The last week has been hectic and expensive but we finally did move into our new home last Saturday! The weather was fine and we were able to enjoy our first meals here, outside on the terrace.
The previous few days were dominated by dealing with bills of one sort or another and coping with various unexpected problems, all of which we could have done without and most of which seemed to cost (or will cost) loads of money.
Foremost among the latter, is Bonnie’s lump in her armpit. This was first noticed more than a month ago and following visits to two Vets, she was prescribed with some anti-inflammatories which were expected to help it to disappear of its own accord. To start with they seemed to be working but as soon as she finished the last pill, it returned to its original size. So, it was back to the Vet and following some tests, it is now proposed to remove the lump on Thursday afternoon, when it will be sent for a biopsy, to see what the problem is. Cancer has however been more or less ruled out, which of course is very good news and she seems to be in no discomfort (as evidenced by her still running after anything that moves – including the village cats) but the cash till bell is ringing! More to come, no doubt, on this story.
Then the car started to make some very strange sounds from somewhere in the front. I thought it was the suspension and so it proved and we effectively now have a new front suspension and our wallets are considerably lighter but on the upside, the ride is considerably smoother!
Then, it was decided that we needed some new furniture for our bedroom – that which was here previously, having been disposed of whilst I was in Scotland! This un-budgeted expense proved to be somewhat more expensive than even I had foreseen but eventually we found a shop in Ierapetra which had something along the lines we wanted and later today, a wardrobe, mattress and a chest of drawers should arrive, followed by a pair of bedside tables on Saturday.
In the meantime, the car insurance had to be paid and Kostas, the plumber, turned up with his bill. Then we were advised to paint our roof with some frightfully expensive compound before the winter rains begin. So, yesterday, I went into Ierapetra and parted with another 500 euros for the necessary materials and the afternoon, found us both on the roof brushing on the white water resistant paint with brooms.
I don’t think we would have managed to finish it but halfway through, Andreas, one of our neighbours, turned up and spent the next hour or two helping us finish getting the first coat on. Tomorrow, we have to repeat the process but it was just as well that it was done because today it has been bucketing down and so far we have had no water in the house – well none from the roof as far as I can tell, although some did come in under the front door.
After the painting was finished, we were joined by Andreas’ wife, Mina and other neighbours, Maria and Nikos and an impromptu party was soon underway! This is not the first since we arrived as Saturday was Andreas’ name day (November 30 being St Andrew’s Day) and we were invited round for raki and mezedes. There were only family there so our dubious Greek language skills, were put to a severe test but as the raki flowed and food kept arriving, somehow, everything became easier!
Then, this morning, while Sheila was in Ierapetra playing tennis, an engineer arrived to advise on what is required to repair the retaining wall to one side of the house. This is needed urgently because parts of the terrace are not really supported by anything much at present and the whole lot could descend into the ravine below should the worst occur!
Advice, some informed and some not, has been in substantial supply but we have known that this would have to be done so at least it is in the budget – well sort of! We now await a response from Yiannis, the Engineer, when he has obtained quotations from several contractors. When he left, I could see him virtually rubbing his hands with glee, so it is clearly not going to be good news!
On the positive side, we have dealt with any number of issues this week, have more than survived and have had a lot of fun too.
We have disposed of an old television and a Christmas tree (complete with a box of decorations) to our Greek neighbours and in return they have brought us fruit, cakes, vegetables and more raki! Sheila was also given a box of wonderful tomatoes by Margarita her tennis partner.
We now have a phone, an internet connection and a TV package, the latter having been installed in time for me to see the second half of Arsenal playing Cardiff at the weekend – live!
It has been a good week.
Now, we have to find time to get back over to Ferma to collect the rest of our stuff and to clean the place thoroughly and then hand back the keys. For those who have seen Kato Spiti, you will know just how beautiful it is, so it will be hard to leave but we have a new life in Kavousi which is different and so far at least, just what we were looking for when we decided to choose a Greek village for our new home. Oh, and there is still the small matter of the second coat on the roof but perhaps Andreas will take pity on us and help out again!
Our new phone number is: (0030) 2842094826 and our new address is:
John Burt/ Sheila Wood
Apparently, the postman will find us once the letters start arriving. We just need to put our names on the little post box outside our front gate! I can only hope this works because I ordered some sandals some weeks ago over the internet, which have still not arrived at the Post Office at Makrygialos. Having enquired as to their whereabouts, I am informed by the supplier that they were dispatched from China but apparently could not be delivered to our address in Greece and are now in Hungary, having already been to Bulgaria as well as Rumania!
However, please note that our old address at Stavrochori will remain active until at least the end of the year.