Personal and undiluted views
eco-loo

354 days ago

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

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.

 

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361 days ago

The Greek Hovel August 2020: Day 2 -water water everywhere (in our pool) but not a drop to drink

Feeling rather sleep deprived after our early Saturday morning flight to Greece, Sunday saw a collective lie-in at the Greek Hovel. Even the pest himself, my son Joshua, was snoring until well after ten. Then a morning swim. The pool is full and wonderful. Whatever time you get in the temperature seems just perfect. I am not sure how George the architect managed to fill it as there seems to be a bit of a water shortage. Now before you say global warming as some readers have already been quick to suggest, here are the facts.

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605 days ago

Nightmare at the Greek Hovel – car won’t start bus to catch

The drama is all over now. The final harvester to depart, heroic K, is on his bus to Athens and I am sitting in the Kourounis taverna back in Kambos waiting for an omlette and preparing to catch up on a work backlog in my last full day here in Greece. But an hour and a half ago it all felt so very different.

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1058 days ago

Photo Article: Walking with Joshua in Greece this summer

As I pack my last things at the Greek Hovel, prepare to empty the eco loo, one last time and head to the airport the Mrs sends me a few photos of me walking here in Greece this summer with Joshua on my back, wearing either his hat or hers. Happy, if rather tiring at the time, memories....

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1074 days ago

Photo article: the Greek Hovel starts to become an eco palace

And as a bonus, daughter Olaf and the Mrs will be able to get hot water for their showers. Those of us who remember the, post rugby, freezing showers we were forced to take at Warwick School with some old master perving at us all in the pretence that he had to ensure that we went home clean for our parents, do not need hot water. By the time the stuff has arrived up at the hovel in largely metal pipes it is already a lot warmer than those Warwick showers of old.

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1080 days ago

Photo Article from the Greek Hovel - the Eco loo is almost ready for use

As you can see below, the little room in the Bat Room, the eco-loo room is almost ready. Fear not, there is a sliding door which locks in any odours as well as an extractor fan.  As you can see there is plenty of reading material. Euro loon Jonathan Price will no doubt approve of the positioning of "Castle of Lies" the definitive history of the EU, by Uncle Chris Booker, next to the loo roll.  But we are not quite there yet.

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1115 days ago

Photo article: Bloody Bricks and an all parties meeting at the Greek Hovel

Once before I arrived at the Greek Hovel to find workmen proudly admiring a construction made of brand new shiny bricks. Much to their pleasure I had it torn down, an extra days work for them. I rather assumed that the message had got through. You can imagine my horror when arriving at the hovel yesterday to find piles of shiny new bricks in the new wing and the rat room. Cripes!

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1163 days ago

Photo article: Olaf it's here! The first eco-loo lands at the Greek Hovel

As you may have gathered, both the Mrs and daughter Olaf have suggested that lavatories are a bit of an issue at the Greek Hovel. Both are unconvinced about my solution of eco-loos. Well girls, prepare to be shocked. The first eco-loo, made by the same chap who crafts the doors and the Bat Room Bed which has also arrived, has landed as you can see below.

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1532 days ago

Photo Article: Joshua goes to see his inheritance ( the Greek Hovel)

It has been agreed with the Mrs that Joshua is to inherit the Greek Hovel on condition that any other family member can use it at no cost. And so the lad was taken to see his inheritance. Unlike his mother, also in the picture, he made no complaints about eco-loos, the lack of a shower, rats or snakes. I feel the place will be in good hands.

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1539 days ago

Photo Article from the Greek Hovel: darling daughter Olaf, your bedroom is almost ready!

I have been updating you on progress on what was known as the bat room but is now know as Olaf's bedroom at the Greek Hovel. The initial task was to dig out the earth and rock floor so that there was 7 foot of headroom rather than 5-6 foot in what was once where the animals lived. I should say that my almost 16 year old Islington dwelling daughter did not respond with great excitement to the first photos HERE. Fear not Olaf, things are looking better.

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1542 days ago

Building works photo update from the Greek Hovel - daughter Olaf this is your bedroom

My almost sixteen year old daughter Olaf has so far declined to visit the Greek Hovel. It was something about the homemade eco-loo. Or was it the hosepipe that is my shower. Or perhaps it was the snakes, rats or scorpions. Honestly, kids today. No gumption at all. But Olaf will be delighted to see how much progress has been made on what will be her bedroom when she stays, what is currently known as the bat room.

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1881 days ago

"Treating" an olive tree at the Greek Hovel as only a man can do

I am sure that many of you reading this believe that olives like all other food come from Tesco wrapped in clean plastic packets and therefore may scream "yuk" as you read what follows. Yes, my dear sweet wife I am thinking about you and all the other latte drinking townies out there. Those of us who grew up in the boonies know that producing food is a hell of a lot easier if you have loads of shit ( i.e manure) to boost the process. I have no manure yet although my first batch of humanure from the eco-loo should be ready next year. But I have something even better...wee wee.

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2275 days ago

Forgive me mother for I have sinned with chemical warfare at the Greek Hovel

My mother was a bit of a hippy self-sufficiency nut in the early 1970s. I spent a happy holiday on a commune in Wales not fully taking in why the dreamers who lived there were so doomed to failure. I wonder what she would think of the Greek Hovel?

At one level I am sure she’d support the idea of eco-loos, ultimate plans to be self-supporting with solar energy and to grow or catch more and more of my own food. But would she be proud of me today as I head out to spray lethal chemicals on the land?

You see the frigana (little thorns that can turn into trees) is back. Last year 

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2545 days ago

Photo article: The eco-friendly Humanure Pit is ready for action at the Greek Hovel

I have already shown you photos of my self-built eco-loo at the Greek Hovel. Now for part two the Humanure pit. Sadly someone half-inched the two posts I had purchased to corner this up so I shall now have to buy four posts at some stage soon. But the base pit is sufficient for now.

It has been built entirely out of wood found on the property (of which I am proud) and is located just outside the outer snake free redoubt. However one of the snake repellent canisters is nearby so it should be in a relatively safe zone.

The theory is simple. You deposit a bucket of humanure – that is human waste plus loo paper, plus the flowers we throw in after use to remove odours. On top of that

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2548 days ago

Weekly Video Postcard #75 – falling in love with the Greek Hovel and my way of life here

Sitting on my newly constructed eco-loo in The Greek Hovel, I reflect on how my way of life is about to change with the arrival of a female guest. I am, as it happens, tapping this out at a service station near Athens Airport as I wait to meet her.

Natch I have spent the past 24 hours on an intense hovel tidying.

I reflect on my way of life here, there are so many plus points and it will be hard to go back. I could work from here, it is cheap to live and doing wonders for my figure. Feel  free to send emails congratulating me on this.

Tom Winnifrith has just published his new e-book, The 49 Golden Rules of Making Money from oil, gas and mining shares. You can buy it on Amazon for £6.25 or you can order a FREE copy HERE

 

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2555 days ago

Weekly Video Postcard #74 – Eco-loos and blowback edition

My weekly video postcard finds me sitting on my newly constructed eco-loo. More on that in a later photo article.

The main theme of this postcard is the folly of Western meddling abroad. It was the great Dr Ron Paul (pictured) who coined the term blowback. The theme runs through Iraq, Afghanistan and is now playing out in Syria, Libya and the Ukraine.

When will our leaders learn and stop lying?

The Christopher Booker article I refer to is HERE

My weekly financial video postcard covers the uncertainty of earnings where margins are apparently supra-normal. Yes this means Quindell & ASOS. I also look at why the market mood has changed. It can be viewed HERE

Tom Winnifrith has just published his new e-book, The 49 Golden Rules of Making Money from oil, gas and mining shares. You can buy it on Amazon for £6.25 or you can order a FREE copy HERE

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2564 days ago

Transport Issues at the Greek Hovel – Luckily I am Steve Frigging McQueen

I had planned to be the owner of a 24 year old jeep today. I thought I had my paperwork in order as I trotted along to Kardimili police station to get my residents permit. Sadly not. I did not have that blue card which means that I am entitled to go into the execution rooms – that is to say Greek hospitals – should I fall sick.

If I do fall sick I am heading back to London. I may be ill but I do not want a minor sickness o turn into automatic death – I will take my chances with the NHS thank you. And as such I saw no reason to have this EI imposed commie state health care civil liberties infringing ID card. But now I do. One has been ordered in the UK and will be fedexed out.

And that left me sans transport. Being stuck in the hovel three miles from the nearest human being without transport struck me as imprudent but horror of all horrors there was not one car to rent in the whole of Kalamata. Hmmmm. Aged 46 ½ I have never ridden a motorbike in my life. But what better place to learn than here.

Hairpin bends, mountain roads, every driver either insane (Greek) or drunk (Northern European). What could be better?

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2570 days ago

Exciting News from the Greek Hovel – We enter the 21st Century – Profits warning in Kambos & Copulating Lizards

Darren you would be proud of me. I have tonight managed to get the Mi-Fi system working. That means that at any one time I can now run four computers at The Greek Hovel. Not only that but I have signed up to Skype and am now waiting for the Mrs to awake from her early evening slumber after a hard way watching her students graduate so that we can chat.

As I wait I hear a noise at the door and per through the glass and grill to see that it is a small lizard seeking entry to the wildlife diversity free redoubt. Piss off critter in here wildlife gets killed. As two (no make that three) bugs have found out to their cost in the past twenty minutes.

The arrival of the World Wide Web at The Hovel will be a body blow to Eleni's lovely Kouronis Taverna in Kambos 

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2575 days ago

Report from the Greek Hovel 9 – Foti and I go into the Olive Business: hard Manual labour begins

According to my new best friend Foti the Greek Hovel yields about half a tonne of olives a year. But we have plans to expand that greatly.  There are a couple of very low yielding trees that will perish once we reach the burning season and post-harvest, in December. And there are some gaps where we can plant new trees. 

But more importantly the trees have been neglected for years and need some TLC. That means applying manure in December post the harvest and pruning them back now. And so at 8 AM this morning Foti and a friend arrived for work and I insisted that I joined them. The friend headed off in one direction with a saw on a long pole and Foti grabbed a small handsaw and olive axe (a small axe about a foot long) and strode off in the other direction. I followed Foti glad that any snakes disturbed would meet him first.

Given that Foti speaks no English and me very little Greek communication is an issue. He speaks to me in Greek and I reply in English with neither of us gaining great knowledge from the conversation but in a strange way we understand each other completely. And so I watched the master to learn the science of olive tree pruning.

Essentially

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2577 days ago

Photo Article: Meeting Mr Rat in my new bedroom – Report from The Greek Hovel Number 6

I procrastinated and procrastinated as I dreaded what I would find when I arrived at the Rat Room – aka my bedroom for the next three months. So I bought a spade to bash rats with and to dig out the “estate” at the Greek hovel. For tomorrow I start work on my eco-loo and humanure system. Then I bought a few vegetables for supper, rather forgetting that I have no knives or forks although the previous owner has left me a fine collection of quite amazingly horrible plates as well as a can of warm beer, which I have binned. On this trip I plan to stay dry.

Then I had a coffee in the local taverna where I sit once again this evening having failed miserably to get my mi-fi internet connection working.

But in the end I had no choice and started the drive along the long and winding road. As I passed through the gates I turned the car music up to 11 determined to show the wildlife that I had arrived and they better scram. With spade in hand I wandered up to the building and peered nervously over the ledge of the snake veranda. Maybe the snake repellent had worked for it was deserted.

And so I unlocked the door of the Rat Room and raised my spade. 

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2583 days ago

Weekly Video Postcard #70 – Off to The Greek Hovel & The Political Paedophile Cover Up Edition

This may be my last video postcard for a while. The Mrs has bought a hovel in Greece and I am off late on Thursday night to start its renovation. It really is a hovel and right now has no internet and is a 15 minute drive from the nearest habitation. But I will work hard on getting connected ASAP.

And then I shall keep you updated on gripping matters such as the construction of an eco-loo and a humanure system and on bush clearance and digging out an earth floor or tow. Oh.. and on the snake situation.

From humanure I turn to the Westminster paedophile cover-up. It is a cover up and everyone on Fleet Street knows who is being protected and why the ripples could spread far and wide.  The age of those directly involved is no defence as I explain.

My weekly financial video postcard starts with a discussion of those bears who have attacked Quindell (QPP) and blinkx (BLNX) inter alia. Tom explains why they need to be more transparent. Having said that, I also explain why bears play such a key role in protecting investors on AIM. This video can be watched HERE

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2589 days ago

Weekly Caption Contest – Goats in the Olive Groves Edition

No prizes for last week’s contest as the standard of entry too low. Jon Pickles where for art thou? To be honest my mind is a bit of a blank. As I describe in the Tomograph this week I am a bit frazzled as I work 28 hours a day ahead of a summer clearing trees and installing basic sanitation in the hovel in Greece that the Mrs has bought. And so my mind wanders to three months sitting in the hovel pondering how to get the eco-loo and humanure system up and running and watching the world go by at a Greek pace of life.

I shall naturally relay the full details of how a humanure system works to you all exclusively on this website. It will be gripping reading I assure you.

And so in that vein, I invite you to post suitable captions for the picture below in the comments section beneath this article. The deadline is next Friday night.

For what it is worth my mind is so frazzled that the best I can come up with is a rather predictable:

“Hey we are goats not sheep, the Quindell AGM is in the next field.”

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2632 days ago

The Mrs Buys a hovel in Greece and I head off to the Building Site in July

I gather that on twitter there are a few folks who thing that I am writing a bit too much and should take up gardening or tai-chi and “chill” Hmmmm. Have I got news for you…

As it happens the Mrs is away for the weekend so I am catching up on a few things. One of which is the paperwork on a new house the Mrs is purchasing in Greece. The deposit is paid tomorrow. It is not a lot as it is a total train wreck.

When we visited it last the only sign of life there was a snake we met sitting on a terrace. The house is not really fit for human habitation but comes with vast amounts of olive groves so can be expanded and renovated over time.  The nearest neighbour is a ten minute walk away and is the one old monk left in a vast monastery. Ten minutes drive along a very rough track gets you to a village.

And so I shall be working like a dervish in the UK until June 30th when, all being well I head off to Greece to start work renovating the place. I do not mind that the shower (pro tem) is a hosepipe or that the outside lavatory does not work. I shall install an eco-loo (more on that later) in my first week. I will work alongside the Greek builders as their Albanian (i.e. unskilled labourer) for three months so that by the time the Mrs arrives in August to inspect her new property it is just about habitable and by the end of September, phase one will be complete.

I am ensuring that the fridge contains antidote in case I meet any other snakes and that I can somehow connect to the Internet so that I can write when not building. If three months on a building site in 39 degree heat does not knock me into shape nothing will.

So twitter friends, how’s that for relaxing?

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