Another strike!

The intrepid voyagers are not doing so well on this trip. The seamen’s strike which affected Patras was extended to Piraeus as of Monday and Tuesday. The ferry Ursula and Tony should have caught at 15:00 today (Tuesday) was cancelled meaning a further night on the mainland and the 15:00 ferry on Wednesday. As it turned out, the strike was lifted on Tuesday morning so it is likely the ferry sailed after all. Ursula decided to stay with the Wednesday booking and arrive a day late at Grammeno.

Their accommodation is ready for them and I shall check later that the key is left in the door as promised. If all goes to plan, their arrival should be tomorrow (Wednesday) evening somewhat late. I doubt they’ll be doing too much unpacking more just falling into bed.

The moon is fading at only 33% at present but there was sufficient for lots of ball-throwing activity this morning. Today, rather than leave the balls behind, I dropped the tube of biscuits out of my pocket as I was extracting Oskar from his cage. Fido insists on complicating matters by being ultra-friendly as I am connecting Oskar to his mediaeval-looking prong collar which very effectively deters him from excessive pulling. The collar looks far worse than it is but requires the prongs of one link to be hooked through the adjacent link. Easy enough when it’s light, the dog is still and you don’t have Fido rubbing himself against your legs as you crouch at Oskar’s cage.  I usually rely on touch at that time of the day as Oskar is very fluffy anyway and also mostly black.

Two balls were only just enough as there were two pairs of competitors today: Luis and Fido and Charlie and Oskar. They certainly do not operate with any team spirit as Luis jealously prevents Fido from gaining access to the ball. Oskar scampers after Charlie as soon as he has the ball and quickly wrestles it from him. I either throw for Luis and Fido or for Charlie and Oskar. I may throw for one group, and the other actually recovers the ball. Or they may have one ball each. That is usually more by accident than design. Keeping tabs on which dog is in possession of the ball with only 33% moonlight is not straightforward. Even though the balls have been sitting by the decking lights all night, the light they emit is of a similar spectrum to that from the moon. In many ways, it’s easier to keep track of the balls when it’s a dark, moonless night. The eerie sensation of a disembodied ball moving about on its own should be experienced.

We had about thirty minutes of ball throwing before continuing over the rocks to the assembly point where normally there would be biscuits dished out for those who appear promptly to be reattached to their leads. As it was, they all pretty much followed me so reacquisition was a relatively simple matter. I had to explain that the tube of biscuits had fallen from my pocket.

I was aware of this almost as soon as we’d walked out of the gate from the compound to the field. Going back was not an option as it’s more like a military exercise getting them ready anyway. Changing the program would cause far more consternation than having no biscuits at the assembly point!

They were quiet whilst I was out running but a lot less so when I rode to Paleochora later. This is less of a problem now that there are far fewer punters camping in the area near me. Also, I leave about 08:45 for Paleochora so most people are already milling around involved in washing or preparing for breakfast. I’ve already been up more than four hours by this time, walked the dogs for an hour or so as well as run 6km! Breakfast for me doesn’t occur until I return from Paleochora some forty-five minutes later and after I’ve let the dogs out of their houses.  They are much less tempted to make a din whilst confined to barracks.

The day has involved some IT work together with further uploading and conversion of media files for my ever-expanding music collection. I can easily integrate these activities amongst real work as they require getting going then leaving to complete their task. In fact, much of what I have done today has been along those lines. Just a question of remembering which computer is uploading/download which files to which location. Easy if you pay attention and don’t get distracted by dogs/cups of tea/texts etc.

The sun is disappearing, the wind is getting up and the dogs are getting restless. This time gets earlier each day it seems. They have no need of an Apple Watch to be able to know when it’s time for a walk or other activity. The position of the sun does it for them and is a bit of a giveaway!

I shall now generate huge excitement by standing up, closing my computer and then putting on a shirt. This is the signal that we’re about to go out!

An email from WheezyJet invites me to make a hotel reservation for my upcoming visit to the UK in just over a month. Soon I shall be able to use my EasyJet app to confirm my flight! I shall have to remind my chauffeur of the dates and times of my travel. He ‘missed out’ last time as I left Sascha’s car at the airport for Steffi and she came to pick me up on the return. Travelling with Antonis is much more exciting!

I suppose I’d better feed these dogs before it gets dark. My laptop is playing songs from my media collection which is in ‘radio’ mode. Instead of choosing what you would like to hear, the software makes an informed guess and puts together a list of tracks based upon artists you’ve either recently visited or listened to. Quite cunning really and saves having to make a decision as well as introducing you to music or artists you might not have previously considered.

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