I’ve been away from home for just nine nights, but it feels like an eternity and I suspect I’ll be playing catch-up for awhile. As such, I’ve splurged what could be several blogs into one long stream of ecocentric miscellany. If you want to kill some precious time, this is a good place to start.
I had the relaxing time I thought I’d have in Greece, but the days preceding a holiday are always exhausting. The benefits of the information age are hard to dispute, but the connectedness of work, play and everything in between makes it hard to switch off and disappear for a short while.
A couple of days before I left, I had a minor existential crisis prompted by an article about existential crises. I’ve followed Charlie Brooker’s output ever since Nathan Barley and never miss his Monday Guardian column. I find myself on the same wavelength as Brooker more often than not, sometimes spookily so.
On 4 Jan I blogged about my Norovirus hypochondria. Brooker’s column ten days later was on the same subject, echoing my sentiments exactly. On 19 Feb I blogged about the grotesque ‘not guilty’ plea made by murderous Mark Dixie. Brooker’s next column was on the same topic.
I may have briefly entertained the thought that he either reads my blog or shares my subconscious, but only because making something of minor co-incidences is fun. However, when I read his recent article on existential angst, my eyes popped out of my head.
Not only have I read two of the books he mentions in the article, but I’ve read them both in the last couple of months. Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, and Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre.
Let’s break out a Venn diagram.
The number of people who read the Brooker article having already read Nausea and Timequake must be very small indeed. The number of people who have read all three in the last couple of months must be, erm, pretty much just me. It’s unsettling enough when an article seems to have been written just for you, but when that very article is on the subject of existentialism… well.
So, a few things about Santorini.
Me and my sweet baboo had a very good time wandering around in our linen trousers, drinking Mythos, taking the piss out of a baby-boomer couple staying in our village, tasting Santorini wine and petting stray dogs.
There’s some more pictures on Flickr if you’re interested.
Santorini is made up of a group of islands formed by the eruption of a volcano more than 3,000 years ago. The volcano itself remains active, and you can visit it, but there’s no eruptions anticipated for quite some time yet.
They do have earthquakes fairly freqeuntly, the last major one being in 1956, when entire villages were abandoned. We walked around a decrepit village that was untouched since 1956. Very sad to step into ruins that were once someones cherished homes. Dreams turned to dust in one violent act of nature.
There are vineyards everywhere, wine being Santorini’s main export. It doesn’t taste too bad considering they’re growing grape vines in Volcano ash.
There were quintessential old men with mustaches offering rides on donkeys with gaffa tape wrapped around their hooves. I’m still not sure who I felt more sorry for.
Oia is an exceptionally beautiful and uplifting place, full of narrow, winding alleys to explore and get lost in, and remarkably unspoilt by tourism.
Now I’m back home, pathetically happy to be all tippity-tappity on my computer and reunited with guitars, Nintendo and Peep Show, the new series of which is sublime.
It’s not all good though; as we approached Gatwick on the return flight, my heart started pounding and I felt sweat at the bottom of my spine – FUCK! Boris Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson isn’t really the mayor of my city is he? Next you’ll be telling me Tony Blair is a middle-east peace envoy!