Jul 17th 2015  

 Travel diaries

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Crete Camp 2015

Someone said they had yoga for breakfast, but I think I must have mis-heard. The sea is pretty exciting again today, with big waves rolling in to shore. A breakthrough conversation today with the Leader of the Elders, always dapper in straw trilby (even in the sea). Had a conversation without words covering where we were from, what we were doing here, and how lovely Crete is. Like parents everywhere we enumerated our children, pointed out our spouse. He showed me his grand-daughter (his son’s child) and explained that his son was working in Vamos, hence not on the beach.

Fruits today were lovely as always – flat peaches, watermelon, and cherries. Just enough to keep going till lunch. Morning training revealed weaknesses in the ability of the younger generation to apologise out loud – essential when disarming an attacker. Using your legs made a come-back, and don’t forget to “accessorise”. After enough grappling in the sand it was time for swimming, to the disappointment of some of the onlookers. I took the opportunity to continue my covert sword training. To a casual observer this looks a lot like beach tennis. Just as in Wudang sword sparring the aim is not to win but to both improve your technique. En garde, thrust, parry, thrust, parry, thrust, parry, miss. Again. Thrust, parry, thrust, parry, deflect, splash, retrieve. Don’t hit the bystanders. Let no-one understand what you are doing. It’s all in the stance and the wrist. Return match tomorrow.

Before lunch went to source food for tomorrow evening’s barbecue. Butchers glad to see us – offering sausages, lamb chops, skewered pork, maybe rabbit (need to make some phone calls). Plus parts of lamb usually considered as either a delicacy or inedible depending on your point of view (also requires some phone calls). When we finally get there lunch was, incongruously, fish and chips. But the fish was so fresh it was perfectly melting within its enormous tomb of crispy batter. Ahhh time for a nap.

Afternoon training on the theme of perfection. Why not? Bob Dylan knocking on Heaven’s door whilst the cicadas provide the rhythm section. Life throwing its usual hints.

Dinner is kalitsounia, smoked pork, fig salad. Followed by charades and chicken with potatoes.