Saturday, 25 June 2016

#Brexit ...

Its been an interesting few days ...

The people of Blighty have been engaged, and in around 48% of all cases enraged. Its been a vote that has split families, friends, workmates, guys in the pub. But in huge numbers and in some cases even in foul weather and floods they went out and voted ...


Despite apocalyptic warnings, the threats of an emergency budget. Financial markets betting on the outcome, as they always do. Those who registered, and were entitled to vote, went out and made a decision.

Mr Obama's intervention probably having put a few hundred thousand votes in one direction.


In my life, I have worked in the City of London, through financial crashes, market corrections, the rise and fall of the housing markets. Its a helter skelter, and we all ride it from time to time. The recessions of 1980/81, 1990/91 and what is termed the 'Great recession' of 2008/09. Black Monday 1987, Black Wednesday in 1992, when the UK left the ERM.

I even moved to Greece, and went through the financial disaster there ...
Well with the exception of the last, we all emerged out of the other side, once things settled down.

At 10pm on Thursday the £ was at $1.50, and €1.34. Clearly someone was investing heavily on the outcome of the referendum. They knew it was not sustainable, and (so did I having watched the tourist rates, day by day all week) they sold, making a fortune, Programmed electronic selling kicked in, and the crash of 2016 started.

Lets call it dark Friday as markets recovered their losses, later in the day, and were slightly down on the week. The TV and newspapers always headline 'Billions wiped off share values' but what about the 'Billions added' on other days - Not so eye catching ...

It was bad in the UK but worse in the EU markets. The Brits were doing what the Greeks failed to do. The ripple shaking the EU members to the core like an earthquake.

I had watched as Margaret Thatcher rose to power, Was working the night Tony Blair rode a wave of public feeling into office. Now again as another Prime Minister walked as he gets it wrong.

But once a letter goes in from the naughty boys, on the step saying 'please stay' arrives late at night, Then you get the gut feeling someone has already a plan to go. Its reported "David Cameron told aides he would rather quit early than “do the hard ****“

Which was his 'promise' to go to Brussels and invoke 'Article 50' if he lost the referendum. So he had already planned a  #Camexit probably when he returned last time from Brussels, with a blank piece of paper. At least he had something to write that speech on ...

But we are going to leave the club, some time in the next three years, and I do believe, we will not be the last ones to do so either ...

So 51.9% of the voters are happy, 48.1% are not happy. The polls got it wrong, by the same margin. If you are an 'ex pat' then you feel disenfranchised, and very concerned about what is happening, but that's the option you take, when you leave the mother country.

Latest news is that enquiries to leave for NZ are up, and the UK Irish now all want an Eire EU passport ...

There is so much tosh being circulated, its widely accepted that we will still be able to travel, within the EU. We wont need a visa, just like Norway and the Swiss. I watched as the Frenchman said we had to get out asap, the German saying we need to think this through carefully.

The cashpoints and atm's are still working, the lights are still on. Now the markets have settled the bureau's and money shops home and abroad, will have an accurate figure to change your money on, if you intend to travel ...

There will be wobbles ahead, as we have no Prime minister, like our American 'friends who have a dead duck president. To fill in time the US presidents wife does Karaoke on the Late Late Show with James Corden, whilst our PM's wife did very well on 'The Great British Bake off with Mary Berry' not so long ago ...

Our Greek friends will already know ...


Well we voted like Greeks, but we now have to be like the Greeks. Its time to support our own markets, Time to buy British where we can, and support our own, just like they do.

We must welcome visitors to the UK bringing funds, and depositing them in our economy, as they take advantage of our exchange rates. Likewise our EU friends who live and work in the UK, who in doing so paying taxes into our system ...

Since the vote, even the weather has changed. Its sunny just like in Greece, A reason to smile ...

Lets hope its a sign ...

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Risk of fire - Red warning - Friday, 24th June 2016 ...

Fire risk - "Red" fire hazards in Sporades ...

Based on Risk prediction map Fire as adopted by the G.G.P.P. and valid for tomorrow Friday, June 24, 2016,  provided very high fire hazard ( risk class 4 ) for Sporades.


The Civil Protection Department EE Magnesia and Sporades informed the agencies concerned, and the municipalities that are in high readiness.

According to the provisions, asked people to avoid activities outdoors that can cause fire recklessly as throwing lit cigarettes, burning dry grass and branches, use machinery spark as circular saws, welding machines etc.

If citizens perceive fire, please immediately notify the Fire Service on telephone number 199.

Furthermore under Circular 2648/2016 Secretariat for Civil Protection General decided preventive vehicle curfew and holidaymakers stay in forests and specially protected areas B. Sporades for tomorrow Friday, June 24, 2016.

Source: www.taxydromos.gr

Earlier post: EU referendum day ...

EU referendum day ...



Foul weather, lightning bolts, torrential rain. But I was the first one to vote at 7am at our polling station, in the EU referendum. I was asked to witness the empty ballot box, being sealed ...

@BorisJohnson wrote to me, dear old @Lord_Sugar did not, 'Jobs a good un' ...

Four months on, and is there anything more annoying than someone, who does not know who to vote for?

Yes someone who wants to take advantage, of the highest £/€ exchange rate of the year. Only to find out the banks, and wannabe banks, have turned off the ordering systems ...

Wonder if the polls will be wrong again ...

Monday, 20 June 2016

Καλησπέρα από τη Σκιάθο ...

Good Evening, from our friend Nick Yerasimos, at Swell Beach Bar ...

Tonight's 'Strawberry Moon' from Skiathos ...







Thanks to Nick Yerasimos, at Swell Beach Bar for his kind permission to share the photos ...

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Something for ...

Christmas !

Yes its on the way, my seasonal brew for the festive season ...

EDB - 'Estimated Date of Bottling' - 18/12/16
How about those of you who said you were going to try it ? How is yours going ? or not at all?
Must admit, bottle no1 of our first harvest, has 'sort of' evaporated via the fridge. Thankfully still another one chilled to perfection, on standby ...

This is going to be a six month 'fermentation' from six good sized Skiathos lemons, kindly supplied by Kay and Trevor. In addition we obtained around another 500 ml of lemon juice, via the 'Juicer' this was filtered and made into ice cubes for later use.

The spirit is Russian Standard Vodka, a 1 Litre @ 40% bottle, and the fancy bottle may be put away for future use in the process ...



Talking of festivities, On Monday it is Pentacost. It might be busier in restaurants and bars because it is a 3-day holiday weekend for many Greeks, who will be visiting Skiathos from the mainland.

Happy Pentecost holiday to them ...

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Do You ever look up ...

... at the night sky, and wonder ?

Well tonight, whilst you are at the Ballet on the Bourtzi, take your eyes off the stage for a few moments, The ISS international Space station, will be visible over Skiathos

Greece Time Thu Jun 16 9:39 PM, Visible: 4 min, Appears: W, Disappears: SSE

If you cannot be there, then our friend Stephen Waddington from the Skiathos Lovers FB page, has been sharing some fantastic photos, from his expedition to the rock, over the last few weeks.

Here is a photo, shared with his kind permission of the Milky Way over the Old Harbour ...

 © Stephen Waddington
I hope you agree with me, Its a fantastic photo ...

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ballet at the Bourtzi ...

Why not ...

Thursday 16 June 2016 at 21:00 pm,


at the open air theatre on the Bourtzi ...

This weeks Skiathos dictionary ...

The latest abominations of the places we know and love by those who profess to love the island ...

Achlades Bay
Agi Elani
Allonisis
Kechrea
koukanries
Koukanarous
koukanires?
koukinaries
Trulos

I am now convinced, anyone north of Birmingham, and who travels on the big blue bird, Cannot spell the word Thomson :)

'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, as always


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Thomson Tuesday ...

It had to happen ...

Yesterday someone asked if there were likely to be delays, at Gatwick. I said should be fine they repaired the runway yesterday ...

'Well I really really love thunder and lightning, But rather not have it, while I'm on a plane' they said. Seems fair enough ...

Clearly they knew something ...

If you were a passenger on the TOM2201 into Manchester, this afternoon, I hope you enjoyed your excursion this afternoon due to the English Summer weather.


Storms at Manchester, closing the airport, and allowing you some extra time in the sky. Before joining the rush hour traffic ...

Well they do say 'Its Grim up North' ...

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Congratulations Ken Fowler ...

Boltons fittest man  ...

I am delighted to report him achieving an excellent podium finish - Third place in the Skiathos 10k race this morning.


Friend of the blog Ken, is the fittest guy I have ever met  Ken supported by wife Sheila with the camera, is seen here at the presentation, after the race ....


Sheila said, 'The route, from Bourtzi up the steps by Marilyn's. Down to Plakes and up to the cemetery. Turn right sharp right past Benbows the cut through up to clock tower and Windmill. Down round the airport to Xenamos and round the lake. Back up past Milos, new port back to Bourtzi' ...

Oh England ...

Snatched a draw from the jaws of victory ...

There is one place you want to be, On holiday and watching the football. There is another where you do not want to be. That's in Skiathos when England don't quite make it.



Streams of white shirts trudging towards the bus stop.

In almost total silence ...

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The earth has moved again ...

You may have been like your Martini, 'shaken, but not stirred' ...



Mag 4.1 N of Skopelos, followed by a 2.5 aftershock ...

To read the local report from my friends at Skopelos News Click here

To see my earlier blog post today Click here

Ferries - Ferry fun ...

Mid season has almost arrived ...

The Ferry companies have ramped up their timetables in anticipation, of holidaymakers heading across to the islands, from the mainland. Its looking like the best service for years.

From today Flying Cat 3 and Flying Cat 5 will be sharing the service to Agios Konstantinos and Volos and the return trips to the islands.

From Monday 13th the Skyros Shipping company will include Volos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos in their summer schedule. The ferry is mainly of interest to those who are going to Kimi (Evia) and Skyros.

From Thursday 16th Flying Cat 4 will be starting a service to Thessaloniki starting from Volos, calling at Skiathos, and the islands.

From Friday 17th  Flying Cat 4 will also operate, along with the car ferry Apollon Hellas, to Agios Konstantinos.

From Friday 17th ANES will operate, the fast ferry Symi II twice daily between Glifa Skiathos and Glossa on Skopelos

Lets not forget Aegean flying Dolphins, who are still operating a piece of history, between Agios Konstantinos and Volos and the return trips to the islands. Its my transportation, of personal choice, use it whilst you still can ...

On the subject of boats ...

Mata Hari is off on her first trip of the season, today with her crew

Cpt Costas
Kiriakos
Gregory
& Tina ...


Just look at that water ...

Friday, 10 June 2016

On their way ...

Not a good day to be flying to the rock ...


Only one aircraft expected to be on time all day ...

05:35 LGW Skiathos and Volos S5351 Departed 06:12 (Small Planet)
05:50 LGW Skiathos and Volos ST2610 #Delayed Taxied 06:05 - Departed 07:44 (Germania)
06:05 LTN Skiathos TOM5584 #Delayed Departed 07:06 (Thomson)
07:00 STN Skiathos - MT7078 #Delayed One hour+ Departed 08:20 (Thomas Cook)
07:05 BHX Skiathos TOM7534 #Delayed one Hour #Departed 08:38 (Thomson)
08:00 MAN Skiathos AND Volos S5151 #Delayed one hour+ Departed 09:37 (Small Planet)
08:05 MAN Skiathos  - Kavala MT6156 #Delayed Two hour+ (Thomas Cook)
08:15 MAN  Skiathos TOM2526 #Delayed Two hour+ (Thomson)
09:00 MAN Skiathos MT2164 #Delayed Departed 10:58 (Thomas Cook)
09:45 LGW Skiathos ST2610 #Delayed Departed 11:27 (Enter Air)
12:05 EMA Skiathos MT5004 #Delayed Departed 13:19 (Thomas Cook)
12:20 LGW Skiathos TOM4558 Taxied 12:19 (Thomson) #ONTIME
14:00 MAN Skiathos S5217 #Delayed Departed 14:58 (Small Planet)

Of the 13 flights from the UK today, all but one were late ...

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The earth has moved ...

Magnitude 3.5 (Initially reported Magnitude 3.8)

Region AEGEAN SEA
Date time 2016-06-08 11:55:49.8 UTC
Location 39.41 N ; 23.15 E
Depth 10 km

Photo: http://geophysics.geo.auth.gr/index_en.html

Distances:
166 km N of Athens, Greece / pop: 729,137 / local time: 14:55:49.8 2016-06-08

68 km E of Lárisa, Greece / pop: 128,758 / local time: 14:55:49.8 2016-06-08

18 km E of Vólos, Greece / pop: 84,425 / local time: 14:55:49.8 2016-06-08

Later update,  There was a a 2.6 aftershock, one an hour later

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

From Skiathos with love ...

Lemons, handpicked by Kay and Trevor ...

They said, 'We have some lemons for you from Skiathos also a small bottle of Tsipouro. A little drink for you, and lemon tart for your girls, well maybe a small piece for the chef' ...

and some artistic mint ...
So - Whats missing from the photo?

No I didn't drink it ...

'I have just posted the lemons so you should receive them tomorrow, now for an apology whilst packing your parcel I knocked the Tsipouro bottle over and it smashed so make sure you get you get an extra portion of the lemon tart'  Kay (note it was me not Trevor to blame).

So now we know why Kay never made it as a juggler in the circus. But perhaps we have another litre of Limoncello and a Lemon tart here. SWMBO suggests using proper 'Polish Wodka' for the next batch ...

Meanwhile, back on the rock ... 

Happy storm Tuesday. Plenty of storm activity, north and south of the island ...


Batten down the hatches, The 'rainmaker' has sent the advanced storm front to the island ...


Monday, 6 June 2016

Good deed for the day...

I get asked a fair few questions ...

I try to answer as many as I can, some people come back and say thanks, others you never hear from again, You can only pass on the benefit of your experience, or point them to someone who is better qualified to assist.

This morning, I read someone had lost their camera. Plenty of good advice, not least go to the Police station, and ask there ...

I suggested 'Try the Police station (Ask them to look in the drawer) also opposite terminus in the cafe, are the bus drivers (Ask Yannis the boss - Looks like Sean Connery)'

Tonight an update ...

I"m absolutely delighted that it was on the bus, and Yannis (who we recognised from Skiathian's description, and does indeed look like Sean Connery!) found it for us. So a happy ending ...

Hows that !

On the subject of the buses, I can confirm that the adult bus fares are still €1.60 for shorter journeys and €2 for longer.

Late Buses from town, now at 23:50 - 00:10 - #Last Bus at 00:30
Late Buses from Koukounaries, now at 00:20 - 00:40 - #Last Bus at 01:00

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Yammas ! ...

Skiathian's 2016  Limoncello ...

Sometimes, you just cannot help it, One for the summer sun ...


Late News: More Skiathos lemons on route ...

Friday, 3 June 2016

“Al Mirqab” ...

“Al Mirqab,” one of the largest motor yachts ever built, which was sailing in the waters of Mykonos a few days ago, has now anchored in the waters of Skiathos.

Boys toys to the ready ...
The owner of “Al Mirqab,” the Sheikh and Qatar’s former Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, anchored at Maratha beach, close to famous Koukounaries beach in Skiathos.


Due to the yacht’s enormous size, port authorities of the island informed the Greek captain of the yacht to avoid docking at the island’s port and instead dock off the coast between the two beaches. Members of the royal family reach the shores with speedboats.

The Sheikh visited Skiathos along with his family to enjoy the sea and the sun and are expected to stay until Friday.

Source: http://greece.greekreporter.com

Later Update:

The sheikh was hungry, and sent out for a take-away ...

The Kóziakas Sheik on his yacht
 Not only did the Sheikh order a take away, but the team from our favourite street food store to cook it for him, as well.

Mr Kóziakas, was invited to cook for the sheikh, aboard “Al Mirqab” with his son ...

Source: Astra Skiathos TV

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Καλό μήνα - Ιούνιος - good month ...

June - Ιούνιος is here ...

The first month of summer, and time to earn some money to pay some taxes ...

Tax hikes are on the radar for the next few weeks, some businesses are not even up and running. How do you pay taxes if you are a beach vendor? The latest date for the auction of services is not for another 10 days.

Surely someone has to make money, prepare for winter, pay your bills, pay your taxes - How do they do it ...

This months tax increases:

Value Added Tax rise from 23% up to 24% as of 1. July 2016
Fuel prices: Hikes in a special consumption tax
Beer: retail price will be increased
Cable TV: an extra fee of 10% from 1st June

On the radar ...

1st July 2016 - If you are a fan of the beautiful island of Alonissos, there the scrapping of VAT deductions on the island, will mean sweeping price increases in goods, and services as the VAT deduction of 30% will be scrapped.

15th October 2016 - Heating oil costs to increase by 6 cents a litre

1st July 2017 - Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, tobacco: special fee: estimated 30-50 cents per package
1st July 2017 - Phone land lines: additional fee of 5%
1st July 2017 - Cafeteria coffee expected to rise by 20%, as tax on the raw product is increased bt €2-€4

1st January 2018 - Hotels & Rooms To Let: A special fee will be added on accommodation bills

This all agreed by Syriza, the political party, elected on a storming mandate, by the Greek people, to end austerity for the people of Greece. If it were a different time period, and the Greek army had fuel in the tanks, they would have been out on the streets.

In the UK in just 23 days, we have an option to vote, and leave the EU. An elected US president, without a mandate to change anything, in his own country, tells us what to do, The French and Germans are telling us what to do. (Ring any bells?)

If it rains like it did yesterday, who will turn out to vote? Some wont be bothered, some cannot handle change, some are not exactly clever enough, to be able to understand, what its all about. Some say - well I am on holiday (Use a postal vote) or my vote does not matter - well it does, after all people die and queue for days for the right to vote, to express an opinion ...

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell the Government, elected on the promise of a referendum, What to do and to get on with it ...

Instead what do you get in return ?

Remind you of anything ?
How do you think the people of Greece would vote, given the opportunity ...