Friday, 1 February 2013

Corfu versus Dorset: a sense of place

Funny thing, homesickness.

Back in Lush Places, the soggy, syrupy mist swoops down all of a sudden and I want to grab hold of it. It's my security blanket, wrapped around me, as I gaze at water droplets on sodden and bare trees and rotten cider apples lying on the ground.

I love this place.

And the sunlight bounces off the bantams' backs as we pack up and get ready to go back to Corfu.

Even in winter, when Dorset's Enchanted Village is up to her neck in fog, in my head it's the theme music to A Summer Place.

'Who do you miss the most?' my friend Tuppence asks.

I have to think. My family, my friends?

But, no, it isn't a single person. It's the place.

For the first three months of living in Corfu, guilt has picked me up and dropped me down again as I fight the urge to go home. Who wouldn't be happy in this lovely place, this lovely island of Corfu, with its beautiful, kind people and wonderful scenery?

'It's just the way you feel,' said Tuppence, like the wise and patient Penelope she is. 'Guilt is the most destructive thing. Don't feel bad about feeling bad. Just accept it and then enjoy what you're doing and what you've got.'

So this morning now we are back on this Greek island after two weeks away, I wake up with a knot in my stomach, thinking about my dear new grand daughter and her sisters. I think about my old dad in Somerset, sitting in his chair next to the Rayburn and my mother bustling about as twelve inches of snow melts outside.

I think about my Lush Places friends around a dinner table enjoying good food, wine and company. I think about singing Drink Up Thy Zider as the Bristol City fans danced at a 2-1 win over Ipswich last Saturday. And I don't even like football.

But the whining has to stop. It truly is not in my nature.

We've narrowly missed an earthquake in Corfu and the news that land near Kassiopi has finally been sold off by the state for development by the Yanks. (That the two are connected has, of course, crossed my mind).

And then today, as I look out the window, the sun is shining over the mountain and the mimosa has burst out into brilliant yellow droplets while we were away.
And then the theme tune to my favourite television series of my childhood, The Virginian, comes on my iPod and I can take on anything.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Sorry we didn't meet up when you were in Dorset!

  2. good choice, summer place, an everlasting melody. when those horns come in, billowing like our fluffy clouds.

  3. I have mixed feelings about our move from California, the grandsons are there, but I do feel that Missouri is the place I want to be...more like home. I wore my record of A Summer Place out....

  4. I have always thought that one truly becomes more English once living in a foreign land. (I am thinking of the Raj). It is easy to cherry-pick memories; but just think of all the wonderful new ones you are forging there. Once back in Blighty, what's the betting you will dream of being in sunny Corfu? :)


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