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.


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


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.


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!


and boats


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


These tubs apparently bring in extra water for the island


Grape hyacynths in February


and nothing would be complete without a decent shed.


Bike Woman

Survival depends on the continued existence of huge motor cycles.

In the spurious world of advertising, Bike Woman is a slinky young blonde beauty with nothing on beneath her leather jacket, which is otherwise well filled and unzipped to the waist. She sits astride a bike as if she and it were lust incarnate.

In reality, Bike Woman can be large, mature and frightening of aspect, to be approached with caution. She always has a male consort whose uses include driving the bike, refuelling the bike, polishing the bike, having an off-putting appearance, and mating. Places to spot Bike Woman include those favoured by the male consorts for summer rutting displays, such as the Isle of Man, the Hartside cafe between Penrith and Alston, and the Cat and Fiddle pub between Macclesfield and Buxton.

Your correspondent once saw a fine specimen of Bike Woman wearing a uniquely low-cut leather jacket, clearly custom tailored to show off the pushed-up breasts which were completely covered in squirly tattoos. A quick glance had to be sufficient, since the look received from Bike Woman unmistakably indicated that certain people were not the type for which the exhibits were designed. Since the consort was even taller and more muscular, there could be no argument. Your correspondent was walking past a bookshop window at the time and his averted gaze fell on a display copy of the Complete Guide to British Decorated Jugs (this is true).

Bike Woman is closely related to several other species, none of them common but all hoping to escape extinction. These are All-in Mud Wrestling Woman, Second-hand Furniture Woman (House clearance’s a speciality), and Rough Pub Owning Woman.

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Words by Gordon Thorburn, as usual, he did write a very important tome called ‘Men and Sheds’ worth a look though it has photographs ( Pah! )

Hope you enjoy this one, more to follow next year.

May I take this opportunity to wish all the people who bother to look at this site a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.