I see that well over a month has elapsed since our last Post but life has been busy here in paradise and time for such fripperies has been in short supply. Summer has arrived and there is much to do, including looking after our suntans and getting regular swimming!
Various visitors have come and gone – cousin Liz and her brother-in-law David, friends Rosie and Mike from Kent and cousin Felicity and husband Stuart, from Scotland.
Liz is known in the family as my favourite relative (or is it the other way about?). Either way, it is always fun having her here and as expected we had a lovely time with her and David.
Towards the end of their stay, we spent a couple of nights at Sisi which was great fun. The weather was great. We explored the village and surrounding area, ate some excellent food and managed a couple of swims.
The highlight of Mike and Rosie’s stay was a boat trip to Pseira
which for those of you who know the area is the island in front of Tholos beach, which has the remains of a Minoan village just waiting for the archaeologists to start digging!
We had a great day in the company of a number of friends, including Walter and Brigitte and Pauline and Chris, got to see the far side of the island which is dominated by sheer cliffs and small caves,
as well as having a swim from the small beach near the ‘harbour’ – if indeed it can be called that (λιμινάκι in Greek, meaning tiny harbour).
There was also a picnic on the beach to which everyone contributed. On the way back, Mike was even allowed to steer the boat – boys with their toys!
We were also invited to Eleni and Bernard’s house on the south coast for a lesson in how to make crepes. They are from Brittany and Bernard was particularly keen that Mike spoke Welsh to him because it is quite close to Breton. Other than the hilarity caused by our generally poor attempts to cook crepes, it was particularly amusing to hear the Welsh National Anthem being sung in Breton!
With Felicity and Stuart we walked the Gorge of the Dead at Zakros, which is always a treat.
The oleanders are out here at present so not only was the gorge looking especially beautiful, the road to Sitia was also very attractive too, which in part at least, makes up for the nightmarish twists and turns along the way. The trip was nearly ruined by the car getting a puncture as we arrived in the upper village to start the walk and for a while it looked like I might not be able to go. However, the fellow at the local garage produced some magic substance to insert in the hole with a sort of bodkin which sets and seals and we were on our way in under a quarter of an hour.
Perhaps the highlight for Felicity however occurred earlier in the week when we were in a taverna at the beach in Galini on the south coast. I realised at one point that she was not concentrating on whatever boring story I was relating and it transpired that her attention had been broken by the sight of a bare (male) bum on the beach in front of us, which clearly she found particularly attractive! It turned out that it belonged to our friend Hans (of H2 fame) who was of course delighted that his nether regions caused such excitement!
In the middle of these two sets of visitors, we made a short visit to Scotland to go the wedding of Linda and Gordon in Aberdeenshire. The trip started badly in that when we got to our hotel, they had let our room despite us having confirmed the booking the day before. The hired car then failed to materialise and when it did, I managed to prang it.
To cap it all, the weather was terrible!
However, we got to stay with Sandy and Winnie and it was good to see them and there was also a visit to Claire and James in Stirling, where the great-nephews were inspected and found to be delightful.
On the way, we inspected progress on the new Forth Road Bridge.
Then, as we drove north on the Friday, things improved and by the time we arrived at Moira and Stewart’s in Crathes, the sun even made an appearance. On the day of the wedding itself, the weather turned beautiful as the bride and groom arrived at Craigievar Castle for the service.
We had a great time meeting up with old friends and were so pleased for Linda and Gordon that they had such a brilliant day. Scotland was looking at its best.
We then returned to Edinburgh and lunched with Philippa and Malcolm and the other set of great-nephews who we can confirm were also delightful.
In Edinburgh, where the weather continued to be grand, we stayed with Mairi and Norman and Sheila managed a few sets of tennis on the lawn.
Some retail therapy was undertaken on the Monday and I fitted in lunch with my old friend, Nick.
Thanks to everyone for there hospitality.
During all this excitement, Sheila had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, which for the uninitiated is an auto immune disorder related to the thyroid. She had been feeling out of sorts for a while which she put down to concerns following my mini-stroke but the problems continued and finally she went to our GP here in Crete who send her for a blood test. Within a week she had had two sets of tests and had seen a consultant endocrinologist twice and by the time we left for the UK had been given medication. It was all very impressive and the cost for everything – just 180 euros! We don’t believe in private medicine but ….. Congratulations and many thanks to the Greek Health Service.
Now she has to get the dosage right which will probably take a few months but other than the fact that she will have to take a pill for the rest of her life (which she hates), we hope the problem will be solved.
Thanks to Mike and Rosie and Felicity and Stewart for being so understanding during their respective stays, if we weren’t always up for trips hither and thither, and also to those who have kindly agreed to re-arrange their visits later in the year.
Last week we went to Sitia with Shona and Rich to see a notary with a view to getting our Greek wills prepared. The procedure was strangely reminiscent of what we had to do in Scotland except that we needed three Greek nationals, who were not related to one another to act at witnesses. So we took our neighbour Maria who seemed to think it was a great excuse for a day out and Shona and Rich took their dentist and Gym manager! All went well, although the cost was astonishingly high and at the end we were not allowed to take a copy away, the reason for which was lost in translation! So, as I said to the notary, we can now die and it will all be OK!
And now it’s back to that sun bed!