Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween ...

Only the Greeks will have theirs in February 2018 ...

We call it carnival, they call it Halloween


 but its still great fun, for all involved. Not just the children ...

Previous blog: School strike ...

Monday, 30 October 2017

School Strike ...

The children, of the Lyceum Gymnasium Skiathou want results ...

Not from the examinations, or the extra paid lessons their parents have to acquire, to help get them through the school year.



Its a teaching crisis, they are still suffering from a chronic lack of teachers, at the school.

So today the parents associations took control of the schools, and locked them closed.

It will be November soon, and yet again, not enough teachers have arrived from the mainland. The only option for many is to move, or suffer the indignity of a lack of education facilities on the islands.

Children are supposed to be the future ...

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Καλό Όχι Μέρα - Χρονια πολλά! ...

A very happy Oxi Day to all our readers ...

Is a national holiday today in Greece, a day to celebrate a moment of national pride. Lets hope the weather is kind. The celebratory bunting was installed earlier this week in readiness for the parade this morning (Not for the name day of Dimitris and Dimitra as someone said once, or that the boys are back in town for the big wedding) ...

A day for a parade, to fly the flag, and feel good, whatever the weather. I know the school children taking part, will all very eager to wave their flags today, as they proudly march along the Paralia, passing by the mayor, and assembled island dignatories ...

The church bells will be very busy, as the commemorative service, progresses at Tries Hieraches, before the parade this morning, at 11am. Following which, the ouzerias will be packed to the rafters, for one of the best days of the winter to meet up with friends, and wish each other Καλό χειμώνα  - 'Good Winter' one more time ...

Not sure what its all about, well I wrote this last year, and the year before. OK It may not be up to a GCSE History level of competency (or whatever they call it this year) but I think it may help - and anyway, I think its quite good :) ...

The history:

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

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

The Ultimate history project website gives an excellent explanation here



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

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

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

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


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

 

Enjoy the day, wherever you are ...

PS Apologies for the late appearance of the post, but I was tired and the publish button needs a hearty click even at that ungodly hour ...

Friday, 27 October 2017

Coffee time ...

Only it's spent with a new friend ...


The view over the Coffee cup, visitors still arriving from the mainland on tour boats (note date Oct 27th) and enjoying themselves ...



Meanwhile the Skiathos glitterati, have been arriving for the big weekend wedding.

Good to see Skiathos friends arriving for the big bash. . Popping down for the weekend, to spend time with Greek family ...

The texts were flying this morning, between Athens, and the Rock.

Rumours are rife, it's also seen the return of R to the island, with Mr M who is keeping a profile, lower than a carpet tile ...

JH arrived at noon, along with the boss, and the A Team were reunited, along with the VIP, and the VILP.

It's the first big wedding of the 'non summer season' good luck to the bride, and groom. Fingers crossed it cools a little, or the wedding make up, may melt on Sunday ...

It's going to be one hell of a party once they recover from the BBQ ...

Before that it's Ochi day tomorrow, and very important island festivities to be observed, a warm up for the school strikes, next week ...

Previous post: Grey Day ...

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Grey day ...

Little Summer has ended ...

With a flash, a bang, and a downpour.



The forecast thunderstorms, were very welcome for the island, not least for it now smells fresh and clean, if a few degrees cooler.

As the sun tries it's hardest to break through, the air temperature rises a little, but is swiftly curtailed by the fresh breeze.

So for some colour, on a grey day, a visit to Maniolis supermarket, never fails to deliver ...


Whatever the weather ...

Great time now, for Pelion chestnuts, roasting on an open fire, or in the woodburner, as they are starting to spring to life, after their summer's rest.

Mrs Whicker, will be pleased to know there is a waft of olive woodsmoke, scenting the lanes as the autumn leaves, crispen and fall from the trees ...

Later update:

A trip to Gravisi, an oasis of warmth on a damp evening. Konstantinos, has put so much time and effort into the restoration. The pizza gravisi, delicious, and washed down liberally with the house red ...

Previous post: Little summer ...

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Little Summer ...

Continues on the rock ...

It's still warm, very warm at times, the hard work of fishing for your evening meal. Octopus and tsipora (sea bream) being caught in both harbours. Garfish being landed, on light lines in the lights by Marilyn.


The wood deliveries, have started around the village, as thoughts turn to chilly evenings, still to come.

Friends meeting up for lunch, and the restaurants that remain open doing very well. Now the last cruise liner has departed, the Elizabeth boats still arrive from the mainland, depositing mainland Greeks, for a wander around town.

Shotguns being used around Plakes, and up in the hills, as the hunting season activities return to prominence once again. Anything is fair game, be it a seagull or a hawk ...

Church bells ringing firmly, on Sunday morning, calling the faithful, and not so faithful to morning service, followed by a trip to the coffee shop.

But for now, as evening falls, and the humidity makes it feel like rain. Then it's just the rattle of dice, on a backgammon board, and perhaps a game of chess, depending on your personal preference.

Well this is Greece after all ...

Previous post: Cruise liner ...

This was the 2000th post on the blog ...

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Cruise liner ...

A Cruise ship will be in Skiathos today, from 07:00 until 14:00.

Sadly a lot of the businesses won't be open to reap the benefit, but let's hope that those who are, do very well indeed ...

Yesterday the last flights departed to Germany, the Condor's to Dusseldorf and Munich.

That may well be it, for summer 2017 ....

The tourists will be able to watch some first class, competitive backgammon. When they disembark, if nothing else ...

Previous post: Roaming ...

Friday, 13 October 2017

Roaming ...

around the village ...

Taking in the view, on a sunny morning with a few clouds. The type that start small and grow with the heat of the day.


It's friday 13th, unlucky for some, especially if you were a fish. However it's fish Friday, so here is the selection ...


At night, you can see the garfish here, in the harbour lights ...


You just need a fine line, some very small hooks, some mincemeat, and some patience ...

Later news: Elizabeth cruises just landed 50+ Greek pensioners, from the mainland, to thumping Mamma Mia music. A sight to behold :) ...

Previous Post: Start of the day ...


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Start of the day ...

The Skiathos way ...

With a mag 5.2 earth tremor, located over near Skyros. That's the way to get you moving at 01:30 in the morning. So shaken, and stirred by the gods ...

Nothing to do with the tsipouro yesterday, but that was a great day, one if not one of the best ...

Then the hopper, swooping in over town at 06:00, and departing again just half an hour later.

The sunrise, was blinding, the sea a golden ball of fire, with the flying dolphin, blasting it's way out of the harbour just before 8am.

Small fishes, swimming with their snouts, out of the water. A flying fish darting between the small boats, leaping every 30cm or so near the bourtzi.

Then as if on cue, perhaps 50 fishes, leaping from the water, to escape, some predator hunting them below.

It's a blinding, cloudless blue sky day, with a hint of woodsmoke, on the breeze from somewhere nearby.

It's coffee time, as the serious business of octopus fishing gets underway, with the first cast of the lures.


The fisherman, watched over by two expectant cats, seemingly more interested in the lure, rather than what it might bring ...

Previous post: One Million ...

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

One Million ...

Pages read by you on the Skiathian ...

Sometime yesterday, someone pushed the counter, one step further.

Pageviews all time history 1,002,523

That's mind blowing, at the very least. I don't know who you are, but a few of you are great friends.

Over the years you have been here sharing our love for "A small green island in the Aegean" through good times and dark times.

It's been quite a journey, in more ways than one ...

Have a great evening, wherever you are ...

Previous post: Its all gone ...


Monday, 9 October 2017

It's all gone ...

Very quiet ...

Just the sound of silence, in the village. Yesterday the Brits went home. The Germans, Scandanavians, and yachties remain.

They are missing lilac skies, as the darkness gives way to soft morning light.

The chug of the fishing boats, and the sound now of the starlings, as they start their own version of the dawn chorus ...

The coffee is very welcome this morning, listening to background chill out music, as Proteus chugs it's way over to Volos, disturbing a glass mirror sea ...

Previous post: The Skiathos Olive Press ...


Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Skiathos Olive press ...

Has closed and will not reopen ...

So if you want your Olives pressed in what is a a great Olive year - Then off to Skopelos or Pelion you must go.

The oil mill in Skopelos' near Glossa offers a good solution, since the distance is small and the transportation costs are minimal.


The "Antoniou" mill will start operating on 20 October, and will accept the olive growers of Skiathos daily and according to the ferry schedules.  For those who do not have a means of transport, the mill will take them over at its own expense, and transport the olives and olive oil.

In order to make it easier for all, it is suggested that its advisable for olive growers to consult each other with a view to joint press. The olives will be salted on the same day and the price / kilogram of olive oil will be: 7 lepta. Or with the transport costs from the olive oil producer 9 lepta with the cost of transporting olive oil and olive oil from the mill.

Information: 2424033517 | 6974325004 | 6972224445

Previous post: The curtains are drawing ...

Friday, 6 October 2017

The curtains are drawing ...

On the season for the Brits ...

The Germans and Norwegians are hanging on for another week or so whilst the shutters go down, and the winter village (the real Skiathos) reappears from the much loved fake summer one .

As the 'locals that are not local' slam the shutters, and flee to the mainland after the last night parties. The Ferry flights arrive today from Amsterdam, East Midlands Gatwick Manchester, Newcastle and Stansted to take the bronzed ones home.

The Stansted one is getting a few miles in, starting out as

  1. Thomas Cook Airlines MT 106 London to Antalya
    Scheduled departure 06:30 Scheduled arrival 12:24
  2. Thomas Cook Airlines MT 107 Antalya to Skiathos
    Scheduled departure 13:30 Scheduled arrival 15:15
  3. Thomas Cook Airlines MT 1078 Skiathos to Stansted
    Scheduled departure 16:05 Scheduled arrival 17:50

So if you were bumped off the Stansted>Skiathos, well now you know why ...

It will be a rather quieter island this evening, and if you are down the island, rather a lonely one.
There are the Scandinavian flights tomorrow, followed by two more UK flights on Sunday

Enjoy those beautiful beaches back in their natural state, if only they were not littered with cigarette waste ...

Previous post: Autumn hero ...

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Autumn hero ...

Picture this ...

The last few days of your holiday, warm temperatures, the low sun warming the heart and soul.

A perfect time to relax in the sunshine, perhaps a glass of wine, Enjoy and take in a few rays of a distant summer, a leisurely lunch al fresco, and forget for now about that flight on Friday ...

... and along comes a wasp to join the party.

He too perhaps a little sleepy, but intent on having one last hurrah as well, after fruitful adventures in the late summer sun ...

So having leaned forward, to look into her husbands eyes, the wasp went down her dress straight into her bra whilst they were sitting in a taverna having lunch. Not unfazed by the crisis, her husband sprang into action. Getting 'said wasp' out in full view of everyone.

Looking on in admiration, they all gave a round of applause, hopefully just for the despatch of the intruder.

Husband suggested the wasp was attracted to big melons, who are we to suggest otherwise ...

Previous Post: Just when you thought it was safe to go out ...

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Just when you thought it was safe to go out ...

There is a nation wide civil defence exercise, taking place this morning ...

The warning sirens will go off in tests throughout Greece, as part of the nationwide civil defence exercise “Parmenion”, the Greek Police said on Monday.

At 11:00 am on Tuesday morning, the sirens will sound intermittently, and at differing sound levels for 60 seconds, until 11:05 am, when an uninterrupted siren will sound for another 60 seconds. 

Shortly after this the port police will resume normal duties, with the whistle, and issuing parking tickets along the port, before the ferry arrives ...

Source: Keep Talking Greece - via athensnewsagency

The main reason they sounded the sirens today ...

Had a special meeting today, to celebrate a big birthday. In celebration of this occasion, I baked my learned friend a cake.


In addition, its very difficult to find a present, for the man that has everything. So after thinking carefully about it, I found him the perfect book ...

Tool Porn ...
I did detect a slight hint of disappointment when the present was unwrapped. But after at least 10 reminders, and lots of thought about the special day - I know it will bring hours of fun, for those long winter evenings by the fire planning future projects ...

You are only 56 once ...


Or are you ?

So with thoughts of winter coughs, and sneezes (Having just had my Flu Jab) I dispensed the Birthday boy, a take away. The famous Elixir of Skiathos - The Skiathos Cough medicine - For Winter use only ...


... and only in cases of extreme emergency!

Xronia Polla !

Previous Post: Greetings ...

Monday, 2 October 2017

Greetings ...

Καλημέρα και καλό μήνα για όλους ...

Good morning and good month to all (A day late) Is it October already? The greeting should also be 'Καλή χειμώνα' (Good Winter) as its cold wet and windy, and the locals have all lit their fires.

Reading quite a few 'its paradise but what do you do, when its cold wet and windy in October' posts.

This is the island in winter, its only been raining a few days, but you have to be hardy to live on the island out of tourist season, If you are a holidaymaker when it happens, then its grim, as you may not have the right clothes and footwear, and thats not fun at all. Well at least it stops the wasps ...

Those recommendations to do this and that, are not much use when the bar, restaurant or service you require is closed up, and the owner tucked up on the mainland working on the accounts ...

It could be worse - yes it could ...

Monarch the UK's 5th biggest airline, and their holiday company, did a Kosmar at 3am, and went into administration with an estimated 110,000 passengers stranded abroad. Monarch pulled out of Skiathos a few years ago.


The extension of the ATOL licence just to get the CAA to "dot the I's and cross the T's" on the rescue plans.  The Qatar airline A320 spare planes have been parked up at Stansted ready for rescue flights for a few days. You can read the Monarch statement here

As the UK Transport Secretary orders the  "biggest ever peacetime repatriation" - with 110,000 people being brought home, and 300,000 future bookings cancelled. What a sad day indeed for those who have lost holidays, jobs and careers, the hoteliers and staff who will not get paid, and the reputations ruined ...

As for Spain and what you have done to the people of Catalonia, A place I hold close to my heart - Shame on you ...

Actually the Skiathos rain does not seem too bad after all ...