Good morning (afternoon/evening) and welcome to the last week of September. Already? Aye, that’s how time goes. And the time is 5.00 on Sunday morning as I’m up early as usual. I seem to have fallen into a pattern of early mornings since… June I think. I much prefer this time of day. I like to make an early start and have my jobs done by mid-morning, leaving me the rest of the day to myself. Recently, that rest of the day has involved a walk in the afternoon, though I took Saturday off and am not yet sure if I will go for a stroll later today.
Early morning up here, late night down there. (Photo taken on my phone.)
A few years ago, we were in the habit of rising early and going straight out for a walk which, after a month or so, developed into a jog/walk and then into a run. I’m not sure my knees will cope with running up and down hills these days, but I might give it a go in a few weeks and see how I get on – at least my knees are insured now. (My private health insurance didn’t cover knees for the first three years of my policy but now I am in year four, everything is covered.) One of my favourite walks is up to ‘To Vrisi’ (Lit., ‘the tap’) the monastery of Zoodohou Pigis Vrisi where there is a natural spring from which you can fill up your water bottle. From our house off the village square and back, depending on the route, this is roughly three miles, half uphill and half down. I have to admit, the uphill part can be a bit of a slog, but once your calf muscles stop burning, it’s pleasant. Running back down is like being twelve again – banking on the camber of the corners, jumping over goat poo, feeling the wind rush past, and you’re hardly making an effort as gravity does most of the work for you. Just watch out for the knees.
Up in the hills.
Last week I put some music on my phone and plugged myself in. I’ve not done this before, not even when I was in my early 30s and used to run from Hackney to Islington and back before work, along the side of the canal. (I sound very sporty today. I’m not.) I loaded up a selection of music that I happened to have in Mp3 format on my laptop, put it on shuffle and off I went – not too loud so that I could still hear approaching cars, bikes, mules, goats etc. One moment I was wandering the top road on the way back from Roukouniotis listening to The Bombay Dub Orchestra, sublime, ethereal, Indian and composed by my best mate from school, and the next we had The Weather Girls and ‘It’s Raining Men’, left over from last year’s wedding. A bit of a jolt. What I did find, though, was that the music took my mind off the calf muscles as I trudged uphill trying to keep in time.
Sunrise from the roof.
Anyway… That was a bit of an early morning ramble in more than one sense, and now I must get on with the rest of the day. I’ve had a cup of tea on the balcony listening to the party going on down in the harbour, and there’s a second draft of ‘The Eastling’ waiting for me to tidy it up, so, it’s back to the book and on with the week.
Meanwhile in Yialos
My holiday day earlier this month.
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