Wednesday, 4 December 2013

It's chilly in Corfu but the welcome is warm

We're back in Greece now after a few weeks in England where we caught up with family, friends, Dorset and a book signing or two.
After a bit of a party in Lush Places, no sooner had we disrobed from our Poseidon and Medusa chitons (the Greek forerunner of the Roman toga), with a trail of wigs, rubber snakes and seaweed in our wake, then it was up in an aeroplane and a turbulent landing at Athens before a six-hour wait for a plane to Corfu.

Back in Agios Magikades, one of dear friends had put in a few welcoming touches to the house.
Freshly picked clementines and Christmas decorations. Lovely.

We had a coffee with our neighbour who showed us his new fire and then settled down to a roaring log fire and The Lincoln Lawyer, an American film on television with Greek subtitles.
This morning, the sun takes its time to climb up over the mountain. There is a chill in the air and a strip of mist poised at the bottom of the valley. The sound of dogs barking ricochets around the hills, the geese start honking, the turkeys gobble while they still can and the children stroll by, heading for school.

In the plateia, the sun struggles to get over the church roof. We enjoy a coffee and a chat outside with the friend who left us the clementines. Nothing has changed, there are cats everywhere, the same people are sitting outside the kafenion and the mini-market and the poster outside the hall is still advertising a blood donor session in August.
The mini-market proprietor takes a long look at Mr Grigg and his 'hey Gringo' moustache, which has not been shaved since Movember.

'You look like Zero Zero Seven,' he says. 'You know, Son Connery.'

The tune playing on the radio is the latest Christmas advert for Jumbo, the store where you can buy anything. It's a Greek version of My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music. Our very own Matt Monro joins in the chorus and then asks us when we arrived back in the village.

Our Greek is still pretty bad.

'Tomorrow,' we say. He buys us a cognac to go with our coffee.

And then, just as we are thinking about our friend Canadian George, he appears behind the wheel of his car, makes as if to steer into us, stops and gets out for a hug.

A little while later, we walk around the olive groves and breathe in clean air and the scent of orange blossom. We call in, unannounced, for a cup of tea with an English friend and are given a slice of banoffee pie to go with it.
And, when we get home, we're presented with two bags stuffed full of vegetables.
It's like we've never been away.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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