Subject: The Autumn 2000 Skiathos (Greece) Newsletter
Forwarded (commercial parts stripped) with permission of the author, Geof Baldry, of

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>Lida is off doing her walks with Solos, groups of single people that come every spring and autumn to walk and see the parts of Skiathos that most people don't get to.
>Unfortunately part of our favourite walk, from Platanias Beach through to Kechria Beach has been badly burnt in a forest fire and is lost to us for several years. However, there are many other places of beauty and interest and she manges to easily fill 3 walks a week.
>The weather was so hot and dry this summer that Skiathos became a tinderbox and we were lucky not to have had more fires than we did.

>Happily for the island (but not for the visitors in the same period) we have had a few really good rains since and all the fire danger is over :o) There have also been some very untypical cloudy days during September and October but fortunately, most afternoons the sun came out, and made it beach weather again at least for a couple of hours.
>Perfect walking weather though!

>We pressed our grapes again this year and the harvest looks good. Of course you should never count your bottles until they have been tasted (although, the more we taste them, the harder it becomes to count them ;o)

>Last year we had around 140 litres happily fermenting away and we were licking our chops and rubbing our hands in anticipation but that was before our neighbours 2 pigs decided that they would have a wine tasting.
>What happened was that the pigs had escaped and were obviously very thirsty.
>They arrived on out lawn and were grubbing in the wettest part (where the sprinkler overlaps) when one of them discovered the wine fermenting on the patio and managed to put a neat hole in one of our 25 litre demi-johns with its snout.
>Lida arrived home some time later to find 2 completely sozzled pigs lying on the doorstep!
>She managed to drive them up the hill to one of our neighbours (with the greatest of difficulty, they were stumbling around all over the place) and shut them in his courtyard.
>I arrived shortly after and asked what had happened as it was obvious via our pig aerated lawn that something was out of the ordinary.
>Lida explained and I then realised that the pigs belonged not to the neighbour above, but to another neighbour further down the valley.
>Up we trudged and tried to move the pigs out of the courtyard and down the hill before he came home and discovered them. They were, by this time, suffering severely from the effects of some 20 odd litres of very young wine and were most reluctant to move anywhere. After chasing them round in circles for half a hour, we finally managed to get them going in the rough direction of our lower neighbour and then sat back exhausted from our efforts.
>We informed him what had happened and he found the them next day still crashed out under some bushes (presumably with the porker equivalent of a huge hangover!).

>We will be keeping our demi-johns in a safer place this year. In fact, I was thinking of drinking it all now to prevent any pig-napping but, remembering the state those pigs were in, I have refrained ;o)

>We are definitely coming to the end of the season and the cloudy weather has accelerated the effect. Many of the outside tavernas are shutting down and the beach umbrellas are being slowly gathered in.
>I must say that I am looking forward to the peace of winter and getting on with updating the web site and starting a few new projects.