28 March 2011

Compact kitchen - part two

We have so much enjoyed sharing the photos of the tiny kitchen in the Corfu town house that I thought I would add another one here as well. This photo shows the underside of the kitchen sink as it juts down into the stairwell leading to the apartment below.

Luckily the house has two other kitchens as it is presently divided into three apartments. When renovated it will make a splendid three-storey town house of over 100 square metres.

24 March 2011

"Compact kitchen"

Well of course we know about estate agent-speak, but even we can't think of a way to describe this kitchen as anything other than "miniscule".

Viewing this old three storey house in the Campiello district of the old town, we were shown possibly the smallest kitchen we've ever seen. Admittedly three of us managed to stand in it at one time, but closing the window required us all to move up a bit, and if a cooker was in use, this could make a trip to the bathroom quite hazardous. We were intrigued to see how the sink had been installed to maximise every inch of space, sideways on and overhanging the staircase!

Having said all that, this is a lovely characterful property in a heritage area of Corfu, ripe for renovation by an imaginative buyer - honestly!

21 March 2011

Tax Returns

The following information was gleaned from a very useful article in Athens News.

You are required to fill in a tax return if you are a salaried employee and earned more than 3,000 Euros last year, if you are self-employed or a pensioner, if you own a car, motorbike, boat or 'plane. Property owners who earned more than 600 Euros in rent last year are also required to submit a return as are market traders.

Married couples need only complete one tax return.

The deadline for permanent residents abroad is May 2nd.

12 March 2011

Cycle Lanes? That was last month!

I was never a supporter of the expensively introduced cycle lanes throughout Corfu town - in theory, yes, but not in a congested town with a dire shortage of parking spaces. However, having introduced the system, with springy-up bollards and yellow lines and arrows criss-crossing the entire town centre and having provided bikes and safe parking for them, the least we could do, as responsible citizens presented with a fait accompli, is to encourage the new idea and give it a chance to thrive. Unfortunately it appears that this was too much to expect. The bollards proved to be rather delicate and broke off very quickly and as soon as a whole road-side was cleared of them which didn't take more than a month, the cycle lanes reverted to their original purpose - parking for cars!

What really gets me is that no-one seems in the slightest bit concerned about all this. I listen regularly to local news broadcasts and haven't heard a single comment about the sheer waste of effort, energy and money.

There are plans to construct a wind farm on the summit of Mount Pantokrator. Will anyone draw a parallel here and maybe consider the stage beyond the one which deposits large amounts of money in certain contractors' pockets?

8 March 2011

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a kite, and it's Clean Monday (Καθαρή Δευτέρα).

Following a day of rain and strong winds, our hopes were not too high for the possibility of flying the traditional kite today, but the day dawned bright and sunny, and windy! Last year's attempt had been frustrated by a total lack of the essential ingredient - wind, so it was with confidence that we set off towards the north leaving our washing flapping madly on the line.

By the time we arrived in Almiros, the sky was darkening and there was noticeably less wind - possibly because it had been a west wind and we were in the north - but we did successfully fly our kite along with a few other families who had braved the cold (for Corfu) March day.

Lent starts in a big way in Greece, and our table groaned under the weight of a selection of essential lenten offerings - taramasalata, octopus, bean salad, homous, stuffed vine leaves, prawns, olives and retsina to start with and two types of halvas for dessert - the home made kind which is semolina cooked in oil, with nuts and syrup and the supermarket variety, which is sticky and sweet and totally delicious.

3 March 2011

Welcome to 'Walking in Corfu'

At long last, a new business is being established in the south of Corfu, which will show visitors many of the hidden gems of the southern part of the island, about which I have to say, many people are most scathing without even having visited!

Steve and Mark, through their website www.walkingincorfu.co.uk, offer guided walks of various durations, to suit various degrees of fitness, in areas covering beaches, hills and mountains, plus villages of interest. Many of these places really are 'undiscovered Corfu' and should prove highly interesting to visitors who want to see more of Corfu than just the well trodden tourist routes. Living and working in the South, I have a personal interest as I seem to spend a fair amount of my time promoting the area which really is seriously underrated - so every success to them!