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Aphrodite Blog
27 April I arrived at the villa after a comfortable flight from Bristol. Was met at the airport by my brother, and 2 cousins. The villa grounds were so clean and tidy after all these months of hard work,  Lots of flowers in the garden including Arum Lillie's which were planted in pots by my dear mum years ago. A few oranges and tangerines remain on the trees(were ready in December) Lots of roses by the pool. On Sunday I unpacked my clothes and sorted out the gifts for friends and relatives. On Monday 29th, my brother and myself drove the Car to the Customs in Heraklion to do the necessary paper work be able to drive it..   It took us all day to sort out the paper work, insurance, and tax for 6 months.   Armed with all the permissions we drove back for a meal at 4 PM ! Tuesday we started on the pool.   It needs 2 days to empty, clean, fill, and start up.   We encountered a few problems as the sand that filters the water was rock hard with water deposits and my brother and 1 other man worked 2 days all by hand with a chisel and hammer in a confined space inside a drum to break up the old sand and dispose of it.   Then we used 10 bags of special Italian sand to replace it, and we were never so happy to hear the sound of the Motor at the end of this ordeal. Thursday I went out to village 5 kilometres up the road to help my cousin Eleni bake all the Easter goodies(cheese pies, Easter biscuits, special bread etc.   We used lots of organic (own )eggs and 7 kilos of flour.   We were cooking the whole day.   All turned out a lovely colour, and perfection.   I was so pleased to be able to help her as I did not know how to do this. I was given several baked items for my help. Each evening during this week I was doing work inside the villa, Then by Friday evening all was gleaming,   Replaced a shower head in the down stairs, and the mixer taps in the kitchen. The weather has been fantastic, and at long last my sore throat has gone. We all went to Church a couple of times for the evening services, and on Friday night the service finished at 12 MN   We then went straight to a relatives house for a feast. Sunday 5th April, Sunday lunch time I was invited again at my cousins' house for a lamb dinner (local organic done on the barbecue, accompanied by salads, cheeses, fresh bread, lovely wine, fresh fruit.   We were 7 adults laughing and joking to MN again. Monday we all took cookies to the cemetery where they were blessed and then put in boxes to be given to poor families. Tuesday today I drove to a village on a hill opposite the villa called Myrtia to visit relatives and to take some gifts I brought over from the UK.   All were happy to see each other again this year.   When I left after supper they also gave me their gifts, normally food. If I continue to eat like this for 6 months I will need to purchase 2 seats on the way back Wish you were here but .....
Saturday 1st June 2013 There has been a lot of activity of late again as the maintenance of the villa, the cleaning and the gardens require your attention constantly.   It is also difficult with the guests here, and one has to be extremely quick to get it all done when there are a few gaps. we have changed the awning in the North Veranda as the other one was white and was showing a few marks of mildew from the last winter.   My brother and I tried to do the change over but we had to call help in the end as it was not as simple as it looked.   A lovely Ukrainian family whom I met last year helped us and then we all had an evening meal with plenty of beers and local wine for me to wash it all down with.  They brought me as a gift a rabbit (prepared) for stew, sorry vegetarians !   Fresh eggs, and a bottle of wine.   I also gave them some English gifts I brought down for them The Master bedroom appeared to have a hairline crack on the plaster inside and was not painted well last time so we did this room again, took us 3 days.   Now it really looks good.   The only thing is we had to have the widows cleaned again! The red lilies have now finished, but my rose beds are at their best.  Wish you could see them. The pool is being enjoyed by the guests and we get lots of compliments on the colour of the water. My brother and another worker spent 5 days fixing automatic irrigation on the vines at the front of the villa.   We have used it a few times and it is working to perfection.   My brother will not stand in the sun all day long this year watering by hand.   The vines have grown so much in 1 season.  All the grapes have to be untangled by hand and tied down as if this is not done they will grow to full size tangled up and they will be misshaped, stained and unable to cut whole. our chickens lay 25-30 eggs a day so we have a job to give them away as most people have their own.   I wish I has some in the UK when there. The gentleman in the neighbouring field has planted 500 tomato plants and I do not think I will buy any when they start to ripen.   I offer them coffees when the work, and they appreciate it I guess. I will finish my major jobs once I service my car on Tuesday. The little cat still sleeps with me every night, and follows me about like a little lamb.   I feed and water a few cats, and dogs in the nearest village. We started watering everything big time now.