Thursday, 25 January 2018

Fruit, Rooftops and Possible Frights

All kinds of stuff to report today. 

Where to start, that's the problem. I know, yes, fruit. I'd be surprised if we weren't turning decidedly orange of complexion of late, owing to the fact that, once again, our good friends Froso and Stergo in Kalathos are keeping us well supplied with oranges again this winter. Even with giving huge bags of them away to neighbours, we juice and eat that many oranges at this time of the year that it's just as well they're not addictive. Actually, perhaps they are. Who needs Trump-like fake tans? We're turning orange anyway.

Last year we kept promising the couple that we'd come and pick some oranges with them and it never happened. Finally, last Saturday, it did. We were out with Froso during the morning and, when we took her home, she said, "You want to go pick some oranges before you go home?" Our answer? As obvious as Kim Kardasian's bottom. (I wanted to get that in, just to see if there was any way at all I could mention that rather low-intellect woman in one of my posts, just for laughs. Incidentally, is she real?).

So, digging some seriously huge Jumbo carrier bags out from their cupboard, Stergo set off with us down the lane to their orange grove, where they have a mere 70 trees. Here is my brief photographic record of the following fifteen minutes or so...

By the time we were struggling back to the car with two huge carrier bags, whose handles were ripping as I walked, we had enough oranges both for juicing and eating to open a modest fruit shop. And people ask us why it's our favourite time of the year.

Now I've cobbled together a brief photo gallery of the past few days, hope you like them...

Approaching Asklipio on foot along the dirt road leading up the mountain from behind our home. The Kastro's one of the most impressive fortifications on the island. This is the view you get around forty-five minutes after leaving our front gate. It's a pretty cardiovascular climb.

The traffic gets really bad down our lane sometimes.

Kiotari beach, looking towards the superb Paraktio Apartments.

Mandraki, Town Hall Square, Rhodes.

Lindos, where else? Kleoboulos' tomb visible across the way.

The lane down from Krana to the main square in Lindos on a dull day in January. A view not often seen by tourists.

The better half with a friend from Scotland, Karen Anderson who, along with hubby Brian, has seriously caught the bug of taking a winter holiday in Lindos. This is on the rooftop of the lovely, snug traditional village studio they often stay in. 

A fairly deserted Lindos in January. It's a real joy to stroll around the place at this time of year. Days like this are rare too, with the cloud cover you can see here.

Finally, if we end up seeing a formidable 'Huntsman' spider [Don't click that link if you're an arachnophobe. I did warn you!] in our house again some time soon, I'll be laying the blame fairly and squarely in the shoulders of the Lidl foodstores here.

Why? Well, a year or more ago we read somewhere on-line that spiders hate the smell of peppermint. The suggestion was to place a peppermint teabag (spent ones are fine) in places where the eight-legged fiends may be able to gain ingress and, if you do so, you'll never see a big fearsome arachnid on your inside walls again. Of course, when you read stuff like that on-line it's always wise to take it with a fairly hefty pinch of salt; but, well, we decided that it was at least worth a try. After all, we are in the habit of drinking peppermint tea daily with our breakfast. Or, to be more accurate, just afterwards. 

I read about the benefits of peppermint to the digestion many years ago, when we were living in Cardiff, South Wales and I was cycling about five miles to work every day after eating a substantial breakfast and regularly experiencing indigestion as a result. I began taking a spoonful of peppermint powder in a small amount of water about fifteen minutes before setting out and it cured the problem.

Thus we eventually settled into a routine of drinking peppermint tea, and of buying the teabags in the local branch of Lidl. These are the ones...

They're very good value and I can recommend them. What a joy it was when we first moved here and discovered not one but two branches of Lidl here on Rhodes and they were both well-stocked with the tea bags we wanted - a result!

Our joy only lasted a couple of years when, for no explicable reason, the peppermint tea was no longer in evidence on the shelves. It remained that way for almost a year and we even resorted to stocking up when we visited the UK more than once. Then, all of a sudden they reappeared and, up until a month or so ago, have been available ever since. 

Following the suggestion about the spider-repellent properties of peppermint, we began placing used bags in the corners of our windows, where there are sufficient orifices for the beasts to get in...

And, I can report that, ever since we positioned the bags as can be seen from the photo above, we haven't had even one instance of any spider larger than a fingernail inside the house. Yip-blinking-pee, eh? The trouble is, it looks like Lidl are playing silly games again and, during our last three visits, there has been a distinct lack of peppermint teabags on display. Now, if they don't re-stock PDQ and the aromatic properties of the bags we have in place wane sufficiently so as to no longer pose a threat, I may well be up in the small hours one night and getting the fright of my life once again, like in the old days. For the account of a particularly traumatic experience I once had with one of these palm-of-the-hand-sized Huntsman beasts, see chapter two of Tzatziki For You to Say.

So, if you're out there in internet-land whoever buys in the stocks for the Rhodean branches of Lidl, hear my plea and get some peppermint tea-bags in pronto. If I die of a coronary, my wife will be after you for compensation.

Or maybe to congratulate you, one never knows.


  1. If they still haven't reappeared by June let us know, we can easily tuck a few years boxes in our cases for you! Sue E Long (on FB)

  2. John--love your blogs--but I'm finding it more difficult to comment on them due to the weird picture jigsaw thingy--I'm sure I can't be the only one! Please keep writing--we all love it

    1. You have me flummoxed there Anon. I don't get that when I post replies! I'll have to go check the settings...

    2. It asks you to prove you are not a robot, then shows a panel of 12 pictures. You have to tick--for instance--any picture with a car in it. I didn't tick a picture of a truck--'cos it's not a car--so I was failed!!

    3. Well, I have been playing around with the settings to see if I can disable that. I must agree that, having come across the same thing myself on other sites, I've been quite annoyed at how complex and time consuming they make it to prove you're a real person sometimes.