Musings on modern life, the 70's – with music.
1. The prequel.
Anyone who knows me well, will probably tell you that I get a bit anxious about going to stuff. Every Almanac Sunday, I secretly hope that the pub will call up to say that they are out of beer or food or electricity. Before every job interview I get the maddest butterflies. Every Gym session I pray to the fitness Gods that Matt, my trainer, will take pity upon me and tell me that I’m fit enough and that I no longer need to visit him.
So, imagine my levels of anxiety when I firstly, booked a holiday, and secondly, was aboard the train to Gatwick. Hoping the trains would get cancelled or Air Traffic control would be on strike or Fred would have a tummy upset – ANYTHING to get me out of it.
However, I needed to go. I’d not been abroad for 15 years. Far too long some might say. At that point I went to Italy…
2. The last time I went ‘away’
‘COME, MR KREES, I SHOW YOU’ said Mr Handsome Pompeii Tour Guide (and he did)
What better way to spend a holiday than in Italy. I visited the Amalfi Coast for a ten day break back in October 2001. In fact it was the last time I left these shores for any kind of break (THIS MUST BE RECTIFIED!!). Myself and my good friends Becky & Dave, arranged a villa just outside of Amalfi the town, got to Heathrow for a 6 o’clock flight – all going swimmingly so far. Who would think that, it would take over 24 hours to reach our destination? We changed at Brussels, flew to Rome, caught the train to Naples and a bus Sorrento, then it all goes a bit misty. We ended up drinking ‘a lot’ of wine in a bar on the sea front of Positano after having climb aboard several buses full of local Italians. If you have ever been to Positano you would know that it’s remarkably steep and we dragged our luggage up the hill and down again before settling into our seat in the bar. Our plan was to catch the boat round the coast – the road was closed as part of the cliff had collapsed. By this time it was about 2.30 or 3.pm. Anyway we drank EVEN more wine, possibly some Limoncella (must have more of that too, Sunday maybe) and missed a couple of boats. We finally boarded a boat at about 7 – a ‘bit’ giggly. We missed the stop for Amalfi somehow. And ended up in Salerno. The other end of the coast. So we hot-footed it to a taxi rank (all Italian taxi drivers are incredibly ‘er’ accommodating) and finally arrived at our destination at 9pm o’clock. I actually think that the owner of the villa thought we’d been abducted by the Mafia. But what a villa and what a fabulous part of the world.
Amalfi itself was very beautiful with an extraordinary church (which made me cry), overlooking the Isle of Capri (if you squinted) – full of beautiful Italian men & women. I fell utterly in love with the place (and the food, and the wine and the limoncella).
We took a day trip to Pompeii – the coach was full of elderly Europeans who screamed as we navigated the perilous bends in the road and teetered on the edge of many a cliff. Pompeii itself was quite fruity. Our Italian tour guide who may or may not have been called Giovanni, took a bit of a shine to me (although he was probably like that with all the boys). He had that unique Italian coolness, crisp white shirt, sunglasses, dazzling smile. ‘Come Mr Krees, I show you’ he said whilst guiding us in and out of various brothels and places of ill-repute. It became our catch phrase for the holiday and I have forever dreamt about a return match with my Giovanni.
Kylie has just reached Number One in the UK. We took it with us on CD single (not just that but that mainly) and played it very loud practically every-night. We even re-enacted the video after quaffing (yet) more wine – crawling around on all fours (there may have been knickers on our heads), purring like cats – and Kylie purrs like a cat throughout this incredible record.
Back to Rome (which was gorgeous) where we did all the touristy stuff – saw the gorgeous Vatican police, spent some on the Via Veneto quaffing wine, going to the Colosseum, gazing at the brilliant architecture, chucking a coin in the Trevi fountain and just watching EVERYONE come out for a Sunday night promenade – all young, gorgeous and up for it (with mopeds). As with all good things, it came to an end (although Dave & I drove everyone nuts for weeks by speaking pigeon Italian, then back to dank, drab old England. I guess I left a part of myself in that lovely country.
Travelling IS important though. So I packed a ridiculously small suitcase with an enormous amount of clothing (more of that later) and hoicked my arse to the North terminal to catch my plane,
Of course, like everything I get anxious about, I was absolutely fine when I got there, it’s just the getting there (not the flying mind) which bothered me.
Last time I went to Greece was 1994. I shagged a bloke called Vangelis on the beach (not THE Vangelis), lost my left contact lens in the process and me Mum died.
This time will be different (hoping for Demis Roussos or possibly Nana Moussaka).
So I’m not going to bombard you with photos – I find them incredibly boring – especially on here ‘oh look one of me lying down , or eating traditional food or WATER SKIING’ . No! I’ll just regale you with some tales so far. Yesterday, whilst checking into the never ending security queue, I got chatting to a couple from Nottingham. We had to go through the first bit of passport control – reluctantly I asked what you should actually do? He showed me his ticket and we shared exactly the same name. A Goddard and the chances of that actually happening are very very slim, I’m sure you agree.
Roda is a little like your older sister, a spinster, who never married and preferred instead to sit in front of the telly in her track suit bottoms with a cat on her knee. I’ve not actually seen a cat but have seen a dog – which I accidentally kicked. It’s been very hot, I remained decently dressed and went down to dinner freshly showered and changed. I have though, really burnt my ankles. Not watched any news all day, was up at the crack of dawn, can’t get used to not flushing the loo paper down the loo , rooms a bit small, beds a bit hard – and read almost half a book – my Corfu playlist is working out nicely too.
We had an introductory welcome talk from Sean, our Rep, who tried, desperately, to sell us something – anything. He used to be a Nurse and assured us that he would be there to cater for our every need (he was on Grindr but passed on that as I’m not sure that THAT is what he meant) and he moved to Roda with Thompsons (who are about to change their name to something unpronounceable). He LOVES Corfu and Roda he added reassuringly.
I also had to buy some toiletries. Sun tan cream, toothpaste and shaving cream. There is a ‘supermarket opposite the hotel. A bit of a ramshackled place – it flies every single flag from the EU outside (which I thought a little unneccessary). The better supermarket is just along the road run by a very attractive 40 something Greek man and his troupe of girls. It was here that I replaced my sunglasses which I managed to lose in the melee of a drunken Saturday night in Brighton, with a ‘fake’ pair of Aviator Rayban sunglasses. I also bought some fags as they were so cheap (£4.00) and I was on holiday and I love smoking in the sun (so there).
I went back into Roda that evening for some shenanigans and a wander about in my loosely fitted linen shirt, unbuttoned just above the navel to cause a stir.
Dear Lord I hear a bazooki!
Tonight, I’m going to escape into town where ‘Lady Jayne’, who is a local drag queen of some repute is entertaining. Last evening I went to Pirates Bar and watched videos by Nik Kershaw. The Backstreet Boys and two from Girls Aloud (who I miss terribly). A bit of a sleepless night as got SEVERELY burnt ankles. I almost finished ‘The Pursuit of Love’ by Nancy Mitford (which I am really enjoying – she should sue Downton Abbey), bought a cheap pair of flip flops and some postcards. I witnessed a huge family row between Diane who was a Greek, her newly acquired husband (from South Africa) and his Mum. Mum had, by all accounts, been extraordinarily rude to Diane ACROSS the foodtable (if you please). He called her ‘fucking rude’ and threaten to move to another country when they settled down and had grandchildren and NEVER see her again. Diane was a psychologist so was quite good at analysing what was going on. I think Mum had a drink problem. Mum bolted, staggering off down the boulevard, wobbling slightly and sobbing into a handkerchief. It was like an episode of Eastenders. I, of course, earwigged the entire conversation whilst pretending to listen to my music.
At the hotel all the guests are very nice , I think they see me as their son. Most are from the North (Bolton, Leeds, Chorley and Belfast). And I’ve found that Grindr is a thing on Corfu… Haha
One of the nicest things about going half-board is having your evening meals cooked for you (and naturally the ritual of dressing for dinner). Jackie is our chef I think she comes from Albania. Being a vegetarian can present many a challenge to the uninitiated – you only have to witness my days in travel lodges where I was regularly offered an omelette. Jackie (we are on first name terms, naturally) is a bit better than that. I think she is quite perplexed that I am unable to finish off the mountain of food she supplies. She fucked it up on the first night giving me pasta for starters and pasta for the main course.
Last night, as you know, I went to see ‘Lady Jayne’ (Corfu’s best, probably only, drag queen). She was okay – lots of jokes on our behalf – ‘Anyone from Scotland?’ – she enquired. Deathly silence ‘OK, anyone from Wales?’ A small yelp from the corner *inserts obligatory joke about shagging sheep* also inserts jokes about the UK smoking ban, Clitori being a great Christian name for a girl, Theresa May being named after a hair product (me neither but Oscar the manager was chuckling so of course I did too). Several songs ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You (fags)’ and Islands In The Stream’ which the beautiful waitresses adored and sang along with great gusto – the barman was, I believe, less impressed. I have a hunch that Oscar may be tupping all three of them – he is very handsome – twinkly eyes, great arse but it’s all business. Greek men are very touchy feely after all – a quick brush of the hand, a tweak of the nipple even – all witnessed in the company of ‘Lady Jayne’ (I find that kind of drag quite quite depressing and bitter. I’ve also seen enough drag queens in my life to be able to differentiate between a ‘cock in a (green sequinned) frock’ and a proper fierce queen.
Arriving back at my hotel – it was Greek night. Everyone seemed very drunk. Pauline and David were galloping round with tablecloths on their heads, shouts of Ola or Ole rang through the night skies. Plates were smashed. It was all ‘very nice’ but I really needed to pee so I ran in front of the assembled Greek dancers to a look of horror and nipped upstairs to my bed.
I finished reading ‘The Pursuit of Love and’ have embarked upon ‘Love In A Cold Climate'(the font is smaller but I’m sure I’ll manage). I also missed a call from a fax machine. Rather bizarrely the number was from Royston – small world.
My ankles are less swollen than they were yesterday. I spoke to Dom on that FaceTime thing earlier and he was recoiled with horror, was violently sick and fainted with shock at my ‘ankles’ – which I have discovered, have become the talk of the Roda Oasis. ‘I was talking to Brian about your ankles’ said Petra from Northern Ireland. ‘What EXACTLY did you do to them?’ I resisted the temptation reply ‘I’ve had them tucked behind my ears every night since I’ve been here’ and just said ‘Oh just burnt them REALLY BADLY’.
Otherwise a quiet day – stayed out of the sun as much as possible – all for the best I feel.
Want to book a couple of day cruises – much cheaper than those organised by the travel company – plus I can skip off and explore on my own. There was no electricity in the village – the men were up pylons fixing it so the internet and beer pumps were down but may book up tonight.
I bought my second set of plastic picnic knives. I think I have already aroused the suspicion of the local police – the first time they were out of stock but would be available ‘when the van arrives’ so I went back two hours later, bought them and cannot find them for toffee – so bought 10 more today. It’s not my intention to actually murder someone more to spread my margarine on the tiniest croissants you ever did see.
Oh I’ve just clocked Jackie who is, I believe, cooking a moussaka (especially for me I hope) in her green jogging bottoms.
Hit a bit of a brick wall last night *metaphorically*. My poor sodding ankles seem determined to stay swollen and I could barely move about with any grace. I took the advice from a concerned neighbour to run them under a hot shower, to apply oodles of after-sun, wrap them in a towel and ELEVATE them. Lovely couple actually – they fly out in the morning and we chatted, briefly, about Northern Soul and Dobie Gray before I scuttled off to try the treatment (which actually seemed to work) shame, he wore quite a fetching orange shirt with stars on it and both were even younger than I – so booking the trip will have to wait. I FaceTimed Fred expecting his usual display of excited grunts and groans and bum dragging. He could not have cared less and seemed more interested in going out for his walk. Quite devastating – stupid animal – I was going to a Greek pet shop to buy him a Greek present but now I shan’t (though I probably will).
I hobbled down to the bar and was roped in (or bullied) to take part in the thrice weekly quiz – I’d already heard the answers to the Pop Music quiz which I’d have easily won and this was general knowledge. I came last. I missed a few questions and didn’t understand three others. Steph, who won the quiz, was possibly from the Phillipines via Scotland and she was ‘quite’ pretty although a shade dumpy. I think that she does the rounds of the Roda quiz circuit, sets herself on a bar stool, smokes an electronic cigarette and trounces all comers – she was quite pernicious, fussing about whether or not she had correctly got the correct numbering for her answers. I said my goodbyes and dragged my wearily ankles to bed with me (still attached to legs). Had a very pleasant chat to a young German couple who politely enquired whether this quiz ‘only for the English’. Both very attractive, possibly on their honeymoon or maybe had bolted from their parental homes – both angelic (but no I did not!)
A new shipment of guests have just arrived especially for me. Off to Corfu Town on a boat – all dolled up in my light blue trousers. I’m going to wear my sunglasses as we all now where that leads don’t we?
Before Corfu Town (or BCT), I walked to the neighbouring village to get aforementioned blue trousers. I’ve been in Roda for three days (this is my fourth) and to be honest I’m getting a little tired of her – rather like Sarah Ferguson, she seen better days, has very little to offer anyone and quite frankly smells a bit and needs a wash. The neighbouring village was something entirely different – classier, bit snootier (I am turning into a travel snob). I bought my trousers, after walking for about 40 minutes (with these ankles), needed a pee (again) and the assistant scuttled off to hand me the key to the staff toilet – you certainly don’t get service like that in Waitrose. I think I may have lost a couple of centimetres in weight (all that sweating) as my trustees needed a regular hoist and Mark Wood’s Jet Set Leather Tool Belt required constant attention.
‘Follow Captain Andreas’ we were told as he led us up a steep little adorable hill to our coach. Naturally he stopped off for a burger on route. I do love being on a boat. I’ve been on a number – some moving, some not – big ones for staff do’s, houseboats for early managers meetings, speed boats, tug boats but never a cruise ship. They are such a leisurely way of travel – even in the pitch blackness.
Anyway, Corfu town has just wowed me like nothing else has wowed me since first arrived. It’s astonishingly classy, a touch snobby (which I precisely how I like it) and everyone looks amazing. Way beyond any expectations I may have had – architecture similar to Venice maybe or the classy bits of Rome. Unlike the resorts, one gets the impression that, although they are hugely welcoming and friendly to the Brits, they are more than happy to wave us off and get on with the party in peace (perhaps THAT is why it’s so awkward to get to and why there are very few tourist hotels). I had one of the best pizza of my life, saw some impossibly handsome chic men – including the most handsome man ever (who I failed to secure a picture – he was beyond sexy even though he had a man-bun) and gorgeous ladies most of whom had small dogs on a lead trotting obediently behind. Really 3 hours was not nearly enough time. And yet I didn’t buy a thing (but I could have).
Manners and behaving politely and gentlemanly is so important – I’ve made an effort to be kind to our hosts – thanking them for their service and food, asking what their name is, bidding the goodbye, shaking their hand – it all matters (I’d rather be remembered as being a lovely guest than an ignorant sod). Imagine my horror then when I strolled onto the baby cruiser with a glass I’d nicked from the local bar (accidentally). Mortified doesn’t even cover it – I made a point of returning to our Captain, shook his hand again, winked and asked him to return it to its rightful place.
So much more to say about today, I’m just only starting to process it all. But Roda, you are dead to me now.
After the incredible highs of visiting Corfu, it’s somewhat typical that today would not be quite as thrilling. I spent a very pleasant evening with two couples Terry & June from Birmingham and Deidre and Ken from Norwich (names have been changed etc). T&J have been together 17 years, she is a bit older than he and works as a catering manager for a chain of restaurants within garden centres and he is something with landscaping. Her story, as it unfolded, became incredibly heartfelt and tragic – her mother was a walking disaster who killed herself when June was aged 7 – she was eventually adopted and discovered a whole village of a family who she had previously not known had existed. I gave her a massive hug at the end (as you should) – she is around the same age as me and well, looks German.
Deirdre and Ken have only been together for fourteen whole weeks – he is approaching his Sixties whereas as she is again possibly my age – a slight pretty girl can still be seen – you could tell immediately that she worshipped his very existence. He was a typical alpha male – everything was centred upon him and his jokes (which she laughed at). It all got a bit smutty – talks of tying each other to the bed, hints of swapping room keys (which I think was a joke). I worry a bit for Deirdre as I’m not sure if this relationship has the required legs to sustain it. Terry was a quiet Brummie chap – a proper twinkle in his eye, an ex Rugby player but had put on more than a few pounds. I got talking to both Terry & June by the pool today and they are a delight.
I returned to my room at 3am following several cocktails – Ken, of course finished off with an Orgasm. My neighbouring apartment, I think belongs to ‘staff’ – had their telly on full blast until at least 6.30am. Despite knocks from me and a look around to see a manager I was left without any sleep.
So it ruined my plans for an active Saturday. Instead I elected to lie by the pool on what was the hottest day for me so far (35 or something) and to watch all the newbies turn lobster red without the aid of sun protection. Quite a sexy single Dad (Scottish, plumber, tattoos, baseball cap – very Triga) is here with his daughter (aged 6) – I’d clocked him earlier – and we are already dating and rubbing sun cream over our bits and bobs.
My ankles are still a cause for concern, legendary even. In fact, the tour guide invited me to partake in a demonstration to the newbies about the DANGERS of SUNBATHING complete with a prodding stick and a diagram of my ankles drawn on the board. Eden (real name) is another newbie – aged 15 and ALREADY a vegan – she has pink bits in her hair and had spent all day on Facebook in ‘an’ bikini looking miserable, whilst Lennon, her baby brother causes mayhem – Dad (sexy – possible police officer, Morrissey quiff) and Mum (pretty) look like they have aged about 5 years already.
Ankle watchers – I awoke (after not being very asleep frankly) to see that the worst ankle had turned blue – what a shock! Will it need amputating? Is it gangrenous? All these things ran through my mind but it was SIMPLY that some dye from my new blue trousers had rubbed off.
I have some proper cream from the Pharmacy – 17 euros. It is a family run operation and all came to have a look and gasped at the horror of it all. But it’s really okay only sore occasionally but my dream of a pair of American Tan/Betty Grable legs is now over.
Just got up from a nap as I was exhausted and dripping – I’ve yet to decide which Cruise to go on tomorrow.
My IPod has thrown me some wonders today – mainly from my Corfu playlist – this was first on this morning
I was collected at 9:55 and the trip was in 4 sections. Wearing my brand new white (slightly transparent) trousers (which I figured would stay up more successfully than the blue ones) we bombed up and down hills, past actual Greek people, we arrived at our first destination where were escorted into a side building and shown a video about how Kumquat liqueur is made. Quite interesting but I sensed that we were going to HAVE to taste some. Which we did – a red and a white version in a little shot glass (it IS the Almanac next Sunday isn’t it?) – rather tipsily I bought a bottle of the red and settled back to my seat for the ride to the monastery.
(How do I switch the clicker sound off from my camera? Don’t wish to arouse these monks (all 8 of them))
Now I’ve always fancied being a monk (or taking orders as I believe it is called). A metaphorical bubble popped out of my head which involved handing my CV into the main monk, being escorted into a cloister where I would meet Mikalios the rather dashing 40 something man of my dreams. I had had a tarot card reading a few weeks previously where it was mentioned that I would meet someone and fall ‘Deeply and ‘Passionately in love (or at least get a rough shag) with a man and that we would meet in a very unusual place. What could be more ‘unusual’ than that a monastery I pondered. In reality, there were only 8 monks who lived there and I only saw one of them – too old and too big a beard. But what a beautiful spot, breathtaking (I always have a bit of a cry in churches anyway) – popped into the museum and the gift shop where I bought a little silver cross on a leather chain – it was a Sunday after all. We only had thirty minutes there before we left the monastery behind us and I, crushingly, was left monk-less.
Onto Paleokastritsa village for a spot of lunch and a mooch around (I’d would have rather have stayed in the monastery twirling rosary beads if I I’m honest, watching the goat and playing with the cats whilst stroking Fred)
There was an awful kerfuffle between a Scottish family and the owner of Apolonia – the bar that was recommended to us by the coach company. We had previously been handed 10% off vouchers to spend but the stupid family failed to mention this when they asked for the bill. Morag summoned her husband over (‘Aye speak to my husband about it’) and they shouted at the owner, at our tour guide and at handsome Mikkael our talented coach driver. To cut a long, rather dull story short they got what they wanted and I apologised to Katerina on their behalf, on behalf of the whole United Kingdom in fact. Then I went to an Aquarium where I saw lobsters LIVE, touched an actual snake (not for the first time though) and stroked a lizard thing. Our lovely aquarium guides were both quite geeky but handsome (again) and beardy (again) and knew what they were talking about – regaling us with facts about snakes and George the lizard (I quickly updated my CV in the hope of securing a role in the future) Paleokastritsa itself was delightful – as it was a Sunday everyone was out on the beach and the local ‘youths’ propped up their motorcycles and flirted with each other. I had a paddle in the sea but because of the old ankle situation had a long pair of white trousers on and NO towel which prevented diving in any deeper.
And finally onto ‘Bella Vista’ via some impossibly narrow winding roads (pity the poor sods who I imaging have their properties regularly chipped at by coaches which pass (not ours though) – ‘Bella Vista’ had the most spectacular well Vista – probably the best in all of Corfu. We were dropped off at the Golden Fox which it turned out was where all the cool kids go (well in that region) On the lower floor they were having the best pool party – super cool music, all very glamourous and clubby (a feature sorely lacking from Roda). I did try to barge my way in (if only for the 30 minutes we had there) but a red velvet rope prevented me (so flirted with the barman instead) it was that kind of party and I took as many photos of the party as I did of the ‘Bella Vista’. All smashing I was first off the coach as I was last on and had a quick peer at that dreadful Scottish family (who sat through the entire journey without a word sulking at the front rather awkwardly behind the lovely coach driver). I also has a quick look to see if the moped rider I had spotted on my departure, outside the hotel, had come back for another look. I was wearing all white (which is unheard of for me) and I either looked like I was off to play cricket ( highly unlikely) or I was impersonating Harry Hill or was auditioning for a part in Miami Vice. Anyways chap pootled past me on the way to the local supermarket, threw me a long look back (a look I’ve certainly encountered before ) and sped off on the distance. I guess I’ll never quite know what that look was about but I can certainly guess (I did have a coach to catch and he WAS wearing a – slightly grubby – vest).
I bumped into Deirdre and Ken and Terry and June. My opinion of Ken altered from first impressions, he does seem to genuinely care for Deirdre but I also discovered that Ken is 68 and Deirdre is 66. They both look in remarkably good shape although Deirdre had a touch of the vapours following a day in the sun. Had a couple of drinks then chatted to sexy Triga dad – (actually Triga granddad) – well, he’s called Joe and is in construction (so I fainted). Steph won the quiz on her own again, fluttered her eyelashes in Joe’s direction SEVERAL times, blew even more smoke from her vapouriser and kept Joe’s daughter amused whilst I got stuck in.
Finally got to bed at three after listening to the entire back catalogue of Fleetwood Mac (at my request) and awoke refreshed, packed the ridiculous amount of luggage, had a chat to Joe and headed into Roda.
I am here until 18:45 tomorrow, which I’m really happy about. Enough time to buy a bag (the one from Western Road was less than useless), to try and turn my upper left arm brown (which weirdly refuses to do so) and find an Vangelis.
The final day & the journey home.
A very pleasant time spent on a sun lounger outside Roxanne’s – probably the nicest place to eat and chill in Roda. To hire a sunlounger and an umbrella costs 3 euros and it was certainly more comfortable than the bed I’d been sleeping in. And I saw my first EVER Iron Maiden beach towel (I trust that it wasn’t from their heyday). Roxanne has been busy keeping things moving swiftly along – Northern lass (they played How Soon Is Now which cheered everyone up), and she employs some handsome waiters (deliberately I reckon). A Scottish boy squealed when they played a (dreadful) dance mix of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ – ‘oh I just LOVE this version’ he shouted and waved his little hands on the air as if he was in G.A.Y. Happily he soon departed.
Bought some ‘gifts’ and an orange bandana to tie round my suitcase handle. A the suitcase is brand new I had a mild panic when I realised that I ‘might not’ be able to identify my suitcase. Will now and the orange bandana will come in handy for Pride in a couple of weeks.
Back poolside preparing to leave. Steph is back circling my Joe and practically snarling at me. She really does have enormous breasts – she is clearly waiting for her opportunity to pounce.
In the poolside bar they played the entire David Bowie’s Greatest Hits CD which was utterly lovely to hear. Bowie and his death did influence my decision to come in the first place so it kind of squares that particular circle. This also played on the way to the beach – it sounded perfect (as it always does) so played it three times in a row.
The journey back from Roda to the airport took place on a posh little minibus. I’ve not been on a minibus for eons. Plush leather, creams seats – only myself and a couple of other ladies. We were to pick up 4 further groups on the way to the airport (although the last lot could have quite frankly walked it). I am always meticulous about making sure I have packed everything and double checked that I have passport, tickets, phone, credit card before going anywhere – I WAS bit worried that I had left behind some green socks in the bedside cabinet and almost asked mini bus driver Stavros to turn back so I could treble check. As an inexperience tourist, I had naturally packed everything – about 10 different fragrances , two extra pairs of trousers, a pair of scissors (in case I wanted to do some sewing?), SIX books plus my denim jacket and suede jacket ffs. On the way out I wore shirt, a waistcoat, a TIE, my denim jacket and my suede jacket. I must have looked preposterous and, of course I couldn’t pack them all in my suitcase so had to carry them or wear them in that sweltering heat (and this sweltering heat once I got back). Previously, before bidding be a safe journey June told me that my case was only big enough to hold 10kg not the 15kg I was allowed – which means that I could have packed even more fucking rubbish I wouldn’t need or have worn.
The actual journey was a delight (although it did take a bit TOO long) – pretty young foursome who’d clearly been in a dirty old week were picked up en route and a family of ginger parents and children. They were ever so Slightly red from the sun with exception of the ginger son who sulked about like all teenage boys of that age do – dragging his knuckles and grunting (he should hook up with Vegan Eden they would get on famously). The women who boarded first were generally moaning about the length of the journey – and how the twisty turny the roads (not much we can do about that I thought) and were making ‘Delia’ a little queasy (she stopped for a glug of water at any opportunity). One of the overriding impressions of the island was its luscious greenery. I shall do some detective work as to why this may be but it’s a beautiful and remarkable feature. Some stunningly beautiful views, the deepest green valleys and mountains covered in the loveliest of trees and bushes.
We passed through Villages throwing huge raves with (what looked like) drag queens (but may have been just butch looking EuroDisco gal) very cool little bars all much nicer than Roda and suddenly without warning we were outside the airport – me in my layered suede/denim look – dripping. It looked abject chaos but all went swimmingly (much easier than the UK check in). I did though get stopped by a Vicki Leandros greek security officer. She removed my sun cream and after sun lotion waving it about saying ‘No NO, this is wrong, you are wrong. Wrong and bad’ – blimey I thought.
‘What would you like me to do with it?’ I said
‘It’s wrong. You must throw it in the bin immediately – you cannot do this it is wrong’. I wrongly assumes that you could take a half bottle of suntan lotion and after tan on the plane but I was wrong. So I did as I was told then beeped as I went through the gate so was frisked by a handsome Greek security who had a bit of a feel down my leg (running his hands up and down my thigh playing around with me belt, slightly undoing it moving it around the back – it was all very homo erotic – he me have been aware of what he was doing (stop it Chris he was doing his job) – ‘will that be all’ I asked trepidatiously. ‘Yes. Go. Please.’ By this point I was feeling both flushed and crushed. The female officer said I could if I had wanted to return back to the luggage with my sun creams and possibly pay to have them properly bagged and I could carry them on the plane but would have to be refrisked – I thought about it for a second and almost said ‘as long I can have a repeat performance with handsome over there in private but shyed out. Typical. Airside was okay. Only one place to buy drinks and food, nice duty free but the rest of it was shit – very little info and a half an hour delay. Lots of sitting about once I could find a seat. I recognised a few faces from flight out. Some looked exactly the same, others looked redder or browner – none though were stupid enough to be wearing a denim jacket with a suede jacket.
I think we flew over Venice (it looked like Venice) – clear skies all the way back, three seats to myself and the only annoyance were the lads in front of me who were viewing and giggling at lady porno pictures in the seat in front of me. I gave the crew all of my loose change ‘to charity’, disembarked, encountered the long long walk to passport control, collected my bag, missed the last train but eventually got home at 2am driven back by a Brexiteer taxi driver. Shattered, peeling, itching, sweaty and dying for a cuppa. – I gave Fred the biggest hug and set about telling him about my lovely little Corfu holiday.
Would I go back? To Corfu, yes. To Roda, no. A bit too quiet at night, a bit too British. But I have got the travel bug again which I’m very happy about.