All’s well that ends well at Castello Penita !

Well all the damage has been put right now and the power is back on at our house in Agia Paraskevi.        The insurance company did not pay out –  but then they are an insurance company !!

Usachi has cut the offending tree right back and now has a years supply of firewood.

I am going to Castello Penita on April 1st  (yes  I know its April Fools Day ) and will carry on with the garden and start getting the pool up and running.   I will have some clearing up in the garden after the severe storm..  Sheila will come over a few days later and  hopefully enjoy the sunshine.     I am really looking forward to being in that wonderful, magical area again……………………………………………     a1656391


Disaster strikes yet again

Well just when I thought we were all over the hard times I get a call to say that the house has been damaged by falling trees during a two day severe gale. Aghh

The  power cable is down, the tree in the front garden came down and pull it with it. Breaking the support mast along with a lot of roof tiles. Another tree has blown over a bit and broke through my stone wall . A good number of ridge tiles of as well!   —  Could be worse.      At least the house is still dry inside.   Its not so much the damage as much as getting it put right!  Jeorg who helps manage the house for me has been brilliant and organised the power company to disconnect the power while we get the roof repaired. the Insurance company have also been very good and are to view the damage later today. Lest hope they will pay out. !!003_Bildgröße ändern (2) 002_Bildgröße ändern 006_Bildgröße ändern

Settled in now

Well after all our hard work it finally feels like we have settled in!!!


Most of the hard work and big spends are done  and we are very comfortable in our Cretan Home.   The disasters seem to be behind us  ( fingers crossed), the most recent being a 435 euros water bill !!  Our water meter is at the top of a local hill and is in a jumble of pipes and is fitted upside down. The rubber hose pipe which carries the water about 400 metres to my house and is subject to traffic, JCB’s and fires is my responsibilty. The big bill was due to an underground leak. We found it and repaired it. Thanks to Callum and Chris for hard work and creative solutions.!!


and we now know a few of the right ropes. I called in at the local council office in Spilli to see about having the meter moved. I have to find the local Mayor and discuss it with him over drinks!!    I will keep you posted on that one.   I will be going out on September 13th for a few weeks before Sheila and our good friend Roger come to join me.

We are sending some more furniture and soft furnishing out with the great lads at Crete Express. So I will be reminded of how to put up Ikea flat pack furniture once again !!

Happy New Year

Time for a beer

Time for a beer

Well 2012 was a very challenging year in many ways for the new house, We has the flood– the refused insurance claim–  the theft of some old patio furniture- the wild fire- finding out the house was not legal- the earthquake plus various other things. All in all things can’t be any worse in 2013 can they??

Fingers Crossed 

On the plus side we have had lots of happy times in the house and a lot of work has been done. We had a pool installed with decking which is terrific, we have had a lot of new furniture, some from the UK as well as sofas and new beds from a lovely lady called Zacharinia  who has a furniture shop called Fantasia in Rythmnon –  Excellant service.  We have installed a new sun terrace as well as a new flight of steps and rockery to the rear garden.

We have met a few more people in and around Agia Paraskevi and I have found my melodeon playing is very well received and has opened a few doors for me.   So onwards and upwards!!!!  I am going to Agia Paraskevi again on the 26th March to open up the house and get the pool sorted. Sheila and I will go out for a break in May.

Updated gallery

Hi, it’s Chris here – John’s step son, web designer and patio layer!

It’s been a few weeks since I came back from Crete, enjoying a lovely week in the sun while Leeds was cold and rainy and I took a few new photos in between patio laying and beer drinking. In typical fashion I’ve only just got around to putting them up (as well as a few of John’s new ones – I can’t take credit for the one in this post) in the Gallery.

The house is really starting to take shape now – the swimming pool really makes the garden and the patio is looking fantastic.

I’m looking forward to going out again in the spring!

Back to the Grind !!

Bright colours keep you happy!!

Bright colours keep you happy!!

Loads of office type things to do now.  The Greek Government wants confirmation that  we are UK tax payers  and so forms to fill in in duplicate and they must then be sent to HMRC at Liverpool for official approval, then sent to my lawyer who will , hopefully, send them to the Greek Ministry of Finance. Although they have to be in by the end of December it may be years before they are all checked. Still life in Agia Paraskevi goes on, the sun still shines and the wonderful beaches are still there.  Castello Penita has its lasts guests in at the moment but after they have left Uschi will close uo the house for winter.

“After years of sitting on their bottoms , drinking coffee and eating pastries , they now have to start getting some taxes in.”

Not my words but from a Greek report.

Working away on my face-book pages, Blogs, Fewo Direkt web site in Germany plus Owners Direct here in the UK  .  I know nothing about web sites, blogs or face-book marketing but I am learning and already have impressive words and phrases I can drop into conversations.

I am reminded as well that my UK tax returns must be getting to the head of my  things to do queue.  Better get on with it.




Getting the house knocked into shape

All Working Hard

All Working Hard

Chris and Roger came out to help with laying stone on the new sun terrace for Castello Penita. They slaved away with occasional help from me and the work is coming on well as you can see.

It was finished the following day and we then built a flight of steps and made a new planting area with a lemon tree, some plants and a bouganvillia. We also had some new furniture delivered and the old crappy stuff taken away.  Two beds to replace the awful things that were there as well as another new sofa . Staring to look like home now.

New Windows and doors to replace the old draughty ones which were not very secure either. So in with the new!! We had a lovely time  with friends two friends from Yorkshire coming to stay over and Sarah and Simon from Nottingham came to stay for a week.

We we invited to a house warming at Janis’ house which is a small very traditional gem with great views. I played and Arnau played percussion. Managed not to drink too much although Roger did not !!.

Whew what a close shave !!


I was driving home from Warwick Folk Festival one Saturday when  Werner who was staying in our house Castello Penita, at Agia Paraskevi with his family phoned to say that they had been evacuated by the fire police and that the whole hillside was on fire and that the fire was heading for my house!!!

Aghhh  I thought. I tried to phone the local hotel Pegasus when I got home but no answer…

The fire was put out later that day but sadly sprang back into life later on and headed back to our place. The fire men who were using my place as a base put it out but not before my palm trees were a bit charred.

My thanks and admiration to the local firemen- all local volunteers- a great bunch of blokes. These fires are apparently arson and set by the local shepherds to improve the pasture next year.  Must be bonkers.

It’s a wonder no one was killed – the fire raged over a large area and one house at Triopetra did have some damage. The lesson here is to cut back as much vegetation as possible from the boundary of your garden. Clear away waste and generally think about fire risk. I admit I did not !