David and I went to church this morning. We don't usually do that, but today was the remembrance service for Yannis Souladakis, who died a year ago. At the time I was in hospital, and we couldn't go to the funeral, so we made a special effort to go to the service today. I am so pleased we did. Yannis ran the taverna, Platanos, together with his wife, Elaine, who still does. When David and I came to the village, Platanos was our first stop. We had walked up the old road from Sissi and at Selinari, just after the bridge, behind a concrete construction, is where the old cobbled donkey track converges with the main road. Unfortunately the last time I walked up this path, it was completely fenced off by shepherds, to make a pen for sheep. And I mean completely fenced off! No gate, no way around, I had to cross the hillside by the fields to get back on the main road. Anyway, in those days the path was a joyous way to walk into Vrahassi. It led us right to Platanos, where we met Yannis and Elaine. That was seventeen years ago. We saw Yannis become ill, but it never stopped him serving food and drinks, and always with a smile and a friendly word. He was very much a part of village life, and a part of our lives too. We found our first house by sitting in Platanos and asking around, and we shook hands on a property over a beer, with Yannis looking on. I'm sure that Yannis is resting peacefully, or else sitting in paradise with his mates.
There was a good turnout in the church today, a very young priest from Xersonissos took the service because the regular priest is apparently in Africa for a month. It was a lovely service that resounded through microphones and over the hillside. After we were invited to Platanos where we sat amongst our neighbours and ate delicious cakes and biscuits, with cognac to toast a man who is missed by all.
The church in Vrahassi is extremely ornate. In this picture the painting has not been completed. Now all the walls and collumns ar covered in icons, and a red carpet covers the floor.The smell of incence and candle wax pervades the air, and makes for a very beautiful place to visit.
And now it's back to work. David is writing on his computer; I am writing on mine. It's a lovely a Sunday and I'm full of cake - good job it's exercise day. I hope you are all having a good Sunday.
Love and best wishes,