A succession of clear skies and proliferating greenery and, with the heat, the steady increase of public voices up and down Democracy Street, among our neighbours and people walking by, sometimes stopping for conversation by the green railing at the top of our shared steps now, as everywhere over this late Easter across Greece, outlined with dazzling whitewash, asvesti, ασβεστή.
Dave has booked the crane to put Summersong back in the water for Saturday - tomorrow. He'd texted me ‘today finally finished the outside paintwork ….’
How I relish this sub-plot. It also makes me nervous. Dave got back from delivering a yacht to Trieste last week “a four day job that took a week. We had three separate forecasts from reliable sources predicting light headwinds all the way. We got into the straits opposite Saranda and it blew up force 6, gusting higher, and then steady headwinds for the next 600 miles. The Jeanneau has a broad hull for charter accommodation. Up she went. Down she went, crash, bang, crash, bang, No let up. And the porpoises. They’d come up alongside and look at you. You’d look back. Think they’d gone away and look in another direction. Whoosh it’s standing on its tail saying ‘boo’ and peering in your face eye to eye”
|Dave works on Summer Song|
Lin and I pursue a procession of jobs in and out of the house, Effi and Adoni next door continue to adorn their garden with more plants brought with them from Thrace before Easter. I’ve drilled holes in the base of make-shift flowerpots for her. Effi paints paint tins deep blue and concrete breezeblocks red before filling them with soil to make them into planters. Lin’s painting doors.
I’ve helped sand them. I’ve shaved the edges of our wooden front door to make it open and close more freely, tidied the electric cables leading to the municipal light bolted into the side of our house, cleaned the windows of winter grime, transferred a heap of sorted thigh tiles from under our veranda to the apothiki, mended a puncture in the rear wheel of my Brompton...
...rebuilt the wooden carrier on the back of my larger bicycle, tidied out the porch locker and inserted a cut down palette to keep above damp the odd sacks of cement, plaster and the dusty dye that mixes with asvesti to give it a colour, and prepared, with sanding and paint scraper, one side of the house above the side balcony for painting, warning Vasiliki there might be some dust. Her carpets and rugs were coming in anyway, well sun-dried.
|Painting the house|
And rain, with thunder, was what we got in abundance for one day earlier in the week, even as the village lost its water supply for twelve hours and I borrowed water for washing and flushing....
... from Effi's and Adoni's well just across the path between us.
After what seems like over a year of surface preparation Linda has started painting the outside of the house. I've been filling in small spaces she can't reach, handing up paint pots, and holding the stepladder steady for her.
Around noon on Easter Sunday, Vasiliki brought around a plate of lamb meat, including delectable kokoretsi κοκορέτσι. Our other neighbours brought us more from their spit (squeaking away through the morning) plus two glasses of raki.
|Κοκορέτσι και ρακί από την Μαρία και τον Ιωάννη|
For our Easter Sunday supper we were invited to Paul and Cinty's house where, with his parents, Phil and Sheila, and his brother Mark and Sally we enjoyed a balmy evening, buzzed by swallows as dusk settled on us. No lamb on a spit but, instead, a succulent successon of meats off the barbecue - lamb chops, sausages, souvlaki, liver, pork belly draft, a delicately carved wood pigeon...salads and, later, all the strawberries and cream we could eat...
...and and I enjoyed my home made Margarita from a salt-rimed glass.
Golden Dawn office in GreeceFrom Jan D in York:
…The latest Rich List has been published of the 1000 wealthiest people in Britain. They constitute 0.003% of the population. In the last year alone they have increased their wealth by £35billion, and since the crash four years ago they have increased their wealth by £190 billion (Remember the phrase “we are all in this together").
Their combined wealth is £449billion (the public sector deficit is approx. £120 billion). There are now 88 billionaires in Britain. During the same time there has been a 7% reduction in real wages. This year £19billion has been removed from welfare benefits and just now £320million (an insignificant figure to government finance) has been removed from the Independent Living Fund for 20,000 disabled people. The government has ‘transferred’ this duty to Local Authorities, but there is no money beyond 2015, so effectively they are closing the fund without ever having told anybody. There has been a legal challenge by disabled people which they lost. They are appealing. A good example of ideology triumphing over evidence or rationality let alone morality. Obviously the government sees many disabled people as ‘skivers’ (morally reprehensible) and not the ‘strivers’ (morally superior) the government wants to promote. To be disabled is therefore by definition being a ‘skiver’ in other words ‘undesirable’. They don't dare to say this of course, but the actions speak for themselves. This is getting uncomfortably close to what I read about in Professor Evans’ books on the Third Reich.
Zoe Williams said the following about this: "What I mind the most is the readiness with which government will now lie. The prime minister lies about the national debt. The secretary of state will lie about immigration. The chancellor will lie about benefit claimants. They will be wrapped over the knuckles by Office of National Statistics or Office for Budget Responsibility, take their punishment and go straight out and lie again". Despite this the government’s ‘narrative’ resonates and is believed by large sections, in some cases, the majority of the population. This would make an interesting study! Surely this provides LAs with an opportunity to offer a different moral vision based on hard evidence – a localism based on transparency, accountability and honesty. Am I being naïve again? On a lighter note, just noticed that after twenty years of a failing austerity regime, Japan has decided to do a U-turn and pump money into the economy. Stock markets immediately shot up! Best Jan*** ***
On Easter Monday we joined the long happy parade around the boundaries of Ano Korakiana: