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, December 28, 2006

The sky changes

The sun, the first for several days, woke him at 5 or 6 minutes before 8. He squinted blear eyed through the mask of the mosquito net but still could not establish a precise time of the clock. His heart lifted by the unregistered awareness of sunshine he snuggled on down beneath the duvet for another 5 minutes and woke up 20 minutes later with his bladder pressing on his consciousness: prodding him awake. The strike of cold tile on the warm soles of his feet propelled his micturition. A lick and a promise, a session with the Braun and he was soon, but not soon enough for true comfort, slipping yesterdays clothing back on. A shudder ran down his back as he pulled his socks on. "I'll put the water on to heat - have another hour".

He pulled the door shut behind him and glanced quickly into the stove, checking for remnants of last night's fire, before stepping outside with the tea pot in one hand and his cigarettes in the other. It was much colder outside than he had anticipated and he wished momentarily that he had grabbed a jacket but then he raised his head and saw the White Mountains: white at last. His demeanour brightened immediately and he dismissed the cold chill from mind. Days like this made winter bearable. After 4 consecutive, seemingly endless, permanently twilit days it looked this wonderful morning for all the world as though someone had been shaking a sugar sifter over those peaks while hidden by the greyness: behind the lowering clouds that had engirdled them all that time. The lazy north easterly wind (lazy wind was a phrase of his mother's: a wind too lazy to go round you will go right through you) that had blasted them for 3 days had dropped away almost entirely over night. The skies were glaringly bright and the highest peaks glistered as the rising sun picked them out. They reminded him, he realised, of Kourabiedes, those seasonal sweetmeats that were so in season right now as to be ubiquitous, there wasn't a house they had visited in the last few weeks that hadn't produced a plateful of these almond shortbread biscuits dusted thickly with the finest icing sugar. He smiled.

Down in the cellar he threw all windows and shutters wide and welcomed the sun in. He lit a cigarette, filled the kettle and switched it on, and finally glanced at the spiral text that he had produced last evening and that had occupied his background mind ever since. Heavily coffee stained he could scarcely make it out - he brushed some ash from it and laughed as the ash smudged in the remaindered dampness rendering the whole thing pointless. With the kettle bubbling he stepped outside and strode up to the sun terrace to take another look at those tasty sweetmeats. Another year older, but still mad.


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