Sunday, 23 July 2017

Evesham River Festival

I know Nigel has, at times, hankered for the days of the village carnival and the floats that used to pass by Castle Greysquirrel each year …… but yesterday Evesham came up trumps and I have the feeling that we may never hear the melancholy sighs for those particular occasions again ………..
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……. because in the afternoon we all decided to amble up to the Evesham River Festival ….. let’s just say …..it was emotional. 
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Nigel had mentioned while Darrell and I were getting over our jet lag that there seemed to be more water bound traffic than usual passing by The Towers in a town type direction, and this was obviously the reason.
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When we got into town it was thronging with people wielding, Darrell noted, what must have been de rigueur for the occasion, very large picnic baskets…….
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…… and then all down the river boats and barges were decorated like carnival floats, just like in the homeland, but on water, I thought Nigel was going to burst ……
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……. and on board all the nautical type people were entertaining their family and friends very acceptable looking teas and suppers, it was all so English …..we felt proud, no one does bunting like we do!
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All the flats on the opposite side of the river had gazebos and parties along the towpath and in the riverside communal gardens …….
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……. to be honest, when we saw this we were a little jealous, if we were just a little nearer town we might have been able to the same.
IMG_3671There were stalls, live music, a dog show and a duck race amongst other things……… and, where we were very sadly lacking, aforementioned picnic baskets and blankets in every direction, with everyone vying for the best position, because there was more to come …….
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……. because, as the balmy Evesham night drew in, all the boats lit up, and by then Nigel really did need to be calmed down, just hoooooooooooooow romantic is that?
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……. and that’s not all …… because, at half past ten there was a humungous firework display and it has to be said, that by this stage our old village carnival had been totally eclipsed  for Nigel!!!
This year we were absolute novices, mere observers for the first time, next year we will be prepared, perhaps Nigel wanting to get a boat by then is a touch ambitious, but we will definitely be there with our plaid blanket,  a Gordon Blue cordon bleu picnic basket and Darrell has promised special River Festival Cocktails to sip thorough out the proceedings …….. what are we like?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A Promise Of Fruitfulness

Before we went away, I had checked on the blackberry situation and it looked very promising, but on our return Nigel decided to check too ……..
IMG_3699…… nothing disappointed!  Give it just a week and I think we will be able to pick our very first punnet of said blackberries of 2017, and from the looks of it, there will be even more than last year, when we were found sadly unprepared.
IMG_3705And, as an extra bonus, last year, for some reason, we totally missed the plum trees at the bottom of the bank in front of The Towers ……..
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…….. let’s just say they are laden, with the promise of a freezer full of plum and blackberry crumbles in the bag, nom nom nom.  They are a bit high up, so we aren’t completely sure how we will actually capture them, we may have to find a very long stick, do a bit of serious brandishing and then watch where said fruit falls to forage …….. but where there is a will, there is a way.
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We also have yellow plums in abundance too ……. Darrell is currently looking for plum jam recipes on the internet, as we are not sure how difficult it is to make, but even one jar would be a momentous achievement and occasion, and we would be so proud!
IMG_3712One thing’s for certain, scurvy will be a total stranger to The Towers this summer ……. and our five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten a day regime assured, we are truly blessed in a cornucopian type way!!!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Peace Of Mind

Darrell and I still seem to be suffering from an unduly vigorous and debilitating bout of jet lag, we have always succumbed to a certain degree after all our Greek Odysseys, but never this bad.
IMG_3804Some cynical readers might point the finger at the last round of cocktails we enjoyed in Arillas before our mini bus picked us up, but as seasoned cocktail aficionados, I think that it is very, very doubtful!!!
IMG_3803However, Nigel has been bright eyed and bushy tailed and as such a most attentive “nursemaid” ………….
IMG_3802…….. he’s a pretty good pillow plumper and his frequent cups of hot sweet tea, accompanied by the odd  hob nob or two, or three have been almost degenerative  regenerative in their powers!
IMG_3436But, he had been a bit worried about his beloved swans, so domestic duties performed, he nipped down to the weir to see if he could spot them, sadly they weren’t around, but the good news, he bumped into his friend The Swan Lady and she said mum, dad and the remaining two babies were all still doing well.
IMG_3437The Canada Geese were very pleased to see Nigel though, it was most probably something to do with the big bag of swan and duck food Jan The Fan had sent him that he was carrying, but nevertheless it was a warm welcome.  All is well along the riverbank, so relief all round for Nigel.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Back On Hallowed Ground

We arrived back at The Towers in the very early hours of the morning, to be honest all Darrell and I wanted was our beds, Nigel was a little more chipper. Because Greece is a whole two hours in front of us, we know we must expect to endure the rigours of full blown jet lag, so we will remain in bed for the rest of today and perhaps tomorrow, until our body clocks readjust to UK time.
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Our journey back was pretty uneventful, but while Darrell and I preferred to just don our eye masks, ear plugs, flight socks, inflatable neck supports, sip water and get it done with,  Nigel was determined to embrace every last second, from the mini bus to the airport and beyond …….
IMG_3410……. but making sure that his Twix Xtra, (the last thing he bought at The Arillas Supermart before we were picked up), got through all the security checks etc.  On our outward flight he couldn’t get over, I don’t think he ever will,  being charged £2.80 for a normal size Twix from the trolley, I thought he was going to pass out.  He vowed that it would never, ever, ever happen again, and if he wanted an air bound snack, he would always buy one well in advance at the proper price in future. £2.80 for a Twix?????? Poor Nigel!
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And while the Head Steward bought Darrell and I blankets and hot chocolate, Nigel stayed awake ….. looking down at the twinkling lights thousands of miles below us ………
IMG_3412……… and making bets with himself as to which passenger would be the first one to stand up and open their overhead locker the second we landed, necessitating an announcement to stay seated by the aforementioned Head Steward!  What is he like ……… but very tired now!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Our Last Night Toast To Corfu.

As is our usual last night holiday tradition we took a bottle of Prosecco and some glasses down to the deserted beach  ……….
IMG_3220…… at around sunset, in our humble opinion, the most romantic time of day in Arrilas ……
IMG_3221……. to bid a fond farewell ………
IMG_3224 ……. share a few memories of another happy holiday ……..
IMG_3229……. and make a wish, as we watched the gentle waves lap the shore that we will return to the crystal clear waters of our beloved Greek Islands again in 2018 and beyond …….
IMG_3164Nigel spotted a tiny lizard on our hotel wall as we came in from the beach for the last time and swore that it was a spooky Derek Acorah type omen that Greece would once more welcome us with open arms again ….. within the year ……
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However, I do hope that someone, namely Nigel, will learn how to spell Odyssey properly before that said return ……..
IMG_3377What is he like?
IMG_3231Greek Oddities just wouldn’t be the same without him!!!!!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Darrell’s Holey Stone

For as long as I can remember Darrell has always tried to find and bring home a holey stone (a natural hole, not made by the hand of man) from our many holidays as a sort of lucky talisman ….
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…… but this year things didn’t look at all hopeful ……
IMG_2993……. our beach just didn’t seem to be the sort of beach that yielded up holey stones willingly ……
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…… although it did yield one or two sticks that looked like snakes!
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Anyway, last thing yesterday afternoon, Darrell decided to have one last look ……
IMG_3290…… before admitting defeat, not something he does very easily.
IMG_3291……. and then, all of a sudden after ten minutes or so, there it was, how he ever spotted it I will never know.
IMG_3293But it was a clear sign, a sign that we have all grown to understand, that someone special is watching over us, and it is their way of letting us know ……. if Darrell had found it easily, well it wouldn’t count, it’s been like that for the past few years ……. if you believe in such things. 
IMG_3296The hole was tiny ……..
IMG_3297…… but its significance was massive to Darrell, as well as to Nigel and me.