Friday, 10 July 2009

Great advert

Mrs QB is sat next to me in the internet cafe as I am doing this blog. She has just shown me an advert for The Garden Restaurant in Skopelos Town. Their tag line...

International Greek Homecooking

I leave it to you, dear reader, to fathom that one out!

More modifications

So, today we have got Janis the carpenter in!

We are redesigning the entire top storey of the house - it is too big a job for me so we have got a carpenter in who is knocking down walls and taking out cupboards as I type (well, not really as I type 'cos he has just phoned me to tell me that he is knocking off until tomorrow.

It's dead exciting seeing the walls come down and a new bigger open plan room rise pheonix like from the ashes of the old two rooms and a corridor.

Really looking forward to him finishing and to all our furniture arriving from Dubai - it is currently clearing customs in Athens so should be here in the next year or two!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Refurbishments and other stuff

Well, we have been here for two weeks now and Mrs QB and I have been working... well... not far away from flat out. The front balcony floorboards are now ready to be put down, the balusters have been repainted and a new top rail has been made. The new top rail just needs one more coat of paint before it is ready. We should be in a position to put the boards down and the new top rail on on Saturday. After that I will need to make a cover board for the bottom rail but that is a fairly small job.

This afternoon we are going to paint the balusters on the other balcony, I'm not putting new floorboards down on that one this year, that will be my project for next summer. Similarly, we are going to paint the top rail this afternoon (after the balusters), but I will leave off replacing it until next year.

One of the jobs I have been putting off for the last four years finally got done this year! One of our interior walls was in terrible condition - the previous owners had replastered the wall and, presumably, painted the plaster before it was properly dry! Result - a great chunk of plaster fell off the wall (well over a couple of square metres by the time we had finished getting the loose stuff off). So, this year I finally bit the bullet, went to the hardware shop and bought plaster and the relevant tools. Looked in my DIY manual and found out how to mix plaster and how to put it on the wall. I have to say that I am dead chuffed with the result! Yes, I can afford to be smug about this one - plastering no longer holds any fears for QB!

Mrs QB has also done her share of the DIY - she has been painting window frames that were desperately in need of painting and she also had a go a plastering!

So, today we decided to try to get Mrs QB residency status - not quite as easy as one would hope. Firstly I have to have residency and then Mrs QB can have residency based upon mine. This is because I am European and Mrs QB isn't. The problem is that I have to have some kind of a card which (apparently) all EU citizens have which allows them reciprocal Social Security and Health insurance benefits. Well, I haven't got one of these (I don't think they had them 14 years ago when I left Britain) and I have no idea how to get one. At the moment then, unitl I can find this stuff out we are somewhat screwed, Mrs QB and I cannot have Greek residence. Ho hum. The big problem with all this is that Mrs QB's Shengen Visa runs out on the 10th of August, so she has to leave the country and come back in again. What a pain - fortunately she has a visa for the UK, so I think she is going to go EasyJet from Athens to Luton and back in order to prolong her stay. I guess that we will sort out residency for her some other time.

That's it for now. In a couple of weeks Mrs QB's brother and his wife arrive to stay with us for three weeks and we are going to have a complete rest during the time they are here. In the meantime it is time to get back to the grindstone.

See ya.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Qatarbilly and Blogger

OK, so I am not in Dubai anymore. I have decided not to be Dubaibilly anymore. My email address (which was no longer works. But Blogger won't let me change any of this. I have tried to change my email address which is associated with the blog, but Blogger simply refuses to do it. I still have to sign in as dubaibilly and use a non-existent email address to do so. And I don't understand why.

If you have anything to do with Blogger (rather than just using it) or if you happen to know how to make blogger do this mundane thing, please tell me.

I guess I could set up Waiting for Skopelos 2: The Qatar Years, but I don't want to.


At Home!

It is the 2nd of July (I think) and Mrs QB and I are at home in our lovely little house on our beautiful island of Skopelos.

We have been here for a few days and the work has started! We decided that one of our balconies (how about that for a bit of one-upmanship then!) was in need of some fairly urgent repairs - particularly in view of the quote last year of 14000 Euros to replace them both!

So we have decided that we are going to replace the top rail and the floor boards. I have cut the floor boards to length (3.69 metres)and have sanded them, undercoated them, sanded them again and undercoated them again. Tomorrow they will get their final sanding and then I will apply two top coats before I take the old ones up and replace them with the new.

Our house is white with all the exterior woodwork done in that beautiful rich blue that says to eveyone - Greece. You know the one. It is the same colour as the Greek flag. Vathy Ble Arithmos 2 - Greek speakers please excuse me not using the proper Greek characters, and Kat, can you translate the Vathy bit - I think it means Navy Blue number two but I'm not sure. Anyway, that is the colour the balcony floor boards and the top rails will be.

Other jobs on the cards for this holiday:

Mrs QB wants a corner shelf making and putting up in the bathroom.

The other balcony is in better condition than the one which is being refurbished, it just needs a light sanding and repainting.

Three sets of shutters need taking down, sanding, repainting and re-hanging.

We have bought a new kitchen in Dubai and shipped it out (it is due to arrive with lots of other of our possessions on 5 July). It is currently flat-packed so I will have to build that!

We want to take down two stud walls on the top floor - it sounds easy enough, but it isn't. Quite apart from disposing of the detritus, the walls are 4 and a half metres high and I can't get up to the top, plus, in taking them down we have some wiring that needs re-routing. There is a professional coming round to take a look at that job tomorrow afternoon. If we can afford it, and if he can do it quickly, we will be changing the use of the top and middle floors of the house. This involves in the sub-job of taking beds apart, moving them downstairs and rebuilding them.

Other than that, it should be a nice restful holiday!