Monday, 19 May 2014

It's all go as visitors arrive and Greek elections get underway

It's been a busy few weeks at the Villa Oleander.

We've welcomed and said goodbye to our first guest of the year, picked up my vintage VW Beetle (more of that in another post), which has jumped back into life thanks to the restoration skills of a local garage, found and bought a Greek car, helped our neighbour build an apothiki, sorted out a route for driving back to the UK, welcomed and said goodbye to my mother and sister and welcomed my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who will be staying here for a couple of months.

I'm pleased to say my dear old mum was treated liked royalty.

'They are angels,' our cheerful lady in the kafenion said of Mother and my sister.

Earlier, in the AB supermarket in town, we bumped into another villager who insisted on buying a bottle of wine for the aged parent.

'For the mother of Margarita,' he said, patting my shoulder. 'She is the same age as the Queen Elizabeth.'

She is indeed.

I didn't like to tell him my mother is not really much of a drinker. Still, after acquiring a taste for ouzo at one of the village tavernas, topping up her glass with aspro krasi and finishing her meal off with a glass of limoncello, my mother was in fine voice. Tickled by the name the Greeks call me, she and my sister broke out into song, with a rendition of this at eleven o'clock at night:
I'd never heard it before (far too young, you see) but, like an ear worm, it's been stuck in my head ever since.

The village, island and Ionian have been busy too, with elections taking place yesterday. Our primary school became a polling station as locals went in to elect a new president and vice-president for the village, cast their vote for the mayor of Corfu and chose a governor for the Ionian islands.
The process was explained to me several times. I was told it was all quite simple. However, having been shown one of the two-foot long voting papers (and that was the candidates for just one party) I ended up not much the wiser and with a headache.

There are more elections next week - for the European parliament and the deciding vote for the island's mayor.

During the day, a truck went by, announcing something over the loudspeaker. In the back were three pigs and a clutch of chickens for sale. It was followed closely by the front runner in the village presidential race, who coasted along on a large motorcycle, wearing smart clothes and a broad smile.

Earlier, I had peeked through the window of the wannabe president's house to see at least twenty bottles of wine on the table. It was either going to be a celebration or a mass drowning of sorrows.

In the evening, the plateia was buzzing, with children tearing around on bikes late into the night. With their school taken up by election paraphernalia, there was no chance of any lessons tomorrow so they had Monday off.

Men milled around, huddled in corners, and there were a few nervous looks as the results from the polling station filtered through. Who would be the next village president?
As the men played cards inside, the Communist Party candidate strolled up from the village into the kafenion. And then there were shakes of hands and smiles as news of the winner (not the Communist) emerged.

The new village president relaxed, a grin spreading across his face. He had a lot of wine to get through tonight.

His first job? To make the sun shine. It's been one of the coldest Mays here anyone can remember.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Loving your blog :) We were in Corfu for a week, a few weeks back. I agree it was very cold and wet too! I hope your summer improves, I am brown from sitting in o
    ur garden in Gloucester ;)

  2. I think you are warmer at the moment in UK than we are here, Karen!

    1. I think so! I hope your summer arrives very soon :)

  3. What a lot you've had going on. I can't help but think that everything is just a little brighter, a little tastier, a little easier on an Greek Island!

    1. Times are hard for the Greeks but Corfu is bearing up well. It's a lovely place in which to spend some time and just marvel at nature, Pondside.


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