Start where you are, Chios, Greece

They say you should start right where you are, with what is closer to you, so I start with my home. ‘Home’ is a 1700s house in southern Chios island, Greece, the mastiha (mastic gum) producing part of the island.

Our small village is a mediaeval fortress type one (castle-village). All houses are connected and the streets are very narrow. In the past, it was surrounded by protecting walls leaving only two entrances to the village, which were closed at night. Today, all that has changed. We have more entrances and the houses which are built attached to the surrounding walls have openings to the outside world.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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My house has three entrance doors (photos above). All doors, exterior and interior, have a more or less decorated lintel above them. (Interior lintel below)

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Behind each entrance door there is a column supporting the upper floor.

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There are quite a lot of ruined houses in the village. I like it, in a way, because I can see how they were designed and built. I often think of the people who carried the heavy stones to build my house. There will be more about the village in another post, this one has become too long!

Houses can be of any style, beautiful or ugly, wherever one lives, but it is people that make the real difference. As the saying goes, “it is better to have a bad year than a bad neighbour”. And I’m lucky, my neighbours are great people!

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