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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hat. Swim. Two Birds.

Gilbert got his hat. A black straw fedora. He brushed dust from the brim and creased the fold. Abby had mended it last year - like so many things that they had brought with them it was wearing but she was determined to patch and mend those much loved items until they could be mended no more. She was doing pretty well on that front, he admitted to himself. Coffee was done and now they were headed out to the beach. This would be the first outing for his hat this year and their first beach day. They had, of course been to the beach before today but they had not yet had a beach day. He might even swim. Swimming was another one of those mindless pursuits that helped him to think: swim, breathe,swim, breathe - think, turn things over, think them through. Perhaps he would swim if the water were not too cold. It would be too cold for most of the locals. The sea was always too cold until August at the earliest - the scrotum tightening Mediterranean sea. He pulled the door shut behind them and locked it.

Abby put the lock on the girls' run (to keep dognappers, out and not to keep them, in) and wandered up to the car. Gilbert was already in the driving seat and Anna was in the back seat. She settled back into the warm black leather seats - within a month they would become the insufferable kidney boilers and Gilbert would be constantly on the look-out for shady places to park. For now the warmth was relaxing. Soothing. She relaxed and, for the first time for a day or two she thought of herself. When they had guests it was always Abby who considered their needs and wishes - Gilbert carried on pretty much the same, no matter what - it was simply the way she was: Abby wanted people to enjoy themselves and she took it upon herself to ensure that they did. She had always been capable of putting others first. Even Gilbert's daughters who were quite similar to him in temperament. But now she was looking forward to a restful day by the sea, reading a trashy novel, and soaking up some more of those relaxing rays and those dangerous UVs (12 out of 16 the weather site had said). She patted the beach bag that had hung on the chair in their bedroom since October to ensure that the sun lotion was packed. Loaded and ready. In the back Anna was relaxed almost fit to sleep.

They drew up at the beach that cousin Rachel had once described as their private country club - but with beach and sea. He'd have to check out the AR-G description of the beach that he had written last year and check how much it had changed in year ( READ IT HERE it's the entry for 30th April 2005 and trust me the place has changed a lot ) - later though - this evening. Andreas, the owner, greeted them, Gilbert raised his hat in salute, and they sought out a table half in and half out of the sun. Anna and Abby sat in the sun while Gilbert took the shade. Frappes came swiftly from the friendly Polish girl who worked the beds and bar in summer and a cafe in winter. They chewed some fat and surveyed the cerulean sea until the beach beckoned to the girls leaving Gilbert alone with the dregs of his frappe. As soon as the girls had gone Andreas sidled over as Gilbert had known he would. "Very good looking girl. Is she living at your house? You always have pretty girls with you. You're a very lucky man, Dave". "Yes," he replied "very lucky indeed!" And he meant it.

(to be continued ... )

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