Monday, 4 September 2006

a slice of paradise

Some Cretan fresh air has made its way into my suitcase and I’ve carried it back home. As I unpack, the scent of the Sea and of peaches and citrus fruit escape, fleeting reminders of the life style I’ve left behind. My stomach flips over.

I had become accustomed to the faces I passed, daily, on my walk to the village. Wonderfully exotic olive pallors, dark, gleaming eyes, relaxed, the Villagers had oozed charm. The Fisherman’s cottages had been transformed into shops that serviced the trickle of Visitors that passed through the Village. The local people had begun to adapt to the arrival of the Tourists. They’d learned new languages and combined new skills with old. Not only had they expertly caught the fish to feed us; they’d applied their business minds and developed restaurants and tavernas from which to serve the daily catch. The Old Women of the Village stitched intricate, delicate, beautiful handicrafts and sat, patiently beside them until the arrival of potential customers prompted flamboyant sales pitches, involving arm gestures and wide smiles, impossible to resist. A proud and noble people, willing and kind hosts. I was enchanted by the Village and its inhabitants. I hoped that it would remain as (virtually) untouched as I had found it.

In the familiar surroundings of my Leeds flat, the air here slightly stale with pollution from the road traffic and a bin that has been neglected in my absence, I fold up and put away the brightness of my holiday wardrobe. Autumn is upon us and although I look forward to a new winter coat, dark, cozy evenings and walks through the oranges, reds and yellows, the return to grey skies and normality has knocked the wind from my sails.

1 comment:

dormerportal said...

Yes, but there's nothing like getting back into your own bed again is there.