Have some fun on Ithaca island in the winter that's more like summer. 2007
Winter on Ithaca 2006 - 2007
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Thu 1 Feb - Left - Vathy Bay. Below - View from Anoghi
Lazareto islet in Vathy has some new inhabitants...peacocks. Seems the peacocks from a private home in Ag. Ioannis, have had a busy time of late, (alot of breeding goin' on), so some of the peacocks have been relocated to Lazareto.
Fri 2 Feb - Yesterday afternoon at 5pm at the Kapi in Vathy, was the first official meeting of the newly elected Council. The meeting started with a question by Mr. Taflambas on the surfacing of the road in Kioni that leads toward the windmills, a project already approved by the previous Council, but seen as not being honored by the new Council.
'The road to nowhere' 'The road to success' 'The yellow brick road' The road paved with gold'
The objection was that the concrete previously destined for this road, was used elsewhere. It seemed everyone on the bench was tightly wound and thus this question turned into the first of many passionate debates of the evening.

The Mayor, Mr. Vasilopoulos, advised the subject, he was not altogether up to date with, would be looked into. Other items on the agenda was rubbish disposal and the water supply, its problems, its costs and more importantly its safety. The Council voted on an increase of 5% on the water and rubbish collection respectively, funds collected via the electricity bill each term. The Council also promised frequent checks on the quality of the water, to be published on the notice boards around the island, several times per year. A positive and important step toward the welfare of the community. The subject of efficient working of the desalinization plants, namely the Polis plant, which is currently out of working order, and piping water to the villages and homes that are currently not connected to the supply was also tackled to be resolved during the course of the term of Council.

Council meetings aren't great fun, but they're not as bad as going to the dentist.
I was struck, that with the passion for politics on the island, that the seats were empty. It would have been comforting to see the representatives of the villages there to represent their community, even though they are not obligated to attend, but only a handful of interested locals turned up. After my first meeting from start to finish, I can understand why people stay away in droves, it's not Fame Story, I too was ready to nod off inbetween the descents from Mr. Daouzis, Mr. Sklyros and Mr. Taflambas, and the passionate debates that ensued, but even during the boring bits, it is worthwhile and important knowing what is proposed for the island for those of us either born here or living here by choice.
Council meetings are video taped and played on the local Ithaki TV station, for which unfortunately, there is poor to no reception in the north of the island. For the first official meeting before the cameras, the Council, unaccustomed to the necessity of sound, had a few comic mic problems, turning them on when speaking and off when silent for example was an alien concept. Councilman Mr. Livanis luckily had council woman, and now experienced sound woman, Christina Kostiri, turning his mic on and off each time the camera man waved his arms around. The camera man was flapping so hard and so fast he could have sold tickets and we could all have flown to Germany to collect 'The German' who can fix the Polis Desalinization Plant, eat black forest cake and still get back in time for the 11pm news.
As Ithaki TV does not reach the villages, it may be a good idea, as suggested by the New Council, to take the meetings to the villages. The village for each next meeting to be held however, must be voted on in the previous meeting. If I understood correctly, the next meeting will be held in Anoghi. It was also suggested by Mr. Livanis that it may be time for a computer accounting program so the Council can keep track of the credits and debits more easily. The accounting used to date is that of the 'Ledger'... Quaint.
For more general news on Ithaca, there isn't much to tell. It's quiet and the days are uneventful. The weather is still very mild with more blue skies than in August 2005.
Thu 8 Feb - Right - Holly Go Lightly at Planet Club in Athens.
Ithaki is reported to want to progress with the times, so maybe the first step in that direction is the right time. Left - Municipal Building clock stands still, showing the same time every minute, every hour, every day since...God, can't remember when. If it's 3pm, it's siesta time.
Alterground Music Promotions imported Holly from the UK to play in the heart of Athens. Yep, ithacagreece has been in Athens for the past 4 days. Traditionally this time of year few people from Ithaki travel due to the usually bad weather conditions, but with the Summer in Winter we've had, many locals took the opportunity to trip off here and there. Below Left - Athens on Monday from the cafe on top of the Notos Gallery building. Below Right - Patras in the rain on Wednesday from the Kefalonia ferry headed back to Ithaki.
If you want information on gigs happening in Athens you can email Spilio at info@alterground.gr Alterground brings alternative bands and artists from all over the world to Athens.
Thu 8 Feb cont - Hot off the presses is Grill Thursday, it's online before my chicken souvlaki has even been digested. It's another pre-Easter get together where people all over the island grill meat and party. This year it coincided with the opening of Piccolo Bar and Eatery in Vathy, previously Chez Manu. Nektarios Grivas (below left) will be running this establishment over the next 5 years, at least that's how long the lease on the restaurant runs, with help from Dimitris Danis and Nektarios' sister Erifili, previously known face of Odysseas Cafe in Vathy.
For the Piccolo opening, Nektarios treated his guests to a free feast to which there was no opposition. The food was tasty and the atmosphere was warm and happy. Couldn't ask for more on a rainy and wintery day.
If you're on the island, you may like to go to the Football Club dance tonight at the Cultural center in Vathy. A pre-carnival whoopy doo to raise $s.
The Kefalonia ferry is back in service after it's annual service. Thankfully it's goodbye to the oil smelling Eptanisa ferry for another year.
Suprise! Surprise! The Municipal building clock strikes the correct time once again. Ithaca is back in the present, at least in the tick tock stakes.
Looks like Ithakis Indian Summer has gone arctic. We too now, have winter like the rest of Europe. It's kind of nice hearing the rain bouncing off the roof tiles and onto the terrace tiles, looking out and seeing nothing but grey skies and rain clouds rolling over the mountain sides. Rug up, cuddle up and warm up are winter niceties. Put another log on that fire Yiorgo.
You may want to put this next date into your social diary. 17th Feb is the Community Theatre Group Dance at the Mentor Hotel in Vathy. The theatre group is made up of Ithakis best party animals (and of course excellent actors/actresses) so it's sure to be great fun! ithacagreece.com has missed this fabulous event each year, but this year is determined to get there, so there'll be plenty of pics. Don't forget to check the Events Calendar for all the things happening over the year.
Sat 10 Feb - Above Left - Exoghi disappears behind low lying rain clouds. Above Right - The horizon across to the mainland, closes in on Ithaki. It's been raining for days and everyone seems to be enjoying it. 9 months of Summer is even too much for the summer-loving Ithacans. Cisterns all over have been filling up, the ground is moist and Ithaki is finally greening up again.
Pre-Carnival time gets the blood pumping on the island. Lots of things to do, places to go and alcohol to drink with dances around the island for which the locals dress up in their Carnival and outrageous best. There's not just fun for the adults, but for the kiddies too with Sundays' Childrens Carnival in Stavros at 15.00 at the Square in front of the church.
On Wednesday 14th Feb, The Serbian Dance Group, Bolero puts on a dance performance at the Cultural Center in Vathy that will take your breath away with Latin rhythms and Flamenco.
Thursday 15th at the Cultural Center in Vathy, it's fun for all the kids of the island with the Childrens Dance. Starts 16.30
Also on Thursday 15th Feb, Mylos Creperie in Vathy gathers the colourful for a pre-carnival dance party. It's usually alot of fun and attracts the more outrageous of the island. I'll be there.
Another great dance party will be the Ithacan Theatre Group Dance Party to be held at the Mentor Hotel in Vathy. You know how actors like to party, will have to be careful where I aim my camera...or not.
Sunday the 18th is the big one. It's Vathy Carnival Day. There are activities from midday into the early hours.
On Monday the 19th Feb is one of my personal favourite events of the year. Clean Mondays' Kite Flying and picnic at Anoghi. It starts about 10am and is usually a really wonderful day for all the family.
Left - The Council has put out this pamphlet of activities, but for those of you who can't read Greek, keep your eyes on ithacagreece.com for most of what's happening around the island. I would have been able to put events up sooner, but I found this pamphlet on the ground today, not in my mailbox last week.
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