Friday, December 28, 2007

Man flu

Ok it is really only a cold, but I claim the privileges of my gender to make the most of it. It has been pretty debilitating though and not what you want on holiday. I have often noticed that the body decides that once the pressure of work is off it is alright to be ill. No it isn’t body. I want to be ill so that I can miss work not when I am missing it already.

It has been an odd stay. The weather has been bleak and cold. We arrived to a funeral. The man who owned the plot of land next to the house died of a stroke at the age of only 63. A nice, friendly man who had learnt some English when he was at sea, he always greeted us, helped himself to our water for his vines, and kept himself fit. He is a loss. More prosaically, the dishwasher decided to blow up. And yes, for those bucolic fantasists amongst you, we do have dishwashers in rural Greece; I am also hoping that we have people who can fix them.

The beauty is still there and sneezing and sniffling beside an olive wood fire with good books is preferable to being holed up in Hull. I look out of the windows to see the citrus trees laden with bright oranges and the silvery leaves of the olive groves on the far hill. Wood smoke hangs over the village, many people are away and it is very quiet. The local butcher, Costas, has once again made his late entry for the Turner Prize with his amazing strings of fairy lights flung haphazardly over the tree outside his house. Boxing Day was accompanied by the gunfire of the hunters and I hope that I will be over this virus in time to join in the New Year’s Eve cacophony.

The skies look unremitting and I do not think that we will have any warm winter days this year. And once again, given the utter unreality in England about Greece and the failure to realise that winter exists, when I get back I know that people will say, “at least you have been sitting in the sun”.

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