Started Zero Point

Okay, this is a first; I started the new book Zero Point on 16th April. This is a first because I have never before actually recorded when I’ve started a book, only when I’ve written the last line. 3500 words done thus far (yeah, I know, but I had holes to dig in the garden, seeds to plant, walls to scrape off and repaint etc) and, all being well, I’ll soon be getting on with my 2,000 words a day five days a week.

Other stuff to occupy my mind: planting a pomegranate tree, obtaining a big plastic container and burying it in the garden for the grey water, and translating a leaflet detailing a garden health plan here. The last comes from a guy who sold me pomegranate trees in Sitia. The simple exercise of going to him and buying four trees (some for friends) at a price I already knew, took half an hour whilst he told me everything I must do to plant them and look after them. He then had to detail stuff about a further two plants I bought – a cucumber and a melon. I have to wonder how he makes any money when an explanation for two simple plants at a total of 90 cents rambled on for ten minutes. Later he caught Caroline and I walking back to our car, and gave further explanations, along with the leaflet. You gotta love this place.

It’s nice to note that the banana tree I planted last year, which was a brown dead looking mass when we came back, is now throwing out new leaves. Also, in the same part of the garden, an avocado tree (about four inches high) has survived. This last comes from a meal of avocado and prawns eaten about two years ago – the pits shoved in a pot outside.

So, all the planes across Europe have been grounded for about a week. I didn’t realise until I saw the location of the volcano on a map just how close the thing is to Britain. Some people are stranded here too, though sitting in the sunshine drinking beer as they await notification of their flights. I don’t have any memory of this sort of thing happening in my lifetime and wonder what other effects there will be. Certainly, the European economy doesn’t need this right now, but what about the weather? I guess we can all be assured that the global warmers will have something on which to blame this coming year’s cold.

We walked to a place called Etia a couple of days ago. This is an old Cretan village containing a restored Venetian villa (and a taverna). People who buy houses there can restore them, but only to the period of the place, though I suspect that doesn’t mean mud roofs and no electricity. We had a nice meal in the taverna, with a couple of beers, then walked back, picking wild gladioli and flowering broom (shit, there went my street cred).

Still no joy with the Internet. I’ve put my name forward as one of the hundred required to get broadband up here. The woman, Marita, who I said could put my name down, tells me that we only need to find about 90 more…

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