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

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Making a dream come true

I'm sitting here alone - well I've got the girls indoors with me: they are tucked up on the sofa like the left-hand side of a set of quotation marks. The day has closed - a gorgeous clear sunny day - and the light has gone. What has been warm dry day has faded into a cool early evening. Under normal circumstances I would be less than overjoyed about our solitude but not tonight. Not tonight: because tonight, this afternoon and tonight to be accurate, a dream is coming true. I've just turned the gas fire on and it is popping gently in the background slowly removing the chill that has crept in during the last hour or so.

Three years ago, more or less (you'd have to ask Gill for the precise dates - I just do not register these things), we had a dream, Gill and I. Gill wanted to become a farmer and I had suggested lavender as a crop. And, at about this time of year three years back Gill got her first stock of 50 plants. Her foundation stock. A mixed bag of "French", "English" and "canonical" lavender plants. A mixed bag indeed. Her dream, looking at these somewhat sorry looking foundation stock, was to produce lavender oil.

She has tended these plants with loving care. She has propagated more than 200 new plants from from them. She has reared 2 new varieties from seed. She has classified her stock and taught herself about each variety: their idiosyncrasies, their aromas, their preferred habitats. In three years she has become the Lavender Lady. On top of all of this, she has found outlets for her crop. Her crop that has grown every year. The lavender has made her a wide circle of colleagues and friends. But so far it has not made her any of the elusive, mythical oil. Until now. Until today.

While I sit here Gill is in Modi making lavender oil. There are (or so I understand via the latest update) two 600 litre stills boiling away in Modi stuffed to the gunnels with biomass from 24 of the original "French" stock. Lavender plants take three years to mature and the first stock is now mature. What can I say that expresses how overjoyed I am for her? Her dream is coming true and there really couldn't be anybody who deserves it more or who has worked more to make a dream come true. I say it's her dream, but it's not a selfish dream - there are several of us who have shared the dream and we've all done what we can and we are all tremendously excited about today (the distiller included - he has never distilled French lavender before) but Gill has made it happen.

Congratulations darling - you are now a bona fide lavender farmer and oil producer! All our best wishes go out to you.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the achievement Gill!
    (Hi daddy).

    Life with you sounds pretty blissful right now, I bet it's a fab feeling to realise your dreams and be able to look back and see how far you have come and what you have both accomplished.

    If the invite is still open, I am going to try and get over this year....

    A xx