I really should have Blogged on Tuesday instead of Wednesday so missed a day. In fact all Wednesday I was convinced it was the first of the month instead of the second. The reason Tuesday’s Blog was missed was because most of the day was taken up with a visit into Xania, chiefly to see the optician for an eye test. Everything turned out more or less fine. There is nothing he can do about the occlusion that still exists in the right eye but the left eye thank goodness shows no signs of glaucoma or cataracts. Distance is no problem but a new prescription for glasses to work on the computer. The ones I was using were given to me in New York a thousand years ago by Lionel Wilson and had become all scratched. The new lenses are in that old frame. I was very pleased with the result because what still remains of the occlusion in the right eye is dead centre and prevents me from reading or writing and I don’t believe is going to get any better so, should anything happen to the left, God forbid, I would be in dead shtuck. Then a quick visit to the Hearing Centre to ascertain which way to put in the hearing aid (after all this time?) because I was having some trouble with it and sure enough I had it in wrong! Getting quite doddery in my old age. After this we went to the market to do a wee bit of shopping and I suggested we lunched in the little fish restaurant there which serves up a splendid meal not too expensively and where we’ve eaten a few times.
And so to Giorgis Anastassakis. The space in the restaurant, well more of a café really, is quite cramped and we, having nearly finished our meal, were seated right in a corner when this bearded giant and his little wife came and sat at the next table, literally within touching distance. Small and somewhat mousey with slightly receding hair and wearing ankle boots and white sox, she had brought in their own loaf of brown bread which she proceeded to slice. Obviously the white bread served up in restaurants was not to their liking. They are evidently into healthy eating being vegetarian (except for fish) and insisting you eat fruit half an hour before meals or three hours afterwards so, at the end of the meal, she picked up her mandarins and orange, the café’s extra, and pocketed them to take home. She hardly said a word but sat there munching away on her food, only coming out with a monosyllabic answer if he should ask her to confirm something. He immediately launched into a conversation in English and, although I am usually backwards in coming forward with strangers, I was fascinated enough to start asking questions. It turns out he has had quite a life including serving in the Greek navy, being a prisoner of the Junta and a civil pilot in England, surviving a plane crash. When Chris informed him that I am a writer he informed us that his house is full of books but he doesn’t like fiction and, on hearing I had written my autobiography, he immediately wanted details hence my e-mail the following morning.
So I would be very interested in writing his and as mine if called “No Official Umbrella” I will call his “Temporarily Uncertain.”
At one point n the conversation he looked at me and said ‘You are famous,’ to which I replied, ‘No I’m not.’ ‘Oh, yes,’ he contradicted, ‘you are famous but not as famous as you could be because you don’t want to be. In prison one learns to read people.’ It was virtually the same observation an expatriate Greek made in Virginia some twenty odd years ago.
I forgot to say earlier - Happy 80th birthday Ray Peters.