Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rain,rain,rain and more rain! Plus now it has turned quite chilly and the zompa is alight in the breakfast room. We call it the breakfast room for those who do not know the Greek word “avli” for courtyard. Originally the house was two separate buildings with an outside loo and no bathroom so it was open to the skies but Douglas covered it over with clear plastic whatever it’s called (can’t think of the name offhand) so that it joined the two together. There is still a courtyard and the first year or so I was here, if it was raining it meant an umbrella and a hop skip and a jump across the courtyard to the loo . It was a water closet but had no cistern so had to be flushed from a bucket and there was no door so it was pretty chilly in winter, but a wonderful view. The older of the two buildings which was what the family used consisted of two stories with a kitchen, now a bedroom, and storerooms down below and two rooms up above reached by an outside staircase, again umbrella time when raining though I shouldn’t think the Cretans bothered with umbrellas much they’re so used to their weather. The two rooms above were originally one but were divided by a reinforced concrete wall. Presumably, as it was not a retaining wall but merely a divider it was reinforced concrete because of possible earthquakes. In the storerooms down below when cleaning out the rubbish I found bottles and bottles of live ammunition of all calibres, oil drums containing goodness what and a box in which to keep snails. Also in knocking the plaster off one wall I unearthed a nest of fifty cockroaches or more. The larger of the storerooms is now a bedroom and the smaller (where the cockroaches lived) a completely marbled bathroom. I never did see anymore roaches but if there are any they certainly can’t eat their way through solid marble.
The second house was newer, built we think some time in the early thirties. This consisted of a large room, now our kitchen, and a goat shed. You entered the goat shed from the avli by way of a small area in which was an old beehive oven, unfortunately in too bad a state to be restored, and then through an arch into the room itself. It was full of junk. Between the first room and the goat shed was a wall cupboard with a reinforced concrete back wall. That was taken down with a great deal of effort, as was the wall upstairs in the first house, to make a doorway between the two rooms so that what was the goat shed is now my bedroom and where the oven was is now my bathroom.
We have been told, though I can’t vouch for the truth of this, that what is now our kitchen was during the war Gestapo headquarters in Vamos.

No comments: