Thursday, 30 December 2010

Correcting an Oversight

On page 4 of Tzatziki For You to Say, there's a brief explanatory note, plus a section entitled "GROVELLING DEPARTMENT," where I credit two people who were of great help to me in producing the book. One was Mr. Nigel Sparks from the Yeovil area in the UK, who sent me the photograph which is used on the book's cover (plus one or two which I've used inside) and the other is Mr. Colin Anderson from Bristol (also UK), who thought up the title when I'd run out of witty ideas.

It was a little remiss of me to forget to also credit my very good friend Brenda Dawson, who lives not all that far from my wife and I, for coming up with the essential "framework" of ideas and recommendations which are listed in chapter 5, which is entitled "Live the Nightmare."

Brenda's experience at the sharp end of buying property here was essential to the information that chapter 5 contains and we'd discussed together putting such a chapter in when I talked with her about preparing book three in the series; since we both thought that, although it's not a bundle of laughs, that chapter may prove invaluable to anyone who is now contemplating buying out here. Why shouldn't they benefit from hers and our experience and, dare I say it, also be relieved of some of the nightmarish pitfalls that those who've gone before have had to experience?

So, since it's now a little too late to change the "Grovelling Department" page, as the book's "signature" (master artwork PDF file) has already gone through the process which culminates in it appearing on &, and would cost a packet to amend, I hereby redress that oversight and once again thank Brenda profusely for all her input on the subject discussed in chapter 5.

On the "Buy the Books" page there is now a direct link for purchasing "Tzatziki For You to Say" direct from too!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mandraki December 7th 2010 (added to Dec 2011)

This is Josie, who came with us on a "jolly" to Rhodes town on Tuesday Dec. 7th. It was a glorious day, although a little drafty in the shade. Still, we stuck it out and sat upstairs on the Kon Tiki, where Josie spoilt us by treating us to a hot chocolate. Josie features in a couple of chapters of "Tzatziki For You to Say."

Above: My better half trying to retain that "chic" look whilst secretly wishing that she was sitting inside, letting the sun warm her through the windows, rather than braving it out on the upstairs terrace.

Above: Yours truly and the light of my life. (Hey guys, I'll teach you how to score a few points if you like!!)

Above: You can tell from this one how wonderful the light was that particular day. The
Turkish mountains were displaying a bit of snow here and there, but it's difficult to make out in this picture.

I ought to add that, just days after these pics were taken a freak whirlwind in Mandraki destroyed the top deck of the Kon Tiki completely and to this day (as at Dec 8th 2011) it's sadly remained closed.

Clicking on any of the pics ought to open them in a new window

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Gorgeous Winter Pics

There's a link to these guys on my "LINKS" page, but this new set of pics, together with a really nice comment about the off-season here on Rhodes is well worth a visit:


Friday, 3 December 2010

Good Evening Deer, So Nice to See You Again

NO, it's not a spelling mistake, I meant it to read DEER. We're just so excited that we just had to tell someone!

Pottering around in the garden this afternoon laying more paths, edging them with rough stones in preparation for filling them with gravel, we took the wheelbarrow out up the lane behind the house in the search for more stones. Rounding the bend right behind the house and bordering our fence, Y-Maria said "is that a goat? Looks like a deer to me."

I looked and couldn't believe my eyes, for there just 60 metres from the track was a beautiful doe deer, grazing on the newly sprouting grass. We'd been busily throwing stones into the wheelbarrow, blithely unaware that she was there, yet she hadn't bolted. She merely lifted her head and gazed at us curiously. We were even able to walk on past her without her running away - twice!

So, having returned to the garden with a barrow-full of stones, I grabbed the camera and ran back around behind the house to find that she was still there. hence the pics above [click on them and you get a larger view]. It was fairly cloudy and very late in the afternoon, so the picture quality isn't wonderful, but you can tell how lovely she is. Since the fires of 2008 we haven't seen any deer within a couple of kilometres of the house, so this is a very encouraging sign.

After I returned to the garden and we'd resumed work on the paths near the front wall, the Greek gentleman who lives in the house at the bottom of our valley, right on the main road, came walking past. He's quite a private man and is known around these parts as "The Major" since he's evidently a retired army man, although we don't see a lot of him and don't even know his actual name. My wife was all excited and so she told him, "We've just seen a deer, right behind the house! It's the first time we've seen any so near since the fires." To which he replied, "Yes, and I saw a family: stag, doe and 3 fawns, on the road outside my house at 6.30am one morning back in the summer. They were standing on the road evidently confused as to which way to run, with traffic to-ing and fro-ing around them."

We all agreed how encouraging this development was and so also agreed that it wasn't such a pointless exercise the local council putting up signs on the main road recently, which read "CAUTION DEER CROSSING."

We just hope that some keen-eyed Greek with a rifle doesn't get her, she's so beautiful an addition to the local environment.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Toads in the Holes

Every night the path and terrace around the house receives visits from some Mediterranean Toads. Ever since my dear wife watched one guzzle down a rather large spider with a quick "zzzzip" of its tongue, she's loved them and calls them "My babies!"

Trouble is, they rather like to retire to all sorts of nooks and crannies during the daytime. Here you can see why we sometimes have to dispense with the use of the hose reel when watering the garden and resort to using old plastic fabric conditioner bottles as watering cans, so as not to disturb our little amphibian friends!

(Click the pic, you'll get a larger version)

Friday, 26 March 2010

A Must-Read

In case you've never heard of it, you really ought to check out "Greek-o-File," the eighth edition of which is going to be released next week.

Greek-o-File is a well produced paperback book, which is really a labour of love by Sylvia & Terry Cook, who live in the UK but also have a house on Mitilini (Lesbos). Greek-o-File is crammed with anecdotes and info about all parts of Greece and is a must-read for all Grecophiles.

Check out the homepage HERE for a full description of the publication and also, there's a link on that page (How to Purchase/Subscribe) where you can order your copy of not only No. 8, the new edition, but back issues too.

Sylvia works very hard indeed to get each edition produced and deserves the support of true Grecophiles everywhere. She and Terry don't make a lot of money producing it, but get the satisfaction of knowing that their readers derive huge pleasure from the stories and information that every edition contains.

I can't recommend this publication highly enough for anyone who's interested in Greece, her culture, her people, or simply Greece as a wonderful place to spend your summer hols!

Tell your friends!
(I keep a regular link to the Greek-o-File web site down in the right hand column, under the heading "Recommended Links to Check Out")

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Blossoms Everywhere (updated 12th March)

It's a fab time of the year now. The weather is warming up a little so it feels like a very hot UK summer's day when the sun's out, which it was yesterday while we were doing a little gardening for Josie in Arhangelos. Having lunch outside with her and Pat (her friend from Ireland) we found it to be too hot in the sun and we rather wished for a little more cloud!

The roadsides (like the pic above, just up the road towards Pilona from Lardos) are full of anemonies and wild poppies, the field and olive groves are yellow with a small plant (don't know what it's called) that the children pick and suck the stems, because it tastes like lemons. It carpets the fields with vibrant yellow, wonderful. The margaritas are just beginning to make a showing. They're the gorgeous cream moon-daisies that make the fields look like cheesecake in April. The pale pink rock roses are bursting out now too. Plus, an early morning walk in the hills today took us through loads of flowering French Lavender and purple sage. Just running your fingers through their foliage creates wonderful aromas!

There are baby goats everywhere, eliciting loads of "Aaaah"s from whoever is in the car at the time when we pass some of them. The gorse is flowering and, as we walk along the dirt tracks in the hills behind our home we breathe its heady perfume.

All in all, it's a very nice time of year to be in Rhodes. Got mixed feelings about going to the UK on April 3rd. Dying to see my mum, my sister and her hubby of course. The better half likewise, but in her case also to hit the charity shops! Plus some dear friends in South Wales are high on the priority list, but so reluctant to leave this place! When we get back we'll hopefully be straight into our summer work, me doing the trips to Symi & Marmaris, plus Yvonne-Maria doing a few villa changeovers, plus both care-taking the garden for a huge villa nearby.

Got any plans to visit Rhodes this year?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Footsore but Fancy Free

Sunday Feb. 28th.
Parked the car about 11.00am on the beach by the Atrium Palace Hotel at Kalathos and walked along the beach to Haraki. It was a fabulous day, if a bit windy at times. Took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Haraki Bay, where we parked ourselves in the "Bottoms Up" bar and had a crèpe and a club sandwich for lunch, washed down with a couple of iced coffees.

After we'd digested our food and enjoyed looking at the Haraki sea for a while, we set off to walk back along the roads. Instead of staying on the main road we took the old "National Road" which goes toward the gorges in the mountains and over the old Italian bridge.

On the way we passed the above flock of sheep meandering among the olive groves. They were rather photogenic, especially as they had some baby lambs "gambolling" as they do! It took us two hours to get back to the car and we reckon the whole walk must have been about ten miles.

My better half had worn the wrong shoes for the walk (so, nothing new there then) and both the heels came off en route, so she covered the last few miles in her socks! Our friend Basili, who has a heel bar in Rhodes town (two in fact), will have his work cut out.

On the way home we stopped by two different friends' houses in Pilona and eventually got home at around 7.00pm, footsore but fairly fancy free!

Tuesday 2nd March
Were in Lindos all morning so had coffee in the Icon Bar. Been living here four and a half years and it's the first time we've been in there! Won't be the last though, great coffee!

Clicking on any of the above pics gets you a larger version in a new window