Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Winds of Crete

So, Caroline’s parents came here for eighteen days and, a day or so before they arrived, the wind started blowing. Crete is famous for its winds – there’s a book with the title The Winds of Crete (one of many I read about three years ago). The wind did not really let up for most of the time they were here so we got sand blasted on the beach, the sea was chilled (a little) and swimming any distance a pain because of the spray in my face. Up here the bead curtains rattled continuously, the shutters banged and chairs perambulated around the terrace. We jokingly told Gerry and Myrtle, when they were going, to take the wind with them. They did, because it stopped the very next day.


As we drove back from Iraklion airport the wind had turned very hot, along the south coast road it was cooler to drive with the windows closed (without air conditioning) since on occasion what came down off the mountains and through the window felt like the draught from a furnace. The next day it was completely still in Papagianades with the temperature rapidly climbing into the thirties. Driving down to Makrigialos was odd, because we drove into cloud and then out of it into a muggy southern breeze, and the sea down there was rough, but warm. Today (Monday 26th) as I write this, it is still again, the noise of the wind replaced by the racket of cicadas and the temperature climbing.

It is annoying that I’ve chosen this very time to set my nose back to the grindstone, but I’m a man of my word and I will do 2,000 words today despite the temptation to abandon this computer and sit out on the terrace sipping frappes. This blog, now, is essentially a warm-up (take note of that all you would-be writers).

Okay, some more pictures for you. The first here is of a plant purchased with money given by Myrtle and Gerry so we could get something for our tenth wedding anniversary (anyone got a name for this?). It grows somewhat like a banana so I put in this large pot until it has thrown up some more rolls of leaves whereupon I hope to divide it then transfer it to the two pots you see sitting each side of the ruin doorway (also bought with that money).






The other plants, presently growing in out outside sink, are a gift from a British couple here (thanks Martin and Vicky). I’d been supplying various people, including them, with spare plants I’d grown and Martin came back with the offer of these tobacco plants. I first assumed he meant tobacco flowers, but no, these are the real deal. I was a little bit wary until discovering that it is not actually illegal to grow tobacco, not anywhere, not even Britain (I think). I guess the assumption of illegality stems from (excuse the pun) those other plants that often end up inside a rollie paper. All I need now is some way of finely shredding these...

Update
Well, it seems Gerry and Myrtle took only the North wind with them. On the second day it was perfectly still in Papagianades, but as we drove down to Makrigialos, we encountered an oddity in July: a great mass of cloud halfway down. At the beach we found rough seas blown in by a South wind, which was obviously encountering an air temperature difference higher up to cause those clouds. Then, on the following day, rough seas still and part of the beach has gone missing.


9 comments:

Kirby Uber said...

lemme know wind that wind dies down...

;p

/me clutches passport

Nerine Dorman said...

You've got a lovely bromeliad there. Not quite sure which species but I'd keep it in a relatively shady area and make sure the roots don't have to deal with too-dense soil. I've killed some lovely specimens in my time through sheer neglect.

Stacey Smith said...

Note taken.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

poopshit

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

wind? aka endless energy. get your propeller up.

Skar said...

Good to see that things are back to normal there. The place seems to be coming along nicely. Hows the new room?

Larry said...

Nice Bromeliad there Neal, the plant is I believe a species of Aechmea,known as Vase Plant! You need to keep the top part filled with water-in the wild frogs may set up camp in it.

pills4menerves said...

Hi Neal, love the blog. I just wanted to let you know that I managed to pick up a mint condition copy of Shadow of the Scorpion Yesterday in the Amnesty book shop in Bristol. It was priced ludicrously at a mere £1. It was also in the Crime fiction section, and by sheer luck, Crime was at half-price this month. So, fifty pee then. I can't shut up about this massive bargain, especially as it was the only book of yours I had not yet read, and I now own the lot. My wife is thoroughly sick of hearing of my excellent shopping skills/sheer jamminess, so I thought I'd tell you instead. I hope the possible sour feelings you may experience regarding the (criminal) bargain-binness of your fine tome and the tawdriness of my pathetic crowing do not spoil the rest of your summer. I am totally thrilled.

Btw, on a side note the name of the athlete who won the long jump at the Euro Champs yesterday is Reif. Spooky.

Neal Asher said...

If I could predict when the wind dies down, Kirby...

Nerine, is this something I could divide? Or will I just end up killing it?

Vaude, there are wind turbines on the mountains in front of us and on the mountains behind ... this should have given me a clue.

Skar, I await windows and doors, and have yet to buy tiles...

Not a problem Pills4, at least the previous owner of that book would have paid my pitiful royalties. Reif should be disqualified on account of the joint motors.