Do you think the weather is following us? C had just remarked that we haven’t really had any decent weather since Christmas. That’s probably true, although we have had a couple of days when we have been outside and it’s not been bitterly cold, windy, snowing, hoofing down with rain or any combination of those things. Yesterday there was some good news: it wasn’t so cold you didn’t want to venture outside. But the wind was blowing a gale and was accompanied by squally showers. We did think about moving from our pitch (with Doris’ bum into the wind), but I thought if we moved into the campsite we might be attacked by an uprooted tree. I remember reading Catherine and Chris’ account early last year (see Inspirations) about their van being hit by a bill board which fell down in the middle of the night causing damage that needed professional work. We don’t need that sort of hassle…The thing is, are we bovvered? Well not really. It would be nice to go for a cycle and be pestered by Mrs Sun to the point where you having to say ‘go away and find someone else to play with’. To walk to the showers without having one on the way there. I actually didn’t go for a run yesterday afternoon for fear of being hit by flying objects or getting heaved into the sea – which, I have to say, is looking all mixed up with greys, blues and whites in any and all combinations you can think of. Like bringing together all the bottom righthand paint pallet at B&Q with the elderly lady assistant sucking what’s left of her teeth muttering under her breath ‘I wouldn’t have that colour in my front room ‘. Indeed.
We did get out. We cycled to the next village along. It’s a lovely touristy place based round a small bay, but most of it was shut up for winter. There was a v posh cafe open with a large panoramic balcony enclosed by v good quality plastic sheeting. We practised our Greek on the elderly owner, sank decent coffee (welcome back to earth, at €3 a piece) and sort of had a look at the sites of Greece we should really visit using both the glossy D&K and the detailed and, at times incomprehensible, Green Michelin Guide. Olympia (home of the Olympics) is just down the road and there are a couple of world class sites we need to gawp at before we get to Athens on 1 March to meet Jen and James.
We cycled back the other way and down to a tiny harbour just down from the campsite. Is v agricultural round here with plenty of poly tunnels. In comparison to Italy it wins in that it is much cleaner, but loses by not looking anywhere near as prosperous, which says something. In comparison to Northern Europe that comment puts it somewhere close to sub-Saharan Africa. But, following the theme from yesterday, the cafe owner could not have been nicer and everyone waves at us – which is strange because we look like we could be German – who aren’t the Greek’s favourite nation at the moment.
Back in Doris we had a late lunch and then spent sometime designing our dream house (it’s a modest two-bed affair and involves a special carport for Doris; we’re not that ambitious). It’s C’s favourite topic and one that I engage in when it catches me. We now have a semi-blueprint…we just need to work our exactly where in Europe we might want to live. Any ideas?
Next it was cake and bread making time. The bread is key as, as far as we can tell, there doesn’t seem to be a shop of any description round here and we had chomped the last bit for lunch. There was a bit a competition about whose would rise higher than whose. I lost miserably, but my excuse is that I use the brown bread mix and C has the Ciabatta which seems to require less elbow grease. Anyhow we have restocked the larder. The next issue will be when the wine runs out. At that point we’ll be having a go at our wrists with some sharp objects unless we can think of some clever way of distilling something alcoholic in the next forty-eight hours.
And, finally, a change of plan. I checked the long term weather forecast last night. The west Peloponnese has rain, wind and little sunshine for as long as the forecast extends – ten days. Athens, the other side of the Peloponnese (but just north of Corinth) and just one hundred driving miles away, has what looks like dawn-to-dusk sunshine. It may be by being further east they’re missing this huge low that is sitting over Central Europe at the moment, or it could be the range of mountains that occupies the centre of the Peloponnese that helps. Whatever, late last night we calculated that we have seven weeks before we need to be heading north to meet Steven and Rebecca in the Alps. Spending ten days hunkered down against rubbish weather does not seem the best use of our time. So we’re going over the hills and slightly North to the other coast. What happens then is unclear, but I’ll let you know.
And really finally, before I sign off two things: first a very happy birthday to my brother yesterday. It’s testament to the new way of things that I actually remembered. Second my secret project. I’m writing a book. It’s not a travel book (this thing is bleeding me nicely dry), but a lightweight thriller. It’s called An Unsuspecting Hero. I have written a bit already and intend to publish it here, under a new drop-down page. My ambition, which is designed to put me under a bit of pressure, is to publish a chapter a week along with the Sunday post. I would hope to have it finished by the summer at which point I might put it on Amazon (taking it off of the blog). Ned (read his book from Amazon – When The Fat Man Sings – it’s v good) has said he will help me with the whole Amazon publishing thing. Please don’t feel the need to read it, but if you do I would welcome any comments positive or negative. You can, if you like, be my on-line editors.
Fingers crossed… Have a great weekend.