Two Final Moments of Triumph at the Greek Hovel

Tom Winnifrith Wednesday 24 September 2014


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I saved the last of the frigana for after lunch. Two sessions in the morning left me with one last patch to clear. But first a major problem: My bike was leaking oil.  The man at the garage said “go to Kalamata tomorrow” as I bought my second bottle of the day. But I am a changed man.

Three months ago I would have phoned John the bike man in a panic. Today once back at the hovel I got underneath the bike and diagnosed the problem. Tubing had come loose. And I fixed it. Triumph one.

Triumph two came just before dusk as I finally removed the last frigana bush on the property. 2000 square metres of this appalling plant now lies, dead and browning on the killing fields. The last bushes climbed up a wall but these days I have real muscles in my arms.  With just one arm I can now lift and wield with some accuracy a heavy strimmer above my head or to swing below my feet as I stand on a wall. These last two bushes are no more.

I have not had such muscular arms since my London Irish days. And my waist has only been this thin once since those happy times. But enough on my weight, the triumph was the frigana. I retreated from the mass of tangled branches and stood on the road, dripping with sweat but triumphant. I raised the strimmer above my head as a victory salute over the enemy. It has been a tough opponent. But this summer it has been the frigana, not Quindell or its moronic shareholders or other Bulletin Board Morons which I have fought and defeated.

What shall I do tomorrow with no frigana to cut? For starters I shall do a photo shoot around the property so that you can appreciate the scale of what has been achieved. And then ahead of my return to Britain I want to relax for a couple of days, to visit Kitries for a sea swim and last meal of Octopus and to mentally prepare for the adjustment of going home to a UK work routine. Tonight, I celebrate my triumphs with a glass of the excellent local rose at lovely Eleni’s Kourounis taverna in my home village of Kambos.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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