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In the middle of it

At the moment we are in the middle of a big storm with a lot of wind that has caused damage to properties close to the sea. We have had a couple of electricity cuts but so far so good the electricity cuts were only for a few minutes.

The photos are from the beach of Glyfoneri today and the winds were not so strong yet. It has rained a lot during the day and we received again a government warning to not leave the house without a very good reason.

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Extreme weather allert

This message arrived on my phone just now. Be careful, stay safe.

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Water

Tomorrow it is the sixth of January, also called Epiphany. It the last official celebration and bank holiday before Easter. In Greece the Greek Orthodox Church performs the ‘Great Blessing of the Waters’on the 6th of January.


On the actual day outdoors priests bless large bodies of water, sea, rivers, lakes etc. Mostly men, dive in the water and try to retrieve the cross (attached to a line) that is thrown in the water. You will be lucky for the rest of the year if you catch the cross, they say..

Because of the Covid-19 situation many events have been cancelled all over the country because big crowds usually gather for this ceremony. Not sure what will happen tomorrow in Skopelos, Elios and Glossa.

The names: Fani, Fotika, Jordan, Ourania, Peristera, Photini, Photis, Theofanis, Theopoula celebrate tomorrow. The day after on the 7th of January Jannis and Joanna celebrate their nameday.

A freak accident with a car ending up in the harbor and the driver that drowned has quickened the installation of small pillars along a part of the harbor. Because of the new road in the harbor there are no obstacles present anymore, preventing somebody to fall in the harbor whilst driving a big vehicle. In, at least, the beginning of the harbor there are now some small pillars in place.

The weather on Skopelos is fantastic at the moment with 18 degrees Celcius most afternoons. The skies turn pink and orange when the sun goes down.

It is magical.

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This video I was supposed to post on the first of January. It took me some time to have it in a form that everybody could see it.
I also could not find out who made it and. I apologize to the makers for that.

The video was send to me by an friend. It is a suggestion for the New Year. It is an optimistic message and I think we have to try to stay optimistic in these difficult times. Happy New Year!!


(source: unknown)

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With great sadness and a big sense of loss we laid to rest today, Mr. Apostolis Kosifis, who was an anchor on Skopelos for many, many people.

Apostolis was known because of his work as a travel agent. He had a boat ticket office opposite the harbor for many, many years.

Who hasn’t received help from him, before, during or after traveling with a boat. No boat ticket available ? but he put you on that boat, no room for a car ? but that car travelled to its destination, luggage lost, he found it.

Apostolis was not a man of yes and no. He was a, probably, maybe and there is a good chance. He thought there was always a solution and he would share that information with you.

Many people worked for Apostolis and they became friends and have been with him for ages. Only with regret you stop working for him and you leave his office.

Many years ago he also was a tour operator. And again many people passed by his office. Elli was one of them. She was a rep for Attica Reisen and started working in the office of Apostolis. This describes, her and her husband Max’s, friendship with him.


(Elli, Max and Apostolis)

One for the road…. Our dear friend Apostoli
We lost a very good soul.
Whenever we arrived on Skopelos, we first went to his office to greet him and it was as if we were coming home.
We met Apostolis for the first time in 1999 in his office in the old harbour where Elli worked in his office at that time.
He told her that she will learn a lot in Greece. It was more than a lot.
Even when it was very stressful in the high season he never lost his great sense of humour. He was always friendly and solid as a rock.
In the following years, in which we met regularly on Skopelos, a wonderful friendship developed.
We remember his amazing quotes like “Everything is under Control“ or “Finito La Musica – Passato La Festa“.“One for the road and one for the asphalt road and after that one for the dusty road!“ That was what he said, when we couldn’t end a marvelous evening we had spent together.

What will it be like when we arrive next year on Skopelos and go to his office?
We are very sad, we have tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts.
Our thoughts are with his beloved ones; Maya and his children Angeliki and Vangelis. Apostoli we will miss you and we will drink „one for the road“ remembering what a great person you were. We are grateful to have had the privilege of knowing you.
Goodbye, our dear friend. We already miss you infinitely. Now the party is over. “Finito La Musica Passato La Festa!“
Elli & Max

My first job on the island was in Apostolis his office. I think it was 1998. I was also a rep but for Hotelplan, a Dutch travel organization. I met Elli there and until today we keep in contact. Apostolis taught me the ropes in tourism, he introduced me to the people I had to work with and through him I got credit, they helped me because Apostolis vouched for me. He had my back. What a start for a stranger on a small Greek island. I never met a more kinder boss. I made mistakes but he never got mad. When I became pregnant and had to start work again with a very small child he allowed me to take my three month old daughter to the office so I could feed her. After that she slept in a office chair because she was still so small. Ηe called her, up to this day, (rose) bud/ μπουμπουκι. Years later when I went to work somewhere else he gave me a bonus. I still have that bank transfer paper.

A boulder in the harbor is gone. The harbor is not the same anymore. Apostolis will not walk up to the incoming ferryboat. Apostolis is gone. Our thoughts are with Maya, Vangelis and Angeliki and all those that loved him.

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Light, a lot of light

For all the readers out there in the world, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you can spend a wonderful time with your loved ones. May 2022 be a year full of light, a lot of light.

I received a Christmas wish that I want to repeat here because when something or somebody is hurt, broken, injured or damaged, it does not mean there is no hope for something better. There is always hope, and lights that will shine and helps us move forward.

Anthem from Leonard Cohen (four lines of the song)

“Ring the bells that still can ring,

forget your perfect offering,

there’s a crack in everything,

that’s how the light gets in”

Daphne

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Ferries and ships will remain docked as Greece’s seamen federation PNO has announced it will launch a 48-hour strike on December 10-11, 2021. The strike will affect all categories of ships.

It will start at 00:01 on Friday, December 10 and end at midnight Saturday, December 11, 2021.

According to a statement issued by the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO), seamen demand wage increases in the collective bargaining agreements for 2020-2021 and solutions to problems relating to social insurance, pensions, education, unemployment, undeclared work and many others.

Source: https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2021/11/30/ferries-greece-strike-dec-10-11-2021/

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Residents in Greece over the age of 60 will be fined €100 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, under the first general COVID-19 mandate announced by the country’s government.

The measure was announced in response to a surge in cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant. It will come into effect on January 16 with the fines to be added to their tax bills, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised announcement today, Tuesday the 30th of November.

Greece’s death toll exceeded 18,000 this week with confirmed infections at record levels, as roughly a quarter of the country’s adult population remains unvaccinated.

Vaccination mandates were introduced over the summer for health care workers and fire service rescuers, with those failing to comply being suspended from their jobs indefinitely without pay.

The government has ruled out imposing new lockdowns but says it is targeting the elderly with tougher restrictions to protect the public health service as ICU occupancy is near capacity nationwide.

“The new Omicron variant is a concern for us and means we must be vigilant,” Mitsotakis said.

“Unfortunately, of the 580,000 unvaccinated of our fellow citizens over the age of 60, only 60,000 set up appointments to get vaccinated in November,” he said. “But it is mainly people over 60 who require hospital treatment and sadly lose their life. These deaths are unnecessary.”

Source: https://www.euronews.com/2021/11/30/greece-will-fine-over-60s-100-a-month-for-refusing-covid-19-vaccine

The video with the announcement (in Greek) is here: https://twitter.com/i/status/1465630286356664320

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And we are still counting

The Greek government has given the citizens of Greece until the 13th of December to register. Originally the due date was the 26th of November but that deadline could not be met.

I tried to do it online but got stuck on the last page. It is difficult to complete and the help line was not picking up and never called me back. I will try again and maybe call 211 12 12 032 again or I will write and email to census2021@statistics.gr.

Now that it is quieter on the island there is also more time to visit other places on the island and see the changes.

Part of the old road to Stafylos has been asphalted. It is a pity that on the island more and more paths/dirt road become “highways|. The road from Glossa to Perivoliou has been done too.

We get regular updates from the mayor and a lot has been done so far but I feel that for a Greek island to stand out from the many others and to endure through time, emphasis should be more on environmentally/eco friendly islands. I cannot phantom why some kind of recycling on this island cannot be organized? Is it up to individual initiatives to get something done? I don’t understand it. As of July 2022, municipalities which transfer waste to landfills will be charged higher landfill fees. Will fines be the incentive to start recycling, re-using? Why is being eco friendly not something that Skopelos could be known for and attract visitors?

The island has an amazing nature where dozens of paths are scattered all over the island and kept open by Heather Parsons and her volunteers. There are other entrepreneurs that promote cycling, diving, canoeing, running. These activities also make it possible, with a coordinated strategy, to have a summer where May and June and September are more busier. Is it a utopia?

As always the fall and winter show us different seas, beaches and most of all amazing skies. I cannot get enough of them. Another reason to be here all year round. It never gets dull.

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This is a letter from the mayor about the census that is taking place on the island. Permanent residents are being asked to register themselves with the paper that arrives at your doorstep. If you have not received it because you live to far out of town, employees from the government, especially hired for this work, (with identification papers with them) will pass by your house and help you register.

A great way to know how many residents Skopelos has and the total permanent residents in Greece. In order to be able to register you need your access codes u use to get into your Greek tax file.

The registration needs to be done by the 26th of November. If you need help, you have not received the envelope you can call the mayor’s office. Monday to Friday from 9 to 2 and ask for Mrs. Evi Kathinioti. Telphone: +30 24243-50106. The subject you ask help for in Greek is Apografie/Απογραφή

Skopelos, 18-11-2021 

My fellow citizens and fellow citizens, 

The population – housing census 2021 process has started on our island.  

I want to invite you to participate in this process that will allow us to see how many citizens live on Skopelos and in the country. At the same time it will gather valuable statistics on the demographic and social characteristics of the population in Greece. 

The data collected is confidential, not transmitted or shared to any public or private body and it is worth noting that no sensitive personal data is collected. The data will reflect the real population of the municipality of Skopelos island,  as well as its real needs. 

The general inventories are carried out, taking into account the unprecedented conditions due to the pandemic, with self-registration. 

  • Those fellow citizens who cannot, for any reason, register themselves electronically until November 26, 2021,  will be registered through the process of a personal interview in their area. 

Please open your door to the interviewer The approximately 60,000 interviewers of ELSTAT, bear, in addition to their identity card, a special badge with the ELSTAT mark, on which their details are written, as well as a form with their photograph and a stamp of ELSTAT.  

Finally, they are obliged to observe all necessary measures to protect public health from the risk of further spread of the Covid-19. 

THE MAYOR OF SKOPELOS 

Stamatis Persis 

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