It’s a pretty gruesome day weather wise, here in paradise, so perhaps time to do what we are supposed to do at New Year and reflect on the past year and think about the future.
Let’s deal with the latter topic first! Well, we have no plans to move anywhere so it is more than likely that we will be here in Kavousi for the next year. We have trips plans to Thessaloniki (my birthday present) and Berlin over the next two months and are beginning to plan a visit to the UK for late April/early May. Beyond that there are no actual plans but it is my 70th birthday later in the year and Africa and/or Australia/NZ have been mentioned as possible venues.
In fact, 2015 is shaping up to be a notable year, with a number of other anniversaries as well and Sheila getting her old age pension in May. We are also looking forward to welcoming new visitors to Crete, starting with my sister Bridget and her husband, Herb, later this month.
So what of the last year. Well, I started the new Blog while Sheila was away in South America visiting Rosie. We have a solid hard-core of regular readers and commentators but we have noted numbers falling off in recent times, so whether this reflects the demise of Bonnie, who was always a popular contributor or the fact that we now have less new and exciting matters to write about, we don’t know. Anyway, there needs to be an editorial meeting shortly to decide future direction. Watch this space!
It has been a busy year, what with settling into a new (well new for us) house, together with all that that entails; buying a flat in Kirkcudbright; dealing with Bonnie dying, selling the canal boat; as well as catering for any number of visitors. We have had lots of fun, met loads of new people, some of whom have become good friends, improved our Greek (slowly) and learned new skills. So all considered, 2014 was a really good year!
More immediately, since Sheila wrote the last Post, we have had Graham and Emily and Rosie here for Christmas.
I think all would agree that we had a great time – lot’s of games;
an impossible ‘family’ jig-saw that took a whole week to complete;
We had trips to tavernas, swimming at Tholos beach on Christmas Day, walks to archaeological sites and days out.
The trip to Vai and Itanos at the extreme east of the Island was memorable as much for the car breaking down as for the wonderful beaches and historic ruins. I wasn’t on that outing but understand that Graham coped admirably without reverse, second and fourth gear and nursed the car back to Kavousi.
He and Emily returned to London the following day and within 24 hours, our friendly garage in Ierapetra had sourced a new cable set and fitted it. 300 euros lighter, we were just happy to have the car back and working!
Rosie has been with us since but returns to the UK tomorrow. She has walked miles in the hills behind us, often on her own but yesterday in the company of Sheila. They whooshed up to Thripti and back in four hours while some of our new doors and windows were being fitted. She has been with us for nearly three weeks, has brightened our lives and we shall miss her.
On New Year’s Eve, we went to a party at the house of some new Dutch friends, Pauline and Chris, who live in the village. The other revellers were nearly all ex-pats but a good mixture of Irish, French, German and English. Everyone bought food and drink and after we had eaten and seen in the New Year, the floor was cleared and there was dancing – may be not Scottish but just general bopping and that was something new for Crete and a good end to the evening.
Finally, yesterday morning we were woken by an earthquake. Yes – the earth did move but thankfully not the bed and more important not the house. We had had some warning because there was also one on New Year’s Eve but more was to come. We were eating breakfast when there was another, much stronger quake. The house really did shake and a couple of things fell off shelves but no real damage. Later we discovered that the epicentre was only 3 km away at Tholos and it measured 4 on the Richter scale. Not huge perhaps but big enough for me!
I remember when we came here first, I was told the story of some English folk who moved into their new house and had the experience of quite a large quake soon after. The wife was so frightened that she went back to the UK and has never been back again!
I recall being somewhat surprised by this tale and thinking that I wouldn’t react in the same way. However, after spending yesterday, listening and feeling the after shocks, I found that I could not get to sleep last night – every little noise seemed to alert me to possible danger – so now I have a lot more sympathy with the unknown English woman, whoever she was!
Happy New Year!