An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Intimations of Winter?

I really do think that winter has started early here. Ever since Aunty Pingu left, well since Peter and Lotti left really, we have had rain regularly and the temperatures have fallen with an alarming regularity - we switched to the autumn weight duvet at the week-end. Lat night the temperatures got down to about 57� F. This time last year we were basking in the high 70�s and it was dry. After a long dry summer it looks as though we might be in for a long and wet winter with nothing much resembling autumn at all. Let's hope that it isn't a repeat of the 2002 winter (our first in Crete) which was the wettest that anyone could recall - the pumping station at the lake was under water for great stretches during that winter and life here was tough.

As it stands the weather is not stopping us from doing very much but if the rain continues then the fields will become unworkable in fairly short order and we don't really need that just yet - the French harvest is still in the fields and Babbis isn't expected back from Denmark until the end of October!

We spent the morning in Reth and when we came back Eddie and Ceddie seized upon the stove pipe extension that we had brought with us with undisguised alacrity. The idea is to extend the pipe downward a metre or so to facilitate sweeping and general maintenance. Sadly though, the current pipe is so badly fitted that even the "Farmboy twins" couldn't get the extension pipe attached (hammers, mallets, angle grinders and copious helpings of brute strength and ignorance notwithstanding). The angles are so arranged that the extension needs to angle backwards toward the exterior wall such that the end would be several centimetres inside the wall if the pipes (new and old are to align) - at the top of a 4 metre ladder and at full human extension this is hazardous work - and even then it's impossible! However, in their travails they did clear the stove pipe of birds' nests and sweep the flue! As to the rest it will require some seriously lateral thinking! The straightforward answer would be to reerect the flue from scratch but without some very sophisticated scaffolding that isn't on before spring. Therefore, it isn't on this year.

On a brighter, more optimistic note we did bring back a beautiful white climbing rose that G has planned into the front garden. The downside is that the woman who helped us load it into the car ripped the headlining in her haste. She was mortified and we were fairly cheesed off but what's done is done and there's no point crying over spilt milk and such and so forth .... Let's hope the rose is worth it.

The new drive gate that the boys put up looks fairly spiffy - 5 metres by 1.2 it's a statement of our intent. Luckily we don't need to open it until olives - it takes two people to shift it. Eddie is talking about putting it on runner but as he cannot draw we will have to wait and see what he can accomplish. It sounds as though it might work! The boy is by no means stupid.

We had some interesting feedback on the stink (yesterday's blog) with suggestions as varied as double incontinence and "sheep's heid broth" so it would seem as though some smells do imprint themselves fairly indelibly on the memory mechanism.

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