Mid August

Wednesday 10th August

Damn it, I’m still having to type without using my left little finger and it’s a pain. I tried folding it up with a rubber band to keep it out of the way, but didn’t like the colour it was turning…

Along with the heat, cicadas, beaches filling up with holidaymakers and further Greeks at the weekends, we get Greeks holidaying here in our village too. I’m told quite a lot of them are from Athens, coming here to old family homes for a getaway. I spotted two Greek children coming down the side path to the ‘ruin’, probably having crossed the roof of our main house and, though I can snap out phrases like ‘Where are you going?’ or ‘What do you want?’ easily enough, in the time available I couldn’t quite put together, ‘Where have you been?’ and ‘That’s my fucking roof up there. It’s not a public highway and how would your parents feel if I followed you home and tramped all over their fucking roof?’ They’d probably gape at me in bafflement and then hurry away from the mad Englishman.

Here’s something Lorrie McCullough at Underland press sent me. You can pop over there and explain why you would love to live on Spatterjay, or Masada…

The project, authored and edited by Jeff VanderMeer, is called If You Lived Here: The Top 30 All Time Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds. It’s a compendium, of sorts, but also a travel guide to places like Dune, Ring World, Middle Earth, Lankhmar . . . and beyond . . . We’ve all lived in these places–in imagination if not in fact–and we’re all united by our common experiences of them. We wanted to collect the worlds together in one place as both a walk down memory lane and a place to start new dreams.

We’re reaching out to readers, writers, and booksellers to ask for nominations of worlds to include. We’ve set up a web form at www.ifyoulivedherebook.com, which takes the nominations and asks respondents to describe what they love about the world. (If things go according to plan, we’ll include some of the responses in the book itself.) We’re looking for as much community involvement as possible in this project, and we’d love it if you could help with a signal boost, a mention, or even some nominations of your own.

Friday 12th August
The wind has been blasting on and off over the last week. When we were at the Staousa Bar over the weekend it was pretty damned fierce and even though we were partially sheltered we needed water in the ashtray for it to serve any purpose at all. Over this last week it’s been humid too, so 30C (in Makrigialos) feels like 40 feels at other times when the humidity is lower, and clouds have been appearing in the sky, which is almost unheard of here in August. Yesterday it was very windy and got very cloudy, in fact without the wind carrying the cloud across the sky like an avalanche I’m sure it would have rained. Today it’s windy again, now blowing hard enough to chuck our chairs about the terrace, and the temperature up here this morning was below 20C with plenty of cloud about, and it’s bloody annoying.

It’s funny how wind can be characterized when one wouldn’t do the same with other weather. Like an annoying brat it runs around flipping letter boxes, knocking plant pots on the ground, violently shaking bead curtains and rattling loose tiles on the roof. Every now and again it throws a tantrum and starts throwing chairs about, when not maliciously mauling all my plants and trying to kill them off. A bit like a bully looking for a fight it shoves at my car when I’m driving, throws sand in my face and waits until I’ve filled a roll-up paper with tobacco before knocking it out of my hands.

Of course this crappy weather rather confirms something I was saying a little while ago. After the worst winter the Eastern Mediterranean has seen in fifty years there were those who were saying that now we’ll have a long hot summer. Bollocks. There is no chain of logic there and that is weather prediction based on hope. It could well be that another crappy winter is on the way and that it will start early.

Monday 15th August
At last the clouds have disappeared from over the mountains and the wind has stopped. The temperature this morning is 24C at 9.30, which we haven’t had for quite a few days now.

Whilst we had this wind we were back to the English way of spending an evening, i.e. slumped in front of the television. In England my mother watched a Danish series called The Killing, which is about just one murder and spread over quite a few episodes. She said it was very good and we’d heard good reports elsewhere. A couple here loaned us the series but it turned out to be the American version of the same thing, set in Seattle. Nevertheless it turned out to be very good (well, apart from one episode near the end that consisted entirely of parental angst) at depicting a single murder and many of the real consequences of the same, which most other detective/thriller series tend to trivialize. I recommend this.

What is not recommended is something called Haven. Like Fringe this was another attempt to jump on the X-Files bandwagon, but unlike the Fringe the acting and the story lines were crap. Two episodes were enough for us to not bother watching any more.

Hopefully the TV will be off in the evenings from now until October, but I doubt it.

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