On a clear day you can see for miles and miles . . . . .! ! Or so the song goes. Actually, most of the time, our so called (by the estate agent) marvelous view of Samos is shrouded in mist. It’s funny really as Hilda keeps trying to convince Stan, but that day you really could see for miles. But apart from the mist it really does feel like spring now. Our resident kaplumbagalar (tortoises) – Doris and Fred, imagination not being Stan’s strong point. Hilda wanted to call them something more romantic, but Stan said tortoises weren’t romantic; anyway they emerged from their hibernation cave (under the rockery) on exactly the first day of spring 21st March. Hilda thought that it was a miracle of nature, but Stan, ever the pragmatist said it was just coincidence. Still there were plenty of nice juicy weeds for them to eat, as Hilda much to Stan’s consternation had left especially for them to munch on. Life in our little backwater moves at much the same pace as the tortoises really, and Stan,!!

The neighbours are starting to arrive to Spring Clean their houses and gardens ready for the summer. One, who is, let’s say, not known for his application to work, is a joy to watch. Everyday at 8.30 he waves his wife off to work and returns to bed till about 11am. On rising, he potters around for a bit till he hears the sound of plates and çay glasses, then beetles off in that direction for his breakfast. Pleasantly full he saunters down to the locanta for a few games of oki and of course more çay. On his return he wanders up the road, offering helpful advice to those engaged in doing their gardens as he goes, and sure enough someone will offer him more çay. He sets off again, this time borrowing an assortment of garden tools as he goes, and reaches his house with quite a selection. He then proceeds to enlist the help of the neighbours with his own garden, he seems to manage get them to do all the digging and weeding whilst he stands with his hands in his pockets. About 5.30 he shoos them all away, takes off his cardigan and waits on the balcony for his wife to return, so he can show her the results of his hard days work ! ! One day he had 6 bags of topsoil delivered and after persuading the neighbours to help him carry it to his garden; he then simply spread it all over the garden covering up the weeds!! ! Hilda privately thought this was an excellent way of getting rid of weeds but as Stan pointed out they will just grow through again, Hilda hadn’t thought of that!! ! We actually came home one day to find him hoovering out his car, (first time in two years) amazed we complimented him on its cleanliness and then noticed that his hoover was plugged into our electricity!! ! What can you say? Stan had a few ideas, all unprintable but at the end of the day you just have to see the funny side.

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