I think …

… that’s enough about my background story for now. I’ll pick it up later this week when I’ve got time.

In real life, we’re still scraping paint off this confounded boat. I hope it’s going to be worth it. Still it’s nice to be working in the fresh air, albeit a fresh air tainted with flakes of undoubtedly toxic lead-based paint and various noxious paint-stripping chemicals. Thank heavens for a half gale most of the time. Alexis is really feeling the cold. To me, after England, this is blissful weather.

This stripping of paint is a novelty to the fishermen at the harbour. The traditional method of boat restoration is to stuff the cracks with tarred rope and put another few layers of paint on top.

I met the village “Pope” for the first time yesterday. Stove-pipe hat and black robes. Vast physical bulk, intimidating full beard. He actually sought me out at Nikos’. He speaks good English in a surprisingly high voice, and I realised that he reminded me of Demis Roussos – now I’m showing my age. His manner was courteous and confident. Fortunately, he did not want to discuss theology with me, but rather to propose his niece, Eleni, to clean my house and do my laundry. I had mentioned the cleaning problem to Nikos last week. Pope Soutsos negotiated her hours and pay in a very businesslike fashion, and we sealed the deal in lemonade. There’s a relief. Now all I need is a gardener. So far I’ve only had the offer of a hungry donkey. And this is why.

A view of my house

This is a very merciful photograph of my house. It conveys a certain charm without revealing the festoons of cable and plastic piping that supply me with electricity, telephone and water. The interior will soon be fit to visit if Eleni does her job. It’s primitive, but I am very happy here. Incidentally, the photo is from the estate agent’s details. It’s actually a lot greener now than it was when the photo was taken.

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