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The beach, the sky


Sitting on the beach of Stafylos with the waves crashing on the sand I have a live painting in front of me that shows the most beautiful clouds and colors in the sky. They keep changing, it is magical and I feel free but also in awe of the magic of nature.

Vaccination process

The municipality has just announced, via a press release that I also received, that this Friday Mr. Σερετη will visit Skopelos to talk about the vaccination process, against Covid-19, on Skopelos. He will also visit the other Sporades islands. Mr. Σερετη is a representative of the governmental health region of Thessalia. It is decided that a vaccination center will be put up on the island to avoid travelling for the islanders so the vaccination process can be better organized for the health workers, first responders and the different age groups.

It was also announced that Greek islands with less than a 1000 inhabitants, all inhabitants who want too can get vaccinated at once.

Small things

Greece has just come out of a strict lockdown and I feel that with the government plans for the next couple of months, apart for the possibility of being able to work and earn money we also will be able to travel, see friends and have a window on a brighter future.

In the meantime I try to stay aware of the small positive things around me. I have posted one more time a segment of the wonderful “musical box” that plays on ERT1 Greek state television every Wednesday . Great musicians, wonderful singers. Two hours long where you can forget everything!! This particular song I liked very much from last Wednesday. A cover song, don’t really know which one.

On Skopelos I enjoy the positive people. Today we saw Katharina from transport company Balalas for instance.
She always greats us with a smile and showers good wishes for those around her. Works many hours a day, has four children including a young son. Never heard her complaining, ever. With the receipt she gave us these sweets!

Sofia in the supermarket, always good advice on current sales and always with an optimistic word. Today she showed me a photo of my husband when he was in fourth grade with her husband. I just received it on my phone so I can show it to him.

I met Mrs. Maggie in the supermarket too. She has a sick husband but she always looks with a positive eye towards the future. They have a huge goat herd, she cooks for the farm hands who are of different origin so she cooks three different styles, makes cheese and takes care of her sick husband.

Two eggs from our chickens. Do you know how bright they look when I put them in a cake and how good they taste?

Our family is fortunate to be safe and well and together. We appreciate it very much!

Snow

Today it snowed on Skopelos. Important roads were kept open and no real problems occurred. Weather channels report that this situation will not last long. We will see…

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Changes

So the weather in Greece and on Skopelos changed. We have had such wonderful weather so far with nice temperatures but that had changed two days ago. +3 degrees this morning and a little bit of snow on Mount Delphi. Two nights with heavy rain and yesterday during the day this continued too. Today it is cold but we have a sun shining. We are still in lockdown so we think well about our reason to go out of the house and before we send our SMS message. Masks ready and we are ready to go.

The sea is still rough and the shape of the beaches will change again. That is nice, always something interesting to find. More changes in the harbor, the entrance is “under construction”.

Skopelos is mourning the deaths of three relatively young people who died of causes not related to Covid-19. They died in the last three weeks. It must be so hard to say goodbye to your loved ones under these difficult circumstances. Our sincere condolences to their families.


Greece is doing relatively well with trying to get the pandemic under control and that is one of the reasons that tomorrow many retail shops, malls, hairdressers and barbers will reopen their shops again; under strict rules. The amount of people that can enter a shop will me minimized even further so crowding can be avoided. After you send message two you have two hours to shop.
Pre schools and elementary schools have been opened again since last week. Most parents have send their children to attend classes.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis ruled out on Thursday the need for a Covid-19 vaccination certificate for travelers wishing to visit Greece this summer. Read more here, GTP travel pages

Brighter days

Lockdown in Greece has been extended by another week. Hopefully after this week some shops and restaurants can open again with click away (calling and ordering or via the computer and picking up later) Some other countries in and outside of Europe have even stricter lockdowns.

So much in the immediate future is unsure and that is hard for so many people. Will travelling be without too many restrictions soon? This situation that we are finding ourselves in, we have have to take it day by day, week by week and hopefully those brighter days will come.

Winter has not reached Skopelos yet. Apart from rain and strong winds, most days are sunny and we have temperatures that are far above normal for this time of the year. Many early spring flowers are out. Can’t remember them blooming so early.

Only one ferryboat, the Express Skiathos will sail from Volos to the Sporades and back the next couple of weeks. The flying dolphin called Venus and the ferryboat Proteus will stop sailing indefinitely. There are not enough passengers at this time to keep all three boats on the line Volos-Sporades and back.

Tomorrow Greek pre-school and elementary school children will able to go to school again. The government has tried to give all teachers a rapid test before they start teaching again. Some teachter arraive here on Saturday. Whether the authorities will be able to test them all is uncertain. Parents are worried because many teachers don’t work where their permanent residence is. They need to travel. To avoid crowds in front of the school the children have to arrive at different times and through different entrances. It might not be possible at all schools.

In Greece many first responders, hospital staff and old people’s homes staff have been vaccinated. As of tomorrow people from the general population, over 85 years can get vaccinated. They will be notified via their health insurance organization or they can make an appointment via the KEP offices and the pharmacies.

The rules for travelling in and out of Greece change constantly. Now when coming into Greece you need to quarantine for a week. This may change again.

Today instead of going to the beach we went to the area of Karya and collected wild greens. In particular radiki, a quite bitter green. We know a place…

All photographs were taken in the last three days.

Going back

Greece goes back and forth with the restrictions under the current lockdown in the hope it will bring the Corona-virus patients and deaths numbers down. If there is a tendency of them going down there is a big probability of the schools opening. It is a big priority. Let children and teachers be able to find some kind of normality in these strange times. Give parents also time to breath.

This is why the Greek government has decided to tighten restrictive measures for next week in order to keep the virus infections at low levels and for schools to be able to open safely on January 11th.

The tightening of the measures for the week of January 3-10, 2021, is a decision of the prime minister for precautionary reasons, Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said today, Saturday.

Therefore, all activities and services that were gradually allowed in Greece before the holidays will be suspended from 6am Sunday, January 3, until 6am Monday, January 11.

More specifically, until January 11:

– The “click away” shopping method in retail stores, the operation of bookstores, hairdressers, nail salons and vehicle inspection services (KTEO) will be suspended.

– All hunting and fishing activities will be banned.

– Movement will be banned from 9pm until 5am throughout Greece. Movement after in between these times will only be allowed for work and health reasons.

– Churches will remain closed to worshipers and there will be no outdoor public ceremonies (blessing of the waters) on the day of the Epiphany (January 6). After January 11, worshipers will be allowed to go to church for Sunday services (according to the rules that were in place during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays).

According to Petsas, new coronavirus cases in Greece are at high levels and the pressure on the country’s health system continues.

At the end of the second week of January, the epidemiological situation in the country will be evaluated and new announcements will be made for Greece’s other sectors of social and economic activity.
Source:GTP pages

Businesses closing until Jan. 11 will not pay months rent.
The ministry of finance decision came after the government announced a seven-day closure of all businesses that were allowed to open during the holidays.

It concerns businesses in the retail sector, the arts, sports, tourism, transportation services, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.

An 80 pct of the agreed rent will be compensated to legal owners of commercial premises from the state budget.

In the case of legal entities who own commercial properties, the compensation is set to 60 pct, the ministry added.
Source:EKathimerini

Work in the harbour continues. A part of the old harbour has been tiled with pillion slate. We think the whole harbour will be tiled this way. Will they continue through the rest of the harbour? Will the harbour be off limits for cars? Interesting developments…

More pedestrian room along the water too.

Let’s wait and see what new surprises the Greek government will have for us after the 11th of January.

Moments


(Stafylos on Tuesday morning 29 December 2020)

I don’t like the day before the New Year. On this day you reflect how the year has been and usually I don’t get a clear picture. I have lived the year and when something worthwhile happened I lived that moment to the fullest at that time. The day before the New Year will not bring those moments back with the same love, enjoyment, sorrow, grief, excitement. So maybe that is what I will think about today and remember of this year; to live more in the moment!

What I hope for in 2021? Less suffering, more kindness in the world and for Skopelos? That parts of its identity; culture, nature and environment get more incorporated in a roadmap for the future of the island. Those that have invested already in drawing that roadmap should participate in the realization of it. Also the landmarks that we have on the island should be accessible for the public.

This guy below gets the kindness and stamina award from me and many others.

Photo: Marios Giannakou

This is long-distance runner Marios Giannakou. In October 2020 he carried student and friend Eleftheria Tosiou on his back all the way to the top of Mount Olympos. Eleftheria is 22 years old and disabled. “There is nothing more real than the dream,” Giannakou wrote on Instagram, as he reached Mytikas, the peak of Mount Olympos.

He also says “With the end of this difficult year nearby for all of us, I would like to say that every difficulty can be part of a chance to review circumstances, to get stronger and to to try more.

Thank you Marios, you inspire me and I will try more in 2021. To a New Year with many unforgettable wonderful moments. Happy 2021!


(Limnonari sky a few days ago)

A full hour of Skopelos with well know faces was not what we expected this second Christmas day. A pleasant surprise. Sorry that it is all in Greek. They were all there; Nikos Rodios, Prodromos Kathinioti, Nikos Tsako Mango, Regina and Jannis Boudalas and Yorgos Ksidaris and the island of course, Glysteri beach, Agios Jannis tou Kastri, Panormos and Kastro in Skopelos.

Look here for another kind of life from ERT1; Skopelos

Men’s best friend

Natasa Lambrogianni has a dog and cat shelter on Skopelos. She takes care of many animals that need help. She has saved many. Natasa and a couple of volunteers feed the cats and dogs via her non-profit organization Straycare Skopelos, she has cats and dogs neutered and asks of the citizens of Skopelos to do the same. She also tries to have the animals adopted. A friend of Natasa in Athens helps her with the adoptions. If they get adopted they all have proper adoption papers, they have been neutered and they can only be adopted if they will not be chained and not live on balconies or roof terraces. A family would be the best place for them to live. They need to be an equal part of the family Natasa said to me today.

I am talking about Natasa because I saw a wonderful post from her yesterday. Natasa asked everyone who follows her on Facebook and has adopted a dog if they could send in photos of the dogs. They did and these are some of the dogs that have found new homes. I love seeing all the dogs in their new houses with their new owners! Everybody in the posts had their own story about how these animals “men’s best friends” changed their lives and they deserve a place on this blog today, Christmas day.

I admire Natasa, she is hands on, she is there for the animals and takes no cr.p. Many people know her but if you don’t know her and are interested try to find out about her when you are on Skopelos again, talk to her and if you can, help her.


(All these dogs have found a new home!)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anastasia.lamprogianni/