Grecian Tales Part V: The Hat

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There was a time before the hat.  A time of innocence, of knowing that one was right about pretty much everything, that one had seen it all, that one could not be challenged in any way shape or form about one’s life. But, when it appeared, freedom and thinking how you liked became a different story.

She appeared through a chink in the curtains at my window.  Brim tilted down today – it was hot and the sun super bright – I called out for her to enter.  “Ah, the hat has returned I see” I noted as she walked in.
“Yes – a, I’m so glad I found it!”

“What?  It was lost?”

“Well, I couldn’t locate it for a whole day, then I spotted it at the bottom of my bag.  Thank heavens!  I can’t be without it for too long – and just in time, we’ve got the sun again.”

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Grecian Tales Part IV: Naked Beach

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We sat on the shoreline searching for the perfect pebble.  “You should see the red ones when the sun comes out” said HM, “They’re so beautiful and bright – when they dry they go a lovely shade of brown.”

I replied that I was sure they were but my mission was to find the best aquamarine one, the one that looked illuminated from within and even out of water was magnetic to behold.

HM handed me a couple – small and cute.  “They’d be perfect on that new necklace you bought in Skyros town” she said.  “Just put a little clasp on the top and hang them from the chain.”

I placed my booty on the paddle board alongside a growing collection.

For a while we foraged in silence.  Absorbed by the colours, shallow water gliding over stones, occasionally diving for one we spotted that looked like the holy grail.

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Grecian Tales Part III: Brittany

P1050740 I love New Yorkers.  I love everything about them from their directness, sense of humour, sass and indignation to the street smarts, non-stop talking and occasional neurosis. They remind me of me.

A trip to Skyros beach followed by a walk into town and some light shopping ended up at an appointed meeting place inside a fastish food type cafe on the main drag.

Brittany appeared.  All flowing blue silk dress, boho gold jewellery, tan to perfection, blonde locks glistening. “Oh right, like this is where I ate last week” she imtimated to me, head to one side. “And I swore I wouldn’t do it again – it’s just like kebabs and stuff, and I’m not sure about the feel of this place either.”

It seemed a shame, the Greeks’ sensibility for beauty is inherent in everything they do.  And even in this mountain-top remote island town the sophistication and allure of the decor was out of this world.  Dusty pink chairs sat alongside green tables under sail like awnings, signposts in Aegean blue for even the most humble hardware store; plump mauve cushions on white bar stools under a starlit sky.

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Grecian Tales Part II: Ship to shore

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Even the Cicadas weren’t up.  Hut mate (HM) stirred, opened the mosquito net and shuffled around.  “Are you coming? C’mon, you could write about this. Imagine how much fun it’ll be.”

Shorts pulled rapidly on, minutes later I joined her on the bay balcony.

The water was flat and still, the sun barely up, the island we were to row around in the distance.

We joined other carpe diems at the tea station for a briefing. The swimmers were bright eyed and bushy tailed, the rest of us not so.

M said, “I’ve only got two canoes – who’s coming?” I started muttering about how I’d much rather be in the hut listening to the birds and dozing back off to sleep, but before you could say ‘capsizing canoes’ HM and I had our respective hands in the air and there was no turning back.

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Grecian Tales Part I: What happens in Hutland ..

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We’ve been getting to know each other my hutmate (HM) and I think it’s safe to say we’ve reached a stage where all bets are off.

We started cautiously.  Furtive dressing and undressing, polite goodnights, thoughtful noiseless awakenings, and the use of a torch or phone after lights out.

It was a challenge keeping up with all the discreet disrobing. “Oh, just so you know, I’m not actually that modest” I ventured to my fellow bamboo shack lover after a particularly difficult morning of contortions. “I went to an all girls school, you sort of get used to walking around naked.”

HM looked at me and paused.  “Yes” she said slowly.  “I think it’s fine as long as there’s not a lot of, you know, bending over.”

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Greece is the word

P1050455 Two harrier jump jets swooshed by overhead, the roar travelling even faster than they did, swiftly followed by another couple of military looking planes.  Was Greece fighting a war I didn’t know about?  Maybe I’d missed something in the news – aside from the obvious.

Cicada drills took over again. I placed my wash things next to a basin au plein air as the sound of footsteps on the stairway to this bougainvillea framed bathroom woke me from thoughts of Grecian problems.

M appeared.  “I mean, they could save a few quid if they didn’t fly these jets all over the place” I said, by way of a ‘Good Morning.’  “I’m sure it costs about £100,000 to put one of those in the air every time.”
“Hmmm, quite. Did you know Greece has the seventh largest defence budget per capita in the world?” he replied. I didn’t.

We brushed our collective teeth and moved on quietly, as one does in the ablutions area: No one too keen to make actual eye contact just in case discretion is required in this unisex space.

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