The re-enactment

Apologies for the delay in posting recent entries, I’m home from the trip and finding life getting in the way of updates! These entries were still completed at the time, I just hadn’t got around to posting them due to the backlog from earlier wifi and hangover issues!

Today I had to do it; needs must. It’s my last day here so I had to get on that harbour wall and re-enact my vision, no messing about. I set an alarm for the first time in ages and made sure I was up and out early, book in bag, ready for action. I’ve chosen to wear a white beach dress with red/pink flowers on it in an attempt to look demure; I am living the dream. Now, question is where exactly to sit as there’s a few moorings around here and I need to be at the right one. I figure I’ll just have to try them all and rotate until I’ve covered all ground.
I make my way down to the harbour and sit on my first bench: I should be sitting on the wall I know if I am staying strictly on script but as there’s empty benches right next to the wall I’d look a bit of an idiot choosing not to sit on a seat and I don’t think ‘bit of an idiot’ is a good look when trying to attract a mate. I get my book out. I sit. I wait. There’s no one around give or take a few café owners opening up. I try and look engrossed in my book but I can’t concentrate as I’m too busy scouting for blue shirts and eyes that change colour with the sea. I yawn. It’s tiring work this waiting for love game. I look at the boats. One them has ‘traditional fishing trips’ scrawled down the side: maybe he’s branched out again and does organised tours? Nah he’s too quiet and mysterious for a tour guide, that would never work, he’d be rubbish at it and be on the breadline within days. I stretch my legs and look at my feet. Holiday feet are so much better than home feet, all that sand is really good for them. Oh crikey I’m distracted thinking about feet of all things, stay focused, stay focused…
I move to a different part of the harbour. I get my book out again. I sit cross legged and try to look nonchalant. I chew the end of my sunglasses to look deep in thought and knowledgeable: at least I pretend to anyway, I wouldn’t purposefully disfigure any item; I hate it when people chew pens for example, why would you do that to a lovely pen?! I give up as there’s no one nearby other than a few scraggy cats and they don’t care if I look knowledgeable or not. I look at my hands. Again all that sun must be good as my nails are looking very healthy. Oh well if nothing else I’m giving myself a good MOT. I look at my book. I’m not actually reading this book, I am currently reading Wuthering Heights on my Kindle, but I decided I needed a physical book for the prop side of things. It’s a favourite of mine though, ‘The Alchemist’, so I know it well just in case Dimitrius does appear. I worry though that he’ll realise this is quite a new edition (I keep giving copies away to people who haven’t read it) and may think I’m jumping on some band waggon or something and he wouldn’t be impressed by that. Oh well, tough, needs must, I shall just have to explain my book dispersal activities early on in the conversation if he does ever show up.
I move to my third spot. If anyone is watching they must think I have some form of seat tic or something. I don’t care; I’m making my dreams come true and therefore it’s worth looking like a buffoon. Good things come to those who wait right?! Even the Guinness advert says so, so it must be true. I then spot some other woman (people are starting to rise now) wearing the same bloomin’ white beach dress with red/pink flowers as me! The EXACT SAME bloomin’ dress!!! In all the holiday resorts in all the world on this one day that I’m trying to make my dreams come true someone is wearing the bloomin’ same dress as me: it’s from last years summer collection so it’s not even like it’s in the shops now! Darn you H&M and your cheap but stylish beach garments! Who is she trying to look demure for?! Oh no, what if he mistakes her for me?! I put my sunglasses back over my eyes so I can stare at her better. She’s younger than me by the looks of it and has long blonde hair. She’s basically me when I invented the story, oh the irony!! I hide behind my book and pretend not to notice. She’s not hanging out on the harbour wall scouting for salt licked hair so she doesn’t appear to be a threat… but still, move along missy! I had the vision first so finders keepers! Thankfully she heads into town instead and leaves my story to its rightful owner: me.
Well a good hour or so has passed and nothing, nada, total blank. I decide to take a walk along the water front and end up at the tiny runway of Skiathos airport, looking at a sign that basically tells me I am at risk of death by standing there. Wow get me! I’ve turned into a right rebel! Certain death could appear at any second and here I am just cavorting right in front of it. Ner nur ne ner nur death, come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough! From the timid girl whose catchphrase when I was little was ‘am I allowed?’ I am now actively dicing with death! In your face allowedness! I feel smug for a moment until I realise nevermind death, I would actually pee myself if a plane was coming in/taking off and that’s definitely not a good look for a date, so decide to make a move. Again.

I head back in to town and order some breakfast as consolation for my lack of man-treasure: I may not find my Greek man but Greek food always satisfies. I spend the rest of the day on the beach attempting to get some sort of a tan and making the most of warm clear waters as I’ve no idea how long it will be before I can enjoy them again. On leaving the beach with a big dopey grin on my face, relaxed and refreshed, I end up in a salsa-off with one of the waiters in a bar you have to pass through to get off the beach. He wasn’t Dimitrius but he made my smile widen further as only dancing can and there’s a spring in my step as I walk back to my hotel, ready for my last night and ready for whatever that may bring. Fingers crossed…

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Pondering where is Dimitrius?!
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Checking out the boats
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Did he branch out?
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Grim Reaper stop
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The little windmill bar where people sit to watch the planes…maybe I should ask them to keep an eye out for fishermen too
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2017: A Dimitrius Odyssey

It was my last night in Alonissos and I managed to get to the funky bar without the annoying waiter stalking me so all was well in the world.

I now head off for pastures new; the island I am most intrigued and excited by yet also most nervous about. It’s very slightly off radar for most Brits plus I’m not saying in the port town so have to work out how to get from the port on one side of the island to the resort on the other. This is of course the land of the little horseys: Skyros.

Before my journey though I have a few hours to kill in Alonissos so attempt to find a table in a café which proves somewhat difficult…then I remember the dance festival has ended so all the dancers are now in transit too and waiting for their various boats and buses. When I do find one lone table with one lone chair I know exactly where to put my lone self and entertain myself with a good old game of food roulette.

The good thing about eating anything at all means that even if I don’t know what it means on the menu I will probably like it; I’ve not yet found anything I don’t like so I’m keen to maintain my 100% hit rate. When I see a handwritten scrawl beneath the typed omelettes and sandwiches I know what I will go for: Emanakomita. At least that’s what I think it says. When the waitress appears I point and give my best Em-an -urrr a urr a komita?? And she replies in fluent English: Spinach Pie.
Damn you fluent English speaker you! You’ve ruined my game of food roulette! There’s no mystery now! But at least I can now get my taste buds excited rather than it being a total surprise. I don’t think Dimitrius will be around here, I think he’ll be put off by the crowds and will probably have taken a longer trip out to sea these past few days to escape the hullabaloo. I do however take the opportunity to play another game to pass the time: spot the fit bloke (yes this is sexist)

The best tally ever on this particular game was in Sweden in 2003 when I counted 19 in a straight run: from the men I spied through my window on the plane manning the funny little airport vehicles (I love those!) up to arriving into Gothenburg town an hour or so later. It’s proven a tough tally to beat however I am dedicated to trying. There’s quite a few wannabe Ronaldo-a-likes here but I let them off given they are probably dance heroes in the islands they represent so have earned some swagger rights. In total I count six and a half (I was a bit on the fence with one so gave half marks) so my Sweden record remains intact for now. In the interest of not making this too sexist I would also say that there were an equal number, maybe even more, of attractive women but what did you expect, this is Greece remember, all of the girls are beautiful!
I seek to make a move and note the only trouble I can really find with travelling alone is that there’s no one to watch your stuff when you need to nip to the loo (where is my baggage buddy when I need him?!) so I end up dragging my case into the tiny toilet with me which is err tricky but do-able; it’s these little details that no one seems to talk about when they are waxing lyrical on the benefits of solo travel.
Wandering down the dock the ferry pulling into Patitiri port has ‘Skyros Shipping Co’ emblazoned down the side of it so I’m pretty sure this must be my boat, but given my previous faux pas I’m keen to quadruple check this is the right one: the crew look at me like I’m insane, and I do feel insane asking but better to be safe than encounter Grumpy Officer again. Handing my ticket over to the fourth officer I’ve asked ‘is this the boat to Skyros’ he smiles and welcomes me on board; what a happy ship this is in comparison to last time and how very organised of them to check tickets BEFORE we pull away from port! It’s like being back in civilisation…well I say that until the luggage carnage hits me of people throwing cases at each other at the top of the stairs; I decide to heave mine with me up to the top deck rather than join the bun fight.
Once on deck I grab a plastic chair and head down the starboard (I think?!) side of the ship which is unoccupied and make the place my own; using my case as a footstool I stretch out and enjoy what could be a private cruise given that I can’t see a soul around me as once again they are all cowering in the shade. It’s five and a half hours of sailing before we get to Skyros and there’s a breeze on deck which makes me adopt a certain rasta hair look: I really hope Dimitrius isn’t going to meet me off the ship as quite frankly, I look like ****.

I forgot about this slight issue. I am not one of those women that look good on holiday. You see these women gliding through airports in their nonchalant ‘thrown together’ effortlessly cool outfits; then at the other side of the scale there’s me. I just look wrong. Something appears to happen as soon as I land somewhere that my facial shape changes, I become even more pink and shiny than normal and my clothes just look, well, wrong. So thinking that I may actually entice the man of my dreams whilst looking pretty much my worst is, well, hopeful at least, if not just plain ridiculous. Even if I was in the most loved up relationship on a first holiday together my beloved would probably take a look at me and think ‘jeez, what the hell happened to you?!’ but obviously couldn’t say that as then he’d sound shallow and mean so would just have to ease his pain with a few treble vodkas on arrival and hope the beer goggles kick in asap. So yes, holidays are not by best look and I have no idea how I will get a comb through this mane after more than five hours of being blown about on deck.

I turn my attention from Dimitrius hunting to little horse hunting (but not in an actual hunting-hunting way, that’d just be wrong) as at least they won’t care what I look like and will probably just think of me as a bedraggled one of their own.
I spot the dark mountains of Skyros looming ahead and become more nervous about what I will encounter here….will there just be goats for company? Will no one understand English let alone Geordie? Will I have to survive on ouzo forever more (hmm, silver linings and all that…) All my fears fade away though and I laugh when the first thing I see after the pretty whitewashed houses and church on a hill is…a Shell garage. A bloomin’ Shell bloomin garage! Might as well have stuck a Maccy D’s there and be done with it. To top it off the ship then starts playing 2001: A Space Odyssey. I chuckle, I like this lot, I like this lot a lot.

 

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Is this the boat to Skyros do you think?!