My Life as an English Artist on a Greek island Part 10 of 23
Posted On May 10, 2021
Continued from part nine, catch up with the story by clicking here
Food, Drink and star gazing before the first fall.
Agatha took me away from Souvala on the road that headed towards the coast. The sky was deepening in that exquisite red colour and it reflected on the sea as white waves lapped the coastal rocks.
The further I travelled the more the whole experience intensified. Slowly the Town of Aegina began to show itself. I kept to the coast road as the wind began to blow from almost nothing to a strong gust.
The buildings of Aegina are sort of neo-classical and the most architecturally attractive are built on the main thoroughfare. Which is on the coast running parallel to another main shopping street in the centre of the Town. I had been here before in the late 1970’s but hardly spent any time in the actual Town itself.
Greek Coffee, Ouzo, water, bread, feta and olives
I stopped Agatha towards the end of the town and rested her among several other bikes. I left her there to cool down and walked towards the fish market where I knew there was an old traditional cafe where I could have a Greek coffee, and ouzo, water and something to nibble.
(I found out later that Greek call nibbles ‘meze’ – which every one usually has with their drink as they do not believe you should drink alcohol without something to eat.
I guessed that is why I was given the Pistachio nuts with my beer in the Souvala cafe.
The old cafe next to the fish market was full, mostly with older men who all looked like sailors or fishermen with rustic faces that were moustached.
The old men all said ‘Yassas’ (hello) to me as I walked to one of the spare tables. It seemed the fish market had just opened. The cafe waiter brought me my drinks and a slab of cheese surrounded by olives, all with a sprinkling of olive oil, and a chunk of bread.
I sipped my coffee, water and ouzo alternately having first poured in water over the ouzo and ice and nibbled on the meze. And watched the sun going down. It was almost like I was really Greek, of course I wasn’t, but I felt like this was where I really belonged.
Agatha Gave up on me
The Sun was setting quickly and I realised it would be dark before I managed to find my my way back to my villa. I quickly ate my meze and drank up before going in to pay the man.
He wasn’t too pleased and kept say OK, later, but I forced the payment and went back to Agatha. I set off at a pace having first switched on my lights. There was one sign at the end of the street that said ‘Agia Marina’ – and one pointing in the other direction that said Perdika. so I could relax and be sure I was going in the right direction.
I kept up a good pace and eventually I passed the large cathedral sized Church, not far from Palia Hora. I kept on the main road until I reached the junction where the nice Church was on the corner, with the road that led to the village, so turned onto it without stopping.
Luckily I remembered it from the day before. As I got closer to the village Agatha’s lights suddenly went out. Then the engine stopped. It was dark and there was no sign of life in the village at all. I pushed Agatha through the Town until I reached the rent-a-bike shop. I decided to leave her there and I would come in the morning to explain to the man the problem and see if he could fix it.
The magic of the Stars
Having left Agatha in a safe position I began walking through the village and onto the small road that led to the villa. It was a good distance but I knew the way well.
The further I walked the darker the night became. As I reached the path that went around the coast I became transfixed by the stars. They were so clear and colourful I felt I could almost see to the end of the universe.
The moon was far behind me and quite small in the sky which helped to give the whole sky a tint of a beautiful dark blue. I kept walking for a while and couldn’t help but feel blessed that I had come to this place. There was magic everywhere I’d been that day and the magic just kept on coming.
I’d reached a critical point on the road, a sharp turn that led to the villa. But I was so engaged with the Sky that I forgot where I was. I walked without taking my eyes from looking up at the stars that seemed to hypnotise me.
And then it happened. All I felt was the sensation of falling.
My arms were over my head and I fell sliding vertically down what must have a been a part of the land that went to the sea. I slid for minuted and then I stopped as quickly as the fall had begun.
I felt my arms and legs and checked for blood. My face had a scratch near my eye, but other than that I was unharmed. I scrambled my way back to the road and walked, more attentive to where I was walking, back to my villa.
imagine a painting of Palia Hora with a Moon
When I got there I switched on the lights and went to check myself in the mirror. I decided a shower was good idea. I was showering I became aware that the only thing that was wrong was that I had my glasses on when I walked on the path, but not when I had arrived back home. This was a problem.
I had the glasses especially made for me in Manchester. They were round ‘sports’ glasses that clipped around my ears. They the very latest photochromic sensitive lens which protected my eyes from the blinding light in Greece. This was not good and I thought I must replace them…but how?
I decided that worrying was not the right thing to do and so sat outside for a while sipping wine, smoking and thinking about my day of discovery as I imaged a painting of Palia Hora with a moon.
It had been incredible, fateful but an educational full day.
I read my Aegina book before retiring- Tomorrow I will solve my two problems. Agatha and my glasses situation – I was absolutely sure of it.
Manchester Born the artist enrolled in the Manchester High School of Art at the age of 11 years old. After a succcessful career in design the artist dedicated his life to Art in 1988. First solo exhibition UK 1989. The artist has exhibited and curated Art shows since 1995 in Europe and the UK. His main studio is located in Southern Sweden. (studio 5).