A reader contacted me saying she had read Harry the Louse on the recommendation of a friend and enjoyed it immensely. She said the reason she contacted me was that she would never have bought the book unprompted with such an unappealing title and felt others could also miss the opportunity of a good read.
She suggested one possible new title and other friends have helped me with a couple more and the three options I favour are here. Changing a book title is a one-off event so the more people that give their opinion the better.
To all those that respond, I will advise them personally the date on which the re-branded book will be offered free on Kindle.
You can find out more about the book here
Interesting Facts about Greece:-
The world’s third leading producer of olives, the Greeks have cultivated olive trees since ancient times. The Ancient Olive Tree of Vouves here on Crete, said to be around 3000 years old, is still producing olives.
Interesting Facts about Greece:-
Many Greek structures such as doors, windowsills, furniture and church domes are painted a turquoise blue, especially in the Cyclades Islands. It is used because of an ancient belief that this shade of blue keeps evil away. They called the colour kyanos, which the words “cyan” and “cyanide” are derived from.
The planned voyage to Iraklia from Amorgos was pretty uneventful once the strange wandering around the sea, instead of making a direct beeline for the tiny island, had been solved. Yours truly was suffering from advanced stupidity and realised that the autopilot does not work well when not switched on.
The seas were far from heavy but let’s say they were spirited, yet until the last furlong, or perhaps furling would be more apposite, there was little to discourage a pleasant doze in the sun. However, as we approached Iraklia from the south, another yacht was homing in on the harbour from the north with its spinnaker billowing its determination to make a rapid arrival.
Iraklia is not a large harbour, so I expect the captain, of what was probably a charter vessel, did not want to disappoint his paying guests by letting a little interloper creep in first. We followed him in, but he wandered about the harbour like a water-boatman insect on acid, before selecting a suitable place to drop anchor. We had to sail around in circles at the harbour mouth before homing in on a spot in just 2m of water and a reasonable row ashore.
First port of call was a taverna overlooking the harbour where we found the proprietor kneading the dough for the bread he anticipated would answer his daily needs, because there’s no popping round Lidl’s for a few more! The Greeks cater for shortfall by resorting to an over-baked bread rather like bread rolls in crisp-bread form...I find it surprising they’ve not caught on in the UK, but maybe the paucity of unannounced guests make them less warranted, even though they will last indefinitely in the back of the cupboard. As a crisp-bread they are superb but they also make a pretty good substitute for bread and the trick is to apply just the right amount of water and/or olive oil to soften them to a bread-like form but not so much that they fall apart like a saturated Weetabix.
Manolis the Tavernas, his bread now rising and the aroma making our leaving less attractive, pointed us in the direction of the house of the grandmother of a Crete kafeneion owner friend. We had promised we would say ‘hello’ to the old girl but found her bemused by a gaggle of Brits saying hello to her in unfamiliar Greek that her granddaughter remarked was probably the first time in her life that she had ever been spoken to by a foreigner, other than a doctor from another part of Greece.
The next morning it was a two hour dash across the strait to the island of Schinoussa, which is another ferry port with harbour-side tavernas. It’s a pretty little spot but offers little of interest other than the temptation to see life at the top of the hill at the Chora.
We were some way up the winding road when we came upon a lorry delivering building materials to a part-built house. I asked the driver, an optimist as it turned out, how far it was to the Chora and received the encouraging estimate of 700 metres. As we plodded on, the lorry driver, left in no doubt where we were headed, crawled past us as we trudged up the hill in the scorching sunshine. There appeared to be a path with steps cutting directly through the twisting road, heading for the village, so we took this route. Soon I was ascending in the way of a wooden-legged man as my right knee protested the steps, but eventually behind the fitter, I panted my way into the Chora and headed for the closest refreshment in a first floor taverna and more cursed stairs.
A stroll through the village revealed some seventy houses, tavernas and shops but few people...like most such islands there has been a draining away of the future life-blood to the mainland cities in search of work. Pondering why we had laboured to the top, we headed back for the harbour, the boat and a siesta, but this time followed the stepped path all the way. This was obviously a recently laid path and although well built, it served little real purpose other than to spend some of that magical bottomless pit of wealth, EU money. I have little knowledge of civil engineering, but at a guess I expect the path cost upwards of €200, 000 (including all administration) or about €400/metre. What a pathway to success...a bit like the road the EU built on Iraklia, three kilometeres for three cars but spending distant people’s taxes is easy when you have a bureaucratic nature...God bless them.
Amorgos is a pretty south Aegean isle in the Cyclades group with much in common with many Greek islands. Once, in the age before regular ferry communication, when inter-island travel was the sole province of the caïque or fishing boat, communities were self-supporting unless emergency struck. Imagine sending Petros in his boat twenty miles to fetch a doctor when you have a sick child.
On Amorgos, like other islands, nearly all signs of that essential self-sufficiency have sadly disappeared. Should there be an afterlife what would our forebears think if they were able to look down upon our modern times where their efforts have fallen into disrepair? To see the desolation would be heart-rending for folk that toiled all day, while the sun shone, building terraces of gardens climbing like broad stairways up once-virgin hillsides, all supported by dry-stone walls. The wall building ability still can be seen but now is generally one of the trades required by developers and speculators building Fernando’s hideaway or gracing an unused field, where once the people reaped what they sowed, with a cluster of twee white and blue-painted holiday villas. Here the hoi-polloi are tempted to spend their hard-earned fortnight’s holiday in a semblance of what life in a Mediterranean island means. It means quickly enjoying the view you have paid for, because if you should be naive enough to believe that change to the islands won’t affect you, think again. When you make your rebooking, next visit there is likely to be another villa a handshake away, ruining that idyllic view.
Our journey to Amorgos was an eight hour rodeo ride through heavy seas and gusting force 8 winds and even if Amorgos had turned out to be some developers’ paradise, I would have been happy to step ashore amidst their vandalism. Luckily, it has escaped the fate of other islands and remains a worthwhile destination for the discerning. However, we must recognise that the more popular a place becomes, the more demand there will be for accommodation and the attention of developers. It is an inevitable consequence of building a community of houses rather than houses for a community that we create 8 month-a-year ghost settlements. When the tourists have left, the community of houses stands as a testimony to a modern life where we spend 50 weeks grafting at a job we dislike, for a boss we dislike even more, for a company whose owners are hidden, doing things we wouldn’t want done to us, so that we may pay our mortgages and bring up our declining numbers of offspring. We are naturally pleased with ourselves that we may take a fortnight out of the nightmare and spend it in the same peace and tranquillity enjoyed by all those lucky Mediterranean people for whom graft must be a thing of the past.
In the time it has taken you to read this, I have ridden around Amorgos and seen the essential sights; I have seen the Chora on the hill with its narrow alleyways like a human ants’ nest. I counted 30-something churches before Saint Tedium suggested there were as many cafes and each would be more likely to deliver salvation in exchange for coins in their offertory box.
Across the island I stood in awe before a while slab of a monastery that had been built into a cliff face. I tried to imagine the devoutness and piety that would send a young man here for a lifetime’s incarceration in the service of his and his families’ god. I struggled to reconcile an afterlife earned in this service of the Lord when your whole life has been spent working for that unseen master. Even if the reward is eternal life, the prospect of an eternity of internship makes me cringe.
Yet fortunately, the island still has its human side, that wonderful filoxenia that awaits discovery. When the air in my scooter’s tyre decided it had had enough of lugging my portly frame around and went off with a bang, I found myself in a modest hamlet where there was no sign of any refreshments. The wind whistled around me, taunting me that the rescue phone number I was dialling from the hire contract could be a hoax. Then with the speed of an overweight polecat, I struck...just the slight opening of a door and a man’s shape appearing and I summoned up my best reserves of Greek to ask if, perchance, this might be the community’s kafenion. Obviously I knew it wasn’t, but ‘me the stranger’ (the filos bit) was showered with hospitality (the xenia component) in the shape of Greek coffee, a glass of heady sweet spirit and lashings of biscuits and cake to prevent my hidden emaciated frame from miraculously appearing in the lady’s most comfortable armchair.
I could easily have dropped off to sleep in the warm glow of all this pampering but my mobile phone was not cooperating and connected me with the rescue party that had found the scooter, entombed it in his Turkish-built Transit van and was searching for yours truly. I had no idea where I was, it seemed as near to heaven as I wanted to be right then, but I passed my phone to my hostess who obviously knew my rescuer and within minutes he, too, was in the house of his cousin’s girlfriend’s mother’s younger sister politely prizing me out of the armchair and into his van. I could feel myself dozing off as we wound around the hillsides and hoped I wouldn’t disgrace myself and fall against Manolis the driver. The scooter in the back had no such qualms; tired of fighting with the restraints of its vertical position, it crashed suddenly on its side. Manolis shrugged as if to say, ‘It’s down there now’. I wonder if he would have been quite so philosophical had I crashed slumbering onto him.
Back on Samphire it was time to enjoy that crashed-out state before visiting one of the quayside restaurants that would charge me more than I wanted to pay for food I didn’t particular want to eat...but what choice is there with a loving belly and three spare tyres to support?
Still in the grip of darkness we slowly chugged towards Spinalonga Island at the north end of what is now called Elounda Lagoon. Eighty years ago it was called Marbella Bay by Imperial Airways as an evocative-sounding stopover point for their flying boats from the UK en route to the Nile near Cairo and ever onward to India...it seems hard to believe these massive beasts would do their take-off run in less than 5 minutes along the very same stretch of water we were labouring through now.
Nearly an hour later, we could pick out the shape of the old Venetian fortress, which in its latter life became one of Europe’s last isolated leper colonies. As we headed east, the sky was lightening and there wasn’t a breath of wind. The sun stuck a tentative red segment above the horizon but unlike us, it had no choice but to continue its journey. Without wind in the sails and our diesel thumping away on full power, we would just about push a path north towards the Cyclades at 5 knots. The nearest island, Anafi, is 65 nautical miles giving a potential arrival at 18.00 hours. Anafi is about 20 miles east of the much-visited tourist destination of Santorini (Thira Island) which is itself just too far away to be sure of a daylight arrival. Samphire stuck her boat-shaped ‘segment’ out into the open seas, but unlike the sun, now a cautioning orange and heavily clawing for the midday sky, we could have turned back...
When the sun became a searing white and reached its zenith, Crete, being the largest Greek island, with mountains 5000m high, still stood majestically. In fact its outline was still just visible in the distant haze as we approached Anafi’s harbour, or what masqueraded for a harbour in forgiving seas. It looked like a poor substitute for a proper harbour should winds blow up and the sea start to swell...such as well shown in the film made at Lyme Regis in Dorset, UK, The French Lieutentant’s Woman. However, not to worry, the harbour walls might be a mere groyne compared with Lyme’s towering buttresses, but the wind was gentle, the seas were flat calm and the usually reliable Poseidon weather forecast indicated no change throughout the night.
As we dropped anchor, we looked forward to a modest drop of wine and a good night’s sleep....unfortunately, we did have the wine but the good night’s sleep would be short-lived. Well before midnight declared its boredom with the dying day and long after my snoring must have echoed around the boat, fate in an impromptu test had decided to send a swell and it started to pour into our bay as if someone had opened a sluice gate into this sector of the Aegean.
The scrumptious red wine that we had carried from Crete’s best vineyard, had preceded sliding between the sheets…well, more like an involuntary backward high jump without the difficult part that wins trophies. I told myself through fractured wine-befuddled sleep that it wasn’t serious, it was nothing to concern us and it would pass by dawn. At 3am I was rudely awoken by a thumping on the hull and I knew, somehow, despite the entreaties of the wine, this was not the postman. The thumping continued and through the fug I realised the keel was bashing on the sandy bottom, and not far from sand at that depth was rocks. Out on deck the impending disaster was clear to see even in a foaming, thrashing sea; Samphire had moved on her anchor and was nearly doomed. Full revs and hard rudder saw her moving away from the rocks...now to raise the anchor and ready ourselves to drop it again a little further out in the bay of the harbour.
Job done, I crashed exhausted into my pit, but within an hour the boat was bobbing around like a rodeo steed and staying asleep was near impossible…try napping on one of the latest scream-curdling roller-coaster rides to give you a taste of what Grandfather Fate had sent to test us.
The anchor now held fast but each lurch, each snatch and each attempt by Samphire to pick up water with her gunwale edges made it clear this would be a long, maybe even an ultimate test. At 6am one of Greece’s large ferries put in on an adjacent berth and the captain wasn’t long in letting me know that worse was to come and we had two options, abandon ship and struggle ashore or put to sea and take our chances, ‘To hell with you Fate’, I shouted, ‘You’ll have to wait.’ With engine screaming and anchor barely stowed, we headed out into the storm, with a sky so black it could still have been midnight.
Samphire pounded us like a bucking bronco. It was impossible to go below for anything but with some directions from the Greek coastguard, bless them, we put into the sheltered harbour of Katopola on Amorgos island 8 hours later. Many yachting types were sheltering there and we were grateful for the willing hands that threw lines, moved fenders, shouted instructions and hauled us in to be finally secured.
Pontiff-like I was overjoyed to climb ashore and leave my lip marks in the swirling dust of the passing storm...by God did that dust taste good.
I have come to believe I have stared Death in the face too many times. Yesterday he came close to winning. Whether there is a god is a matter of personal choice, but I defy you to pour scorn on fate. In fact, I honestly believe the more you are a disciple of Lady Luck the more likely Grandfather Fate will send his emissary, Father Time, to throttle the last vestige of luck and maybe life from you.
Had he tried just a little harder, this blog could have been so very different and better entitled ‘Inside the Tragic Circle’. What had started out as a straightforward notion to set sail around a cluster of some two hundred islands in the Greek Aegean Sea, very nearly resulted in just one of the around 30 inhabited islands being visited. The signs could not have been clearer as Old Father Time, who I fervently believe had once been an Englishman and a cricket enthusiast, to boot, gave me fair warning that if I didn’t reconsider my planned folly, he would mete out a far greater punishment than those my schoolmasters had visited upon me when waywardness often got the better of me.
We had set out in Samphire, a renamed 34 foot mature sailing vessel, that had once been owned by a Greek shipping magnate who suddenly lost his money-magnetism with Greece’s troubled times and was forced to sell. Towing our inflatable dinghy alongside, it had been planned to reposition it by tethering rope at Samphire's stern, once the marina had been cleared. However, out of sight, out of mind and in my haste to raise some sail and dispense with fossil-fuel propulsion, the boat-shaped, air-filled rubber bag was forgotten, until the weather suddenly changed.
The weather transformation was not one of those protracted affairs that give time for preparation as in putting on a raincoat or raising an umbrella, but an instant increase in wind speed that nearly wrenched the foresail from Samphire’s nose. So busy was I taking the wind out of the sail and reefing in, I missed the dinghy’s tenuous hold on the side rail being loosened by fate so we didn’t even see the going of it. Here we were, embarking of a 300 nautical mile cruise without the safety net of a dinghy, let alone a means to reach the shore of an idyllic island from a mooring out in the bay. As we rounded a headland and swept past the ancient fortress of Spinalonga Island, it was fast approaching the hour to ‘phone a friend’. Not a friend to dissuade us from the foolhardiness of our journey, but one I knew had a spare inflatable dinghy to replace the one that was now scratching its bottom on some deserted beach, perhaps to be found and commandeered by a tourist family who would consider it to be too old and dilapidated to be other than purposely abandoned.
It was approaching dusk when we dropped anchor just north of the tourist honey-pot of Elounda, sensibly further from the shoreline than would have been normal in daylight hours and too damned far to swim with clothes crammed in a waterproof sack. Oh well, an evening meal of ‘catch-as-catch-can’ onboard instead of the promised slap-up meal in Elounda’s floating restaurant where a good friend is the chef.
Yet every cloud, well maybe some clouds, have a silver lining and as we munched biscuits and cheese, the would-be seller of a replacement dinghy phoned to say, in a much-appreciated bout of self-deprecating honesty, that a fisherman had seen our dinghy make its escape and had rounded it up and placed it into the hands of Agios Nikolaos’ harbourmaster who was insistent that he would only release it to the yacht’s new lawful owner on presentation of all the paperwork that had accompanied the magnate’s distress sale.
Those of you that have never engaged in anything quasi-official in Greece, will not have realised that the country’s desperate financial straits are not entirely due to the submarines and tanks sold to them by Germany once their entry into the euphoric euro had been achieved, but more to the reams of paperwork that accompany every transaction, great or small. Thus, having signalled our dilemma to a nearby yachtsman, who kindly took us in his dinghy to the shore, we caught a bus to the city and the harbourmaster’s office weighed down with paperwork that would lead to the generation of more paperwork in exchange for paper-money and the release of our dinghy.
Back in Elounda looking deflated (the dinghy that is) we set about pumping it up again then cadged a tow from our neighbour. All was set for the next day’s departure for the Cyclades...or so we thought. As the sky started to turn red with the approach of dawn we went to raise the anchor in preparation for our twelve hour sail to Anafi Island, the closest Cycladic Island to Crete, and wow did we raise some anchor!
The windlass (the anchor winch) shuddered to a stop and we were drifting. The anchor’s chain was released manually and it went crashing back to the bottom. What to do? Oh what to do. The answer should have been get the message and abandon trip, but no...it was 'phone that friend' time again and two worthies showed up a couple of hours later to help disentangle a huge ship’s anchor from ours...the sort of anchor depicted in tattoo form on Popeye’s forearm!
Still refusing to accept the myriad of warnings, at 5am the next day we set sail, well we would have had there been any wind, which was taking a temporary holiday...hah!
So with diesel banging away we motored ever onward into the magic, perhaps tragic circle...!
Today I found one of my books available on a pirate site. I wrote Short Fews 1, a collection of short stories, nearly two years ago and published it on Amazon Kindle for £2.29. I have sold enough copies to buy myself a new Rolls Royce.
We all like a bargain and if we can get something for nothing, many of us will jump at the chance; I have a feeling that I wrote the book on a pirated copy of Word. I do not feel too guilty because I had a genuine copy, but when I bought a new computer it had crashed and three computers later, all licences had been used up and despite trying, nobody would put matters right...so I nicked what I had already paid for.
Many pirating sites make you subscribe to some irritating pop-ups or have a tool bar that takes over your life, so in general the pirate makes your life hell and isn’t worth the hassle. I was, though, strangely sympathetic to Pirate Bay when the authorities kept shutting them down but had never downloaded anything from them. No, my unconnected reasons go back to the 1960’s, would you believe, long before the age of computers or pirated software.
I am of an age when there was no official commercial radio in the UK and apart from the long-extinct Radio Luxembourg (208m, medium wave) that was beamed from continental Europe, pop music was only available officially and rarely on the BBC Light Programme (Radio 2 since 1968). In the early ‘60’s Pirate Radio stations (as they were named by the authorities) sprang up, the most well-known were Radio Caroline and Radio London, which broadcast from converted ships anchored offshore and beyond the law. Yes, they pirated the music and paid no royalties to the artists but many, if not most, up-and-coming pop stars’ records would never have been played by the self-serving, censoring BBC. In fact many of the top names in the pop world owe their success to the ‘pirate stations’; I and many other teenagers listened to the Pirates regularly and were bereft when on August 14th 1967 the Labour government imposed the Marine (etc) Offences Act, which closed down thirty or more stations, leaving only Radio Caroline to soldier on till in went aground on the Goodwin Sands in 1968/9. (The story of Radio Caroline was wonderfully portrayed in the film The Boat That Rocked with Bill Nighy playing the station's founder Ronan O’Reilly.) The baton was picked up by Radio Northsea International but, denied their advertising stream, they did not last. For those interested in sampling Radio Caroline today, including clips from those magical days of the 1960’s, it is available over the internet...but never will it recapture those heady free music days of my youth.
So I confess to being a thief, to listening to unlicensed music, to getting something for nothing, so I shouldn’t really complain when the impoverished download my books from a pirate site...after all I am a wealthy author who can sit and relish my Rolls Royce bought so easily with the thoughts of my mind and the actions of my hands, even if it is only a scale model in a display cabinet.
To those people that have downloaded my work for free, I hope you enjoy it, but maybe you might like to redeem yourselves a little by putting a fair review on Amazon. They do not demand that you have bought the book officially and a confession is not required.
I have a new job...how exciting is that? As I apply my sixty-eight year-old energies to the task in hand, I am reminded of Mr Cameron’s warning about job losses if we should be foolhardy enough to seek our freedom from the shackles of the EU.
Without a doubt, my new job would fall victim to the epidemic of losses and deficits we British are told we will suffer. You see, I live much of my life in Greece. My new job is entirely dependent upon my being able to live here in the sun; should we vote to leave I am reliably informed that filters will be installed across our source of light and heat, which will detect ex-pats and limit the sun’s output to ready us for packing up and returning home.
You might wonder how it is that an antediluvian Englishman has secured a new job in a country that has fifty people chasing every vacancy. Let me tell you that I didn’t even apply for it, it was given to me or I was given to it as the most suitable candidate.
I have to say that I would rather be grafting away here than swanning about in poor old blighty, a country I do not think I would recognise any more. I watched a short film ‘Today and Yesterday in London’, which made me sad. How wonderful it used to be to watch the world go by exactly as George Formby so brilliantly put it when he sang, ‘I’m leaning on the lamp post at the corner of the street just to watch the little ladies go by...’ I learnt that I could still stand, or sit in my case, to watch the little ladies go by, but I don’t think it would be very rewarding for most seemed to be swathed in great black tents that disguise what charms might lurk inside.
I have to confess that in my Greek village, amongst the 300 or so souls, there are about six women of child-bearing age to watch going by, although lamp-posts are in short supply. However, we do have a wealth of grandmothers, or yia-yias as they are called here, by way of a less-visually stimulating substitute, although I must say that some of the old dears are quite amusing.
It is these yia-yias that have given me my new job as the village charabanc driver. Our village is about three miles from the nearest town, but apparently a lot further in kilometres. The town hosts a fruit and vegetable market every Thursday; other things are sold in the market that lure the yia-yias, including outsize clothing and pop-socks, the latter being very popular with any Greek woman over fifty, which is when senility must be deemed to have arrived and with it an inability to get tights the right way round or secure a suspender belt. Nature is a marvellous thing because it produces little markers that let you know you are in the company of a pop-sock wearer. However, it is possible to make a great mistake so care must be taken in carrying out the assessment because you might otherwise think that the legs of a fifteen year-old boy are clad in nylon pop-socks. Why? Because he shares the same markers of wispy strands of black whiskers dotted around the chin and upper lip. A quick engagement in conversation to hear the breaking treble will ensure it is not a senile yia-yia with whiskers, because her voice would be lower than Pavarotti’s base notes.
Every day (except Sundays) we have a bread-van than threads its way around the mountain villages with some fine traditionally baked products; it is a delight to be reminded of my childhood in deepest Somerset when we had vans of all types plying their trade. Here, we also have vans selling vegetables, fish and even clothing, but I don’t often use those, so the bread-man alone refreshes my memories with his daily duties. In the UK, many of those childhood joys would now fall foul of some health and safety directive. I watch as he picks up a loaf with his right hand and stuffs it into a still-free plastic bag...oh how that alone starts me on my journey back in time.
That though, is not what excites my memories, for now I hold out my money and here I must let my imagination take control because it is not the large pre-decimal coins of my childhood England that I proffer, but some ugly little coinage adopted by half of Europe in its quest for uniformity. The bread-man takes my money, which only this morning I had fished out of some work(I think)-stained trousers and hands me back the change, before turning to a village child queuing impatiently next in line. As I walk back to my house I muse upon the hand that took the coin I had handed over; it was the very same naked hand that picked up the next loaf for the child to convey back to his hungry siblings. Suddenly I go cold and am left pondering about the yia-yia before me in the queue and where her hand might have been before it picked up her euro coin and she headed for the bread-van just before me. Oh how stupid, I survived the first 12 years of my life without such morbid thoughts, it just goes to show how we have been so beguiled by the health and safety industry that we are almost too afraid to breathe.
Sorry about the tangent, but it is connected. Sometimes I do not hear the horn of the bread-van being beeped and have to walk to his next wayside stop. Yet on Thursdays, the day of the town’s market, I always have a telephone call from a yia-yia at the top of my lane to tell me that the bread-van is waiting for me. She never rings on any other day including Saturdays when I need two loaves to keep me going through until Monday. However, on Thursdays, when I meet her hovering at the bread-van, she draws herself up to her full height, stares at my bellybutton and asks me in a contrived falsetto if I will be going to the market today. Many times now I have gone and bought things I don’t need and watched stupefied as she has filled my car with half a greenhouse of produce from which the car is bug-infested till the last one climbs out of the left-open windows the following Wednesday, in time for the process to be repeated on the morrow.
This Thursday was different because she had obviously decided she would not avail herself of every bit of space in my car. No, on this Thursday her friend was standing by her waiting and climbed into the back seat without a word. She is a slightly younger yia-yia with far fewer whiskers on the chin, but between the two of them they managed to fill every available corner, including my lap, which played host to a bunch of beetroot. At least now I know what the stain had been on my trousers.
You should see my house, chock full of things I rarely use, things I don’t know how to use and I find myself eating tomatoes morning, noon and night. Senior yia-yia bought me a plate of food last night just when I had made up my mind how I was going to use up a fridge full of vegetables before next Thursday. After all, I knew I would be making another tour of the market buying things to stop the yia-yias guiltily thinking I only go for them. When she came to collect my empty plate she suggested jokingly that maybe I should buy a bigger car as she had more friends wanting to come to the market too. I fear it’s no joke and any day now some local ‘Arturos Daylios’ will be knocking on my door to announce the bargain of the month in the form of a people carrier he has just spent his last euros on to save a starving Athens’ family...
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