Who’s lost their marbles?

Well it’s the Greeks if you must know and they did n’t lose them, we nicked them. High time we gave them back.

That aside and it’s a big aside and much more important than my ” What I did on my holidays” essay that follows, the Greeks were in my experience, the friendliest people I’ve met for a long time.

We’d gone to Spetses, and make no mistake about it it’s a long way from here in the UK. At least it is for us British who don’t travel well.(Don’t mention Brexit. Don’t you think that it sounds like a brand name for constipation? Just a thought ). Anyhow, back to the trip.

First of all I’d recommend Aegaen airways, not for the food which was like almost all airline food is not unlike school dinner at it’s worst ( or if you’re German wurst, and please don’t mention the Germans in Greece ) No the staff are the things that are notable. Now I know that airline hostesses are made up to the nines, blokes as well, but this lot looked like they’d strayed of the pages of Vogue. Except that they smiled genuine smiles, none of that fake smile hidden by the permafrost, the speciality of almost any advertising agency receptionist.

Greeted at Spetses by my old college chum Ros ( fine printmaker and watercolourist:
See her work here ) she had an idea where we awere staying. No road names on Spetses, so quite a puzzle finding anywhere. There are no cars on Spetses apart from a few taxis, they get around in the season by bus ( not many when we were there ) and loads of little scooters. Not all were as in fine condition as this model.

Rosscooter

These scooters can carry a family of four in close proximity and sometimes the dog, as well as a week’s shopping.

Rosdogbike

The dog also is trained to look after the bike when you are in the shops, and can possibly drive away if there’s a problem. I did see one scooter with an addition padded stool welded to the front platform for an additional person. There appear to be no crash helmets in existence on the island, speeds are generally quite modest and roads outside the main ones can be pretty rough and dusty. There are numerous bycycle repairman probably making a good living.

Rosbike

This is a relatively light load, two kids and a little bit of shopping.


 

So we’d arrived and now it was time for landscapes, in February!

Roslandscape

and boats

Rosorangeboat

They seem to use an orange paint on their boats to repair them, bright!

Riosships

These tubs apparently bring in extra water for the island

Rosgrapehyacybths

Grape hyacynths in February

Rosgreekshed

and nothing would be complete without a decent shed.


 

No such thing as a Greek postcode?

I’ve had a break from blogging as we took a trip to Spetses in Greece to visit a long standing friend and fine printmaker/artist. It’s a long trip that’s worth it. Flight to Athens and a night at Piraeus, the nearby port, before departure the next morning on the ferry. The joy of dropping in on a couple of other islands on the way including Hydra, where Leonard Cohen found himslef in the 60’s. What was he so bloody miserable about? I was in Manchester where one had the rain to be miserable about, and his bloody records did not help.

I was apparently studying art and design, though this was not always apparent to anyone else,  Ros was there too and already showed talent. I remember being very impressed with her stylish haircut, an odd east London accent, and the fact that she’d been on “Ready Steady Go”, one of the orginal pop programmes that was on ITV in those days, as well has her artistic abilities of course!

rosshelf

Are artists like jackdaws? Can’t resist collectiong bits and bobs, this is the wall outside Ros’s place, you’ll never find it, there’s no postcode, but at least you get to see it. For the real deal go to her website: Ros’s site  It’s well worth a click. 


We were on our way to see her and her hubby, as well as to get in some walking. It was February when we set off and I’d packed nice warm clothes. Some never came out of the suitcase. Or accommodation was in sniffing distance of the bakery and in the old town, recommend staying there, though take a sense of direction with you, only a couple of streets have names. Apparently you find places by knowing the names of who lives there.I was looking forward to seeing a postman with a look of total confusion, but it appears that Ros’s post is just delivered to a bar in town where they know she and hubby pop into regularly.

What we found on Spetses was wondefuly scenery, very friendly people and weather to match their sunny dispositions, we were lucky in some respects that we’d caught a good week. I shall blog some more about the place over the coming week with tales of dogs on bikes ( really ) and some unusual community singing, but for the time being take a look at this little video, the result of a walk to the top of the island. No road noise, there are no cars apart from the odd taxi on Spetses. In the distance the Peloponese mountains of the mainline with a dusting of snow on the peaks and a bird in the background. Anyone know what it is?

You may also hear a bee landing on me at the finale to the video. It too was friendly.