Wednesday 20th

Now we’re tending not to sit outside on the terrace in the evenings, we’re watching more TV. We pay a minimal amount for Greek TV as part of a council tax that goes on to our electricity bill (the words ‘council tax’ have an entirely different weight in Britain, but I expect it will get to be the same here – the amount of government theft from the populace never goes down). However, what there is to watch on it is limited for us. We don’t know the language well enough to keep up, so we won’t be getting addicted to Greek soap operas any time soon, have just a marginal understanding of the news, and mainly turn on the TV to check the weather forecast. Cookery programs are okay, and a quizz called Fatus Olus during which the questions appear as subtitles on the screen helps us learn the language, lots of American and British series do appear, with subtitles, but our reception of Star, which shows the best films, is crappy, and the commercial breaks are long enough to make a cup of tea, cook dinner and repaint the bathroom. Mainly we resort to DVDs.

This year we had what appeared to be a nice stock of stuff to catch up on: season 8 of 24, the last two seasons of The Tudors and the latest Dexter. All of these have been immensely enjoyable. The 24 was right up there with the best of the previous seasons, though annoyingly one critical episode near the end wouldn’t play; The Tudors is a historical drama I would rank up there with I Claudius, The Borgias and Rome; whilst Dexter, which we saved for last, is as enjoyably gory as ever, though now we only have a few episodes left to watch. Next we’ll start going through The Great War, then after that the well will be dry.

I guess, at this time of year, the news and documentaries we can understand, films, police procedurals, historical dramas and thrillers are what we miss most. Also, since the TV is definitely not what occupies our time when the weather is crap outside, the lack of constant Internet access can be annoying. I’ve considered the various satellite systems both for TV and the Internet, mobile Internet and other options, but the price always seems to be in the region of €50 a month, and reports of the quality of connectivity are not so great, especially where we are. The information age is upon us an accelerating, but still has yet to reach rural mountain villages in Eastern Crete.

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