Tuesday, 27 August 2013

These things I miss. So I'll have a nice cup of tea.

With less than two months before our Big Fat Greek Gap Year comes to an end, we begin to think about all the packing up that needs to be done and the journey home.

We also think about ways we can make these twelve months away turn into another year, but without the homesickness.

Ideally, I would like the best of both worlds. A foot in Agios Magikades here in Corfu and a foot in Lush Places back in Dorset. But it's a long stretch and I've never tried doing the splits. I'm working on it, though, believe me.

This village has everything. Beauty, friendly people, warmth in heat and warmth in spirit.
And we've seen it through autumn, winter, spring and now summer. What an experience. It's been incredible.

You couldn't get a better and more conveniently situated village on the whole of the island. Twenty five minutes on a good road into town and five minutes by car to the sea. Three good tavernas which are open all year round and the most excellent mini-market and kafenion where you can sit and watch the world go by.

And it was all by luck rather than judgement.

The house itself, now we've tamed the overgrown, Sleeping Beauty garden and painted inside throughout, is perfect.
 Mr Grigg has been busy in the garden...
...while I've finished writing three novels and published two...
The novella based on a Dorset village
And I've read around sixty books, including some very fat ones indeed. This is good for someone with an attention span of a goldfish. 

I've gathered lots of great material for the book Kalimera Kerkyra, which I will bringing out to a fanfare and a signing at home and abroad next summer.

But, right from the outset, when we were stranded in the Jura region of France for a week in October last year, homesickness has been niggling at me like a BCG scar.
Mostly, I've missed family. When Number One Grand Daughter came out with her father for a week, I cried like anything when she left. They could hear me down in Ithaca. I've missed my mother, my father, my friends and I've even missed the fog that wraps Lush Places up like a blanket.

'How can you feel homesick for mist?' an incredulous friend of mine asked as he swam in our Greek pool.

Well, I don't know how but I know that I do.
Pathetic, I know. But there you have it. A sense of place and the pull of the land is very strong. I am not embarrassed by it in the least.

People miss all sorts of things when they move abroad. Brits like to have things that remind them of home, although I've always been of the When in Rome school myself. Not for me a pining for Heinz baked beans and HP Sauce.

Saying that, I jumped for joy when my first lot of visitors brought over a food parcel from the new Lush Places village shop.
And do you know the thing I liked most of all?

Tea. Dorset Tea.

Having been brought up on 'proper' leaf tea you can stand your spoon up in, I've always been a bit dubious and then disappointed with tea bag tea.

But, I am a complete convert now I've sampled Dorset Tea bags. And now I've run out. So it's just as well we're going home soon.

The only thing is, I want to be able to take home a set of these cups to drink it in. But so far, I can only find sets of seventy.
So as well as a bag full of memories, a computer hard drive full of photos, notebooks full of scribblings and some hollyhock seeds, it looks like I'll have plenty of cups from which to drink my tea.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Hi Maddie

    Have enjoyed reading your blogs. The pull of Corfu is tempting. We went on holiday there and have kept in touch, (by Xmas Card!!)with one family in Paleokastrika, they have a cafe and keep inviting us to stay!

    I am contemplating writing about our B & B life in Beaminster, constantly changing and busy.

    The Barefoot B & Ber Blog - my day in cups of tea (Clipper)! sometimes I even get a hot one.

    We've just made a retreat at the bottom of the garden for us, so family/friends can have our room as we are so often full.

    Keep up the good work, and enjoy the autumn before heading back to Lush places. The kettle is on and Quigley welcomes you on your return, would love to meet up for a cuppa/chat when the family and friends have all been visited!

    Julie (Woodroffe) Quigley B & B.

    1. You're on. I can cope with Clipper - that'll do very nicely thanks. A B&B blog sounds good - but it sounds like you won't have a lot of time, what with all those visitors.

  2. Your tea reminds me of my piano teacher when I was a teen. She was from England and after WWII, married an American soldier and moved to the states with him. I think she was always homesick. During my lesson she would fix herself a cup of tea in a china cup and saucer, and set it next to her while she listened to me play. She would stir it, raise it to her lips and then put it down to stop me and comment and then pick it up again. For the life of me, I can't remember ever seeing her drink it! She was a wonderful lady and I adored her. Nearly blind, she could still play like a concert pianist!

    1. What a lovely memory. Funny thing about us Brits and tea. A good cup of tea always calms me, makes me feel better. But Zeus forbid anyone who makes me a weak one. Yeuch!

  3. Reading our blog here in La Rochelle, France. Loved it! Great photos too. Good luck with the books.

    1. Gosh, you don't half get about. Enjoy France. We'll be winding our way back through there soon. And probably winding our way back the other way next year, if truth be told.


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