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BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016

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Roger the Skiffler 03 Jul 16 - 06:34 AM
maeve 03 Jul 16 - 08:11 AM
Rapparee 03 Jul 16 - 11:49 AM
DaveRo 03 Jul 16 - 12:14 PM
ChanteyLass 03 Jul 16 - 09:17 PM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Jul 16 - 09:09 AM
ChanteyLass 04 Jul 16 - 08:17 PM
Lonesome EJ 05 Jul 16 - 01:43 PM
Roger the Skiffler 06 Jul 16 - 11:42 AM

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Subject: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 06:34 AM

It is becoming more difficult to find anything new to write about our mythical island of Dendros after 21 years and 14 visits. Very little changes. There is one new house to let to visitors and a proposed "development" of a couple of apartments and three houses which remains an artist's impression. As the framework of an extension to the only hotel in the village remains uncompleted after 21 years, serving only as a shady shelter for goats- hence our dubbing it the goatel- we remain sceptical.
        The beach in front of our apartment remains unsullied by sunbeds and umbrellas but our usual spot on the beach has grown two thatched umbrellas and another was added while we were there in scenes reminiscent of Bernard Cribbins' song "Diggin a Hole" : one man working and a group standing watching and offering helpful suggestions. Later we saw two of the village grannies stripping palm fronds to thatch umbrellas. There were also improved steps down to the beach from the road and new bean bag seating.
        Since our last visit one of the "black grannies" (in fact a great-grandma) had died and we were honoured to be invited by the family to join them for the 40 day commemoration. In the church hall other old ladies prepared and carefully decorated a special koliva cake which would be blessed at the service on the following day and handed out to the congregation. While we watched the decoration of the cake, coffee, biscuits, cupcakes and spoon sweets were served. As S is an Anglican Lay minister she was interested in the Orthodox funeral rites and customs and I enjoyed the cakes.
        The number of moorings in the bay has increased to 21. As usual there had been disputes among the villagers, following objections from the existing mooring owners but the threat of removing all moorings (remember the sunbed wars from a few years ago?) ended the dispute.
While we were there 6-15 moorings were occupied by visiting yachts each night, many of which supplied musician for the jam sessions in the tavern at night. One night there were 3 harmonica players, one night two guitarists and a clarinet, penny whistle, flute and bodhran made appearances while the house guitars, cajon and keyboard were available. One Dutch harmonica player we're met over the years greeted me with: "it's the Hootchie Cootchie Man!". I had taken 2 spare kazoos to bolster my backing group. We usually manage to insult everyone with Flanders and Swann's "Song of Patriotic Prejudice" but this year after Brexit we added Noel Coward's "Bad Times are just around the corner. One Dutch boat's crew requested our notorious rendition of Flanders and Swann's Hippopotamus Song ( Mud Mud..) , having hearing it on a previous visit. One couple requested I'LL Se You In My Dreams as sung by Joe Brown. S had it on her MP3 player so we wrote out the words for our quartet and actually rehearsed it at lunchtime but the couple didn't return! We "performed" it any way, substituting mass kazoos 9well 3) for Joe's uke break. Our host said my singing had improved but I think his hearing is getting worse! In addition to music in the tavern, we had a young guitarist practicing on the beach below our balcony. He didn't appear in the evening to join the performance- he must have been a music lover.
        Our owner as usual met us at the ferry and stopped off en route for us to stock up at the local supermarket. He used his loyalty card which didn't seem to give us a discount but presumable gave him points! He gave us a bottle of wine and when his family were in residence below at the weekends his wife cooked us two lunches (including tumblers of wine) , gave us kouramithes biscuits, nectarines and water melon and also sent up a warm caramelly breakfast dish based on cereal and nuts, VERY sweet.
        Two of the young mothers in the village had spent the winter making preserves and made biscuits to sell and another sold home made jewelry all adding much needed extra income. The new mayor is reputed to be "not interested" in tourists (the island's main income stream) and has decreed that businesses in the capital remove the awnings that shade outside tables and replace them with umbrellas (perhaps he has a cousing in the umbrella trade?).The only new menu howler we saw this years was "fresh youngsters" which we thought might have been roast kid but turned out to be whitebait or small fish (marithes). The beach was generally quiet except for locals at the weekends with their usual car-loads of picnics and beach toys. One local boy spend his time trying to ride his bike in the sea over the pebbles!
        After a good lunch in another village we bemused some locals by trying to get into their car, having mistaken it for our hire car of the same make and colour. Resolved with much amusement! Crazy English!
        A family of three goats hung around our apartment most of the time. The kid often bleating for its mother. One day we thought someone was at our gate on to the beach. The nanny was feeding the kid at the same time she was eating plants at the base of our gate and inadvertently butting it with her horns.
        To reserve the taverna's buoys for expected yachts, beach toys (bambi, dragon) wer e tied to the moorings. The older village ladies still swim in dresses and white headscarves but we did see one who daringly wore a baseball cap over her headscarf.
        It was 40 degrees by day and 30 by night so we didn't do much in the daytime except sunbathe except for the couple of days we took a hire car to some favourite spots around the island for S to exploit the panorama feature on her camera. On a couple of rare cloudy days we did a couple of walks, discovering tht, yes, the road being driven pointlessly round the uninhabited headland had gone not an inch further since last year and that the gates in the goat fences above the village were still fastened with fiendish complicated knots and twisted wire.
        The most exciting point of the holiday ( apart from the erection of the new umbrella) was Syt John's Eve when piles of hay were lit on the jetty and the young of the village jumped over these, some carrying children. I trust proper Health and Safety Risk Assessments had been carried out (as if!). The village was full for the evening.
        On the way home we breakfasted at the port on the big island before going up to the airport and saw a tourist competing for idiocy with local drives by cycling single handed while videoing with the other!
        If we return next year ( and maybe have to get a visa!) we are promised at least one new baby and one refurbished business in the village to be run by No2 son on his return from National Service in the Greek Navy (60 euros a month pay!). To think he was a baby the first time we came!
        Next holiday: Koufonissia (a real island) in September.


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: maeve
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 08:11 AM

Thank you- it's always a delight to read these. :)

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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 11:49 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: DaveRo
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 12:14 PM

Yes, I enjoy these too. Thanks.
The number of moorings in the bay has increased to 21
The proliferation of mooring buoys can be a curse. They often use up so much of the bay that it's impossible to anchor, forcing you to take one - which is presumably the idea. But you've no idea whether they're strong enough for anything more than a flat calm. I remember using one once - a huge orange thing with the name of the restaurant written on it. When we went ashore there was another one just like it on the beach - the rope had broken. Do we eat or move, we wonder?

Do you know Leros? Odd place, not very Greek with its Italian buildings. There's a museum, all in Greek, about the WWII Battle of Leros. And up in the hills are barrack blocks - some with cartoon murals.

Odd connections: I read yesterday that the rocket engine that will put the Juno spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter on Tuesday is a 'Leros 1b'. Built near here in Buckinghamshire by Moog Inc, a company founded by a cousin of the synthesiser guy.

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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 09:17 PM

It sounds like you have enjoyed another lovely holiday! Thank you for sharing.

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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 09:09 AM

The other two members of the Kalymnos Kazoo Kwire (eat your heart our Kardashians)had another week's holiday after we left but report being unable to shower etc as water main to village compromised. As it is larger than a garden hose but smaller than a fireman's and is lid above ground along the road, it is not surprising it gets damaged.

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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 08:17 PM

Ugh! By the way, here in Rhode Island a group called the Quahog Quire hosts a monthly trad session. For anyone not familiar with quahogs, they are hard-shelled clams, a favorite sea food of RI-ers.

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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 01:43 PM

Thanks, Roger. The rapid pace of progress on Kalymnos appears to continue unabated!

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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Dendros 2016
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 06 Jul 16 - 11:42 AM

I'll refresh this once then let it drop off the bottom...goin' down...

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