Sunday, 25 September 2011

Kastellorizo Museum then Lunch at the Olive Grove.

Sunday 25th September, 2011.  A new day. Roosters crow the morning awake. I make my way to the rock for my morning swim with my book of short stories by Charmian Clift, 'Mermaid Singing'. Hannah rightly decided it would be good island reading material. Charmian is writing of Kalimnos in the 50s. Vestiges of her characters inhabit Kastellorizo.

I have decided to visit the museum today. I have heard the embroideries and artifacts are worthy. As I approach the museum attendant welcomes me. Ella kouritsi mou. Ella mesa. With that he hands me a tissue, I tilt my head- ya ta Yialya sou. "To clean your glasses." Thelis nero? Oki epharisto. As I move to cross the courtyard he picks a sprig of basil and fragrant geranium, pressing it into my hand. The fragrance lasts all the way through my visit. The collection are fragments, mere scraps from the layers of occupation. The courtyard walls, remnants of the Italian crusader occupation.

I hear the church bell chime 1.00pm. I make for The Olive Garden restaurant, opposite my house run by Damian and Monica. Under the vines, cats at my feet, I order a lunch of broccoli poached with carrots and onions, mushrooms with feta and pepper and a horiatiki salad with a bottle of Retsina, dry white wine cured with pine resin. It is truly delicious.

At the tables near me I hear the French, deep in conversation, to my right a German table, out of earshot an English couple. Nick and Helene P arrive. We are all drinking. Siesta will follow. Couples lean toward each other in conversation, eating and drinking, tinkles of phrases, languages out of reach....and the lap, lap of the limani always a glance away.

I have made arrangements to have my hair washed and dried at 6.00pm. We meet at the furno as Thionisia doesn't know my house. I provide the shampoo and conditioner, she provides the dryer and some hair products. 8.00E. 6985931561. We get started. I place chair next to the shower and we begin with the hose. I make the usual polite enquiry. How many children? "No children, I've only been married a year. I'm waiting for my husband to grow up." I like her style.

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