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The Greek Hovel Olive Harvest Day 1 – will climate change or, as we used to say rain, stop play?

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 6 December 2021

I reported yesterday that my first guests, R &S, were due to arrive that evening. I hoped that neither were vegetarian or non drinkers as many folks in sophisticated London are these days for that is not what we do here in Kambos. It is like not owning a gun, it is unnatural, freakish. As I feared R is a non drinking vegetarian.

He asked if what used to be known as Miranda’s had any fish on the menu. Boy how we laughed. We are not by the seaside and in the old days it took a donkey half a day or more to climb up the mountainside from the nearest harbour at Kitries so fish is just not part of the diet up here.  So for R it will be a few days of water and Greek salads. He did seem to like the latter which will serve him well. Luckily his better half is a meat eating drinker so fits in well here.

The new management at what was, two owners ago, Miranda’s have made a few changes. When we asked for Rose for three, S & I agreeing to share R’s share, we were given a bottle not a jug. This is a dangerous move upmarket which I am not so sure about. S & I worked our way through two of the small bottles but as we prepared to leave were presented with another one “on the house”. With hindsight that was a bit unfortunate.

So we headed off to the Kourounis taverna where large numbers of folks were crammed in to watch a soccer match. None wore masks.  A sobering coffee or two offset S’s introduction to Metaxa and we headed home.  Late at night on the track up to the hovel there are no cops with a breathalyser.

I was awakened while it was still dark by the sound of heavy rain. At 6.30 I am now writing with it absolutely lashing it down.  This has two implications. Firstly it may delay the start of harvesting. We cannot harvest in the rain and some folks here are loath to harvest if the ground is wet as you may slip on a terrace and end up in hospital, as I did a few years ago. But the area with most trees which do have olives is the flat area just beside the house so if it stops raining, we may risk it. I have charged the battery for my twerker so we are ready for battle.

Secondly there is the matter of getting to and from Kambos. There is a stretch of track, which starts at the hovel and lasts for about 800 yards until you reach Slater slope and then snake hill, and start the descent to the valley between ourselves and the abandoned convent, which is just a mud track. It already contains some very large puddles and is rather slippery. It was not quite the Somme yesterday but it may well be Passchendaele by this morning if the rain keeps falling this heavily. I suspect R&S will not want to risk driving it but I shall go for an inspection at first light and consider my options.  

A few months ago as Greece suffered its hottest and driest summer since1987 the cultists told us this was proof of climate change. 1987 was, of course, the hottest and driest summer since a couple of years in the 1930s, etc, etc but forget the logic lets screw the poor with some more “green taxes” to subsidise schemes which will make the rich friends of the Doom Goblin Greta and our beloved leader in Airstrip One, Carrie Antoinette, even richer. Now we are in the rainy season but the rains have been heavier than normal so overall 2021 rainfall will be, at least, normal. No doubt the heavy rain outside my door is also proof of climate change. More green taxes are needed.

There is a break in the rain and it is starting to get light so its time to inspect the battlefield. I shall report on progress later.

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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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