Crete at Last

Crete at Last!

Sometimes the dreams of the future can be fragile as a Beeswing so here’s today’s music choice that simultaneously takes me forward and back in time.

It feels like there is a huge amount of ground to cover since Hereford. For those of you who like detail, I will include some here. Some of you will have heard bits of the narrative - so you can skip.

Let’s start at the end of the story - here’s our little stone hοuse in the older part of the village of Marediana, originally Πάνω (Upper) Marediana. What you need to know is the village was originally just 2 families. There is still no cafe or shop - the population is much too small. Now converted as a holiday rental, our house is a cute lower floor of a village house.

We have 2 rooms with a ‘corner kitchen’, a bedroom, a good bathroom and a large sitting area outside with a shade. The host, Elli is a keen collector of driftwood and curiosities and these turn up in some unexpected places. It’s small, but workable for now.

Marediana House

And how did we get here?
It was a very strange few days from last Thursday to Wednesday. Remember we were leaving my late cousin’s house in Hereford with the remainder of our Bristol belongings to be deposited with Nomad (our removal company) in Peterborough until we have a more permanent place here.
Thursday 19 August
We looked at the load for the van (Transit size for those of you who remember the 1970s) and I was worried it wouldn’t fit.
Friday 20 August
I called the hire company - larger van not available until lunchtime. We packed the one we had to the roof, including my bike, and it just about fitted. Phew! So Friday saw us driving to Peterborough. If it wasn’t for Al’s musical instruments and other studio gear we would be moving like normal people! But then we wouldn’t have any money either. Traffic was terrible on the way to P’boro with massive jam due to an M6 closure so we had to take a much longer route. They had to wait for us until we arrived 20 minutes after 5pm on a Friday, but they were pretty good humoured all the same. The return journey was much better apart from Al taking his eye off the ball and looking for cars in Greece. He went onto a car buying App and we overshot our exit by about 20 minutes, adding another hour to the journey. I was so exhausted I had to go straight to bed nursing a rum and almond milk! I didn’t even shout at him. He said he was sorry a lot.
The next morning I went to use my wallet and couldn’t find it. Distraught!! We looked everywhere. Couldn’t figure it out at all as I didn’t even remember getting it out at services we stopped at. Of course we searched the van, and it turned up second time around wedged between seat and handbrake. It would have bolloxed whole plan since my driving licence was inside, essential for all the car hire plans in UK and Greece..

Saturday and Sunday 21 / 22
Sorting and packing for Greece. Finding things that should have gone on the van, sorting out the last of Kay’s jewellery bequests, taking her house plants to friends etc etc.

Monday 23 D Day-1
With everything packed except all the hand luggage bits and pieces and things I couldn’t decide about, including a lifetime supply of essentials like sun protection, massage oil, cotton buds, plasters and fuck knows what else that packs out bathroom cabinets, we head out to Bristol for a last visit to Sally and Rik, then over to Chitra to leave the car. She takes us to have a tea at the local Weatherspoons. Rough but the only outdoor cafe for miles around. Back to Hereford for final night and morning pack, now 4 bags and a box as well as hand baggage.

Tuesday 24 August

We get to Birmingham Airport and the drop off (18 minutes at 8 quid) was a bit of a shocker, plus I’m not sure how much for the trolleys (4) since a helpful man in a uniform helped me with their release from a mysterious machine the wouldn’t work for me. Clearly a dark art. Birmingham Airport not at all crowded and Ryanair surprisingly efficient and generous spirited about Mr Extra Seat (a Ronroco in a case). So much room on the plane that we could be reseated having a row to ourselves - Al, me and the ronoroco. Most people were wearing their masks more-or-less properly with a few exceptions. All paperwork went through smoothly at each stage - European Vaccination Certificates and Greek PLF.

This morning I watched a yoga video from Australia - part of a series on the use of ropes. Really useful in planning the yoga room that I hope I will eventually have.

Our pressing problem is that we need a car. The mini market is probably at least a 2 hour round trip. Great exercise of course, We pray for the health of Max’s car!! There is a possibility of buying a Honda Jazz from a couple returning to Devon after 15 years here. Only problem is that they need a car until they leave and we need one now. We pray for good fortune. Actually, of course we don’t pray at all, just hope, envisage positive outcomes (me) and try to figure out alternative strategies.

The village is much quieter than we thought. We are quite close to the road, but there are few cars. Several village houses are being rebuilt as AirBnbs, but not many operational yet. I will leave you with some of Elli’s work - she’s an avid collector of shells, driftwood, bric a brac and there’s never a dull corner in the house.

Flight a bit late and as always we are last out of the baggage hall, almost forgetting the last suitcase (hastily appropriated from Kay’s house).

We arrived at the village well after 11pm. Our host, Elli, meets us. The place is small, with a tiny kitchen, but pretty and we are making it work. There is a good outside terrace and no immediate neighbours, apart from the hosts upstairs. They shout kalispera from their balcony. Our previous hosts have left us supper - stuffed veg and green beans stewed in olive oil and tomato. Delicious. Also some pastries filled with dried fruit and nuts - I suspect Despoina made those. I would have put in a photo but we were too busy eating to think about that

Wednesday 25 August Marediana
We are predictably dazed and disoriented and completely exhausted. I felt as though I needed to sleep for 12 hours straight, and that night we almost did. We have visited with all our neighbours, and done a supermarket shop, courtesy of Max’s car, Al is working on his mixes and I am trying to get organised! As you can imagine, there’s a lot of discussion about ‘what happens next.

A Few Days Later
Sitting outside the house on a crumbling concrete bench. It’s warm, and there’s a west wind. Confused cock crow, intermittent dog barks, and distant cicadas. We feel that we have arrived. This house will do for now, but by the end of October we will need something a bit more permanent and perhaps easier to heat.

DD6186E6-1245-4B1C-ADEC-269A2616BBB7_1_105_c

This morning I watched a yoga video from Australia - part of a series on the use of ropes. Really useful in planning the yoga room that I hope I will eventually have.

Our pressing problem is that we need a car. The mini market is probably at least a 2 hour round trip. Great exercise of course, We pray for the health of Max’s car!! There is a possibility of buying a Honda Jazz from a couple returning to Devon after 15 years here. Only problem is that they need a car until they leave and we need one now. We pray for good fortune. Actually, of course we don’t pray at all, just hope, envisage positive outcomes (me) and try to figure out alternative strategies.

The village is much quieter than we thought. We are quite close to the road, but there are few cars. Several village houses are being rebuilt as AirBnbs, but not many operational yet. I will leave you with some of Elli’s work - she’s an avid collector of shells, driftwood, bric a brac and there’s never a dull corner in the house.

Coming soon:

The adventure continues...

Moomins-6-scaled

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.