Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Hovel - Corfu

An early picture from the 'studio' window. There were some bonfires! A wood stove was not in sight at the time. The blue boards in the next-door garden were covering a 'vothro' or 'soak-away' or cess pit, if you want to be horrid about it. It has been decades since it was in use, and the little creatures did their job and not a whiff remained. I have one as well but exactly where it is I can't tell, but the space out the back is only 3 x 5 metres. The wonder is it works, and the old soil pipe which led from an outside toilet, now extended to my shower-room, has the correct fall. 

I mentioned that because the Greek tradition remains "No Papers in the Toilet". Instead, an often open bin is universally provided for your 'papers' (and you won't have been reading them .) The reason for this tradition is apparently that plumbers often didn't bother to ensure a decent slope (or wide pipes) for drainage.   Some of my sophisticated friends may not realize that in Greece the comfort of sitting down toilets is not universally offered to patrons of restaurants or old-style 'cafeneons' (bars).  A small tray with two raised foot-shaped plinths has a 3 to 4 inch hole placed between them.... OK OK, I will try to get a picture of one.  Of course the modern ones have a cistern for flushing purposes  (and one day you might be glad of Dr-Awsom's experience)  but be advised to step off the plinth,  readjust your dress, and stand well back before pulling the chain.  Unless you particularly want to have your shoes washed at that time. 

The picture below was taken about 3 years ago.  Sadly the ancient olive tree to the right of that minute shed, (the Penthouse actually) is no longer.  The space was needed by my wealthy neighbour with the very impressive name, Pericles (perrycleese, please) to build a lean-to 'apotheeki' (αποθηκι) or storeroom against my house! (Well, you know it isn't mine, don't you)    The interesting point is, it was built without anyone's permission least of all the Hovel's owner's.....  That's enough excitement for one post - you will have to re-visit for the continuation.

The little panorama is also from this time long, long ago, but the two-year old picture of the studio interior still represents the current state of my discomfort,  whimper,whimper...  Don't worry my friends, a 'DONATE' widget is going to be installed, by popular* request I might add, so that those of you who live in houses or flats with windows, level floors, etc. can follow this modest epic with a feeling of involvement. 

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