Sunday, 8 October 2017
'We say spame to rodi,' said Dimos at Faros taverna yesterday evening, handing me a pomegranate to break for luck with my new home. We'd just finished a dinner of calamari and briam and fried small fish, which are just available again since the season began for fishing with trata nets. I'd learned of this good news after running into Stelios on Friday's Blue Star ferry to Rhodes. (On the way back, a couple of young guys were playing lyra and laouto on the top deck.)
I told Dimos I'd already broken and eaten a pomegranate in my new home on the seafront in Livadia. At first it felt strange living in Livadia after so many years in Megalo Horio. One of the benefits of living here is wandering down to the square mid-morning to see which of the farmers from Megalo Horio or Eristos is selling fresh produce. A couple of days ago I'd bought green guava that flooded the kitchen with their apple-pear aroma, and pomegranates, and olive oil, and fresh olives that I'm soaking in water to prepare them for eating.
On the way to dinner, walking along the seafront, I had run into people I know with their dog. They asked where I was living now and I told them. It's directly facing the sea, and they weren't the first to warn me that it could get lively there with winds and waves. 'The question is how you'll get out the door in the winter!' laughed Seva. Her husband said, 'Ah, she'll be OK, she's lived in north Karpathos!'
So here I am, with the red fruit on my hand-woven tablecloth that I bought from Anna Lentaki in Avlona a couple of days before leaving Karpathos. I have rented this place for the winter, and then we'll see. The first of the autumn rain came down on Friday night, accompanied by a power cut, and more rain came down this morning as I was waking up, and now the sun is peeking through the clouds on a silvery blue sea. The sounds are the water sweeping up to the beach, and some crows - and now, the deep rumble of the big Blue Star ferry backing into the quay. I'll work for a while, then go for a walk - there have been many beautiful walks over the last two weeks since I arrived. Oh, but first of course I'll break a pomegranate.
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
It was a warm afternoon, as Archontoula and Anezoula both said later. But I had to seize the opportunity and go. For once, I wasn't too busy or rushing back down to Agios Minas. It wasn't cloudy or windy. So I waited until after five, drank some water so I wouldn't have to carry anything, put on my walking boots and set off up Profitis Ilias.
Had it been a clearer day, I'd have seen Tilos to the north. But the horizon had been hidden in a heat haze since the morning. No matter, I'll be seeing Tilos soon enough. I thought about what an amazing experience I've had since arriving in Olympos a year and a half ago. Walking here on that first day, I'd been offered a ride for the last section of the journey by kind locals. Another branch of the same family have been making life impossible at Agios Minas all summer. It got so bad that I left for a break, went back to Tilos, found myself a little house to rent for the winter. So now these are my last weeks in Olympos for some time, and I want to make the most of them.