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Messages - Kernock

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San Stefanos news and views / Re: Who’s still around?
« on: February 27, 2018, 12:09:46 PM »
Following my mention of returning to Anatoli in July, I had the very sad news that Katie died suddenly late last week.  A great shock to all of us who knew her.  Our sympathy goes to Michalis and sons Billy, Peter and Mark and all those near to her.  Her help with the bookings from the UK, and cheery face when she was out in AG during the summer, will be sadly missed.  I don't have any more news at the moment.

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Who’s still around?
« on: February 25, 2018, 04:10:06 PM »
We will be there in May, trying our Marina Villas ready for the 2019 invasion of 24 of us around the village.  Back at Anatoli in early July.  Looking forward to both.  Weather here today sunny and cool.  Our Wood chip boilers are going to work overtime in the next week.

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Whats happenin'
« on: June 08, 2016, 01:01:07 PM »
Well, Manthos is having his 40th anniversary of opening the Taverna next week and things have really been spruced up.  Manthos was very poorly over winter and says he died twice.  I asked him what it was like dead and he thought it was 'magnificent'! - very encouraging.   He looks great now so the extra gadgets to keep the heart ticking must be doing the trick.

 Grandson Kostas is doing a great job and has really smartened up the outside and eating area with well padded chairs, leisure swings and bean bag affairs and good atmospheric lighting.  Good luck for the next 40 years.

Information and help please / Wine Tasting at Nafsika
« on: August 05, 2015, 06:59:47 PM »
We have just returned from a 2.5 hour Meze lunch and wine tasting at Nafsika.  It was Speros first attempt at getting us away from the ubiquitos Caraffe to the many Greek wines available at very reasonable prices.  Well recommended at €10 for a good sample of 6 wines and a great selection of mezes to accompany the wine with plenty of information from Speros  I understand he intends to repeat on Wednesday lunchtimes so, you lucky people still to have your AS fix, remember to book early!

A little cooler today and ominous bringing in of tables from Beachcomber with the wind starting to pick up.  After the thunderstorm of yesterday it has been a little more pleasant for this not liking temperature in the 40's and high humidity's

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Whats happenin'
« on: May 13, 2015, 05:23:16 PM »
Just having a few days at AS to get in the groove for 17 of us invading the serenity we have at the moment.  Up the ‘Old’ part of the village the opening is slow and not too many eating in the evening.  Fantasea and Fedra not yet open but will be in action this weekend. Waves is only open for lunch and, again, that will change soon.

The startling difference is how the winter vagaries have affected the beach near Mango and Havana.  There is now a 2m ‘cliff’ below the shower and old play area at Mango and along by the old football area outside Havana.  The beach encroachment goes along to Kostas sunbed area so there will be many regulars having to find a different spot to stake out.  The area from Waves to Athena is pretty much the same (although a whole load of seaweed has been dumped on the beach by Waves after the Mistral last weekend).  The transformation of the beach reminds me of how the gales of 2014 in the UK affected some of the beaches on the SW coast – never underestimate the power of the wind!  I would hope Mango/Dolphn Blu make use of the unused concrete area and lay some Astro turf plus a bit of tidying, for their clientele.  The permanent umbrellas are all uprooted and in a heap on the edge of the beach.  Still, the sun shines and I am sure it will all be fine in the summer even if there is a massive loss of sand.  Apart from Athena, who have extended their boundary to include some sunbeds for hire, there are no beds out at the moment.  Angelos tells me the Council meeting is soon to carve up the allocation and set the price.

Information and help please / Re: EasyJet 2014
« on: October 09, 2013, 11:38:58 PM »
Booked 0900 this morning Easyjet from Bristol out on 18th July back 8 Aug.  With two cases £648.  Just had a look at 1700 and the same flight was £376 more for the two of us! That is inflation!  Even the luggage went up from £28 to £37/bag.  How do they manage that?  There are 15 in our party altogether and many of us go every year.  Some are saying that it is just getting too much and Low Cost is no longer what it says.  Have we been hoodwinked in getting in on the first day?

If these prices are a true picture of travel from a regional airport, it is not great news for the village.  However, we shall just have to enjoy 2014.

Information and help please / Just a little Care
« on: July 26, 2013, 07:45:25 PM »
Of course nowhere is completely safe but in our 26 years here we have always regarded Ag Stef as a place children can be let out at a far earlier age than we now consider in the UK and there is little crime.  That is still the case and long may it continue.  This week, however, we have had a little incident that has made us wonder if we have been a bit too trusting and complacent in this lovely area.

We have always been careful with real valuables, like passports and put them in a safe.  Of course there are items that have value that we leave in the apartment, like iPads, some favourite pieces of Perdita Glass Art and a little cash.

After a late lunch this week we went back for a pre shower ziz and a read, leaving the key on the outside of our ground floor apartment in case one of the grandchildren wanted to come in.  I was sleeping off a few Retsinas and my wife reading.  She heard a slight rattling of the door and thought nothing of it but a few moments later saw a young lad whip into the lounge area.  A quick shout made him get out and get away on his moped, not before taking about €35 cash I had taken out of the beachwear trousers.  It could have been a lot worse if there had been a little more time allowed and we are thankful that it wasn’t.

This is not meant to scare anyone that we are going to be murdered in our beds.  Ag Stef remains a safe place but it has made us think that we ought to be a bit more careful than we have been used to.  It was just an opportunist petty crime but it is still not great to think a stranger has been poking around.  I understand that something similar happened in Arillas this week but don’t know if it is related.

Another great day here with calm seas and cloudless skies.  Can’t think what we are going to do with the day!  For anyone yet to get to AG, enjoy your holidays.                               

San Stefanos news and views / Re: A weekend in san stef
« on: May 21, 2012, 11:56:59 PM »
13 July, same day as us.  Going from Bristol on the evening Easyjet flight.  Where are you staying?  We are back at Anotoli and, as always, looking forward to it.  Good to know the beach is looking good and news that the path to Arillas has been restored. 

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Back from Corfu
« on: August 23, 2011, 03:36:47 PM »
Fame at last for AG ( although even the author is calling the village SS!) In case anyone miseed it a write up entitled 'Fall under the spell of Corfu' - travel with the experts written by Marc Dubin on 20th August in the Telegraph.

Nafsika Hotel 7/10 (score)
This cult beachfront family-run hotel, on the south end of the Corfiot northwest coast, seems like an Eighties Greek-resort time capsule, with basic rooms but superior welcome, a pool-cum-bar and an in-house restaurant. The service from Spyros, the manager, his parents and their entire staff is assiduous. The 15 basic rooms may be ripe for a makeover but are kept spotless, while Mama Theodora’s chip-free homestyle greek cooking attracts a considerable walk-in-trade.
Location: South end of San Stefanos on the northwest coast. Price: Doubles from £45. Details

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Memories of an Octogenarian
« on: August 03, 2011, 06:35:24 PM »

I just thought that anyone who might have known Peter Skinnard and was not able to make the Gathering last Sunday week would like to have a view of what went on.

Gathering to Remember Peter Skinnard at St Spiritos Church, Agios Stefanos. 24 July 2011

Enter Church:  “RAF March Past”,  Walford Davies.

Peter Willaim Skinnard was born on 5 January 1921 and died on 2 April 2011 aged 80.  On 1 April Peter sat on his stool in the corner of the bar at the Weary Friar, the local Village Pub at Pillaton for the regular 6 o’clock Friday night get together.  He was dressed rather more sombrely than usual for a Friday evening, in a dark pinstripe suit.  He had just attended a funeral ‘next door’ at the Church of another resident in the village and Peter commented that the congregation was probably a record for a village funeral, such was her popularity.  The next morning he travelled with Shelagh and Bethany to Plymouth to his favourite restaurant in Plymouth. It was a lovely spring day, driving along the high banked Cornish lanes full of spring flowers.  After a good lunch he rested back at home, phoned up a handyman in the village to repair some plumbing in the house. Later that evening he, sadly, passed peacefully away.  I think many may believe that is a great way to go, although it is never easy for those left behind. Ten days after Peter commented on the funeral attendance at the Parish church it was exceeded at Peters own funeral with crowds spilling out into the churchyard and in the road beyond.  Such was Peter’s immense popularity through his many walks of life.

Bethany, in her words at Peters funeral, talked about the passion he had for life, and how right she was.  At that 6 o’clock club meeting the evening before he died he spoke with sadness about the news that Plymouth Argyle Football club was in deep financial trouble and possibly going into extinction.  For 20 years Peter was a Director and later Vice Chairman of Argyle, the Green Army, and often said how honoured and privileged he was to be asked to take this position having been a fan of the Pilgrims from a very early age.  He took this job on with passion, which may have included a few wild nights along the way and hours talking tactics with past Manager such as Malcolm Allison and Bobby Moncur, probably over a glass of Champagne, but he did far more than Directors normally do for a club. Not least embracing pastoral care helping players who had earned a small fortune by their standards to save and spend wisely.  What a pity that passion does not lie with the current board of directors when their main interest appears to be their own financial success.

Peters passion for life went right through his career, from his school years at Plymouth College through to service in the RAF where he gained the Sword of Honour for the best student in his year (hence the RAF march on the entry to the church).  And then his period in politics. He served on the County Council and became Saltash’s youngest Mayor at the age of 32.  Besides having a brilliant career in his chosen profession of law, he carried out numerous duties in and around Saltash,. Chairman of the Ferry crossing from Saltash to Plymouth, and senior posts for the Saltash Yatch and Football Clubs and Plymouth theatre among them. 

He was a very good and active sportsman and represented Cornwall at Tennis and regularly played Cricket for Saltash.

Peter loved family life and adored, and was proud of, his three children Nick, Sally and Bethany: although not wanting to side I have a sneaking suspicion that Beth might have just been his favourite, merely because he was considered nearly Grandfather status when she was born and it gave him a new lease of life. The bond between Beth and Peter transcended the age gap and from an outsiders viewpoint they appeared soul mates.

And Shelagh, his wife of nearly 40 years. ( which, I have on good authority  ran consecutively not concurrently with his first wife). Of course there were occasions, as in any marriage, when there may have been a small Cat and Dog ‘contra tom’ but he adored his wife and admired her many talents and the little extract that follows my bit exemplifies the love he had for her. 

And then we have his passion for his faith, which he kept very much to himself and rarely imposed his beliefs on others – apart perhaps from chastising my wife Jan for not attending morning communion on some occasions. He was a Churchwarden for Pillaton for many years and became a lay Canon for the diocese of Truro.  In fact in some ways I wonder if Peter should have been born 100 years earlier.  For 50 years he lived in the Old Rectory at Pillaton and I imagined him as a learned Rector looking after his flock and spending many hours in his study sorting out his sermon for the next service.  He worked hard for the Truro diocese and one Friday, after a mornings work at the office at Callington he drove down to Truro on diocese matters.  He returned to the Weary Friar for his 6 o’clock meeting, a little late, and later collapsed with exhaustion on the pub carpet.  Medics were brought in and a Police lady was leaning over him when he came around. On opening his eyes and seeing this lovely female with pouting lips six inches away from his face his first words were “Lord am I in Heaven”?!

Having lived at Pillaton for 50 years Peter was always assisting the locals.  There are many residents who have spent hours in Peters study discussing their legal matters, perhaps over a glass of malt, and I don’t suppose he charged a good many the usual solicitors rate.  Peter was a self confessed pub man, and it was opportune that the pub was just at the end of the Rectory drive; he loved chatting with the mix of class, creed, sex and age of those around him and embraced their interests.

And now the reason why we are in this lovely church today. ( and we are very grateful for the use of it).  Perhaps above all of his passions in the past 30 odd years was that of Agios Stafanos.  (I emphasise Agios as Peter abhorred the Thompson modernising of  the word to San Stefanos). Peter first set eyes on the village following work he did for Ilios Island Holidays who were setting up a tourism service.  He and Shelagh were invited by the owners, Nita and Eric, to visit Agios Stephanos in 1979 and entered the village down a very dusty, dirty and bumpy road that opened up from Avliotes on to the bay with sheep roaming over the sands.  The Bay he came to love.  They stayed at the newly built Nafsika Hotel and enjoyed frequenting the three Tavernas existing at the time, Golden Beach, Manthos and Waves.  They later stayed at the apartments built by a young man returning from the Navy and with few exceptions since then returned to Anatoli with Michalis and Katie. He did miss out on 1983 when he thought he had better be at home for the birth of Bethany.  Peter reckoned that he had totalled over two of his last 30 years in the village and in that time introduced a lot of friends and relatives to the village.  In fact he commented that he ought to have been given the status of Honorary Mayor for services to tourism!

 In the time here he had become friends of many locals and ex pats in and around the locality.  On many occasions Peter would come over by himself, sometimes twice a year.  At this point I need a bit of help filling in the details!  Ostensibly Peter came over to study the Greek Orthodox church and indeed he was interested in this and loved Easters over here.  However – rumour has it that there was more to his stays over here than he let on back home.  The story goes that it was a time when he might enjoy an appetitive of Ouzo, followed by a glass of Retsina and a Metaxa ( 3 star) to end the meal before tucking himself up in bed by 11 o’clock with a good book!  Perhaps I will be enlightened in the next hour when you are all welcome for a drink to Peter at the Kamini Bar! 

However, I know, as a Notary Public, he helped many of his friends sort out legal matters between the UK and Greece. He felt at home chatting to locals, such as Michalis’ Dad, who didn’t speak a word of English and Peter hardly speaking fluent Greek. But they just understood one another.  It is an example of his interest in life and people.  To his dying day he would ask about life in Agios Stafanos and often phoned people such as Manthos, Julie, Shirley and Carolyn when she was with us, to hear how things were going.  He loved hearing news about the village and regretted in his later years he was unable to visit quite as often as he would have liked. He was fond of local music and especially the impromptu musical evenings at Manthos Taverna.  Peter liked Nana Mouskouri and the song that follows is not traditional Greek as some would wish, but the sentiment is there.

Peter Skinnard will be missed by so many for a host of different reasons.  In Agios Stefanos he will be remembered as a kind gentleman in the true sense of the word and will be missed as much here as he will back in Cornwall.  God Bless and RIP Peter.

Song: Nana Mouskouri  “Amazing Grace”

 Life in the Woods

Bethany:  This extract from Bambi “A life in the Woods” by Felix Saltan–, was selected by Dad as a duologue with Mum.  In Dad’s original draft he made notes on how it should be performed.  Sadly that performance was never given but the words of Dad are said by Dick

Narrator:  The leaves were falling from the great oak at the meadows edge.  They were falling from all the trees.  One branch of the oak reached high above the others and stretched far out over the meadow.  Two leaves clung to its very tip.

Peter:It isn’t the way it used to be.

Shelagh: No.  So many of us have fallen off tonight we’re almost the only ones left on our branch.

P: You never know who’s going next. Even when it was warm and the sun shone, a storm or cloudburst would sometimes come, and many leaves were torn off, though they were still young.  You never know who’s going to be next.

S: The sun seldom shines now – and when it does it gives no warmth .

P: Can it be true – can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we’re gone and after them still others, and more and more?

S: It is really true.  We can’t even begin to imagine it, it’s beyond our powers.

P: It makes me very sad.  ………………..  Why must we fall?....

S: What happens to us when we have fallen?

P: We sink down…

S: What is under us?

P: I don’t know, some say one thing , some another, but nobody knows.

S: Do we feel anything, do we know anything about ourselves when we’re down there?

P:  Who knows?  Not one of all those down there has ever come back to tell us about it.

There is a pause

Don’t worry so much about it; you’re trembling.

S: That’s nothing.  I tremble at the least thing now.  I don’t feel so sure of my hold as I used to.

P: Let’s not talk any more about such things.

S: No, we’ll let be.  But what else shall we talk about?

Another pause

S: Which of us will go first?

P: There’s still plenty of time to worry about that.  Let’s remember how beautiful it was, how wonderful when the sun came out and shone so warmly that we thought we’d burst with life.  Do you remember?  And the morning dew and the mild and splendid nights…………………

S: Now the nights are dreadful; and there’s no end to them.

P: We shouldn’t complain.  We’ve out-lived many, many others.

S: Have I changed much?

P: Not in the least.  You only think so because I’ve got to be so yellow and ugly.  But it’s different in your case.

S: You’re humouring  me

P: No really; believe me, you’re as lovely as the day you were born.  Here and there a little yellow spot but its hardly noticeable and only makes you more beautiful, believe me.

S: Thanks, I don’t believe you, not altogether, but I thank you because you’re so kind, you’ve always been so kind to me.  I’m just beginning to understand how kind you are.

P:  Hush

Narrator:  She kept silent, for she was too troubled to talk any more.  Then they were both silent.  Hours passed………………

Music:  Blondie.  “Heart of Glass”

Poem: The Island, By Shelagh Skinnard circa 1995.  Read by Shelagh               

One day we will not go there any more
And run along the soft sea shore
Never to hear the cicadas plaintive sound
Pounding our senses in a ceaseless round
Parading our bodies
To the relentless sun
Kidding ourselves twill keep us young

Retsina the potent sensual swill
Listen to the classics
And take your fill
Never to see the whitewashed church
Nesting on the hill
Do the pink flowers surround it still

One day the time will come
And we shall not be returning
But every Summer we will remember how it was
And be filled with an aching yearning

Leave church to Elgars. “Enigma Variations”

Where to eat out in San Stefanos? / Re: Fresh fish in SS
« on: July 19, 2011, 12:20:25 AM »
Don't think you can beat the Sardines at Waves over lunch looking out on the hot sand and cooling sea.

If you ask Manthos beforehand to select fish for a specific night he does a brilliant job. Don't choose the Saturday Party Night, however.  Good entertainment but always a busy time.

Information and help please / Re: car hire
« on: July 04, 2011, 01:29:51 AM »
I use Valantis at car-hire-corfu []. He is next to Bar 38 and find the T & C very much easier to cope with than Airport based companies. For instance, no extra cost for a second driver and no extra insurance costs.  San Stefanos travel will also help you.

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Meeting Place
« on: July 03, 2011, 02:08:49 PM »
Lesley.  Thinking of meeting up just to let you know that there will be a memorial service for Peter Skinnard in the Church at noon on 24th July.  It will be short as there will be no Papas in attendance.  We will meet up at the Kamini after to have a drink to him.  Anyone who would like to attend is welcome.

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Anyone been and back yet?
« on: May 23, 2011, 12:28:20 PM »
Sitting overlooking the bay on another day that is almost windless with the sun burning off the cloud over a flat sea many colours.  The week with little wind has given back about 3 metres of beach and the sandbanks are now clearly evident.  There are few more chairs on the beach but not attendend.  Costas of sunbed fame says that because 11 councils in Corfu are now combined into one there are administrative problems.  The Beach auction is not until 15 June so, until then, beds are free.

 If one accepts the gamble with the weather May is a glorious time to see the Island in all its beauty.  Old Perithea is stunning just now with masses of wild flowers along the old pathways around the slowly reclaimed houses.  The background on the hills covered with the bright yellow Cytisus makes it a picture – all the better without flies and wasps that seem the plague the place in summer.  I have bared my body in the sea and found it pleasantly warm(ish).  Not so different from the summer months after a few days of no wind.  Nafsika pool, however, does take your breath away at present.

The village is still fairly quiet.  For the last 20 years I have heard the locals lament that the present year is worse than the previous but I think now it may be true.  They are between a rock and a hard place with prices between getting a reasonable margin and not scaring off the tourists.  The Government had hoped to bring in extra cash with the VAT rise but it might not happen if gross income is reduced.

The Avliotes by-pass is a bit of a mess at both ends at present.  It is said that it will be completed by the end of July.  I wonder!

Yes, Shane and Sandra are back at the Juice Bar.  Pleased I think to be away from the clearing up all around them in Queensland from the recent flooding.  Nikos and Kerry went out to Oz over Christmas and came back to see the Council have continued the footpath along Ozzie Oils and not given them any drop in the curb to get cars into their parking space.

As for Bar 38, I have not spoken directly to either Hilary or Spiros but I understand things are not too good but those close to the couple may have better news.  I hope so because they did seem a lovely couple and they put a lot of energy into the new bar.

Glad the Speros blog is liked.  I saw him yesterdqy and told him that it had been well received.  He will continue with a few thoughts and recipes.  I think the next one will be Spinokopita, one of my favourites there.

Back to the UK late tonight.  As usual, the end of a relaxing week and a good preparation to returning in 54 days time.

San Stefanos news and views / Re: Anyone been and back yet?
« on: May 20, 2011, 01:14:57 PM »
Just touching base looking over a sunkissed almost waveless bay with the scent of the Gardenia heavy in the air and birds singing all around.  Yes, its Agios Stefanos on a cloudless and virtually windless day in May.  The village is fairly quiet and walkers are prominent rather than filling the beach.  There are a few sunbeds below Delphin Blu and Havana but nothing else.  The council have done a good job clearing up the beach and it all looks ready for the season. There is about the same area of beach compared to last year but the bank of flora by Athena has been eroded a little - it has meant that the exit from Athina to the beach has been brought a few metres to the west.

The Mango sign has been taken down and the area intended for lunching the residents of Delphin Blu.  It is very smart and finished to a high standard.  Of course non residents can eat and drink there but I just get the feeling that the area right to the beach beds will be a bit exclusive.  There is an extension to Mango that has not been finished right up to the Havana border.  We did have a cocktail at Delpin Blu last night and saw a spectacular sunset.  It really is a great view and worth the €7 for the drink!

Prices remain around the same a last year but some are saying they are going to raise the prices a little in mid June.  They are obviously well aware that the hike cannot be too much.

Perdita has done a good job to her new shop that used to be Magnet bar/Simple.  Noula has, as reported earlier, moved to her premises opposite Perdita.

Most of the shops are open. The Olive Press looks to be opening soon.  Bar 38 is running but sadly without Hilary, who is said to be in Sidari. 

We had a meal at Nafsike and chatted to Speros.  He has started a blog which has a recipe and another go at the calling of the village San Stefanos . We eat at Fantasea tonight.  Costas has really tried hard to get the place going and the menu looks inviting.

Have not tried the water this year.  Just about to bare my body.  It will mean the beach edge will be a littlel nearer the Waves!.  Oh yes, the footpath to Arillas is passible, just.  There is a small area that has a 12 inch ledge but just needs a bit of care! Will have to see ifits still OK when we return in July!

Just off to Waves for a spot of lunch.  Somehow get the feeling we dont want to return to the UK on Monday!

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