Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Spring is Sprung

"The spring is sprung, the grass is riz.
I wonder where the boidies is.
They say the boidie’s on the wing.
But that’s absoid. The wing is on the boid."

My mum used to love to repeat that verse. You have to say it with a 'Noo Yoik' accent for it to make sense. My mum was good at accents. She'd have loved to be here now, in our garden in Kiotari, because it would for sure have elicited those words once again from her lips. Why? 'Cos the blossoms are a riot at the moment. We came home just in time to see the flowers at their best. They're never quite as good as they are now all through the summer.

Here, take a look...

We cut all the rose bushes in the garden back really hard every February, usually to something like 10" above the ground. They always reward us a few months later.

That's a bottle-brush hiding behind the yucca leaves.

Don't know what those pink babies are called, except that we theorise that they're of the daisy family. They're soooo flamboyant though.

When we left for the UK on 29th March, the fig tee was bare except for very tiny leaf buds. We came back to this.
The weather last Saturday evening when we landed was not a lot different from what we'd left behind in the UK, but I rather think that now there's quite a difference. It's been 28ºC outside today and, owing to the fact that I've spent a couple of days slaving away in the garden to try and get it into shape after a few weeks of neglect (and done my neck in as a result), I've actually taken my first couple of outdoor showers of the season. OK, so the water was a tad cold, flamin' freezing in fact, but afterward it's worth it for that tingling sensation you get all over your skin as you dry off under the sun.

The new book is currently being proof-read and edited, so there's not a whole lot I can do for a little while longer yet, but I hope to at least have the Kindle version live within the month.

Regarding the new book, "A Jay in the Jacaranda Tree", I hope you'll give it a go. It's got shades of the old "Ramblings" series in it, in that it does contain some anecdotes and experiences of over a decade of living on Rhodes, but it's generally quite different in that it's really a treatise on the Rhodes and the Greece of the past ten years, with all the turmoil that's been going on regarding the economic woes, the political upheaval and the refugee crisis for starters.

Hopefully it'll answer a few questions too, ones that the guests on my excursions ask me so often. Things like whether we'd ever go back to the UK, how the financial crisis affects ex-pats living over here and others. 

It delves into the realms of controversy too and gets pretty frank about animals, ex-pats and their ways, the religion and its effect on the general populace, tourism's good and bad sides, stuff like that. It looks at the Greek health service from the angle of someone living 'on the ground' as it were, as it does the situation in Athens, something that I feel has been grossly distorted by the overseas media, especially in the UK.

Overall I hope that readers will sense my underlying affection for this country and its eccentric people. I'm being provocative here and there and thus the quote that I've chosen to preface the whole thing...

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

- Evelyn Beatrice Hall (under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre), reputedly quoting Voltaire.

I fully expect some readers to disagree with my 'findings', but mature folk can think along different lines, completely disagree in fact, without becoming enemies. Mature folk don't fall out, in fact they applaud the rights of others to express their views unhindered (that's covered that then!).

The bee-eaters have arrived early. The swallows, martins and even the odd swift are swooping in the early evening, the deer have retreated to higher altitudes in search of fresher air and the presence of half-naked people down the road near the local cafés and shops indicates that the summer season is once again waking up. I'll soon be welcoming guests aboard my occasional excursions and my wife has already begun work. It is good. It is right. It is nice. As we always say here in spring - "it's nice to see things waking up," after months of the winter's sleepiness. Come late September we'll once again be saying of the tourists, "bugger off home and leave our island to us again please."

But every year at this time we find ourselves glad to see them again. Spring is sprung, the grass is riz ...bring it on.

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