The meeting with the most amazing woman from last week is still something I am thinking about almost daily. Prompted by a couple of let-downs, I almost sent an email firing nearly all of those working with me today. That was a direct result of that meeting.
I have known for a while that my working life was in many ways pointless, rushing round a hamster wheel spending most of my time doing things that bring no happiness to me and do nothing at all for the wider world. What is the point of busting your guts off to try and run a business when you can have a simple life writing what you wish to write about and still make more than enough to get by? Empire building is surely for fools.
I didn't send the email but I am thinking hard about my life. I thought a lot as I spent two hard sessions today slashing frigana in the fields at the Greek hovel. I was in the far reaches of the land here and this is frigana that has not been cut for at least five years. How on earth did we miss it two years ago? So it is woody and the stems are up to six foot tall and where I slash at the base an inch in diameter. It was very hard work but I slashed away, sweating hard and thinking harder. Why go on as I am, in vain pursuit of added wealth but at the expense of personal happiness? Why, why, why? What am I achieving?
At the end of it all I felt I deserved a meal by the sea in Kitries and headed off to enjoy the same meal I always have: octopus, tzatziki and a couple of ouzos while staring out at the waves a few feet in front of me. I did not need to order, the waiter at this small place just brought what he knew I wanted. I chatted to British Airways booking an early flight home and had another ouzo.
With it now dark, I drove home up the steep road towards the neighbouring village to Kambos. On the way up there is a church which is so tiny that it cannot possibly fit more than four people at any one time. I wonder if it too has a mass at any point but it is open all year and I remember well how last summer my step mother and I wandered in after we had enjoyed a meal with my father at Kitries. It was just her, me and some lizards who called the place home.
As I drove through Kambos tonight, I hoped as I had hoped every night since last week to see that amazing woman again. It was around eleven by the time I approached the church and there was light inside. I stopped the car and bounded up the three steps to the Church, I am sure the excitement was written all over my face. Inside was the woman, this time dressed not only in a black head scarf but in a shawl covering her arms and top half.
She beamed widely "hello Tom, how are you?" I did not even bother with Cala ( Greek for good) but in English explained a few matters and asked if, although I was a man, I could gain entry to what I thought was an abandoned monastery but is, in fact, a convent of which she appears to be the guardian. I think it is possible. We have a date on Friday at 7.30 PM. I gather there are two churches inside, one small one hewn from a rock and a larger structure. I look at the buildings looming over the valley, each day as I drive down snake hill on my side. Now I may just gain entrance.
But this is Greece. Nothing always goes according to plan. But I am truly excited.