Despite my pile of available reading, for some reason I took Richard Ellman’s biography of Oscar Wilde from the bookcase in my bedroom and started to reread it. It is fascinating and I see that Oscar kept what was called a “Commonplace Book”, not a diary as such but something which I presume was the Victorian equivalent of today’s Blog. So on with the Blog.
Yesterday the new washing machine was delivered. The men were supposed to take away the old machines but, after a lengthy discussion, left empty handed, arranging for them to be picked up Monday if we have managed to get them to the top of the stairs. It was the stairs that caused the hiccup. This is the problem of having such a difficult access. They were quite happy to tackle them once they were on the road but, no sir, not lugging them up a flight of garden stairs. We had the same difficult access problem at Hollings Farm which was at the bottom of a steep track and in autumn and winter very slippery with wet leaves. Many a vehicle got caught in that trap, starting with the removal vans when we first moved in, it being December.
Last night was also the first night of the annual panegyrie (there is no way of spelling that word in English, not according to my spell check anyway) at Litsarda, village about three or four kilometres away. We usually go to it and Chris desperately wanted to go again last night but both Douglas and I were too fagged so this year it was given a miss. Every year it seems to have become more famous and grown so that last year cars lined the road in both directions for more than half mile down either side and at midnight, we don’t usually stay much after that although it goes on for a few hours yet, people will still be standing around hoping for a table. The Greeks can eat into the early hours. The food is basic Cretan, lots of meat, pilafi and salads. The band is very loud. What did the Greeks do before the advent of the mike and amplification? About eleven the dancing starts – Greek dancing of course. Money made is for the use of the village. Sad to give it a miss but there’s always next year – hopefully!
This evening we have invited our Italian holidaymaker friends from Milan around for drinks. Maurizio, Mikki, and two kids, Vanya and Janice, only this year there is an extra boy, presumably a friend of Vanya’s. The family have given Crete a miss the last two or three years and it is amazing what those years can do to a kid growing up. If I had passed Vanya in the street I simply wouldn’t have recognised him.
Today is also the feast of the Dormition, a religious festival going back as far as the year 600 and, as Mary’s ascent into heaven is celebrated, churches throughout Greece will be packed and everywhere else deserted. It is a most important feast day in the Orthodox Church.