Tue 6 Sep - Well, the August rush is over and so it seems is the Summer weather with storms, rain and cold winds over the past few days. Last nights' lightning strikes exploded power poles and left the island without electricity on and off throughout the night, the island from Aetos northwards, Vathy always has power and always has the phone lines. Today in the north, some phones work, others don't. Otenet won't connect to the internet, but ACN does, mind you, at a very slow 19 bits. for those on the island who haven't invested in a UPS, will be sad souls after appliances and other electrical things were struck by the massive bolts of lightning that hit Ithaki last night, to be left worthless.
Good news for the tour groups and holiday renters. Rooms are fully booked with the English again. The Italians and Greeks have gone back to work and it's left to the Brits to fill the island with joy. Businesses around the island are tallying up their profits and comparing them to last year. Many complain their profits are down, but not due to a lack of tourism on the island, which there was certainly no lack of this year, but to the increasing prices of food etc. and increased wages of staff, the costs of which, slim down the profit margins quite considerably in the restaurant trade especially. Looks like prices will be going up.
With 2 fires over the past month, it surprises me that people, locals and tourists are still flicking their lit cig butts from car windows. If I see it happening around me, I will personally chase the culprits down and ....
So, it's the end of another Ithacan summer. We had weddings and funerals, baptisms and summer festivals crammed into the short season of Ithaki. Happy times, sad times, exciting times and little time, but never dull times. New friends made, old friends reunited, colour and passion, beach and sun lovers crowded into small bays and now it's over and done for another year. Many locals, although exhausted, have a period of reorientation after this time of the year. It's a sad time for many before the autumn routine sets in and settles the community into hybernation for the winter. Don't despair however, while the sun stilll shines and there are still tourists coming to the island, Summer Lodown will continue at least until the end of September and then, in October, Winter on Ithaca will take you through until May next year.
Wed 7 Sep - Now, are the phones working yet so I can load the pages up online???? Yes they are. There was nothing wrong with the phones to begin with. The storms blew up my modem. Apologies for the bad thoughts I had about Ote and thanks to Rien Post from Lefki Cam for coming to my rescue with a modem I can borrow until I buy a new one. No more Win dependent modems, just a good old dependable hardware Modem. Anyone have one for sale?
Fri 9 Sep - Yes, real signs of Autumn now. The days are getting noticeably shorter and the mornings have a crisp freshness to them that's indicative of this season. September, so far, has been humid and temperamental, which is just how Lahos local Nikos Vlassopoulos, said it would be for this month. In his 89 years he has had enough experience to be confident in saying that - whatever the weather around the full moon, will be the pattern of weather for the entire moon cycle. His prediction for the month of September is that there will be as many cloudy and rainy periods as there are sunny periods, with the storms that started the month returning throughout to make this month unpredictable in terms of just how the days will end up. So far, Nikos has been right. Days start off brilliantly and change without warning, or start off overcast and threatening rain, suddenly clearing to warm and humid afternoons with nothing but blue skies to the horizon.
Other news is that Xanthi Douglas, wife of Nikos (Elvis) of The Gods Gift shop in Frikes, formerly the Scooter Rental Office, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Wednesday 7th September in Patras. The babys' arrival is 20 days early and has thrilled them and their families. Xanthi is particularly grateful for an early arrival having been pregant and working through the Summer in Frikes. Everyone in the north is trying to imagine Niko pushing his son around in the pram through the main street of Frikes... What is not difficult to imagine is the smile that will be beaming ear to ear on his return to Ithaca, as a proud first time father. Congratulations to Xanthi and Niko.