dishes, its even better on the second day ...


Fresh crusty bread for the juices - If there is anything left ...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Baptism ...

We went to a baptism yesterday ...

It was lovely to be up at Evagelistria monastery, in the late afternoon autumn sunshine, with friends and neighbours ...







After the baptism, you meet the parents, and leave a gift for the newly baptised child. They in turn give you a small gift for sharing their special occasion.

Decorated coat hooks, with a bag of chocolate eggs ...


Marshallows and chocolate buttons - these were very popular with Junior, and the other younger attendees ...


This is the traditional baptism cake of Skiathos. Its called 'haimali'...


My goodies, which somehow seem to have been claimed by SWMBO & Junior overnight ...


Afterwards, back to a friends house. Where I was almost led astray with home made walnut liquer. Must say it was very nice indeed. However as the ladies chatted, I slipped away to join Simon and Donna down on the harbour, enjoying their last autumn evening here on the rock ...

They seem to have settled into the 'out of season trip' life quite well. Nice to know they are new members of the 'tap on the shoulder' club. Now they are on their way up to Thessaloniki, for a night out before commencing their journey home.

Nice to see you here, and thanks again for the friendship, seasonal goodies, and support ...

Now off to make that Spentzofai ...

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The most beautiful ruin of Skiathos ...

Katerina Rovva article in Saturday's ETHNOS, (11/10/2014) for the most beautiful ruin of Skiathos.
SOS for the mansion of Skiathos

Article shared by the cultural association "Skiathos" chairman Theo Tzoumas.

Fighting to save a "beautiful ruin." A building with peers Greek state, described as a piece of art from the Ministry of Culture, hosted by Otto and later Asia Minor refugees escaped the holocaust of the Germans in 1943, has withstood many earthquakes and finally burned by arson in 2005.


SOS for the mansion of Skiathos 

This is the house Ragias former Matarona in Skiathos which attracts the attention of the local community at the initiative of the vibrant cultural association "Skiathos" and chairman Theo Tzoumas.

The owners, Margaret and Themistocles Ragias, fifth-generation descendants of the famous family of the owner Matarona had begun restoration work on its own financing when the fire broke out. Almost lost everything in one night. Carved wooden ceilings, wooden floors with handmade nails, plaster relief decoration, wall, wooden doors and ornate staircases, original architectural details and examples of folk art that have survived for more than 150 years. According to the Ministry of Home "is a very fine example of traditional architecture. A two-storey stone building with rich ornamentation on the facades. Of particular interest is the marble doorway which frames the entrance, plaster ornamentation of the exterior walls and arches with marble pillars formed on the south and west side. "

Nicholas Mataronas, Skiathitis prominent shipowner and merchant, president of the city council of the island (1866-1870) and donor elaborate epitaph of Mary lake, had brought about the construction of the house artisans of Rhodes, built with pumice and made reference point: "In these September 8, 3in hour after midnight, after apolysin of Matins, at panigyrin of Our Lady of the lake, Machoula cousin and I, together katirchometha the slippery cobbles, the incipient of the great house of Captain Nicholas the Matarona and reaches the coastal market, "wrote Papadiamandis anno 1900 short story" Ghost of Sin. "


The house Ragias today, with obvious signs of arson that destroyed it in 2005

"The restoration hiding surprises," says the excited 'nation' Mr. Themistocles Ragias. "We found the old system of tiled gutters that filled the cistern of the house, who supervised the battlements surrounding streets and the square, neoclassical warm colors, we found that the outer coatings should be using a spoon to make it wavy like the sea . The house where we spent our childhood summers was an ark with portraits of our grandparents, with handwritten contracts, marriage contracts, conditions of cultivation and lease, logbooks, premiums Loyd's, with walls full of paintings with their boats painted in Venice or Marseilles common at the time. "


Family holiday in Skiathos, home Ragias, 1965

That he and his sister want to restore the building, and interest has been expressed by islanders which they find gem on the island. Although an opinion is part of the Ministry of architectural requiring special state protection, there has been no movement on the part of the State, which is requested by the local community.

Otherwise it will remain a ruin like home Kokkonas, passed into eternity through Papadiamandis as a ghost from the past that will frighten passers small dark winter nights ...

Katerina Rovva

Friday, 10 October 2014

Chestnuts ...

From the Pelion (Pilion) ...

A little early to roast them by an open fire, but these were given to us by a friend yesterday.


They have been boiled, so the insides are soft and sweet. No charcoal fingers eating these beauties, the skins are soft and easy to peel.

The Pelion is the area of the mainland nearest to Skiathos, Pelion mountain, is the home of the centaur in Greek mythology, and is the backbone of land you can see from Mandraki.  Its well known for the autumn produce. Apples, chestnuts, pistachios, plums, wild mushrooms, and if you know the right people - Wild boar.

The famous Pelion dish you will find here on Skiathos is Spentzofáï, Its a stew made of sliced pork sausage that is first cooked on its own, then stewed with green and red peppers. 

It can be mild or hot as the case may be, and shallots or small onions; Aubergine (Egg plant) or tomatoes are added when seasonally available.

So stuck for something to cook tonight?

Not any more, there is another recipe for Spentzofai here ...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Skiathos rush hour ...

Only ours is in the port ...

Watched the sun rise over the pounta - twice. First over the hill, only then to be obscured by a wall of cloud. Then the sun broke through again over the top of the clouds.

Back over the island was another wall of cloud, this one building over the mainland, and getting darker due to the sunlight. Dark purple grey stratus below, and white cumulo nimbus clouds building over the top.

The port was busy, ANES Proteus docking, swiftly followed by Aegean flying dolphin Erato. Then Erato departed swiftly in a plume of diesel smoke. Followed by the chuggy ferry Proteus which passed quite near the end of the pontoon.

In came the speeding Hellenic Flying Cat 6 riding over the wake from Proteus.

All three boats in competition, with each other and arriving/departing within a 30 minute period, heading to the same destination - Volos.

Cost for the trip

ANES Proteus - €19.80 - 2 Hr 40 Min
Aegean flying dolphin Erato - €32- 1 Hr 20 Min
Hellenic Flying Cat 6 - €37.50 - 1 Hr 40 Min (Until 31/10)

Wonder if Hellenic will run the cat after 31/10. They must be loosing a fortune operating the service, and they tried to withdraw the winter service last year ...

Sunny for now, but it may not last ...

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Flights out Tuesday ...

Last day today for many ...

I remember this day well, having flown out on the final day many times. Papadamatis street was a very quiet place this morning. Shops that were open yesterday morning, are closed today. Its like a ghost street once again, with a few exceptions ...

The Austrians are the first to depart at 15:00hrs for Vienna

Later the Mighty Monarchs will depart the island - Probably for the last time ...

G-MONK a Boeing 757 is arriving via Kavala for London Gatwick, and G-OZBN an A321 Airbus heading to Birmingham.

Later update: End of an Era ...

Farewell to the mighty Monarch's ...
G-MONK Boeing 757 preparing to depart on runway 02 for London Gatwick this afternoon ...


Farewell to the mighty Monarch's ...
G-OZBN A321 Airbus preparing to depart on runway 02 to Birmingham ..



The Manchester passengers are on both aircraft, their direct flight having being cancelled ...

Monday, 6 October 2014

Back in the old routine ...

Crossing town with a file full of papers ...

Now the streets are emptying, you bump into everyone. Today it's all 'hello and goodbyes' to friends as we pass like ships in the night. Many Kalo Hirmonia (Good winter) greetings.

Some people are leaving never to return, their Skiathos experience at an end, Others are off for a seasonal break returning next year ...

Nice to meet Sandra at last this morning, having heard so much about her. Stuart & Marianne, Kostas and more friends from Koukounaries. Anastasia, the famous Wedding Co-ordinator, the lady that makes people happy. The bubbly Wanda - Look out Norwich, she is on route very soon.

Kalo Taxidi and good luck to Jerry and Bev, and to Margarita see you soon. ...


Its warm and rather humid here today, and I watched as the Central bar, was being packed up in Papadamatis street. Yes they even removed the kitchen sink, presumably to go to winter storage. Not only that it was a double sink, with twin drainers around three metres long. I wonder of they took the plumbing too ...

Many places here tonight, its their last night, as tomorrow the rest of the Brits depart. Have  a great last night tonight one and all. The Skiathos shutters will drop, on a few more places tomorrow for 2014...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Football ...

Dodging the showers this afternoon ...

I popped out to watch a game of football. Good to see the mighty Chelsea overcome the Arsenal. This whilst enjoying a beer with Simon and Donna, who spotted me walking into Syrainno in my foul weather gear. Later JJ passed by and so great to see him back on the rock.

Much football talk - far too much (Over my head) for me, between Simon, and Terry from Cape Town (Liverpool fan) sitting on an adjoining table.

One thing led to another and as afternoon passed into evening. Terry returned with Susie, to celebrate their last night here on the rock, This before heading off like Swallows, back to sunnier times in Cape Town and 28 degrees of southern hemisphere warmth ...

Great chat about heritage, dialects, voice recognition, and Tanganyka.

Fascinating place Skiathos - crossroads of many countries people ...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Autumn visitors ...

As the summer visitors depart up runway 02 ...

The autumnal boomerangers, have arrived via Easyjet, Thessaloniki airport, a taxi, the national bus, and Flying Cat 6. Simon and Donna, have arrived from Bolton - the hard way. Journey completed all in one day and are here on the rock.

Now its tough, visiting restaurants on their last few nights open, but they are assured of a warm welcome everywhere. The locals will know they love the island, because they are here when the others have left, and are staying here in the heart of the village ...

I heard the rumble of cases, opened the door and shouted 'Xenos' (Strangers) and it was great to see them, (Geitionas) neighbours for some days at least.

I have witnessed some tearful goodbyes, this afternoon, as summer has all but ended for mainstream tourism. Kalypso departs for its final Mamma Mia trip in the morning. The other boats have departed for dry dock.

Tonight I wandered the streets, OK a few hundred more Brits in the main have departed, but the tavernas and restaurants that are open are busy. One taverna friend called me over, He put a bottle of wine in my hand and said 'Yammas - Kalo Hirmonia' - Good winter!

Now as I do not drink and type - 'Kali Nichta apo Skiatho' (Good night from the rock) ...

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Pomegranates and Grapes ...

A friends garden near Xanemos ...



Ripened in the Skiathos sun ... ...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Καλημερα σε ολους και καλο mηνα ...

Good morning to all and good month ...

October is here - Its dawned with a cloudless blue sky, and hardly a breeze, to disturb the water which is almost like a sheet of glass.


The season may be ending but two of the boats have departed, full to the brim with tourists off to enjoy the sights around the islands.


Its nice and warm here, an almost perfect day, to go to the beach ...

Have a good day wherever you are, with autumnal warmth, sent from a small rock in the aegean ...

11am: The port police are testing the national defence sirens. Must be fun for the tourists expecting an air raid any minute. I last heard this sound in the 80's in london. Now they are sounding the all clear ...

Stats: Sometime this morning, the 450,000th page load of the blog was made. Thank you all for visiting - 'Stunned of Skiathos' ...