Being English, the weather is a constant subject to comment on and after the heavy rains of winter and a short cold spell the spring weather is now glorious. In fact just perfect for gardening, sitting outside on my terrace for breakfast and lunching. Outside too, at favourite tavernas that are now up and running for the new season.
There has been quite a lot happening in the past weeks since returning from England.
Carnival time is always good fun and it was no exception this year. The island was busy for the parade and the standard of costumes and floats as good as ever and a beautiful sunny day too. There
was dancing, food and drink in the square in the evening. I went down masked up and it was fun walking around incognito!
We had a great night at Mourayo in the old harbour when the local music group held their Apokrias party. Really good "kefi" with lots of singing and dancing, even on top of the bar!
It was not quite warm enough for our Kathera Deftera lunch so we had it inside with lovely friends but sadly not some who had not made it back from England due to ill health - but they will be with us soon.
The amount of rain we have had meant the lemons and oranges were huge this year. I was given some huge lemons so made loads of marmalade and the set was amazing. It will make nice presents for friends throughout the year.
I have just finished my first commissioned painting and it was received very well and I have more to do later in the season. I am working on some now for future exhibitions. The island is a never ending source of inspiration. Even when feeling unwell which sadly is quite a lot these days, I can lose myself in my work and garden. All the roses have been pruned and fed with goat manure and are now are in full leaf with lots of buds. Spring bulbs have been replaced with petunias for the summer. We are lucky to have several shops now selling plants. There will be several changes this year, with a supermarket moving to what was the Delfinia bar, a new coffee shop opening at Aghia Mamas and the Ethniki bank will move there too.
The island is looking in good shape now after the terrible mess the big storm caused last year. All the river beds are clear, a lovely new bridge has been built at Aghios Mamas and others repaired. The beach at Aghia Anaghiri has been graded and the huge hole filled in. I just wish there was some money to repair the roads properly around the town, as it's a bumpy ride.
All around the island the hillsides are covered in the yellow Thimari and pink and white Cistus.The air is perfumed like honey. There is a lovely feeling of anticipation as everyone is getting ready for the season, painting and opening up for business again. New things to look at in the shops, more visitors at the weekend and some exciting events for the coming weeks before Easter. There is a triathlon for the children, a pentathlon for more experienced athletes and a classic car ralley to look forward to. It is so good for Spetses to have these things happening.
25th March was Greek Independence day and the island was out in full force to clap and appreciate the children as they marched past. The really young ones dressed in their national costumes were so sweet and there was a real sense of pride at being Greek.
Best of all friends who have been away for the winter are coming back like the spring birds and we will have good company and lots to catch up on. I think this is my favourite time of year.
Looking forward to seeing some of you on the island again.
Greek Easter Sunday 16 April
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