Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Island News ...


Beach licences ...

Seems there have been a 'few issues with the paperwork' and the auction is delayed. The auction will now take place, on Saturday 11 June at 10am at the Bourtzi ...

He's back ...

Not me or even the famous Stig, who is holding court down on Small Banana, in the even more famous bandana.

The Sheikh of Qatar, arrived last night, flying in with his entourage on an A320 for his annual visit to his favourite 'rock in the aegean' ...

Look out for the yacht Al Mirqab, and all the boys toys very shortly. Lets hope Stig does not bump into the yacht in the next storm, like he nearly did one year ...

Just in time for ...

Bananistas opening party tomorrow ...


Well tomorrow is the first day of summer after all ...

Monday, 30 May 2016

The Cultural Association of Skiathos' invites you ...

To the following events ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 9:30pm

To the theatrical performance 'The Homesick', the open theater 'Bourtzi' the Municipality of Skiathos.


The show is based on the homonymous novel by Al. Papadiamantis, starring Arietta Moutousi climbs in Skiathos, at the invitation and organization of the Cultural Association 'Skiathos' support of the Municipality of Skiathos and sponsored by Hellenic Seaways, the tourist office Dolphin of Skiathos Mr. Alexandros Efstathiou, the main Despina Markakis (Ergon & Elia's restaurants) and Mr Dimitris Koliaki (restaurants Scuna, Marmita, & Bourtzi cafe)  .

Sunday, June 5, 2016, 8:00pm, 

In collaboration with the Benaki Museum, the inauguration of the photo exhibition 'Greek Thalasses_


Photographs of the post-war years', the Museum of the Monastery of the Annunciation, with the sponsorship of the Hellenic Seaways, tourism Dolphin of Skiathos Mr. Alexandros Efstathiou, Mrs Despina Markakis (Ergon & Elia's restaurants) and Mr Dimitris Koliaki (restaurants Scuna, Marmita, & Bourtzi cafe) . Duration June 6 to 18 September 2016 daily 09:30-20: 00..

Yours sincerely
The Board

www.syllogos-skiathos.gr

Sunday, 29 May 2016

On the 64th day ...

I said enough is enough ...

So after 64 days  I now have 1.3 litres, of amber nectar from Skiathos ...


The only trouble when carefully bottling, the 2016 'Skiathian Limoncello' was that its so difficult not to try any of it. So I passed that task to a VIP ...

Tasting notes:

SWMBO - Said 'Its delicious, its very strong and the lemon taste, is very good indeed"

She was laughing a lot and had a silly grin ............

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Sunset at the Villa Thalia ...

For those of you within easy reach of London, you may be interested to know the National Theatre, are staging a drama by Alexi Kaye Campbell, an Athens born playwright, who spent summers on Skiathos.

It is also set on the island, although it's not necessarily about Skiathos.

Sunset at the Villa Thalia is at the National’s Dorfman, SE1 (020 7452 3000, nationaltheatre.org.uk), from May 25 until August 4

The London Evening Standard also published an interview with the author, the link is here

Thanks to Stephen for the info ...



Late News:

Bottling the Limoncello tomorrow, sugar syrup prepared ...

Friday, 27 May 2016

Attikon Cinema - Opening ...

Opening on Monday 30th May ...


Mon/Thurs/Sat 9.30pm - Mamma Mia

The full week with new releases, details to follow by 2nd week of June ...

Many thanks to all for your support, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Koukounaries and Maratha beaches ...

Both beaches have been awarded with blue flags for Skiathos in 2016 ...



Greece has earned fourth place in Europe with regard to the quality of its bathing waters for this year, according to data published by the European Environment Agency on Tuesday. The report noted that 97.2 percent of areas inspected were deemed to be outstanding.

The organization also announced that the country was positioned third worldwide in terms of Blue Flag certification, with 430 beaches and 9 marinas for 2016.

The agency's annual report evaluates the quality of the water from last year and highlights areas where this is expected to be maintained in the current year.

Over 1,500 bathing areas, including beaches, lakes and rivers, were inspected last year, out of which 1,499 were defined as top quality spots for swimming, the report said.

Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Skiathos Trail Run Half Marathon 2016

Any fit people out there ...

I know of one who has changed his holiday to take part ...

 

 Its now an annual event, and another great video, by Skyframe ...

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

When life gives you lemons ...

You make a 'Skiathian Lemon tart'

Especially if they are hand picked Skiathos lemons ...

It was a tough decision, do you make more Limoncelo or not? But after a little work, and forty five minutes in the oven. The aroma of those lemons, when I opened the oven door hit the senses ...


Thirty minutes later, and a still warm lemon tart - with a splash of cream ...


Judging by the 'Mmm Mmm' from SWMBO, It was going down very well indeed.

I must say, Very nice it was too ...

Three lemons left - Decisions Decisions ...

For the recipe which i used click here


Update: Dates for the diary 2016 ...

Monday, 23 May 2016

Now the weather is better ...

Normal service has been resumed ...


'The Lalaria' and 'Kalypso' beached at Lalaria in perfect calm conditions ...

Sunday, 22 May 2016

This weeks ...

Skiathos dictionary ...

Considering how much love there is for the island, its amazing how many place names get corrupted in conversation, by those who profess to love the island ...

Skiathos: skiathois Skathos

Accolades
achaladies
Archladis
Archladies Bay
kanapitza
Trulos Bay
Troolus
Kokounaries
Kookonaris
kookanaries
Koukanaires
Koukanaries
Maindraiki
megalos aselinos
Mikro Aslenisos
Kekrya
Tsungria

I am planning a trip to Skoopelus ...

My own favourite ...

'I booked with Thompson' - Who are they ??
Oh you mean Thomson !


After all, If you cant get that one right, then you are in trouble ...

All further donations gratefully received

Friday, 20 May 2016

Looks a bit damp ...

For the next few days or so ...

Lets hope everyone has packed their brollies and pac a mac's for the weekend. It should be a lot better weather wise from Monday.

Not what you want to read at the airport, but duty free still has options, for you

Latest update from Nostos - Fawlty towers, rebranded as 'Skiathos Blu' by Thomson (But its still Nostos village if you have a timeshare) Is that the paint is dry, the furniture is still arriving, but the new season knives and forks, have still to arrive from Jumbo. Until then the 1980's ones will continue in service UFN ...

New update on the stairs count at 350+ presumably they lost count, or stopped for oxygen. Hopefully the boys from Margaritses transport drove up with the latest furniture delivery, rather than walked. Great effort though.

Platinum investment has still not been able, to stretch to enough rust eater, to free the funicular from the track. Apparently the lights dipped on Kalamaki, each time it went up the alp ...

Reports that the fuzz have been taking an interest in the beaches. Strange as the young fit bodies don't arrive until June down at Banana. Everyone to their own, but Doris and Dave like a man in uniform ...

Apparently some hoteliers are helping them with their enquiries, down the station. Lets hope its all resolved quickly, and by breakfast service this morning ...

After all, its summer, the sun is meant to shine, fun on the beach is what most folks come for ...

Late News: The Ukrainian visitors have dropped off the blog, since they won Eurovision. How many votes did Greece give them?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Island News ...

The open air cinema is planning to open at the end of the month, Amanda said,

'I think the earliest we can start is 28/5 or 30/5 - last yr was 4/6. I'll let you know as soon as I make a decision - weather permitting & paint dry on screen. Thank you for your support' ...

The cinema programme will be published here as normal.

On the subject of the weather ...

If you are flying on Friday, keep an eye on the weather forecast for the weekend ...


Friday night and Saturday look stormy, the weather of late has been very windy ...

If you need to get into town, its the most popular place to be on ;no sunshine days' then the new bus timetable is here ...


Nostos Skiathos Blu opened for business, and the first punters are apparently happy.

However it seems TC are stretching the point with 'One way flights from Manchester' on Sundays. you can fly back but on another day ...

Anyone for Tennis ?


Who needs Wimbledon ...

Monday, 16 May 2016

Katiyorgis ...

My home from home ...

Its a small fishing village over on Pelion, just a few miles away from Skiathos. Its a great place to visit especially if you are going around the island, by boat.

Located on the Pelion coast, Katiyorgis is one of the closest points to Skiathos island. Due to this fact the venue is much frequented by visitors from Skiathos, who make the short journey by boat to dine on fresh fish at the excellent tavernas.



But would you recognise it in 1960 ?



Taverna Floisvos (Blue umbrellas) was not in existence, 56 years ago,but at least we can go there now, on the Kalypso. Their 'Pork in Lemon sauce' was the inspiration for one of the courses at SWMBO's birthday party yesterday ...

All gone, plates cleaned with my home made bread - Let that be an example to you ...




Sunday, 15 May 2016

Happy Birthday - χρονια πολλα!! ...

To SWMBO ...

After a crazy week of trips to the Royal Marsden, we have spent a day shopping, and now I am spending half the night cooking !

Today its SWMBO's birthday, and now that my many readers of the blog, and silent friends from the Ukraine, have won Eurovision. We have further reason to celebrate.

Today we have a house full descending to wish her Sto Lat ! ...

If you wish you can sing along too ...

Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Niech żyje nam!

This translates roughly into English as:

100 years, 100 years,
May he/she live, live for us.
100 years, 100 years,
May he/she live, live for us.
Once again, once again,
May he/she live, live for us,
May he/she live for us!

"Sto lat" (One Hundred Years) is a traditional Polish song that is sung to express good wishes, good health and long life to a person.

Its a girls only affair, I am banished to the kitchen in my role as chef, for the day - and general drinks pourer, cake cutter and server ...

Preparation for the birthday party 🎂. Pork in lemon sauce (Greek) Chicken Provencal (French) Salmon to follow later - Next up preparing the bread ...


Bread dough is rising, the Cheese pies (tyropitta) and Spinach pies (spanakopitta) went in the oven at 00:50am

See you on the other side, and probably a day later, after a well earned glass of red ...


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Summer is here ...

Skiathos from high above! by SkyEye ...

 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Koukounaries ...

Sunbed free and alwaya popular with visitors ...

Even the rich and famous love this beach. Here the yacht Christina Onassis,


It was anchored in the same area, where the 'Skiathos Palace cup' took place, just a few days ago ...

Busy day again today, off to the RM with SWMBO ...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Posting update: Cherry Jam on toast ...

Latest posts listed here ...
  • Maios 8 - Crazy day - Part three ... Click here
  • Maios 7 - Coffee - Kastro & Pelion ... Click here
If someone gives you a 750g jar of home made cherry jam. At the last minute you may question yourself and think - shall i pack it after all. Its a gift, so you squeeze it in, and hope it travels. 

You get home and open the bag, half expecting smashed glass and a sticky residue. It's made it safe, SWMBO studies the jar carefully, and you put it in the cupboard for another day.

I have a loaf of bread that I picked up from the supermarket yesterday, Just to toast. The type sealed like everything into a polythene wrap. Its been chemically risen, so its light as a feather. Perhaps they put helium into the dough.

Into the toaster, click up it comes, lightly toasted as SWMBO has adjusted the settings whilst I have been away. Toast it again - Pop - Its done, no smoke, no fire alarm activation, to wake the house.

Unsalted butter melts into the sponge, that passes for toasted bread ...

Its that cherry jam moment ...


Into the cupboard searching for where SWMBO has hidden it, found it. Grip it and you twist the lid.

You twist it again, you say the magic word all men know 'Mother in Law' as you exert all your power, to seperate tin lid, from glass jar ...

And you cant get the bloody lid off ...


Late news just in: 
Page views yesterday - 1061 - Just like the old days - Thank you for visiting ...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Deep Deep Vibrations ...

Did the earth move for you  ...

Seismic vibration - Earth tremor,  to you and me. A magnitude 3.7 on the Richter scale occurred at 20.29 on Monday night, in the sea area between Skiathos and Evia,


According to the first estimate of the Geodynamic Institute of Athens automated system. The epicenter of the earthquake was located 37 km south - southeast of Skiathos, and 34km South Southwest of Alonissos. the focal depth is estimated at 10 km ...

That would have put a ripple in your Mythos. But Mr Malcolm would not have felt a thing ...

Monday, 9 May 2016

Maios 9 - The morning after ...

That was a short night ...

Why do i feel so dehydrated all of a sudden, I cannot drink enough water this morning. After last nights travel fun and games - I have unpacked ...


Gifts from Skiathos friends, a huge jar of cherry jam, along with freshly ground Greek coffee for SWMBO, and sweets and nuts for Junior ...

I cant help it am still thinking of fresh tasting tomatoes, courgettes with the flowers still attached, fresh dips, Garlic sauce, taramosalata that is pink not grey, my favourite codfish meze. Huge black olives, that have been steeped in Olive oil that makes you cough from acidity, not the streptococcus virus ...

Its quite funny when you post something about the weather from 'the rock' - you get inundated with how it is in Bognor, Bridlington and Blackpool. Its completely off the radar. No-one really cares ...

Well apparently summer is here, its hotter than Ibiza - Well I cut the grass and its tipping down.

I know that's not the case back home ...

Maios 8 - Crazy day - Part three ...

Its 1pm and I am in Koukounaries harbour ...

The boats are beached after the girls from Athens have won the championship. In my opinion, not only were they good, they were professional and a well trained team. A well deserved victory, and a class act for everyone to aspire to ...

We join the celebrations, I watch the photo calls, the interviews for Skiathos Life and Skiathos TV. I watch as the tourists wander by as if nothing is going on, its like they have blinkers ...

Friends cone over to see me sitting in the wings, Sofia from the Vodafone shop, Some faces I recognise as the Skiathos family jigsaw comes together. Lena my Skiathos dentist and friends, join the photo call. I just watch and take it all in, later I learn the gossip ...

Skiathos families are there, they make a point of saying hello, they know me - Its a small island ...

Time to go, says Yannis off to the awards presentation, Up to the Skiathos Palace Hotel, an area is cleared for us on the terrace, sunbeds are relocated. The lady chef sets up table. I help move screens, and promotional materials.



The awards and cups are laid out on tables, people appear who were not on the beach. Yes in Greece if there is food, you have many friends.


The presentation started and we were sweltering in the heat, The queue for the buffet was very busy indeed.

Prizes for the winners ...


and the runner up also from Athens ...


the capsized Thesalonikians,


The sponsors, the hotel for being such great hosts. We applauded them all for a great job well done, and they all deserved it too ...

Champions also get to sit on a car roof ...


As we boiled in the sun, a beer was a great friend ...



But I have a plane to catch - 'No stay another week' - I cant SWMBO needs me back ...

I boarded a fast motorbike, behind Yannis back to town, passing Mr Waddington, and his cameras on the way. I shouted and waved, as we passed. Nice to have met him, and such great photos ...

I made it to the airport, the chaos of the TC check in, resolved by my earlier decision to take a copy of my updated booking as proof. For some it was expensive, others just exerted plain rudeness ...

One 'gentleman' trying to check in for Manchester, was screaming and shouting at the girls, he had 13kg hand luggage. 'That's 2 x 6kg don't you understand' he was shouting.

Its very clear, when you book you are allowed up to '6kg of hand luggage per person' (That means on you) not added together, in a small suitcase to take on board.

All hand baggage that I saw was being weighed, if you are overweight you have to pay - same with hold luggage.

The girls at check in work for Swissport - Its not their fault ...

I thought I would see 'Adnamsman' and friend of the blog Pete aka 'pwll' but it was not to be. I boarded with Phil and Sheila and never saw them again either.

Met some more lovely people on board, and got chatted up by a young Aussie blonde - So not a bad trip all round really ...

My departure was closely monitored by 'friend of the blog' - Trevor ,,,

"Skiathian has left the Island"
Three hours 25-ish to get back from Skiathos, around the same to get back home from Gatwick, but despite the lack of trains, my internal compass made it home, cross country.

Two drunks wanted an in depth chat on the bus, another gentleman was higher than the 37000 feet I had ascended to, and stood laughing and insisted on trying to shake my hand.

Top it all, two people wanted my money. I had a few euro cents if they wanted to rob me, but the thought of a 100 kilo right hander, may have put them off - Its good to be back home ...


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Maios 8 - Crazy day - Part two ...

The Skiathos Palace Cup ...

Off down to Koukounaries for the finals of the Skiathos Palace cup races. What a great event it has been, very well organised by the race committee and supported by a host of sponsors and benefactors from the island and main institutions ...

Koukounaries was busy again this morning ...


The swans were taking a passing interest, in the tourists as they wandered by. The tourists in two's and mainly staring straight ahead.

I was sitting with the sailors who were preparing to race for the cup. The teams in the final were two teams from Athens, and a team from Thessaloniki. All were accomplished sailing teams, of three crew per boat.

Initialy twelve teams from Athens, Thessaloniki and Skiathos fought hard races for three days to decide, at high noon on Sunday, the championship. The first Skiathos Palace Cup ...

The winning team was Kontogiannopoulou of the Yacht Club of Greece ...

The  Nautical club of Skiathos acquired the infrastructure to cultivate sailing locally, and organize training and competitions. Young sailors being encouraged to take up the sport, with their own race competition ...

The major sponsor of the race, was the Skiathos Palace Hotel, and other major donors such as Cosmote and the local travel agency Dolphin of Skiathos. The sponsors hosted committees and competitors, and laid the foundations for future sailing on the island, and the aim to bring the residents closer to water sports.

At the same time, there are plans to launch a new type of tourism on the island, if it can be cultivated then it can extend the season for everyone. The sports tourism and sailing, with the prestige they have, are seen to improve both the image, both of the island as well as the quality of visitors it will attract.




The race comittee watch the action ...



There had been some hard fought racing over the weekend, and a few people getting wet after planting the spinnaker pole, and capsizing ...

Which is exactly what happened in race one ...


The team from Thessaloniki, return to Race control to explain their mishap ...


However the ladies team from Athens, were to emerge victorious and worthy champions ...



The final results of the Skiathos Palace Cup 2016 ...

Place Team                                        Club                      Nationality

1 KONTOGIANNOPOULOU          YCGREECE         GRE
2 KALDIS                                          YCGREECE        GRE
3 TSOLAKOS                                    SAILING TIME  GRE
4 PAPAGEORGIOU                          YCGREECE        GRE
5 KALAPOTHARAKOS                   YCGREECE        GRE
6 VAIDANIS                                      YCGREECE        GRE
7 MARGIOLOS                                 SAILING TIME  GRE
8 POLITOPOULOS                           YCGREECE        GRE
9 SARRIS                                           NCSKIATHOS    GRE
10 MANOLIS                                     SAILING TIME  GRE
11 ANDREU                                       YCGREECE        ESP
12 BELEGRATIS                                YCGREECE       GRE


More to follow ...

Maios 8 - Crazy day - Part one ...

I have a plane to catch, and am in a hurry ...

But this is Greece ...

People want to see me, feed me, catch up with me. I have to run to stand still, Sorely tempted to stay another week, but I have to get to London for SWMBO, aad 15.99 flight to catch. I am even toying with the idea of taking luggage !

I have to get down to Koukounaries, for the finals of the Skiathos Palace cup, get back pick up some presents from friends, drop some off, grab some lemons, and get to the airport ...

Watch this space, you have still to be updated about Skiathian's travels yesterday !

TTFN!

PS Pete (pwll) you sat with my buddy on the Manchester flight - see you later ...

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Maios 7 - Coffee - Kastro & Pelion ...

So I am sitting in Syraino as usual ...

Enjoying my morning coffee, and communicating with the world. Its a lovely sunny morning and the plan is to wander down to Koukounaries to watch the Skiathos cup.

Back at the house its chaos as the street is dug up for the water main works. It resembles a battlefield from the Somme. To be honest it would be great if it stayed that way all summer.

Lets see what happens when 'you know who; tries to relocate the rubbish bags. Odds on a fall into the trench. I have a surprise lined up ...

But its important work, and its got to be done. Greece has no money and its EU funds paying for it ...

Its very warm this morning, I am in the shade, there is the usual banter with 'Dimitris Liverpudlian' and Miri. Friends come up and say hello, others say farewells as they head home.

There is supposed to be a national ferry strike, well Aqua is coming into port, It has run every day as has the flying cat. Word on the street is that Proteus is running today too.

Someone wanders over and offered me a job, not for the first time and I again, have to politely decline. Its a flying visit, SWMBO has a busy week. In fact she was on her way to the Royal Marsden just at that moment ...

Along comes my old workmate, and a hug and a quick chat. Then an invitation, that took me around a second to accept, and change my plans for the day completely ...

Half an hour later I was back on board Kalypso, Half a 'Greek hour' later and after another coffee, and a sandwich, and we took 30 ladies and a couple of Orthodox priests to Kastro ...

Now I have to say they were absolutly brilliant, once they worked out two of the xenos (strangers) were English, they were laughing and joking. Offering us sweets, pieces of cake, fruit. We were spoilt rotten. I called it the favorite auntie run ...

Arriving at Kastro, most of the tourists usually head for shade, or the beach.


The hardy souls head on up.

Greek ladies whatever the age - They all went up. Walking sticks and some in their Sunday best shoes. One in a thick cork heel shoe ...

Two of the ladies though, struggled to get down the ramp, laughing hilariously as they tried to descend. We followed on behind and caught up with Margarita and Tasoula, just below the gates, to the city.

Margarita was struggling a little but declined help. Then spoke to us in English telling us about when she lived in Oxford. Fascinated to hear why we were there, and that we loved going up to Kastro ...

Just below the steps, she said she was too warm, perhaps we could help after all. I held her walking stick and she removed her thick woolen skirt ...

That's a first, and how she ascended into Kastro with Tasoula, in her long black petticoat ...

I took her into the church, and she lit a candle ...


The priest came in followed by many of the pilgrims, and the all started to sing. It was a moment that will live with me forever. I politely departed outside, We sat outside under the vine in the heat listening to the singing, still holding Margarita's dress.

Out she came, and said she would sit in the shade, and wait by the spring, but we could look after her skirt, so it ascended to the top of Kastro with us ...


Just birdsong and the heady waft of herbs to distract, as we walked through the poppy's and past the graffiti damaged prickly pear, and up to the top ...

The views over to Skopelos and Alonissos were stunning. Towards the mainland the Pelion was hazy with a few towering thundercaps towards Olympus. Sadly too much of a heat haze today, to see Athos to the north ...

I love it up there, the peace and tranquility, I cannot think what it was like to be besieged, pirates, disease and fear of attack ...

We headed back down to the church, to find empty seats, a quick rinse at the spring, and down we went catching up with the pilgrims, near the beach, some taking shade under the awning of the Kantina, watching the horses grazing nearby ...

We reunited Margarita with her woolen skirt, whilst the priest looked on, and confirmed it had made the full ascent of  to Kastro.

Returning to town, where the Priest gave both of us a gift, of a knotted string prayer bracelet ...


I must admit I felt touched ...

Ten minutes later we were off to Koukounaries, we picked up another group of Pilgrims, and headed to Kati Yiorgi, to take them home. Kati Yiorgi is a small fishing village, you are just three miles away, from Skiathos. But its the mainland and the Pelion, home of the centaurs in Greek mythology. Safe now as we went into the taverna, with the blue umbrellas.

Greeted as an old friend, Cherry wine, a selection of mezedes, a delicious Greek salad, Chicken and rice. Tsipouro bottles for later, and a chat as the sun went down ...

      

What a sunset it was when we were out at sea, tummies full and the afterglow of having spent time with friends ...


Even a chance to get up close and personal with EKO 1


Although as any sailor will tell, you, this is the view you never want to see behind you ...

My Greek friend said to me later, I have cooked Pasta and meat - Eat!

I made my excuses and had a beer with Ioannis. He said come on, lets go out, Again I had to make my excuses - I was shattered and my head hit the pillow and a deep sleep ...

Its the sea air you know ...



Maios 7 - Sunshine ...

Good morning from Skiathos ...

Its wall to wall blue skies and sunshine, swallows swifts and housemartins, are screeching and doing acrobatics over the Skiathiti rooftops ...

Photo by kind permission and © Chrissy Stone
I was tempted to go and watch the hopper land, but stayed content in bed, listening to it pass by. Just as starlings were doing their own version of the dawn chorus. Then the first vicious cat fight of the day, as territorial didputes take place over rubbish bags, in the street ...

Honey and lemon required here, as Greek friends slowly surcumb to the plague, that has affected the 'editor' Seems that those infected with the virus, have two weeks of pain ahead ...

But today I feel almost good again !

SWMBO is doing the hospital circuit in the UK, appointments yesterday, and again today. Its a tough week ahead for us all.

The Skiathos Palace cup continues today down in the bay at Koukounaries. Races from 11am.


I have the t shirt and pass. Fair winds to all those taking part - A great day to be becalmed, looking back at the beach with a gin n'tonic near to hand ...

{Good morning Cape Town}

UK friends, as you know its summer there today, Enjoy it. However as you light the BBQ, its also  #WorldNakedGardeningDay - Be careful you do not confuse the two ...

Friday, 6 May 2016

Maios 6 - Bureaucracy ...

It started well, well sort of ...

Up and out, off to the accountant, papers to file. More papers and negotiations about payments made. A bill to pay at the bank out of spare change, but you have to be legal.

I met some silent surfers, well was outed by them, in the accountants. Kate and Andy, silent friends of the blog - Soon to be correspondents ...

On to the bank, where the manager welcomed me, as did (sort of) the official, I have been trying to track down, and had caught by surprise ...

Meeting no 2 with Kate and Andy, the queue is a friendly place. Debts paid to Syriza, €1.92 pleasantries exchanged.

Out at the Central cafe, meeting number 3, and a very nice chat with Kate and Andy. Very hospitable and great company - thank you both. A greeting and a handshake from Geof ...

The toothpick is tearing up the street. Fresh water supplies soon, but first the trenches ...

Intense negotiations, with UK doctors and SWMBO via messaging to UK. Me camped out on the red cushions.

The 'fragrant one' passed, a hug and Kalo Taxidi ...

Dimitri of the red jacket, stopped, swore, and beat me up verbally for old times sake. A gift for the Greek doctor at the Royal Marsden from my long standing island friend, of his book. 'Dedicated to the doctor, and humanist, who treats the wife of the Englishman' ...

We hatched a cunning plan, in greater detail over Green tea, with honey and cinnamon. This will come to fruition, we shook on it ...

A blue TUI Thomson, flies round Tsougria, glinting sunlight flashes off its silver wings. Speed brakes deployed, it whistles past the Bourtzi. Amber sparkles on my glass of FIX ...

An afternoon, where Mr Malcolm was missed again. Still visiting not so empty restaurants. Now more frequented due to his efforts of late.

I missed the boat races, at Koukounaries due to the busy morning, missed lunch too. A lot going on, both in UK and in Greece. Somewhat stretched this morning.

Aqua ferries arrived so breaking the national ferry strike, from Agios Konstantinos. Mick has arrived to read the Guardian, and the crossword.

Blues skies, and it's warm Evia is blue, not clear, it means heat not rain. Never mind what the weather app says ...

Later update: Lazy lunch with my neighbours, and friends. Caught up on the gossip and intrigue, picked up freshly ground coffee, from the Art Coffee shop, at the back of the cinema and gifts for Junior.  Updated friends all over town it seems today ...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Maios 5 - Storm ...

Great storm, it struck on the stroke of Midnight.

It must have been offshore, and not a direct hit, we never had the thunder that rattles the ribs and walls and windows to same effect ...

8am: Just starting the 8th hour of heavy rain. Millions of ants in hobnail boots, dancing on the roof, to a technical lighting display, provided by mother nature. Lovely way to slip off into sleep ...

I have just read a weather app post :)

Advice from those in the know ...

Apparently its going to rain today, synchronise your services, and charge up those I-phones and kindles. For the less technically gifted - Look out of the window, and perhaps buy an umbrella ...

9am: Wet streets and a few grumpy faces, looking up at grey skies. No doubt shortly to be followed by a rendition of  'I'm never coming here again' from the 'Kagooled' early visitors to Papadiamantis street ...

I am in T shirt and shorts and do not care ...

Friend of the blog Pete (pwll) writes from Koukounaries, with details of his Skiathos lemon expedition, and photographic proof ...


Now if you could pop a few in the rucksack, and pop them up to town ...

More Skiathian Limoncello - could be a distinct possibility?

11am: Latest Skiathos weather forecast from Andy Collins ...

Photo by kind permission and © Andy Collins

Who is monitoring events on coffee watch, down on the paralia ...

Meanwhile I read the first confirned 'Not a happy bunny post' relating to nothing being open. The correspondent from Holland, a little upset about the state of preparation for summer. The season starting two weeks after the tourists arrive.

It must be very disappointing when our Dutch friends not only fly earlier in the day to get here, they start summer season one week before the Brits too. Even the sun is not playing ball ...

Another writes about the lack of sunbeds or facilities on Koukounaries. I did say I prefer Koukounaries deserted and unspoilt. Footprints. pine cones, fish flipping in the water - but thats not to everyones taste ...

Beach side hotel beds are out, the rest is a bureaucratic nightmare for all concerned. The hellenic shrug all apparent, but Mandraki and Eleni beaches are open, and have sunbeds - if not the sun just yet ...

12:25pm: Dare I say it looks like its a day for a glass of red, bar of chocolate and a good book ...

Bus times ...

Photo - Nick Yerasimos

Lunch ...

Greek style fresh tomatoes, with feta and scrambled egg (Strapatsada) ...


It may not seem apetizing, but its delicious, you can find the recipe here on 'My Greekdish' ...

Later update, A glorious sunny afternoon, one I decided to miss whilst I checked out the reverse of my eyelids. Tonight a delivery of fresh Brioche, I would submit a decent photo - If I could, but the vultures descended on it, and tore it apart to eat with Meranda - Which is far nicer that Nutella ...

Tonight a few strange messages, the 'fragrant one' on her last stumble around town, and some rambling from Mr M on what a great meal he was having at Stamatis. Tonight I am home alone and no more football ...

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Maios 4 - Friends ...

Its a friendly place ...

Last night I ended up watching football again - Well as Miri would say - Why not ?

I was seated in the front row of the stalls, Mr Malcolm was refueling with a very nice prawn spaghetti at Bastis. So was seated with two friendly Albanian guys, impressed that I could great them in their native language.

One was a singer, who had his own music video, and was trying to get work 'here on the rock' having worked in Athens Thessaloniki and Skopelos. The other was a jack of all trades, but smart and very keen to speak, and practice his English with me.

After a while Syraino was packed and the two Albanian guys drifted off, probably feeling a little uncomfortable with the football crowd. I was joined by a lovely Greek man, from Athens, we chatted and Mr Malcolm arrived for coffee. An eclectic mix but we got on great.

This morning, I spoke with the 'lady who makes people happy' Anastasia, the island wedding co-ordinator, great to chat and the chance of a catch up in person soon.

I was a very busy boy, having relocated 1/4 ton of firewood yesterday, to summer storage, My back was feeling decidedly iffy. Relocating timber is not an easy or tidy job at the best of times. Cleaning dusting spraying logs, and having to dig a huge splinter of olive wood, out of the right hand and deal with a fountain of blood to deal with - Messier still ...

Its a good way to try to sweat out, the last of that damned flu.

Somehow I made it to meet up with 'Adnamsman' and Mr Malcolm. Our planned venue was set up for a baptism party for around 40 guests so we diverted to Mouragio. Philliposs and Sheila were camped out at Mythos, booking a later flight home. Phil having managed to loose 2x20kg of luggage, even before boarding.

A hug from Leanne my former work colleague, who had just flown in from the Squirrel Wirral via Manchester and was having coffee with Barry ...

Mr Malcolm has been engaged in a debate - apparently its not 'de rigeur' in tourist terms to frequent a place where no-one is seated. I stopped Mr M and said 'You know we should not go in' Adnamsman being the 'FT resident' was our unwitting joker, which we played to full effect. So were excused ...

Welcomed into Mouragio, by the waiter as good friends, we were later joined by the owner who recoiled, with surprise, when he saw us and shook us all firmly by the hand.

Mr Prebenzanos the Mayor came in, and many others too. Where we led, the islands top team followed us in. Gifts exchanged, lots of catching up, News and stories some good, and some sad. Island friends spotted passing by, tourist friends too.

The 'fragrant one' heading towards the port, others who 'I know but as they say in Greek - I do not know' (Not formally introduced) Tony and Gill - you were spotted ...

Adnamsman returned to base, and we hope to see him later. on the search for the planned  Skiathiti 'Holy Grail' later this week ...

 "The boomerang club and the legend of the Skiathiti holy green bottle' It's coming to a Skiathos taverna this Saturday evening. You have been warned ...

Whats it all about ? Its a famous bottle, 'The holy grail' of the club. It's not seen daylight since October. Stored in a cave awaiting the return to daylight, and a sampling by candlelight . A ritual dating back to 1994 ...

A ritual to be enjoyed, but if anyone arriving, stumbles across us enjoying it. Well at least they have a week or two to get over it...

So we adjourned to Syraino, where we watched the rain showers gathering and trying to fight their way north from Evia as forecast. Mr M diverted to nap off his lunch. I just stayed put watching the world pass by.

One coffee, led to another ...

The 'fragrant one' appeared and joined me for tea. Great company and we spoke about the 'rings of saturn' and 'roses' her new interest in nautical activities. Roses being the flowering type not the Polaroid type from Vangelis ...

I was loving the Baptism party, rocking Kabourelia down on the Paralia. Music, Bazouki, dancing, ‪#‎Oupa‬ However a couple of "Daily Mail readers" were casting frowns, in the direction of the young mans, party celebration ...

The 'Aqua ferries' departed in a cloud of choking exhaust fumes, for Aghios Konstantinos ...




... accompanied by drips of rain and thunderbugs I sat and watched the party, and yes the  Greeks certainly know how to have fun. Opposite captain Dimitri sold his first tickets of the evening, with great body language with the pitch  ...

Two ladies, both with 'musical voices' came by, one startled to see me. Stopped and we chatted - really for the first time but have known each other in passing for years. Hope to catch up again soon

Anyone in town, stuck for ideas, for what to eat - well last night,could have done no better, than try the Langoustines, which were landed this evening, by the trawler. They looked fantastic, from the bag shown to me by a table neighbour, Fresh - they were still twitching ...

The 'two photographers' wandered in, I watched, they looked around and I waved. We passed away another hour, catching up about cameras, locations, wildlife, wild birds and friends as daft as a bottle brush. Great to see them both ...

I wandered off though a light drizzle, after a pint or so of coffee ...


Walking down Polytechniou, which resembeles a WW1 battlefield, complete with duck boards and trenches. Now work has recommenced after the two day double bank holiday weekend. Passing mini excavating equipment for narrow alleys. Rocks - ancient 'Petra' excavated from the road, stacked up like battlements, of ancient fortifications.

More reunions, a glass of red wine with friends. 'Eat this'  and 'Eat that' and I did as I was told - however made my excuses with the local island speciality - chalmalia, but did try the amigdalota - almond paste sweets.

On the stroke of midnight, the heavens opened ...

{Posted retrospectively - due to wine, and highly calorific Greek sweets}