Saturday, 23 January 2016

Sunny Winter Days and Moonlit Nights

A cold, north wind howls around the house today, slipping in the gaps around old doors and windows. But it’s been dry, with a deep blue sky, and a brisk walk to feel the warmth of exercise and sun was just what I needed.


Earlier in the week we had a couple of days of being cooped up by rain (much needed by the farmers). A big storm came in on Sunday and the power went out mid-morning. The sun poked through grey clouds creating a streak of silver across very rough grey and white waters in Eristos bay. I walked Lisa, taking care since the wind had broken branches off the trees, then when the power was still out I crept under the duvet with a cup of tea (the briki and camping stove, usually for Greek coffee, come in handy when there’s no electricity), read a book and then slept for a while. In the afternoon I lit a candle and the fire, preparing for the evening, but the power came back. I rang Angeliki, the artist who lives at the top of the village, to see if we were still on for drinks and we were. She’d prepared a feast of mezes and we sat beside a cosy log fire with the rain pouring down outside.

Our friend Maddie, meanwhile, was flying from Athens to Rhodes. The first flight was cancelled; the second got as far as Rhodes, circled and turned back, unable to land. She made it later that night. Edward had planned to meet her at the airport but his ferry left about twelve hours late. So it can go when you make travel plans in the winter.

The next day the rain continued. Y and I walked to Eristos, skirting deep puddles on the dirt tracks, and found ourselves watching a storm out to sea, wind whipping up the water, waterspouts funnelling down from dark grey clouds, a streak of lightning flashing. It felt like winter was really here. Indulging in a little too much wine and food with friends, walking home in moonlight. Expected parcels are delayed, and delayed - but delayed gratification can be good. Sometimes in the winter, several days can go by when we don’t have vegetables delivered by the boats. The farms at Eristos have potatoes and oranges and broccoli, but other produce was withering badly. Hence my joy at finding plump, fragrant mushrooms at Megalo Horio supermarket one day. Life is full of surprises. 

As Lisa and I walked down to Skafi today, the wind made my eyes water. It was fun to stand above the cove and feel the sea crashing powerfully into the rocks. Funny to think I’d had a long swim here on a calm, warm day just two weeks ago, in the first week of January. The wind will drop again soon and we’ll be swimming again, but for today it was good to see wild, surging, white-capped waves.

When I downloaded photos from my phone, there was another surprise – photos I’d forgotten about. A couple of weeks ago I’d had an impromptu adventure. Climbing up the hill above Harkadio Cave one warm lunchtime to see the medieval chapel and castle ruins, the views had been so breathtaking that on a whim I’d decided to keep walking along the ridge. The sunlight was a dream and the views clear – north to Nisyros and the islands beyond, south to Rhodes and southeast to snow-covered mountains in Turkey. It was a tricky walk, clambering over rocks with Lisa on the lead to stop her chasing goats. I hadn’t taken a camera with me and my phone battery had given up, rather unnervingly – but not before I got a few shots. 




5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Another great piece, Jen, I love it. I don't know how you write so consistently well! Don't you ever have an off day... I love your photo, particularly the "rose tinted" glasses.!! We seem to have swapped weather. We have had light winds, some sunshine, quite warm and no rain over the last few days. Hopefully it will stay like that until Monday week when I get away for a month. Best. P.

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    1. Thank you! Glad you've had warmer weather. And hope you have a great trip!

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  3. I want to walk home in moonlight on a Greek island. Somehow, a provincial city in the UK with street lights isn't quite the same!
    Vicki

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    1. I agree, it isn't - in my experience, there's nothing like it!

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