36 days ago
The old cat, which I first fed as a kitten, is still around. I saw her prowling very close to the hovel on our second day. She must be almost eight by now. But a new semi-feral cat has pitched up, who is much younger and looks very different, as you can see below.
90 days ago
When stetched out, cat Quincey is really very large indeed. Supplementing his diet with numerous mice, rats and birds he is a true fat cat as I showed you the other day HERE. And that makes his love of trying to get into very small boxes make him look all the more ridiculous as you can see below.
158 days ago
Two photos with today’s bearcast from either side of my front veranda here at the Greek Hovel. as you shivver back in Airstrip One I sit here in a T-shirt. And you will be amazed how green, almost Alpine, it is. But at least you didn’t spend the morning clearing up dead rats. The podcast covers life in Greece and then a suggestion that all EIS and VCT schemes should be wound up and consigned to the dustbin of history.
168 days ago
Having arrived in Kalamata after eleven last night, I was jolly glad to have booked a hotel in town rather than trekking out to the Hovel. After a warming Metaxa in the lobby while I answered emails and I lugged my two heavy bags to bed. On the way out to Greece I now take 25 kg of books to stack the shelves here, on the way back i shall take 15kg of my oil (I hope) and 3 kg of wood ( I shall explain that later).
209 days ago
Ahead of the pointless green wankfest that is COP26, folks in the host City are getting hotter under the collar than a solar panel desperately seeking sun on the Clyde, over the fact that Glasgow appears to be over-run with rats amid piles of rubbish. Personally I reckon that is all down to global warming but others think that the blame can be pointed at a more obvious villain. So who is to blame? Is it:
209 days ago
The game for the, overwhelmingly white and middle class, idiots who do their best to gum up Britain’s roads is to waste as much Police Time as possible while screwing up the traffic flow. And so the latest wheeze is for these idiots to attach their hands or face to the road with superglue which causes police and medical staff to waste hours and hours ungluing them without causing pain. As ever we have it all wrong.
279 days ago
It was as we were doing our final clear up, he just appeared in the upper living space as if from nowhere.
480 days ago
Cagney did not actually say “you dirty rat” as is widely thought. His exact words, as you can see below, are “you dirty yellow-bellied rat.” But that does not matter. To the bonkers animal rights folks at PETA, that sort of wording oppresses rats. It is a sort of animal hate crime. Equally calling Michael Gove a snake oppresses snakes. It is also, arguably, a hugely unfair comparison. That is to the snakes. Anyhow, please mind your language, this is 2021 so try not to stick your head in the sand like an Ostrich as using such words is a step towards violating the “rights” of the animal kingdom. As the loons at PETA say, “stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language.”
486 days ago
The first call was mid-morning. On that occasion it was two young WPCs. If one was a filthy old man with a thing about uniforms it would have been a bit of a treat but my initial concern was that someone had read my writings about my crime family flouting daft lockdown laws on my birthday and snitched. Oh no. It was about the floods – the two young ladies just asked if there was anything they could do for me. Well since you mention it officers…
534 days ago
This has made me laugh. You may remember that I have spent far too much of the past few years battling the accursed frigana plants at the Greek Hovel. I’ve tried poison, a strimmer but nothing will ever truly rid me of these beasts which can grow to 20 foot high.
614 days ago
Do you remember the Tory party of old? The one that really loved the idea of individual freedom and a smaller state taking less of your money in tax and not telling you what you should or should not do. I rather forget when the rot set in but today the Tories have abandoned the idea of a small state and as for individual liberty, this Government revels in destroying it. On the basis of no hard data whatsoever, we are, on the one hand, ordered to mask up and not meet more than five friends. But on the other hand, we are “strongly encouraged” to go back to working in offices (without masks and in groups of whatever size) whether we like it or not.
1154 days ago
Yesterday's bearcast explained the massive red flag of Neil Woodford having to sell his crown jewelsd, shares in Imperial Brands. Today, his most devoted follower on the sewer that is Fleet Street, Jeff Prestridge of the Mail on Sunday has, after 30 years of loyally kissing Woodford's arse at least once a fortnight, abandoned ship. The ship once swarmed with parasitic and, often unthinking, rats. Now there is just one left, Hargreaves Lansdown. I explian what this all means. If you enjoyed this, almost 100% profanity free, bearcast, follow a bloke from the Grim North who donated enough to buy a whole house in the welfare safari and support the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE.
1300 days ago
And so on the final afternoon at the Greek Hovel we invited over the elderly lefties from the village up in the mountains. They were rather scared of the track so I had to go fetch them from Kambos and drive them up.
1376 days ago
If you head to a seaside settlement in the Mani right now whether it be Islington-sur-Mer (kardamili) or the Costa-del-Stoupa they will be packed with people. Head there in the winter and they are semi-deserted. Up here in the lower reaches of the Taygetos mountains, in unfashionable old Kambos, the population barely changes throughout the year. The faces I see when harvesting olives in November are, essentially, those I see now in the burning heat of August.
1378 days ago
I started today at 4.30 AM GMT in Bristol. I did not have the rub of the green with logistics in Athens and thus I did not arrive at my posh Kalamata hotel until 6 PM GMT, 8 PM local time. I have checked my emails , enjoyed a Greek salad and am just about to order an ouzo. But the really good news comes from George the Architect…the Bat Room at the Greek Hovel is wildlife diversity secure, the power and water is still working and so tomorrow I move in….
1392 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.
1404 days ago
Okay my labouring in the snake fields is not a fraction as hard as the work the chaps rebuilding the Greek Hovel do but they are used to it and I am not so I reckon our suffering is equal. And here is how we keep going.
1626 days ago
In my final days in Greece there really was progress up at the Greek Hovel as a large concrete mixing lorry somehow found its way up the long and winding track and got to work, as you can see below.
1639 days ago
This podcast was interrupted by the sight of my friend the feral cat. Three years ago I gave a black and white feral kitten who had wandered up to the hovel some milk. I am not sure if it is the same creature but now and again a black and white cat stalks the hovel in search of snakes and rats to eat. I hope its the same cat. Anyhow I am excited to see him again and got a picture as you can see below despite him, being feral, not being that friendly. The podcast itself covers Adam Reynolds and the Adam Reynolds stocks many of which we own. I do this in response to Cynical Bear's ill informed mud slinging of earlier.
1714 days ago
It seems that PR firm Bell Pottinger will go into administration today and 270 folks will lose their jobs. Fear not most have already had other offers or decided to set up on their own. They saw the ship was sinking and there is no rat like a morally bankrupt PR rat in such a situation.
1827 days ago
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.
1827 days ago
If you have not spent time in Greece you may not be familiar with the restaurant cats. Every place, bar the smartest establishments in Athens and Salonika has them. In the winter, at the tourist resorts, although not at places such as Miranda's in Kambos, the poor creatures starve as custom disappears.
1833 days ago
There are two hardware stores in the village of Kambos (pop 537 including me) providing everything that we peasant farmers need: poisons, fertilisers, tools, plants. You name it we can buy it here. There is one store on the Square where Miranda's and lovely Eleni's Kourounis taverna provide two of the other borders. It has suffered a grave misfortune.
1836 days ago
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.
1861 days ago
Arriving back at the Greek Hovel I am always terrified as to what forms of wildlife diversity have camped out there while I have been away. I turn up whatever crap music I can pick up on a car radio here in the lower levels of the mountains, open the car windows and try to warn all of God's creations that I am back and they should flee. Of course they know that I am not a hard Greek or Albanian who will kill them all but a total wuss so nothing flees.
1999 days ago
The recent rains means that my friend George the Albanian cannot start work until Saturday on our olive harvest but I went up to the Greek Hovel to do a preliminary investigation and it looks as if we have a pretty good crop. It has been a wet years and I like to think that my aggressive pruning and work on fertilising the trees has paid off. As you can see, the trees are just dripping in olives.
2081 days ago
Things are moving fast at the fraud African Potash (AFPO). So far it has not - as threatened - instigated legal proceedings against me but in light of specific information now in my possession which is enough to see folks bunking up as Rob Terry's roomie we say bring it on. See you in Court Bitchez! We sense that some of the rats in camp Afpo are getting skittish so the question is which one abandons this sinking ship of fools and fraudsters first? You decide, please vote in our African Potash rat poll below - deadline midnight Sunday.
2166 days ago
British Airways staff were again brilliant today. On Saturday I arrived at Kalamata airport with a barely mobile father and weak step mother. Within minutes a cute airline lady had helped me get a wheelchair for my father and i was told my job was over. The lady put them at the front of the line and I had nothing more to do. Today it was the turn of the Mrs. We arrived and the small departure lounge was again heaving with lobster pink Northern Europeans forming long lines to check in for flights to London and Paris.
I found a different cute airline lady and said that my wife was heavily pregnant, as she is, and within minutes she was again at the head of the queue leaving dozens of the lobster pink Brits and froggies fuming behind her. Then she was through passport control and was off and I headed back to town to face another three to four weeks at the Greek Hovel with just the snakes and rats for company.
When the Mrs is here I am on holiday so I only work 3-4 hours a day at my PC and I do no manual labour at all. I enjoy three meals a day and more than the odd drink. "After all we are on holiday" say I as I order another ouzo. I get to sleep on clean sheet in an air conditioned hotel and enjoy swims in luxury pools. The Mrs is paying and it is a treat. I enjoy my hols with the Mrs. We talk, we plan, we discuss. Life without the Mrs is very different.
2176 days ago
For some reason I awoke early this morning. It is probably the knowledge that the Mrs lands at 11.30 Greek Time and so I have a fair bit of scribbling to do to ensure that you get your daily dose of golden prose and poisonous malice. As is my wont I threw open the front door ahead of doing to an olive tree what only a man can do. With a speed my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley could not even contemplate a small cat shot past me.
2198 days ago
I know I have been banging on about this all week but today I wake up having not smoked for three months and I am fecking proud of myself. It did it via cold turkey so there is no legacy nicotine in my body from vaping, gum or patches.
It was playing soccer with a range of nephews and nieces aged 7 to 16 on St Valentine's Day that made me quit. My lungs were burning after just a few minutes. I wanted to run but could not. Being outpaced by a 7 year old is just not on. Enough was enough.
And so today
2199 days ago
The way that the rat "sweeties" were disappearing made me pretty sure that relatives of the rats that I had killed off with poison last summer, were making a comeback at the hovel. And so I have laid down more and more sweeties in the gap between one of the windows and a shutter which is their favoured run. The rats can't enter the hovel but can just look in through the glass.
My pal Dave Paxton grew up in Zim and said that the best way to get rid of rats is to get more snakes on your land. No doubt if he was here, Dave
2202 days ago
I was hoping that the canisters which are meant to keep the snakes away would have arrived in Kambos today. I was told they would. Naturally they have not. This is Greece. "They will be here on Wednesday" means "There is no chance at all that they will be here on Wednesday". I am bloody well not moving up to the hovel without them.
My friend Nicho the communist asked why I was not yet resident in the the village and I explained. "You really are frightened of them aren't you" he said while laughing loudly. Fecking hell isn't everybody? Nicho then explained to a gaggle of Greek old men sipping ouzos what was happening and they all laughed too. Ha bloody ha. They all live in the village where there are no snakes, I dare them
2269 days ago
Rules are rules and whether it is soccer playing sex offenders or AIM Companies you have to stick to them. Moreover a COI is a COI even if sign off on and some may be legally kosher but are morally wrong. I refer to my rows with DS on 3Legs Resources (3LEG). I look at Monitise (MONI), rats leaving AIM, viz Edge Resources (EDG) & UMC Energy (UEP). I ask where is the fraud at African Potash (AFPO)? And then - to entertain Wildes - I look at LGO Energy (SHITE) again as well as at Iofina (IOF) - when will it fess up? I also ask a question of Audioboom (BOOM)
2464 days ago
I had consoled myself as I contemplated snakes, bats, rats and scorpions at the Greek Hovel that at least there were no poisonous spiders in Greece. Phew. We may have more types of snakes than any other country in Europe and the hills around the Greek Hovel may be infested with them but at least I felt sure, having – I thought – read it somewhere that there was no spider issue. Spiders eat Mosquitos. We like spiders right?
2464 days ago
The owner of one of the two hardware stores in Kambos sold me another bag of rat sweeties, the blue pills which he promises will kill Roland within a day. These supplemented my existing stocks and they were duly placed between the windows and the shutters around the house with a particular concentration on the one window where rats have been spotted every day.
The initial six in that window disappeared within a day and instead when I returned to the house I was greeted by a large rat grinning at me from behind that window. Thus I carefully remove two or three sweeties from other locations to ensure that the rat window is fully stocked each time I leave the Greek Hovel.
And coming back today, as has been the case every day
2468 days ago
And so yesterday lunchtime I drove back into Kambos and first stop was the hardware store number 1 where I buy canisters of snake repellent. “I am sorry we are out of stock” said my friend the owner who then assured me that the snakes season is well over and that they are all starting to hibernate. He always does that, promising me that whenever I turn up there are no snakes around as he explians his lack of stock.
I was not born yesterday and with the temperature now in the mid-thirties I was fully aware that the land around the hovel is crawling with serpents. I bought a can of chippings which my friend swore would form a protective ring around my house and headed off to see lovely Eleni at the Kourounis taverna who reassured me that the area around the hovel – where she owns some olive trees – is indeed crawling with snakes. How they must laugh in Kambos, the man who is terrified of snakes is heading back to the serpents paradise.
Rather gingerly I headed up to the hovel and was delighted to see no snakes and no signs of rats. There were however bats in both the rat room and the bat room which I have now chased away. Having happily surrounded the place with the snake magic dust I headed back to a hotel in Kalamata with a swimming pool for one last night of decadence.
2555 days ago
A morning at the Greek Hovel working on frigana poisoning, lunch by the sea at Kitries and then a leisurely drive over the mountain roads back to Kardamili. That was the order of the day for the Mrs and myself. I write from the bar of the wonderful Meletsina Village hotel - my top tip for staying in Karadmili - with a Gin & Tonic looking out over the sea in the late afternoon sun. But I am frustrated.
As we drove over the mountains, the Mrs cried "there's a snake". Sure enough there was indeed a snake slithering towards safety on the other side of the road. These days I think Greek so without hesitating I swerved sharply, not thinking of what might be heading the other way around the next bend, and drove over the middle of the snake. Kill! Thought I.
But much to my dismay
2570 days ago
When I left in February I tried to buy two cans of snake repellent to keep the 27 varieties of Greek serpent away from the Greek hovel. The man at the hardware store said “there is no point as they are asleep, when are you back?” I said May. He said, do not worry they do not wake up till June. What he meant was “I have none in stock.”
2638 days ago
The man at the hardware store in Kambos said there was no need to buy snake repellent canisters as they will not wake up till June and I’m back in May. I am not so sure about that as I distinctly remember meeting a snake on what is known as the snake veranda on my first visit to the hovel in April. But I did not argue, I said efharisto and shook his hand warmly.
2855 days ago
I am sorry for the delay in sending this over. Challenges? Dealing with Greece’s OTE. I pay the bastards for internet access, my account at the hovel shows I have credit but ….er OTE will not let me use it. Bastards. So I took the afternoon off.
The video is really about the challenges I face here at the Greek Hovel. Aged 46 I have done sod all carpentry since gaining 27% and coming 127/127 in the U4th woodwork exam. I have never ridden a bike. Never barricaded a room against rats, dealt with snakes, showered with a hosepipe, coped with living in a land where I don’t speak the language, the list goes on and on.
But I am enjoying he challenges while getting on with my working life. I also cover the fact that many of the liberal idiots who support Hamas appear to have no knowledge of the history of the region.
PS Having watched this you are now meant to email me and congratulate me on the weight loss!
2867 days ago
On twitter, on various bulletin boards and on the comments section here on ShareProphets and elsewhere we have come under sustained attack for 24 hours – let me set the record straight. And then I can get back to dealing with the snakes, rats and bats that infest my home for the summer in Greece.
2867 days ago
What in nature scared me a few days ago? Snakes? Yes big time. But also rats, bats. scorpions and the dark. I also have a great fear of heights but that has not been an issue to date as I settle into the Greek hovel. But the rest of my phobias have come in spades.
2868 days ago
Oh dear, I thought that I was making progress on eradicating wildlife diversity at The Greek Hovel but it just got worse. I am sure that it is just a temporary blip.
My new best friend, and business partner in the olive business, Foti and a friend of his were clearing out the two first floor rooms again this evening. Another truck load of rubbish has now gone and still we are not finished.
However in the room under the snake veranda we discovered not one but two rats. This time I did not run, my fear of these creatures is diminishing. But Foti was more proactive, grabbing a broom and thrashing wildly.
2871 days ago
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.
2871 days ago
I have procrastinated for as much as I can. I have sat here in a comfortable pool catching up on nearly all of my work because my mi-fi internet system at the hove at the Greek Hovel may not work. I say that because a) I am an IT loser and b) it was bought in Greece and this is Greece so things do not always work. Okay that is one excuse.
The other is that I left sticky board rat traps out last night in my bedroom for tonight. What is worse?
a) finding no dead rats so assuming they are still there somewhere
b) finding a dead rat killed by the poison I laid and having to dispose of it.
c) finding a half dead rat on the sticky boards and having to kill it & then dispose of it.
d) finding a snake inside eating a rat which it has either caught and killed or was killed/half killed by me?
My mind is naturally pondering all these matters. A good friend emails to urge me to stay in the hotel another night. But I can procrastinate no more. I might be online later…off I go, into battle.
2871 days ago
By now you might have wondered quite what possessed the Mrs to snap up falling down our Greek hovel in the middle of nowhere and which is teaming with rats and snakes. Hmmm. Good question. And I have not even started on the works I need to do on the grounds or of the sanitation, er…..issue. But let me show you the view.
2871 days ago
I spare you photos of the Rat Room, aka my bedroom for the next three months. I would not wish to scare the Mrs so will tidy it up a bit first. But it is by far and away the smartest room at the hovel. In fact it is the only one not completely littered with junk and totally unfit for human habitation. It is on the top floor next to the snake veranda. Here are both from the outside.
2871 days ago
And so we arrive at the Greek hovel that the Mrs has snapped up. Before I can contemplate the enormity of the task at hand there is the little matter of the rats and snakes to deal with. We have visited the village hardware store where – rather worryingly – about 40% of the product lines seem to be associated with dealing with, er…rats and snakes. Susan Shimmin and I are now armed.
2872 days ago
As you know I am this summer starting the reconstruction of a Greek hovel snapped up by the Mrs. Please do not regard this as an investment. There is more chance of making money from Quindell (QPP) shares than from buying hovels in Greece. Actually that’s a lie. There is zero chance on both counts.
I shall post updates all summer of my progress but I start with the news I received two days before arrival. That is to say that our lovely estate agent Susan from The Real Mani ( who - as her name suggests comes fro an Isle of Man family) reported back on Tuesday that when visiting the hovel she had encounter a rat in the only room that is (vaguely) habitable – the room henceforth known as my bedroom for the summer.
Hmmmmm. I try to look on the bright side. If there are live rats in my bedroom at least it means that the snakes have not managed to penetrate that part of the building. Things can only get better from here.