Category Archives: Parakila

In which we replace the solar system

We went back to Parakila right at the end of August.  We wanted to be away for Kurban Bayram so we booked ourselves onto the vehicle ferry from Ayvalik on a midweek evening before the holiday was due to start.  Well, that was not to be.  First the government extended the national holiday to start before the religious holiday, then the ferry company phoned us to say that the ferry would be leaving in the morning, meaning that we had to travel to Ayvalik the night before and book into a hotel.  No major issue and the huge crowds were marshaled through Greek immigration with great efficiency.

We let ourselves in, unpacked a whole load of tools and other things and were delighted to get out onto our own balcony in Parakila and were happily discussing our plans for our two week stay when we noticed a drip coming from…. somewhere on the roof.  Ashley briefly inspected it and concluded that we needed a plumber.  What to do?  Well, we headed for the town square, bought ourselves a delicious homemade lemonade each and asked if anyone knew a plumber.  A plumber was phoned and arrived before we’d finished our lemonade.  Hilary was allowed to take hers home as long as she promised to return the glass.

And that is how we met Manos, plumber and husband of the lady who owns the local taverna (he does the home deliveries).  He came home with us, borrowed a ladder and inspected the damage.  Our solar system was badly damaged to the point of being dangerous (the solar tanks there have an immersion heater in them).  He told us that it needed replacement and gave us a price.  Well, three prices for systems of varying quality.  We chose the middle one that had to be ordered from Athens.  Which turned out to be a fairly painless process (except financially as this was an unexpected expense).  A week later he and his assistant were up on our roof, fitting the new system.  Which seems to be perfectly satisfactory.

However, whilst the guys were up on the roof, they noticed a problem.  The roof was distinctly…. sloping where it should not slope.  There was no time to do anything about it that trip, but a roofer was arranged for next time we were out.  This was the cause of some anxiety for us as roofs, as everyone knows, can be very expensive items when they go wrong.

We had a very busy two weeks as it turned out.  All the windows in the house have wooden shutters and those which were exposed to full sun all summer needed some urgent repair and maintenance.  We experimented with various stains and varnishes and Ashley ended up treating all the shutters with polyurethane varnish.  This left them looking very good but we doubt if it helped his tennis elbow.

We got into a bit of a routine and found our way around Kaloni and the delights it has to offer (it’s a small town but it has several supermarkets and DIY/hardware stores including one that came to be known as the man cave).  We went to Plomari which is famous for ouzo, had lunch and bought a bottle for a friend who was going to bring Ashley’s new lens and boots over from the UK.  We lounged around on the terrace and we read.

We got back to Selcuk just in time for our neighbour’s middle son’s wedding.  Which was a lot of fun.  Loud, as Turkish weddings inevitably are, and everyone danced.  The groom is a professional singer and he sang a couple of songs himself which, as he has a wonderful voice, was very much appreciated.  We met up with our friend and Ashley got his boots and his camera.  And the rest of September was spent catching up at home.

 

Advertisements

Three countries in a week

Greek-visiting-dog

 

We had a busy week after we got home from the Greek trip on which we lost the camera. Hilary had some health check ups at the State Hospital in Kuşadası and we sent off for her residence permit (ours expire in different months due to a complex set of circumstances which involved an official thinking he was doing us a favour rather than making our lives more complicated). Actually getting a residence permit here in Turkey is a great deal easier than it used to be. It can all be done online and through the post and we now both have permits for two years – so no more of that hassle till 2019!

We then headed to London for a flying visit to family. Really only a long weekend but it was good to see them. Home for one day (just enough time to throw the clothes in the washing machine) then we were back to Lesvos. The very nice lady who was selling us the house had arranged to be out for a week so that we could visit the noter together and do all the legal stuff. It all went very smoothly and our estate agent took us all out for a very fine lunch to celebrate.

Next day we got the water and electricity put into our names. Then we moved into the house. The day after that we opened a bank account and got a mobile phone. Though, actually, the bank account was not properly opened as according to Greek law, you have to put 10K euro into an account to fully open it and that could not be arranged until we got back to Turkey.

We spent most of August at home. Both of our residence permits were safely delivered. Ashley updated his Turkish driving licence to the new format (an incredibly easy process). The guy in the Emniyet who told us what we needed to do didn’t know the url for making an appointment and advised us to Goggle for it. We now goggle for everything!  He also gave us a slip of paper which listed all the paperwork we needed.  Two new photos, a medical report from the family doctor, receipts for two payments from a government bank (the two payments totaled around 15 lira which is less than a fiver sterling) and his existing Turkish licence.  We have a new family doctor surgery here in Selçuk so we took the opportunity to visit her.  No one else was there and she and her assistants were very pleasant.  Because Ashley wears glasses, he also had to go to the ophthalmologist in the state hospital here and get a vision report.  We took all those things back to the Emniyet at the appointed time and, four days later, got a text message asking us to go back to the Emniyet and pick up the license.

What with the lost camera etc. this is not really a very photogenic post.  The picture at the top shows the dog who frequently visits us in the Lesbian House!

Our Lesbian House

Well, it took us enough time to write up the Central American trip so we’re really behind on what we’ve been doing the rest of 2017.  We have, in fact, been very busy.  We blogged about our trip to Akyaka and our travels since then (apart from a brief trip to see family in the UK) have been in Greece.

There was a plan to look around with a view to buying a property in Greece at some point in the next two years.  We ended up putting in an offer on the first place we saw.  That was back in June when we went to Lesvos for Ashley’s birthday.  We spent some time looking around the Island on our own and attempted to contact a number of Estate Agents.  Only one of whom got back to us.  She took us to see two properties.  One of which we liked a lot.  We went back to our studio apartment in Skala Kallonis, then off to the bar to talk about it.  We decided we liked the place too much to let it go.  So, the next morning, we put in an offer.  The vendor (a very pleasant retired teacher living in Yorkshire) said she would accept that if we would also pay towards her expenses.  This came down to well within the maximum we had agreed between ourselves so…

We bought a house in Greece.

The house is in Parakila – a village with a population of about 2000.  It has a couple of bakers and a couple of general stores and a supermarket, a petrol station a bar and a taverna.  It has two churches (one of which is very old and one of which is modern).  The old one is right opposite our house so there is little chance of sleeping late in the morning – the bells start at 7 a.m.  It is 11 Km from Kalloni which has a far wider array of shops including butchers, cheese shops and really big supermarkets.

The house has a lot of land – probably the best part of half an acre – on two terraces.  It has vines in the front garden and bitter oranges and sweet oranges and a pomegranate tree.  It also has a dead goat (under an apple tree).  And it has an amazing view…

When the moon is full it turns the entire bay into silver.  And there is very little light pollution so, when the sky is clear, you can see the milky way and thousands upon thousands of stars.