Raindrops and Roses

Well the rains have now come to northern Crete certainly. Although there were some hailstones falling in Iraklion, here in northwest Crete we have had just the gentle rains that always come every autumn. I love it when the rain comes.

The earth that summer baked hard is now soft and damp. A great time to plant trees, orange, lemon – even a new olive tree of the Kalamata type with big olives that you can store in jars and enjoy all year round. Plus we shall be buying some rose trees this year to build up a rose garden. Roses do so well in Crete that it is a shame not to have some. Also looking closely at the ground there is a host of new grass shoots with that typical bright green colour. Plus so many tiny seedlings are pushing through the surface that it is almost astonishing.

The best thing though is that at this time of year the rains help the olives grow larger on the trees ready for harvest in November. This means a good crop of oil that will see us through another wonderful year. Not like the oil you buy, but first pressing superb extra virgin oil that you can spread on bread, it tastes so good. Almost every Greek family have an access to oil of this quality wherever they live. Next month there will be holidays asked for in the various offices and businesses around Greece so that their employees and even board members can get back to their family olive groves and work like everyone else to take in the harvest. Accountants, doctors, factory workers and whatever will all become the same in order to take the crop of olives and get them to the press. Everyone working together in a common cause.

In a couple of weeks all the dead grasses and thistles that the end of summer brings will be hidden by new plants and the many yellow flowers that will cover the olive groves. Soon the snows will build up on the White Mountains and the high white peaks will glint again in the winter sun.

Still the local temperatures remain between 20 – 25 degrees Celsius so it is also a good time to be out and about exploring and getting things done. The end of October means the end of direct charter flights for the year. No more tourism until next April just work to gather the olives, the oranges and tree pruning. A great time to spend in tavernas, especially on saints days without the high prices and language difficulties that exist all of the tourist season. A time for outside work and a time of rest for the so many Greeks who have to work so hard all summer.

I hope I don’t again hear foreigners pleading for direct flights all year. The way we do it now is just right. Look at Cyprus!

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