Sunday, January 31, 2010


As residents of Vrahassi improve their houses, the streets are left to ruin and are really very dangerous.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Sorry no pictures of this but what an exciting evening I had last Friday. Did I mention that I had been asked to join the Rethymnon Philharmonc Orchestra, well I went to my first rehearsal on Friday. David drove me over there, the two hour drive was effortless, we found the orchestra's building in the middle of Rethymnon and then it was music all the way. Wow, it's a long time since I was in the school orchestra and to have all instructions in Greek was yet another challenge, but I got through and now I have a whole new set of music to master. You can imagine the programme in my house, I am lurching between proofing my book, music theory, cello practice, Greek homework and making sure that there is food on the table.

Both David and I are also on a diet to reduce blood pressure and colestrol, we have both lost a little weight but it is not easy this weather. We are trying not to combine carbohydrates with proteins, it is an eating plan which we have tried before (successfully) and we have started to shift some of that fat.

The village seems very quiet at the moment, most people are at home in the evenings by their log fires, watching TV in comfort. That's where I am and that is where I am going to stay, enjoying a bit of hybernation until we have blue skies again.

There will be brighter days soon though - and photos!

Can anyone tell me what (if any) action Vrahassi is going to take in opposition to the new 'Kapodistria' bill? I'd appreciate some information. I have read the report from the council saying that Vrahassi will oppose the bill. How and when?

OK it's proof reading time, bye for now, Jane x

Thursday, January 21, 2010


In fact I have been missing England of late. Well not England as much as my family. This picture of the area where I was brought up brought back lots of 'shivering' memories. So, to all friends and family in England, I have been thinking about you in all that snow and hope you were not too inconvenienced. There is a covering of white on the hills across from Vrahassi today but our winter (so far) has been very mild.
Tomorrow I am to travel to Rethymnon with David to attend the rehearsal of the philharmonic orchestra. I have been practicing like mad tonight but I think I will need a few weeks to get the music right. It's an exciting new venture. Never a dull moment eh?

Monday, January 18, 2010


I've discovered Youtube! To see more of my poetry (and it's not all 'funny') then take a look at Jane's Poetry by clicking on the link on the right of this page.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This is the olive factory in Vrahassi. It is not the most well kept building in the village as you can see. I am not sure whether there just are not enough olives on the trees this year (I know it is a bad year) or whether the local farmers are taking their olives to another factory. The yard is almost empty whereas at this time of year it is usually full of sacks of olives waiting to be processed. I also heard yesterday that a good number of Sissi restaurants have been closed down because they had not got the right papers, or maybe hadn't paid bills, I am not sure which. Anyway I was told by one of the restauranters that there would only be 6 restaurants open in Sissi this year. Things are a bit 'grim' eh?


It was a bit of a grim evening walk, not many people on the streets of Vrahassi, but always something to photograph.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Gillian (in the background) and I were in Agios Nikolaos today looking for a fiddler to play a bit of Mozart with. This local character auditioned but he wasn't exactly what we were looking for.

Seriously, we are seeking violin players to join our little ensemble. Gillian of course, my wonderful teacher, can play either violin or viola and with a Cambridge degree they don't come much more highly qualified. I on the other hand have reached about grade 3 on the cello so the music which we play is probably very easy for most musicians. The good news is that I am improving daily. So, if there is anyone in the Ag Nik area who would like to join us once in a while to make music, please contact me. Tel: 6945872472

Monday, January 11, 2010


Ταβερνα Νερομυλος is a very traditional Greek taverna with no frills, tiny cafeneo wine glasses and ash trays on the tables (what are they for?), BUT the food was excellent and the service friendly. Kristos gave service with a smile and we passed a very pleasant evening in Sissi. If you would like to try the place for yourselves look out for it on the left hand side of the road almost as soon as you pass the first houses of the village . Καλή Όρεξη.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I don't think that there is a Yianni among these young lads who came to my door to sing the traditional Christmas song but I am sure that they know plenty of people with that name. Today is that Name Day for all those who are called Yiannis. I know one or two. I did pass by the cafeneo to wish Yianni 'Kronia Polla' only he was asleep and I didn't like to wake him! He looked like he was having a good day though.

Once again Manolis thank you for the information, being neither Catholic or Orthodox my knowledge of the various Doctrines is somewhat limited. And... I never tire of learning so hit me with the comments as often as necessary. I have spent about 2 hours reading up on the various teachings connected with 'Sophia' and I must say it was all very enlightening. So again, thanks!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


To Manolis, Thank you so much for the information which you so kindly gave me. I did not know about the icon on the left hand side of the church. If I am right, in England we have the name of 'Church of the Holy Trinity', the Trinity being God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. This represents the Wisdom or Sophia of the Divine Creator. I appreciate your comment and value the information. Thank you for following my blog.


This funeral was a couple of days ago. I did not know the gentleman.


I know that this was a very lazy way of watching the ceremony but it was better than not, and much warmer. This tradition is carried out all over Greece on the 6th January, Epiphany.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Caught in the act! But these likely lads were doing a good deed. Because the main church, Agia Sophia, has been refurbished the old furniture is being distributed between the other churches of the village. These particular pieces were being delivered to the church of Agia Marina just behind Yanni's Ouzarie in the square. I had better take a look at the new, improved church, people tell me that it is wonderful with new choir stalls, new candle holders and new icon. A photo call if ever there was one!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


This little shrine is on the main road out of Vrahassi just before the turn off for Milatos. It is an indicator that the church of the 40 Saints is closeby. I tried to uncover the name of the family responsible for erecting it but the road has been built up over the name stone, all I could make out was 'Family ....kontakis' maybe someone could enlighten me. And just to prove that there are already spring flowers to spot I snapped these early lillies, a mandrake and a lovely narcicus (I think), time to get the flower book out and check.


Our little walk today took us out of the village towards the cemetry where we branched off right as though to join the main road to Milatos, then we turned left onto the green lane which runs parallel to the asphalt road. When we came to a road that branched off left we took that, it was once a donkey track now very overgrown and at one point we had to detour through the olive groves before picking it up again. Unfortunately the shepherds have fenced off the old track and built a large sheep feeding area, but it did not deter us and we soon had the little church of Agioi Saranta in our sight. After visiting the church we joined the old road again to find that it becomes a built road which leads down to the main road to Milatos. To make a round trip we followed the main road back into Vrahassi. Our leisurely walk took us 2 hours, and apart from having to scramble over a wall into the olive groves almost all the way was easy and level.


The martyrdom of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebasteia is a powerful lesson in Christian faith, perseverance, sacrifice, and friendship. The story of this martyrdom begins in the early part of the 4th century when the persecution of Christians was still active. There were 40 soldiers of the Roman army who possessed sincere faith in Jesus Christ. When it was realized that they would not deny their belief in the Lord, they were brought to trial before their commander who threatened to have them discharged from the military dishonorably. One of the soldiers responded: "Do not take only our military status, but also our bodies; nothing is dearer or of greater honor to us than Christ our God." Following a number of failed attempts to torture them, they were finally stripped, tied, and thrown into a lake. It happened to be wintertime and the temperature was extremely cold. To tempt the soldiers to deny Christ, the torturers lit fires near the lake to entice them to deny Christ. One soldier actually did come out of the water and headed for the fire, but before he could get there, he died. During the night, a light from heaven came down and heated the lake and warmed these Christian witnesses. At the same time, thirty-nine crowns were sent from heaven and rested upon each of them. One of the soldiers torturing them saw this and, moved by this event, confessed the Christ as Lord and Savior and joined the others in the lake. A fortieth crown appeared and descended upon him at that very moment. In the morning, the commander was furious when he learned of the events and ordered that their legs be broken and they be thrown back into the lake. On the third day following their drowning, the martyrs appeared to the local bishop and told him to search beneath the water and recover their relics. In the middle of the night, the bishop, along with his priests, went to the lake where they found the relics glowing in the water and, gathering them together, they gave them a proper burial.
Apolytikion in the First Tone
Be entreated, O Lord, by the sufferings endured for You by the Saints, and we pray You, heal all our pain.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
O Forty Champions of the Lord, you abandoned the armies of the world and attached yourselves to the Master in heaven. Having gone through fire and water, O Blessed Ones, you worthily won glory from heaven and a multitude of crowns.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


It was brilliant, a New Year's Christmas Story acted out for the children (and grown ups) of Vrahassi, complete with little brass band to play the mood music and set the scene.

I'm so glad that I did not miss this little event which was organised by the Cultural Committee. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon's entertainment.