There’s a …

… spot of scandal in today’s journal. Nikos confided to me that my prospective maid Eleni is an unmarried mother, and the father was an unidentified tourist. Apparently no-one refers to it. Eleni’s mother (the sister of Pope Soutsos) looks after the baby. Of course, this being Greece, the fact that I was informed ‘confidentially’ and that no-one refers to it means that absolutely everyone knows. In England, unmarried motherhood is very common. In Greece, only 4% of babies are illegitimate, and one suspects that in the islands and small village communities, the incidence is even lower.

The boat is now almost back to the raw wood on the outside of the hull. There’s just the tricky bits still to do. I really thought we were nearly finished with this, but Alexis insists that we have to strip the paint off the inside, too! I really wonder if I need a boat this much, or whether I should go out and buy a rubber dinghy if I want to mess about in boats, but I can’t let Alexis down. I am his only customer right now, and I’m learning a bit of Greek from him while we merrily scrape away. It’s much better than what I was recently doing in Glasgow – data checking – yechh! Even fumes of stripper and blowlamp are better fare than that. Some sections of paint just come straight off in a long streamer that wraps around your arm and permanently colours your clothes. Others require considerable force and dedication to even chip them, and barked knuckles are the norm. With all this fresh air and sun, I’m beginning to get a nice tan, so that’s something.

Looking forward to Nikos’ Chicken in Lemon tonight. My appetite can’t wait. I’m all washed and changed. In a minute, I shall get on my little motor bike and freewheel down to the village, which is a couple of miles down the hill, and pass the time with an Ouzo or two. Bliss.

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