Gardening for another world

My cousin is one of those people that fall into the category of being beautiful inside and out. She’s like a movie star, looks-wise, like Hollywood old and new; her looks transcend eras. They say physical beauty doesn’t last but when it transcends eras, like Joan’s, that’s quite a long time.

Here is a short description of what she looks like because amazingly, the snap we took of her on the day is terrible.

Joan has thick, raven hair with a few streaks of grey in it now, although no-one is counting. And she has vivid blue-green eyes like her Dad’s, offset by olive skin. I got my my mothers skin, which is Scottish and my grandmother’s hair, which is red. I have blue-grey eyes, like a Viking; they look green if I am lying on the grass. I so don’t look like my cousin. We are both tall though.

And this may sound a bit closeup but my cousin’s bone structure is also flawless, I mean, you can look but I’ve not found any flaws, perfect symmetry. I nearly wrote symphony then and that still would have been right.

Out of the thirty cousins of us, she has taken all the looks. Well, she was given them, it wasn’t her fault.

She also has a beautiful heart. She was given that too.

If I was her, I think I’d be some kind of monster, all those looks. But she’s not interested, I don’t think she even knows. Instead, she’s busy planting jonquils in her uncle’s grave (my father’s) because she passes it on her way to see her father. Her father resides in the same resting place as mine. I say resides but I mean the “residing” mortal coil of yore. Those quotes are mine. They don’t really mean anything.

It’s a big resting place.

Anyway, I think she felt sorry for Dad because his grave looked like a wasteland. There has been so much going on, nobody has been able to do anything about a headstone. So she planted some jonquils. She popped them in the wasteland.

That started the whole thing off.

“Would it be okay to plant some bulbs for your Dad? We did it for my Dad and it looks lovely!” she wrote. “Here are some photos” but all I could see were a few rocks and some gravel.

“Oh my goodness, Dad’s grave …” I thought because we had done nothing. Because at unexpected times, I feel him very close therefore I’m pretty sure he’s not in the ground; I don’t know where he really is, it is not possible to know but what I mean is, when you think you’re sure he’s not in the ground, you can tend to forget that he actually is. By “he” I mean, his “residing mortal coil of yore.” Those quotes again, just ignore them.

You don’t really forget but you also don’t rush. Which meant my Dad had been in an unmarked grave for a while now. Well, ever since he first went. I don’t think he’d mind. I heard it’s normal. But it sounds horrible in print.

Here’s a sort of mitigation list because of the horrible sound of the print above. I am writing it purely out of compulsion.

Firstly, there are things to sort out when someone slips away. I’ve had nothing to do with any of them but other members of my family have.

Including this: on the boardwalk of a beach near my father’s house is a new courtesy chair with a plaque on it dedicated to my Dad. It appeared few weeks ago. It’s the beach where we all grew up, where we all learnt to swim. I even went to school there, at the beach. I don’t know what I did to get so lucky. The view was such a relief in economics lessons.

Also, last month, an obituary to my father appeared in the big newspaper, a full page tribute. Full page apart from a column at the top with “the things that happened on this day” in history, column.

That took our breath away. So did the chair. My Dad would have been so surprised although I don’t know if people in the other world know about things ahead of time. I’m positive he would be very grateful though.

There, that’s the list. It’s a partial one but better than nothing, even though I’m not in it at all.

Through all that, it meant my father was still in a wasteland.

So Pete and I acted, gathering together two buckets of homemade worm compost, two bags of shop bought soil, a car boot full of gardening equipment, lots and lots of Spring bulbs and seeds and my lovely cousin Joan who met us at the resting place. Some of the equipment was useless but we took it anyway, Pete insisted.

And now there is a beautiful Spring garden, all for my father.

There is not that much to see. The bulbs and other flowers are still asleep and will come out in Spring which is pretty close. We just have to get through Autumn first, then winter. Actually, we have to get through summer first and foremost. It’s still right here, hot and sunny, as if it was December. Last week we had about three cool days which turned out to be a trick. But it had everyone pulling woollies out of storage and packing up shorts and t-shirts to throw them to the back of the wardrobe.

Now we are all pulling the t-shirts and shorts out again, feeling like a ship of fools.

Anyway, whenever Spring comes and it could come at any time, it could even be next, my father’s grave will billow forth in a palate of sky blue, cloud white and sun yellow. That is the colour scheme: sky, cumulous cloud, sun.

We packed them in: daffodils, jonquils, hyacinths, ranunculus, anemones, star flowers. In total over seventy flower beginnings. Plus Joan’s original four jonquils.

At some stage in the year’s cycle, it will look glorious. It might even look like heaven on earth.

The only exception to the colour wheel are a few of the hyacinths which are crimson red. Sometimes when you put an extra colour in, a colour not in the colour chart for example, just a flash of it, it can make the other colours look even more so: so more blue, more white, more yellow. Well, that’s the theory. Don’t go by it though, it’s just my theory.

If there are no flowers yet to see there is something to read. Sweeping across the top of the garden is the word “love” written in big, cursive lettering. I wrote it in white gravel I took from our driveway. It’s written large because I always fill the page in my artwork, that’s been the one, consistent comment.

Reading between the lines, it says: someone precious is here, even though there is no headstone yet.

Sheilagh wrote straight away.“Well, we certainly won’t do any tomb-stoning until Spring has sprung!” she said. But I had to look up the word “tombstone” to see if it was awful, I mean gloomy. It’s not, it’s just another word for headstone.

The morning we went down, Pete had bought some passionfruit from the market. He said they were for my Dad.

“How are you going to give them to him?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I just thought he’d like them” said Pete.

“Maybe you can offer them energetically” I said, and held out my arms and hands with nothing in them to demonstrate. “Like this …” It wasn’t very spiritual.

“Maybe.”

I totally forgot about them until we came home. Most of them were still lying in the fruit bowl, waiting for Pete to eat them. He’s a bit like my Dad, he loves passionfruit.

“I gave one to your Dad” he said, splitting another one open to slurp.

“You did?”

“Yes. I put it in the soil.”

“When? When you were planting the bulbs?”

“Yes” he said.

Sometimes you think you know how lovely someone is. Then they go and plant jonquils for someone or do something equally lovely that has nothing to do with you and you just learn about it. Like pass a passionfruit to another world.

Beautiful illustration, Pinterest 

Composting dreams

dreamsTwo days after the last post I was walking home from town because it is winter and it is not too hot. Actually it is freezing. It’s not even close to not being hot. It’s a terrible understatement.

I was just going the normal route, past the dentist, past the other dentist, the art gallery, the nursing home and the church with the kindergarten. All of the dwellings, apart from the church, are old mountain cottages.

A small throng of parents, grandparents and carers started to gather outside the church, smiling as they got closer, their arms spilling over with babies. Others chased toddlers who had got away.

Just ahead of this gathering, a couple of girls stood under a tree, staring at the ground.

In a scene of mostly babies and guardians the girls were an anomaly.

One of them stooped down to examine something on the ground. She picked it up, dropped it and picked it up again. The other girl just stood there.

If that is a ring, I thought, you are being pretty clumsy with it.

Meanwhile I was gaining on them. Not that I meant to, it was just part of walking home.

When I got closer they stopped and started to walk off toward their car.

Next thing I knew I was in exactly the same spot they had been and without thinking, staring at the ground. Normally I am more discreet but by then it was like a public event.

At the base of the tree and surrounding it were tiny, little mushrooms. Yellow or yellow-gold.

They looked identical to the new ones taking over our garden which we had discounted as not magical although we certainly had a lot of them. The few magical elements leftover in our garden had already disintegrated.

If the girls believed these to be magic, I didn’t know what to do. I had a few ideas: I could go up to them and tell them they might have the wrong ones. They might have the right ones. My other idea was: blank, I think.

I turned to look and they were staring straight at me.

For a second we were stuck, frozen in each other’s accidental gaze.

Then they defrosted, got in the car and drove off, P-plate dangling.

All the way home – past the house with the musty fence that smells of old petrol, past the other church, up the hill, down the hill, past the house where the little boy called hello from the balcony, past the wattle tree blossoming out of season which makes the street smell like honey, through the vacant block and into our garden – I thought about it.

I gathered my things and set up camp in our garden (almost.) I still slept inside (mostly.) But the next few days were dreamy (pretty much.)

After a couple of nights I thought I noticed the garden twinkle. I was always there so it was hard to capture, like watching hair grow.

New mushrooms were appearing in flash mobs.

Yellow at first. Then one changed.

“That one is gold …” I said to Pete giving him a tour over the weekend.

“Oh” he said and he went back to polishing the car. It was getting harder for him to sustain interest. But obsessions are so personal, I almost understood.

A few days later, another one changed.

Then the rest of them. It happened overnight.

The garden was twinkling and it looked like a jewellery box. I wanted to throw a blanket over it.

I called Pete with an update.

“Aren’t you getting too involved?” he asked.

“Too involved? Me?” I run him through the facts: the garden has started to twinkle. It looks like a jewellery box.

“Uh-huh” he says.

“Yes.”

I can hear a keyboard.

“Are you typing?”

“I’m at work.”

“Oh. But don’t you think that’s extraordinary?” I run him through the numbers: between four and six hundred, maybe five hundred … uh …

“… I don’t know, but it’s a lot.”

I tail off …

… like this

Then I pounce back.

“Eight hundred magic mushrooms growing in our garden … That’s kind of weird, wouldn’t you say?”

He does although it could be the way I put it.

I needed research. Luckily, conducting it has never been easier and I studied charts, photos, how-to videos, comparison models, test methods.

I turned our kitchen into a laboratory. I picked a sample group; they passed each test, each test but one which was inconclusive because it didn’t get any results. I put it down to lab technique.

“Pete” I called again.”We have a farm.”

“Really?” He sounded surprised but just I ignored it.

“Yes. We need to put them in the compost. But will they come back? I mean, like the Cat in the Hat?”

“No” he said. “The worms will take care of them.”

The next day I dig them all up, all three hundred or so, nearly a third of a bin full. It would would have sent the local high school to the outer reaches of the Milky Way and back.

The day after I find around two hundred more, casually surfing another part of the garden.

They all go into the compost. It has started to escalate. There is quite a heap now.

There are dreams there too; every now and then I check.

I’m not absolutely sure but once, I think I saw a rabbit with a stop watch … but when I looked again I couldn’t find him. Another time, I found some lost comments I posted on a friend’s blog. The sentence structure was terrible. I got out my Masters book of English literature to correct them but when I reached in …

… there was only this teacup …

Dreaming image: çizgili masallar

Teacup image: lena revenko

Lessons in how to fly

Now, when I open the door I am hit by flying popcorn. It happens in the morning, each morning and it is getting worse.

I wish so many things for them but most of all I wish they could fly. I wish they could fly better. I suppose they are trying.

Bizz bizz bi … bizz …

Bizz bizz …

They’re hopeless.

“Fly!” I want to yell at them. But you can’t yell at the hopeless. It only makes things worse.

“Fly, please.”

They pay no attention. I am wasting myself.

Bizz … bizz … bop!

“Hey!”

I am hit in the face again.

If I could fly, if I could fly even just a little bit, I would certainly teach them although I think they would be poor students which could reflect badly on me.

Nevertheless I would give it a go.

Bizz bizz … bi …

I feel like giving it a go anyway. It’s tempting. They are so pathetic. It’s almost impossible to stand by and not try (to teach them how to fly.)

Outside, I roll one over so that it is upright. That’s the other thing; they fall over and then they just lie there on their backs.

“Get up!” I want to command.

But it could sound harsh so usually I just roll them back over, up onto their legs.

“Come on” I say.

Bizz bizz.

Cicadas in chant.

When we were children, meaning all of us, there was a sort of prize in catching one and keeping it. Even girls. You would take it to school and just sort of walk around with it. Later you would let it go.

If you found a Black Prince it didn’t even matter if it was dead. It was still amazing.

“Look!” and you would empty out your pocket. “A Black Prince! It’s dead.”

“Oh!!!”

Then you would put it back in your pocket. Maybe later it would turn up in the laundry.

Even the green ones were worth something – but not usually dead. A Green Emperor still alive was roughly equivalent to a dead Black Prince.

Bizz … bizz.

I don’t know what these ones would fetch; they can’t fly. Or they take a very long time to learn.

They bounce and fall on their backs. When they take flight it is with eyes closed and they bump into walls, trees, you, like popcorn.

Bizz bizz … bop! …

… right in the face.

They are everywhere now, each day more and more. Legion in number, that’s one thing I can say for them. Although their numbers would be higher if they would get off the driveway. I am the angel of death and their flight instructor. It’s a complicated world.

Yet these ones are not green or black.

“They must be either Black Princes or Green Emperors” says Pete because ocassionally, although he is intelligent, his mind is inflexible. There can be no give for new information. Today, for example. Cicadas must be either Green Emperors or Black Princes even if they are brown.

“I think they are Brown Kings” I say. It is a name I invent.

“Oh, yes.”

Bop! Pete gets it in the face.

“Bizzzzzzz … zorry …”

“That’s okay.”

Nothing else is new here except for everything, still. The wardrobe and other socks are either finished or still in the making. It’s exhausting but it makes for a day job. This is my night one even though it is morning.

Or lunchtime. I better get up and start breakfast.

No excuses: I could say that we are still adjusting to the new time zone (after six months) except it is only me. Pete adjusted.

So I could say that I am still adjusting to the new time zone but the time zone is the least of my adjustments.

I am adjusting to the new day job. It’s very physical which is different to siting up in bed all morning writing.

In between bouts of physical labour and socks there is also the garden which is very physical labour although you should see it. It’s kind of magnificent. It keeps throwing up new buds, new blossoms. Every day it does this.

Yesterday, for example, I noticed that one of the bushes down the back, the small one next to the washing line, has turned purple with flower. It happened overnight.

We have run out of names for plants we thought we knew. We go as far as: “rhododendron, camilla, wattle, iris, magnolia, something, something something something, white, red something, greviiliia, green, something like lavender.”

“Warratah!”

“Brown Kings!”

“Yes!”

“Flightless cicada!”

It must be my day off because I am still here – but I had better get up. I can hear the popcorn. They will need rolling over.

And some lessons in how to fly.

News update: Having lived as pupae underground for seven years, the cicadas have birthed themselves but are afflicted with weakness it seems on mass, our neighbour tells us. “Gosh” I say. “Yes” he affirms. “But why and what to do about it?” No one knows and we all just shrug. “I think we have to ask the Ministry of Cicadas” he says (really.)

Finding roses

I am grateful for the wealth of luck in our world. Some people say there is not enough but imagine if there were none. No one would get out of bed. It would be bad luck. Everything would be.

It is almost impossible to imagine such a world. Just the thought would be enough to drive you back to bed which is where I am.

It is a beautiful morning. Most people are probably up; the sun is up and you are probably up. Whereas I am still here.

I am still here because if I get up the garden will see me and I am supposed to be having a day off. It will be the same as last time.

It’s funny – in a way that doesn’t make me laugh – because it is supposed to be a low maintenance garden. That is what the real estate brochure said:

Low maintenance garden

But we were too smitten with it’s beauty. However I did notice there was no lawn.

“There’s no lawn … it must be very low maintenance. Oh look! It says so here …”

Yet our low maintenance garden is killing us. I am only here now because I have run away from it. If it was any more low maintenance we would not survive I think. But it is low, just above death threshold.

“I am not going to do any gardening today” I thought to myself last time “I am just going to lie here and rest, like I used to …”

But it was a beautiful day, one of those days that is all things to all people. A sunny day, that sums it up perfectly.

“I better take the washing out” I thought to myself. “The washing will love this beautiful day.”

And that is what I did. In my pyjamas because I would need them later for lying down, for when the washing was hung in rows parallel to the earth and goddesses were smiling at my housekeeping.

But unfortunately the washing line is in the garden and the garden decided to kidnap me. Just for an hour – an hour was kind.

I started to peg, it was only a start, when my eye was drawn to the fence behind the washing line, the fence at the back. Actually the fence is at the side but as I was side on it to it, it was at the back.

There was a rose bush I had missed. I trimmed twenty of them on the weekend. But there was one I missed and the garden was kindly pointing it out, drawing my eye to it. I swear I didn’t look – my eye was drawn.

There >>>

“Oh God … a rose bush …”

But the garden has no time for complainers and I was set to work straight away there in my pyjamas, there in our low maintenance garden. I hadn’t even had my tea. I never have my tea anymore.

This is the situation I am trying to describe to you. I am at a loss.

I feel like going into the real estate agent office and complaining. I don’t know what I would say though … What could I say?

“I haven’t had my tea yet!”?

Should I go in my pyjamas? To bring home the point?

What is the point? I don’t think I know anymore.

I am falling in love this stupid garden, the one that steals all my time. The love is creeping up on me in big doses. I believe I am loving it as a consequence of pain and being chained to it.

That is why I am staying here in bed. Because of the stupid garden. It may be the only way to stop the process of love even though it is course of action that has never worked for anyone. Not for any place, nor any thing. Nothing, no-one. It has never stopped anyone falling for Mr wrong or Miss Wrong. No-one, never. It’s never worked.

But I’m going to give it a try. Because I really resent it.

Here’s how it went with the roses:

After I trimmed them (all but one) I had to try to put them in the bin, these bladed spears. But It is almost impossible. Rose branches don’t like to conform – they are non-conformist.

I borrowed another bin so we had two bins of them, twins.

It was no good.

“Pete, when you come back, just be careful around the side there because the #***^{}#{*** roses won’t fit in the bin. They’re sticking out like knives. Please take care.”

“Oh really? Okay” he answered. It sounded like he was humming. He’s very low maintenance.

Our garden is also low maintenance – in a manner I don’t recognise; it hasn’t any lawn. That is where my recognition ends.

Yet there are things growing where lawn might have been. Lots of things: exotic things, native things. Where there is space there are paths that curve and spiral, wander and twist. You could get lost. You could lose your train of thought.

It’s so beautiful.

It is winter and we have flowers, winter flowers.

There is a little plant I am trying to save … but if I tell you about it I will lose my train of thought.

There is so much to love. All the little things.

Australian_washing.JPG

Beautiful images courtesy of Australia.

50’s Elegance

Today is my birthday.

I am not going to say how old I am but there are clues. There is a number in the title. If you multiply that by one and then times it by two, then add three (counting one, two, three)

subtract the number that you first thought of

times that by zero

What do you get?

A carrot? Everybody always says “carrot.” Or a number.

When I do that equation, I get five and a tomato. Five is about how old I feel. Not that you needed confirmation.

Tomato is the wrong answer.

If I do the equation with a calculator and turn the calculator upside down, it says: “grow up” in upside down.

If by some miracle you arrived at the right number the first time around I would like to say I wish I could be there to help you digest it. To sit with you and offer consolation, extend some empathy, some mercy maybe, while you try to come to terms with the fact that the world is not as it seems.

Part of these terms, the ones staring you in the face right now, being that some people are MUCH, MUCH OLDER than you thought.

And you haven’t even met me.

But you know what a childish hand is; you’ve been reading one here forever.

“This kid” you say to your spouse, your friend, your lover and I hope they are all three “this kid’s  a kid. A sweet kid. A bit confused, but … hey, she’ll grow up” and those thoughts make you happy.

And today I go and wreck it all because I have grown up. I am. Already. And maybe life will give me plenty more chances at it but there is also the possibly that I am halfway through and not nearly done. I mean, if you use the formula at the top.

Actually I don’t know if it works for that equation but you could give it a try. Why not? It might help restore your peace of mind, just doing some maths.

If I am lucky – and I seem to have been very so far – there may be many more blogs to come, childish outpourings. All written in  the same hand, the exact same genre – that of a kid, a sweet kid.

The point is, you never guessed. How could you? And this is where I could console you.

“I know, I know …” I would say, nodding my head with emphasis because I really do know – plus I have known all along. You are the one who is in shock.

“It must be hard”

“She – she – I mean you – you – You sound like a kid. A sweet kid.”

“I know …” I think that’s all I could say. Plus offer you a blanket.

But I would stay with you to answer all your questions until you had no more, only answers. Consoling you with “I know, I know …” blanket.

“How long have you known?” (about your age.)

“For ages’ I would answer.

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“Which part?”

“ahhh … both?”

“No. And no.”

Because they make me happy.

I am happy to be here. I am proud.

I don’t mind that I sound like a kid. That I often feel five inside. Sometimes twice that.

I am happy to be this age which two days ago, when it moved closer to fact than fiction, when it threatened to wallop my esteem, the easy, self-esteem of someone below the half-way mark

revealed itself to me to be the age of elegance.

I don’t know why. And I am not going to question it. It came as a surprise which often is the way best things do.

It came like an arrow straight into my joy – pow! –

And now I am here. Just sitting here.

Just elegantly sitting here.

As if to prove the fact.

Image from Google

The (unbearable) Sweetness of Being Greece

It is easy to jump to conclusions. For instance, if you linked the title of this post to the date, it would be easy to conclude we had just come back from another holiday this time in Greece.

Easy, isn’t it?

I could explain … but I am kind of against explanations. They sound defensive, offer too many details. They can be boring. I am pretty much against them.

And you might not believe me. You might raise an eyebrow. You might scoff …

was that a scoff, just now? … Are you clearing your throat?

Oh dear. I’m a little nervous. I hate explanations. They bring out the worst in people. And other creatures. Look at the mouse! The mouse on my right. It is shaking. And the keyboard has developed squeaks  … squeak

squeak squeak

Was that the keyboard? Or are you doing something?

Dear.

This isn’t right.

I just know I’m going to come out with it anyway. All of it. Plus photos. Just like you suspected.

But how to start …

I will start by saying this:

we went to Greece for a holiday, another holiday, hot on the heels of the last holiday; we are holiday pigs; holiday seven deadly sins; we are holiday criminals; we should be locked up, on holiday for the rest of our lives.; never have to work again; always living the high life, on islands with beaches the colour of crayons and water so clear you could see through it to the other side of the globe if you dug in a straight line …

Maybe Hawaii.

Anyway … that should teach us. I hope we learn something. Some people never learn. About them, I say: put them all on holiday! Then see how they feel!

I am also slightly against punishment. Even though it is a default setting in my personality. Which means I am against myself quite a lot of the time. It can be hard, living. Just living. Never mind extra components: other people, for example, holidays …

In the spirit of it is hard sometimes, it just is, I forgive us: for being on holiday twice in as many weeks, rediscovering a country whose people are as sweet as the little goats they tend, letting them run freely in the mountains to nibble away, all day if they like, on wild herbs and fruits: sage and thyme, quinces, lychees, juniper berries.

There are others: wild asparagus, overgrown, spotted on the side of the road below the cypress trees. A pomegranate tree left to drop fruit on the ground outside an abandoned house.

Shall we help the little goats clean up this pomegranate mess? asks Pete.

Yes, we should. What a mess! There, we have cleaned up two for them.

Everywhere you can hear the little goat bells in the distance letting you know the little goats are close. A primitive sound: flat metal knocking against itself in hollow notes. Earthy, hand-forged or at least very artisan. And irregular, like the makeshift sound of playing horses with coconut shells but less rhythmic.

Look! on the road ahead there’s one!

Where there is one, there is always two. They travel in pairs. And very often in shades – one black, one white. I am not making any cultural statements. It is what we saw.

clip – clip clip clop

clop clop – clip

No rhythm.

But lots of music, floating music. The sound of hills.

One goat was without a playmate. He was larger than the others, twice as large, walking the cliff edge of the road and wearing headphones. Or what looked like headphones … mighty, spiralling horns, pointed on either side of it’s head.

la la laaaa… ambling the cliff edge, headphones on, listening to something. Aries; newborn of the zodiac. Flouting danger. They can be so headstrong.

Little goat tinkling filled the air. But you only saw them when they wanted to cross the road which happened quite frequently. Except they were shy so that as soon as they saw you seeing them they edged back – or forth  – and disappeared. Down a small cliff. Up vertiginous bank. Nimble, twinkle-toed. Gone.

All this sweetness. Our last holiday In Europe. Timed the only way we could. Before we migrate to another hemisphere. We shall have to take our holidays in Melbourne from now on, second home to Grecians.

In the taxi on the way back to the airport –

“Oh look! A donkey! On the road!” Too quick for us. The photo might have depicted something Biblical: a donkey with a loving face carrying an old man, side saddle, and his bundles

– our driver spoke in soft tones, like melodies played on a cello. Each utterance a virtuoso note of his instrument. Soft, vibrating, minor key.

“Is it harder now with all the euro troubles?” we asked.

G sharp … D minor” (yes.) “F sharp … D flat … A” (there are many new taxes for local people.)

“Will you go to Athens when the tourist season finishes?”

“F… B flat … G sharp ….” (no. In the city there is no work. In the countryside there is always work to do on the land.)  Little goats, for instance.

From the glovebox he pulled two photos, precious items: he and Nicholas Cage, he and Penelope Cruz, 1999 – the year Hollywood came to the island to make Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. He was their driver. His best year.

“Nicolas Cage looks nice”

B flat … G sharp ….” (he didn’t say anything.)

“What about Penelope Cruz?”

G sharp … D minor” (she was very friendly.)

Our ride was a sweet one; filled with the nature of the people, their neat houses tumbling with flowers, their flocks, the scent of wild herbs

and music – our driver chief soloist.

All this sweetness. We were so grateful.

And barring taking fortnightly holidays there forever

all we can do

is wish them love.

A symphony of it.

A happy ending.

The kind that Hollywood,

if it revisited,

might write for them.

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