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Preparing for Winter: Greek style.



Deepak Chopra

It's that time of the year when houses all over Greece are in upheaval.
The Summers are so hot, dry and dusty that come late May, early June, carpets and rugs are taken up, slip covers on sofas and armchairs are replaced with something cooler and lightweight, in some cases even heavy curtains are exchanged for something light and airy.

Anything to keep rooms cool through the long Summer.
Of course all this has to be done in reverse come Autumn.

As yesterday dawned wet and windy I thought it was a good day to sort out the house for Winter.
MMG(My Greek God)dragged the rugs from their Summer hiding place.


Persian rugs


When we lived in an apartment this was a problem, where to store them?
We used one of the carpet cleaning companies, they collect your carpets, wash them, store them and return them when you need them.


Washing carpets


Once we moved into a house we stored them in the basement, I washed them myself, outside in the garden.
Things are even easier now as I have rugs that fold up rather than roll up which means they take up less space.

They now live in a cupboard under the stairs for the Summer.
No more dragging them through the garden from the basement.
I did used to worry about mice getting at them down there.




Where the rugs live


 Just looking at the rugs brings on the dreaded ennui, it happens every year, I'm a Summer person, I don't want to be shut up indoors.

The rugs stay where they are and I throw myself on the sofa and read a book all day.
I went to bed vowing that I would get to it tomorrow.

 Bright and early this morning the chaos begins.
MMG is out in the garden, playing chainsaw massacre, tidying the trees up for the winter.
I roll up my sleeves and get going.

First job, change the covers on the sofas, the Summer ones are white cotton, the winter ones a taupe corduroy.


Summer style, looking towards the garden


Summer setting

This is the worst job, I hate doing it.
I pull out the covers from the wardrobe upstairs and throw them over the banister, the easiest way!

I was just about to take off the white covers when I had a brain wave! I'll just put the corduroy ones on top of the white, a job halved!

Plus come next Spring I would only have to take off the top covers! How come I hadn't thought of that before?

Ah, because they usually need washing,that's why.

 This Summer as we now have our two and a half year old Granddaughter here a lot, I had put white bed sheets over the sofas, so what with that and the fact that we aren't inside much in the Summer, they were clean.

I put on all the cushion covers and started on the base.With being stuffed in the wardrobe all Summer they looked a bit crumpled, "oh it'll straighten out when they are on" I thought.
After about ten minutes of pushing and pulling I had the base cover on but it wasn't
straight, I had forgotten that it stays in place with Velcro which is underneath the original cover!
Ouff!

Off come both sets of covers, on goes the corduroy again, it looks creased to bits, that will never drop out on its own.
I take it off to iron it.
Then I put in back on for the third time.

The moral of the story?

Don't take shortcuts, if you're going to do a job, do it properly.

I am shattered, all hot and sweaty and it's only the first job done!It is the worst one over with though.

I took a coffee break and look at the little visitor that was waiting for me outside.




Praying Mantis

Just look at those eyes.

MGG was still busy in the garden so I put down a couple of small rugs that I can manage by myself.

The parquet floor of the passage to the kitchen is so ruined by various dogs over the years that I usually leave the rug down all year round.

It had become so dirty though, that it needed a good wash, in the Spring and had been put away with the others.



A badly scratched parquet floor

Much better covered with a nice Persian rug.

This rug also stays in place all year round, the desk is just too heavy and cumbersome to move.

Besides, again the parquet floor is ruined by dogs.

No point in fixing it while we still have two dogs in the house.



Another Persian rug!



I've more or less done what I can on my own, not only do I change the sofa covers, I change the position of the sofas as well.

They face the window looking out onto the garden in the Summer and face the fire place in the Winter.

As soon as MGG finishes up outside we start hauling furniture about.

After all these years of being MGG's helper you would be amazed at what I can lift!
Or rather what he makes me lift!

After a lot of huffing and puffing, lifting and shoving every thing is in place.
And very nice and cosy it looks.

Every Autumn I think it looks much better like this and then in the Spring when it's all moved back again I think:

"Oh,I like it this way!"



Fire place and MGG's "throne"

Winter mode

Ready for Winter

Dining room in Summer


Much better with the rug.

Finished,ready for Winter, downstairs at least. Upstairs means wardrobes, here everyone puts their Winter clothes away and brings them out again around now, ready for the colder days.

All that remains now is to sort out wood for the fire and start thinking about filling up the tank with petrol for the central heating.......and that being the price that it is may well bankrupt us!







So, as the Greeks start saying to each other when the schools begin again in September,
 "Have a good Winter".
Yes! As early as September they are thinking of Winter!



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