About

Kizbotblog is mainly dedicated to dispelling what I regard as myths about Greece and trying to give insight into what life is like here with some background info on some of the main issues the country and its people face. I’ve been living in Greece (Central Athens) for over 20 years and regard it as my adopted country. I’m also interested in food and kittehs and have recently begun running at the grand old age of 52, but I promise not to bore anyone with my PBs or splits stats. Not least because they’re rubbish.

Everyone is welcome to post comments and I ask nothing but respect for others. The first time anyone new comments it will require approval. Please take into consideration that, wherever you are, there is likely to be a time difference between where you are and Greece, so it may take me a while to get round to letting you into the manor house.

Thanks,

kiz

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85 Comments

  1. What up my uptown girl? Gotta search for you all over the Net my pal created lol. More kitteh pics por favor. Do you fucking swear here also?

    Peace my sister. BTW do you want my real name or my avatar name? You are one of four who can have either.XO

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      1. Moura are mulberries. They come in various shades of red, from white to black; some grow up to 5cm long. In Bobosticha, a χωριό close to Korçë, Albania they grow a variety of mulberry tree that produces ultra sweet, ultra delicious huge black mulberries. They make Mani, a tsipouro with a round flavour and a slight green tint. Albanians consider it medicine and drink one shot only in the morning. No glykaniso tolerated in Albania.
        Koumaro tsipouro is made from Arbutus Unedo (Strawberry Tree). I get it from Mr. Barbagianaro from the χωριό Vrastama 10km east of Polygyros. The lagavulin of τσίπουρα. About 55% but no smoke.
        Nice to see you here. Στην υγειά σου!

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  2. If you find yourself in Sougia on 19 July, you can join in the festival of Profitis Ilias, celebrated on 20 July. The faithful take the boat to Trypiti beach (east of Sougia) the previous afternoon and then walk up the path leading to the chapel of Profitis Ilias, 400 metres above the sea. After the service they spend the night there with music and feasting, returning to Sougia the next day.

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    1. Yes I know.. I worked in Sougia for 3 summers. I was always jealous of those going off to the festivals at profiti Ilias (though that hill is a bitch) and the one at Lissos too. I could never go coz of my job. Very difficult for me to get away in July as my travelling pals are teachers in England and the buggers only have August off.. THE WORST month of the year in the whole of Greece!

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    1. Ακούς να λένε στα χωριά οι γέροντες τα βράδια
      κάτι μυστήρια πράματα που χτίζουν τα σκοτάδια.
      Λένε για της Υπαπαντής το μέγα πανηγύρι
      πως το λιβάνι πέτρωνε πριν μπει στο θυμιατήρι.
      Λένε πως ψέλναν τα πουλιά στ’ αριστερό ψαλτήρι
      κι απ’ τα πηγάδια φέρνανε κρασί οι καλογήροι.

      Λένε πως ψέλναν τα πουλιά στ’ αριστερό ψαλτήρι
      κι απ’ τα πηγάδια φέρνανε κρασί οι καλογήροι.
      Λένε για κάτι χαϊμαλιά που παίζαν στο μπαρμπούτι
      κι ο γούμενος τα βάφτιζε με αίμα και μπαρούτι.
      Λένε πως όποιος τα φορεί φτερά βγάζει στην πλάτη,
      γίνεται αλαφροΐσκιωτος ψωμί τρώει κι αλάτι.

      Λένε πως όποιος τα φορεί φτερά βγάζει στην πλάτη,
      γίνεται αλαφροΐσκιωτος ψωμί τρώει κι αλάτι.
      Ακούς να λένε στα χωριά πως και η ευχή του πιάνει
      γιατί τα βόλια αίματα είχαν του Μακρυγιάννη.
      Λένε πως ο φουστανελάς πληγές είχε σαράντα
      γι αυτό κι αλαφροΐσκιωτοι είμαστε λίγοι πάντα.

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  3. Damn.. Youtube blocked at work.. have to wait til home time. I like Sfakia… Mad place. I’ve walked the Aradhina gorge near there and spent some time camping on the lovely Glyka Nera beach, which you take your life in your hands hiking to… or get a boat from Sfakia. Loutro is nice too… on the other side of Glyka Nera..
    Love Crete…

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    1. Only mad dogs and Englishwomen go out in the midday sun with blocked Youtube and no sun blocking lotion go crossing the Aradhina gorge and go climbing the Glyka Nera path while singing mantinades:
      “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I see no evil, I fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” !!!!

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      1. I walked the gorge apoyeuma and camped in it overnight… Next morning walked to Ag Pavlo.. camed there one night.. then got the boat back to Sougia from Agia Roumeli. Ive walked a fair bit of the E4 route… not done the bit from Ag Roumeli to Tripiti…

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  4. Tuppence hapenny (a lovely vernacular that from now on and to eternity I owe to you). When I was working for Rogers Cable in Toronto (1976 to 1980) there was an electronic engineer named Turnpenny. The late Ron Turnpenny was known as Ted Rogers’ “fireman,” as former CHFI engineering consultant Gordon Elder describes him. Rogers relied heavily upon Turnpenny. “He was like a bulldog,” remembers Cook. “If Ted said to find something and he put Ron on it, Ron would just latch onto it and wouldn’t give up bugging people until he had the answer.” Or, as Rogers succinctly puts it: “He got things done. He was a character. I liked him very much.” A British émigré, Tumpenny was a slightly pudgy, belligerent man everyone loved even if he drove him or her nuts. “He was the most miserable S.O.B. you could possibly imagine, but brilliant, and he just cared. He cared for everything,” says Russ Holden, 680’s traffic reporter and the CHFI station’s longest-serving employee (aside from Rogers), having joined part-time in January 1966. Holden recalls the day Tumpenny went ballistic in the control room when he noticed a plastic urinal stuck on the wall. Rick Moranis, who went on to become one of Canada’s famous comic actors on SCTV and co-starred in such films as Ghostbusters and Spaceballs, was working at CHFI-FM and had stuck it on the wall as a joke. “You can’t do this in the control room,” Tumpenny shouted.
    The nickname we had for him was Flipnickel.) Ah…all these old memories…

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  5. Dear Kizbot,
    I’m always pleased to read your posts and recipes.
    I’m visiting Athens in May (I lived there in the 1980’ies), and I wonder if you can recommend a good, traditional restaurant?
    I know you’re not a tourist information/-service, but I find myself agreeing with you on so many things that I think your advice would be golden.

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    1. I’m more than happy to give any help I can. If you look at my post on Kapetanios (one of the early ones) you’ll see that is an excellent fish taverna. The best I know of in Athens. It’s not cheap, by our poor Greek standards, but given the quality of the food, it’s def not expensive. Up town.. in the centre, I stay well away from any restaurants in the tourist traps of Plaka and Monastiraki where they are often happy to either poison you or fleece you.
      I do go to a very nice eatery very close to Syntagma called Filema. It’s on Rhomvois street.
      If you want any further tips of any kind, just let me know.

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  6. Always love your btl posts on the graun (and the rhik dossier…), bring on the blog for more of Kizbot’s foody thoughts – yum!

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  7. Hello Kizbot

    I just thought I’d better say hi, as although I’ve seen you BTL on the Guardian I’ve never commented myself – so it seems a bit rude not to introduce myself to you.

    I’ve read your comments on The Vintage Years, Sali Hughes, Rhik and the running blog (hope your ankles feel better soon) for a while now, but I’m not very computer savvy so didn’t realise you had your own blog until recently. I’m looking forward to trying some of your recipes, they look really tasty (especially the creamy mushroom pie). Sadly, not able to make any of them yet as all our stuff is in storage as we are relocating back home to the northwest and the rented flat we are in only has the bare minimum of kitchen equipment. But hope to be reunited with our stuff and in a decent kitchen soon, so can’t wait to start cooking some pies (I love a good pie!)

    I’ll stop waffling now, but at least I feel less like a stalker now as I have said hello.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blogs and learning about life in Greece (really interesting, especially the ones on Greek politics and the relationship with Germany).

    Julia

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  8. Only just found out that you have a blog, too! I am secretly (no, publicly) in love with a great many of your comments on the graun, and I am the one who is constantly ‘threatening’ to visit you in Greece. (The ‘threat’ is non-existent, as I am always skint.)
    I am fond of Greece and things Greek, know some Modern and some Ancient Greek (well, I am a historical linguist), and like cooking and eating. Or was that eating and cooking?
    Anyhow, I intend to flollow your blog and keep track of things in Greece and the world.
    And yes, I should add that I live in Germany, and that there are actually people here who recognise what is going on. Sadly, far too few. And I wish you were wrong about the EU… but you’re not.
    Cheers

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      1. Aw jeez… because I think i would love to invite you out ‘down there’.

        Re Greek themes and subjects, trolls duly noted. At their own peril, I can bite back viciously and I tend to defend friends.
        But there are nice Greek things ,not just problems.
        Χαίρε

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  9. Hi Kizbot, just discovered your blog, as have many others, I expect. I’ve been reading your Graun btl comments for some time now (no, not in a stalkerish way!), and your “Had my head chopped off” comments in the jam-making thread intrigued me.
    My only experience of excessive modding (so far) was when I commented on a Valenti article, to the effect that I felt there was an unhealthy linkage between the ads on the page undermining people’s sense of self-worth (they were all for toiletries), and the “clickbaity” nature of the piece – I didn’t swear or anything! Must try harder!
    Right, I’ve said hello; I’ve dithered long enough, so now I’ve got to drag my 62 yr-old self out for a run while we still have a little much-needed sunshine today, here in damp old Oxford. It’s not Greece, you know!

    Rob (Greendreamer)

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  10. Kiz

    You posted a comment on the Guardian site that suggest you didn’t think much of Felicity Cloake’s “Perfect Kleftiko”.

    What would be your preferred way of making it?

    Meic

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  11. Hi Kizbot

    Another exiled Blackpuddlian here. Double Pool on the Grauniad today made me feel nostalgic for the place – first I saw the neon art exhibition at the Grundy story and then I found your comments which made me smile. And this blog too! Blackpool girls are just great.

    All the best

    Steve ( ex-Baines and the Blue Room ).

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      1. Yes and yes! And the Adam and Eve, the 007 and various other seedy places that I’ve mostly erased from my memory….

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  12. Hey Kiz

    Need your advice. No, not on some bloody Greek recipe. How did you get back on Cif? When you were naughty? I’m there even longer than you. Position me somewhere between AllyF, Bjerkley and sarka, making them all feel uncomfortable.

    I remember you when you boasted of a ‘hairy’ greek (this may not have been a unique event), and when you posted about every 15 minutes for a full 24 hours defending an utterly indefensible position. I forget what it was, but I admired your fortitude, and posted as much.

    Indeed, I believe recently I advocated your elevation to national treasure, or something. Not because you you were especially special, talented, good at cooking, insightful, polite or from Blackpool, but rather because it was a good idea having you around. Unfortunately.

    I really did. Anyway, enough sucking up. Should I just send them all red lippy? You have my email if you have other advice. I also may have Rhik’s private details. Although, I may also be lying through my teeth.

    Rx

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    1. are you in premod or have they banned you. do you know what caused the punishment. Write to them. Apologise for the transgression.. give some excuse about stress… being under attack by other posters… losing the plot or whatever. Tell them you support the guidelines and will make every effort to adhere to them..
      Then sing them ‘Please release me, let me go…’

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      1. Hi Kiz

        Thanks for your swift response and advice. I fear it won’t work in my case, since the mods have just told me I have ‘violated’ too many times. Really I think I am just very, very inconvenient.

        I really amn’t abusive in the terms most of us would understand the term. I don’t call fellow posters (anyone really) rude names. Or post racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks. I mean what is the point? Or use swear words.

        Well, I did recently, and rarely, construct a TRIGGER WARNING: C*** post. With the shocking word in full. Why? It was in celebration of Richard Neville and OZ, who allowed Germaine Greer in 1969 to publish her “The Sexual Politics of Female Desire” in which she gleefully used the C-word as often and in as many typographic variations as she could! Good for her, and liberation, what? So, I pointed this out, likewise gleefully, and with examples.

        Deleted! I had another go, with asterisks. That got through and still remains…But the darkness of censorship descends again! I loved it.

        On another recent occasion, a prominent (apparently) Australian MP wrote about how she had been terribly discriminated against in her first job with a ‘commercial law firm’. Who, exactly was that, I wondered. Maybe she did’t name it because of fears of a lawsuit or, perhaps, because it was open to ‘interrogation’ if identified. You know: did you indeed pay this woman less, if so why? The explanation, just conceivably, may have been ‘she was a bit useless’. Or not. Anyway, she only stayed a year.

        As I dug about, I discovered she had only ever worked for ONE, commercial law firm, according to her official Government MP biography. So I posted that. There it was, named and shamed, that law firm. Although if I had pointed that out, joined the dots, likely my post would have been deleted.

        It amused me to be sneakier than the Guardians mods. Not sneaky enough, often enough, apparently.

        I am an old fashioned non-ideological, anti-authoritarian, lefty-liberal. I want to make the world a fairer, more equal place for everyone. And I hate bullshit. After decades of seeing ‘solutions’ fail, I am skeptical of all ideologies, not least those of identity politics. In the recent celebrations of 60s culture at the V&A, for example, I pointed out that the real credit for the social revolutions we all benefit from regarding free expression, homosexuality, the pill, divorce, the NHS, welfare state come from my generation’s parents–the baby boomer’s parents. They were in power in the 1960s and they brought them in. We applauded, us 20 year-olds, but we didn’t do it.

        Mostly what I have done is to say ‘This seem fishy or self-interested’ and investigated to see if it is. Often, oddly, there is evidence it might be, which I have then posted, with links.

        Black Lives Matter is a good example. Of course police violence is of concern. But in Guardianland, if you point out that eliminating the 309 police-einvolved back deaths it will hardly dent the thousands of black-on black deaths (it won’t) you are banished for ‘derailment’, or something. 90 deaths in Chicago alone over Labor Day, for example, 4 out of 5 black. Deleted. Meanwhile Alicia Garza is touring Australia in beautiful braids…

        It is hard learning the rules.

        A couple of other trivial examples: Dogs, do they understand us? Of little interest to you, Cat-Person, but still (and I like cats too). I posted that the wonderful human-dog relationship was likely first developed man-dog, since dogs were useful for hunting and guarding, man-duties back when. Also there were no HR depts back in the day, sorting out genderless roles. I concluded, the dog-human thing was a sweet story but that the author’s account of her relationship with her pet dog In New York added little to it. Deleted! The jokey reference to HR or ‘abuse’ of the author? Hard to say.

        Finally what I didn’t post but would have, given the chance.

        Remember the self-entitled article by Yassmin Abdel-Magied? She was so upset by Lionel Shriver she had to walk out on her talk. Proudly. It was a classic and she got trashed BLT. Some pointed out she was highly privileged, the daughter of an engineer and an architect, and went to an expensive private school. sarka reappeared, briefly, to point out that since she was an immigrant from the Sudan, she might also be considered to be ‘appropriating’ land from the ‘First Peoples’. Delicious.

        Me? Well, I looked at her website, which conveniently the Guardian had provided. There I found this from July 4 (no one else apparently did):

        “Now I don’t share the world views or policy platforms of Pauline Hanson, Drumpf or Leave voters in any way, shape or form. However, I think it is incredibly dangerous to ignore and deride those we disagree with. Honestly, I think what we *must* do is start by truly listening.”

        Truly listening. The sweet young thing contradicting herself! Digging out such irritating matters is, I suspect, my crime. I mean, against the classic Un-American Activities Committee standard, ‘Have you now, or have you ever, derailed a Guardian thread?’ I have no comeback. Except, well I do sort of try to subvert the ‘dominant narrative’. With inconvenient facts.

        Anyways, Kiz, thanks for your interest. And don’t think you need to clog up your excellent blog with my petty grievances about life, equality, and pissing-off the Guardian. Your site really isn’t about this, but I had no other way to ask your advice. Useless though it turned out to be!

        Last time we officially spoke there, I believe you suggested I ‘lacked logic, pet’. Doubtless! But not everything political needs to be personal.

        Best wishes

        Robin

        [PS: One last piece of advice. It occurs to me that I might actually post a version of this to the Guardian mods (minus identifying markers to you). What do you think?

        You know, maybe you might want to go go back, mods, and check just how naughty I have been. Like joining the dots between the MP and her unnamed offensive law firm, which she identifies in her official MP bio and which I then posted. Maybe they would like to know. Kind of thing?

        On the other hand, I can now claim solidarity with all those others who have been ‘silenced’. Although, I expect that unlike those countless others before me (like just about everyone in my entire ancestry throughout history), it is all my fault. ]

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      2. If you’ve been on the guardian a very long time. You can point out that its only in recent years that there has been a fully formed mod policy and that its unfair to throw transgressions from years back into the faces of longstanding posters. You can also point out that people who have had the same account for a very long time tend to collect more transgressions than those who keep a draw full of socks!

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  13. Dear kiz,
    Well, you’ve only gone and done it now, haven’t you? Parsnips. Lovely creamy, blonde parsnips. I’m fed up of asking at my laiki; they don’t know what I’m talking about. My girlfriend can’t even give me the greek name for them. Oh for a big bacon chop with them on a cold February night!
    Of course, the fount of all Greek food knowledge has a supplier.
    I’ll strike you a deal. My father is over from England in early October. He has a Booths nearby. He can bring culinary contraband over. Name your price.
    I’m in Ambelokipi. We can meet on neutral ground. No words need to be spoken. A simple exchange.
    Deal?

    Boubounas

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    1. If its parsnips yr after.. no such luck. The Polish lady shut up shop 5 years ago, at least. Not seen a parsnip since. Get yr dad to fetch some. I’ll let you know when Im allowed out again.. its always nice to meet folk. But am smack bang in the midst of training for nov Athens classic marathon… eek! heavy sched. Do you ever go out up town? I may escape to HB in a couple of weeks.

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  14. Only joking! Good luck with the marathon – tell us your race number and we can cheer you on from Megaro Mousikis. I’m in training too; I have a christening in a couple of weeks and the suit is a bit snug. Greek food is too nice!
    Yes, if you are downtown, drop me a line and we can meet. I have a 20 month old son that has put paid to nocturnal ramblings but I can be persuaded when necessary. A bottle in the Black Duck sounds tempting too.
    If you do want any supplies from old blighty let me know,

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  15. Hi Kiz, I wonder if I can pick your brains? I am going to stay with a friend of mine who lives in(on?) the Peloponnese and am flying from Manchester to Athens, as up here in the draughty North we don’t get flights to the local airport of Kalamata in the off peak months. As we shall be in Athens we thought we’d have a couple of nights there, never having been before. Can you recommend a couple of good places to eat? More interested in the food than the decor, which as a reader of your blog I would think is the same for you. If you are like me then your brain probably goes a bit blank when asked such a question, but it’s worth an ask. Thanks!
    Always enjoy your contributions BTL on the Graun as well. As a woman of strong views myself (gobby) I like to see someone else sticking their twopennorth in as well – hope you aren’t offended by that, it’s meant as a compliment. Cheers.

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  16. Of course I’m not offended! I’m northern. I take it as a compliment.
    Ok here’s my twopenneth worth on your visit. And if you need any further suggestions, Let me know.
    Bring some warm clothes for Kalamata… could be cold. Might not be. But could be. You never know.
    In Athens.. I don’t eat out much up town as lots of it is tourist cack and I prefer to eat out in my own area. but If I am up town here’s where I go.
    Filema, Rhomvois street, just off karageorgis servias and a five minute walk from syntagma
    Is a very nice little taverna. The food is very good and not ridiculously expensive and the wine in jugs is just dandy.
    If you want the Greek souvlaki experience, one of the best in Athens, NeoClassico, on Karageorgis Servias street a few minutes from Syntagma is fab. Eat on the hoof or sit down.
    If you want a meal or drink with a view go to the roof top terrace of Ellas Kafeneio just off Pandrossou street. Walk up from the Monastiraki station end and you’ll see a sandwich board with Ellas on your left. Just go up the stairs and then take the lift to the rooftop terrace. Just ask if you don’t get how to go up. The people are lovely, mainly Greeks go.. it’s a secret from most tourists. Its the only safe place to eat in Monastiraki and the view is fucking outstanding. The terrace looks a bit scruffy but who cares. DO NOT EAT ANYWHERE ELSE IN MONASTIRAKI… don’t be tempted by those trying to entice you unless you fancy being ripped off and poisoned.
    The only other exception is The James Joyce.. the Irish pub. Just ask where it is. Good for normal pub food. Here in Greece its exotic for us!
    Drinks wise.
    For the best vibe and cheap as chips try The Handlebar on Melanthiou street just off Athinas and close to Monastiraki. This is where I hang out.
    If you want a really super good cocktail with a freaking fantastic view the roof top bar of A for Athens Hotel on Monastiraki sq is the biz. Not cheap for us Greeks at 11 euros a pop, but I’ve never had a better cocktail anywhere.
    Avoid 360 across the other side of the sq… I hate it. Rubbish music… loud and full of too young tourists.
    In Kalamata: Buy oil, olives and tsipouro.. as much as you can carry.
    Let me know if you need owt else…

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  17. Ah.. I realise now, you’ve been to Kalamata before.. ok. So you know the score there.
    I must insist that you do the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum while you’re here. They’re stunning. As is the National Archaeological museum on Patission street. I’m a big fan of the anti Kythira Mechanism as well as all the gold from Mycenae.. The downstairs coffee courtyard is a treat too… and if you go to the museum you can always head up into Exarcheia and explore the streets. Emmanuel Benaki street is great for little bars.. cafes and little eateries.

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    1. That’s great, thank you so much for replying! I’ll let you know how we get on…..Haven’t been to Kalamata before either, they’ve only just built their house and no room in the caravan for guests! So looking forward to Athens and definitely intend to do the Acropolis and the museum, I can’t wait to see them. Thanks again.

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      1. You’re more than welcome… any time and do let me know if you need any other info.
        Do get oil, olives and tsipouro from Kalamata. They have the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the entire freaking world… as well as the best olives. Tsipouro is fab too (fire water… like grappa.. if you’ve never heard of it. I’m addicted)

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  18. Hi Kiz, just wanted to say thanks for the recommendations. We only had a couple of nights in Athens but we went to Ellas Kafeneio as you suggested. Incredible view and great food. Had a lovely time and would not have found it without your tip. Also went to A for Athens for a cocktail and the view. Think we increased the average age up there considerably but it was worth feeling like an old girl for the stupendous view. LOVED Athens, wish we’d had longer. Got very excited about the Air Traffic controllers strike and had made our plans to stay another week, which was the next flight we could get had it gone ahead. Gutted when it was called off!!!
    Our friends live in the loveliest place on the Peloponnese peninsula and we will definitely be back to visit them again so will be back to Athens then as well.
    The Acropolis is I think the most stunning thing I have ever seen. Breathtaking, and without wishing to get too flowery, i love how it presides over the City from above.

    Thanks again, and lucky you for living in such a wonderful place. I can’t believe how fantastically hot it was whilst we were there. I took my Mum to Chorley market yesterday when I got back and nearly died of cold. Definitely moving abroad as soon as possible. We were thinking Italy before, but Greece is looking good too!

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    1. Glad you loved it. Law.. If you felt old in A for Athens pity me and BFF Disgracey with a combined age of 106!
      If you come to Athens again, forewarn me and I’ll join you for a tsipouro or 6 in Ellas.

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  19. Hi Kiz

    Very sad to hear about the cat. There are ailurophoibic psychos erverywhere.We had one in Lewes a few years ago, a teenage nutter obsessed with black magic.

    By coincidence, we also find ourselves feeding a cat called Percy, who has amazing eyes. in his case bright yellow, and against his completely black fur they stand out like a topaz in an Ethiope’s ear (sorry, Shakespeare). He’s a friend of our ginger queen (itself an unusual combination) Syndi, and sneaks in through the cat flap after we’ve gone to bed to keep warm and steal Syndi’s food. Syndi is super-fertile, and was pregnant well before she finished suckling her previous brood. We are pretty sure she got pregnant again only about two weeks after the last lot. We said goodbye to two of those today, and have only one left, which goes to its new home next week.
    We are not sure quite how to deal with the mother, as the vet won’t spay a queen while she’s suckling, and the idea of a major late abortion of a lot of kittens is horrible. Still, there seems to be a queue for the next lot, largely made up of people who’ve met her previous kittens as they’ve grown, so I suppose we have some time to plan.

    Looking forward to the winter recipes.

    All the best

    Meic (Goujeers – my crossword setting pseudonym – on the Guardian website)

    PS. If you have limes in Greece I have a lime pickle recipe I could share (ref Jay Rayner today)

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    1. hello! I can get limes in greece at a horribly expensive price.. I usually buy lime pickle commercial brands when in blighty at Xmas… but plz share.. oh do!

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      1. Hi Kiz

        Odd that a country that produces such great lemons doesn’t also grow its own lime crop. Here goes:

        Lime Pickle (achaar)

        1Kg of limes
        2 Tbsp. sea salt
        1 Tbsp. fenugreek seeds
        1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
        1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
        2 tsp kalonji (nigella) seeds
        1-2 Tbsp cayenne pepper or other hot chilli powder (adjustable, depending on desired heat)
        1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
        1 thumb-sized piece of root ginger, peeled and chopped
        Oil (see below)
        Vinegar (see below)

        Oil: traditionally this would be mustard oil, but it’s now illegal to sell mustard oil for consumption in the EU and North America, because of the high erucic acid content. Mustard oil for external application is still available, and can be made safe for eating simply by heating it to smoking point, then letting it cool (this is how the Canadians came up with Canola oil, which deals with rape seed oil in the same way). EVOO is a good alternative.

        Vinegar: almost any sort will do except sherry vinegar, but the family of a Goan colleague let on that they prefer malt vinegar in their very delicious pickles, so I use it too. White wine vinegar is a good alternative.

        Method

        Cut each lime into 8 pieces. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and let it mix overnight.
        Dry toast the mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, until the mustard seeds pop. The other seeds will darken slightly: keep shaking them to prevent them from burning. Grind them in a pestle and mortar or an electric spice grinder.
        Heat 125 ml of oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic, then the lime/salt mixture, then roasted spices, kalonji, cayenne and enough vinegar to ensure the lime pieces are covered in liquid – usually about 125ml. bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring regularly. Taste and adjust the seasoning and cayenne ad lib. Spoon into sterilised jars, top each jar with a little oil to keep air out. Best kept for at least a month before opening.

        This is a decidedly sour pickle. It’s possible to include some sugar (soft brown would be best).
        Variations can include cumin seed, turmeric, or coriander, but the above is my preferred combination. Some add asafoetida (hing). That’s good for strict Hindus who don’t eat alliums, but unnecessary if you include the garlic.

        The recipe also works well with lemons, when a little sugar definitely improves the result.

        Let me know hiw it works out if you try it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh wow. . that sounds ace and easy. I’LL Def give it a go soon.
        I’d always assumed they couldn’t grow limes here.. that it needs tropical weather.. no?

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  20. Kiz – According to gardeningknowhow.com lemons are even more temperature-sensitive than limes, and neither of them likes getting below 10-13C

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  21. Hi Kiz

    Forgive me for asking a semi personal question. Are you a former contributor to the old Guardian Universal Talk (GUT)? I seem to remember you but that my be a function of my advanced age

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  22. Just thought I’d leave you a brief note to compliment you non your arguments on the CiF article on free speech today – I arrived after comments had closed.
    The clownhoof arguing that the radical left are anarchists obviously opted to ignore the communists executing anarchists of the POUM during the Spanish civil war (amongst many others), but I thought your hand was very well played.
    Bravo.

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  23. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always helpful to read content from other authors and practice a little something from
    their web sites.

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