35 days ago
It seems it is not just my Irish neighbour B, with his somewhat eccentric conspiracy theories, who is convinced that the food shelves of Britain will be empty by Christmas. The looming panic is across all the newspapers today. Maybe B was ahead of the curve after all? If it is all true, here at the Welsh Hovel we will miss the Christmas Duck if this is the case although, I suppose, I could always try and snare one off the river. Maybe this might be the excuse need to persuade the Mrs to allow me to get a gun. Not only could I shoot a duck for Christmas but I could shoot at anyone trying to steal my food in storage or my winter vegetables in the ground which are flourishing.
60 days ago
We all agreed that an Indian recipe i found on the internet was the way forward for dealing with my gherkin glut. Okay there are a few cheats here, notably that I had bartered a few gherkins for a few tomatoes and a cucumber or two grown by the parents of one of Joshua’s friends. But anyway…
60 days ago
I try to encourage Joshua to get involved with bringing vegetables and fruit in from the garden and storing them up for the winter with tales of how I used to do the same with my father and mother at Butterwell Farm when I was his age. It is a battle to get him involved and ton drag him away from moronic cartoons on the goggle box. Today, so far, I have won. He assisted with the weeding of the part of the vegetable garden where winters and Christmas vegetables are being planted today and where strawberry plants will be transferred shortly. Yesterday he was less help as I brought in an enormous spinach plant which has started sprouting and must have been three foot tall.
81 days ago
My business deal on my olive trees with Nicho the Communist is over two years so that he gets half the profits fromm a bad year and half from a good year, these things run in cycles. 2020, when I could not muck in as the Mrs was giving birth back in Britain, was a bad year. The oil produced was enough to cover the fees of the Albanians who do the actual work, after leaving 15 litres for my own use. My fear is that this year will not be very good either and I have invited Nicho up to the hovel for a swim, a drink and an inpsection.
292 days ago
I mentioned this in yesterday’s bearcast, but to bring it to a wider audience, Colin, the winner of the 2020 Readers share tips contest has donated his prize to a better cause, Woodlarks. He is a gent. So here’s the deal, an auction is underway for a half litre of Greek Hovel olive oil signed by myself, currently the top bid is £100. Nope , make that £150. The catch…
424 days ago
After his rather minor contribution to the damson depitting, Joshua bowed out of the jam making process at this point. But we were left with two bowls: pips, to which I added 20 ml of water, and, on the right, flesh, to which I added 450 ml, putting both on a low heat and stirring for 20 minutes. As you can see below, the flesh started to turn an increasingly joyful purple.
635 days ago
This should be easy, I invite you to answer the following question in fewer than 150 words. Bath Spa students need to find a safe space room if their human rights are breached by being asked to pen more than 150 words a term. The deadline for entries is Sunday at midnight and the best entry wins a bottle of Greek Hovel 2019 olive Oil. This question is sponsored by Ms Alison Rose of RBS.
663 days ago
Firstly, an apology to those owed olive oil from the Greek Hovel. Logistics, spillage, the sofa, less trhan domestic bliss, you get my drift. Anyhow I have found new containers and will be posting out this week. You may remember that as well as bringing back 15 litres of oil from my trees at the Greek Hovel I also brought back 35 edible olives.
673 days ago
Fear not those promised Greek Hovel olive oil, including my fellow harvesters T1 & T2, I am on the case. As you can see below I am decanting from one 5 litre can (one of three I lugged home) into smaller jars. These will all be posted within 24 hours…
678 days ago
On Sunday I offered a prize contest (1/2 litre of Greek Hovel olive oil) for election day – this being to guess how many ‘bad news reports’ from UK-listed companies were to attempt to be buried on the day and, as a tiebreaker, the number of seats the Tories would win. The result which has been reached is…
683 days ago
On today’s podcast I have to say that Justin the Clown is being a coward. Tweet him at @sharepickers (the boy does irony well) and tell him not to be such a chicken and do the podcast with me on whether the Vox Markets accounts he signed off on are a total joke and is his company a worthless POS? I urge you to enter the Greek Hovel olive oil contest HERE - the deadline is midnight. Then I look at Bidstack (BIDS), Versarien (VRS), Tullow (TLW), Open Orphan (ORPH) and Integumen (SKIN).
683 days ago
On today’s podcast I discuss Brokerman Dan, the Tory canvasser and the half way house for heroin addicts. I issue a podcast challenge to Justin the Clown as I discuss the joke Vox IPO, I look at a pathetic deadwood press ramp for Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) and offer up another reason to shut down all open ended property funds. And i have a prize contest for election day, deadline to enter is Monday midnight.
1043 days ago
For the first time I tasted the oil from the 2018 harvest. It is peppery and just plain fabulous. This stuff is for drinking or eating with bread not for wasting on salads or in frying. The remnants from 2017 will do for that. Joshua and I bought a stack of jars from Dunelm yesterday and today we decanted most of my first, of three, 5 litre cans. As you can see below it is a classic lime green. Perfect in colour as well as taste.
1050 days ago
I have been sitting on this account of the final day of the 2018 olive harvest for some days as I am rather cross. I know the sums involved are trivial but none the less….
1427 days ago
My best friend in Kambos said it in the nicest possible way and I should admit that i am beginning to doubt my own sanity. After day three of my harvest i now have just over half a 50kg sack of olives. As i wandered into the Kourounis taverna in Kambos, Nicho had asked how I was and i replied that i was a bit tired after harvesting. He said "you are working with the Albanians?"
1428 days ago
Being a UK work day I started my harvesting a lot later than planned and finished a bit earlier. Well that is my excuse anyway. It won't wash tomorrow. But by late morning I had arrived at the hovel with my 5*10 metre mat and my olive tree basher. I was ready to go.
1429 days ago
Having been told by George the Albanian that it was uneconomic to do a commercial harvest this year after the storms he loaned me four sacks as I said I wanted to go it alone. I had meant to start "avrio" but something made me haed up to the hovel. I think it was frustration with certain aspects of work back in the UK. It has been one of those days when I really just wanted to pack it all in and spend my life writing about life here in Kambos.
1513 days ago
Natch, the same as last year: grief. Of course I jest. The Mrs says that she has a treat lined up for me when we return to the UK. I am more organised and on our fourth anniversary have arranged a real treat for her in Kalamata. It involves olive oil but there is no need to furnish you with the full details. In a way, our bigger celebration, is 15 days later - the first birthday of young Joshua Patrick.
1567 days ago
For a couple of weeks, the Mrs and I were wondering why the widely advertised event in this part of Bristol was called SPRINGfest. After all it is July. Perhaps it is that unfashionable old Brislington is just a bit behind the times? It turns out that this is the festival of the For a couple of weeks, the Mrs and I were wondering why the widely advertised event in this part of Bristol was called SPRINGfest. After all it is July. Perhaps it is that unfashionable old Brislington is just a bit behind the times? It turns out that this is the festival of the Sandy Park Road Improvement Neighbourhood Group. It is a bit out a mouthful but the main thoroughfare in this part of the world sure does need improving.. It is a bit out a mouthful but the main thoroughfare in this part of the world sure does need improving.
1605 days ago
"Congratulations on your anniversary" said a raft of messages from folks I once knew, barely know or don't know at all but who are connected to me on facebook for grown ups, that is to say LinkedIn. Er ....what thought I... what anniversary?
1764 days ago
The photos below are self explanatory. One five kg tin has been changed into ten presents. Eight were posted yesterday, after 2 hours was spent at the Post Office wrapping them in the prescribed manner. I know that it worked as the first has just landed in London. Two more remain for hand delivery or post Christmas sendings.
1774 days ago
My rucksack containing 15 kg of olive oil weighs 24.5 kg. The limit to gt it on the plane without paying a surcharge is 23 kg. But luckily I have a whole night at Athens airport to write nasty articles about liars but also to get that weight down. Cunning plan 1..
1774 days ago
What follows shows how the olives from the Greek Hovel (2.681 tonnes) became 450 kg of olive oil. Having revisited ny 2014 results that is a tiny fall in olives but a steep fall in oil. But I got a better price so have walked away with roughly the same cash - 1650 Euro, against labour costs of 770 Euro now that I do my pruning myself.
1775 days ago
Before I gert any snotty lawyers letters from fascist law firm Web Sheriff which acts for celebs who drone on about promoting safe sex and AIDS awareness while not practising what they preach, the picture I furnish you with below is not actually an olive oil bath. But it could be. It is in fact a tank into which the oil from the Greek Hovel is actually pouring as this photo is being taken. We produced 449 litres which would fill this up to about three quarters full. That would easily be enough for a cosy bath for two, but maybe it would get a bit tight with three. What do you think?
1775 days ago
Each year I take 16 kg of the olive oil from the Greek Hovel back to the UK with me in a big can and sell the rest. But the can is just too big for my rucksack so means I have to pay both to put it in a special box (30 Euro) and also for an extra piece of hold luggage ( 25 Euro). It is still cheap oil but that rankles. But I have a cunning plan.
1776 days ago
Lunch on Thursday at the Greek Hovel was provided by the wife of George the Albanian. At least I think it was his wife, it was one of his two female assistants. I pondered how much an Islington bistro would have stung me for, offering similar fare.
1964 days ago
It is now 30 degrees or more day in and day out at the Greek Hovel. And I am up in the mountains, down by the sea it is warmer still. But that constant sunshine now leaves the fields and hills looking ever browner as you can see below.
1979 days ago
A reader tells me not to count my chickens. Just because our 150 trees are heaving with flowers that means nothing I am told, I must see evidence of flowers becoming olives. Okay, here you go. It is happening right now, across all the trees as the photos below demonstrate.
1980 days ago
Everyone here in Kambos, the little Mani village in which I am resident, is agreed. Our trees are drowning in flowers and come late November we are going to have a great olive harvest. As is our way in this part of Greece will turn our olives into oil and we will have simply vast amounts to sell and so all the talk is of who we can get to promote our olive oil to help rescue the village from austerity. I know what we need.
Can anyone think of a celebrity who is well known for using vast amounts of olive oil? Preferably we would want a good family man or woman, known for their single minded commitment and integrity and who might perhaps help promote alternative uses for our oil? Can anyone think of a suitable person?
1991 days ago
I am still spitting nails at the facist lawyers for a certain celebrity couple who got this entire website taken down on Friday by bullying our previous hosting company. The facist lawyers at Web Sheriff were not acting on behalf of a UK Court and acted on their own very dodgy interpretation of whether any legal threshold had been crossed by a certain article.
Fine. I have now republished the article which breaches no UK injunction, having moved my hosting to the United States and moved myself to the hovel in Greece which produces fantastic olive oil. If anyone reading this wants to buy some oil to use for whatever they want they know how to get in touch. Our new hosting company has balls of steel as you can see:
2134 days ago
Today I was posting bottles of olive oil brought back from the Greek hovel to a few lucky folks like PR bird foxy Bex.It was a poor harves - 179 litres of oil this year - last year it was 574 litres. You always have a bad year followed by a good year and so on. You can mitigate that greatly if you are around in the summer to water the trees.
Indeed I "water" the four trees closest to the house personally several times a day
2484 days ago
In the summer I used to drive past this old shed on the main street of Kambos every day. I was told that it was the olive oil factory but it looked deserted as if, like so much of Greece, it was a relic of times gone by when folks actually had jobs. But how wrong I was. By mid-November this place is a hive of activity. It is positively humming.
From late morning until well into the evening there is a constant queue outside of pick up tracks, of trailers pulled by tractors or just of ordinary vans and cars each bringing in bag after back of olives for pressing. Some folks deposit just a couple of bags, a trailer behind a tractor might disgorge fifty or sixty.
My seventy five bags arrived in three trips made by George the chief olive picker at the Greek Hovel in his battered blue pickup.
2523 days ago
It was Nikko who was celebrating his Birthday in lovely Eleni's Kourounis taverna in Kambos on Saturday. That led to an interesting ride back to the Greek Hovel. My harvest may not have started but my friend is already well progressed and what you see if some of the first oil off the press. It will be heading back to Bristol for the Mrs along with rather larger volumes of my own oil after we start harvesting later this week.