18 days ago
You may remember that, aged three, Olaf gained admission to a wonderful school in North London after a rigorous interview by headmistress Mrs P. The first question was to me “how is your father?” for Mrs P was the ex of my father’s oldest friend, “vicious”, who was also my godfather. I sense that Mrs P would detect Olaf’s innate brilliance and she would gain a place despite an appalling comment from Big Nose on the virtues of the National Curriculum. That was a schoolgirl error for Mrs P is delightfully old fashioned. Mrs P is a relatively new reader of this website, approving of my views on a range of subjects, and has asked for a few photos of the Greek Hovel to which she knows she has an open invitation. Here goes.
19 days ago
No photos this time as, unlike with the snake, this time I was called into action to despatch the latest horrors to emerge.
1093 days ago
Six more photos have arrived of the work cracking on apace at the Greek Hovel, c/o George the Architect. The first three are of the kitchen, formerly the only habitable room - if you did not mind the rats - in the whole house. It used to have a flat concrete roof but now enjoys an arched wooden roof and the stone walls have been plastered.
1100 days ago
Okay the tiles are not yet on but the timbers are and, though I say it myself, they look splendid. The first two photos are of the long balcony outside the room above the rat room and the new wing second floor. The roof extends over this providing summer shade and winter rain protection as you star up at the Taygetos mountains. Photo three looks through the kitchen to what will be the front door. Photo four is from the new wing up into the room above the bat room which flows without wall into the second floor of the new wing whose magnificent high ceiling appears in photo five. Most excellent.
1113 days ago
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.
1152 days ago
As you can see below, the main job of Gregori the snake killer and his team, the building of the walls at the Greek Hovel is now done. The last bit was the balcony with views up into the Taygetos mountains and it is done. Next up is grouting, pointing, or whatever it is called. In the second photo you can see that the stone of the hovel are held together with concrete. But that is now to be scraped out and replaced with a coloured mortar. I was offered a choice of colours and went for the one you can see, a very pale yellow.
1159 days ago
It may have escaped your attention in the photo below but the external and internal walls are almost complete. Assuming the weather holds - and that is a safe enough bet - snake killer Gregori and his team will have the job done by the end of next week. And thus George the Architect tells me that it is time to install a roof. Cripes, we are ahead of schedule.
1901 days ago
With the snake repellent canisters laid down yesterday I had no excuse and have returned to the Greek Hovel. It is now 11 PM my time, outside is just miles and miles of darkness. I don't mind that too much, my torch guided me to the front door from the car. I could see in the car headlights that there were bats flying around the rat room. But bats here are not rabid and they wont bother me.
I left the light on before I left and so I did not walk into a dark room. But its not the dark that spooks me it is the noises. Out in the fields, on the windowsill and outside my door the wildlife diversity is in full cry. I just dread to think.
But, in a stroke of genius, I have
2541 days ago
Tomorrow’s excitement at the Greek Hovel is the arrival of a diesel powered machine for dealing with the frigana – the horribly prickly bushes which are dotted across the property. At the edge of the garden are a row of very large bushes which I suspect of being home to a wide selection of unpleasant wildlife diversity. Of course my new thin yellow line prevents them encroaching closer to the house but none the less I want them gone.
The much larger task is clearing the olive groves of this accursed plant. Due to Greek Forest Fire laws all that my guest I can do is hack the bushes down (they can be anything from 2 inches to ten foot tall) and them cover the stems with a vile poison to kill the roots. When I come back nearer Christmas there will be a good spot of burning to do lest the wildlife diversity things it has a new home.
Pro tem I have been busy clearing the area around the hovel of more than a decade of leaf mulch which the snakes find very pleasant to slither through.