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, April 28, 2006


Gilbert sipped his coffee, letting the steam rise. Lighting another cigarette he looked up and out of the kitchen window. The sky was a clear blue and glaring. An amazing light, clear and strong, picked out every single frond on the small mimosa tree outside and cast a pin-sharp shadow onto the wall of the potting shed. The potting shed glowed as the light bounced in and around the terracotta walls. He sniffed.

"How are you feeling this morning - aches and pains?" Her query interrupted a profound and fascinating interior monologue and he just caught the gist of it.

"Strangely well - no aches, no pains. Not a thing."

"Nothing? Are you sure? Wrist? Elbow? Ankles? Back? Nothing? Nothing at all?"

"Literally - not a thing. It is odd indeed, but there we are."

The silence re-established itself as they both sipped their coffees. A fly came in through the stable door and circled around pointlessly. A wasp followed it and perused the spines of the books and the paintings on the walls. And left as suddenly as it had entered. The fly continued circling noiselessly. Gilbert turned his head over his right shoulder and watched the wasp go. For once he didn't hear that slight gritty sound that usually accompanied such a manouevre.

"And you?"

"Oh you know, the usual. Neck and shoulders. Aches and pains that few folks die of. You look good this morning. Somehow younger. You sleep well?"

"Mmmm, yes and no. I had an odd night but I feel really fresh this morning. Lively, you know? Younger almost. Certainly the best I've felt in ages - physically." He stretched his hand over to caress hers as it rested there and looked at it. So did she. They looked at each other quizzically.

"Your hand." She pointed and then stroked it. "Where have those big moles gone? And the wrinkles? It's so soft."

"The liver spots? No idea. Odd."

"... and your crows feet! They've gone too. What's happened? Stay still - let me look". She got up out of the chair and leaned across just as another, or was it the same, wasp flew in. His head swivelled quickly to check the wayward insect and just as swiftly it swivelled back. She was examining his face closely - in detail, lovingly. Her fingers traced around his eyes gently. "It's amazing. Truly. Look for yourself", and she held up the mirror in her cigarette case for him. He scrutinised his own face, a face he had shaved only last evening and sure enough, it was different. Younger looking. There was no doubt about it. Quite radically changed. And, he observed wistfully, the hair in his nostrils was gone. Completely. The wasp left. perhaps for a second time. "That's spooky", she said, laughing, "have you been taking monkey glands?"

"I'll put the kettle on for another pot - shall I? And then I'll tell you something very very strange. But only if you promise not to laugh". As good as his word, he sprang up, filled the kettle and flicked the switch to the on position. He sat back down, kicked of his shoes and tucked his feet under him in the chair. He lit another cigarette and held her eyes. Drawing deeply, he blew a smoke ring (she noticed, just then, that the smoker's lines at the corners of his mouth had disappeared) and began, "You remember I said I'd had an odd night? Well it might just be relevant. Let me explain ..."

(to be continued ... )

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