Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Tortoise

Our tortoise has been out of hibernation for a little while and can often be seen zooming aorund the garden.

No joking - it can fairly move and this is the only photo that didn't come out blurry.

However - this may be down to technological inability rather than the actual speed of the toirtoise!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Greece Ripped Off

To be honest, we didn't initally think the Greek Eurovision entry was that good.

My Secret Combination by Kalomira was a pretty standard slab of American-style pop delivered by a Britney Spears clone who even sang in English and gave her post-event interviews in an American accent.

But then, the day after the competition, we found that My Secret Combination was about the only tune we could actually remember, so at least it was catchy.

Then we remembered how we felt early on in the voting when it looked like Greece might win... a trip to Athens for the Eurovision in one year's time would be AMAZING.

And then we read that the Eurovision was a fix, that it was a Russian company running the phone votes and the whole thing was rigged. This, admittedly, is based on one forum post somewhere on the internet but hey - it might be true and if it is then we feel AGGRIEVED.

So now we're mad shit-assed angry. Greece was ripped off and Russia cheated.

Luckily the national football team have a chance to take revenge soon as they are playing Russia in the Euro 2008 football tournament which starts on Saturday.

Bravo Ellada - give them hell!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wild Artichokes

So, a relative brought over some wild artichokes from Kos. I always thought the things grew in jars but it appears they are actually wild plants and there are lots of them in Greece at this time of year.

As you can see, they look like big spikey thistles. You boil them and then peel away the spikes one by one, sucking the artichoke-y goodness from the bottom of each spike.

Make sure you do this at the blunt end because those spikes are sharper and more painful than a lawyer.

Eventually, you are left with the squishy heart which you can pop in your mouth whole.

Yum. Bitter tastiness. Yum.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tiny, Meaningless Cultural Difference

In the olden days, being abroad was (probably) really foreign. Distances were vastly more vast when not bridged by modern communications: the internet, etc.

In this age where brands are bigger than countries, you can get a coke anywhere and culture is flatter across the world.

We are left with things like this:

In the UK, the coffee you bought from the supermarket usually came in JARS. Here in Greece, your instant fix tends to be packaged in TINS.


I don't know. You could read more into it. Maybe you could say that Greeks are more comfortable with ingredients that they cannot see whereas people from Britain are less trusting of authority and need to see the goods through transparent glass before being comfortable with a purchase.

Perhaps it means that Greeks see coffee as more of a basic commodity and Brits see coffee as something more like a treat.

Perhaps it means NOTHING AT ALL!!!

What do you think?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No Boot Required

You don't necessarily need a boot to transport things

Kalymnos provides excellent daily lessons in how to get the most out of two wheels.

Families, animals, supplies and friends all get to ride.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Learn Greek - letter Ψ

Ψ is the letter Psi.
It begins words like

τo ψaρo (to psaro) - the fish
n ψeυτιa (i psevtia) - the lie
ψaλλω (psallo) - I sing

It's a letter that just doesn't exist in the Roman alphabet we use for English but it's pretty easy to remember if you think about Poseidon, the old Greek God of the Sea.

Look at Poseidon's trident... it's a big letter Psi - Ψ and his name starts with Ps - P'seidon - and he's in charge of all the fish - ola ta psari.



By the way, we're learning with Pimsleur Greek language course and it really is very good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Room With a View

So, the building work next door has been pretty rapid and we now have splendid view from our South window in the bedroom, thus:

It's actually very interesting. As the day moves on and the sun makes his daily journey from East to West, the intricate play of light and brick becomes eternally mesmerising and completely fascinating.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nice Day for a Walk

It's a nice day for a walk down at the wharf.

The boats look pretty. The sun is hot. We know there's not going to be any cold weather for another 6 or 7 months.

Being unemployed in Greece is relaxing and we would recommend it to anyone.

Remember - if you're British you're an EU citizen and as such it may be possible to live on the dole here. Just athought - we haven't checked it out.

Anyone know any Brits who go dole-ite abroad?

Busy Doing Nothing

More days off!

Today is a public holiday for May Day. No work!

We'd only just finished with Easter too and yesterday was a normal Wednesday half-day!

You gotta hand it to the Greeks, they know how to work a system. It's probably some vitally important Saint's day or Greek historical occasion next Monday resulting in more closed shops and nothing happening. I cant been bothered to check (cos I'm picking up some Greek habits now).

So, what's this got to do with the picture of the concrete blocks?

Well, special holidays or not, those concrete blocks have been sitting doing zilch for about two months now.

Construction on the new waterfront round the East side of the harbour battered ahead apace during the winter but it seems to have ground to a Greek halt for now.

The crane that lifts the blocks into the sea has gone. I guess this is our sea-view for the foreseeable future.

Still, that's what Athens looked like 24 hours before the last Olympics. So, you never know!

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