Thursday, 10 January 2013

A winter's day in Corfu

The shadows are long now in Agios Magikades and it is chilly out of the sun. The men wear bobble hats to fight off the cold air while the women find thicker headscarves to keep their ears warm.

Up on Mount Pantocrator, the summit is shrouded in mist.
Out in the olive groves, the people are gathering up the olives that have already fallen in the nets laid out so neatly on the ground. They will take them to one of the olive presses in Vistonas where these black fruits of wonder will be converted into oil.
Down at the school gates, the children are quieter on these winter days. They make for the classrooms as soon as they are dropped off, no stopping for fun and games in the playground before lessons begin. It is too cold for that.

And still the geese honk, the dogs bark and an emasculated cockerel fails to reach the high notes. There are turkeys burbling, cats stalking through the long grass and the amplified voices of men selling potatoes and gypsies looking for scrap metal as they cruise through the village in their ramshackle vans.

The women siphon off the holy water blessed by the priest at Epiphany, when the church was decorated with arches of palm leaves studded with multi-coloured Christmas tree lights and a gaudy, flashing wheel of fortune in the centre.
They came with Mythos glasses, ceramic jugs in the shape of sweetcorn and chickens and bottles that once contained Grolsch beer and ouzo.
This miracle water last one hundred years, or so the priest says.

Across the village square at the kafenion, the men are in playful mood as they gather like gunslingers in a Western saloon bar. They grab their cards from the counter, and a pen and paper and get in position as the National Geographic Channel shows the latest programme about predators and their prey.

Outside, the white lights twinkle in the trees, a stray dog howls along a street of squashed lemons and pomegranate and a wobbly scooter rider makes his way home after one glass of tsipouro too many.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Please tell me where your village is as we do not recognize the name at all!!! Vistonas we do know as we live here....

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  3. Hello Anonymous. Agios Magikades is based on a real place, as is Lush Places in Dorset, but it can be wherever you want it to be. Here's to enchanted villages everywhere!
    Corfucius, so flattered by your comments and then thought you might be a spammer from the far east trying to encourage me to go on a special diet. But you're real! Watch out for the book at the end of our Big Fat Greek Gap Year. It'll be like A Year in Provence only hotter (although not at the moment, brrr!)

  4. Hi Maddie, love the blogs - please keep them coming !! Will be buying the book once it is published - I gave my mother-in-law, Dorset Voices for Xmas and tryig to borrow it back !

  5. Thanks John. I hope your mother-in-law enjoyed Dorset Voices. Sme really interesting stuff in there.


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