Thursday, August 24, 2006

Walk/Swim/Sail One Hundred and Twenty-Two – Khaidari to Spetse

Dinghy rowing races for the kids first thing in the morning. Hugo was blocked from starting by the other dinghies but magnificently overtook all of the dinghies apart from the leader. So all that sea cadets rowing training paid off.
Disaster struck Robin’s very expensive best glasses* as someone off one of the other flotilla boats threw a stern line that hit the glasses and sent one of the lenses into the water. He dived for at least half an hour trying to find the lens, but several urchin stings later he gave up. To add to the problems Xavier has discovered the joy of throwing things overboard, so several shoes also had to be recovered from the sea. So for the rest of the holiday Robin will have to see everything through his prescription sunglassses.
Today we sailed independently from the flotilla. Some of the most gorgeous spots are so popular that the flotilla skipper won’t attempt to try and squeeze eleven boats in. So we chose Spetse, as our destination as we weren't going to be able to visit there any other way.
Flo was on tenterhooks all morning as she was waiting to receive her GCSE results on the phone. I knew she’d do well, and it was no surprise that most of her results were ‘A’s and ‘A’ stars, which she was delighted with. We stopped off at a beautiful emerald coloured bay with a tiny island for lunch, swimming and snorkelling and I got myself a sea urchin sting in sympathy with Robin’s stings.
The wind was good today and Spetse was gorgeous – beautiful old buildings piled up the hillside. We anchored in the harbour amongst huge staffed motor yachts of the super rich.
We showered and dressed for the evening and motored the dinghy to the shore. We flagged down the first horse and carriage and set off for a tour of the town. I was wondering why the streets were so clean with all the horses and saw that they all had a nifty sort of hammock behind the horses to catch the manure - which was then very easy to drop straight onto a compost heap.
Our taxi driver pointed out a good value for money family restaurant, so we stopped at a nearby bar for celebratory cocktails, where I drew this view. We then ate a great meal at the restaurant and walked back, frequently having to jump out of the way of rapidly trotting horses and carriages.

*bought from Ronald Brown opticians – the opticians I eventually came to an amicable agreement with (about letting me have my full prescription including pupillary distance) in early August. This is just the reason to have some really cheap glasses when you're boating.

For anyone who is interested, I bought my cheap varifocal, transitions glasses from I have a very strong prescription, so it is much more difficult to get glasses that are usable. My opinion of the online glasses is that they were nowhere near as good as the £600 glasses I bought from Ronald Brown, but they were better than the glasses I bought from another reputable chain of opticians. They felt slightly peculiar, and the near vision seemd to be slightly off though I did get used to it. The service was very prompt. The price was much lower than they would have cost from a real optician (£130). The telephone service was supposedly from a knowledgeable professional, but I would dispute that, the girl I spoke to didn’t seem to understand that the whole point of varifocals is to wear them high up on your nose and look at the distance through the top of the lenses and read through the bottom of the lenses.

Jeremy of Ronald Brown, warned me that transitions lenses were not necessarily satisfactory if you wanted sunglasses. When they arrived I could see his point – they were a lot lighter than you would expect sunglasses to be, however I came to like this, they took the edge off the bright sunlight without turning the beautiful scenery a dreary dark colour, so pretty good for painting with. If money was no object I would buy my regular glasses together with a pair of transitions with the same lenses at the same time from the Enfield branch of Ronald Brown, however as I am not that well off, the online glasses were a cheapish spare pair useful for on a boating holiday, and they'll probably stay in the case until the next time I’m on a boat.


Blogger Penny said...

Congratulations to Flo.
Sad about the glasses, unfortunatly its times like that that we lose them. Love that sketch it looks just as one would expect a Greek town to look.

12:04 am  
Anonymous zephyr said...

i am enjoying your blog/sketches/paintings so very much!

i live in fear of this very thing: losing my glasses...and so maybe both of us should consider Croakies Eye Wear Retainers.
Here is a Link:

1:13 pm  
Anonymous zephyr said...

Of course, after i posted, i surfed around the Croakies site some more and discovered "Floating Retainers" under the "Sports" category

1:15 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Thank you Penny, I'll pass on your congrats.
Zephyr you're absolutely right, I will ahave to get one of those floating retainers asap

11:50 pm  

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