19 May 2006


All Along the Watchtower

Another day in Paradise.

To lunch with my favourite hostess at her stunning villa overlooking Kommeno Bay.

One ascends via impossibly windy paths until, suddenly, there it is - the long and stately drive and the house itself framed in that wonderful arch that I vow to dig up one dark night and transport back to *our* side of the island.

The house used to be a watch tower during the Venetian occupation and as I stand on the ramparts, I imagine the look-outs patrolling under the hot sun, now and then straining their eyes to the horizon to check for glimpses of marauding sail.

verandah view
Shortly, pesky seaplanes will start their zooming overhead and landing in the bay to transport people to Paxos and other islands.

With this deafening cacophony, the official start of summer is announced.

palmtree view
The planes begin their descent by also flying over our own place, swooping so low over the valley it can be only a matter of time before one of the pilots misjudges and catches a wheel in the trees.

I shall be ready to snap the conflagration to sell to the TV evening news - but worry not: It will be up on the blog before the MSM get their grubby hands on such a gem.

marco and garden
Our hostess is of aristocratic bearing, one of those instinctively gracious ladies from days of yore whose ranks are thinning, alas.

Conversation is usually muted and respectful over lunch but I suddenly find myself blurting out,

"So, Philippa - what's the latest Kommeno gossip?

What are you hearing on the street?"

An almost audible gasp rises from the others and a fellow guest darts me a warning look.

Sans pause, and with nary a glance at me, madame lays her napkin down (or is it serviette?):

"Well - Anton has sold another stremata of land to the Russians *and* I hear that Lady T will not be coming out with her usual entourage this summer."

Arch of impeccably penciled brow.

"What do you think of that, now?"

Impeccable day.

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