Since I…

… feel a little discursive today, replete, as I am, with an excellent lunch, I shall give a little more value to my reader (you know who you are) in today’s entry.

This is a bad time of year to be extolling the virtues of the Greek climate, as it is perishin’ hot. I am sitting here (it’s currently about 13:30) with the shutters closed, in the semi-darkness and relative cool of my little house. I have discovered that the north-facing room, the kitchen, I suppose you would say, though it has multifarious uses, is very slightly cooler than the bedroom. I am dressed in a pair of shorts and flip-flops. And still I find it comforting to occasionally sponge some luke-warm water on myself as a sort of primitive refrigeration.

The evening is much more pleasant. The sun is no longer burning your eyes out, yet it is still comfortably warm. But my real favourite time of day is the early morning. Even in this arid rocky island, there are tiny drops of dew on the parched yellow grass stems and deep green herbs. These herbs, later in the day, will release their heady aroma into an atmosphere singing with cicadas, creating the essence of Greece. In the dawn, however, they are quiescent. The long light, filtered through more atmosphere, lacks the fire of midday. Importantly, long, cool shadows are cast, which don’t happen at all when the sun rises, and I like to rest my back on the cool side of a rock and read a book until the insect life recognise me as a food source and start to make free with me.

The most important shadow for me is the shadow of the cliff at a western beach. It takes me a quarter of an hour on the bike to reach the top of the cliff. Then I climb down, another ten minutes, and then I can swim in shaded, clear, warm water for an hour or more before Apollo drags his chariot over the brow of the cliff and the sun comes out, as T E Lawrence expressed it, “then the heat … came out like a drawn sword and struck us speechless.”

I have deliberately emphasised the idyllic atmosphere, the very magic of Greece that urged me to flee here rather than, say, Torquay.

I was horrified, this morning, to discover a cleared area at the top of “my” cliff, scattered with construction equipment, the earth scarred, the air reeking of diesel, a digger hacking a rough trench, dozens of happy workers, a cement mixer in full swing, and, worst of all, The Notice Board.
Belmar Blasted Resort!
Looks pretty, doesn’t it?

Whaddaya mean, “No”?

And judging by the rate at which construction projects progress around here, this paradise can probably look forward to about eight years of construction misery before it is totally destroyed by legions of holidaymakers. I suppose it was selfish of me to expect a private beach in perpetuity. And I have to confess that ever since I discovered the place, there has been a rusting developer’s sign planted at the top and bottom of the cliff, so I knew it wasn’t really mine. I returned home for breakfast, crestfallen.

But if I were to drive another three minutes, and descend a steeper, spikier cliff, I happen to know there’s another unspoilt beach that I saw from the boat. I’ll try that tomorrow.

Comments are closed.