It's a genre. Unable to turn my mind to anything significant when I am out here, I often dip into the sort of travel books that are all you seem to find about Greece. They are mostly the same. How I bought this amazing place, how difficult it was to do the repairs employing the colourful locals and my, oh so hilarious, silly mistakes, all enlivened with a faintly patronising view of Greek culture as a source of amusement. I know all the faults, and yet I still can't stop myself reading them.
This visit has been much more practical, learning how to use a chainsaw, amongst other things, and cooking. Yes, lots of cooking, plenty of eating and luxuriating in the one-and-a-half-litre plastic bottles of local Retsina for two Euros (and yes Mike it is nice - really, really nice). This turned my mind to the best thing that I have ever read about the Mediterranean diet; beautifully praised here, in yet another of those books, though one of the better ones.
Here I should make the distinction between the Mediterranean Diet, which is an invention of Californian hypochondriacs, and the Mediterranean diet, which keeps Mediterraneans alive into their nineties. The real Mediterranean diet consists of a cup of strong black coffee in the morning, a quarter of a pound of cheese and a couple of beers for elevenses, stews or a fry-up for lunch with eggs and chips and cheese, more meat and cheese at night and the odd cheese pie during the day when you feel peckish. Plenty of salad but also plenty of fried vegetables, a litre or so of wine, a few beers and a couple of ouzos along with whisky when you can get it. And don't forget a couple of packs of cigarettes a day.
No fags for me, though it's not too far off the mark, and the tsipouro is now about to slip down nicely.