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, May 12, 2006

The Green Green Grass of Home Farm

Gilbert gave a wry smile: wryness was not a habit with him but on this occasion he managed it with aplomb. He had already seated himself at the kitchen table and poured a mug of coffee. Next he lit a cigarette. Abby sat opposite him and noticed that the primulas behind him were particularly beautiful this morning and that the little pot of chives was telling her that it was almost time for another potato salad. She told him all. His face did not drop as she had expected. Instead he did the wry smile thing again. She looked at him. Since he had shaved his beard off he looked younger still - this morning he looked almost boyish - younger even than when she had met him all those wonderful years ago.

"I am not altogether sure that I need confirmation any more. They are clearly very busy people and ... well, it probably isn't as important to them as it was to me at the time". "So you aren't disappointed then? Not even a little bit? Oh I am glad! I thought that it would really upset you". "One has, I have learned, to be both patient and sanguine in matters that require the input of others. But, as I implied earlier, I am almost positive that the hypothesis that I outlined to them is correct - more so since last night".

"So, tell me what did Dick have to "say" last night? Oh hold on a mo, before you tell me, there's something else I have to tell you. I worked out the Sue Graffo thing. It's not Sue Graffo or Sue Graffy. It's not even a name. ........................ It's greek. Sou graffei. It's a present continuous: Sou - you. Graffie - he is writing. ------------ HE IS WRITING YOU!"

HIs face lit up with wonder and awe. Theatrically, he slapped his own forehead with his right palm. "Of course you clever thing of course it does - it all fits - just like a chinese box - like one of that Laz's lacquered chinese boxes - it all slides together seamlessly". He jumped up and kissed her noisily. "You're just so clever - well done you - and no, Dick didn't come last night - I went there!".

They both looked up suddenly as the dogs began barking wildly. An approaching tractor had caught their attention but it seemed somehow much closer than it should be. There was a dust cloud passing the stable door as they rose and went to investigate. A cheery, chubby, bearded man waved frantically from his bright orange tractor - Kyrie Gazonprasinakis. Abby dashed off down to where he was parking up next to the number one lavender patch, pulling on her wellies as she went. Gilbert went over to calm the dogs down and to check that Molly still had her aloe vera poultice on the leg she had been chewing for the past two days.

Later, when the fields were all ploughed and the dust was settling, when the tractor operative had been given frappe and Abby and Kyrie Gazonprasinakis had exchanged tidbits of information about farming and horticulture Abby bearded him about what he had meant earlier about "going there". She waved aside one clumsy attempt to change the subject. "Now you sit there. And you tell me what you meant by that bloody cryptic remark. And while you're at it you can tell me why you're tinkering with that bloody old computer all the time instead of writing. You are a writer you know. Or had you forgotten? Just slipped your mind did it?"

"I shall answer those questions in reverse order if I may." he jested. But then he became more serious, "As time has aged me I find that I have more to say and less desire to say it. I move inexorably toward silence and ... death. Let them all stay ignorant". He paused for several beats and continued "And, as I grow younger, I find I just cannot be arsed with the hoi polloi." And he stopped, lit a cigarette and gazed lovingly at her.

(to be continued ... )

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