Spring is here, but the effects of the coldest, wettest winter in a decade are all around. More than two metres of snow crown the summit of Olympus, and the rivers are still rushing under the bridges to the sea. The thermometer stands at about four degrees Celcius when I take the kids to the bus in the mornings. The day after tomorrow, the Littles go on a school trip to the snow: a morning's play or ski lesson on the slopes, lunch in Platres, bus back to school.
Realising that over the last few warm winters, they have managed to lose all their gloves, I set out yesterday afternoon during my enforced 'town time' (while Leo is at tennis and Zenon does TaeKawnDo) to find them each a pair of gloves suitable for playing in the snow.
Sports Direct only had gym gloves. Natiotis only had acrylic knitted things. Ditto for both Dominates. Please note that these are all sports shops with a dizzying array of gear for all keep-fit activities in a range of eye-watering colours. Jackets, caps, and scarfs – yes: but fashionable kind only.
OK, so, time running short, I hit Debenhams: “Snow gloves?” the immaculate Russian attendent said, with furrowed brow. “We had some, but they were on special offer and have all been sold...” She pointed to the rack where a couple of bobble hats and some soggy fleece mittens languished amid board shorts and tank tops decorated with surf logos, and I wonder why, now, with the roads still often closed to all but four-wheel-drive vehicles with chains. I can buy flip-flops, sarongs, sun-hats, and any model of bathing suit my heart desires, but nothing remotely suitable for the conditions an hour up the road. Same-same happened at Next. “Things for the snow? Not any more!”
So today, after taking the dog to the vet, I'll hit Carrefour in the hope that the French giant will have some Continental cop-on. Orphanides and Papantoniou are out of the question: they're too busy preparing for summer.
This situation reminds me of when a couple of years ago in early August I went looking for fins, masks, and snorkels in preparation for the big August holidays after the middle of the month. Could I find them? The shelves that the week before had held beach toys galore were loaded with school supplies and backpacks – a good six weeks in advance of the First Day of Term.
Nothing like living in the present, eh?
Once again, I resorted to photos from the Internet. Apologies to the photographers who were not given credit because their names were not on the sites that I found with suitable pictures...