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The Greek Hovel August 2020: Day 4 the Arrival of Uncle Johnny

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 12 August 2020

He is not in fact anyone’s Uncle. In India, an older man is always termed an uncle so Joshua has lots of uncles including both his godfathers, Johnny and Lucian Miers, Uncle Brokerman Dan and the list of unsuitable and disreputable “uncles” goes on and on. However, this uncle is in fact a relation. He is something like the third cousin of the Mrs but for historic reasons, these distant families were quite close.

Before the arrival of Joshua, Johnny was the No 1 cat sitter for the late lamented Oakley, my morbidly obese three-legged cat. Briefly earning the soubriquet “nasty Johnny” for the crime of not allowing Oakley to sleep in his bed while cat sitting, he has redeemed himself as a very conscientious godfather. It was he who sent us the greatly loved Shetland Gruffalo – which I recorded a mangled version of for charity – after a stint working on the Islands.

His work? From bad (the useless SFO) to worse (a junior doctor), though he is – as of this month – now a fully qualified Shipman.  And thus, on day 4 of our stay in Greece, we headed back into Kalamata allowing the Mrs to do some shopping and myself and Joshua to head on out to the airport to meet Johnny.

We did not enter the small terminal ourselves as I am not going to don a face nappy, a phrase Joshua has now learned to use himself. Instead, we waited outside for Johnny who was donning a dapper Winnie the Pooh face nappy which he seemed happy to rip off as we shook hands. As we are not in the same bubble, is this illegal yet back in the UK? Or perhaps just in Wales?

The Mrs was shopping at a large store full of stuff for children by the harbour in Kalamata. Meeting her afterwards, laden with two huge bags, she appears to have ignored strict signs in Greek and English ordering folks entering Jumbo to don their face nappies. A tannoy reminded her of this obligation – which the hard data shows to be utterly pointless – about halfway through her visit. She then donned her mask but no one at all had objected to her being maskless. Perhaps we are at the beginning of the point where more and more folks tire of this pointless and repressive measure.

Joshua was delighted by his mother’s wanton consumerism. For some reason, we had left his swimming trunks behind in Wales and he had been swimming starkers in the pool which he does not consider the right thing for someone now a “big boy” to be doing. But the Mrs had managed to find not only Paw Patrol crocs for sea swimming but Paw Patrol swimming trunks as well. What more could a man want in life?

It was then back to Kambos and introducing Johnny to eco loss, the Greek Hovel, the Kourounis taverna, Tsipero and the other delights of our existence here.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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