Another Canine Odyssey

Woodlands Farm and Stationary


Maddy didn’t come down to see us as her boyfriend had caught Covid.  So far, touch wood quickly, we’ve not had it and did not want to risk ourselves or passing it to parents and other family who are immune suppressed.  Sad not to see her, but better safe than sorry.

On Saturday, Stella’s new owners drove down to collect her.  They kindly took us out to lunch to say thank you.  What blew us away was on top of that, they arrived with 3 large boxes.  1. Filled with toys, cool mats and treats for CO2.  2.  Filled with yummies from Waitrose … things we may not get easily in Crete.  3.  Filled with booze!  Incredibly generous.  Just as well they did come for her as J was getting attached … on being asked he had said he would keep her.  So much for our no more dogs rule!  Feck, incidentally, was collected as we arrived in the UK on the M25 … not the live carriageway, of course, but at the services.

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Watching for deer.

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Card from Stella’s owners.

J got his 4th booster.  We ate with the Aged Ps.  BBQ at my sister’s.  And David and Karen (also part of our Turkey lockdown family) came over and stayed 3 nights:  walked, ate at a nice restaurant in Chichester and generally drank too much.  David is the man who ‘has a glue for that’ so he helped with a few maintenance jobs too :).

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Another K9 Odyssey


We will be leaving Jez in the UK, but will need to get back to Crete by road as we have CO2 to take with us.  So I flew to Chania to fetch the Greek car and the camping kit.  Thank you to the train strikes  (NOT), J had to drive me even though there’s a perfectly good direct 1 hour train service from Chichester to Gatwick.  I had 4 nights in our Crete house to clean and shut it up for being empty.  Friends had used the house and left just before I arrived and there was just a bit of laundry to finish off. I got to see Gillian, Karl and June and Nicky and Rob.  I’d thought I would have had an empty suitcase coming over.  Paid for when I planned to fly back on my own after returning the van solo to the UK in Sept.  No refund on cases … so I’d offered to bring back anything for friends.  I did some ordering and shopping for us too.  So much so that my case was overweight with HP sauce, stain spray, Worcester sauce etc!  Had to borrow a small cabin bag from the Aged P’s!!!

Cretan Animal Protection had two smallish dogs for me to bring over.  Both absolute sweeties.

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Johnny who had cruised from house to house for left overs.  Had been fostered by a family who all cried when he was collected.  

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Little Alma.  Had been rescued from a couple who were alcohol and drug addicts.  They used to batter her.  When she was removed from their ‘care’ she had to spend weeks in vet hospital.  So nervous that cowered initially, but got used to us and is a real poppet.  Loves cuddles.  She’s available for adoption if anyone reading this is interested.

Gillian had been thinking about coming back to the UK to see her mother and sisters in and around Portsmouth and friends. She suggested joining me on the road trip.  Excellent … spent a lunch with her booking her onto the crossings.

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First ferry.  First Campari.  Daytime crossing from Chania to Pireaus.

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First ferry for dogs.

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Overnight at an AirBnB.  A wander with wine and beer, followed by a few red wines on our balcony.  Bit later to bed than panned!!!

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Coffee stop required after leaving our basic accommodation.

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Ferry No.2  No cabins to be had.  We bought airplane seats at the port.  I paid EUR20, Gillian EUR9!!!  Why????  She’s a certain age! LOL

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Ferry No.2.  Campari No. 2.

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Picnic lunch.  Dogs had been refusing their dog food (kibble supplied by Cretan Animal Protection) so I mixed out left over salmon and sardines with it … which they sucked off and left the biscuits.

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Pre supper drinks!

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Dogs starting to vomit bile and slime as soooo hungry.  They woofed up bread, ham and cheese!

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They also woofed up half a burger each!  The other half was given to Johnny’s new owners in case he refused to eat what they had bought.

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DFDS Calais.  Got here in under 22 hours from Ancona.  Both drove and stopped a couple of times for a nap.  

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White cliffs of Dover.  Always think first time visitors must be disappointed.  No Campari, but Gillian did force down a glass of white!



06/22: June


On my last post I mentioned how hot it had got … well it just got hotter.  And we did less and less and what we did do was slooooow.  Real feel was around 36C most days.  I think we saw cloud one day.  Now, don’t think I’m moaning as I really would rather have a blue sky and excess heat than grey cold.  Just such a shame electricity is so expensive … we sweated rather than run the air con.  To be fair, we have acclimatised.  I remember being in Corsica and Sardinia in a heat wave, only a few degrees hotter, and we imploded.  At least on Crete we generally have a breeze down by the beach.

Big events during June were:

J Cardio Check up

For the princely sum of 90EUR that J paid, he had a full heart check up with a private cardiologist. ECG and other tests that J doesnt know the name of (!), and he was declared perfect!  Several times … Perfect.  Well, I know he’s practically perfect (aka Mary Poppins, who also had eternal youth), but it was good to hear the cardiologist declare his heart perfect at the end of every test.   All clear until the next check up in 6 months.  

High Maintenance Man

J has had prostate cancer treatment 2018, and bypass 2021; he also had skin cancer quite a few years ago.  Definitely high maintenance man.  A result of living and working in Jordan for 9 years.  Im sure everyone is aware of the high skin cancer rates in Australia and other hot places as it was just never a concern.  Facial areas were removed eons ago and he had a particularly nasty cream that burnt off any subsequent flare ups.  One patch on his face was persistent so he saw a private dermatologist.  90EUR for the consult and skin patch removal the following week.  I mention the prices as trades to the house always seem to charge EUR70 and medics EUR90!  But also how inexpensive and how immediate the treatment / appointments.  Don’t knock Greek healthcare, it’s fabulous.  Bless the dermatologist … he was concerned that J would worry that he would have scars on his face.  A) the alternative of having pre-cancerous cells that become cancer is MUCH worse.  And B) He’s lovely scars from his shoulder surgery and a long one for his bypass.  One more is not an issue.  But please, James, no more bullets; you can’t dodge them all.

You will be pleased to know I am well!  J has been running and I do Killer Pilates with Inke (German goddess married to a Greek).  You know that you have a good teacher when they make parts of you ache that you’ve obviously avoided using!  I’ve a few friends that attend these classes, so its fun as well as achey!

Maddy and Jordan Main Holiday

A two week holiday in Crete, close to the sea, what’s not to love when you work hard.  We had intended to leave them in the house for 3 nights whilst we went off in the van, but Stella kyboshed that.  We offered them the car for day trips, but generally they wanted to relax.  We ate out a fair bit, of course.  Jordan is getting into cooking and cooked one night.  A couple of BBQs.  Chania for a wander and Gyros.  Maddy went brown.  Jordan used 12 bottles of Factor 50 and his freckles and his hands joined up.  They’re coming back for 6 night over Christmas … yay.  Think they like Crete!

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Jordan had THE conversation with M … no dogs in our bed!  Guess Corrie won that one. 

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Sunset BBQ on our balcony.

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Octopus Bay for a swim.  A salty swim as no rivers to dilute the sea water.

Introducing Stella


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There must be SOMETHING left in here!

We have gone mad.  But not as mad as you think … YET!  Two dogs is plenty and I do keep saying that as soon as CO2 go to the rainbow, we can start travelling by plane together (J had to stay in Crete to mind CO2 in March when i flew home for the Aged P’s 60th wedding anniversary.  Not opposed to leaving them, but Oscar has other ideas!  And we could do long haul!  So NO MORE DOGS.  Do remind me of that … please.  
So why Stella?  There are a huge amount of cat and dog rescue organisations in Greece.  We’ve done a little … our Merc was driven back to the UK with 4 dogs.  Attended the odd function and bought at auctions.  But not a lot.  Felt we ought to do something more practical.  A FaceBook plea popped up. A UK tourist wanted to adopt a dog that lived on the hotel beach.  Fed by guests at the breakfast, lunch and dinner service.  Julie discovered that dogs cannot fly direct into UK and the dog needed fostering whilst rabies jab and passport sorted.  It was late, we were already in bed.  Alright, I’d had a glass or two.  So had J, so when I said I would message to offer to foster the dog AND bring it back to the UK with us, J grunted assent.  By the next morning, events moved fast.  We drove east to near Kolymbari.  Julie had already left to fly home that morning.  We eventually found Stella asleep under a sun lounger. All the hotel guests seemed to be English and confirmed Stella was a dear little dog.  She visited the vet next morning … EUR144 for puppy jabs, Leish blood test, pet passort, chip and general health check.  Oh and puppy food.  I thought she was full grown, but NO about 5 months, so no chance of being pregnant!  Not having had such a young puppy before the chewing has been ‘interesting’.  My new and expensive sandals were a victim.  The clever cobbler took the old pair and ‘cobbled’ together the straps onto the new pair.  So far, that’s sandals, 2x flip flops and 2 x charging cables … we are pretty vigilant now!  Julie had left EUR300 at the hotel reception and has asked me if I need more money … I’m confident she and her husband will turn up to collect Stella.  She is a dear poppet but we really DO NOT WANT 3 DOGS!    So why 4 dogs???
Introducing Herclues!
Before spontaneously offering to foster and transport Stella, we had contacted the rescue organisation who repatriated the Merc with 4 dogs … we could bring a smallish dog back with us in our motorhome.  Well they came through.  So the morning of the day we left Crete, we collected Hercules.  He’s 5-7 years old.  Was abused, starved, dreadlock fur.  Had been in foster for 2 months.  He loves cuddles, but flinches and nips and growls if you approach him fast or startle him.  He’s had warning bites at both J and I.  And he is moulting big time.  I had no idea moulting meant whole clufts of hair.  He is allowing me to brush him 2x daily.  The ISSUE is  anyway, so he’d become Feck!
Gill Visited

An unplanned but very lovely visit from Gill.  She stayed for 5 nights near Rethmyno; we had Maddy and Jordan staying, so Gill would have been sofa surfing, if she’d stayed with us.  I collected her from her hotel for lunch back at ours … Maddy and James wanted to see her.  We returned to her hotel via Chania (can’t come to Crete and not visit).  A dip in her hotel pool and a meal out.  She’d a mini apartment so loads of room for me to stay.  On Sunday we swam and drove up the mountains to Spili.  Maravel Gardens is one of my fave places.  Stefanos created a medical and herb garden.  He sells home made remedies, herbs and spices.  I am now totally ‘into’ his lotions and bar soaps / shampoos.  A lovely lunch on the terrace with soothing music with a very dear friend from eons ago.  Hopefully I’ve persuaded Gill and Bron to visit in October.
Karl’s 60th
Karl and June have become very good friends on Crete.  They given us material things (table chairs, curtains, knives etc) and lots of advice.  As well as being good company.  I particularlylike eating out with them as J and June like nursery food (fish and chips, pie).  But Karl cooks and I mean COOKS.  So he and I peruse menus and decide what to share …a bit of this and a bit of that … just like I do with Mutt.   His 60th was 29th June … he was talking about paying for a load of folk to eat out … we offered to host it.  Our house in Almyrida is set up for parties … ground floor kitchen with large opening doors to ether covered patio.  It was a fabulous evening with folk that had never met, all getting on well.
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Decorations and table in place for 14.
Post party there was little clearing up to do as the female guests (why is it always the females???) had down all the washing up and clearing.  But we managed to do little  … in the afternoon I binge watched Love Island.  I KNOW its crap, but I’m now addicted …. blame Maddy!  The next few days were busy with packing cleaning and making beds … Ian, Mel and 3 boys are using the house in July.  I was relieved to work out how to pull out the sofa bed … funny how little things worry at you.