Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 173

So we’re sitting on a beach, me under a semi-transparent parasol, and M in the full brunt of the sun, and it’s very very hot. Giorgios from the restaurant behind has given us free fruit and water (in ice), no doubt a loss leader, called me a fine man (because he can scan people), and called M a Norwegian model. There are more bum cheeks on display that on Love Island, and I’ve already thrown the lady who chargers for the sun loungers by speaking imperfect Greek to her (and putting the wrong vowel in the right place in the word for “you’re welcome.” Must try harder).

We arrived late last night, the flight delayed by a technical issue with the plane, but the hotel arranged for late donner for us, and served us beer past their closing time (Stavros – honestly – worked past his home time, which was very kind of him). And don’t be mistaken; this is a budget package holiday.

I woke just before 5am to the swallows swooping past the open window into which local music was echoing until 1am (I loved that, but would have liked to have been able to understand the lyrics). I went to have a smoke and a bottle of water on the balcony, and it was glorious to sit there in shorts and t-shirt and look across the bay, past the houses and hotels at the mountain range opposite. And it was still quiet, except for some locals getting in their cars and driving to work. I already like this place for that – there seem to be more locals than tourists, and when we went for a walk before bed last night, the bara seemed to be inhabited exclusively by locals rather than incomers like us.

Holidays like this always present dilemmas – environment vs escape, locality vs incomers, being in a country I barely know the language of; and sometimes I can’t reconcile these. But, without being self-congratulatory or arrogant, M and I have given over almost the entirety of our lives over the last 2.5 years to work, with the rest to parenting, that two weeks alone with each other, and in heat where M doesn’t have to put up with a creaking old man, and without any significant mundane concerns, seems like a real reward, not just an unnecessary luxury.

The real world is never far away, though I’m ignoring woek emails and most other online things. This morning I temporarily thought about not even blogging or writing, but that felt wrong, not from an obligation point of view, but from a self-care and self-need point of view. This is where I am. I am being a writer, the only thing I ever wanted to be.


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