Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Is there anybody there ...

Hello Silent surfers, its been a while ...

You may have wondered what is going on. Well since we left Greece it certainly has become interesting on the Greek front. Looks like it will be quite an interesting week back 'on the rock' and in Greece in general, as the EU meet to discuss Greece's problems ...


Have been amusing myself here, watching some of my quotes 'from here, appearing elsewhere' seems a lot of the 'silent surfers' now refer to the islanders, as Skiathian's rather than Skiathiti's. Not sure how that happened ...

Its very different being back here in Blighty ...

SWMBO as many of you now know, has been going through the mill with her chemotherapy treatment. Its a long haul and she is facing the challenge bravely. Its very tough, but the hospitals here have drugs, working equipment, and strangely are full of very nice Greek doctors.


Junior is settled in school, but missing friends, and Skiathos in general for all the obvious reasons. Lets be honest 12 weeks summer break in Greece only seven here. Where would you rather be?

I had an interesting time with the teacher, sorry 'komandant' of the class.

"Its not acceptable for Junior to write in Greek" she said.
My reply "Oh come on admit it, you have learnt something for your holidays, You are quite impressed aren't you" ...

For some reason she hates me ...
I have my six monthly chat on Friday, It should be fun to read the report. Homework book down the back of the pants, better check I have signed it, and written my area of the report first ...

Schools in Greece at Infant age, are more friendly. The teachers warmer to the children, In UK its tests and homework three times a week. Try that in Greece and there would be hell to pay ...

Travel is fun ...

A new record yesterday - I used four buses within one mile.

Bus 1: Turfed off - someone ill bus out of service
Bus 2: Turfed off - Just 100 meters later - Lady driver had the hump picking up us Bus 1 passengers. She was shouting like a deranged loony. Slammed the bus over the speed humps and broke the front of the bus
Bus 3: Turfed off - Full to the brim, yes destination changed, due to the break in service.
Bus 4: We luckily made it on board, and to the next stop, as some of the passengers just gave up and walked ...

That would be most of the fleet back 'on the rock' ...

The weather here is not brilliant, and lets be honest back 'on the rock' its been foul. Worst winter since the Kafenion coffee failed to arrive. Never mind about June, but we know who to blame ...

I am just into shorts last day of June, In Greece it would have been mid April at least into mid October. Have slept on top of the bed, once or twice in the last week. Again back 'on the rock' Mid May to October for sure.

My guide to weather and events in Skiathos, gathered from feedback in the TA forum ...

  • May: Too cold/buses infrequent/rain/sea cold
  • June: Too unreliable, "The worst June in years" never again
  • July: Too hot, Too many Greeks/Italians/loud music/beaches & buses packed
  • August: Too hot, Too many Greeks/Italians/loud music/beaches & buses packed
  • September: Too unreliable, Storms, closing up
  • October: Too unreliable, no one told us everything closed.
Did anyone mention the thunderstorms? Greek ones are far better than UK ones ...

Food, here the diet is heavier, the fresh produce has travelled many miles. Flavourless tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers that come 'wrapped in condoms' to keep them fresh. Bagged salads and pre cut bags of vegetables. You cannot do the sniff test, if the food has a plastic wrapper ...

All those aisles of boxes of pre cooked 'ping dinners' the bread is horrible. We have found an independent bakery, which is very good, but (Don't mention it back home) the turkish bread from their bakery, is as as good as you can get.

Strangest thing to see, someone living in a flat above a Tesco getting a food delivery ...

The lack of Olive oil in the diet, meaning the joints click like they used to years ago. Knees that crack like a gunshot in the cooler weather.

Worst of all - No tsipouro ...

Once in a while one of our Skiathos friends, touches our heart. One morning a package arrived, that has done bus and air miles to get here.

So here is a 'still life' dedicated to the happiest Boomeranger, I have ever met, Mr Tsipouro - Phil & his lovely wife Sheila. Aided and abetted by the famous Troll - Stig. Who have succeeded in putting a smile, and some sunshine on a Skiathian mates face ...



The part of London we were in, (and we keep on moving) was African, must say the price of Yams shocked me, but if you liked hot food, the peppers were amazing. Their produce seemed very fresh compared to what was available in the local supermarket.

Fresh fish last night, 'Tsipoura' which in English is 'Sea Bream'. Only it comes from Greece, and two for a fiver from the cling film wrapped supermarket.

On the subject of fish, have been visiting Billingsgate, the main fish market in London every couple of months. Great to have a quick chat with one of my Skiathos mates JH. He has reintroduced me to cold water fish, its been an education, that we have enjoyed.

Lemon sole, Monkfish, Plaice, learning how to fillet a Haddock, but I must admit, and the 'educator' will be pleased to learn, I do love the Cornish Hake, it makes a great fish pie. Its even served with chips at Lords cricket ground as something called 'Cornish white fish' ...

You do know the battle for the Ashes starts today, in somewhere called Cardiff ...


I have a ticket for Lords, and cannot wait to get back there, having queued down the street to see England beat New Zealand, on BH Monday. That was £10 in loose change well spent. Have also been to Twickenham to see England v Italy with the nephews. Thanks to my brother and Essex RFU for that ...

So its another deadline for Greece, next Sunday. Will be watching the result in earnest, and thinking about friends far away. Many of whom we are constantly in touch, along with some of the silent surfers who have surfaced over the last few weeks.

Wherever you are, have a great day, that's all for now folks, from the suburbs of the greatest city - London - where at least the banks are open, even if you have no money ...

15 comments:

  1. ....yes, we are still here......and we have been patiently waiting. And now we are rewarded with one of the best reads in six months. Good to hear from you again. And very best wishes to SWMBO

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    1. Good to hear from you, and thanks for the feedback ...

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    2. Good to hear off you Ian. Give our best wishes to swmbo.

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    3. Thank you and good wishes passed on, to a very poorly SWMBO ...

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  2. Oh how wonderful to hear from the Skiathian. Made my day here on the 'Rock'. A rather blustery day at that...weather certanly not your normal Greek summer weather. The Cape Town gang visitng again enjoying a break from the Cape Town winter. Swmbo always in our thoughts...please pass on lots of good wishes and positive thoughts from us all. Xxx

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    1. Good to hear from the 'Family from the Cape' hope you are having a fantastic time as usual. Sorry we are not there to see you, having fun. Junior & SWMBO send best wishes. Give the house a pat for good luck as you pass xxx

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  3. Hello Ian, So good to discover you back bloging again. You have been missed!
    Don't believe all you read...the weather hasn't been that bad and although the banks are closed the shops are still full and if generosity and kindness can be counted a riches then the Greeks are still the richest people on earth. BEst wishes from Paros to you Kamila and Junior.

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    1. Hi Barty - Good to hear from you. Yes I know what you mean, lots of people stressing, just for the sake of stressing. Read about shortages of beer earlier. Soon clarified by someone on the island, no shortage at all. Just people not paying bills so not getting supplies. Cash is king, parting with it difficult. More updates maybe soon - Best wishes to all ...

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  4. Thank you for posting ian, I had been thinking of you all. Best wishes to kamila she is so brave& thinking of you& junior too

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    1. Thanks Pauline, she is on treatment No 5 at the moment. Its tough ...

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  5. So lovely to read your blog again Ian - I have had a peep in here every once in a while and it's lovely to hear from you again. As always, our best wishes to brave Kamila and of course to you and 'junior' too x

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  6. Good to hear from you again here Ian - think of you all often and hope you and Kamila and junior are coping ok with these difficult times x

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    1. Its been a very tough six months. SWMBO really going through it. I had to cut off most of her hair today :(

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  7. Just called in here on the off-chance - thanks for the update, I didn't even realise you were back in the UK till a couple of weeks ago.
    My thoughts, as always, are with you all.

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