28 September 2009

Autumn glory

My morning walks are becoming flowerful again now that we have had some rain. The grass is turning green, and the little cyclamens are appearing around the olive trees. On the sides of the lanes, bushes of heather are coming into blossom, their scent only apparent as I walk past, never if I pick a stem! Here and there are delicate mauve autumn crocuses, bravely pushing their way through the dried up grasses.

This morning I even spotted a few mushrooms, but I am not brave (or silly) enough to find out if they are edible or not.

21 September 2009

Corfu’s balmy climate, azure seas and beautiful mountain vistas

Doesn't that sound like a holiday brochure advertisement? Actually it's not, it's a recent article in the New York Times, based on an interview Sarah and Susan gave to one of their journalists a few weeks ago.

Isn't it nice to see someone waxing lyrical about Corfu, when over the last few years the publicity has so often been of the negative variety.

14 September 2009

Toytown workers

Health and Safety strikes again! We couldn't help being amused watching the council workers repairing the road outside Corfuhomefinders' Dassia office. Several beefy workmen and a lorry were sent to fill a large hole that appeared after the first rains of the season several days ago, but either they left their tools behind, or health and safety regulations require that they lift no more than 5 kilos at a time. Using only empty plastic paint pots, the workers took it in turns to fill and lift the leftover sand and grit back into their lorry. The one taking a break between loads was presumably checking that his mate didn't strain a muscle by lifting the wrong way!

Wedding in Pelekas

Corfuhomefinders and English Imports staff were amongst the many guests at a party following the wedding of Jon and Margaret Watts. Held in the village square in Pelekas village, the live music, by "Three and a Cuckoo", brought an echo of the 70's and 80's to Corfu. The wine flowed freely and a huge table groaned under the weight of delicious snacks provided by Ben and Claudia of The Invisible Kitchen. We wish the happy couple all the very best for the rest of their lives together.

I've always said that Corfu is a mixture of several islands in one, and after Friday night's rock band party in Pelekas square I'm going to have to add another one! Totally different from anywhere else in Corfu, Pelekas village has a latter-day hippy atmosphere probably most associated with somewhere like Ios in the Cyclades. To begin with, its geographical location - clinging to the side of a steep mountain just a kilometre or so from the sandy beaches of the west coast - makes it different from any other village in Corfu. Other similar hill-villages are further from the sea and thus less immediately affected by tourism, with the possible exception of Makrades and Krini further to the north, though here the tourist shops and bars are on the edge of the villages not, as in Pelekas, forming a higgledy-piggledy mixture of old and new, residential and commercial, Greek and foreigner.

Sarah and I both commented that even the locals look different from those in other villages - not quite sure why, but they do.

11 September 2009

September smiles

Setting off to town this morning, I have to admit that I was feeling less than my usual optimistic self. Stopping off at the petrol station to fill up soon changed that!

In usual British fashion, I commented briefly on the weather - how lovely it is. She agreed, enthusing that September is the best month of the year, the pressure of the high season is over, the evenings are still warm enough to sit outside but cool enough to sleep, the sea is warm but there is a cool breeze making sunbathing possible again. All in all we decided that we would be happy with this weather all the year round, and that we would really like to take a holiday in Corfu this month!

I continued my drive with a smile and will be making the most of this lovely golden month, even if I'm not really on holiday here.

9 September 2009

Excellent taste in music from Corfu's animal population

Today on my way home I stopped the car, and got out to get a better signal to speak on my mobile. I had been playing the Florence and the Machine album 'Lungs', currently nominated for a Mercury prize, and definitely the most amazing album, (oh yes, and my daughter works with Florence, so I might just be very slightly biased) and the music was playing loudly in the car. As I stood by the road I watched the sheep, goats and chickens across the road in the olive grove and, to my absolute amazement, stampede towards me and the source of the music. When they got to the edge of the fence they just stood. Truly weird, but then this is Corfu!

6 September 2009

Best in the World!

Agni Beach has recently been voted best beach for lunch IN THE WORLD! Whilst this is obviously the opinion of one journalist, it's a big bright feather in Corfu's cap.

Best Beach for Lunch Agni Bay, Corfu, Greece

Skip packing a lunch when you plan your day at Agni Bay on Corfu's northeast coast. Instead, welcome the aromas of kalamata olives drifting from the kitchens at Toula's Taverna, Nikolas and Taverna Agni. A short walk from your rented cottage above the bay, these family-owned, beachfront restaurants are so close to the glistening blue water that most fish on the traditional Corfiot menus is sure to be off-the-boat fresh. Finish your lunch of spicy prawns (at Toula's), stuffed cattle fish (at Nikolas) or seafood spaghetti (at Taverna Agni); then recline on one of the padded lounge chairs reserved for diners. Walk it off as you comb the 500-foot, half-moon cove for colorful sea glass and smooth sandstones, or drift among moored sailboats in crisp water. After that? Well, who says you can't have two lunches?

I sent this link to all members of my family, feeling very proud, only to have my editor son pick holes in the paragraph of praise; 'welcome the aromas of kalamata olives drifting from the kitchens' ... what a very strange thing to say. And of course he is right. Why didn't I notice?

"But I like the sound of cattle fish." Again, I hadn't noticed the typo! The following day he sent the picture above.

5 September 2009

Little Gems

Whenever we go away on holiday it always seems that the greatest choice of accommodation is always in the 2/3 bedroom range, and so it often appears with properties to buy. For couples or small families seeking just a small, attractive bolthole, there often is not much choice. Now, it seems things are looking up, as in the last few weeks we have taken on quite a selection, for example:

Tiny Cottage, needs a bit of tlc - but could be pretty little home

Range Cottage, a charming cottage in a popular village, totally equipped for instant living!

Beamed Cottage, another pretty renovated property in an attractive, conveniently located village.

Cottage near the beach, a new, beautifully equipped one bedroom house only a couple of minutes walk to the beach, shops and restaurants.

Gallery Apartment - great location, ready to move in with shared swimming pool.

Village View - in a popular, 'year round' village, this is a newly renovated, split level house, located at the top of the village, offering great views across the valley.

Nice to see that properties are now coming on the market for people wanting a simple, convenient property that doesn't involve looking after rooms and gardens they don't actually want!