Saturday, June 10, 2017

Life goes on

Since we have been back from our holidays we have had Mother stay for four nights. Little Jo stayed for one night. Now ABI Brother who is to fly off Alice Springs early in the morning is staying tonight. He will stay another night when he returns.  Aside from Mother, the other two are no problem for me, but R is getting a bit fed with being chief cook and bottle washer at Hotel Highrise. Each visitor needs a change of bedding, meals cooked for them and god forbid he should be thought of as a bad host. He will get over it. Mother staying tipped him over the edge.

Updating the air conditioner evaporation tray, we left a phone message at the company our electrician suggested. They called back the next day. $850 for a new one!!! Barley Charlie. The person on the phone said, don't worry about it. They don't make water in the winter and may not make enough in summer to worry about. Oh yes they do. With a soft plastic squeeze bottle, I have extracted 7 litres of water over the last week and the tray is not empty. Admittedly, most of that was produced on one day.

Do you remember these?

Yes, a kerosene heater. R bought his Elwood flat in 1979 and it had an open fireplace. Soon after we met. While there were romantic nights in with an open fire, for basic heating he used a kerosene heater. It stank badly and smoked when first lit. It made us sleepy as it burned the oxygen from the air, but they certainly did heat us well enough. It wasn't too long before he had a gas fired heater installed in the fireplace. The kero heater would be filled from a kerosene container by a hand pump. That is exactly what I needed to pump our the air con tray, but alas, they seem to be no longer available. We went to the big green hardware shed and ended up buying a siphon tube for $10 which turned out to be a total waste of money, as I thought. Oh well, only $5 each wasted. Siphoning on the same level was never going to work. I did get a mouthful of tray water, so I may come down with some terrible disease tomorrow, but then a mouth full of siphoned petrol never did me harm. Just in case, don't kiss me passionately until about Wednesday, when the bacteria incubation period will have passed. 

As I said, the squeeze bottle does the job well enough. We also bought an electric wire ending little thingie, six in a pack, so I removed the tape from the live wire in the tray electric box and made it a permanent and safe ending. I have now have five spare of these. Life will be good if I never have to use them.

Has James bought a cyclamen for his balcony yet? We did at the big green hardware shed, a pink one. Speaking of flowers, when we returned home at our door was left a bunch of flowers. K & J, R's sister and bro in law, sent us this lovely bunch of flowers in thanks for the holiday. So kind and the holiday would not been nearly as good without their company.

Europe 17 Day 18

I woke just as the first light of dawn was appearing. I peered out into the gloom and thought, wtf? There is snow on those hills. I don't recall any mention of snow on our tour. This photo was taken a little later.

I had heard of Santorini and now my memory was jogged. It was featured as a monthly photo in an old calendar, many years ago. It was still quite dark when I took these photos.

There are three ways to get up to the township, the first unthinkable, walking. Or you can use a donkey. Our chosen method was the chairlift.

The wharf.

Our conveyance arrives. A foundation was set up and funded in 1979 by a Greek shipping magnate, no not that 'O' one, and the profits go to the fourteen villages on the island for emergency plane medical evacuation for local residents. In addition, some money also goes to the donkey owners for loss of trade when the chairlift opened.

Burro, ass, donkey, mule. Who knows what they are, but apparently they are strong and sure footed.

We can't have Santorini falling into the sea.

That would be our ship, way down there.

I  hope those cables are strong.

Doesn't it look terrific.

More innovative lighting where we lunched at AB FAB cafe, and very pleasant it was too.

Still and deep waters.

Time for a drink before we head back to the ship.

R insisted we have a swim in the ship's pool. I put my swimming shorts on and.......damn, no pockets. Yeah, I suppose it is probably not a good idea to have pockets in swimming shorts. Ten minutes later R proved the point. He jumped in the pool and immediately shot out again and extracted his wet phone from his swimming shorts pocket. Luckily being water resistant, it was ok.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Europe 17 Day 17

Everyone has heard of Mykonos. I expect to not like it so much as it is so well known and very popular, but it was a lovely spot, if hilly. I felt old when my Nana Mouskouri reference fell flat. Remember? Star of Mykonos? It's a bad joke when it has to be explained.

We used the ship tenders to get ashore and then it was a five minute bus ride to the substantial village.

These holes are to break up large waves.

Lots of blue and white with numerous places of worship.

Up above the town were a number of windmills, now privately owned. You can just see the blades, I think.

All over town is this deceptive paving. I believe white paint is used to make it look like stones. The painting is a constant task and done by volunteers.

I suppose deliveries have to be made, but these tiny vehicles that at times caused shopkeepers to move their street stock a bit, were a curse.

We popped into a gallery. "Just looking thanks, mate." His expression did not change. In fact he did not move at all, being a life sized sculpted figure.

Is this lad upset about something? Caught again. Another sculpture.

It was busy on the sea front but still we found somewhere for lunch.

Another very white church.

Interesting plant. No idea what it is.

There are many cats in Mykonos, quite unafraid of humans.

A clever light fitting, I thought.

No thank you. I'll stay inside, if it's all the same.

We stuck to the village itself and managed to get lost and had to ask directions back to the seafront. My suggested plan of always going downhill to reach the sea was ignored. We found ourselves walking on a busy main road without footpaths, with cars and buses dodging around us, so we headed back into the twisting village streets and were once again lost amid shops and cafes. It was like being lost in a maze. We knew we would find our way out eventually.

As the ship departed, the moon shone brightly over Mykonos.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Another one bites the dust

There are so few people in public life who I admire immensely and two of that number died earlier this year, John Clarke and Mark Colvin. Now a third must be added to the list, the redoubtable Jill Singer who has died at the rather young age of sixty.

Vale Jill.

Europe 17 Day 16

Have you ever heard of Katakolon? Me either. Our reason for visiting is that it is the nearest seaside town to Olympia, home to Olympic Games 8thC BC to 4thC AD. Now that is history.

At times the final 'n' is dropped from the name.

It is only a very small town, with three and a half streets parallel to the sea, but with two ships in and not everyone, including us, going to see the ruins at Olympia, it was very busy. We are not so interested in ancient ruins, getting close to becoming some ourselves.

A bit creepy.

I've seen a public beer bike elsewhere, maybe Amsterdam

The centre has a bench where the beers are poured and placed for people to drink as they pedal.

Getting around by more conventional means. I think it was quite hot for the horse to stand in the open.

We found a cafe for coffee and some wifi, then had a wander in the streets.

Then it was time for lunch and a drink. We all sat down and adjacent to us on a bench were some very dark skinned youth. R sat down and a loud crack sounded. The seat had obviously broken under the cushion and the lads were in hysterics. We were laughing too. R just sat there in momentary shock. One of the lads asked R if he was ok, and of course he was. He spoke near perfect English, but when they resumed their conversation between themselves, it sounded like they were speaking Spanish. It was a nice moment of humour and friendliness.

Bougainvillea is very popular in Greece.

Could almost be Australia. There was one matter I noticed, that the Greek men looked very Greek. Of course they would, but I was a little surprised that they were so physically stereotypical and readily identifiable as Greek.

It was quite a pretty little village with nice food and wine, but our ship awaited us.