Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Number 3: 90 days of …. rain?

Well, this is now my third year of wintering in Greece. This particular trip has not begun auspiciously – my job back home seems to have evaporated, although there is always my other contract work to keep the wolf from the door; the weather in Greece sucks – rain, rain, and more rain – rare for these parts; and my building project here is grinding along more slowly than I would like. Oh yeah, and there’s that pesky Greek economic crisis that is putting everyone in an edgy mood.

Other than that, life is good. I am happily ensconced in a large villa (a deal for rent this time of year) in the countryside near the sea. I woke this morning to birds singing their hearts out, the sight of almond trees in bloom and a hungry eagle soaring on the updrafts over my olive grove. I think the sun may even finally emerge. Yup, life is good.

I have arrived just in time for Apokries and this weekend is when all the Carnivale activities wind up before Lent settles in. Today, Sunday, I am off to watch the miles-long parade in Kalives – a lovely little town at the edge of the sea. My friends and I will settle into a street-side café, order buckets of fine local wine and generally just pass the day with the locals and ex-pat residents. Parties tonight, fireworks if we’re lucky.

Tomorrow is Clean Monday – kite flying, house tidying, and picnics with delicious traditional foods (seafood is on the menu today). In the old days, it was a day of fasting and prayer. Now it is more or less considered the first day of Spring. And, let’s face it, with this rotten uncertain economy the Greeks are in no mood for more penance.

So, eat, drink, be merry, watch the parades, fly your kites…. Spring is nigh!

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