How grey and damp it feels here, how cold, how flat.
The temperature on Thassos was about 33 degrees C, almost fifteen degrees hotter than here, and the humidity was about half this. The sky was huge and blue and the sea like sapphire (albeit rather rough at first - I was semi-surfing rather than swimming for a couple of days). My studio had a view across olive groves to the sea, one way, and across olive groves to the mountains in the other direction. At night, the full moon shone on the mountainside like fairy dust, and fireflies hung in the trees. Swifts and swallows, which had left the UK a couple of weeks ago, swooped over the valley at morning and dusk, and the terracotta roof tiles housed a cheerful sparrow colony.
I ate too much, and probably had too many cold beers. I swam (or hurled myself about in the breakers) every day. I did some rather bad watercolours, and read a nice fat fantasy novel, and did a bit of walking and a lot of sitting looking at the view. I took a tour into the mountains by jeep, bouncing along unsurfaced tracks to a deserted village, a beautiful country church with a fifteenth century painted iconostasis, a hidden mountain lake, spectacular stands of old-growth forest full of birds and wildflowers and with resin-perfumed air, and finally right to the very top of the tallest mountain, Ipsario - which is slightly higher than Mt. Snowdon.
England feels so grey, so dark, so damp and cold in comparison. London seems all grey concrete and grey faces, yellow brick and yellowing leaves. Greece is blue and white and brilliant gold and clear green. Greece is light itself, and England is dimness and the approach of winter.
Last night I had booked a ticket for the first night of a new dance adaptation of Kafka's "The Metamorphosis". I had a feeling I might have post-holiday blues (and boy was I right!). It was good to remind myself, with supper at Patisserie Valerie and a trip to the theatre, that after all it is not the end of the world to have had to come home. I think there are probably very few minor blues that would not be eased at least a little by eggs benedict and buttered spinach, fresh-pressed orange juice, tarte aux framboises and a hot chocolate, followed by Edward Watson being a giant beetle. Edward Watson coated in treacle, what's more.
But oh, how dark and damp it is in my own country. A part of my heart belongs in Hellas, and cannot credit it has to live here...
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