ΜΑϊΟΣ - May 2006

The last week in April was quite cool and dull with some sunshine. The first day of May continued in the same vein with rain.

Tuesday, 2nd May - Son Ian, Jan and Sophie were into the second week of their holiday. They came to visit us in Provarma again. The weather had improved so we had coffee on the balcony in sunshine. We then walked up through the village.  Some of the gardens are really lovely with all the flowers in bloom. We went to Kalives for lunch at a taverna by the sea. We had a stroll around to the harbour and then a visit to Aptera before returning to Provarma for tea on the front terrace.

The next day was mostly rainy so I did some cooking.

Thursday, 4th May - we went over to the holiday villa for a couple of days to stay with Ian, Jan and Sophie. We had an enjoyable lunch and then visited Arkardi monastery. Unfortunately, the weather was cool and dull but we enjoyed the outing.

Friday, 5th May -
the weather was again cool and dull only 15C! but we enjoyed a walk around Rethymnon and the fort. We had a lovely lunch at a fish taverna in the harbour just on the waterside. The sun came out at last.

Saturday, 6th -
the weather was again cool and dull when three weeks previously the temperature had been around 23C. Alan and Margaret had very kindly invited us all to a barbeque at their house at lunch time.  As we approached Georgioupolis it started to rain! However, Alan was able to cook the meat outside (only 13.5C) and Margaret prepared the rest of the delicious spread inside. We had to eat in the house but it was very enjoyable.  The weather brightened later in the day and it was sunny when we returned to Provarma.

On Sunday we enjoyed our favourite walk by the river outside Stilos.

Monday, 8th May - we returned to Ian's villa for the day. He cooked us a delicious lunch. We were able to sit outside that day in the lovely grounds as the weather had improved. Ian even had a 'dip' in the pool although Sophie decided against it!

We sadly had to say our 'goodbyes' as they were returning to the UK the next day. It was wonderful to spend some time with them and although the weather could have been a lot better we hope they will return to Crete soon.

The next few days were warm and sunny - 24C. Roy's back is still causing problems so he has to have a C/T scan in Chania.

Thursday, 11th May - a lovely day, warm and sunny 24C. Roy attended the clinic in Chania for the scan. We then strolled down to the harbour and enjoyed a leisurely lunch by the water's edge. We went to the exhibition to see the Minoan boat which had been built in the traditional way and sailed over to Athens for the Olympics in 2004. Later in the afternoon, as we walked back to the car, we passed numerous cafes by the harbour side where dozens of young Greek people were enjoying their frappes and games of tavoli.

While in Chania Alan 'phoned to ask if we would like to go to Akrotiri that evening to do some birdwatching. We had a lovely evening and saw lots of birds and a wonderful sunset.

Friday, 12th May -
day started cloudy but warm. Later the sun came out - 23C. Roy had arranged a meeting of the wildlife group at Agia reservoir at 4.30 pm. By that time the weather was glorious and a small group spent an enjoyable time birdwatching in this lovely setting. Four of us rounded the afternoon off with a coffee in the Lake taverna with wonderful views over the lake. We returned home at 8.15pm.

Saturday, 13th May -
warm and sunny again. As we went along the road to Kalives we passed Chris and Margaret (on holiday from the UK) coming to visit us. We said we would see them in Kalives. Unfortunately, we somehow missed them.

The next day we had arranged to collect some photos of 'bee-eaters' from Mike and Angela at Almiritha around noon. It was warm and sunny 23C.  We sat by the pool and had a chat and drinks. We then enjoyed a delicious lunch. We also had a tour of their lovely home - and then an 'elinikos' - Greek coffee before we left. Mike's photos can be seen on Roy's bird checklist. On the way back home we called in on Chris and Margaret at Vamos.

Monday, 15th May -we did some shopping in Kalives and arranged to meet Chris and Margaret that evening for a meal, to catch up on all the news. We had a very pleasant evening, by the sea, in a Kalives' taverna: sausages, fried aubergines and courgettes, giant beans, rabbit, kalamari, souvlaki plus red and white wine.  Delicious.

Yiannis, our landlord, is now picking oranges for juice - just outside Stilos. He drew a map of where the orange grove was and invited us to go and pick some for ourselves.  We did this the next day and he had even put a sign on the gate to make sure we found it!

Roy's scan has unfortunately shown damage to three discs - two quite bad and one very bad. He has to mainly rest for 2 weeks while on medication and then see what happens - all very uncertain at present. It this weather continues I hope to be swimming most days and Roy will join me when he improves. We will not be exploring further a field for a while but, fingers crossed, this will only be temporary.

The National Road is picturesque, in parts, where it is lined with pink and white oleander and yellow broom. Patches of oleander are scattered throughout the countryside and in village gardens. The gardens are looking really good with such a wonderful variety of flowers and the perfume of the jasmine is almost over powering. The cactus on the front terrace had a beautiful flower for just one day. The grape vine by the side of our house is rampant and laden with the huge bunches of grapes

Colour on the National Road Provarma Courtyard Shrine outside our house

Provarma Garden One day flower of cactus Grapes on the vine

Saturday, 20th May - Patti and John joined us for an enjoyable dinner at Provarma, before their return to the UK, and we were able to sit outside until late evening.

Sunday, 21st May - we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Alan and Margaret's home and then we were taken on a drive to a road high above Vrysses where we had not been before. We discovered a very quite taverna in a small village where an amphitheatre is being built. We sat in the shade of the trees for a cool drink. It was too hot to walk far - 33C. Another very enjoyable day.

Monday, 22nd May - the temperature was 37C in the shade (July/August) weather in May! The water in the cold tap was hot enough to wash up

The next few days were very warm - we enjoyed a swim at Kalives. When I 'phoned England my sister had the central heating on and was having soup for lunch!

Friday, 26th May- we called in on Tilly at Vamos for a drink and a chat - very entertaining as usual.  We then visited an exhibition of Alan Tazzyman watercolours in Vamos. The paintings really capture the essence of the local area.

Our courgette plants, which we planted around 20th April, produced the first courgette on 29th May. We will soon be giving them away.  We also have beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines on the way. Plants grow at an amazing speed here - although you have to water them almost daily.

The temperature now is a pleasant 28C but we know it will be getting much hotter! We have enjoyed several dips in the sea at Kalives - lovely.

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