This afternoon, I should have been at Tholos beach, listening to music. It is a public holiday in Greece called Καθάρο Δευτέρα (Clean Monday) and marks the beginning of Lent. Unfortunately the afternoon is cold and wet and while I do like to support community initiatives, a huge shower of rain and hail,
Despite the rain this afternoon, the conversations with my neighbours have been dominated by the lack of precipitation over the winter. John and I we were pleased that there was no sign of water getting into the house while we were away. In fact, there was no rain, so our new doors and windows have not been tested. An article in the newspaper, Νέα Κρήτη, on Saturday, showed the extent of the problem and confirmed our neighbours’ concerns. There has been a serious drought over the winter. The bar graph below shows that that compared with last winter, there has only been a sixth of the rain in Agios Nikolaos this year.
Whilst the lack of rain could be serious for everybody around here, the rest of what I write is not of huge consequence to humanity! Last week, I did have a major personal crisis when I discovered that the main documents relating to the car (tax, insurance, MOT, manuals ) were not in the car. Before we left for China, I decided that if we were leaving the car for 6 weeks, then it would be safer to put them and the road atlas etc in the house. When I came back, somehow the road atlas etc. did get back to the car but not the important documents. I checked and checked in our small house for the missing wallet but to no avail. John came up with the most likely theory that for some peculiar reason, I threw them in the rubbish bin by mistake. The irony, of course, is not lost on me. I end up losing documents that I moved for security reasons! Anyway, we have lost the car and service manual but the rest has been brought back to life through the computer and a nice man at the MOT office. John has been very kind about all of this except I know what he really thinks…….
Despite, the fact that we have not been here for six weeks, the house was surprisingly dirty so some cleaning has been required. And our friends, Maggie and Andrew, arrive tomorrow and a visit from someone always sparks some critical look at our home. The inside of the house has therefore been subjected to some serious cleaning. It was so serious that I decided photograph albums needed to come off the shelves that I could dust the shelves. When I tried to put some very heavy albums back on, the shelf protested and was not to be persuaded to keep the status quo. I was lucky that John had time for a small project and brackets have been put in place and the photo albums are now back in place.
On Thursday, my eyes looked at the outside of the house and in particular the sunbeds and decided that at least one of them definitely needed to go. I put the broken sunbed down beside the village dustbin. There is a derelict truck there (I don’t think the dustbin men see vehicles as their remit but worth a try!). Next day, I was amused to find that the sunbed had been put into the truck.
By the end of the day, we had ordered new cushions for the outside chairs and bought two wooden sun beds.
The driver who brought the sunbeds tried to get his van as close to our house as possible and in doing so a tree has one less branch! We have also some new hanging baskets so all we need now is some warm weather!
although I did have to peg it seriously and check it on a regular basis that it was still on the line. But the gale did mean a severe reduction in the blossom of our two mandarin trees which have been a source of enormous joy since we came back.
I have been particularly appreciative of having a really good supermarket in the village. When we came back from our trip, I couldn’t face going to Ierapetra and just wanted to potter about in Kavousi. The supermarket has most things, except fresh meat and for a number of days, I was a very regular customer. I expressed my thanks and a couple of days later, Κατερίνα gave me a bottle of preserved komquats. That felt very nice. It is good to be back in the village and appreciate all the things that it offers – the greetings in the morning as I go down to the bakery, the chats with my neighbours, the gifts of oranges and peppers, the wonderful blossom
Yesterday we went to the carnival parade in Ierapetra. Our Greek tutor, Μανώλης, had recommended it and so we viewed it with our friends, Shona and Rich. It was impressive, firstly because of the huge numbers of people who took part in it and secondly that the floats and costumes were fantastic. There were owls from the local school,
There were one or two queries about politically correctness but in the main it was a joy. There were streamers, confetti and big smiles everywhere. Afterwards we had a nice meal at a favourite taverna near Ιerapaetra, beside the sea (Σχεδία) and we were entertained by lightning and thunder which was right on top of and it started to rain! And it’s been raining ever since.
So, I finish with reference to the weather. I would like there to be more rain, but I also want a nice week for my friends. Anyway as my mother wisely said ‘There is nothing you can do about the weather, Sheila!’