My sun burn is still bad so I am sitting in the shade on the balcony while Siggy is beside the pool. While we ate breakfast we saw a long skinny pale green snake on the flagstones of the garden area below. Siggy doesn’t ‘do’ nature particularly well and got a little over excited.
‘What sort of snake is it?’ she asked. I guess it was a grass snake.
‘The sort that climbs into bed while you’re asleep and bites you on the bum,’ I suggested.
In hindsight, perhaps I should have said ‘…bites you on the asp.’ Same as most people, I’m always wittier days after the event.
There are all sorts of lemon, fig, orange and olive trees around our block of apartments (the older section of the small hotel complex away from the pool) along with some productive grape vines. Debbie who does most of the cooking at the hotel uses the lemons to make a very nice homemade lemonade. As with most fruits over here the lemons grow to gigantic proportions in comparison to those cultivated in the UK with, it seems, very little effort on behalf of the gardener. When you walk around you see trees just shitting lemons and figs all over the place and there’s even a few banana trees in people’s gardens. The Greeks are rich in terms of culture and fruit. Shame about the crap plumbing.
While I sat reading Bill Bryson’s Lost Continent and getting a bit buffeted by the stiff breeze, I noticed that the flowers depicted in a repeating black and white motif on my beach shorts were identical to the flowers growing in the bush directly opposite where I sat. Identical that is apart from the fact the real flowers were three dimensional and a vivid red against the deep green of the leaves of their bush. Their pollen encrusted sex parts protrude two inches from the petals to attract the butterflies and bees of Kos. However, the various local insects, of which there is a plethora, seemed to be grounded by the blustery wind.
I also noticed, while in full belly button fluff inspection mode, that my The Doors tee shirt that I had been wearing on and off since the day of our flight is getting rather smelly.
I read and drank watered down pomegranate juice (pomegranates are another fruit we saw growing in someone’s garden) feeling the temperature gradually rising and wondered whether we were going to see a real-life version of Hitchcock’s The Birds – countless crows had gathered on the power lines around the hotel. I remember a huge parliament of them flying over the hotel last year and we were treated to similar groups this year.
Siggy returned for lunch looking a bit pink. I ate the same simple lunch as yesterday complemented by a yoghurt. Every lunch would be an exercise in pacing myself for the evening meal.
Then we walked down to the main strip and to Theokritos Travel to book a few trips out and about (more about them as they happen). We then ambled down the coast road and looked at the thermometer at the front of a pharmacy – it read 33.9 which seemed hot for 2pm. Little did we know how hot it would ultimately become (but again more when it happens).
We got a couple of bananas and a tomato the size of a child’s head from the fruit man who has a little shaded shack-like shop on the road junction near the Sunshine taverna. It was much cheaper and better quality than the big supermarket and I felt that I was supporting local traders. For all I know he’s the wholesaler that provides the supermarket with its stock but it felt like a more authentic transaction as he weighed the fruit with his hand and put it into a blue plastic bag for me. We collected all the plastic bags that came with all these little purchases and took them home – its 5p for a bag back in the UK!
Siggy went back to the pool and I read for a bit more and then went to the hotel reception to watch Euro 2016. I drank cappuccinos and watched a very dull Italy v Sweden game which ended 1-0. The few of us that were watching theorised that it might be better just to watch the last 10 minutes of the group stage games as this seemed to be the period of time in which most of the action happened.
In the evening we went to Aspiros Mylos taverna for dinner. We had a couple of cocktails and watched the tail end of CZE v CRO which ended 2-2 after a bit of shenanigans involving fireworks on the pitch. Mark Clattenburg was the referee – he always seems to get the tricky matches.
Then we moved from wherever we had been (either Kivotos or More|Meni bar) to Memories to watch the third match of the day – Spain v Turkey. This turned out to be a great match with a 3-0 result to the defending champions. Having spent a lot of tournaments supporting Spain and drinking beer I got a lovely feeling from multiple memories and of having arrived at some kind of rare football/beer/holiday induced state of bliss. I washed the football down with two large beers and two free shots of some kind of chocolate shooter which may have been an imitation of a Mars bar flavour.
As if to pay tribute to Spain’s football team my stomach and chest are still bright red and far too embarrassing to get out in public.