Island dreams

Sunday Blog 100 – 3rd September 2023

This was a postcard I sent to my mother in 1997, re-photographed by my own fair hands this holiday which accounts for how skew-iff the image is. I sent it to her when I had all but finished my first year of teaching English as a Foreign language in Greece. Counting the weeks down from September to Christmas, Christmas to Easter. Once Easter was finished, the weeks of penance left until the end of the school year could be counted on one hand.

“See?” I crowed to my mother on the back of the postcard. “Wasn’t all that hard work worth it, to get to visit Skopelos?”

Too bad that it was April and the sea water was still bone-achingly cold. Much too cold for swimming – and the rain fell harder and harder as the week progressed. The triumph of having survived and made a mediocre holiday stop was something to be wildly celebrated in 1997.

This time of my life – as I edge closer to sixty – feels like a contradiction of the saying “the almonds of life come to those who have no teeth.”

I can now come to Greece while the weather is still good, and without having to endure eight months of slogging it out in the classroom. And I can still manage all those stairs.

Time to shovel in a handful of almonds and chew them with gratitude and full awareness of how bloody lucky I am.

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