Sunday, July 30, 2006

Wosog loves donkeys....

Wosog loves donkeys....
Originally uploaded by Son of Groucho.

An amusing incident happened during our recent holiday in Santorini: well it seems funny now, anyway. We went to Fira one evening and made the fatal decision to walk down the steps to the Old Port. We knew that some people traveled the 580 or so steps on donkeys, but we thought we would walk down and get the cable car back up. We didn't realise that there were so many donkeys, and how much of their "droppings" covered the steps. I can honestly say that I have never seen so much crap in the one place at the one time! The bloody donkeys also seemed to have no sense of direction, and it was in places difficult to walk down the steps at all! Meanwhile, the sun was beating down, the smell was getting worse, and the bottom of the steps never seemed to come. Eventually we reached the Old Port and almost immediately came back up up by cable car with some nice elderly Italians. If either of us ever harboured any affection for donkeys before that day it certainly disappeared that evening in Greece.

I took the picture above to try and capture some of Wosog's discomfiture at confronting a morass of donkeys. Before anyone starts flinging accusations, I did not take this photo in order to capture the image of the attractive girl on the left. She just happened to be there! I make this point because similar unjustified accusations have come my way in the past.

I'll say no more on the subject.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I taught her all she knows....

Sail boat silhouette
Originally uploaded by Wosog.

Wosog and I have been married for 24 years this year ( yes, I am that old), and our anniversary is on the 10th of July. One of the things we did when we were in Santorini was to go on a cruise that was designed to let you view the sunset off Oia. I'd like to say it was deliberate, but by total coincidence the date of this trip fell on our anniversary. As you will imagine we both took lots of photographs of the sunset and this one taken by Wosog was her first picture to get into what is called Explore in Flickr.

Explore lists the 500 most interesting pictures uploaded to Flickr each day. Nobody knows how the Gods of Flickr measure interestingness, but there is no doubt that Explore contains some spectacular images. This photo not only got into explore but was listed very near the top. I think you'll agree it's a fabulous reminder of our 24 years together.

There I've said it: I'll go back to being a total cynic again!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Great Break in Santorini

Wosog and I had a great holiday in Santorini. As I said in a previous post, Santorini is actually a group of islands. By far the biggest is Thera (or Thira), where we stayed, but the group also includes a smaller island called Thirasia, as well as two volcanic islands called Nea Kameni (which has several craters and last erupted in 1950) and Palea Kameni (which has hot springs). Finally there is tiny island with a prominent upper layer of pumice called Aspronisi. There are a few people on Thirasia but the vast majority of the Santorini population stay on Thera.

We stayed in Perissa, which is basically a beach resort. The apartments had quite a nice swimming pool, but Wosog, who loves to swim in the sea, didn't use it at all. They guy who looked after the pool was extremely obsessional about it. It was fascinating to watch him go through his routine every day, but it seemed to work because I don't think I've ever seen a cleaner pool! The Pool Man was middle-aged, and never smiled, partly because he was constantly nagged by his rather vain wife. We later found out that he was a retired Albanian policeman, which somehow seemed to explain a lot.

Behind Perissa, between it and the bigger resort of Kamari, is the small mountain Mesa Vouno that has the ruins of the city of Ancient Thera on top of it. In an effort to try and avoid excessive holiday weight gain, I actually climbed (or rather walked) up Mesa Vouno 3 times: once to photograph a little church perched on the side of the mountain, and twice to visit Ancient Thera (once without, and once with Wosog). Aren't you proud of me?

Unfortunately, it didn't work and I came back an even bigger blob than before.
Don't worry, the diet has already started!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tas Mania 3, and post-holiday depression

Well Gdog has made it to Australia. She had to travel all on her own down to London by train, get to Heathrow Airport, fly to Hongkong and finally fly to Melbourne. The initial stages of this mammoth voyage coincided with Wosog and I returning from sunny Santorini. As a result, we won't see The Little Princess for a total of six weeks: it must have been something we said!

An anxious Wosog tracked the migration of her baby by means of frequent text messages and slightly less frequent mobile phone calls. Gsog hadn't phoned her to see her off because he had forgotten when she was going ('nough said)! We were particularly concerned that the wee soul would fall asleep in Hongkong Airport and miss her flight to Oz. However we needn't have worried, and she is now recovering from her jet lag with my excellent cousin David who lives near Melbourne. In a few days she'll tie the corks to her wide-brimmed hat and join her fellow conservationists as they head off for Tasmania. Watch this space for more details.

As for me, I had a great holiday in Santorini (more of which later). However, I've just remembered the one thing that I don't like about holidays: the fact that you have to go back to work after them. I'll sign off now as I'm off to buy a lottery ticket.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Everyday Low Prices...

Many thanks to my friend Donna di Mondo on Flickr for pointing me in the direction of this excellent video.

Thank goodness none of our British supermarkets behave like this, eh?

Monday, July 03, 2006

My Political Compass

My Political Compass
Originally uploaded by Son of Groucho.

Thanks to Birdman for pointing me in the direction of this site that claims to be able to analyse your political position based on a detailed questionnaire.

I'm in the same quadrant as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama: not too bad company!

Why don't you give it a go?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Off to Greece again...

Dedicated graecophiles Sog and Wosog are off to Greece again in the early hours of Tuesday morning. We are off to the island of Santorini this time. Basically, as you all may have suspected, Wosog decides where we are going, and I merely agree. Hence, I didn't realise until now that Santorini is actually a circular group of islands. Needless to say, I have no idea which of the group we are going to----I'll tell you when we get back!

We are leaving the house to be looked after by Gsog (why does a phrase that includes the words "lunatics" and "asylum" keep running through my head?). Gdog will also be keeping an eye on things---which is only slightly more reassuring. Thank goodness we have sensible neighbours!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Size doesn't matter?

Many thanks to SeenyaRita of Flickr for pointing me in the direction of this tragic tale.

It is quite funny, though, isn't it (in a gruesome sort of way)?