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Vive Le Weekend!

Friday was Rumpus. Rod in gold hotpants and me in a sequinned playsuit and my shiny new peaked hat. Some unfortunate queue-related misunderstandings which I will pass on to Santi when I see him in person, but a good night with plenty going on, some great music and loads of dancing. I kinda know how much effort goes into producing this event, which we've been to a few times over the years, and I truly am very appreciative of being guest-listed, as it was completely sold out. And so it should be! It's a fun event. Scar also came, she was glittery and on good form. Loved all the outfits as well as being in such an open and happy crowd. The atmosphere is electric and Santi was a god! My god was on banging form too ;)

Oh and I found a pair of steampunk goggles, so a complete win overall.

Also on the list of appreciations was a comp stay and breakfast in nearby Shoreditch.

Saturday was World Naked Bike Ride. Which meant zooming back to Herts, cat feeding and heading back in to London. The trains were buggered, so that added a wee bit of stress, but it all came good and we were there for the start. The usual brigade of 95% Asian pervs taking close up photos with no permission, but a genuinely great event, even if we were not pedalling as much as I would have liked. Chatted to lots of peeps, rode behind the music man and boogied on bikes. And another open and happy crowd with almost all onlookers whooping and cheering us on. It's so liberating riding nude along London's streets. This is my third with Rod and I did another with Sarah about 3-4 years ago, and I really do rate it. Issues getting home on the train, different issues to the ones getting in, but we quaffed G&Ts, shared a sammige and just waited.

Saturday night, post feeding my road warrior, I relaxed (as in tidied up and did the laundry, LOL!), and meanwhile he did 100km through the night for charity. He was kinda grumpling saying he might not finish, knees, tiredness etc, but I knew he would, so I went to bed and set my alarm for 4am with the full knowledge his competitive nature would shine through. When he came back, I had a Radox bath waiting for him, and we had a wee kip before starting on...............Sunday.

I won 2 VIP tickets to the Polo finals at Hurlingham, so off we go on the train. En route we discover he needs a jacket for the VIP enclosure. Google was our friend and a nearby charity shop was sourced. I go ahead, get out table seats, get the Pimms in and get the food, which incidentally, was lovely. pork belly, sliders, chicken, salads and rices, multiple desserts and a massive cheese board. It just kept coming! Rod turns up with a stylish Paul Costelloe jacket and Oakley sunglasses, so much happy all round. Free Pimms, free wine (decent!) and more, plus the polo, which I found fun because the chukkas are short. Not my cuppa personally, but a great experience. And we wandered round to the Lancaster stand to collect my goody bag, which was also part of the prize, and I am more than happy to have expensive sun tanning products that I wouldn't pay for myself! And then 2 hours later, full afternoon tea. In spite of being very full, we managed lots more. It's a different world, but we were fine. Something a bit different.

So a very full-on weekend which has left us middle-agers a bit tired, but there's life in us old dogs yet! I certainly couldn't do every or even many weekends like this, but a combination of luck and circumstance presented me with a lot of free opportunities, and we grabbed them with both hands.

I had a sofa snooze on his tummy and actually feel quite lively now, and it's gone midnight.

Two new words. Snaketopus and bushkaki, hahahahaha!

Home Sweet Home

It was pouring down as I left Corfu, so I wasn't sad at all! Petros took me to the airport in his car and we chatted about the state of the hospitality industry and our respective plans. He's so lovely and so is his family.

35 minute tarmac delay, zilch queues at Heathrow, quickest I've ever been through there, brilliant. Home to two very nonchalant cats, so well done to Scar and Rod for their caretaking. I took my washing, which I'd placed at the top of my case, plus what I was wearing, and stuck that straight in the machine, took the case upstairs, ran a bath whilst I unpacked it, had a bath and voila, the evening to myself, which was great!

This morning I came to work, no sign of bedlam, lovely assistant has done really well. Sad to hear he's 2nd interviewing, but that's what you do at that age I guess.

So instead of getting smashed with issues, time and various crappolas that usually make me feel like I need a holiday as soon as I get back from holiday, it's actually been rather lovely. I'm feeling happy and relaxed still.

Grimtastic

Woke up bright n early this morning, there were showers, but it was still sunny, so I decided to head off as planned to meet Pete n Mandy in Corfu Town for sightseeing, shopping and a meal.

The first bus passed and didn't stop. Heavily overloaded, and not wanting the 9 at my stop. 45 minutes later, same story. By this time the sky had gone the darkest of greys and it was tipping down.

Back to my hotel room, and I seized upon the opportunity to sit like an impoverished student, drinking gallons of Nescafe (my Al Jazeera is finished) and studying. Very hard in fact, I have completed and submitted the remaining two thirds of my Lean Management course, so 2 weeks of work tucked away. All this on just some custard creams and a lot of lovely old choons I fancied listening to. Updating with P&M every couple of hours. They never made it that far down either in the end, the rain was too much.

And it rained and rained. It is still raining (almost 8pm here now) although lighter and there's a gap between the sea and the clouds. It's called my stomach, hahahaha!

Tomorrow's forecast is grim too. There's not a soul in the bar, so I may binge watch Jack Clancy on Amazon Prime. Petros is taking me to the airport, bless him. I'm really hoping for just a little sun tomorrow, I don't fancy another day shuttered up.

Let The Season Begin!

The First of June. Almost a religious holiday in the Med. I have always been a fan of late May holidays, because it's quieter and cheaper, the Europeans (hot countries), firmly believe the season starts on the 1st of June.

At around 10am, the private jets started coming in, every 15 minutes. My part of the bay has gleaming white yachts bobbing around. It was akin to a very upmarket Apocalypse Now.

For small hoteliers, restauranteurs and shops, this is make or break time. They have 5 months now to make enough to see them through the winter. Corfu shuts down in mid October and winter jobs are pretty much non-existent.

I was up just before sunrise and walked to St Sophia, a tiny, tiny little church, nestled at the bottom of the rocky cliff not far from here. It was locked up, but I snapped a few shots through dusty windows. I doubt it holds 10 people. A little joy to find. And I found a very secluded bit f beach, we're I imagined sitting, naked, with my lover, drinking red wine. It's inaccessible by foot, you'd need to swim or paddle a boat there.

Came back for breakfast the long way, until the sun was fully in her majesty. And spent the rest of the day between the beach and the jetty, soaking up rays and reading The Psychopath Test (another Jon Ronson gem). Ad swimming in the sea. Lots of that :)

Bliss

I don't care wat de wedderman say..........cuz he got it wrong. Very sunny, all day.

I woke up just after 5. The sun wasn't up but her rays were doing their stuff, orange clouds over Albania. Two coffees on my balcony, back to bed, waking up at 9 to a sun fest.

Until lunchtime I was naked on my balcony, reading. The Goats book I'm taking home to Rod as I know he'll enjoy it. Then down to the pool as I could see the beach was busy. Started and finished The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a wonderful true story. Love does find a way.

A precarious shower, dinner and then a couple of pina coladas at the bar. Chatted to a young pair of Scouse lads, about 25-30, and had a blast. I made them laugh so much they snorted beer. Then made excuses and returned to my room. The Greek dancing and belly dancing I did, the 70s disco night on Wednesday I did, with gusto! Electronic organ, sorry, one has standards!

Pete and Mandy have arrived and I'll meet them in Corfu Town on Monday.



Tomorrow is allegedly a hottie, so I will try to make the beach earlier. I'm really annoyed that I forgot my underwater camera I brought especially, but hey ho. I may also try to find the partially underwater Sofia church, which isn't on any map and is apparently hard to find.

May. 30th, 2019

Yesterday I walked round the coastline, South, to Benitses. It quite like Kassiopi in many ways, retaining it's old parts and a small harbour, but with a smattering of new hotels, apartments and a few restaurants, shops and clubbier style bars. I liked it. I choose an old Greeky place for my coffee stop. There were 4 older Corfiot chaps sat in there, none close together, arguing animatedly. An absolute cacophony from just 4 old men. I asked the waitress what they were talking about, she shrugged her shoulders and said she'd been working there for 5 years and all they talked about was politics. She also added that they were there all day because old women do not allow old men in the house until dinner!

I walked up the back streets, listening to the old women shouting out to each other as they swept, hung out washing and beat rugs.

Corfu is incredibly peaceful. In a shouty way!

Today started quite cold and overcast. Post breakfast I optimistically set off for a secluded spot where I could sunbathe undressed. It got colder and colder, I was indoors by noon. Inspired by an early morning photo of sexiness, I went to my room and indulged myself wholeheartedly, and then slipped under a blankie (it really was cold), watched some of a series on the lappy and fell asleep to the sound of rain

By 6pm, the sun was out, so off I went again, with my book (The Men Who Stare at Goats, very funny) and caught the last rays til dinner.

After dins, I walked North, past Mouse Island, over the causeway to Kanoni. I've done this walk before, and love it. You get to see wading birds fishing, gnarled old Greeks line fishing and real-life fisherman fishing in their boats. It's actually at the start of the landing section of Corfu airport, but still very unspoilt.

The forecast for the rest of my stay is not good. Pete and Mandy arrive tomorrow, they are heading to Kassiopi, but have suggested meeting in Corfu town, which would be nice. Unsure as to if'n Albania is a good idea due to thunderstorms, but we shall see!

Naked and Happy

Sat on my balcoy, naked as a jaybird, quaffing my surprisingly drinkable 3 euro bottle of rose wine, appreciating my first 24 hours here.

As I arrived, Anita, truly the world's loveliest receptionist, leapt up, gave me a huge hug and insisted on taking my case, even though she's older than me. I reach for my purse, she waves it away and tells me to pay when I like. In my room is a hand written letter, and a box of delicious white chocolate from Petros. I've been in this industry for over 30 years now, and I've never known such genuine warmth, and it's not as if I'm paying big bucks, I probably have the cheapest rate.

But no kettle. The hotel's one kettle, it transpires, has gone walkies. This morning, Anita brings me a kettle from her own house.

Went to bed early, leaving the curtains and balcony doors open, so that I could wake up to sunshine and the sound of the sea lapping on tp the rocks below.

Early breakfast, an omelette and croissants with honey, and straight down to the jetty, where I stayed until mid afternoon. Leaving me with a slightly pink back, as there's nobody to cream that bit!

In the afternoon I decided to do the 7km round walk to Achilleion Palace. The hill is incredibly steep, but I kept going. And glad I did, because the views are simply breathtaking. When you're down on the coast, you forget the amazing mountains and woodland Corfu has. And such a green island. On my travels I saw magnificent, abandoned villas, with gardens grown wild and meadowy, and some very showy occupied ones too. Far too many feral cats *sigh* and a contented donkey grazing in a field below me. A wizened and bent old man, walnut brown, picking olives from his trees. A peloton of lycra'd cyclists, literally heaving themselves up the winding gradients. A couple of very simple, but lovely, orthodox churches. And the sea, glittering away in the distance.

I heard the meowing of a multiplicity of feral kittens, the rustle of lizards darting for cover as they heard me approaching, crickets chirping, strains of faraway folk music and women shouting in the animated way Greek women do.

My arthritic knee isn't thanking me, but my heart is.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow morning, but it was this morning too, and didn't. If it doesn't, I'll eschew the bus and walk into Benitses, a town 5-6 km along the coastal road. If it does, I'll sit on my balcony with my second book, drinking Al Jazeera coffee until it stops.

Today I read Vox, a bestseller. And blatant rip-off of The Handmaid's Tale.

It's now pitch black and a tad chillier, but I don't want to cover up or go in. So I shan't.

Happy

I did my personal best today 52.5km. Another lovely ride. Santi hopped out of bed and raced down from Manor House to Tottenham to join me for breakfast before going to his boxing tuition. A kid, with his parents at the next table, pulled out a Lego pirates chest, and his eyes lit up. I actually thought he was going to nick it at one stage, LMAO!

Today's amazing sight was in Cheshunt on my way down to he station. I heard a clattering of hooves coming up behind me, pulled over, and lo, 2 gypsy boys, stripped to the waist, cantering down the road in traps. Not a care in the word, just going for it. I was reaching for my phone to take a pic, when a third boy came past, all of 8 or 9 years old, also whizzed past in his trap, brandishing a carriage whip. "Morning Missus" he shouted as he went past. It really is a different world.

Up early tomorrow, as no lift to the station. No Rod tonight, I assume K is still there or they've gone to hers. I actually really wanted to see him tonight, so I'm very disappointed, and it would've been such a cracking start to my holiday. Stuck the food in the freezer, and thinking happy thoughts about the weekend I get back, I am on mega freebies! I also won 2 tickets to the Polo finals at Hurlingham dontchaknow!

Packed, everything I needed to do is done, I think! Just waiting for my cycling shorts to dry so that they can go in the case too.

*Grin*

In spite of a raaaaather late night, I woke up early and started on my long list of "things to do", carefully stored in my brain.

So, washing done, packing done (and I'm 5 kilos under my allowance), kindle charged, lappy charged, Tesco shop for tomorrow's Rod dinner done, lashes done, nails done, feet done, bed stripped and re-made, gardening done and watered and so just a few housey bits to do tomorrow.

And then, I thought about what I am going to do in Corfu. Usually I wear a plain swimsuit, stick my hair up and stick my nose in a book. Swim a lot, a few little walks, but generally keep myself to myself. But not this time. This time I've packed some accessories to make myself look like the amazing woman I am. I'm going to spend every second feeling good. And looking great. I have also decided that a trip to Albania is deffo happening. And from memory, I think the wee shop that hires quads and scooters, also hires bikes, so I may test my mettle if I can find one I can ride.

And then after I'd done all that, I went on a 40km bike ride, which was GLORIOUS.

Britain

So May is on her way out. The '22 should feel ashamed of themselves, but I somehow doubt they will. It's probably Boris next, which potentially means hard Brexit. And all this because MPs can't agree on anything.

Although not a huge fan of hers, I admire her tenacity, hard work, loyalty and dedication to public service. Integrity is almost a dirty word these days, but she has it.

On another matter, things are going very wrong somewhere. Jamie Oliver's restaurants collapse, millions in debt, M&S to close more stores and ditto the Arcadia group. British Steel has folded, it cannot produce steel as cheaply as other nations, so there's no point in propping it up. I am getting lots of freebies offered, Rod Stewart, Mumford, Boy George, Shalamar, Miles Davis and several festivals, as well as smaller things. People are simply not buying tickets and that's sad.

I think when we started loving EasyJet, Ryamair, Groupon and Wowcher, it started a race to the bottom.