Hilary’s Blog 14-01-2015

Something quite remarkable happened to me yesterday: I found a totally new footpath through the nearby fields! Yes, even I, who popular myth says knows every inch of Corfu, found a new path, not 500 metres crow-flight from home! Out with the dogs, I was aiming to make a circuit of a large open field, and in its far corner – just yards from the course of the Corfu Trail – I noticed footprints alongside the woodland boundary. Not being able to resist such a temptation, I followed. Through a patch of scrub, the path became clearly defined, churned up by hunters’ boots. It led into a forest (briars need trimming here) and out the other side into a completely new set of fields. At this point I looped back towards known territory, but now I have established an exit I shall go back and explore further. While many people dislike the hunters, they are the people who keep paths open, now so few farmers are left and once-productive land lies derelict.

A household tip. I am very lucky that I can drink my tap water. It even makes fine tea, with none of the surface scum you get with high mineral levels. The supply comes from the hill behind Giannades, higher than the olive groves and other cultivation. It even tastes nice. But it does still fur up the kettle.
The answer is in the condiments cupboard: ordinary wine vinegar. A 400 ml plastic bottle does the trick, without resorting to nasty chemicals. Cost? 19 lepta in Lidl. Tip in the contents – the vinegar should cover the element – and bring to the boil. Switch off and leave for half an hour or so, until it stops fizzing. If the element is not clean, repeat. Throw away the vinegar (down the sink is fine; it will help keep the pipes clean) and rinse well. Any scale sticking to the element and the inside of the kettle can be gently rubbed off. Now fill the kettle with water to just above the level of the vinegar.
Bring to the boil and discard the water. Your nice clean kettle is ready for use. Vinegar is also excellent for removing scale from taps, shining crystal and keeping surfaces sparking. This miracle substance (which you can make yourself if you have grapes) is a much better choice than chemical cleaning agents.

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