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BS: Postcard from Greece 2003

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Roger the Skiffler 03 Jul 03 - 08:28 AM
katlaughing 03 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM
Amos 03 Jul 03 - 11:07 AM
catspaw49 03 Jul 03 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 03 Jul 03 - 11:59 AM
Morticia 03 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Jul 03 - 08:19 AM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Jul 03 - 09:08 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Jul 03 - 11:02 AM
Amos 05 Jul 03 - 11:56 AM
katlaughing 05 Jul 03 - 07:11 PM
Roger the Skiffler 06 Jul 03 - 03:32 AM
katlaughing 06 Jul 03 - 12:48 PM
Roger the Skiffler 21 Sep 03 - 12:14 PM
katlaughing 21 Sep 03 - 01:22 PM
Morticia 21 Sep 03 - 03:18 PM
Amos 21 Sep 03 - 07:08 PM
Roger the Skiffler 22 Sep 03 - 04:42 AM
katlaughing 22 Sep 03 - 10:39 AM
George Papavgeris 22 Sep 03 - 11:21 AM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Sep 03 - 06:05 AM
Roger the Skiffler 24 Sep 03 - 03:41 AM
katlaughing 24 Sep 03 - 09:25 AM
Roger the Skiffler 26 Sep 03 - 03:30 AM
John Routledge 26 Sep 03 - 05:09 AM
fat B****rd 26 Sep 03 - 06:24 AM
Amos 26 Sep 03 - 02:20 PM
katlaughing 26 Sep 03 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Roger the Skiffler 28 Sep 03 - 05:43 AM
Steve Benbows protege 20 Oct 03 - 01:45 PM

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Subject: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 08:28 AM

Dear kat and Amos,
        I know you like to keep up with my ramblings (in both senses!), but I've put them "below the line" to suit the BS police, though there is some slight musical content.
This year we gave Kalymnos a miss, and returned to Lipsi where we went 5 years ago, though we did phone Irene from there on her birthday and she made it clear we are expected to go back to Kalymnos next year!
        Lipsi has changed little. Still more donkeys than wheeled vehicles, still no sunbeds or beach umbrellas for hire and only a few more paved roads. The art of drystone walling is not dead and it was encouraging to hear that the population is increasing, few people go elsewhere in the winter and many of the 1950s emigrants are now returning, not only to restore homes to live in but planting new olive groves and vineyards. There is some building of holiday homes but also several new churches (no Orthodox area can have enough churches apparently. Lipsi has over 50 for a population of around 650, even if some only have a service on the appropriate saint's day each year).
        Our villa was overlooking the town and farmland above the amazing "Priest's House". His income from all these churches must be considerable as his house is a Disney-esque confection of domes, castellations and covered walkways, faced with stone and topped with a neon cross, parts of which even light up at night.
        From our balcony we could watch the farm workers tending their fields and livestock in a very unmechanised way. Irrigation is often by man and hose or perforated hose laid out on a field and moved to the next. Harvesting is done by sickle and the results carried off piled high on mules or donkeys. Unusually for Greece, there are quite a few cattle. When we were here last it was September and the cattle were in the fields. Now they were browsing on the hillsides until the winter fodder has been cut.
        After the cows the sheep and goats get to finish off anything left.
        Well, the days flew by, walking to the beaches- 20 minutes to the nearest, an hour to the furthest- taking a snack to the remoter ones or spending a leisurely lunch at a taverna by the two main ones, then a meal in the evening followed by a visit to the kafenion for a sweet and coffee and the odd Metaxas or two.
        Most of the establishments played Greek music, one new bar did play Western music ( Eagles, Animals,etc). The only live music happened one evening in the EEC-beautified square behind the harbour when the mayor honoured two Norwegian families who had been coming to Lipsi for 20 years before mass tourism (mass in Lipsi terms is about 100 tourist beds), alone, then with their children and now their grandchildren. There was a long speech from the mayor and a goodie-bag was presented to each couple. One of the men then replied in Greek and then local musicians (amplified fiddle and keyboard) played for the local school children to dance traditional dances in traditional costume. This was followed by mass dancing, very complicated interweaving of bodies from about 6 years upwards to old men, and the mayor (I wonder if he's up for election soon?) being one of the most energetic. It was nice to see the young men in their 20s not being too embarrassed to join in, even those in football shirts. In the UK, their equivalent would be more likely to sneer or start a fight!
        The dances were very long with the faint-hearted dropping out and others joining in at random. Even Herself, the queen of the Ikarian leaping dances of a few years ago, declined to join in and my lack of terpsichorean skills is well know but we stayed to watch until after midnight with no sign of the festivities abating.
        I did buy a record of the local fiddle/ hammered dulcimer duo as a memento.
        Nothing else much to report, you will all have read in the press about the Greek "November 17th" terrorist hiding on Lipsi under a false name until his arrest in a helicopter swoop by Greek Special Forces earlier this year. "Hiding" is a strange concept as he occupied the Pink House, all other buildings in the town being traditional patriotic Blue and White, and it was on the most prominent hillock, one of the most visible buildings from the seaward approach.
        The James Bond-ish episode on out Marathi lunch trip, the delights of "Lamb stuffed in the oven", the famous Mr Mango, all perhaps for another day…

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM

As usual, I plead "more, more!" Love it and thanks so much for thinking of us and dispensing with the "wish you were here!"**bg**

Opah! (Is that right?)

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 11:07 AM

Ahh, ROger, just reading your tales makes my sinuses swell with the scent of retsina!! How I wish I was there with you!!

Do write more. It is a delight to remember there are places where the world stayed comprehensible. Even if it is Greek to me.... (clang!!!)

Very best,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 11:18 AM

Geeziz Skiff.....Why do you have to post this crap and make everyone envious as hell? It really isn't a nice thing to do. When you return you're getting bedpan duty on the third floor and you know what that place is like!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 11:59 AM

*urk* my reservation is for the third floor!


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Morticia
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM

thank heavens for that....I've been up there more than a year now and I could use a rest.

I love it when this time of year rolls round and we get to travel vicariously with Roger


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 08:19 AM

"Vicariously"?
Does that mean travelling like a vicar? Funnily enough, the vicar at Herself's church and his wife are also fans of Lipsi and have been 2-3 times and were very jealous that we were going this year as they have family weddings to pay for & can't go! Mrs Vicar got quite dreamy about one of the taverna waiters (one of the many Mungo sons). Herself reckons she could tell which one (they're both at a funny age). Apart from the fact that he was young, fit, handsome, charming, spoke four languages and had all his own hair and teeth I couldn't see what the attraction was!
Maybe more over the weekend, I'm still getting the holiday washing done and tidying up the garden.
Yassas
RtS
(now I'm retired, 'Spaw, I don't do bedpans! need 'em, don't empty 'em!))


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 09:08 AM

OK, a couple of quickies.
Our cottage was semi-detached but the other half unoccupied so we got peace and quiet (apart from the goatbells, donkeys,cockerels etc) but were worried to see a "STOP" sign and diversion arrows at the town end of our road. Above our place a ditch had been cut in the concrete road bed and was approaching a manhole cover just outside our steps.
Local traffic ignored the diversion signs and continued to drive up knowing they could squeeze past the road works. Until the day the JCB (backhoe for our colonial cousins) broke down. That completely blocked to road except to pedestrians, donkeys and motorbikes. Cars, vans and taxis had to reverse or turn round!
As we were usually out all day the work didn't disturb us, but we wondered why it took so long. [My suggestion was one of my Irish gradfather's stories when he was "on the blackstuff" (ashphalt): there were four men and only two shovels so two of themen had to lean on each other]. However we came home one day to find about 50 metres of trench had been filled with concrete and one of the workment was smoothing it out BY HAND with a small builder's pointed trowel, not even a rectangulat plastere's float! [All this despite a huge blue sign shwoing how many millions of EEC euros were being spent on the project]He was making a good job of it, but it meant only enough concrete could be poured each day for him to smooth before it solidified in the heat. The other half of the road gang was sweeping up the dust. When I passed him we discussed the weather (hot but windy). However, when Herself (who like a dutiful wife always walks several paces behind me!)passed she was offered the chance to sit beside him on the wall and share the contents of a dubious bottle. She declined (she claims because she indicated she was with me ,I think it was because we had been warned that scorpions inhabited stone walls, and we'd already had to kill one on our doostep).

The "Lamb Stuffed in the Oven" and Goat ditto was on a taverna menu and we got the giggles imagining the poor thing bracing itself with legs and horns as the cook tried to force it in!
[actually, I had the lamb version -it came with a rice and herb (strongly minty) and minced entrail stuffing and was excellent. I also had some very tender liver (scope for Metaxas jokes!).]
The giggles developed into hiccups for Herself and, unsure how to ask for a teaspoon of vinegar, (her usual cure) I said I'd have to scare her and I said "X is right behind you" (X being her least favourite work colleague). It worked!
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM

Dontcha' just hate it when you're on a deserted beach and suddenly a boatload arrives?
Well, the beach wasn't deserted and we were in the taverna enjoying a leisurely lunch when a large motor yacht of the type we call a gin-palace (or I suppose we should call it an ouzo-palace) arrived. It decanted half a dozen bottle-blonde Greek ladies of a certain age and generous build, wearing rather too much jewelry and make-up for the beach (well only one bathed, the rest headed straight for the taverna). They were accompanied by two younger, fitter men with gelled hair, of the sort Greeks call "kamaki" (harpoons) which approximates to the Italian "gigolo". A crew member was kept busy going back and forth in the tender for items they'd left behind or needed taking back. Judging from his clumsy docking attempts, he hadn't been hired for his seamanship skills either! I cruelly dubbed them "The desperate blondes' last chance cruise".
        One day we took a cruise on a more modest vessel (kaiki) to the small islet of Marathi. Each Summer two families return to Marathi from Australia. Each owns a taverna and lets a few rooms to people who really want to get away from it all. Just a beach, a deserted village (100 people lived there up to WW2), and a few goats and chickens. An aged relative stays there alone in the winter to care for the animals. We enjoyed a nice lunch (I had the fava dip –no chianti- and chicken in lemon sauce since you ask- very nice) and admired the two large motor yachts in the bay. One was the size of a small liner and showed no signs of life. The other, closer inshore, was a similar size to the previous ouzo-palace, was a sinister grey and had state of the art radar equipment that led some to speculate that it wasn't a civilian vessel (despite the red ensign). It was called (wait for it) "Protect me from what I like", which proves, I suppose, that money and taste don't always go hand in hand. All the binoculars were out by now. Were we looking for Audouin's gulls or Eleanora's falcons? Were we, heck! We established that a white uniformed crew were supplying continuous drinks to two paunchy, balding, middle-aged men (takes one to know one!) accompanied by three younger, slimmer, bikini-clad young ladies, who, alas, showed no inclination to come ashore.
        Then, excitement! A helicopter circled low over the island, trying in vain to find a flat spot to land. After several passes it hovered and then landed on an uninhabited islet in the bay, scattering several goats. Another man of the same type as the others got down and two bags were handed down. He took a photo of the helicopter which led us to guess he wasn't used to travelling thus. He stood for a while as if waiting for someone to carry his bags. Then a motor boat came out from the yacht and went round to the far side of the islet where there was a landing place and he resignedly carried his cases down to meet it.
        He got aboard the yacht and a large bearded man in a black t-shirt and bandana, looking like a pop-star's bodyguard, took his cases below while he joined the others for more drinks. Was he bringing the nose candy? The proceeds from the Brinks-Mat robbery? The master tapes of the new Madonna release? No-one recognised any of the men so we will never know. Perhaps it was just a meeting of the Athens Shipowners Darts team or the husbands of the ladies from the previous incident.

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 11:02 AM

Mr Mango is the eminence grise on Lipsi> he owns the hotel, a block of apartments, a restaurant, a coffee shop and a supermarket as well as a farm enhanced by several dead boats and lorries. These establishments are staffed by his many sons and other relatives, his wife presides in the restaurant kitchen. He is a large man who has clearly enjoyed his food. He is of what the Americans would call "homely" appearance though the ladies seem to think his sons attractive (if you like them slim, dark, young and handsome!). He has a deep throaty voice in the Leo McKern ("Rumpole") vein and enjoys having a drink and a joke with his customers while shouting instructions to his harassed offspring. He favoured a red shirt this year. Herself, being of a charitable disposition, reckons he had bought a job lot of these. I wondered if he just wore the same one for a fortnight or his wife washed it each night.
        He was seen on UK tv at the time of the "November 17th " terrorist arrest expressing amazement that the frequent visitor, owner of the Pink House, whom he had taken fishing , was the man behind the bombings and shootings in Athens.
        My favourite member of the clan is his sister-in-law Joanna, who runs the Stratos zacharoplasteion next door to his Calypso restaurant, who appreciates my taste for Greek sweets (and 3-star brandy) and introduced me to a couple of local specialities. One she told me was called Patsavoula. At least I thought that's what she said. My Greek dictionary only comes up with a similar word which means either "dishcloth" or "prostitute". With my propensity for saying the wrong thing is two languages, I won't be ordering it again until I've checked it out. Perhaps El Greko can help! Was it Pestavoula which would be "seal skin" or "seal crust"?
RtS
(That's all , folks, until Sigri on Lesvos in September)


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 11:56 AM

Roger,

You're a gem. Save these all up for a book. man.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 07:11 PM

Egg-zakelly! These are so wonderful! Can't wait for more in September! Thank you, thank you!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 03:32 AM

One final coda...Bring in the Clones.
My people-watching this year has made me wonder if there really are Boys from Brazil, Stepford Children, Midwich Cuckoos. There were North European (well, Norwegian, Dutch, German)families coming and going on every ferry and hydrofoil and though the parents looked quite varied (even one white Norwegian with dreadlocks)all the children looked the same, straight blonde hair, perfect teeth, slim, usually well behaved. I sometimes wondered if they ever took home the wrong children...

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:48 PM

Scary thought, that! Any more tidbits? I'm sure there must be a bit more to tide us over, eh?:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 12:14 PM

Dear kat and Amos,
got back from my fortnight in Sigri, Lesvos, on Thursday and this is the first time I've been able to log on to the 'Cat. Had a great time, but not a vintage one for amusing blunders or music. If you're not too sated, I could talk about terrapins,troop movements and trees (petrified)...and the usual Greek menu howlers...

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 01:22 PM

I saw you in the Help, RtS! Sated? Absolutely NOT! Please talk about terrapins,troop movements and trees (petrified)...and the usual Greek menu howlers...!! And, thanks!

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Morticia
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 03:18 PM

oooh goodie.....I shall go and get a gin and tonic and settle myself in for some more stories.....any chance you could put them on tape,Roger?


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Amos
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 07:08 PM

Standing by for a refreshing renewal of familiarity with life in the islands, maestro!! Evkaristo!!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 04:42 AM

Well, thanks, fans (you must get back on the medication!). I don't think I can compete with Brett's marvellous Guam storiues which have got me hooked!
Sigri is a small village 2 hours drive from the airport on Lesvos with a population of about 400, aboput 40 tourists maximum. The schoolboy who put out the sunbeds on the village beach says there are 43 sunbeds but half the beach is unbedded and at this time of year uncrowded, We had a lot of wind and even some rain (to the pleasure of the locals, first since April)so it was cool enough for a pleasant walk up into the quite gentle hills (birds, lizards, even the odd snake) or to further deserted beaches North and South of the village. There are 8 places to eat (yes we tried them all!), 4 bars including one billed as a jazz & blues bar, the nearest to our accomodation (yes we tried all those but tended to gravitate to the one with the best selection of Greek sweeties!). Our apartment was on the first floor (that's 2nd for N.Americans!) of a 2-story block of 6 apartments built on the rock on the side of a little cove so we were about 30 feet above the sea from our balcony. I had to hang the washing out as it gave Herself vertigo, which disappeared when she threw the ends of loaves down and watched the fish fight for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 10:39 AM

LOL...selective vertigo, eh? Sounds idyllic as ever, esp. those virgin(?) beaches...half the beach is unbedded.**bg**

More, more...love to read about this; it's magical!


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 11:21 AM

Hi - just stumbled upon this thread, Roger, and it's marvellous. THAT's the Greece I know and hanker after. Haven't been there for a couple of years, more's the pity...

Don't know "Petsavoula" - "patsavoura" comes to mind, but then you already found its meaning in the dictionary...Was it perhaps "Pasta Voula"? "Pasta" means "gateau slice", "voula" is "spot". A greek Spotted Dick perhaps?

Did you try the marzipan sweets of Lesvos, they're famous for them. As well as for the best ouzo in the whole of Greece.


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:05 AM

Yes EG, I think it was pastavoula, I've never got spotted dick in greece: Herself keeps too close an eye one me! It was a sort of pan dish, more like Revani than a steamed pud, (incidentally I had the best Revani ever at the beach taverna in Sigri, a freebee after the best giuvetsi ditto!). Kataplistiko!
Now I've managed to get in to the 'Cat, here's another instalment, probably last one tomorrow:

Outside Greece, of course, Lesvos is known for its Sapphic connections which can lead to some double-takes at notices which the Greeks see as perfectly normal. "Lesbian Wildlife Trust", "Lesbian Animal Hospital" and "Lesbian Fire Service".   There is a Women-only hotel in Skala Erressos, a lively resort about 10 miles from where we stayed, and the Craft and Accommodation Women's Cooperative which are common on many Greek islands probably gets more customers from visiting ladies who think it os specifically aimed at them. I don't know how they feel about Sappho's school for prospective brides. Herself threatened to throw me off our balcony if I made any jokes about dykes and fingers when we met the many Dutch tourists who were around.
        Now for the trees:
    Many of the people on our whole-day bus trip were Dutch so we got a bi-lingual commentary. We visited a large monastery which had a menagerie including a pair of red deer and peacocks!The main church was 15th Century and not open to women….

Also went to the attractive villages of Vatousa,Petra and Molyvos (ignoring the sign that said "Satellite tv: tonight Watford v Milwall"!)
                However, the main purpose of the trip was to visit the petrified forest, created in a volcanic eruption 20 million years ago (No, Steve P., I don't remember it!). This covers a huge area in stunning scenery and has 53 trees excavated so far. They differ from the Arizona site in that most are upright and root systems still visible. There is also an excellent modern museum in Sigri where there are more examples and where the whole process is clearly explained. We soon learned to spot bits of petrified wood among the pebbles at the water's edge. I can now bore for England on yet another subject!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:41 AM

While we were in Sigri (the bay is very large and was once mooted as a NATO naval base) there was a major military exercise going on for a couple of days. As well as the usual jets screaming overhead, a couple of patrol boats docked briefly (with much shouting and arm-waving, shades of The Navy Lark), and helicopters hovering.
        There was a small army base outside the village, which seemed to be just an aerial farm but we saw the bespectacled National Servicemen coming into town to buy bread and olive oil. During these two days, though, a group appeared on the town beach and played with wet suits and inflatable boats like James Bond and "invaded" the islet opposite (home only to a lighthouse). Their changing clothes led to some buttock-bearing which had the ladies on the beach quite excited!
        Although nudity was possible out of the village, the village beach was kept respectable by the local coastguard as there was no policeman in the village. The coast guard therefore supervised the visiting yachts, fishermen and checked the beach for our Northern European cousins taking too many clothes off in front of the village grannies and kiddies. Guess which job they undertook most zealously!
        Despite the warlike signs and the usual Greek-Turkish hostility I was heartened to see the Turkish inscriptions on the castle and the water fountains in the village are maintained and unvandalised, a nearby village still has its minaret and there are moves afoot to restore Turkish Hammam in Sigri and full credit is given to the Turks for introducing a water supply to the area via an ancient aqueduct (sadly a victim of one of the many earthquakes in the 1800s). The village church was actually converted from a mosque which was built by a Greek architect and thus aligned in the Orthodox way, not towards Mecca. The village priest was quite traditional, being attached to a local monastery, but also fairly young and ran computer courses for the children, and was not averse to being seen in a bar with a drink and a cigarette.

            I mentioned that our balcony was great for people-watching. 3-4 fishermen moored at the jetty below and it was a good weather indicator if they moved their boats into the main harbour that the next day was likely to be too windy for the beach. They were having to go further and further for good catches and the unpredictable winds this year seemed to have scattered the shoals. One was considering spending the winter as a quarry lorry-driver at a steady 40 euros a day plus overtime as although he could get 100 euros a day from fishing on a good day, on a bad day he might only get 20 euros or not be able to go out at all.
          One of them also had a house next door to us and seemed to divide his off-water time between watering his tomatoes (no water shortage on Lesvos, lots of springs, lakes and rivers) and bashging seven bells out of octopus he'd caught. On the other side was the taverna with the Doberman. The owner, with grey hair and black eyebrows, looked like Steve Martin, especially when he got telling stories to the fishermen and accompanied them with funny walks and gurning facial grimaces.

        And I think that is really all for this year. We've already booked our return trip to Kalymnos for next June, not decided where to go in September. So now I'm looking forward to my 60th birthday bash next month with Sonny Black and the Dukes at Jagz . Best of all, I love reading Brett's accounts of Guam, lovely stuff….to see us through the winter, and perhaps Fat B******d will let us know how he got on in Kos when he gets back in a couple of weeks.

Kali antamosi!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 09:25 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 03:30 AM

PS. (And finally….)
Did I mention the next village, Andissa, proclaims itself a "!Socialist Paradise"? The most visible sign of this is an old people's home that has been in construction since 1986 and is now up to the first floor. Although Greek village society still relies on "black grannies" for child care and a lot of cooking duties, I know a couple of Greek daughters-in-law who might wish to send their mother-in-law away! One calls hers "four foot ten of venom" and another "the general". A married Greek postgraduate student who worked with my wife in the UK used to send his washing home to Athens and the clean and pressed clothes came back from his mother (mind you, I was at College with an Aberdonian who did the same!). No girl is good enough to marry a Greek boy according to his mother. As for the old men, I can't see it catching on (who would look after the livestock while the youngsters are in Athens for the winter?).
            The kafenion in Sigri was open from 6am to 2am. When I went out for the breakfast bread, four old boys I thought of as the Sigri Debating Society would be sitting there putting the world to rights. When we came past after our evening meal they were still there. I expect they went home for a siesta in the afternoon. They were a better indication of the weather than the fishermen. The wind direction depended whether they sat on the front verandah or in the back courtyard. If they were sitting inside we knew it wouldn't be a day for the beach!

        I mentioned the duties of law and order devolving on the Coast Guard. I don't know if they regulated hunting, all the "No Hunting" signs being liberally peppered with shotgun pellets, but they did turn up as soon as four lads pitched tents on the beach in front of the " No Camping signs". Well, not as soon, not exactly "Amessus", they did wait for the next morning and let them have a good lie in before making them pack their gear back in their pick-up and move on. Judging by the large coolers they had, they had planned a boozy weekend fishing (for fish or girls I don't know!) but their modern tents and vehicle suggested they could have afforded rooms (and plenty were vacant).

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: John Routledge
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 05:09 AM

Many thanks Roger - very evocative. Well worth my occasional dip into BS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: fat B****rd
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 06:24 AM

It'll be pleasure RTS. Last time I asked for "Rembetika" music in a Chania shop the girl actually reached "under the counter" for a couple of CDs. Opa !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Amos
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 02:20 PM

Evkaristopolis!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 05:15 PM

Stantinapolous!**bg** (It's all Greek to me!) Okay, you can groan now!


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: GUEST,Roger the Skiffler
Date: 28 Sep 03 - 05:43 AM

Where dat cookie go?
PPS One story related to me might also amuse. The shopkeeper in Sigri for years was a very old man, Baba Yanni who died last year in his late 90s. He spoke little English. One tourist, whose Greek was also poor, decided to cook a special meal for which he required garlic and wild rice. Rummaging in the depths of the shop he found a packet of wild rice. No garlic (in the days before the greengrocer opened, travelling vans brought fruit & veg). He tried to explain what he wanted, in the English way- by talking slowly and loudly. No luck. Tried sign language - no luck. By now, as usual, a small interested crowd had gathered, all trying to help and bringing forth suggestions from the shop or their home. Still no garlic. Bab Yanni had a brainwave: he brought a pad and pen for the man to draw what he wanted. He did so, Light dawned on Baba Yanni's face, off up the hill he went , a few minutes later he came back with a bag and produced from it with a flourish.......a Calor gas canister!!!!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Postcard from Greece 2003
From: Steve Benbows protege
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 01:45 PM

Very amusing roger! Might have to hide in your suitcase next year!!


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