8 days ago
I have now had a chance to quiz brick pointer Johnny about the snake he spotted here at the Welsh Hovel. Johnny said he had never seen a snake in real life before so, after it hissed at him then slithered away, he gave pursuit. Only after work on Saturday did he go on the internet to find out what sort of snake it was.
9 days ago
I start with a big but false Greek holiday scare and a triumph on the nettle brewing front here at the Welsh hovel, followed by a snake scare at the same place. Then I look at takeovers and why the rabid right-wing press is so wrong to oppose them with an accompanying trip down memory lane with George Orwell and Jim Slater.
134 days ago
Within 48 hours of placing an order with Amazon, my new toy had arrived. I have one just like it at the Greek Hovel but it was needed for a specific task, the long term plan to dismantle the hideous shed, made in good part from asbestos, at the edge of the area formerly known as the jungle. I set to work at once.
373 days ago
With gift aid we are now just a few hundred quid shy of raising the £48,000 needed to ensure that amazing Woodlarks can survive the Covid lockdown and continue its work next year. So if you have donated I thank you and if not please do so HERE. It would be great to end the weekend with the job done. The Mrs and Darren combined to put up a few photos of yesterday’s 33.3 mile walk so here is the full story.
484 days ago
Having said goodbye to one harvester on the Monday, T1, we were down to three, we merry band of harvesters. And volunteer T2 ( to whom I still owe a litre of oil which i will send on a quiet day) was set to leave at midday. So the diminished group started work on the top terrace on the mountain side early on. We worked well, so well that mid morning I fet in need of a rest and sat on a rock. SNAKE!!!! I screamed noticing what was sitting besides me, as I leapt into the air.
561 days ago
Today’s news is shocking but should not shock you as I have warned this would happen. Anyone invested in commercial property shares is insane for reasons I explain again and as for an open-ended fund they are even more insane. I also look at the latest accounting wrongdoing at Ted Baker (TED) and M&C Saatchi (SAA). Do no auditors show professional scepticism these days. Then there is comment on Tomco (TOM) and value destruction. Oh and there is a snake story too.
686 days ago
Poor Olaf, for whom the swimming pool at the Greek Hovel was built. Tonight we start to add water on the advice of the head of construction. This morning Olaf flew back to Britain. And there is another disappointment of timing. For the whole week she was hear there were frequent conversations “do we want to see a snake?” The conclusion was that we did but from the safety of the car. No snake was seen…
723 days ago
As you may remember, daughter Olaf has only agreed to visit the Greek Hovel thus summer if we build a swimming pool. Her wish is my command. George the Architect has been in tough with photographic evidence of progress and questions about what colour and type of tiles we require. The pool will look out on the valley towards the abandoned convent on the other side. This week the concrete will be poured and tiles should start being added from next week as will the wall around it designed as part of the snake defences.
938 days ago
Okay so i am a big girl's blouse. But you too would have been shocked by what happened.
1069 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.
1102 days ago
Business partner Darren is still obsessing about the dead snake and rat photo and unable to focus on the real progress made at the Greek Hovel. Okay, he is not the only one. But as you can see below, the pointing of the walls is now almost complete - in one shot you can see a completed wall next to an undone one. Next up are the roof and floorboards and having just whizzed a large sum out to Greece that should start next week. Doors and windows have also been ordered. The last major work will be the floors on the ground floor of the new wing and in the rat room and then it is on to power points, installing a range cooker, a woodburning stove, lighting etc. We are getting there...
1103 days ago
The headline really does reflect the photos so if you are squeamish do not look any further. This trio of pictorial horrors arrived this morning in an email from George the Architect. Chief builder Gregori the snake killer has been at work.
Most snakes of this type of adder, the most poisonous of the nine Greek species that are poisonous, are 20-30 centimetres long. This one was forty centimetres in length. You may wonder what it is hanging out of its mouth…
1115 days ago
I have just enjoyed a cracking lunch of beef in tomato sauce and peas at Miranda's in Kambos. Actually it is not called Miranda's any more as it has a new owner but I stick with the old name. The prices have not changed. That will be 5 Euro.
1189 days ago
It is one month exactly to UK Investor Show. Book your seats today! In today's podcast I comment on retail generally but also on any company that says that it is talking to its banks and that they are "supportive." I look in detail at yesterday's results from Eden Research (EDEN). Would you Adam & Eve it? There's lots of snakes in that garden. I look at the request for an EGM of Pathfinder Minerals (PFP) to out useless Nick Trew and NED Toff Tory Sir Henry Bellingham MP of 3DM infamy. Sir Henry I have a score to settle and I have a warning for you about what I plan. If you like bearcasts then remember that at UK Investor on April 21 one of many highlights will be a live bearcast with myself and Paul Scott. Make sure you book a free ticket HERE using the promotional code WINNIFRITH
1220 days ago
I headed back to the Greek Hovel expecting to find an empty building site and no signs of progress. I take it all back. It may be Sunday but three hard working Greeks were on site with a mini bulldozer, hard at work. How could I have ever doubted the work ethic of the citizens of the mighty Hellenic Republic?
1292 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.
1478 days ago
The snake patio is not to be confused with the snake veranda. The latter was the flat surface on the (illegally constructed) concrete roof above the rat room. It was surrounded by (illegally constructed) concrete blocks which have now gone. We did meet a snake there on our second visit to the hovel hence the name. It was where i killed an adder a few weeks ago.
1486 days ago
The plants the Mrs and I have planted in our back garden have almost all suffered death by cat defecation. That is to say my fat, though no longer morbidly obese, three legged cat Oakley hads shat them into oblivion. And so during my brief UK visit I have led a drive to re-plant. To complete that task the Mrs, Joshua and I headed to a garden centre here in Bristol today. Before stopping to pick up a few herbs (me0 and some flowers (the Mrs) we sat enjoying an expensive coffee and watched the masses head by.
1494 days ago
I have been pruning olive trees at the Greek Hovel for four years now. But there is one tree that has almost entirely escaped my attention until now, the one that lies within the outer ring of stones of the abandoned ruin on our property, a.k.a. the snake house.
1495 days ago
At the Greek Hovel, about half way along our land on top of the hill, there is an old ruined house. It was almost entirely covered by frigana but over four years I have cut and poisoned that away. As I have have done that I have repeatedly heard rustlings inside. Last year as I ventured in a snake made a clear exit in the other direction. I saw not the snake but the snake shape curving its way through the long grass. In a way that was more frightening.
1506 days ago
The Mrs, myself, Joshua and my parents in law are staying about 15 miles South of the Greek Hovel in a nice hotel by the sea. As I mention here, I have very mixed feelings about Kardamili and would really rather be back in Kambos. But this break is not about me. Today, we escaped the in-laws and took Joshua to see his inheritance, that is to say the Greek Hovel. The Mrs has not visited for almost a year and was keen to see how the building was going. I was just delighted to be out of Kardamili and able to do some manual labour.
1508 days ago
As you may remember, work was delayed on the rebuilding of the Greek Hovel after the authorities insisted we needed a permit to demolish bricks put up without a permit by the previous owners. This is Greece after all. that permit has arrived and so the demolition starts, and phase one is the snake veranda.
1515 days ago
You may remember that George the Architect is a little nervous about chopping down non olive trees which the forestry survey may have identified at the Greek Hovel. On the other hand Nicho the Communist regards these snake shelters as an obstruction to the basic human right of every Greek to plant as many olive trees as possible on his land. I am with Nicho.
1520 days ago
Given that my new Greek blood sugar testing machine is all over the shop (I have had readings of both 236 and 125 today) perhaps I should revert to trouser size as I await new strips to arrive for my British blood sugar testing machine. There is dramatic news on the trouser front after my revelation earlier that my 36 inch trousers are falling down.
1524 days ago
I arranged to meet architects George and Sofia at the Greek Hovel at 11 AM. I arrived twenty minutes late but no-one was there. This is Greece so eleven sharp means any time before twelve and at about twenty to twelve my friends arrived. They brought with them the head builder, an ethnic Greek from Albania, so a man my father will approve of big time. I got down to the main point quickly. I showed them the snake I had killed and asked the builder how he felt about snakes. "I kill them with my bare hands" he said. I like him a lot and said that "you can have the next one."
1526 days ago
Not withstanding my snake killing heroics of yesterday, I still live in dread of the vipers that slither around the Greek Hovel and across its fields. Irrationally, for I have never seen a snake there, there is one spot that holds particular dread. And it is all the fault of Julia Donaldson, the author of the children's classic, The Gruffalo.
1526 days ago
The excitement of the snake killing left me so excited that I skipped lunch which I know is not the way that a man with type 2 diabetes should behave. There is no need to lecture me. Perhaps i should not admit that i had also more or less skipped breakfast, having just one small piece of rough bread. The oddity is that I am eating far less but am not hungry. Well it is not that odd.
1526 days ago
This day goes down in history. I am terrified of snakes. Everyone in the village of Kambos knows it and laughs at the idea of the weird Englishman from Toumbia living in a hovel in the snake fields at the top of snake hill. But I need to do manual labour and so this afternoon headed to the hovel. Retrieving my pick axe from the rat room, or spare bat room as it is now known, I went onto the illegally constructed level above it, the snake veranda.
1584 days ago
Fear not there are not any pictures of my fertilizing olive trees as only a man can do. Although I have assisted a few of my little darlings in this way over the past few days. This is the formal process with George the Albanian, his Mrs and myself in a team of three.
1658 days ago
Arriving at the Greek Hovel this morning it was damp underfoot. There had been overnight rain and the puddles in the dry river are growing and threatening to link up to form a vibrant stream, but the skies looked clear enough. I wandered down to the other side of the ruin, the lair of the snake, to trees that have gone from zeros to heros in the space of a year. George the Albanian was hard at work as was one of his women. But only one. Hell's teeth: what could have gone wrong?
1658 days ago
I am just so tired after day 4 of the olive harvest. You can see today's report - into the lair of the snake - HERE. In this podcast I cover: Cloudtag (CTAG), Strat Aero (AERO), Andalas (ADL), the CFD firms and the FCA, notably Plus 500 (PLUS), African Potash (FRAUD), Corero (CNS), Inspirit (INSP) and Fishing Republic (FISH).
1708 days ago
The Mrs and I bought the Greek Hovel about 28 months ago. Naively we rather assumed that by now it would have been renovated and we could both head over to enjoy the forthcoming olive harvest in comfort. Au contraire. If there was an Olympic gold for bureaucracy then the Hellenic Republic would be winning it every year. But there is good news today.
1818 days ago
After yesterday's encounter with an adder I was not exactly gagging to go frigana cutting today. The only real patches left are thick bushes whrere the shoots can be up to six foot tall and where, one imagines, snakes regard it as an ideal place to sit around waiting for prey. Or me. So I procastinated, swapping emails with David Lenigas, and writing a long piece on Tony Baldry, a loathsome scumbag former Tory MP who makes your avereage adder seem like a nice piece of work.
But I was conscious that I had enjoyed a few ouzos the night before and so needed to spend some time toiling in the heat to burn off those calories and so, in the end, plucked up courage and headed off to the fields.
Full of petrol
1819 days ago
I decided that it was time to tackle the frigana bushes that sit just outside the fence on the mountain side of the land at the Greek Hovel. Access is easy as the fence runs alongside a paved road used by the shepherd and, as far as I can see, nobody else at all.
I approached the first bush which sat on a rock and slashed away the grass in front of it so that nothing mide jump out at me. So far so good. I then started hacking away at what was a ha5rdy old bush with every sprout intertwined with grass and other green things. Fuck!
1844 days ago
It is good to see that Inspirit Energy (INSP) is spending the £750,000 from the bailout financing of last month wisely. Canapes and stockmarket hookers all round.
I refer to an RNS out today saying that there is a canapes and nibbles evening on June 14. So here is how it goes. Back in the autumn of last year Inspirit paid to appear on t1ps TV to get a soft interview from Zak "Judas" Mir. t1psTV did not disclose the payment and CEO John Gunn assured the world that no placings were needed even though that was patent bollocks. Ramp, ramp and ramp again.
1855 days ago
I can hear a loud chirping noise from outside as I prepare to go to sleep at night. Surely it cannot be a bird? I hear nothing in the day. Tonight all has been explained. Beneath the one room that is habitable at the Greek Hovel is the bat room, named after the dominant species of inhabitant when I arrived. Behind me but a level down, underneath the snake veranda, is the rat room, the veranda and the room both named for similar reasons. The latter has been cleansed of rats and it is where I store wood for the winter.
1864 days ago
After three days of manual labour at the Greek hovel I was conscious that I did not exactly smell like a male model doused in perfume and thus it was time to rig up the shower as you can see below.
1865 days ago
I shall put the photo up later on TomWinnifrith.com but this is the first snake of the current greek trip - day 6 and one down!. I am a modest man, as you know, but feel that I have little to be modest about in saying that this really is a most excellent podcast covering Nostra Terra (NTOG), Avanti Communications (AVN) and a new lawyers letter,, Outsourcery (OUT) and LGO Energy (LGO) all in some detail.
1920 days ago
Sadly in late June I shall not be in Bristol but will instead be working hard to rebuild the Greek Hovel. Even if planning consent is not quite in by then, I am free to start preparatory work such as digging out the stone floor of the bat room and demolishing the illegal construct on top of the rat room, the area known as the snake veranda.
The Mrs was set to join me but is now altering her travel plans. Tom Winnifrith just cannot compete with Deacon Claybourne, Gunner, Scarlett and Will Lexington. Nashville fans will know exactly what I mean. If you are not a fan of this must-watch TV series you do not know what you are missing.
We caught Gunner in action at a Country show last year in London. Rather suprisingly the actor who plays Texan born Gunner is in fact a Brit and is an accomplished singer songwriter as well as an actor. Gunner used to date Scarlett who is the neice of recovering alcoholic Deacon, now back with his sweetheart the star of the show Rayna. Deacon may or may not be dead, that is the cliffhanger at the end of series three. Well actually there was no way that Deacon who is the star of the show could be killed off, and as American viewers who are already well into Series 4 know, Deacon is alive but his ghastly sister Beverley is not doing so well.
At least for British viewers, Will is back as Gunner's housemate following the collapse of his faux marriage because he is in fact a closet homosexual. It
2221 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
2227 days ago
Naturally I start this podcast with my big news - last night's encounter with a snake: did I kill it. You can read about that HERE. Next up is a detailed look at today's news from Environmental Recycling (ENRT), formerly 3DM, then onto Tomco, Rose Petroleum, Tungsten, Blinkx, Sefton and Solgold. And then for some folks out there - including Chris Oil - I explain what constitutes market abuse and/or insider dealing and what the FCA should do about what is NOT a victimless crime.
2236 days ago
In the end I could not get my head around a 200 cc bike with gears and so chickened out and hired another 150 cc automatic. But it felt great being on two wheels again as I whizzed up the mountain road from Kalamata to my home village of Kambos. It was warm but the wind was in my hair and as I swept down towards Kambos with the ruined castle looming in the background I just felt content and happy.
After dealing with the rat at the Greek hovel I headed into Kambos to do some work at my office, aka the Kourounis tavern. But for some reason they key in the bike was jammed and then broke. I could start the machine but not turn it off so I knew it had to be fixed or I’d have a dead battery by morning. Feeling really pissed off I headed back to Kalamata. I was so pissed off that I drove on the left hand side of the road.
2507 days ago
After almost one month I had yet to see a snake at the Greek Hovel…until yesterday. I arrived back at the Hovel at 9 AM feeling rather tired after a night at Athens Airport and as we got out of the car my guest says “so where are the snakes then?”
As I entered the garden I was about to reply “not seen one yet” when I heard a whoosh and something shot through the grass, starting about three yards from where I stood rooted to the spot. I peered closely at where it was now resting, five yards away. Er….”over there” I said.
In defence of the snake
2592 days ago
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?