Sorry for the relative silence but I’ve been enjoying myself in Mykonos all week and my days have largely been spent as follows:
34 per cent eating tzatziki
22 per cent drinking rose
13 per cent taking photographs of the sunsets
12 per cent applying and reapplying sun cream
11 per cent trying to remove sand from my legs/arms/hair/mouth/ear drums which has stuck to me because of all the suncream.
8 per cent applying aftersun
After several days of this exhausting moisturising routine my skin is now so shiny that, were I to wade into the Gulf of Mexico, I would cause another oil slick and they’d have to declare a national disaster.
Anyway, it’s quite tiring all this so I’ve just come in from the pool for a siesta and found a spider the size of a saucer on my ceiling. A furry one. And stripey. Bastard. So even though I lay down on my bed and shut my eyes, roughly every three or four seconds I would open one eye again and squint at the thing to make sure it hadn’t started charging at me. I’m sure it’s plotting murder. Look, it’s that enormous black devil above the door.
So I’ve opened my laptop instead. Because apart from the genetically-modified spiders, Mykonos is heaven. Actual heaven. People can be a bit funny about it because one part of the island is a sort of mini Ibiza. Big clubs, big yachts, Kim Kardashian drifting about in her typically understated way and so on.
But I haven’t seen any of that. Instead, I’ve seen an island that looks like a cross between Mars and Jordan – rocky arid hills with goats that jump stone walls and little coves where the sea is so clear you’re almost too worried to wee in it in case someone sees. Plus, all the buildings are whitewashed, mostly with blue doors and windows, and nothing is allowed to be over a few metres so there are no hideous high-rise hotels ruining it all. And I’ve eaten quite a lot of tzatziki, yes, but also barbecued swordfish, grilled squid, prawns covered in lemony olive oil, zucchini fritters, taramasalata, lamb souvlaki, moussaka, 329 Greek salads, homemade ice cream and so on. It’s astonishing. Also, you can get anywhere in about 20 minutes and the airport is the size of a matchbox, so you’re down, out and at wherever you’re staying within half an hour of landing, easy. I’d quite like to live out here and do yoga on a rock all day. Apart from the spiders. They do worry me a bit.
*** A completely separate point. But over lunch out here two days ago I sat next to a chap with the surname Frazier and for some reason we got talking about Muhammad Ali. This chap had been to two of Ali’s fights and met him shortly before the Thriller in Manila.
‘Frazier?’ Ali had apparently said, frowning at this chap. ‘You’re not related to Joe Frazier, are you?’
‘No,’ my friend replied, probably a bit nervously.
Whereupon Ali lent forward, pinched my friend’s cheek, grinned and said ‘You’re much cuter than Joe Frazier any how.’
And then the next morning, having had this long conversation about him over lunch, we all woke up to the sad news that Ali had died. Strange, coincidences like that.