Winter has been exceptionally hard at the residency this year. The balcony was covered in snow just a couple of days ago, as were the steep roads and valleys of the island`s mountains. Of course, no one has winter tyres in Greece. So when the great winter storm came and cut the electricity from the house last week, the electrician had to risk a whole lot of other things than just his Sunday night free time to come up to the mountains to fix it. Again, I couldn`t be more impressed on the quickness of the helpfulness of the locals. Where in Finland can you get this kind of service? A new modem replaced the old one broken by thunder, and things run smoothly again.
Of course, the only thing wrong hasn`t been the weather in Greece. Some demonstrations reached the neighbour island of the residency, Korfu already, although the epicenter of the crisis- related rioting is still in Athens. Everything is as it used to be up in the mountains, but for how long? If things go like in Argentina in 2001, Greece divorces the painful union with euro, as the prognosis is according to some specialists, already this May-June. There could be a short time of chaos for sure, due to closing of the banks. But the villagers are well prepared in case of the fall. Granny Christina, the sweet neighbour of the residence, will surely prepare some eggs and potatoes from her lands for the guests again, as she always has. Also the kitchen is full of cans and pasta kindly bought by the guests to the house.
In any case, we keep a close eye on Athens and keep the guests prepared and ready by informing. Greece has survived many demonstrations and crisis in the past in the area, so it will survive this one too. The famous Asprogerakata main square has hosted e.g. demonstrations against the Venetians in the 17oos, who brought inequal laws for olive grove planting and took the olive seeds on the island by force from Italy, destroying much of the nature of the island. Also the great strikes of Greece of the 1930s were initialized from the very heart of our small village, to mention only few. The locals might be proud and very stubborn but extremely friendly people, as the guests have noticed.
Pictures from winter maintenance work, 1st week of January 2012: white waxed upstairs hardwood floors, new hooks for clothes, downstairs ceiling painted white. Outdoors: white chalk paint for the walls and corners, to prevent plants and insects from invading the house until spring.