We’ve been in lockdown here on Crete for almost 5 months and everyone is feeling totally fed up! A couple of weeks ago they tightened up the restrictions even further and we are now only allowed to shop locally. No more trips to the large supermarkets in Chania. Also we are not allowed to travel by car to exercise, which means we shouldn’t be going to Kalyves for our lovely walks along the beaches there. Curfews are still in place from 9pm until 5am and you must always have a valid reason for leaving your home.
Nevertheless, Debbie and I have been going into Kalyves at least once a week for groceries and other errands and then we have spent a few hours exploring the beaches anyway! We’ve also been avocado-scrumping! There are so many avocado trees if you know where to look and a few weeks ago we came home with bagsful! But when we decided to try our luck again last week, we were not as successful. Most of the avocados had already been harvested or snatched by other people. Then just as we were about to give up, we found a few trees that appeared to have plenty and better still – they were low enough for us to grab! There was a wire fence stopping us from entering the field, but I found a spot low enough for us to climb over. We hurriedly began plucking the avocados off the trees when a truck pulled up along the fence. The farmer saw us and started shouting angrily in Greek! He waited while we scrambled back over the fence, apologizing profusely. We left the bag over the other side, but he leaned over, grabbed it and then handed it to us. We thought he would confiscate the avocados, but thankfully he let us get away with around 10 each! So we were very lucky and we couldn’t stop laughing about it afterwards!
Due to the lack of tourists last year, I don’t have to build up my stock of Seashell Mosaic Collages, so I have still been trying to come up with brand new subject matter. This is proving to be very difficult as I feel I have already covered most of the ideas which can successfully be created in Seashell Mosaic. But actually I was inspired to create an underwater scene, after visiting Georgioupoli beach a couple of times with Debbie, before they tightened restrictions again. We picked up lots of interesting ocean life on those visits and I have incorporated some finger/hand sponges and some dried burgundy sea moss in my artwork with the Altum Angelfish. Otherwise I am still creating variations on existing designs and themes.
The weather has continued to be clement this winter, which makes it all the more infuriating that we can’t travel! I am so missing our beachcombing trips, especially as day after sunny day goes by and we are stuck within 2/3 kilometers of our homes. Every now and then Lisa, Debbie and I have been getting together at eachother’s homes, to socialize and catch up. But we’ve all been dearly missing our visits to the tavernas and coffee shops and still there seems to be no sign of the Greek Government easing any of the restrictions.
I had my first Covid Vaccine yesterday and I have to say I feel lucky compared to some of my friends, who have not been able to make appointments because of the bureaucratic system here. Last October I finally got around to applying for an AMKA number and I am so glad I did this before Brexit. An AMKA number is like a national health insurance number and is only given after a certain age (I’m not about to advertise mine now!). You must have this number In order to book a covid vaccine appointment and this shows you are on their system. Some of my friends don’t have AMKA numbers so have been told to visit a certain website where they can register for a temporary AMKA number. But weeks have gone by and they are not getting any kind of response back after they’ve registered their details. There is much concern amongst the younger expats here.. that they may have to wait so much longer for their vaccines. For various reasons Greece is not doing nearly as well as the UK in vaccinating their population – which of course is spread over so many islands.
Of course Greece wants its tourism back and so they are doing everything they can to ensure this happens. Greek Easter falls on May 2nd which is very late this year, so we all think there is a strong possibility that everything will re-open in time for this most special time for all Greeks. Last year they were gutted to have their most important celebrations cancelled. Orthodox Easter to the Greeks is what Christmas is to the English – a time of joy and celebration!
Fingers crossed – I really hope I’ll be able to write about more interesting times in my next post.