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Dinny's Blog

I Bet You Thought I Would Never Write Again!

Posted by Dinny, 02 February 2011 - - - - - - · 8,684 views

Hi there! You are almost right, I didn't have much to tell you, so what's the point of updating the blog?

Oh! Did I forget to tell you about my TEN puppies? ;-) Then I guess you will understand that the reason for not updating my blog is that there has been no time leftover for doing so! I have been and still am totally in command of...

General Update... September 2009

Posted by Dinny, 09 September 2009 - - - - - - · 3,892 views

I was just dusting my blog... and, as usual, noticed that 6 months had gone by with no news. Well, by now you should be used to this. I actually think nothing ever happens in my life here, it's just work on the one side and sunshine on the other! ;-) Not quite true, but in general it covers it.

I've had loads of pleasant visits from friends during spring and summer... and still have a few to come. Pam & Bob came by with the good news of Pam's pension being OK'ed, so it'll soon be Crete Forever for the two of them! :-) I had a long-lost friend from Denmark visiting me for a week in May, we were chatting our jaws apart. AND my daughter, Valentina, finally made it! She went into that frightening airplane together with 3 friends of hers and managed to get to Crete! We had so much fun for 2 weeks, they made me fell almost their age (not yet 30 any of them), LOL. After 3 years of promisses-promisses I finally met Dave & Hillary and their lovely daughter, they came all the way from up North, so we had a few hours on my terrace, a very nice lunch together at Vrahos overlooking the beach of Komos, and then it was bye-bye again. But since then I caught Dave on Facebook, so I keep track of what they are doing back there in Wales during the loooong and cold summer-autumn-winter months! Birgit made it down here from Agias Pelagias as well for a - short - day of chatting and laughing (Almost everybody seem to stay up North, the drive is so long, why don't you just choose your holidays in the most beautiful part of Crete... down South, I mean?). So, as far as visitors are concerned, I am just expecting some friends from Italy end of September, an old schoolmate of mine from Denmark also in September... and then I guess we shall close the season whoever is remaining with a nice party in my garden (ooops, take care of the dog leftovers!) AND on my terrace (which is safer!).

Animals? Sure! Still! Some!
Billy, my first cat - and apparently the most intelligent - is still going strong. 4 years old for a Pitsidian cat must be a world record!
And Darling - one of Millies kittens - is also still here. Since last time... all the rest are gone. Sweetie went missing. My noisiest and most amusing cat, Wheenee, went too far away on his walkabouts the last time and didn't return. My little honey, Pucci, was found in the road. I still have 2 cats - and I will never have any more cats in this place!
But I have 3 dogs! :-))) Just last month the latest stray dog member, Happy, was added to the bunch. I wish I had a photo to show you - you would know why I couldn't resist her! ;-) It is good that my garden is big enough for them and that it is all fenced! But still, they spend their day in my office, forcing me to sometimes leave the work and go out on the terrace so that they can have a little fun out there. Thank you, doggies, it does me a lot of good to get away from the PC once in a while!

Work situation is getting better. I have been very lucky to have been busy with the big project I told you about - been working on it since January and it seems to be going on for a year og two more - so the crisis haven't really hit me. And now I see signs of my old agencies coming back to life, even the Italians are starting to move a bit.... so hopefully we can ban the word "crisis" from our daily vocabulary from now on. I hope this is also the case for all of you. We saw it, we've had it, and we didn't like it! So welcome to better times from now on! :-)

Actually, the first reason for getting into my blog today was that I wanted to insert a warning about a car hire company, Eurocar, they managed to cheat my daughter, making her pay more than the agreed amount for a rental car and totally ignoring ALL the following emails requiring them to correct the error. They got the credit card number and they took what they wanted. I tried to insert a socalled "review" under the appropriate page on this site, but it seems to have been ignored, maybe because the company in question is a major client as far as advertising is concerned.
I am definitely NOT happy about that. If a Cretan company is cheating you (and I have heard that this is not a singular case), then THIS site is the appropriate site to warn other travelers to Crete about it! And if the company in question is advertising on this very site, some action should be taken. I am expecting to hear from Yannis about it, at least I hope so, otherwise there is no reason to have a page named "reviews", if only positive reviews are taken into consideration.

I wish I could manage to insert a few pictures. I should have at least one of my "cartoon dog", Lucky.... but it appears that I have to upload them to my Gallery Album. I'll give it a try!
Edited after trying this: I managed to upload 11 pics, but then the system apparently got "tired" of me and didn't want to continue... well, it is late, almost 3 am... so maybe this will do for today. I was hoping to insert the "captions" afterwards, but I simply can't find a way to do it. So, to explain, there are a few pics of where the youngsters stayed in Matala (you would dream about waking up to this view, let me know if you need directions to Alexandra's cheap place in Matala overlooking the bay), one picture of Lucky, some of my daughter getting "body art" in Matala, a game of Scrablle at Jodi's kafenion in Pitsidia.... well, have a look! :-)

Next time I'll let you know how wonderful it was to go back to Denmark for Christmas holidays... at least, these are the plans.
Then, as we all know, sometimes life makes other plans for us! ;-)

All the best

Hey There! I Am Still Very Much Alive - Are You? :-)

Posted by Dinny, 05 February 2009 - - - - - - · 3,725 views

I admit it, I am not good at this - keeping connections! I tend to disappear, be occupied with other things, and then suddenly feel that something is missing. Oh! Haven't written anything in my blog for months and months!

Well, let me first reassure you: I am alive and well. Still without insurance but trying to keep myself in a shape where I won't need it!

The autumn months of 2008 after my holidays in Denmark were quite strange, workwise I mean. A sudden silence seemed to have fallen upon my Italian agencies with which I work regularly. English and American agencies were still working quite well, so I just assumed that my "Italians" were having a bit of extra holidays. Late November, early December, it became clear that the financial crisis had struck and killed most of my Italian connections. Well, they are still there, but they have no work to pass on to me. December was quite low even from my English/American clients... so I was starting to bite my nails. Living in Crete is not like living in Denmark. If work suddenly stops and you have no income, it's not like you can just go to the local community and ask them to take care of your bills. You can in Denmark. But not in Crete.
January didn't seem to start much better but, furtunately, I ran into a big project which would keep me busy-busy for a couple of months. So, that's more or less why I have disappeared for a while, because I simply have so little time left over every day, and when work is done I just want to go to the nearest taverna and meet the friends rather than hanging over the computer for a few more hours. The situation with my "regulars" is still the same, so I don't know what will happen when this big project is done. Hopefully, something else! ;-)

The animal situation? Hm! Always changing, I must say. It changes based on the amount of poison the Greeks throw around and on the amount of traffic on the road just next to my house! When we last spoke, I belive the situation was that Millie had 5 kittens, Billie (the GrandMa) was well... and sterilized, no more fuss with her. And His Majesty - Niko - was still around.
Well, His Majesty had a tendence to go walkabout for days, staying away for 3-4 days, coming back to get fed, then maybe away for a week, and then again for a few days. One day you suddenly realize that he is not coming back anymore, and you can only immagine what happened.
Millie used to go out very early in the morning to catch a mouse for her 5 kittens to play with... and one morning she just didn't come back, and the kittens were just barely ready to eat by themselves. But they grew up to be beauties. Peter Pan, the red one with the most wonderful brown-orange eyes. Baby, the only girl among them. Wheeny (becauce he was always whining), Darling, and Sweety - big strong boys, too.
I swear on anything dear to me: after these I will have no more cats!
Baby went out on a stroll and didn't come back. My beautiful Peter Pan remained on the road one morning after his very last walkabout. I cried my heart out!
But (swearing apart) one night at the end of the season there's this tiny kitten near a taverna in the Platia with no future ahead of her... she sort of just disappeared up under my T-shirt and we went home to see if we could find a better future together. She's my Pucci, a tiny little girl among the big boys... 'cause Wheeny, Darling, and Sweety are still around... patiently waiting for her to grow up. I think me and the vet will take care of disappointing their expectations! No more kittens! (unless, of course, they just happen! LOL).
Oh, and the "dog situation" also changed! One night, around midnight, I heard some scary screaming outside... I thought one of the cats had been hit by a car and hurried out of bed and outside... in the dark night it took me a while to find out that the screaming did not come from any of my cats... but from a little black bundle of curly hair! Somebody had thought it was a good idea to throw a little black puppy in front of my gate... I guess these people must know me - but I don't want to know them! :-( Anyway, I got the "bundle" inside and discovered a tiny little girl puppy. What do you want me to do? Throw her in the garbadge? I think not! Next day she was baptised "Lucky" and is now part of the family. She's quite a "cartoon dog", can you imagine? Like a Disney dog... her ears are always straight out as if she's ready to fly, her funny little black eyes totally disappear in the black fur and I never know if she is looking at me or sleeping... but I always know where she has been! Because any pair of socks I might have in the house will be hidden in her basket, somewhere in my bed, in the sofa, just anywhere... and if clothes are not washed immediately they have such a tempting "perfume" that she simply have to steal them and hide them somewhere! Bella is quite happy with the company, especially since she is so much bigger and therefore can be dominating the little bugger! They have great fun together tearing my socks apart!

OK, I'll shut up soon - but I just need to tell you about my latest bureaucratic experience. Facing that I have been here for three years without - still - being able to speak more that basic Greek everyday phrases, I decided to join the free Greek course that the Mires municipality is offering for foreigners. A lot of us signed up in December, filling in forms and delivering our passports for copying (I guess they are expecting some EU compensation if they deliver proof) and were told that lessons would start after the Christmas holidays. Finally, early February I'm getting a call (in Greek, of course) to show up in Mires Thursday 5th at 17:00 hours for the Greek lessons. I was really excited, finally I would start learning real Greek! So we showed up, some 20 foreigners, we all know each other.... all excited, finally! The teacher greets us in Greek and hands out a questionnaire - in Greek - which we are supposed to fill in. Hm! Looks exactly like the questionnaire I filled in when registering in Mires in December. The teacher excuses herself, but "Athens wants...". Athens wants AGAIN?? Appearently Athens wants "again". Since the teacher was not really able to explain (in other than Greek) what the single voices in the questionnaire were about, we tried to check with each other to fill it in... some knew a little Greek, some nothing... that is why we attend the course... but finally we managed to fill in the questionnaire. Then we are handed a test... in Greek, of course.... totally Greek to me! So I just put question marks everywhere (fine, it was in order to establish my knowledge of Greek)... and, now, can we finally start the lesson? No, now we all go home. Don't call us, we'll call you - to let you know when classes start.

Let me just say that ... we might lack electricity often, the water may be rationized most of the summer months, the bureaucracy might be over-your-head... but there is ONE thing they really understand here: How to start spring! The last few days we have had clear blue sky, sunshine, 20-25 degrees. We are starting the summer tan here! So, my fellow Europeans... you might have electricity on a never-ending connection, you might never turn on the water hose in the morning just to find that there is no water, you might be able to solve all you questions with the authorities by a click on the internet... but you are freezing your butts off at the moment - while we are just smiling at the sunshine. I will stay here till they carry me out head first! :-))))

A New Experience - And One To Keep In Mind

Posted by Dinny, 03 August 2008 - - - - - - · 4,962 views

I realize it has been many months since I wrote something here in my blog. As usual, I am surprised how time just flies away here in Crete. Yesterday it was Christmas - and in a few days I shall be off for my summer holidays in Denmark, escaping the hot-hot weather for at least a couple of weeks. I am looking forward to seeing the "Northern part"...

You Want To Hear About My New House?

Posted by Dinny, 16 December 2007 - - - - - - · 5,352 views

Well, now is the time to tell you about it. I have moved in - and I love it!

The moving was hard work but eventually we finished it with the help of all my friends here, everybody was so helpful! And then, of course, it took some twenty loads with my own car for all the small stuff. I really get to wonder about how much you gather in a lifetime that eventually posesses you instead of the other way around?

Moving the cats was the funny part. I took two-three each time and locked them in the house, when number nine was in it was "locked doors" for a couple of days. Then I took care of following the advise of my English friend, Jenny, although it made me smile a bit: put butter on their paws before letting them out, so they will not get lost in the new environment. Well, after two days confinement in the house I finally made them all step into a small plate with butter and opened the windows. Now, all the cats that for two days had been scratching the glass on the windows to get out, all sat there in the open windows, busy licking their paws to remove the butter... nobody seemed to be in a hurry to go out. After a thorugh cleaning they adventured into the garden, little by little, discovering the roof of the house, the stairs leading up and with no possibility for the dog to follow, so this is where they spend their time now.

Bella is crazying around in the garden, she just loves it. There is grass to chew, earth to dig big holes into (she already had two big bones disappear in some treasure chamber of hers) and enough space for when she gets into her five minutes of madness and needs to run like a crazy. Which is exactly what she does.

After a couple of days I were here I noticed that some people were working on the road, which runs just in front of the house. A girl with a map, men with measuring things... I was sitting outside enjoying the sunshine... and after a while a man came to the gate asking if he could be let in: They had to measure for when the road was to be enlarged. As he said, pointing at my front wall fencing the properties: This might have to go. I felt like in a movie! I said, but I just moved in here, and now you want to take my garden? Well, as he explained, the road has to be much wider. I pointed at the cemetery a few hundred metres ahead and asked if they wanted to destroy that too? Well, we will move it, yes. Then he and another guy entered and they measured and planted a metal stick some 4 meters into my garden, taking most of the front garden away that is! I could not help laughing, this was so Salvadore-Dali, unreal... But as it can happen only in Greece: After some twenty minutes they guy came back and asked if I could give him the metal stick, they had made a mistake, the enlargement of the road was to be to 8 metres, not 12 as they had originally counted on. So my garden is safe! .... for now!

Moving the telephone line was another Greek thing: I had enquired at OTE first and they had told me that it would take a full day to move the line. I was thrilled, what efficiency! They cut the line on Monday morning at 8 sharp. Some guys from OTE came by Tuesday to say that they had made whatever they could do, but that I had to wait for another guy to come on Wednesday to fix the rest. Nobody showed up Wednesday, and not Thursday either. Friday morning I went to OTE to complain and they told me to go home and wait, somebody would come. Of course, nobody came. A Greek friend of mine happened to be in Mires on Friday and "just in case" passed by OTE to ensure, that they were working on my line, since I needed it to be able to work? OH, we forgot! But we will send somebody tomorrow for sure. So a man from OTE came by Saturday afternoon and started to fix the cables outside from the pole to a connection point. Wauw, now I finally had my telephone line back! But the internet connection still did not work! Monday morning I went to OTE, I was told that nobody could come that same day, maybe it was a problem with my modem? (This is what they ALWAYS tell me, when the line is down). Anyway, they would send a technician Tuesday morning. Tuesday they call me to say they were too busy. At that point I started YELLING! Tuesday noon suddenly the line was OK (so it was not my modem, which I knew already) and somebody called me to enquire whether all was fine? Yes, thank you so much. After one week with no line I discovered that my email contained something like 60 mails with requests for work and it took me all afternoon Wednesday to reply to everybody and most of a week after to fulfill the work I had accepted to do.

And now? Well, it is almost Christmas although I have not had much time to think about it. I only have a few days of work left before I "close for holidays" and then I plan to go to Heraklion (Macro and Carrefour) for the Christmas buyings and on the 25th we shall hopefully have a lovely Christmas dinner among friends in my new house. Last year we enjoyed it very much and I am sure this year will be no less enjoyable.

And Bella can bark in the garden to salute everybody that passes the house, nobody will ever hiss at her again!

To all my friends at the ExploreCrete I wish a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays...

So It's Forever Pitsidia? :-)

Posted by Dinny, 30 October 2007 - - - - - - · 4,278 views

Finally, I have news on the househunting! I have been taking this siga-siga, not wanting to be too eager but not forgetting it either that I wanted a change: New house, NO neighbours!

And, by a fortunate coincidence, the house just outside Pitsidia that I originally wanted to rent before even moving here (which my daughter at the time said would...

Greeks Like To Stay Close To Each Other

Posted by Dinny, 08 July 2007 - - - - - - · 2,920 views

Still no news on the househunting. It takes time to go looking for a new house and at the moment I have loads of work and don't have any time to drive around. I will have to dig into that when I come back from my holidays in August, since I would like to move at the end of September if possible.

I did actually go to see a house near Agia Galini, a v...

Goodbye To Pitsidia!

Posted by Dinny, 11 May 2007 - - - - - - · 4,271 views

Some of you might have been following this blog to get to know about what it's like to live in Crete. I regret if I haven't been very informative, I've only posted whatever came to my mind when something special was happening.

Now, something special is happening again, because I have decided to leave this little village where I have rented a...

Pollution Is Now Officially Illegal!

Posted by Dinny, 10 March 2007 - - - - - - · 2,907 views

Congratulations, Kriti! The word has reached the most distant corners of the island: It is now officially illegal to pollute the ground water and to throw litter in nature.

The talk of the town (well, village) these days is the new rules (and heavy fines) concerning how to dispose of waste water. Before, you would always know who was using the wash...

You've Got To Admit It's Getting Better...

Posted by Dinny, 28 January 2007 - - - - - - · 3,702 views

While Europe is suffering storms and now even snow, we are just getting back into our T-shirts and enjoy that winter actually never came. This is of course a bit egoistic of me to be happy about that, because we haven't got the amount of rain that Crete needs and I start wishing that we could get a few weeks of pouring rain to get us through summer wi...

Winter Is Coming ... 2nd Time Around

Posted by Dinny, 02 November 2006 - - - - - - · 3,324 views

I wonder what is happening to 'time' on Crete. As most of you have experienced during your holidays here, time seems to disappear much quicker than everywhere else. 24 hours in Crete is like 8 hours elsewhere. At least, this is the only explanation I can find to the fact that it feels as if I have just arrived here, but now my 2nd winter is approa...

All The (cretan) Animals In My Life

Posted by Dinny, 24 July 2006 - - - - - - · 3,922 views

Finally I have 'done my duty': Been back in Denmark to visit my daughter, grandson, and the rest of the family. I was a bit worried about leaving, but then a local German friend of mine, Angelika, offered to take care of the menage while I was away, and since she is a true cat-lover I felt very much reassured and convinced that all my kitties woul...

I Actually Forgot To Tell You...

Posted by Dinny, 25 June 2006 - - - - - - · 4,010 views

That my housecat - Coyote Bill - turned out to be a female, a very pregnant one! April 17th we had 4 kittens, which are now devastating the house, because I cannot decide when is the right time to make them meet the world outside. I think it will be when I'm back from my holidays, so that I can keep an eye on them...

And my daughters dog - Zoi -...

Normal Life... Living In Crete

Posted by Dinny, 25 June 2006 - - - - - - · 3,156 views

I haven't written anything for quite a while, actually I am experiencing the 'normal life' in Crete. I'm not a tourist although I'm a foreigner, and I have to adapt to whatever rules and regulations appear to be in Crete. 'Appear to be' because you never get a chance to know, not even the locals know...

"Normal life"...

Want To Come For A Day In The Sunshine?

Posted by Dinny, 27 March 2006 - - - - - - · 3,214 views

Last week I was killing a bottle of wine together with my friend Christine, a German lady my age who lives here in Pitsidia, and we were talking about nice places in Crete. She told me she used to go with her (then) little son to a beach near Plakias on the South coast where she slept on the beach for 6 weeks during summer... I guess we were talking about...

I've Finally Managed To See Agia Galini !

Posted by Dinny, 18 March 2006 - - - - - - · 3,016 views

Considering that I have been living here for 6-7 months now and have been visiting a few times before that, it's incredible that I had never been to Agia Galini, isn't it? I mean, I can see the place from the beach of Matala and from the beach of Komos, it looks like a nice cozy village and I have often wanted to go there.

I am handicapped by my...

Don't Fight Them - You Can't Win!

Posted by Dinny, 16 March 2006 - - - - - - · 3,609 views

Once you realize that it's useless to fight them - the Greek authorities, I mean - then you get peace of mind by just adapting. As far as my car is concerned, I decided that I might as well forget about being Danish, even a European Citizen. I would just adapt to a system that carries the motto: Who cares about legislation? Because the cost I would ha...

Next Entry Will Be About "dentist In Crete"

Posted by Dinny, 13 February 2006 - - - - - - · 3,000 views

These days everything is "ligo-ligo" and "siga-siga"...

I'll be vsiting the dentist soon... and I'll keep you posted about this event, 'cause it might be worth learning from. Dentists in Crete are supposed to be less expensive than in the rest of Europe... so let's see what happens.... Meanwhile I'll just keep quiet i...

A House Is Not A Home Without A Dog

Posted by Dinny, 10 February 2006 - - - - - - · 3,716 views

Some of you might have felt it coming... "When will she get a dog?"

I like dogs. And somewhere in my heart I have always wanted one without getting one, knowing perfectly well that it would be unjust to a dog to live in an apartment with me away and cooped up in some office all day long. In Crete, things would be different. But I thought that w...

Bringing My Car

Posted by Dinny, 02 February 2006 - - - - - - · 3,573 views

The other day Yannis was kindly guiding me by telephone to filling in a form to OTE requiring the subscription to ISDN "flat rate" (believe me, it's not flat at all!). At the end of the form I signed, but then I also had to sign after the next two pages of rules and regulations, all in Greek, naturally. So, even though I don't understa...

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