25 May 2012

Only here...

There isn't a vast amount to amuse us at the moment, frustration with the government (or non government), annoyance with very slanted way the foreign press are commenting on the situation here, and general European gloom. However, there are still amusing moments in life (apart from the Eurovision Song Contest which is always good for a laugh!).

When I went out of the gate this morning, I saw a notice from DEH, the power company, to notify us of a scheduled power cut on Friday. Usually these are pinned onto notice boards or occasionally on a tree. Not so outside my house - the sign was stapled onto a prickly pear cactus plant! I am so glad little things like that bring back to mind why we love Greece, despite its disasters.

20 May 2012


Possibly the best bargain on our new website greekbargainproperty.com is the pretty little Wild Flower House.

A bit like a Corfiot "Little House on the Prairie", this house would be perfect for anyone looking to escape to the country and find space for hens, goats, donkeys and vegetables.

Rocks and Hard Places

Politics is so dominant these days - every conversation, every TV programme, every radio interview, even in the fish shop in Tzavros buying fresh crab for today's lunch (Yummy!), there was a discussion/argument going on between a customer and the super-friendly Olga who tells you how to cook whatever you choose to buy. Inevitably the unexpected rise of the Syriza party (radical left) was the main topic.

I don't know which I would call the rock and which the hard place, but most of my friends feel utterly depressed at the thought of having to choose between the proven corruptness of the previous main parties and the public charisma of the "new guy" who nevertheless has a track record of supporting violent demonstrations and sit-ins at schools. 

So today we are going to enjoy our crab with pasta, in the sunshine, listening to tear-jerking Greek music from the days of the junta/civil war/German occupation and remember that there are very many true Greeks who will survive, come what may, and make more music, write more poetry, and be proud!

This song - one of my all-time favourites - celebrates the indomitable spirit of the Greek people during the German occupation.

Corfu Tortoisehound

I think I actualy have a rare breed of dog - the Corfu Tortoisehound. She's supposed to be a boxer, but has a nose for sniffing out tortoises which she then gently brings to me. I love to see a tortoise, but each time she finds one I feel I have to take it back to where she found it, and if it's too big for her to pick up, then I go and check that she has left it the right way up. No harm done, just a very happy and proud dog.

19 May 2012

Article spotted today on travel website

Agents reassured over Greek crisis

Agents are being reassured that it's still safe to sell holidays to Greece despite fears of the country leaving the euro and of further civil unrest.

But as the country's problems intensify, ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer has issued advice to agents and operators about how to deal with enquiries from worried customers.

"Their two main concerns will be the financial impact of Greece leaving the Euro and safety," he said.

"No one knows exactly what would happen if, and that still is an if, Greece left the Euro, however it is likely there would be a transition period when holidaymakers would still be able to pay with Euros in bars and restaurants."

Tanzer said agents should recommend that consumers do not rely on plastic and take plenty of cash with them as issues could arise with using credit and debit cards at Greek banks.

On the issue of civil unrest, he said there was no indication that holidaymakers will be affected.

"To date, demonstrations that we have seen on TV have been sporadic and limited to parts of central Athens and the second largest city Thessaloniki, neither of which are visited in significant numbers by UK holidaymakers," he said.

"The vast majority of UK holidaymakers fly directly into the Greek islands which have not seen any unrest. I'm absolutely sure that this year, as ever, people travelling to Greece will be welcomed by the Greeks and their well known hospitality."

Meanwhile a spokeswoman for Thomson and First Choice said both operators were monitoring the situation closely and claimed sales to Greece had not been impacted.

"Thomson and First Choice have very close working relationships with our hoteliers and suppliers in Greece, and so we are well placed to deal with any eventuality or change in situation," she said.

"Although there has been a lot of media attention on Greece this week, calls from customers enquiring about their holidays there have been minimal and sales have not been impacted."
Unless the Foreign and Commonwealth Office changes its advice to the Greek Islands, the operators" usual booking conditions will apply, she added.

Greek specialist Olympic Holidays has launched a half price holiday campaign to Greece and said last week was its best booking week since January.
Commercial director Photis Lambrianides said it does not expect Greece to leave the Euro - at least not this summer - but it is prepared for whatever happens.

"All arrangements with our main partners are in readiness, should this situation develop. For instance, our hotel and other ground contracts would be converted to drachmas," he said.

"Right now, Greece represents the best-ever value, with hoteliers bending over backwards to keep the tourism industry going, and the holiday pound worth up to 25% more in resort."

By Bev Fearis


15 May 2012

The sun shines brighter on the other side

So people weren't convinced by the advertising campaign to persuade them to holiday in Britain, what a surprise.
This is part of an article written by Bev Fearis published on a travel website today and reflects what most people always knew - a high percentage of people who choose to holiday abroad do so because of the weather and whatever wonderful things you can say about the UK, no one can guarantee the weather, whatever time of year, and there cannot be many more miserable family holidays than huddled on a cold wet beach! Also of course at the moment, the good £ to euro exchange rate makes the eurozone more attractive. It makes me think the British Tourist Board is about as useful as the Greek Tourist Board!

"The Government"s "Holiday at Home" advertising campaign was a bit of a flop, according to a YouGov survey.

The campaign was launched in March by Visit England and regional tourist boards to encourage Brits to stay on home soil for their holidays.

It was heavily criticised by ABTA who said it was misguided and a waste of public funds (
see earlier story).

According to an April survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by prepaid currency card provider, Caxton FX, 67% of Brits still plan to holiday abroad this summer.

A further 13% admitted that they hadn"t seen the campaign at all and, for one in every 25 people, the advertising campaign has actually made them less likely to holiday in Britain.

Caxton FX MD James Hickman said: "In spite of substantial investment, it seems that Brits are still committed to holidays abroad and with the pound currently very high against the euro, holidays abroad can offer good value - especially for those people who would prefer to avoid the Olympics this summer!"

5 May 2012

Big, big moon

According to this article it will be worth finding a vantage point to watch the full moon rising tonight. Full Moon is always pretty special in Corfu, and it looks like this one will be more so than usual.