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

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Rain is forecast for tomorrow and Tuesday. The clocks went back today and so we woke "earlier" to sunshine and stillness. A dew yet clung to the leaves and the ground-covering oxalis (green now, without its signature yellow flowers, brim packed with poisonous oxalic acid, it is easily mistaken for clover). The grove, dust dry and almost white two weeks ago, glowed green in the low sunshine and shimmered, gently contoured in its autumnal splendour. A transformation almost complete.

The log pile is covered now. Some logs are stored safely by the dormant stove beside the fire-lighters, matches and kindling resurrected from their summer grave. A fire is laid and ready in the grate. We are prepared. One razor blade remains: stands between we boys and our winter growths. Lavender cuttings are sprouting and G has cleaned out and deepened the run off channels around the plots. She has mounded and moulded, replanted and tidied. Putting the plots to rest for a while - only final pruning remains.

After a morning of preparing for winter, of putting summer behind us, of relaxing into autumn, we went to sit in the sunshine and to drink frappe. We sat and we planned. Planned and plotted out our futures when at once Georgos, the owner of Bellissimo came in: a huge grin on his newly clean shaven face and a sack on his shoulder that was marginally bigger. He tipped the sack and emptied a cascade of peanuts onto our table. Fresh peanuts. Wet peanuts as in wet walnuts. The peanut crop is ready.

Where Bellissimo stands now. And where the whole strip development that is Kavros now stands there used to be peanut fields. Plantations of groundnuts almost to the sea. Tourism for farming. Hotels and swimming pools and tennis courts for ground nuts. A new ground cover crop. A transformation almost complete. But still there are peanuts here and there. A past not quite eclipsed by a present reality.

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