Warm summery greetings from Corfu.
having enjoyed an eventful winter's break - especially with the arrival of
our daughter, we are now excited to be open. We actually
opened three days ago - just to test all the equipment and to ease us back
into summer mode! Today though is our official
1st of May is a bank holiday here in Greece.
Many Athenians have
also descended on Corfu for the famous Easter
We have made a few alterations to the Taverna - including a new roof, more
decking (to the left of the Taverna under the tree), new web cam server!
To mention just a few. I am sure you are glad we are spending your
I have now moved down to the Taverna. Previous years, we stayed at our house
in Nissaki, but this year - what with the baby - we have decided to stay at
the Taverna for the summer. When we replaced the Taverna roof during the
winter, we altered upstairs to make a little apartment. It is magical to wake
up early and enjoy a cup of tea at the front of the Taverna.
We are so looking forward
to Easter. Our best friends have just arrived - Mary and Tom Owens (from the
BBC show 'Last of the Summer Wine') - joining us for Easter. Tom says
that baby Aphrodite is even more wonderful than the pictures on the web site - a reflection of my photographic skills no doubt!
The weather has finally turned into summer mode. During April we had more rain and storms than the whole winter! One evening, a lightning blot struck near the house - resulting in the loss to one of the electrical phases to our house. The next morning (a Saturday) Eleni phoned the Greek electric company. Sorry love (or the Greek equivalent) but we are so busy at the moment - shall
see what we can do. We waited until dark but no one came - and surely nobody
works on a Sunday! Later that evening I logged on to the web site and entered
the chat room - offering everyone a glass of wine! After an hour or so of gossip, the phone startled me. 'I'm from the electric company - we are at the Church in Loustri.' I opened our front door and waved to the team of guys. Sorry we are late. It's 1am I replied - do you want a coffee? One guy scrambled up the pylon outside our house - while the others gave nosily instructions. At this stage some of our neighbours came out. Chandos from the kafenion opposite even offered to open up!
Once the loose cable was located it was re-attached to the main overhead cables - the guy wore gloves! Ten minutes later, after coffees and a discussion of UK football they left - that is what I love about living here!
The local Kafenion is a traditional refuge of the Greek male and the nearest thing to a Greek 'pub'.
Each village will have at least one or two. Although a coffee shop, you will
also find many drinking ouzo, brandy, beer and soft drinks. Some Kafenions will offer a mezze with your drink - this at the very least will be, a few olives and a little feta cheese to a whole assortment of local dishes. The refreshments and mezzes, however are almost incidental to the proceedings, which can vary from gossip to political discussion,
from gentle musing to a game of tavli (backgammon).
Loustri - about Agni bay:
This is our local Kafenion
every morning for a Greek coffee. It is also the
local bakery and corner shop - you must try their homemade feta cheese.
Kendroma - between Kalami and Nissaki:
The parents of
Alex (our waiter) run this interesting little Kafenion. It is positioned on
probably the worst hairpin bend on the island. Sitting there enjoying a beer
is like having a television in front of you - with the entertaining driving
antics of the tourists!
Corfu Town- 33 St Spyridon Street (opposite Church):
Harry and Maraika are the owners/proprietors. They speak very little
English - but are a fabulous couple - these also sell the local ginger beer!
Mosquitoes in Corfu
A stinging gnat or fly!
In Greek it is pronounced
As with all warm humid places
around the Mediterranean, at certain times of the year mosquitoes can be a nuisance, and some people are more affected by them than others.
Only female mosquitoes bite! - No comment from me about
So, lets not let them spoil
your holiday. If you take all our advice on
precautions then you can eliminate or minimize their nuisance value.
With a little forethought and planning they can be avoided, some methods are more effective than others
- find the one that works for you.
Bring with you a good anti
mosquito skin application, lotion, roll on,
whatever. Autan, Jungle Juice, Johnsons “off”, Tea
Tree Oil and Citronella - all
are effective. Tesco's produce a good after sun lotion with an insect
repellant in it. Cover yourself all over with it as part of your post shower
routine. I tend to prefer the pump spray
ones, being a bit greener and doing away with the expellant gas.
Before going out in the
your repellent to your skin - especially arms,
legs and ankles. If you are a particular 'target' then liberally spray your
clothing as well.
To prevent them getting into your room at night, before leaving,
use one of the little plug in things available from
all the local supermarkets,
you will need one for each bedroom. They either
come with a jar of fluid which you leave plugged in 24 hours a day, which
should last for the whole holiday, or a small unit which has a hot pad on it,
where you put a new tablet each evening. For this one you buy a box of
tablets separately (it is in fact a piece of impregnated card). It seems to
be personal preference as to which is best - I prefer the
fluid ones as we always forget to replace the little pads. DO NOT
sleep with your windows closed. The mosquitoes do not like
the aroma produced by the machines. (We cannot
smell it though.) If you sleep with the windows closed, the mosquitoes cannot
escape! We recommend sleeping with windows
open but shutters closed.
Should none of the above not work and
you do get
bitten, have an
antidote handy! They are available in the local mini-markets
or pharmacies and in the UK from chemists or at
the airport departure shops. I swear by Wasp Ease- which
as its names suggests is also used for wasp stings.
When sitting on
your balcony during the early evening, do not leave
the house open and lights on unless you enjoy extra
company! Mosquitoes are attracted to the lights. Alos
purchase some of the 'Spira' burny things. These are lit and placed on top of
an empty bottle. They will smoulder for about 8 hours and the smoke disperses
mosquitoes and any other bugs. At Taverna Agni, we light several of these
each evening and place them around the tables.
Thanks to Bob and Wendy our Greek correspondents from Lafki
for helping with the 'Mosquito report'
- Happy holidays.