Pour Encourager Les Autres!

Fido couldn’t wait until 04:30 so had to go out at 04:00 so I got up at 04:15 as I didn’t see the point in lingering. We were out for our walk on time despite Luis who felt it necessary to peer out of the gate into the camping whilst all of the others were by the filed gate and ready to go. Nevertheless, we were soon walking across the field in the moonlight. My torch was used only so I could ensure that burials had been executed correctly. The moon has passed the midway point of its morning duty so it will be only a few more days before it will be dark again. The longest day (good title for a war film starring John Wayne and Richard Burton I should imagine) is soon upon us so the mornings will soon start to creep back towards the autumn and then winter. Sunrise will remain early enough though for the time being.

Having walked around the Promontory, we headed down Alonáki Beach past the Azzuro Beach Bar which has risen like the Phoenix from the ashes. The beach bar looked abandoned and deserted a couple of weeks ago but has since been put straight with several rows of sunbeds lined up neatly along the beach. All correctly Socially-Distanced naturally. I’ve never visited Azzuro but it has good reviews.

I deposited the Smaller Dogs back at the van and prepared the other two for the second walk after feeding the cats. Today, Isabella was off the lead right from the start so needed to take responsibility for herself. Now that we are quite good with the trainer, I feel more confident she will do as she’s told so can allow her more latitude. That doesn’t mean I can simply leave her to manage herself as she is still very easily attracted by any temptation which might present. Skinny was on a 10m lunge lead with his e-collar. Again, he needs to slowly build up to being let free and reliably returning regardless of the circumstances. Not so easy as he’s older and learned other ways.

Our walk up the valley was mostly uneventful however Isabella got too close to some sheep on the other side of the fence which caused a bit of consternation. I should have know they might be lurking there and had her closer to me so I could respond more promptly. Skinny was at the end of his 10m lead so enjoying the comparative freedom. We walked a little further, as far as where the goats are fed as I wanted to expose Skinny to them whilst on the long lead. There were very few goats which were distant anyway.

On the way back, a pickup, driven slowly and deliberately, passed us and I think it was the chap going to feed his goats. We continued down the valley onto the beach into the field and back into the camping where I deposited Skinny and took Isabella out into the camping on her own. She still had the collar so I wanted her to get used to staying near me and not bothering anyone we might meet. There was a couple in Z6 and Isabella kept away when reminded. We ended up at Reception where Aris (AKA Reception Guy) was at his desk with his dog Mocker on the concrete outside. Isabella went up to say hello. Mocker is by nature a little nervous and I think she might get this from the way she’s handled. Mocker and Isabella soon made friends so were chasing each other around the entrance area of the camping. The gates are now open so I had to keep an eye on Isabella to make sure she didn’t go into the road. I chatted to Aris who speaks very good English and seems to be getting on well with the Receptionist job. I mentioned that I didn’t use the paper forms during the winter but had spreadsheets on my iPhone and MacBook to take care of the accounts and customer bills. He has managed to get Georgia to sign-up for a website plugin which provides some level of occupancy information and booking levels for the accommodation. This is something I’d suggest a year or so ago but was, unsurprisingly, not adopted. He suggested we might team up to try to instigate change. I said that I’d said most things and made many suggestions so was growing weary of trying to make progress. It must be said that many things have improved gradually but my enthusiasm to participate is waning. His greatest challenge will be when Maria comes back. I’ve attempted to introduce different procedures to her in the past but she’s welded to her proven paper-based ways. Aris will have an interesting time moving Maria over to the web-based booking page as well as his own spreadsheet customer records. He is also producing paper versions in parallel to his own system. I foresee that Maria will continue with what she knows and I’ve had experience of giving spreadsheets to Georgia as she is also one who sticks to the familiar. We discussed the lack of analytics and mourned all the useful information lost.

I eventually collected up Isabella and left to let out the other dogs and to feed them. Having walked over 10km, the remainder of the day became rather sedentary although I had some support enquiries and tasks to keep me busy. The water was off once again and, in fact, I think it was the workers with the digger by the road bridge we passed on our return who were responsible. Why use a shovel to expose the pipe when you can slice it in two with the bucket of the digger?

Today’s weather was similar to yesterday and the forest indicates it will gradually get warmer as the days go by.

Obi, Skinny and Isabella are playing enthusiastically on the decking. A loud slurping indicates that Isabella has stopped for a drink and to slop water around as much as possible. She often dribbles the last mouth-full everywhere or comes over to give my legs a good licking with her cold, soggy tongue.

I read on the Greek tourism site that a beach bar in Mykonos flouted the Social-Distancing rules by organising a party during the Holiday Weekend. They were closed down for two months and fined €20,000 (£18,000). Pour encourager les autres…**

I think my food is ready so…

** Apparently, it was the French writer Voltaire who coined this phrase following a British admiral who had failed to take the island of Minorca from the French.

“Byng was sent in 1756 to relieve Minorca, then besieged by the French, under the Marquis de la Galissonière; but after a partial action, in which the English suffered severely, he was forced to bear away. He did not feel equal to renewing the action, and the place was taken. The British public became furious and ministers ordered the arrest of Byng, who was tried by court martial, found guilty of neglect of duty, and condemned to death. The sentence followed the finding, there being no option. The court, however, acquitted Byng of cowardice and of disaffection and recommended him to mercy. King George II refused pardon, and Byng was shot on board the Monarque at Portsmouth on 14th March 1757. After the trial, public clamour rose high against the ministers, who had not supplied Byng with a properly manned fleet, but who, in order to save themselves, had thrown a great part of the blame upon Byng.”



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