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December 2013

This is the first year that I have spent November on the island and it certainly turned out to be an eventful one. The early part of the month was warm and sunny and I was still able to swim. Then came "the night to remember!" Starting at one o'clock in the morning a huge storm raged right above the island. I have never heard such thunder before or seen such strong winds. Opening our door it was hard to believe the amount of rain coming down. The cats rushed in to safety and spent the night under our bed. We were up most of the night mopping the rain that was coming in through closed windows. I went down to the town in the morning with some difficulty as so many roads were closed. I was just so shocked to see the devastation. The town beach heaped with rubbish, furniture and motor bikes. Ayios Mamas bridge completely broken and the square full of mud and debris. Shops were inundated with mud too - particularly Pelagia, the Chinese shop and the antique shop. They had to throw so much away. Worse were the poor people who lived right by river beds that roared down metres deep. Some had to be rescued through the windows and lost so many possessions. I have to admire all those who set to with the big clean up. Naplion sent some of their fire brigade to help.

On a happier note we rode round the island a day or two later and luckily there were no major trees down and we saw, for the first time, tiny crocuses growing by the road side. They were a joy to see after such a disaster. Aghia Anarghiri beach was gouged deeply and part of the road had collapsed. We picked the first clementines from a friends garden which tasted and smelt delicious.
My lovely garden suffered somewhat, but I still have roses blooming and the promise of spring bulbs soon.

 

It was the name day of Katerina this month and I woke one morning to the bells
ringing in the tiny church behind our house. It brought back so many memories of
Kate Murdoch, who with her husband Ian, started and ran Laskarina holidays. She was the reason I first came to Spetses when she commissioned a painting and when I met Kariofillis - the rest is history!

 

After the storm we put the house into winter mode which I enjoy doing. Changing
cool summer covers and curtains for some wonderful woven items from Metsovo and rolling out our beautiful carpet from Amigos. Now we are more cosy for the winter months.

 

I am in England as I write this for hospital appointments and my annual exhibition
here in Derbyshire. Of course the day I was due to leave we had a force 9 blowing, it was pouring with rain and there were no hydrofoils running. I had to take the bus
after a rough ride to the mainland.

 

Christmas preparations were started before I left, the cake made with the lovely dried fruit we can get here, mincemeat too. When I get back it will be time to decorate with greenery, dress the tree and make some korabiethes (Greek shortbread) which are a great favourite with friends. We have our Dutch friends who have a house here coming for Christmas and I am really looking forward to it this year as it has been a tough one for me health wise.

 

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the new year.

 

Rosalind

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