To be honest, February started quite nice with a lot of sunshine and even butterflies started to appear. Then it went pear-shaped! We always expect bad weather in February and despite the winter being amazing to date, it started to show its true colours once we got into the second week
On Sunday, 7th February, I made something of an executive decision and declared that I would be having a ‘Facebook free’ week! As it turned out, this proved something of a godsend as part way through the week, our Internet Service Provider had something of what can only be described as a meltdown! They not only suffered a denial of service attack but also a major power outage so bad that it was deemed unsafe for their engineers to tackle it. This, in turn meant that we had several websites down and a couple, including this one, took a little work on my part to resurrect. I was glad that I had left the job of moderating our Facebook groups to others.
By the time Friday, 12th February arrived, we were in need of replenishing some supplies which meant a trip to Corfu Town. For the non resident it must be hard to imagine what pleasure we gained from a visit to the bacon factory for a gammon and some back bacon, followed by coffee and spanakopitas at Emeral before finally shopping at Lidl! We rewarded ourselves with lunch at ‘Fishalida’ (‘Φυσαλίδα’) Fish Taverna in Corfu Town, just outside the market. We had recently been introduced to Fishalida by friends and we can see it becoming a great favourite whenever we have to go into town. We highly recommend it.
It would be remiss of us not to mention our grandson, Jacob’s first birthday on 18th February. We can’t believe how quick the past year has gone.
This strange winter has continued! I am beginning to wonder whether I should change the title of this post as it is so mild. As of 16th February, we are in our third day of exceedingly high winds but it is amazingly warm. It has been very grey and it is difficult to believe that temperatures have exceeded 21°C. Wild flowers are appearing everywhere and a number of Painted Lady butterflies have been apparent on our land.
We try to have the occasional excursion when the weather is unexpectedly good. Sometimes we are rewarded by seeing something unusual. For example, we decided to take ourselves off to Agios Spiridon 0n Thursday, 18th February. It was just meant to be a brief respite before lunch. We managed to photograph a couple of cormorants which are frequently seen there. What was a surprise though, was a kingfisher which posed for us by the entrance to the lagoon. That was something special. From there we decided to have a brief look around Almyros where we also saw a common buzzard and European Goldfinch. The latter is another particularly handsome bird to photograph. We weren’t away from home that long but it proved to be a welcome break.
For those that don’t follow Facebook, we should point out that we run a couple of groups there – Corfu Forum and Corfu South. Tricia usually puts up a daily weather report on Corfu Forum and tries to find something interesting to photograph to accompany the report. On Thursday, 25th February, she came in very excited! Purely by chance, she had spotted what we think is a Giant Orchid in the front garden. Heaven knows where it came from! We are happy to be corrected on the identification.
I should mention that this day was another sunny one and we decided that it would be nice to travel south to Benitses to see a friend, Anne, who is running the Argo Pool Bar and apartments with her children, following the unexpected death of her husband, Spiros. They run a bi-weekly book exchange on Thursdays through the winter. It is an excuse for many people to meet up, have lunch and a drink! I must confess that we rarely know anyone there but it is nice to see Anne and have a total change of scenery.
On the way back to the car after lunch we stopped off to take a few pictures in the old part of Benitses. It really is an attractive village. We had intended to stop off at Lidl and call it a day but we had an unusual end to the day. I shall explain!
Back in December, 2015, there had been reports of a White Stork being seen on top of a pylon in Temploni, between a scrap metal works and a builder’s Yard. I had tried to find it previously but with no success. On a whim, we decided to have another attempt at finding this elusive bird. They are not native to Corfu. Imagine our surprise when we found it at rest on top of a pylon! To add to our excitement, it clearly became fed up with our attention and took off, only to circle above us giving further photo opportunities. It rounded off a really great day for us.
Now, no post would be complete without the occasional disaster or tale of woe, would it? Many will be aware that we often suffer power outages and occasionally the water will be turned off. Recently, we and others have been complaining the water has had an awful taste and smell. This problem has affected quite a large area in the north-east of the island. It turns out that the water had become contaminated which resulted in it being turned off. We went nine days without regular water, three of those days we had no water at all. It wasn’t such an issue for us as we have a 750 litre emergency supply which kicks in when the water pressure fails. As nobody had any idea when or if the water was temporarily available, those without alternative supplies had a real problem.
When the water eventually came back, we were advised not to drink it or cook with it until government analysts declared it fit for human consumption on 29th February. Thankfully, good bottled water is very cheap and readily available.
Well now! That sees out the month of February for us. It has been something of a mixed bag where the weather has been concerned. In truth there have been days that were so warm that nobody can remember anything similar.
To say that we are concerned in case there are insufficient water reserves for the summer is an understatement. Given the current state of the country, some of which is self inflicted, some of which has been inflicted upon us by the refugee crisis and Europe’s inability to cope with it, the last thing that is needed is anything else to discourage visitors. Oh well, fingers crossed!
Until our next post, have a great time.
If you can’t wait to look at the photo gallery that accompanies this post, click here!
Bob & Tricia
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