Monday, 10 October 2011

Pelion peninsula - Katigiorgis

Views from our balcony

We have had the most wonderful break in Greece. We stayed in a self catering apartment overlooking the sea. As it was the end of the season there were no other tourists and we had the whole place to ourselves. We were within walking distance of three beautiful beaches and the local village which had two tavernas and a little shop. The locals were really friendly and made us feel very welcome. We did lots of walking, swimming and sunbathing. It was so nice to get a chance to read, and we got through almost a book a day each.

We had heard so much about how bad their economy was from our press, that it was interesting to see first hand how they were coping - it seems to me that their are two completely different economies happening in Greece - with the cash economy being the strongest. No shops or restaurants accept credit cards, they only accept cash, and they never give a receipt - it would be incredibly difficult for the government to know how much they are earning and would therefore not be collecting much (if any) tax. Having said that the villagers all seemed to work very hard and were up all hours fishing, or tending to their olives. On the other hand you have the civil servants, of which there are many who retire on a full pension at 48 years old and also pay very little tax.....The biggest surprise is that it has taken so long for the deficit to be noticed.

Will, Laura, Lucy and Amy did a great job in our absence and kept the horses up to their work. They are popping out of their skins at the moment - it was really windy this morning which didn't help, (Paddy very nearly bucked me off!) and are now ready to do some steady canter work.

The girls are taking Jess, Leon and Jake cubbing tomorrow morning, Will has pulled a hamstring playing football so he is 'yardman' and Doug and I have to go to a meeting in Manchester with a software company (the same company who invited us to their box at York races)) They are interested in taking our heart rate monitors to the next level and want our involvement. It should be interesting. They are owners of some flat horses and have bought a number of our monitors, but have now designed some software which makes it easier for the owner and trainer to analyse the data and for the trainer to actually see what the horse is doing rather than the jockey. I will have a better idea after the meeting whether it has a practical application or not. Up until fairly recently trainers in the UK have been fairly traditional and not always open to new ideas, but there is a steady increase in younger and more educated trainers coming up who are showing interest in monitoring a horse's heart and if we can offer something new, innovative and easy to use then it could be quite exciting to be involved. Having said that, I would rather be cubbing.....!