Personal and undiluted views
olive tree

1013 days ago

Photo article from the Greek Hovel My ailing olive tree – this is a battle we will win

You may remember that in extending the Greek Hovel I had to move two olive trees. One perished quickly, the other just about survived. But it is a battle. I have done my bit, providing fertiliser in a way that a man finds easier than a woman, one cycling champion excepted, but it looks touch and go as you can see below.

---

1113 days ago

Photo article from inside the Greek Hovel - now do you get the views?

Progress on the hovel has been a bit slower than planned but we had an "all parties meeting" today and the riot act was read. We are, sort of on track. Ahead of the meeting I took a few photos from inside the new wing I have added onto the house. I hope they, perhaps for the first time, start to show what we have created and why we chose this spot.

---

1551 days ago

Delayed poisoning in the snakefields at the Greek Hovel...but not for that long

I had agreed to meet Nicho the Communist at 9 AM sharp to poison the frigana at the Greek Hovel. Lovely Eleni had promised to keep him sober on the Friday and although I tarried a bit over my breakfast coffee I arrived at the track leading to the Greek Hovel by 9 AM and was at the house by seven minutes past. No Nicho. Perhaps he was celebrating International Labour Day early with some breakfast tsipero? I contented myself with some gentle olive tree pruning.

---

1620 days ago

A last picture of the ruin at the Greek Hovel - it comes down this summer but will be a Phoenix

Just over a third of the way between the Hovel and the far end of the land lies an old ruin. I think it was a house once and in a sense it still is. For inside the ruins there lived a snake all of last summer and the summers before. I heard it many times as I rushed on by. When foolish enough to prune the olive tree at its edge last summer I saw a snake shape disappearing into the grass. This is Mr snake's house. But not for much longer.

---

2399 days ago

In praise of Nicho, Papou in Kambos

On my first night at the Greek Hovel I wandered into town to watch the World Cup Final. As you may remember I was the only person present supporting the Krauts against the Argies and this drew particular disapproval from one man wearing the heavy moustache one would associate with a Maniot warrior of old.  That man was Nicho.

By the end of the summer we were firm friends. He speaks English and is the life and soul of the Kourounis tavern run by the lovely Eleni. The young men call him Papou (grandfather) but respect him as a chap who can drink them under the table, happily do a Greek dance – after half a bottle of whisky – but also be deadly serious.

As the only English speaker bar Eleni he is a conduit for me to wider world. His main job is with an organic food form headquartered in Athens. But he can work remotely and one imagines that business is not exactly booming and so he has plenty of time for more important things such as growing olives.

You will remember that an olive tree is viewed as a being like a beautiful woman who must be treasured and cared for. And Nicho owns a 500 year old specimen which in Kambos terms is like saying that you have Cheryl Cole waiting for you at home lying in a state of undress on your bed.

The Mani

---