3416 days ago
For my last few days on holiday I am back chez Spiros. This is breaking news. Last year I had an almost personal service as the hotel Karina in Benitses was almost deserted. I checked in last night and got the last room. Chez Spiros now has all 24 rooms booked out for a month. The man himself is over the moon. He has a new confident strut but remembers his old pals who provided custom when no-one else would and we were squeezed in to a family room at our normal rate. It was the last room going.
I am delighted for my friend. It must have been a worrying time when I was his only guest. Apparently overall tourist numbers are 9% up in Corfu this year. That is still way down on the old norm but folks are happy that the decline seems to have been reversed at last. And clearly quality ( if a bit down at heel establishments) like chez Spiros are the ones benefitting first.
I like to think that I am a trendsetter.
3423 days ago
The deluded lefty thought she was being clever booking us out of chez Spiros and into another place closer to Corfu town. Chez Spiros may have temperamental showers but it is clean, if you ask for a double bed you get it, it has a lovely pool and a laissez faire attitude to rules on swimming. It is peaceful and quiet, Spiros is a lovely bloke, the beach is 50 yards away and there are relatively decent restaurants half a mile away. And it costs 25 Euro a day.
Instead I find myself in the hotel Anita where we have paid 50 Euro a night for twin beds ( having ordered a double, don’t tell her father) in a cramped little room about half the size of that chez Spiros but which is rich in wildlife – that is to say mosquitos. I have been bitten all over.
I kind of knew I’d loathe
3426 days ago
The deluded lefty insists that she does not believe in patriarchy, blah, blah, blah. So we have an early morning arrangement that is based on equality and partnership – no exploitation either way. After a hard day’s slog in the public sector she stays in bed until about 7.30 and I make her a cup of tea. I get up rather earlier to be a wicked capitalist but just after 7.30 the DL brings me a bowl of organic fair trade porridge. I think I am right that oats do come from Scotland and Scotland is the sort of third world bankrupt country where deluded lefties try to help poor farmers with fair trade.
Anyhow my point is that I am used to the little woman serving me breakfast by 7.30. Yup, for the avoidance of doubt for any BB Morons out there, my partner is a bird not a bloke.
As such life chez Spiros here in Greece is a bit of a shock for me. I get up – as ever - at between 5.30 and 7 (3.30 and 5 UK time) allowing me to create a string of masterpieces before the UK starts its working day. Spiros, on the other hand displays the work ethic which has made Greece the place it is today (the Scotland of the South) and seems unable to raise himself before eight.
It is now 7.45 and, with five articles under my belt already, I am increasingly in need of a coffee and some toast and so now have to go through the ritual of jumping into the pool and splashing as much and as loudly as possible in order to hint, gently, that it is rise and shine time.
Splish, splash, splosh, wakey, wakey Spiros!
3428 days ago
You may remember that last summer I spent a long while as the sole guest of a hotelier in Corfu called Spiros. I am back. He greeted me like an old friend and there was good news and bad.
The bad news is that I do not have his undivided attention. There seem to be two other rooms occupied this year. The good news concerns money. My rate per night has fallen from 35 Euro a year ago to 25 Euro this time. And as a bonus, Spiros has given up trying to quit smoking and so now buys his own rather than smoking all of mine. That is worth another Euro and a half a day.
Sitting in the pool this afternoon (all alone) I pondered the suggestions from our correspondents in the GNSH that is Stoke on Trent that after my experiences in Athens I should abandon Greece and book a holiday in the Potteries. I am assured that Stoke has a brand new bus station, is 30 degrees in the shade and has much else to commend itself. Truly it sounds like the new Athens of the North… well at least in terms of youth unemployment it probably is.
Hmmmm, shall I swap lounging the pool in 34 degree heat with an almost personal service of café frappes from Spiros for an afternoon trekking round the pottery heritage trail? It is a hard call. I promise that one day I shall go visit David and Chris in Stoke for a bit of welfare scrounger porn, but on balance for a summer break, I have to conclude that Greece more than edges it.