Corfu Part 5

It is I think still Day 9 and returning to the here and now, we have six grandchildren with us who would live in the pool area.  We have been charged this day with looking after them along with one set of parents and a very responsible au pair.  Whilst one set of parents are quad biking round the island.  It is easy really so I just sit and write and the others swim.  The parents on furlough do not know what they are missing but one day in 365 is bound to be easy for us and necessary for them.

One thing I will have to watch is the pre-evening meal aperitifs.  These little drinks sometimes called Tiffin in hot climates or Aperos by my friend in Bordeaux, are tending to drift forward into middle afternoon but after all we are on holiday and these aperos are more tonic than gin, more water than ouzo, more quenching than alcoholic or at least that is what I try to tell myself.

Anyway the evening finished with kebabs and this lovely local rose wine, the last he had in the local taverna as he was shutting up for the winter.  What they do until next April is anybody’s guess but I would think most construction activity takes place then, when the temperature drops to a freezing 18C.  However they might travel the world or more likely just sit back and count their diminishing few bob.  The family that own the local taverna have certainly built up a nice little place for themselves with three large houses built recently which blend into the surrounding architecture and it looks like they take in paying guests.  Their closing down for the winter obviously affects us because we have been using the taverna as an off licence and it was a good idea to sell the wine to us in reclaimed plastic water bottles or else the maids would think we were a right bunch of alchies.

Bed again for 9.30 and up early for a shower and shite and see the sun rise and beat its first rays over the straits.  After a five minute rain shower yesterday evening, today looks like another scorcher.  We went to bed last night to a splendid vista as the skies over Albania lit up in a gigantic fireworks display of an electric storm.

Day 10 I believe is a Wednesday and we have six days to go before flying out late at night on Monday.  We have plans for the day but I would think like all plans circumstances will alter them, especially with three children in nappies.  We will see what it brings and take what comes.

We decided the west coast again and I decided the quickest way was over the shoulder of the mountain and see Corfu has the Corfiotans see it.  I was not to realise the state of the by-roads and the accuracy of the maps until too late.  We had about 20 kilometres to travel and it took us over two hours on the roughest roads I had ever seen, the tarmac man had probably visited them about 50 years ago.  Even the goats had a problem in parts but eventually we found the sea and another tourist trap and ate another rather inconsequential meal but luckily visiting the Prosecco supermarket on the way home.

The maids had done a well rehearsed deep cleanse of the house in our absence and as trained they locked all doors on leaving.  We arrived home and of course we had our keys, let ourselves in and settled down to a nights carousing.  About 10.30 Helen bade her farewells and asked me for the key to our room.  Our room was located outside the main house down a flight of stone steps through the lovely garden area.  I suddenly realised our key was not with me and presumed it was in my other trousers located inside said locked room.  Panic!  One of our number used his skills honed on the vast council estates of South Manchester to climb through our supposedly locked bathroom window.  No mean feat when you consider he was 1.9 metres tall and weighed in at 220 kgs, but he could not find the keys.  We rang the maids and explained the situation in our best Greek.  Those of us who had studied Attic Greek of the 6th Century BC at Bedes and there were three of us present, found it relatively easy to converse.  The two lovely ladies were down like a shot at about 11.30pm to sort out the problem.  However in spite of everything we all had a great nights sleep and I awoke late at 7.30am but in time enough for the sunrise of what promises to be another hot day.  Welcome to Day 11.

I am now of the firm opinion that this eternal sun is boring.  At least Irish cloudy days are interspersed with downpours, here it never rains and it is still a miracle as to where the water comes from.  Last night I was mosquitoed on my right cheek to the right of my eye and just below it.  It is now fully swollen and as I look ahead I can see half my cheek stuck out in front of me.  It does not hurt but I looks as as though I have taken a straight left.

Anyway after a not so pleasant morning doing nothing but wash up and discussing Savile, a few more names have come out, especially a pretty vicious political bastard by the name of Derek Laude, a high ranker in top Conservative party circles, who it seems as done some dastardly deeds in the past and even in the present.  I aim to blog about him fairly soon once I have gathered enough on him.

We are now off to the mountain for some wild Corfiotan grub in Strinilas.  This place is our favourite along with Eucalyptus in Agios Stephanos.  I will eat first and write later and tell again of this rich mountain cuisine.  Fast forward two hours.  Lunch was superb and our relationship with the 60 year old waiter increased.  Although born in Corfu, he had spent a lot of time in America, he had come back to open a taverna and that was five years ago.  He invested his money and lost almost the lot.  He now has to work at the restaurant and in the gardens for 10 hours per day for which he gets 20 euros and in passing he told us that our maids are on 1.5o euros per hour and that on this kind of money you could live on the mountain growing your own vegetables and fruit, life was hard but all the mountain people would live nowhere else.  They could not imagine living in Corfu Town or on the coast far below.

We came back to the villa and delved more into this awakening and awareness by more and more people of the problem of child abuse and how the great and not so good of our western countries are implicated to a high degree.  It is generally accepted by the majority that Savile used child abuse as a tool, he was the best of friends with the Thatchers, spending many Christmases with them.  He was a personal friend of many prime ministers.  He was personally linked with royalty, knowing and supposedly advising Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Diana on all manner of things.  His great friends included people who had been talked about for years regarding their deviant behaviour.  I have written about them at length over the years.  Ted Heath and Lord McAlpine stand out with their association with boys homes in Jersey, North Wales and Northern Ireland.  No man from the back streets of Leeds can have these names in his address book without there being a sinister reason.  A sinister link and I suggest we have found this link in control.  The essence of all these people was and is control and if you can control people by realising their frailties, rewarding them for it and then controlling them, you have won the battle.  There is obviously an ultimate power at work which most of us yet cannot understand but this power, this group of people are set on controlling the world.  Savile was a lieutenant in this control structure.

My face has started to swell up even more after the mosquitos feast of the night before and is now giving me difficulties with sight, the right eye is half closed.  I feel like a boxer who has had a hard old time of it in the ring.  I give up writing for today and I will start again tomorrow and anyway it is time for an apero, the ouzo bottle is winking at me and it is 6.30pm and I also notice that that splendid young lady, Gordon’s gin is also giving me a seductive smile.  I relax and let the demon take over.

Bed at 9.30 and an early awakening followed by the usual washing of no end of dishes and glasses.  We have a dishwasher but it chooses not to work efficiently and I prefer the routine.  This morning dawned luxuriously as the previous 11 and I sit for an hour reading this fantastic new book by Jane Ridley Bertie, A Life Of Edward VI.  The book looks in depth at the life of Albert Edward, Victoria’s eldest son and you can tell where it all went wrong for us 2oth century people, when you read of the antics of this dissipated bunch of megalomaniacs.  A long book full of interest and well worth reading.

And so on to the mayhem of the day with five kids and a baby all squawking for food, attention and nappy changes.  I hope to do nothing in the forecasted heat except go up the mountain for bread.  On the way we meet our old friend the fishmonger yodeling his way up the mountain and bringing out the women in their scores.  We buy two octopus this time and a kilo of squid.  I do the octopus in the paprika sauce again and Jessica sets to work on a Catalan dish of stuffed squid with rice, half of which was died with the ink of the squid.

From our various computers we notice that Savile is becoming a bigger story enveloping more and more celebrities and more and more victims are coming forward.  Let us hope the story grows but at the moment it is only dead men and low brow entertainers getting the heat.  It seems like a smokescreen.

The lunch was superb and Jessica’s dish lived up to its description.  An afternoon of idleness and the younger set decide to go off for a night on the tiles in Kekyra.  Myself and Helen readily volunteered to babysit.  They returned at 1.00am delighted with their night out but mindful that two of them and one baby were off to the airport in the morning.

I and they woke early, breakfasted and made for the car.  Caramba!!  THE CAR WOULD NOT START, THE BATTERY DEAD.  The people carrier left in Kekyra the night before when they decided to get a taxi home.  We were stranded and time running out.  Amazingly Corfu rose from its lethargy.  A hastily called local taxi arrived in minutes and whisked the travellers away.  We then rang the car hire firm and would you believe it, the gangsters had turned into Batman.  Within half an hour a man arrived with a new car, started the old one off a power pack and drove off.  Never was life so easy.  Considering where we live the whole emergency was carried out in one perfectly seamless operation.  Fair play to Corfu and its people.

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