After Charon the next visitor due at the Greek Hovel was my friend and business partner Nicho the Communist. With Nicho is it always wise to assume that he will not turn up but on this occasion he arrived bang on time at 7 PM and we wandered through the olive groves.
Olive trees are designed to withstand a hot summer but they need some rain. This year, like 1987 and 1940 and many, many earlier years before we were forced to explain everything within the context of man made global warming, there has been a lot of heat and almost no rain. The trees are okay and will recover next year but the harvest will be dreadful everywhere.
My deal with Nicho was for an initial two years, one good one bad as the cycle goes. 2021 was meant to be a good year but there is clearly no point in recruiting workers, or Albanians as they are known here, to harvest. So we will make 2022 Nicho’s second year and this year, in late November, I will endeavour to harvest what is there and I wonder if you care to join me. T1, a volunteer from two years ago, says he wants to come back and a former IC colleague and his Mrs are considering it.
It is first come first served so to speak. There is no pay but I can pick you up from Kalamata bus station – winter flights are into Athens – and accommodation is free. It is hard work but evening drinking is fun and you only live once. If you are tempted drop me an email at [email protected]
There are currently 250 trees here but Nicho and I have agreed that in October his Albanians will plant another 150 at the far end of our land. I have also agreed that the Albanians can build a bath to allow us to collect 50kg sacks from the far end by vehicle. The world is going soft. I said to Nicho that myself, George the 60 year old Albanian, George’s wife and sister in law all used to carry such bags to the front of the house on our backs. He seemed surprised but it seems times are going to change. Perhaps the path is not such a bad thing as it will give access to the old ruin which, if my ship comes in, I will be rebuilding into a second house.
Nicho stayed for a cold beer but, much to Joshua’s disappointment, not for a swim. He gave me a stern lecture, which the Mrs greatky enjoyed, on how someone – probably me- had hacked the trees excessively two years ago, chopping off branches for thrashing - and how this year there must be no chopping just harvesting with the twerker. I have agreed and the Mrs is still giggling at the ticking off. Heck, I know I am useless at olive harvesting, I feel no great shame.
Our venture is expanding but for this year any volunteers from Britain are most welcome.