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

Friday, February 17, 2006


Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again. But today, when I awoke I recalled that it was not Manderley we were due to visit today but Otranto. Not a grand country house haunted by the lingering presence of the recently dead Mrs DeWinter but the gothic pile of our good friends Mick and Chick situated in the village of Dry Wells up on the Drapanos peninsula that lowers over the Almyros bay.

It was a wonderful day today - one of those sun drenched days that recur through winter here and make it all so worthwhile. We drove sedately through the village of Georgioupolis, almost deserted in the depths of winter, and headed on out over the quaint river bridge and up into the hills of Exopolis with its tiny blue domed white church. The hedgerows are scattered with tiny white and yellow flowers among the bright green grass and weed on the way to the twin villages of Kalamitsi (Amigdali and Alexandrou) and as we passed through and reached the higher altitudes of Vamos the white overwhelmed, crowding out the yellow completely. The sun came out and warmed us through.

Mick and Chick are only here for a week and have, as usual been busy busy busy but today they relaxed and were the perfect hosts. Chick took us on the guided tour of the grounds of Castle Otranto stopping now and then to point out dark blue wild lupins, tiny orchids, ranunculas, and anemones. Spring must be properly on its way. No standing water here up on the roof of the peninsula. She takes such joy in these tiny little gems that grow wild all around her and her pleasure is contagious. A simple peasant lunch of salad, graviera and locally baked bread and an afternoon of idle and constructive chatter rounded off the first day of Gill's holiday. Sadly, Mick and Chick go back to Blighty on Sunday. We do not envy them.

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