Monday, 11 August 2014
I spent two years on the island of Crete and eventually managed to learn enough of the language to avoid embarrassing traps. The baker loved to have a laugh at my expense as psomi is bread and psoli is an item of male genitalia. Needless to say, he always asked me whether I wanted black bread, followed by another polite enquiry regarding the size I would require. I didn't rumble this little game for quite a while and when I did it was a bit of a walk to the other bakery.
The Pandalis brothers owned the (open air) cinema one door down from our little house and almost managed to marry my mother when she came to visit. The word for marry in Greek has a double meaning. They plied her with ouzo (similar to Pernod) and souvlakia (a kind of kebab in a pitta) and told her she was the most beautiful woman they'd ever seen. That did the trick. I would return from teaching to find her happy and delirious, sitting at a specially allocated table decorated with a single rose in an ouzo glass. She eventually came home with me, until the next day...
I met some very interesting people in Rethymnon and learned a great deal about Greek culture, more specifically, Cretan culture, some of which was beautifully refreshing and some of which was rather alarming. When I wrote 'A Good Day for Jumping', which is mostly set on the island of Crete, I was able to create some of my favorite characters. Roula is a strong, pragmatic girl with ambitions beyond her humble island background. When she meets Stephen Firth, son of an advertising tycoon, with a rather hedonistic view of the world and a definite playboy attitude towards women, I was interested to explore what they would make of each other.
For the next few days, 'A Good Day for Jumping' is 99p. If you would like to take a look, here is the link:
UK link - click here
US link - click here