Getting back to normal

The Holiday Weekend is drawing to a close. The tents are disappearing from the area north of me and a very fancy pickup has pulled up to take away those to the west.

The morning started at 05:10 when I sent a message to Ursula. She arrived at the gate just as I was getting her dogs ready and I followed her out to give Dave his tablet. He was awake and regarding the proceedings from the comfort of the storeroom.

It was still quite dark as we crossed the Grammeno Beach in pursuit of Ursula. Boris’ flashing ball must have confused whoever was turning their car round in the beach carpark. What were they doing there at that time of the morning?We have a very sensible reason for being there but I suspect anyone else who is around at that time.

The walk progressed without incident until someone came to collect salt. The dogs spotted him and he was soon surrounded by baying hounds. Luckily Obi and a couple of the others broke off once they discovered he wasn’t very interesting, leaving the inevitable Luis and Princess duet in charge. They soon caught up and we repaired to the beach for a quick swim before biscuits and home. The salt gatherer passed us as we walked back later. Not someone I recall seeing before.

I decided to give Dave his annual rabies shot, not that he needs one as there is no rabies on the island. Princess and Pea had TetraDog, a booster to their Hexadog at the end of April. They are all now up to date with their various jabs. Dave, naturally, is a case apart as he is the Canine Pincushion of Grammeno with his regular daily stabbings.

The day warmed up and a couple of support emails came in for my attention. Nothing much, just a password change and some software help.

Ursula passed by to pick up Heidi to see how she is on her own. Oskar has been with her these past days as part of his socialisation program.

The nice English Lady, Reni, who gave the food and made a point of intercepting us on the evening walks, sent and email saying she would like to offer Millie a Forever Home in Leicester. It’s now a matter of getting Millie a Pet Passport and transporting her to UK.

As expected, UK is different, requiring that all dogs coming into the country by air are sent Cargo to the Heathrow Cargo section. Taking your dog on a plane as ‘Hold Luggage’ is not that expensive at around €80-€100. Going cargo with BA can set you back between €700 and €1,200. And you have to go through the performance of collecting the dog from the cargo section at Heathrow. Other EU countries allow you to checkin your dog with your hold baggage: you simply collect the animal on arrival.

To avoid the UK requirement and save a considerable amount of money, Aegean airways offer direct flights to Brussels and Paris. You pay your ‘baggage’ extra and fly to either, bringing your pet on the same plane. Then someone with a car comes over on a day trip from Dover to Calais or Dunkirk and collects you and your dog from the French or Belgian airport. It’s also possible to fly direct from Crete to Lille which cuts down on the road mileage but there are more, and probably cheaper flights to Brussels and Paris. Using a low-cost airline on the outbound flight and staying for a long weekend in Crete gives you a short break as well as money in your pocket. You also get to accompany your pet to and from the airport. Quite important at the beginning of a new relationship.

The new Small Cabin AKA Σ3 has been completed and is operational. Σ5 is now Σ6 and Σ4 and 3 have equally been renamed to accommodate the newcomer. Ursula has decided that, should they decide to have a Cabin when the come back in September, she wants Σ2 or Σ3 since they both have space nearby for tying up dogs and for putting down a sun lounger or two.

The sun is making its way westward over the roof of the storeroom. The shrill voices of children and teenagers on the beach will be replaced by silence and the lapping of the waves on the shore. Their holiday weekend is drawing to a close and the camping will return to ‘normal’ having survived its practice round before the Big Show of July and August. Final adjustments are still required as the outside showers are in need of a serious facelift. I noticed Mikhalis with his head in the underground poo tank following the unmistakeable sound of the poo alert alarm. This warns that the level in the tank has exceeded the norm which is generally the result of a foreign object carelessly thrown into a toilet, blocking the pump. I have experience of the poo tank, not something one rushes to repeat. A little like unblocking the drains at Fitzroy. Hurrah to Matthew for finally resolving the blocked drain saga and getting the council to fix them for free!