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

Monday, February 20, 2006


A butterfly dressed in shades of orange and brown in a tortoiseshell arrangement flutters by. Bees buzz busily attending to the bright yellow blooms of the oxalis, fully open in the glare of a February sun. Lazy lizards sun themselves languorously on stones pre-warmed by this morning's rays: seeming stones themselves but ready at first notice of threat to scuttle way at full tilt.. Above all of us a trio of buzzards circle and corkscrew higher ever higher on the thermals rising from the valley floor until they espy some movement way below them in the olive groves: a tiny sharp nosed shrew perhaps has popped his dainty pink nose out to look for insects. The buzzard drops and 30 feet above the tops of the olives swoops in. He leaves empty taloned and cries that baby like cry to his companions who hover above patiently. They resume their restless aerobatics as though, having nothing more pressing to do, they were playing.

And on this fine February day Gill is pulling thistles and clearing larger weeds in the front garden. Farmboy is dressed today in black and is up on the roof while Eddie in signature red overalls foots the ladders. The boys are cleaning the stove pipe probably for the last time this winter before the stove is decommissioned again. They are bantering over the noise of the brush scraping up and down the stainless steel pipe and discussing plans to rehang the pipe before next winter - working out how they might manage that without the use of scaffolding. The girls are sunbathing on their decking - both of them are in season. A golden, luminous glow suffuses the valley. We are all abuzz with the expectation of Spring but we all know that this is most likely just an isolated kindness of nature and that we could all be caught out: bees and butterflies, lizards and Farmboys and girls, by a swift return of rain and cold. And so we simply make the most of what we have today.

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