An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Didn't we have a luvverly time the day we went to Koufi?

At about ten to eleven we get into the car. The black leather seats have been warmed by early sun. The windscreen is covered in dust that G cleans off for us. Betty starts second time - I must get that detached choke cable replaced - and she comes luxuriously up on her suspension, and the red light goes off (this time - but not always so). Slip her into reverse (column change), click off the handbrake (applied by foot but released by hand), head over right shoulder, reverse out down the straight of the road and swing round the hard right hander to stop by the bins (full to overflow) and then off we go.

It is a new day in a new month in a new year and we are off to see Maria and Marinos. By the time we get to Dramia , and the first real rise, the engine has warmed up nicely and she is running smoothly - cruising in chauffeur driving luxury. The hedgerows, such as they are at this time of year, are covered with clover and oxalis, as are the fields about that haven't had sheep in them of late. Small, beautiful, birds flit back and forth, some grazing insects on the wing while high above, on the rise up toward Patima, the village emptied by a blood feud, soar the gerakia. Thermals are spiralling up into the clear cerulean - the only mackerel cloud is at about 2,500 ft.

The road to Episkopi curls up like the spiralling thermals, helping us up. A smile as we pass the first, and only road sign that announces a bend; with fifteen already behind us! On past Filaki, and one more, two more, three more bends, before the twin blue towers of the big church at Episkopi loom and the solid blue wall of the farmers' union building jumps out at us from the right hand side - too much blue - too blue! One more and we reach the village of Episkopi: one narrow road with pickups, farming land up here, parked on either side, forcing us all to make impromptu passing spots - beside the periptera, opposite the agricultural merchants store (closed now on Sunday New Year's Day).

Out of the village taking the left fork, not the right to Argirouplois and ancient Lappa that lends its name to this demos. Koufi at last. A magical first journey to start the newly minted year. From here we can look across to the White Mountains caped now in deep snow, and over the massive bay where water lays limpid, calmer even than the lake on days like this like a looking glass laid down beyond the landfall.

Where else would we ever want to be? A time to enjoy and appreciate where we are and where we live as well as how we live.

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