Sunday, November 28, 2010


I am so sorry for not posting anything for a while, but I have been proper poorly with a nasty bug that I can only imagine latched on to me when I went to England. I have still got a tickly cough, but it is getting better every day. I've gone through boxes of tissues, packets of paracetamol, taken hot raki, honey and lemon, even resorted to rubbing my chest with raki. In the end I decided to banish the bug from my body, so I told it in no uncertain terms to go away.

Well, a night out in Rethymnon on Friday, seems to have done the trick. There is nothing like sea air, a brandy and hot chocolate, followed by imbibing in a bar full of young people, bouncing with loud music, for clearing your head. Unfortunately I think the wine and raki which accompanied our food managed to dizzy me up again, but that's passed through the system now, and I'm feeling right as rain.

I've been practicing Valentino most of today, as tomorrow I am getting together with the Rainbow Choir in Agios Nikolaos, to see if I can add anything (hm...) to their Xmas programme. We'll see. I might even end up singing the odd carol or two. That is good, because on Tuesday I am getting together with a few carol singers in Sissi, to discuss a bit of a sing-song there, before Xmas.

So it is all systems go. Saturday December 11th, the Agios Nikolaos Christmas Carol concert, 8.00 at the Hermes Hotel (Change of venue this year), Our end of year concert on the 12th December, with all my fellow music students, Gillian's little band. And the Rethymnon Christmas Orchestral Concert on Tuesday 21st December. In between all of that watch out for the group of singers in Sissi (date to be set).

To think, I very nearly said humbug to it all. I might even get my old Christmas tree out, and the fairy lights, why not?

I wonder if there will be any sign of Christmas in the square this year. I hope so.

Other than that, now I am in the land of the living again, I can enjoy this very warm weather that we have had throughout November.

It is also a good sign that I am better, because I have my appetite back. David and I called in at the English Butcher at Vamos and came back laden with cumberland sausage, rump steak, brisket and gammon, so tonight it is steak and chips for dinner.

I also wrote a little poem for the kids, hope you like it:


Shush - Hear it? - Reindeer bells,
Santa’s in the air,
He’s travelling from his magic land
The other side of where,
If you look you’ll see his sleigh-lights,
There – See – Among the stars,
His house is several days away
The other side of mars,
You’ve got to look quite carefully
Deep into the night, for
He has to travel very fast
I’d say the speed of light,
See – there – a glowing vapor-trail,
Oh he’s moving very well,
He’ll be here very, very soon,
You’ll hear his jingling bells,
Look at the bright star near the moon,
That’s where he pulls the reigns,
And takes the highway down to earth,
With all his toys and games,
Shush – hear it – reindeer bells,
He’s somewhere in the sky,
We’d best get home as fast we can,
To make him a mince pie,
It won’t be long before he’s down,
We haven’t got much time,
Make sure you leave a tot of rum
Some brandy or some wine,
Then while you sleep he’ll creep inside
Your house, all fat and red,
And leave a heap of Christmas gifts
Right there beside your bed,
So watch for Santa in the sky,
A red man on a sleigh,
He’s up there now, approaching fast,
And jingling all the way

Enjoy your run up to Christmas, it really is a magical time.
Love and Best Wishes,
Jane x

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The circumstance made me laugh, but it is no laughing matter for village life. Is the cafeneo dying? Are village people happier in the comfort of their own homes, watching their own TV, warming themselves on their own fire, being able to go to their own loo (which I am sure has a toilet seat), being able to smoke if they so wish, and, saving money into the bargain.

Personally I miss the hub-bub of the cafeneo, cretan music playing and a film showing on TV at the same time, political arguements, tasty mezes, the priest always at a table, a haze of smoke, a working man's refuge, the odd tart encouraging a good twizzle of the cumboloy. How times change!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Now I grant you, this house is very small. But it does have road access both front and back, and would make an ideal first home for a young person wishing to live an independent life. Equally well, it would make an ideal holiday home.
It is fully equipped inside with a fitted living/kitchen downstairs and a bedroom and tiled bathroom upstairs. It is furnished and includes two televisions and a radio/cassette player. There is a double bed. So, the house is ready for occupation. The first floor balcony has a view of the Lassithioti mountains.
Let me explain that the house in question is the one with the pink surround. The house next door however is also for sale.
I am not acting as an Estate Agent, I am simply informing you of the availability of this property. Please ask any one of the Agents if you are interested.

This house is situated on the main through road and parking is available nearby.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The following information has been handed to me by Mr Manolis Petasis of Ierapetra, who has been put in charge of organising Greek Language lessons for all foreigners living in this area. That includes, Makrialos, Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos, Sissi, Vrahassi and Milatos. If you would like to join the programme, you must obtain an application form either from Maurice, at INCO or from Manolis, his telephone number is below. Please read this information before you decide whether or not you would like to begin classes. If you have any further questions, you can also ring me: Jane 6945 872472

General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning - Ministry of National Education Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs- has planned the educational program “Education of Immigrants in the Greek language, history and culture-ODYSSEUS”. The program is been operated by the Institute for Continuing Adult Education.
The program “Education of immigrants in the Greek language, history and culture-ODYSSEUS’’ is referred to all immigrants, the European Union citizens and subjects of third countries independent of their origin. To people over the age of 16, without discriminations according to equal treatment and according to the equality of access participation in lifelong learning. The educational program emphasizes at the teaching of the Greek language as a second as well as the teaching of the greek history and culture. This will help the trainees to acquire linguistic and practical social skills as well as intercultural abilities necessary for their active social integration and the improvement of their family background.
This educational program has two levels, A1 (125 hours) and A2 (175 hours) More specifically:
A1 Level (Introductory level): this is a basic course comprised of lessons of the Greek language, History and Culture and everyday life practices. The trainees acquire linguistic skills and practical social skills in order to correspond to communicational situations of everyday life and to become familiar with social environment history and culture of the country.
A2 Level: the course comprises of two units: Greek language lessons (150 hours) and history and culture (25 hours). After having attended a course of A2 Level, trainees have the opportunity to take exams of the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning in order to attain the status of long – term abiding in Greece according to the Greek legislation.
Candidates are classified to A1 or A2 Level after having completed a classification test. At the end of A1 or/and A2 Level vigorous assessment processes are put in place in order to evaluate learners’ abilities.
Certificate of Lifelong Training is granted upon successfully completion in both levels.
These courses are given free of cost in order to reassure access participation of target-groups in lifelong learning. Moreover, every trainee takes educational material (in printed and electronic form) in order to reinforce his / her skills and abilities.
Each group has 15-20 trainees. Groups take place in morning or afternoon hours according to the choice of the trainees. Lessons last 3 hours and take place 3 or 4 days per week.
Courses start every first fortnight from September to April every educational year.
Information: 6947206661 – email


Meet Yanni and Alexandra Souladaki who are very prominent politicians of the PASOK party (this is equivelent to English Labour Party). I met them both yesterday and immediatedly warmed to them. They are very professional. Alexandra Souladaki is hoping for a place on the new Council of Agio Nikolaos, representing Vrahassi - I wish her well. Of course I must say I was swayed a little when I found out that Alexandra lists poetry as one of her creative pastimes.

Voting took place in the Doctor's surgery above Plateia cafeneion, for the local election, and in the Council offices for the Government election.
Vrahassi was extremely busy all day. I was told today that it was 4.30 a.m. before all the votes had been counted. As far as I can understand (and I may have got it wrong) but I think Michaelis Petselakis and George Fthanakis (Taxi Driver) were elected. There seems to be some confusion about whether or not Alexandra Souladakis has made it and there may be a re-count or a re-vote on that one. I will try to find out more later.
Meanwhile will you please read my next post concerning FREE GREEK LESSONS.
Thanks, Jane x

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Take a look at this link if you are looking for a piece of the action in Vrahassi. This property is going to make a brilliant pad for someone. Renovate it yourself, or get a quote for someone to do the work. Buy now because when the recession is over house prices will rise again.

What with the new solar powered street lights in the square, and our newly paved streets and mended roads, Vrahassi is on the up at last. And, it is only 10 minutes to the sea at Sissi. I love Vrahassi!

Jane x

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I am very sad to have just heard the news that Abe (of Abe and Elaine) two people from Ireland who have lived in Vrahassi for quite a few years now, is seriously ill in Venezelo hospital. Elain has asked me to send this message, to ask anyone who possible can to give blood. The process is very simple, just turn up at the hospital and say that you want to give blood for Mr Albert Glenholme.
I am sorry to have to give you this news, but Abe has Leukiemia (excuse my spelling). He is very ill. Elaine is with him.

That is all the news I have at the moment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010




According to the new law of Kallikratis, Vrahassi/Sissi/Milatos will belong to the new Town Hall of Agios Nikolaos as from 1st January 2011. The Mayor of this council will be Dimitris Kounenakis. Representatives for the Vrahassi area will be voted in at the elections which are to take place on November 7 2010.

The candidates for the central town council are as follows:
1. Alexandra Souladaki - Assistant architect
2. George Datseris - Doctor
3. George Neratzakis - D.E.I. staff

The candidates for the local council of Vrahassi/Sissi/Milatos are:
1. Michalis Petsalakis - Seaman/Farmer
2. George Fthenakis - Taxi driver/owner
3. Maria Lebidaki - Owner of 'Traditional House' museum
4. Daterina Androulaki - Taverna owner, Milatos

So, out with the old and in with the new. I look forward to seeing you all on voting day. I know who I shall be voting for, do you?

(I was very kindly handed this information for my blog by Michalis Petsalakis, who also included a very kind note, directed at ex-pats, which read: 'We consider you equall members of our society and we hope with your vote and assistance to win a better future for our area.')

Jane x