The Greek Hovel August 2020 – Day 11 farewell to Johnny and the Nicho the communist mystery solved

Tom Winnifrith Wednesday 16 September 2020


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And so Uncle Johnny was set to fly back to Covid Britain. His departure was uneventful; we waved goodbye to him as he donned his face nappy outside Kalamata’s small airport and our thoughts turned to our own return a week later.

The news was not good. There was vague talk of Greece joining the red list which would mean that, though there were almost zero cases of Covid in Messenia, we would have to protect others in the Covid hotspot of Wrexham by self-isolating. Folks can see through this madness which is why the red list quarantine laws in Britain are so widely ignored and are thus utterly unenforceable.  

The Mrs and I agreed that we would not abide by them should it come to it but knew that Joshua’s nursey would act like Good Germans and refuse to take him back for two weeks. Two more weeks of full time child care. Goody Goody. And Fuck you Boris Johnson.

In the end, our worries proved unfounded but it was a slight cloud hanging over the family for the last week of the holiday.  

Back in Kambos that evening, I finally sat down with my friend Nicho the Communist to find out what he and Vangelis were trying to achieve in the building behind the town hall. It is indeed evidence that both are good men, as lovely Eleni had stated. It is a community facility so there are books in Greek but also some in English to borrow. On the Friday of the previous week, they had shown a film for the kids and this Friday coming up they were organising a free party in the town square. I was asked by Nicho whether I would like to buy a raffle ticket for just one euro.

I am not sure I really wanted to win a drone or that a big screen TV would be of much use but I handed over 5 Euro. I sensed a look of disappointment on Nicho’s face as there seems to be a view, certainly among those keen to sell me land I neither need or really want, that I have stacks of cash and on the day of the party I made sure I bought 20 more tickets. I do not want to encourage this grave misconception about my wealth but I am keen to stay on the right side of Nicho as we may be going into business together.

Kambos is not a tourist village but a working village. However, the tough years for Greece cannot have done anything to reverse the ageing of its population. The only folks moving to the village are Northern Europeans even older than myself and there are few of them as we are not by the sea. Anything to support the community and, also, my drinking comrades Nicho and Vangelis is therefore surely a good thing.

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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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