Friday, July 27, 2007


That title should, I suppose, read "Out of the Flood Plain....(and into the Fire)"!

You may have guessed now, or seen on the news that Reading was not flooded as badly as was first estimated - so my and Anna's flood defences at the house were as we expected, not inundated but redundant instead.

I never got my trip in the rescue Sea King.

So... I thought I'd give it another go.

Tomorrow, we fly to Kephalonia for two weeks in the sun. Well. We hope we do anyway!
We've had this holiday booked for months now, well before south-eastern Europe went up in smoke due to 100s of forest fires caused by an intense summer heatwave. Kephalonia was mentioned on the news last night as one of the worst affected areas, it is famous for being a very green Greek Island - lots of trees to burn etc... and heatwave forest fires are common on the island, though this year seems much, much worse than normal with 100s of British tourists being evacuated only yesterday.


Are we jinxed?!

Anyone got a hold of Blizzard or Hurricane? Then we'll have the full set! WE WIN!

Anyway, we should fly out early tomorrow morning, and return on the 12th August, although there is of course a possibility that flights will be suspended to the island, or we'll come back sooner, if the authorities on the island completely lose control of the situation...

Of course, we certainly don't expect to come down with food posoning now, from eating warm Saganaki that's been left outside all afternoon for example. I'm guessing that most foods will be instantly well-cooked immediately on taking them out of the fridge! I do like smoked cheese and fish, but I'm not sure I would like EVERYTHING I eat smoked!!!

I will not post on "Blue-Grey" until we return, with luck in two weeks. If we do manage to stay the full term, you can imagine, I'll have a lot of interesting photos and stories to post here, mainly of views, but with luck some birds / insects / reptiles etc...
I hear that Kephalonia is a real hotspot (yes.....) for Birds of Prey - but I cannot possibly tell you (at present) how all those fires have affected all the birds and creatures on the island. I am a little peeved though, as one of the birds I really wanted to see was the Black Woodpecker" on the island. A crow-sized, stunning Woodpecker and quite common in the forested parts of Kephalonia - when they're not alight that is.
On the upside though, we may be spending A LOT of time RIGHT on the beach, away from any trees, and I hear the coast of Kephalonia is one of the main spots one may be able to see one or two of the very endangered (and very dwindling population of) Mediterranean Monk Seals...

One more thing. I will NOT be reading "Captain Corelli's Mandrill" (or whatever its called) on "Captain Corelli's Island" like everybody else.
1)Everyone else does
2)It doesn't interest me.

My holiday reading will be limited to "The Odyssey" by Homer. Now that DOES interest me, and in case you weren't aware, the hero of the Odyssey, Odysseus (Roman name of Ulysses), lived on Ithaca, the neighbouring island to Kephalonia, where I hope we are evacuated to, should the worst happen.
The Odyssey is that classic tale of Odysseus' ten year voyage back to his wife, Penelope, on Ithaca, after the Trojan War, fighting the one-eyed Cyclops, resisting the charms of the Nymphs etc...
I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it!

Ok. That's it for now, grapple fans.
We're shortly to set off on the pre-holiday shopping trip. This would normally involve purchasing sunglasses (not needed due to the smog), sunblock (ditto), insecticide (no worries - they'll be kept at bay by the thick pine smoke) etc...

I intend to buy only three things-
1) A pair of shorts
2) An industrial size bag of Marshmallows
3) A VERY, VERY long toasting fork.

Turn on the BBC news in, oh.... maybe a week, and witness us being evacuated from our villa by a Sea King Helicopter, live on television!
This time.... this time....!

NB. Tuesday 28/08/07 (just over two weeks AFTER WE RETURNED from Kephalonia).

This photo was taken on last saturday, by a NASA satellite, and shows the huge extent of the forest fires in Greece at present.

For your information, Kephalonia (top left corner) seems to be "fire-free" at present, but under a huge plume of smoke issuing from a fire on the mainland.

A horrendous image I think you'll agree...


nicola said...

Now I've left you a voice message plus SMS, I thought I'd write a message on the blog!! Just came back to a glorious twenty five degrees here in Paris after a week in KOS. It was forty eight degrees in the shade for the last three days of our trip. UNBEARABLE. I spent most of my days in the sea, with a hat on my head, and even then I got a roaring migraine. Elliot found it hard too, but we kept him indoors most of the day. It was still forty degrees when I went to bed at midnight one night. THE SOLUTION: WEAR A HAT. STAY IN THE WATER. DRINK LOTS OF BOTTLED WATER. All of this is vital. Obviously try and avoid food poisoning as vomitting will dehydrate you even more. TAKE IT EASY IN THE SUN!! AND HAVE A LOVELY HOLIDAY!!!

electrichalibut said...

Alternative approach: get oiled up. Lie on the beach all day. Neck lager. Repeat.

I'm off to Nottingham for the weekend to watch the Test Match, and I confidently predict it won't be 48 degrees. Well, not Celsius, anyway. Though as Nottingham is apparently the gun crime capital of the UK these days, our problem may be hot lead rather than hot weather.