……Mosquitoes finally put the tin lid on the whole sorry experience as we
arrived in Corfu full of kids, creams and luggage planned to last for a fortnight. And they did. Corfu lasted, I understand it’s still there but I don’t intend to go back to check.
The kids lasted, in fact they’re all now in their 20s and 30s.
The creams, for tanning, stopping tanning, making pale, making better, and for soothing arse, all fulfilled their duties.
The luggage lasted too…Matalan’s best…
My skin didn’t last. Heat, humidity, horror and holes left it in sorry shreds.
Sophie, aka Double Dawkins, Soph and sometimes Chick, just about survived.
To Sophie first… I think it was the fault of Hercules. Yeah, actual Hercules. Herakles if you want to muscle in and get shirty.
It began in his shop on an old Corfu street, packed with tourists all offloading sweat and drachma like toy money for readily forgotten mementos.
Our Gipper was browsing shelves. I was watching our flock. And also watching Hercules.
He was the antithesis of Hercules. He was a caricature of a Hero and clearly named before either his body or sexuality had formed or his larynx had uttered a squeak.
He was short.
He was thin.
He was wiry.
He made Quentin Crisp look butch.
He made Julian Clary sound macho.
He featured in his own Greek Comedy.
He had spectacles, made a spectacle and I was fascinated.
The shelves had been gippered. Nowt had been bought and we meandered off out into the crowd.
Not having an abacus handy, I started counting kids. 1,2,3….one missing.
The Greek Comedy turned into a Tragedy, as, “Where is Soph?”, rang out in the Corfu midday heat.
I spied a Greek approaching. He was bearing gifts, and, “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentis”, sprang into mind.
“I fear Greeks, especially when bearing gifts”, my old classics teacher, Eddie Bell, used to say proudly proclaiming that, “especially”, rather than “even”, was a preferred translation for “et”.
Hercules, the Hero, was mincing jauntily and gaily down the street hand-in-hand with little Sophie!
He returned my Double Dawkins to the fold and we returned thanks to him and heaped lashings of recriminatory vacatory verbiage for our mishap onto each other.
Sophie blamed me and aimed an accurate right sandal at my shin and shouted, “Why did you let me get lost?”
It was a fair question tbh and I didn’t fancy saying it was because I had been mesmerised by a fruit called Hercules, especially since he had saved the day. Hercules the Fekin Hero.
The day we arrived in this Greek anti-Paradise of sahara, the largest organ on my body (don’t be silly, or smutty) entered a period of decline and disaster. Like I said, heat, humidity, horror and holes….
An ancient Euboean Spangoramménos (Scrooge), masquerading as an Apartment Owner, rudely greeted us and informed us that we had an apartment for 4.
4 knives. 4 forks. 4 spoons. 4 towels. 4 beds. 4 two weeks….4 crying out loud….(there were 6 of us)
Ya got the picture? He said that if we complained he’d call the Police. Probably a 4some of 4uzz….
We got on with enjoying the blistering heat often finding toilets that advertised, “Pee pees only, no shits”. I did wonder if that sign was intended for all or just the Tory Brits.
Anyway, what he didn’t grunt at us was that we had, “4 hours”, of evening electricity. He turned the power off at midnight. No insectocutors….
Cos of Spangoramménos my legs were eaten alive and converted into colanders: the holes.
The Heat was unbearable.
The dearth of non-too-tardis apartment was too much.
Almost losing Soph was heartstopping but it was the….