Nice apartments we’ve found ourselves in: path leading up to our veranda and front door surrounded by a garden full of lemon and pomegranate trees. We’ve walked to the beach sign-posted, and it’s three quarters of an hour away with some interesting stuff along the route: walnut, fig, eucalyptus and almond trees, various rubbish and a dead dog. Cool (as in temperature) sea and steep beach, sun beds 8 Euro for two – with umbrella – for the day. Other prices? 5 litres of retsina for 7 euros, 2 litres of Metaxa for 19 euros. Bloody hot here, but not the oppressive suffocating heat of Essex. Quite noisy in the morning ... damned cockerels and cicadas…
Thunderstorm and pouring rain last night. Heat unrelieved so I stood out in the pouring rain in the middle of the night. We discovered a closer beach today on the other side of Skiathos town: sandy, shallow sea for a little while, sheltered, but consequently crowded. I snorkelled (not a lot to see), did plenty of crawl and sometimes just lay floating on my back in the sea. On the way back from the beach we stopped for a half litre glass of Mythos each – the glasses taken ice-coated from a freezer. Outstanding. In the evening we ate in a restaurant poised next to the sea. You could toss your leftovers into the water and watch the fishes homing in and feeding like piranhas.
Ten 50g packets of Old Holborn cost 60 euros here – about £4.20 a packet. At home in good old rip-off Britain a packet of this stuff is nearly £11.00, that’s £110.00 or 160 euros for ten packets. That wanker Gordon Brown is really coining it in, but does he spend it on the NHS, is it spent on research into addiction or on cures for lung diseases? Is it buggery. It’ll mostly be used to keep some chain-smoking welfare scrounger on 40 a day.
In the pharmacies here you’ll find other inequities whose source is probably the drug companies. If I am not careful in places as sunny as this my lips burn and then I end up with cold sores. The most effective cure for these is the cream Zovirex. When this cream came onto the market in Britain it was £5 for a tube no larger than a dog-end and now the price has dropped to about £3.99. Here you can buy it for half that price.
Being an evil (and foolish) smoker, the other thing I need is an inhaler. At home I can’t even get near one until I’ve seen a doctor and received a prescription and then I have to pay the prescription charge of £6.80 (or thereabouts). Here you just walk into the pharmacy and buy one over the counter for less than a couple of quid.
The cost at home of the two items I’ve mentioned would have been £10.79, here it was about £3.50.