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Archive for November, 2020

The music box


Sunday afternoon on Panormos beach

The last three weeks, on a Wednesday, I have been watching a new music program on the state television Ert. It is called the music box/Το Μουσικό Κουτί.
The show is hosted by Nikos Portokaloglou; famous singer/songwriter and Rena Morfi; singer/actress. They invite two or three singers/musicians each time who at first glance don’t have anything in common, they may be from different music backgrounds but in the couple of hours that you hear them play and sing you find out that their musical paths have crossed in one way or another and that they can make beautiful music together. The combinations are fantastic. The choice of musical instruments and the performances give the well know Greek and foreign songs a new coat. Wonderful to hear and see. A must for Greek music lovers.

Big heaps of sand were dumped in the area below the Panajitsa tou Pirgos church. That is why you had to remove your vehicles…

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The civil protection service on Skopelos in the name of municipal board president Angelos Xidaris has announced tonight that on the island more than ten people are infected with the corona virus. In the message the villages of Glossa and Elios are mentioned but we cannot rule out any part of the island where people live including Skopelos town.

This is the message I received from the vice mayor via an email. First in Greek than translated by me.

αγαπητοί φίλοι και συμπολίτες
Σύμφωνα με τα τελευταία στοιχεία του ΕΟΔΥ στην κοινότητα Γλώσσης ανακοινώθηκαν 8 κρούσματα θετικά στο covid-19 και 5 στο Ελιος.
Κάνουμε έκκληση στους κατοίκους των παραπάνω κοινοτήτων να περιορίσουν τις μετακινήσεις να παραμείνουν στα σπίτια τους και εάν παρουσιάσουν κάποια φαινόμενα αδιαθεσίας να ενημερώνουν το Κέντρο Υγείας της Σκοπέλου.
Παρακαλουμε να τηρείτε τα πρωτόκολλα του covid-19
Πολιτική Προστασία Δήμου Σκοπέλου

Dear friends and fellow citizens
According to the last information from the EODY 8 corona patients were traced in Glossa and 5 in Elios. I am asking of the inhabitants of these villages to minimize their movements and to stay at home and if they have any symptoms of sickness they should contact the health center. Please follow the protocol of Covid-19. Civil protection Municipality of Skopelos.

About the general lockdown in Greece
The Greek government extended until 6 a.m. on December 7 the restrictive measures imposed to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the country, as the number of deaths and intubations remained persistently high three weeks into a nationwide lockdown.

Speaking at a regular press conference on Thursday, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said the move is necessary as the viral load in the country remains high.

“Especially in some areas, such as Thessaloniki, Serres, Larissa, Etoloakarnania, Lesvos and Achaia, this burden is a source of concern,” he told the press.
Source:Ekathimerini

More information here:EKathimerini

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A 24-hour strike called by Greece’s main public sector union ADEDY. Ferry travel is also expected to be disrupted on Thursday as five seamen’s unions are joining the 24-hour strike. The strike will run from 00:01 on Thursday until midnight. Not all available boats will be coming and going to Skopelos and the other islands in the Sporades. Proteus might travel. Please ask the ticket offices on the island if you need to travel.

ADEDY is protesting a draft law of the Labor Ministry that includes regulations on working hours, overtime, industrial action and trade unionism.

Air travel in Greece will also face disruption on Thursday as air traffic control personnel and electronic security engineers are participating in the 24-hour strike called for that day. The unions have also announced work stoppages on Wednesday, November 25.

Also on Friday, November 27, the PanHellenic Union of Licensed Aeronautical Telecommunication Officers will hold a 4-hour work suspension from 10am until 2pm.

Those planning to travel by ferry, train or plane in the next few days are advised to contact their travel agents for details.

GTP travel news and Nikos Triandafillou in Glossa

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Apart from the things we see happening on the island like road works and repairs most visitors and inhabitants of Skopelos (including me) don’t really know what is happening in the municipality. You could follow the municipality boardmeetings but they are only in Greek so a regular update from the Mayor about ongoing “work” is valuable. This is his list from a couple of days ago on Facebook (translated from Greek and edited by me sometimes to make the translation a little clearer)

1) The assignment of construction/repair of the first phase of the road to the Agios Konstantinos beach, a project with a budge 195,000 euros.
2) The construction of sidewalks near Stafylos, in Elios and in Glossa, a project of 300,000 euros project from the province
3) The asphalting of the provincial road, a project with a budget 2.500.000 euros, a project coming from the province.
4) The reconstruction/rebuilding study of the Health Center was finally assigned, budget 18,600 euros.
5) The conversion of the Melachrino family building of into a municipal library was approved, amounting to 152,000 euros and the municipality is proceeding with the auction (who will execute the work) of the project.
6) The reconstruction works of the Vougiala building/former KAPI building have been completed. The social service of the municipality has moved there already and the “FAROS” association also. The relocation of the technical service of the municipality will begin.
7) The configuration of the old slaughterhouse and the garbage trucks parking area is progressing.
8) The support works on the rocks below the Agios Nikolaos church near the Kastro area are progressing.
9) The works at the municipal stadium are progressing. The lawn was mowed, rolled and the irrigation system was fixed. The grass is green again!
10) The asphalting of the road leading to the area of ​​the Mylos has been completed and the lighting fixtures remain to be connected.
11) The cleaning and landscaping of the plots that the municipality has on the Castle/Kastro is progressing.

12) The landscaping of the coastal areas in Loutraki and Skopelos is progressing.
13) The digitalization of the services of the municipality is progressing.
14) The recording in a GIS system (geographic information system) of the electric lighting network throughout the island has been completed.

15) An older garbage truck of the municipality was completely repaired.
16) An old multi-machine of our municipality was repaired.
17) Two new small garbage trucks were received to be used for the interior of the villages worth 50,000 euros.
18) The pumping station of the municipality underwent maintenance.
19) The following plans will be developed:
a) creation of paths on the island 100 km long
b) creation of two mountain bike routes
c) creation of an application and recording of bicycle routes on the existing roads.
20) The works have started in order to submit a proposal for the construction of a new part in the landfill since the existing landfill is in disrepair.
21) The preparations for the submission of proposals continue in all 12 areas of “the Antonis Tritsis urban development programme” of the Ministry of Interior.
For more info about this interesting program look Antonis Tritsis urban development programme
22) The first 30 files of the municipality’s owned properties were submitted to the national land registry and the municipality continues this difficult and very important project so all the properties belonging to the municipality are registered.
23) The submittal and registration via the forestry office of the municipal properties, was done.
24) Maintenance of the first folklore/traditional costumes of the Folklore Museum was done. Old books were registered and the municipality will continue with the rest of the costumes and fabrics in the museum.
25) The publication of K. Kosmas’ book with stories from our island is in progress.
26) The following books are edited and will be published:
a) The priest mr. Kostas Kallianos who wrote about the parishes of Skopelos and
b) Mr. Giorgos Sanidas who wrote about mr. Papadiamantis’ relationship with Skopelos.
27) Finally, a collection of Skopelos songs is collected by Mr. Konstantinos Paschalis with the aim of publishing them.
28) With the money received (15,000 euros, with a proposal that the municipality submitted) from the Ministry of Culture, a showcase of two costumes from Skopelos will be made by a specialized company, and all the exhibits of all our museums will be photographed and digitalized.

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Take your vehicles please

The municipality asks everybody that has a vehicle parked in the area Panajitsa tou Pirgo near the old harbor, to remove this vehicle because of building materials that will be placed there as of today.

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(very strong winds this morning on Milos Square, you can get blown down if you don’t watch out)

Today and tomorrow are winter days with a lot of wind and some rain on Skopelos. We have been a lot inside and we are fed up with cooking every day so take away/ take out food might be a solution. Gyros, souvlaki, pizza and burgers could be the food you crave and you can go or call to Gousto, La Tana, Magali and Thassos his kantina “Ormorfaini den pachaini” to get something but this winter, in addition, several restaurants remained open or re-opened in Skopelos Town and they have take away menu’s! I know of Molos restaurant, ouzeri Karydia and Ampeliki restaurant and the new Azan shop near the flower shops in Skopelos Town that do it. Please let me know if there are more places that do this kind of thing on other parts of the island. As far as I know all places mentioned that they also bring the food to your home. (within reason)

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(photo Ikion diving Alonissos Greece)

In an recent article of the National Geographic magazine ( 17th of November 2020) Alonissos was named one of the eight sustainable destinations for 2021. What I see happening (in my opinion) on Alonissos the last years is that the municipality, the mayor, businesses, individuals have tried and persevered with targeted actions to use the resources they have on the island; the national marine park and all its treasures for a purpose that can help tourism but at the same time to make sure it is preserved and maintained. They deserve this nomination, we congratulate everybody and we cannot but admire their efforts and this result.

The link to the article is here:
National Geographic

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(This morning, high up on the hills with a fabulous view and the sun)

I am a news beast. I watch and listen to the news during the day to keep up to date with the news around the world. I used to work as a librarian with a television and radio news broadcasting company. The bug stays with you.

Being in lockdown again and with time on my hands I am feeling more and more anxious whilst processing/hearing/reading the enormous amount of news about the Corona virus. And I live on an island with a relatively small amount of inhabitants and I do not work at a hospital or in another job that deals with Covid-19. I am not living in a big city. What the people who work with Covid-19 are feeling and going through I cannot imagine. What people feel and go through living in a big city, without work and living in a house without much freedom to move, I cannot imagine. The implemented rules harm people economically, in their privacy and it upsets their daily routine. Here on Skopelos we are better off, we have this vast space around us. We can escape and seek places that can calm us down. We can be pretty sure that next summer there will be some income from tourism.

In Greece and especially in Thessaloniki the hospitals that treat Covid-patients are full and there are hardly any beds in the ICU units. The Greek government hopes that after the two weeks lockdown the amount of Covid-19 patients will have reduced significantly. More and more people take the opportunity to take a rapid test to make sure if they have the virus or not, many times because they are taking care of older parents or because of their work.


(Morning pictures, view over Skopelos and the Stafylos area towards Evia)

Tomorrow it is the 17th of November. A historic and painful day for the Greeks. Exactly 47 years ago a massive demonstration against the military junta in Greece ended in bloodshed. The Athens Polytechnic University uprising in 1973 was a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.

The uprising began on November 14, 1973, escalated to an open anti-junta revolt and ended in bloodshed in the early morning of November 17 amongst others with a tank crashing through the gates of the Polytechnic University.

A short video about the 17th of November uprising

As of today and the next four days the Greek government has forbidden any rally’s that usually take place on this day in the whole of Greece. More than four people cannot be together in a group. Anyone that wants to leave wreaths and flowers at monuments can do so in accordance with the police. In Athens a huge police force will be in place to keep the situation under control. Many Greek political parties have protested against the measures. They want to be able to peacefully demonstrate. They say it is against the law to forbid demonstrations.

Things have also changed concerning the pre-school and elementary schools. Greek authorities have announced their closure as of today for at least two weeks. Special education schools will remain open. The children will have lessons via the internet every afternoon. The Greek government is not very concerned about the virus being amongst the pupils but more about the crowding of parents and grand parents when bringing and dropping of the students at school.

The night curfew went into effect on Friday, banning all circulation between 21.00 hours in the evening and 05.00 hours in the morning with the exception of work- or health-related movement and walking a pet close to home.

Talking about pets. This wonderful home we saw on the way to the monasteries. Custom made for cats we think. Only a very small dog will fit in this house. Water is available and I assume this animal lover who made this also leaves food behind there. A great initiative.

Bad news will always be around. We need to make an effort to keep seeing the positive news and make it part of our day to keep going! Make a positive move by yourself. You can do it! An aunt of me is reading a book from a writer that I have read too. I am sending her the second book in the sequel! A friend of mine send me a news clip about a 22 year old man from Guinee who plays really well football. He was staying in camp Moria on Lesbos. A couple saw him playing football and made it possible for him to stay in Greece and start playing with the Greek football club Panionios.

Stay safe, stay well, stay positive

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(SMS message 6: walk with the dog on Limnonari beach)

The Greek government has decided that a night curfew from 21.00 hours at night to 05.00 hours in the morning will start tomorrow, Friday November 13.

The curfew is aimed at further limiting movement in the country to curb the rise of Covid-19 cases. The night curfew was announced as many unnecessary movements have been recorded, according to authorities.

During the night curfew, movement (with identification papers) in Greece will be allowed by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033 and only for the following reasons:

– Work (with type A employer certificate, without sending an SMS)
– Health (SMS – Option 1)
– Walk a pet close to permanent residence (SMS – Option 6)


(ongoing work at the top of the road from Mylos square, no space to park your car on top of that area anymore)

In order to not think too much I try to keep busy and do things that help me lift my spirits. I have had two requests for books so I looked everywhere in the house for the books that I have stored and want to give away, I have made a selection and made an appointment to drop them off somewhere. I had two successful drop-offs. I also picked up a small box with books that somebody else gave me. Really nice that people responded after my last post. I am planning to make a couple of shelves (with the help of my husband of course) in my office in town for a small library. You take one book if you give one. What do you think? The shelves are ready, now they need to be placed in the office and filled with books.

I had to get used to sending an SMS message again. The first messages went completely wrong. I forgot how to send them. A mask lies on hand in the car. Most people I see in cars, on motorbikes and on the street are wearing a mask.
It is good to see but I went for a long walk yesterday and after a while the mask started bothering me. You really need to regulate your breathing if you wear it for a long time. I cannot imagine how it is when you have to wear them for your work the whole day. Here we are fairly free in our movements, a drive to the beach is possible without being stopped.

Collin’s dictionary has named the word Lockdown word of the year. What can I say…

I heard that lots of people are waiting to have their flu shot. There is a long waiting list at all the pharmacies on Skopelos. It is for the most vulnerable people.

I have found a good method to make masks. Just to keep me busy. What we are going to do with them when we don’t need to wear them anymore, I don’t know.
I am re-using materials like old pants, pillow cases and bed linen. Doing this, amongst others, keeps me off the streets…..

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So as of today, Greece, is also in a second lockdown. The amount of corona patients has been rising steadily and is higher then any number noted in the spring. More patients also end up in the hospital and the ICU units. More people die every day. So the Greek government has decided, like in many other countries, that we need to get off the street, not meet too many other people.
The next three weeks we will spend most time at home.

Being in quarantine for the second time, will be difficult. Many people will feel depressed, stressed, alone and anxious because they cannot leave their house without a good reason, meet their loved ones who live somewhere else or think clearly about a future with so many problems still ahead. Businesses will face huge losses again because they need to close and many employees will lose their jobs. We need to do what has been asked of us and we need to find means to get through these weeks. If we do well some measures might be withdrawn. We need to wait and see.

In the meantime I have been thinking about how to spend my time at home. There will be an increase in cooking and I will try to cook healthier meals and maybe let the kids cook some meals too… It might happen. I have added a baker to my news feed on Instagram. I might bake a bread again. I did one in the last lockdown. Jamie Oliver has uploaded many recipes again. I liked his efforts in the last lockdown and will follow him again.

I need to keep exercising. Use my headphones, put on some good walking music on my phone and just go, go. The dog will join me of course. SMS message number 6! I have bought a piece of elastic string so I can make masks. I am using old clothes. We will see how they turn out. We don’t really need them but I like to stay busy. I might do a puzzle again. Not too many pieces though…

These books, see the photo above, have been send to me by my aunt Lique a couple of weeks ago. She has been doing this on a regular basis for many years. I will not have enough time to read them the next couple of weeks and I have many that I have read already so if there is anybody on Skopelos who needs books, let me know. They have been my closest companion through stress, grief and anxiety. I will find a way to get them to you.

The next update from GTP travel pages gives a very well summary of all the new rules during this quarantine. Read through it if you have questions. Good luck everybody, look for help if you need it. Reach out to other people, your family, your friends. I already had a face time call from a friend in Holland wishing us luck with the lock down and have had several messages where we talked about it. I wrote a letter with a gift to a friend who will have a birthday soon and I will send some more letters to other friends. Show people that you care. It does not matter how. It is important.

GTP Greek Travel Pages on second lock down corona rules

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