Saturday, 29 November 2014

Weekend Dad ...

That's me it seems ...

Having undertaken all my duties about the home this morning, whilst SWMBO is offline. I made my way to meet friends for Juniors tennis class, down at the tennis club. Its our first sunny day in ages, and the courts were just dry enough for the children to play on. Far too damp for the adults ...

So a good time watching from the sidelines as the children were being coached. Still not sure if its Juniors cup of Earl Grey, but seems like great fun for all concerned.

Later we went for a walk, Junior being hungry after class wanted a chocolate croissant. Despite my dire warnings of ' A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips' I made the trip worthwhile combining the chocolate croissant, with a trip to Carrefour for supplies ...

Junior realised that dad had turned the game around, when we passed the second minimarket. Carrefour was well off juniors radar, and resulted in a 'go slow'.  Speeded up only by the magic word and appearance of 'money' to pay for the desired chocolate croissant, once we were there.

We completed most of our shopping list, Carrefour being well stocked with chocolate croissants, but less so with essential home supplies. The Christmas turkeys are in from France, and will still be there in three weeks time when some of us will need them.

The return trip was an even slower 'go slow' as the desired chocolate croissant had to be consumed whilst dad carried the shopping in the sunshine.

Tonight another couple of hours fun time at the childrens play and activity centre - Joyce 'n' fun. Great to see the children having a great time, in a warm safe environment. Nice to see the parents having a great time too, as well as the children.

Such a great initiative for the children of Skiathos, who do not have any play areas to enjoy, since they were closed down.

Tomorrow anyone for more tennis ...

Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday ...

Well it was earlier ...

However its still a very 'Grey Friday' here on the rock.

From time to time you feel a bit sorry for yourself, and in my case its not for me but for SWMBO. You say to yourself there is always someone in a worse position than you and get on with it ...

One thing that has struck me these last few days, is a sad event, taking place on the other side of the world. One involving a game I love from the heart, both playing, and watching from the side ...

I have in my time dropped a few batsmen on to the wicket, and sent one or two to hospital.
So please excuse this post if it means nothing to you, it does to me ...



 #putoutyourbats #PhilipHughes #63notout #SeanAbbott #putyourbatout ...

Thursday, 27 November 2014

SWMBO ...

Thanks for all the messages ...

We are astounded by the support, and positive messages, both via email and the FB page.

 SWMBO is at home here resting on Skiathos, awaiting the results of the tests. She has been out on the harbour on Monday, for coffee to see a very good friend. In the process we met a lot of people, in a very short time.

To be fair everyone speaks well, of how she looks, A lot of it is to do with keeping up appearances. She is in a lot of discomfort, both from the wound, and the daily injections, that I (Dr Ioannis) have to give her.

Its hard for her to get to sleep, as if you turn on to the side of the wound you are awake. Cancer as many of you know, is a hidden enemy, and you cannot always say, from how someone looks, how they are or feel inside.

So she is staying in the warm and resting, Its not the best weather for doing much else here at the moment.

However it was great to see Junior in Athens, and lifted spirits, and now to be back together here on Skiathos. We are indebted to some very good Greek friends, for helping us, and supporting us looking after Junior whilst we were at the hospital.

Our friends both near and far, have helped immensely not only in financial terms - but the blood donors, and islanders with the fantastic support, for us here on the island too. We have made the first step with the surgery in Athens, however we expect to be back there again soon.

For now it's just rest, enjoy being at home as a family, and keep warm before the next step - whatever that is ...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Sweet or Sour...

It certainly posed a question ...

I picked an orange from the tree this morning, one of the few that are left. It had an amazing aroma of citrus, that had exploded its perfume over my hand, when it released itself from the tree. I peeled it and it smelled sweet, not sickly sticky.

I tried a segment, it was sweet not sour like the owner had said. I asked the ladies had they tried the fruit - 'No its sour' the chorus in reply. I said, 'I have news for you, these are clementines, now you know why the gardeners took two bags the other morning' ...

Here is a final view for now, of 'Base camp Athens' ...




Yes we have decided to jump ship back to the rock. The test results did not appear as planned last week, so they may come on Thursday, which also happens to be a 'national strike day'.

We could sit here another 10 days, waiting for them, but when SWMBO says let's go home ...

Margaret opting to stay behind to go out clubbing with friends in Athens on Sunday night. She was very concerned at the luggage that we needed to uplift. Still I packed it all into the cases, an essential requirement when visiting the mainland - stock up and you save a fortune ...

You can travel light, you can travel sensible, but as I am the mule for the return leg - we filled our boots, and still had room ...

There is a flying dolphin service 'at the moment' on Friday and Sundays from Aghios Konstantinos. Aegean Flying Dolphins the operator. 'That's the way to do it Gromit' we agreed with friends in town on Saturday.



It would have been easier to fly, but short notice, its €90 from Athens. I can fly to London and back for that from Thessaloniki. So luggage and goodies loaded into a taxi to the metro station, driven by a taxi driver probably from New York. That being the only other place that I have ever been, where the driver stopped three times to ask locals for directions.

A ride across the suburbs of Athens, on the efficient metro, then another taxi to Bus Terminal B for Northern Greece. Just 45 minutes after setting out from 'BCA' we had picked up our tickets for the coach and met up with Junior and our friends for the ride up the coast.

The rain pouring down as we departed, then two hours and one 10 minute pit stop later, we were sitting in the sunshine at Aghios Konstantinos. It's a nice ride on the local bus, once there we met more, Skiathities wandering the Port. Many making very discrete polite enquiries to me, about our patient SWMBO just out of her earshot.

Our friend, who is not the best traveller, was gradually regaining colour in the Greek Sun. A little confused having slept most of the trip, also thought we had gone through a different time zone, thinking we had 30 minutes wait for the boat, rather than the hour and a half we had in hand.

Brought up to speed, and daylight saving time, realised we had time for something to eat. We headed to a locals taverna, we did the Greek thing of sit at a couple of tables, get served at one, then move inside and sit by the woodburner.

The good thing about having lunch with Greek friends, is they know what to eat. There followed a banquet. Marithas, Gavros, Sole, Cuttlefish, Horta, Geek salad, Chips, washed down with local wine and a chocolate cake desert.

How much? I said when I picked up the bill. I could tell you the price, but honestly it would break your heart - But if ever you need a place for lunch in AK - You know who to ask ...

Then on to the flying dolphin, departing in golden rays of setting sunshine across a aquamarine blue sea. 



Our friend quietly slipping back into a travel related coma. I think the lunchtime glass of wine, and the weekend breaks, late night outs in Athens may have also helped ...

Skiathos was dark, cold and damp when we arrived. It had been raining and the house felt cold, and unloved too after our two week enforced relocation. I had remembered to prepare the woodburner for our return.

The mighty woodburner swiftly ignited to start to warm the house. Aircon to heat the bedroom, an additional quilt appeared from somewhere. SWMBO retreated under a blanket to keep out the initial chill.

For the first time in weeks, I have slept like a bear ...

PS Now over half a million page reads of the blog - Thank you for visiting ...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lets play chess ...

Blinded by the light ...

Arriving at the hospital, in the blinding low sunlight, soon accustomed to the fluorescent world within. Its like entering a tunnel by car, the road lights are bright at first, then your eyes get used to the light further in. Or in our case the scramble for the lift.

I am still not sure why in most places, given a button to press to go up, or down. (Panno or Catto in Greek) Aided by an indicator light above, to say where it is going. People get in a lift, occupy a space, press the button in an opposite direction, and get crazy when it goes the other way.

Today's game started on the third floor

Start at logical option. (Where you last left the game) 3rd floor
From 3rd floor they play the Go TO 2nd floor card once more
Slide back down the snake to 2nd floor Tameio.
Pay another €5 at the Tameio, despite only leaving a sample requested, and paid for yesterday
Go back to the third floor, This is Go TO 3rd floor card via the third floor ladder
Deposit sample in the correct office with the 'non customer facing' white coat

Note €5 receipt not inspected by the 'non customer facing' white coat, however we can come back in a week, to find out what is wrong ...

So we have paid €5 for nothing, enforced by the 'customer facing' person behind a bandit screen, so they could point to the corridor, so we could find the right room, and give our plastic bag to someone else ...

Thats when there was a sudden bright light before my sleep deprived eyes ...


SWMBO was in further discomfort, despite seeing a doctor or two yesterday. Her pain, is my pain, as I get to hear a lot about it, but can do very little about it, other than change dressings and give the required inoculations.

So I played the Joker ...

Go to the Fifth floor, This is Go TO 5th floor card via the Fifth floor ladder

There followed a discussion, 'about yesterday' and i said take you €5 paper and demand they take a look - either there or in the directors office ...

Are you coming with me?
No ...
Why?
The chairs are more comfy here, and you will probably be back in a minute ...

Check ...

She said things in another language, One that is probably best that i do not fully understand. But I got the general idea. SWMBO was gone a long time ...

Take the bureaucracy out of the situation, its a very well run hospital. You can see a general warmth and respect for each other by the staff, and for the patients. The building is clean, it could do with a coat of paint, the portraits of the Onassis family are beginning to fade a little.

SWMBO was on the 5th floor, of all people to bump into ...
Dr A, who played the Go TO 2nd floor card yesterday
Dr B, who played the Go TO 3rd floor card yesterday
Both of them together, and not best pleased to see her back again ...

So she let them have a broadside, 

'I saw you both yesterday, and I know you are both busy. But I am back because I know somethings not right, and as you both know, the reason we all met was that I thought something was not right in the first place.

That's why I have had an operation here, and why I know something now is not right, So here is your €5 receipt who is going to tell me what is wrong, or what I should do about it?

Check mate...

The nurses station stood and watched in awe ...

Dr A & Dr B - both in scrubs, took her into the examination room and took a look, then agreed with SWMBO. Thirty minutes and a painful procedure later, we were on our way out of the hospital ...

One hour after that we were reunited with Junior, here in Athens ...

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Musical chairs or Snakes and Ladders ...

One very warm day here in Athens ...

08:15am, and someone was cutting wood outside with a chainsaw. It almost feels like Skiathos ...

Back to the hospital for a game of Musical Chairs or was it Snakes and Ladders ...

Its a game of two minds where you pit your wits against the skills of your opponent.
Here are the rules, and an example of how to play the game ...

Pay €5 at the Tameio
Pick a lift there are two.
Pick a floor there are seven.
Start at logical option. (Where you last left the game) 5th floor
From 5th floor they play the Go TO 2nd floor card
Slide back down the snake to 2nd floor.
Pick a clinic, take a seat and rotate around floor and clinics at leisure

If you are lucky you get to the next level ...

Go to the third floor, This is Go TO 3rd floor card via the third floor ladder
Only there is no one there, just 'non customer facing' white coats
Slide back down the snake to 2nd floor Tameio.
Go back to the third floor with paper, This is Go TO 3rd floor card via the third floor ladder
Only the office has closed at midday, and its now 12:40
Slide back down the snake to the second floor tamio.

Tameio look at your paper (The one that they gave you) and say

'Game over - start again tomorrow at 8am'...

So we went a few stops on the metro, and jumped off at a random station.


We watched a baker make small pizzas in a bread oven. Tomatoes, feta and peppers almost wrapped in their bread base, They were delicious and piping hot too.

Then we wandered home for a snooze, to find that the gardeners had carried out the autumnal tidy up. One orange tree had disappeared, half of a lemon tree too. A huge pile of branches was stacked up outside to be removed. Two carrier bags of fruit, discretely tucked away for the gardeners wives, to put to good use - Chefs tasters ...

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Inspired ...

Not really ...

But Alexandros Papadiamantis - Fey Folk, a tale from Skiathos is a very nice read ...

We have been out and about, but are really just marking time until SWMBO gets the all important results back from the doctor. Then we will learn about the next steps from the oncologist. Hopefully she will 'officially' be passed fit to travel soon.

Until then we remain at 'Base camp Athens' until further notice ...

We did get some great news, that we will have visitors in the next few days, from Skiathos. This has cheered up SWMBO considerably, as did yesterdays visit to a lovely french cafe near Syntagma square.

Like the Christmas turkey, It seems we need to fatten her up for Christmas, as she is missing a few kilos ...

In the mean time we have done some more window shopping. We visited Marks and Spencer, and did more window shopping, at some other famous UK brand stores - Before the effort became too much for SWMBO.

We visited a lovely local grill house, last night. It more than surpassed expectations, serving amazing succulent meat from the grill - A family business and seemed to have great support from the local community. A bargain night out by Skiathos standards ...

Tonight I cooked a mushroom risotto, hearty autumn food - for a mild night in Athens.

Good luck to everyone back on Skiathos, taking part in the Panagia Kounistra festival tomorrow. I wish I could be there with you ...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Class action ...

Yesterday - Monday was Polytechneio day ...

Students, both young and not so young across Greece, remember the Students uprising, and actions of the military junta in 1973. There is an excellent report by Keep Talking Greece here on the protests yesterday in Athens and Thessaloniki,

Do read the link to 'A Gael in Greece' here it explained a lot more to me ...

On this day, the children in schools in Skiathos, take red carnations to school. The younger children draw or paint them, and take them home to their parents.

This is in memory of Nikos Beloyannis, A Greek resistance leader, sentenced to death for crimes against the state.

His wife gave him the carnation at court and he kept it throughout the whole trial, through to the day when he was sentenced to death. This image was captured in a sketch by Pablo Piccasso - Man with a Carnation ...


In another type of class action ...

Congratulations to 'friend of the blog' Phil H - It seems the class action, for a Skiathos flight delay on the 3rd June has been successful. You can read all about it here ...

The earth moved here last night - Not the result of Phil's class action, A Mag 5.4 tremor located 51 miles (82 km) NNW of Athens, on the coast of Evia. Skiathos friends down here have advised they felt it, I woke in the night at about that time - not sure if that was the reason though ...

Excellent update on the wobble here by Keep talking Greece ...

Monday, 17 November 2014

The Great Escape ...

Started last friday morning ...

Before that though, We had lots of excitement on Thursday. I was at the hospital, when we learned that Joanna was missing her plane at Gatwick, due to a road and rail delay. Messages were being exchanged of various stages of panic mode. There was nothing we could do - no WiFi connectivity and limited 3G at the hospital. Just advise where to fly from, and how ...

Nothing more was heard and we left mid afternoon, another 'very cheap taxi' ride across town to 'Base camp Athens' Then arriving to hear that Joanna was now at Heathrow, in time for the afternoon flight.

The only problem being it arrives in the evening here, and after the suburban train line closes at 21:44pm.

Joanna flew in thirty minutes after the suburban train line closed, and turned on her phone to receive new arrival instructions from me - Get a cab! Joanna arriving a swift thirty minutes after that, at BCA via taxi, A little lighter in pocket after her hectic days travel crossing London N S E & W ...

A couple of beers and a good nights sleep was all she needed - Only we had a cracker of a thunderstorm instead, rattling the windows here in Athens.

Friday was a beautiful morning in Athens, after the thunderstorm overnight. I arrived at the hospital to be advised that SWMBO may be allowed home later that day.

Like everywhere else you wait around all day waiting for confirmation, then go up and down in the lift, then all round the hospital getting pieces of paper stamped by the authorities.

It was a decison that took us all by surprise. Not least me who had seen some spectacular throwing up from SWMBO the previous day. Still tubes removed and papers were assembled, do's and do not's were agreed.

Time to go ...
We are within a 15 minute ride from the hospital in case of a problem. We settled the patient, then having visited six pharmacies with Margaret, we eventually had all the medication required. It's a case of keep warm,  and try not to cough sneeze or laugh too much. So far so good, Dr Ioannis in charge ...

We are assured by friends of the blog, who are 'in the know' that home is the best place to recuperate. Sadly we are grounded for around seven days. So 'Base camp Athens' it is for now.

Saturday we diverted into Athens, to seek out a 'food shop' to get some tasty goodies for SWMBO. Discoveries, that may appeal to friends back on Skiathos. Lidl, Jumbo, Salmon, Black pudding, Dijon mustard and fresh parsnips ...

I arrived back at 'BCA' after my diversion to Lidl, with frozen salmon steaks in hand. Joanna and Margaret arriving earlier, laden down with their supplies. Joanna the 'domestic goddess' then started to put them to good use in the kitchen ...

Salmon pasta and a glass of Zubr wodka, went down very well indeed. SWMBO enjoying a refreshingly healthy carrot drink called Kubus from her homeland ...


This is the famous Polish cucumber soup, from Sunday, that will hopefully revive SWMBO - Its not to everyone's taste, I was quite taken by Margaret's chicken soup, of the night before ...


All to soon, it was time for Joanna to return to UK after her weekend supporting us here in Athens. There is no doubt she lifted the morale with our patient, who is still in pain with the wound as it heals. Dr Ioannis, administering injections on a daily basis.

I took time out to get Joanna to the airport, to make sure she made it on to the aircraft. We had a coffee before, she went through to departures. 

I popped into the news store. The front pages of the UK Sunday papers, made depressing reading. The Sunday Times is €5 a copy - so for a few euros more, I picked up a local read - Alexandros Papadiamantis - Fey Folk, a tale from Skiathos ...



Very good it is too ...

Just a few pages left to enjoy, buy it you will not regret it ...

Good night from the Athenian/Skiathian grounded somewhere in Athens ...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Athenian ...

I woke up this morning in a room full of daylight ...

It was a shock as first, I did not know why, then where I was or why. Thankfully not the twilight neon light of the hospital, but base camp Athens, and the first time in daylight.

Scary stuff. Its a nice house and warm. I had been awake in the night, so had overslept.  I have drunk enough coffee lately to have sleepless nights (If I had not reason enough already) and have had my fill of cream/cheese/spinach pies of all types in he last few days too.

After breakfast - back on the run towards the city centre and hospital.

Its not every day you get to share a train carriage with a travelling Bulgarian busking band. But it made a change from the weeping Afghani, who works the route day and night.

However packed the train gets, and in the morning commute its a tight fit. The Athenian lady you are pressed up against, has a large coffee to go in hand. The doors open some people fall out. Others implore you to let them on from the platform, but the coffee cup has standing room priority at all times.

Another return to normality and city life. People running for trains and connections. Much to my surprise even the wailing Afghan made the connection from suburban rail to metro. Bad luck though to pick the carriage with the Bulgarian accordion duo ...

SWMBO is recovering well after the surgery. The surgeon is happy with her progress. She is feeling sick mainly due to the after effects of anaesthesia, and the pain relief so has been keeping me busy.

I got her up on her feet and walking a few steps yesterday. As you know after surgery you feel very tired - hopefully she will be better in a day or so.

Long way to go yet, everything in small steps. Margaret great support, Joanna is arriving tomorrow from UK. Thanks to our 'very special friend' back in Skiathos, who is looking after Junior for us ...

Must say we are very impressed by all the staff here at the hospital. Doctors nurses are all friendly and professional. The new incumbent of the next bed is in the medical profession, and says the surgeon is the best there is ...

Its getting cooler here on Athens the skies have steadily clouded up and we expect rain tonight. Probably on Friday too. Getting gloomy outside so night approaching. Grey skies and a grey city today. However off to the airport tomorrow/thursday to meet Joanna flying in from London for a few days.

Getting in late evening, a glass of wine and its time for bed. Internet is a bit flaky where we are staying. Nice area though, plenty of shops and cafes. Supermarkets are very similar to the ones we are used to, but distinct lack of butchers or fish shops.

Must cut back on the cappuccinos or the trousers will start to fit me again. Plenty of shops around selling designer goods, likewise plenty catering for the budget consumer. Shoes around the €100 a pair. Shows how out of touch I am with retail therapy.

Late news (just remembered)  the travelling Bulgarian busking band, were working the city bound train service tonight.

The Athenian - Yes it has a certain ring to it ...

Monday, 10 November 2014

Airborne ...

That was me from runway 20 at Skiathos ...

It was the larger version of the hopper, a Dash 8 - 400 and gave us a great view taxiing out of the new aircraft stands being prepared. The hardcore base being leveled prior to concrete being laid,

I had my usual seat 2D only we were asked to sit at the back, to aid the aircraft to fly level on its journey, Ground staff having loaded the 78 seat aircraft all at the front. So sit anywhere we like after row 16, and some 20 rows further back than when i started.

It took off like a rocket, right on time at 13:45pm well revised from its scheduled time of 20:45pm - The flight having been rescheduled, due to the radar station on Skopelos being out of action. So only line of sight daylight, clear weather landings are permitted.

Off the ground, well before the first exit to the terminal and great views of town and Plaka as we soared into the blue sky over the harbour. A few clouds over Evia and a great view of Athens as we overflew the city and Piraeus, before approaching from the south.

Thirty minutes in the air, and around half of that again taxiing to the aircraft stand. A motorcade of police cars and Mercedes with blacked out windows, sped across the airport, towards us escorted by police outriders.

Too late, I had already jumped on the bus with everyone else ...

Grabbed bag off the conveyor belt, and out across the road towards Sofitel, up the escalator and over to the Metro/suburban railway station. €8 on the suburban train and swiftly across the city to 'Base camp Athens'

Waiting to meet me SWMBO & Margaret and after a quick familiarization circuit of  'Base camp Athens' off on the train and metro to the hospital. This part of Athens, like when we were in Thessaloniki, is mainly sleeping on Sundays.

A €3 taxi ride (Yes Skiathos friends three euro) with a friendly taxi driver, who took us to a lovely local ouzeria. SWMBO had Bakalikos (Hake) and chips. We had a jug of tsipouro and a huge meze. The owner our new best friend in Athens - Yorgos, very impressed we are visitors from Skiathos, then giving us a lift in hiis Mercedes to the hospital. Checking in SWMBO for her appointment with the surgeons on Monday.

First impressions, its spotlessly clean, the nurses are daft as a brush, and great fun. Nice room en suite, five floors up with a view of the Olympic stadium. Not sure why they need security bars on the loo windows, not much chance of a break in or peeping tom up here. Yes I would book it and post a review ...

Met the anesthetist, very polite who probably noticed Margaret and Skiathian were already mildly anesthetized ourselves. Chucking out time was 21:00 so we headed off to the metro. Changing on to the suburban train line back to Base camp Athens.

The interchange is a cacophony of noise, and its track littered by discarded cigarette butts. Otherwise spotless clean platforms, of granite paving stones, even the blind persons walkway is machined and polished granite, not the metal plates that you find elsewhere. Its  hidden below the six lane motorway. All the stations are staffed by private security firms, and the ticket office lady, really should get a place on Greeks next top model.

The staion has its fair share of interesting people. One man tapping out a version of morse code on the vending machine that has stolen his money. The security man smartly dressed, assuring him its best to call the company rather than send a telegram via the machine.

Teenage girls with ironed straight hair, laughing and joking. Both on the platform, and on the train young ladies going through their 'Goth phase' all in black with black nails, and eye shadow to match.

Everyone smartly dressed, nice clothes smart shoes, unlike us rough islanders ...

Back at the house it seems changes will need to be made. I am sharing it with people who drink green tea and the greek coffee made from sludge in a beke. I need nescafe and milk - what time does the supermarket open?

Until then am off to the hospital, the big day has dawned, SWMBO is off for the surgery first thing. I need to be there for her, Thanks again to her very special 140 supporters. Keep everything crossed. I do not know when I will be back for that coffee ...

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Wet ...

That just about sums it up ...

Listening to the rain since 04:30am, on my second coffee and chewing through a doughball, that passes for a croissant, that they seem to love here.

We are in for a rather damp day, which will probably put paid to my efforts, to entertain junior today. If I can get the bags packed, then a quick sprint up to Joyce 'n' Fun. The excellent new children's activity & play centre, located next to Asteras supermarket.


It is the only children's play activity area open on the island. All the play areas have either been closed, or have been removed, due to them failing risk assessments following an accident in Athens.

The rain should give the streets a good wash, and blast through the storm drains. As one friend said last night - possibly further opportunities to try out the new Olympic kayak course, down Papadamatis Street, if it rains hard enough.


Storm forecast 9am
Looks like SWMBO may be staying indoors in Athens today too ...

SWMBO spent yesterday (Friday) in hospital undergoing tests. Like everywhere else in the world, a lot of that time spent waiting to see doctors. However all OK so far, The staff were all very nice, and spoke glowingly of the Surgeon and team, who will be together on Monday for the surgery.

Thank you to friends on the neighbouring islands, of Skopelos and Alonissos, who have been in touch and offered support. I have forwarded on all the messages, from friends near and far, to base camp Athens.

Thank you to friends on the island, who very kindly offered blood units from their banked supplies, We have confirmation, the donated units have arrived at the hospital in Athens, from Volos via the Greek blood transfusion service.  

We have some wonderful friends, on standby here on the island, in Volos, and ready to attend in Athens, should any more supplies be needed. 

Island News:

Our excellent key cutter, locksmith, and shoe repair man - has relocated to new premises. He can now be found next door to Phedrock bar here in town.

There is a 24 hour national strike planned for Thursday 27th November see: http://livingingreece.gr/strikes/




Friday, 7 November 2014

Stormy night ahead ...

Greece has extreme weather warnings, in place across the country tonight ...

Lightning activity 21:15 Local time ...
The storms that affected Spain last week, Italy and Rome a few days ago will pass through tonight. The woodburner is keeping us nice and warm tonight.

Just as well, lots of washing needs drying ...

SWMBO is battening down the hatches in Athens. Storms should be rather more of a problem down there ...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Journey begins ...

SWMBO has departed for Athens ...


Kamila with her 'Guardian angel' Margaret Hewitt who is the second of the 'life partners' ...

Later update:

The girls arrived in Athens late this afternoon, the travel went like clockwork. They have been out to dinner at a grill near the house. They are currently checking out the local area, and getting their bearings. SWMBO will be in hospital tomorrow (Friday)

Many thanks for all your kind words, and support via FB and the You Caring page. It means a lot to us at this time ...

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Busy day ...

All over town today ...

The schools are closed today, so we should have had a lie in. Instead have been up to the medical centre twice in two days - and twice this morning. As mentioned previously, here and elsewhere the guys from the Skiathos Medical centre are fantastic.

A mention for Dr Vicky the consultant and Zoi, who helped me out yesterday. Thank you for explaining the blood donors transfer of units process to me. Its worked well for all us novices today making arrangements. Volos certainly know what we are doing, and who for.

Secondly thanks to Dr Panayotis Stamelou, the excellent paediatrician, For his help and advice this morning. Junior is singing his praises - despite the chesty cough. He is a new 'best friend' which he is anyway as far as we are concerned.

Thirdly another friend from the medical centre - Dimitris. Hope you are recovering well after your surgery. We all wish you well my friend. Hope to see you soon ...

So thanks to all the Blood donors, who offered help, all sorted, SWMBO has bags to pack, there is an update from her on the Just caring site - Click here then the Update tab.  SWMBO unwell at the moment ...

Thanks to friends this morning who have been in touch with advice and support. We will follow them all up and get back to you.

Very interesting contact, from a friend in the USA - Thank you for your support ...

Island News:

Nice to see people working hard picking and collecting olives, in the groves around the ring road this afternoon ...

School strikes news report from across Greece, see Keep talking Greece here

Ferry - What Ferry? Skopelos News reporting here, what I only discovered myself just yesterday. Hellenic seaways have shut our island service again until mid January. We all love Proteus anyway. Nice crew and a friendly little chuggy boat. Apollon Hellas tucked up for a couple of months in Piraeus, and the Express Skiathos rusting in Volos since September ...


Monday, 3 November 2014

School strikes ...

I admire their style ...

Democracy in action, delay the strike from a rainy day, to a dry day. That way you get to make better use of your time. Likewise locking the teachers out on a grey, but still dry day, they can do the same with their time too ...



As far as I could tell, the kids played basketball or football, and the teachers drank coffee. Around four double sheets, were seriously affected by the protest.

Power to the people ...

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The morning after ...

Kαλό μήνα σε όλους ...

Good month everyone,

It's going to be a good one ...
In fact it was quite an afternoon yesterday ...

Skiathian almost stunned into open mouthed silence, by the British community, and their friends here on Skiathos. Their amazing efforts and a donation of €700 (£545) yesterday, at the King and Queen.

I hope my subsequent unscripted few words of thanks, to all those present, were OK ...

Nice to see Graham and Caroline, on the last day of their autumn break. Amazing what Graham keeps 'hidden in his pocket' searching for an unsuspecting Skiathian all week ...

Later after visiting friends, and splashing through the puddles. I popped into Gravisi for a pizza to go, and shelter from the driving rain ...

Nice to meet two 'neighbours' here from Norway - Oddvar & Sverre, hope to see you again soon.

On the subject of SWMBO activities, We are now looking at a location in town, for local donations. We are conscious we need somewhere after today's shopping trip to Carrefour, Its apparent that many more islanders than we can reach, want to help.

SWMBO said, 'I am amazed at the strength of feeling from our island friends, and neighbours, here on Skiathos. Your support gives me strength, for what lies just a few days ahead'

At least the rain clouds, now seem to have passed the island by. Its a mixture of blues skies and clouds, but still very chilly. You could easily fall in love, with the idea of lighting the woodburner in the afternoon.

But off out shortly, so the mighty woodburner, will have to wait ...