Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Visiting Granny in Paloumba, Arcadia

After the successful crossing of three different prefectures the weekend before, you were ready on 25 and 26 July to go further than ever before, one more time. This road trip would see us crossing Corinthia and the Argolis to reach Arcadia and it would also involve a sleep-over at Granny-M's house in the country. Granny lives in the village of Paloumba in the Gortys part of Arcadia.

We all woke up for your first feed and set off as soon as you had burped and headed off for the Athens to Patras motorway. This took a little longer than it usually does because the nice people in charge of the Attiki Odos decided that early on a summer Saturday morning is the best time to resurface the motorway.

You made it through the whole journey without needing to eat, so you had your second meal of the day in Arcadia at 750m above sea level. It happened to be the hottest day of the year so it was all a little awkward being in the country house. Here are some photos of you with Granny-M. Can you see Lara and the cats in some of them?

Here is a little video of Granny-M pushing you in your pram. This weekend was the first time you sat in the pram and the first time we used it for transporting you about.

Granny-M really enjoyed the opportunity the pram gave her to take you out for walks. When it grew a little cooler in the evening, we went out for a night-time walk round the village so she could show you off to the neighbours.

We wanted to test-drive the pram as preparation for the Naxos holiday we had planned so we took it up and down stairs and put a mosquito net over it just to make sure everything was working.

You liked eating out in the central square of the village - here you are having dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday.

On Sunday we took the opportunity to leave you playing with Granny-M and took the car out for Mummy to try driving it a little. There is a stretch of road between Pal and Sarakini which is perfect for driving as there is very nearly never anyone on the road. Look how in-control Mummy looks here.

Look at how many kilometers we did in the weekend!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Going to the wedding reception

On 24 July some of Mummy's and Daddy's friends were getting married. This was your second invitation to a wedding, but the first one where you would stay for the reception afterwards. Georgis and Charoula were getting married. Their whole family was going to be there like they were at Easter when Mummy and Daddy had gone to the house at Sounio and you were still in Mummy's tummy. There was going to be a whole lot of people there interested in seeing what you looked like!

Off we went with Mummy down to Mesogeia and when we arrived, we put you in the sling and went out for the wedding. The bride took her time coming - the usual thing. You stayed with Daddy through the service and watched how he positioned himself for taking the photos of all the service, the exchanging of the rings and the wreaths. During the dance of Iasiah Daddy had to hide a little to avoid the rice being thrown from all directions to avoid you getting hit in your sling.

In between the ceremony and the reception, we had a whole lot of yummy snacks served and Mummy sat and fed you before we went to our table for proper food. Daddy went to get your car-seat from the car and you sat in it quite happily for the rest of the night, swinging and dancing along to songs you liked and just sitting there when the songs did not suit you.

Although you scared us to start with when you had trouble sleeping on account of the loud music, Daddy took you away in the sling and you soon fell asleep. After that, you didn't wake up again until we got home.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Syd Barrett smiles

Hello little one!

I want to tell you a story.
About a little man.
If I can.
A gnome named Crimble Cromble...


Friday, July 24, 2009

Daddy in quarantine, new soft toy

The day after the trip to Euboea, Daddy woke up feeling all queasy and weak. He even had a temperature, for the first time in ages! Because your immune system is not yet what it could be, Mummy put Daddy on the sofa for three days and called a doctor to come quick, quick, quick! The doctor came (with his bag and his hat) and he knocked at the door (with a rat-tat-tat).

Although he did not shake his head, he did make Daddy stay in bed and wrote a prescription for some pills (pills pills) because he thought he heared something odd when he put his stethoscope to Daddy's back. Daddy stayed at home for three days, you stayed in the bedroom and Daddy on the sofa, and Mummy was running between the two of us like a little electron between two covalent ions with a mask on.

Which means that all photos from this week are by Mummy!

Here's your new friend, a boomorphic stuffed toy with droopy eyes that we are calling "Mookie". Our friend Kelly brought her for you as a gift. When Daddy got better, he played with it too, making moo-ing noises which you found funny.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Visiting the Karstic spring of the Kolethra Resurgence

Weekends start with Telonius, the Robot Turtle: he will destroy you... attack! When you had had your fill of robot attack games, we got ready for the day's big adventure: going to the Kolethra resurgence, a karstic spring in Euboea.

This adventure involved, apart from a 263 km round trip (once again breaking all records for the greatest distance travelled in your life up to today) not only another trip to the beach, but also a trip on a boat, twice, across the stretch of sea called the Southern Gulf of Euboea! Mummy's friend Diamanto came along too. She hadn't seen you since you were very little in the maternity ward, so she was looking forward to it.

Here you are in the boat with a very happy Mummy. There is also a stop motion video showing you on the boat: no picture that Daddy could frame was big enough to show you and the fact that the car was on a boat.

Mummy was less happy after all the filming because with all the opening and closing of doors we woke you up and then you started complaining until we were quite close to our destination, although this was probably because you were hungry again.

Finding the spring of Kolethra was actually quite easy because Daddy's friends had given him good directions. We got there just as the cave divers were coming out of the water and were getting ready to rest. They had had a tough day and were all looking a little worse for wear, but they had made really good progress into the cave and they were happy.

This is the Kolethra resurgence.

And here is Komninos, the cave diver, resting after a tiring dive (1,000m penetration is not an easy thing, you know…), and here is the melon he cut for us together with the survey materials. Can you see the compass and underwater writing equipment?

After you had eaten, we made an al-fresco open-air nappy change in the picnic area where the people come from the local villages on Mayday to celebrate. This is where Daddy's friends the cave-divers camp out when they come to explore. Here are some photos of you with Diamanto and Mummy at the picnic area.

While we were at the picnic area, eating the tasty melon that Komninos cut for us, Mummy discovered that someone had left their hammock there unguarded. Quick as a flash, you were put into the hammock and had a really fun time swinging under the plane trees of the Kolethra spring.

After a while, Elias and Aggeliki set off for the beach at Oxylithos, and we followed them. Elias had come out of the cave first and was better rested. The area did not look too good for a swim, with plenty of reinforced concrete breakwaters rusted and with the iron bars breaking through like the original failed attempts of restoring the marblework on the Acropolis. After seeing the waters, we were convinced the place was perfect for your first dip.

We put you on your 101 Dalmations towel and had a dip in the sea, which was crystal clear and warm enough for us to enjoy it. It is very common for the waters to be clear when there is a mass of limestone behind - the underwater springs keep the waters near the beach refreshed. Daddy took the two pictures above, of you on the beach, but for the rest of the story, we have to look at photos taken by Aggeliki with her DSLR... (yes, Daddy has lens-envy).

These photos are all by Aggeliki: first, you are pulling faces in the hammock.

Next here you are with the reinforced concrete Daddy was complaining about. You are in your swimming trunks with all the happy sea creatures on them...

Here you are with Daddy, before actually getting into the sea. The bokeh is not extreme, but I think you will understand why Daddy misses his Nikon lenses.

Look! Here's Mummy and Daddy holding you just after they had put your legs into the sea. You did not complain too much, but when your bottom got wet, you gave out a little cry and Daddy took you out to dry you and get you out of your wet swimming trunks.

In this last one you are out of the sea, resting with your favourite fingers in your mouth! All ready for the journey back.

The journey back was uneventful, broken by the occasional complaint from you, but nothing too serious. We think that the problem is mainly caused by the difficulty in reaching your mouth with your hand when you are strapped into the seat.

For the record, the journey was a round trip of 263 km - more than you had travelled ever, (again)!