Friday, 26 May 2017

Greece Is The Word


After we missed out on Glastonbury tickets when they went on sale back in October Jon & I made a plan to escape to Greece for the duration of the festival. We procrastinated, looked at flights and package deals, leafed through the guide books and internet forums and did nothing. Waking up to the news of the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester on Tuesday morning jolted us into action. Life is short...book the trip.

The Mid-century oxidised bronze Athena ornament was a souvenir my Dad bought back from Athens in the 1950s. 

Ever since I was captivated by Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals as an 11 year old I'd wanted to visit Corfu but somehow never got around to it. I've been to Greece many times but just not Corfu so, 39 years later, that's where we're going. 


Unbelievably the flights and a week's accommodation in a privately owned apartment in the middle of an olive grove 500 metres from one of the most beautiful beaches on the island has cost less than the price of two Glastonbury tickets with enough cash over to pay for a taxi to and from our apartment plus a new bikini for me, some swim shorts for Jon and our sun cream, too. When Jon was rummaging in the cupboard he came across €280 in an envelope, left over from a trip to the island of Thassos in 2006 (where we took the photos above).  


It's been 11 years since we last had a European beach holiday and, used to backpacking around India by train, packing is a revelation. I don't need the earthy colours to hide the dust and grime of the Sub-continent, I can wear shoes with a bit of a heel (hello, clogs!) and there's opportunities to dress up a bit (something that would look ridiculous in our beloved laid-back Goa).  Thinking about it, I don't really need a bikini, our nearest beach is nudist. 


Like an excited schoolboy, Jon packed within half-an-hour of booking the flight. Four long sleeved cotton shirts, three pairs of shorts, a pair of white jeans, three tee shirts, a sarong, three hats, his Birkenstocks and his trusty desert boots.....the swim shorts are in the post.


This week the UK has been enjoying temperatures comparable to June in Corfu, perfect for testing whether the clothes I'm planning to take are suitable for the heady heights of 80º F. One of the maxis on the pile got tossed after I wore it out chazzing this morning as it kept slipping down my back and pissing me off.  The insane 1970s American, union-made cotton jumpsuit bought from eBay seven years ago is a winner though, it survived a tedious midday trip to B&Q to buy plywood & compost and felt like I was wearing nothing.


Bikini aside I definitely won't need to buy anything new, with my passion for sleeveless, backless and floaty with bright tropical prints I already dress like I live on a sun drenched Mediterranean island rather than the damp, grey shores of the UK. Below is my final cut. I'm sure that I don't need to tell you that everything is vintage.


There's over three weeks (and our first festival of the Summer) until we fly but we're already in the mood, feasting on Feta cheese, tzatziki and Greek olives, watching Simon Reeve's BBC documentary on Greece and rereading Prospero's Cell in the garden yesterday. Next stop films set (or partially set) in Greece -  John Le Carré's Little Drummer Girl is on the list but I draw the line at Mama Mia.

Thassos, 2006

The day was one of those breathless, clear, blue days that only Greece, of all the countries in the world, can provide. The cicadas were zithering in the olive trees and the sea was a deeper blue, moving reflection of the sky. We had just finished a large and leisurely lunch under the twisted, pitted olives that grew almost to the edge of the sea on one of the most beautiful beaches of Corfu. We slouched there indolently, ferrying a giant, wicker-covered bottle of turpentine-like retsina between us.   Extract from Fillets of Plaice by Gerald Durrell

Thassos, 2006

It's another weekend off for us and the rum is waiting. (I really ought to reacquaint myself with ouzo but it brings back a lot of bad memories of terrible hangovers).

See you soon!

Linking to Judith's Hat Attack.

93 comments:

  1. Hah! I loved reading those books by Gerald Durrel as a teenager! How thrilling you're going to Corfu!!


    I originally thought that pretty flowered outfit was another Vix DIY creation (I seem to recall vintage sheets in that pattern). Now you have inspired me to finally replace my heavy winter woollens, with some maxi skirts....hoping for warmer weather here in Thunder Bay!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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    1. He was such a great writer, wasn't he?
      Get those Summer clothes out, you can always stick your boots and long socks underneath (like I do!) xxx

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  2. I had the worst hangover of my life after a night on the ouzo, while on holiday in Thassos, funnily enough! Love love love Greece, I'm envious of your trip. Who needs Glasto when you have Greece? You look ready for it, that's for sure, in that wonderful jumpsuit and fab clogs. (Thanks for the Bjorn tip, by the way, I will investigate). I bet you are loving these hot temperatures - I'm wilting, they are no help to the menopausal woman...
    I'm chuckling at how you and Baker don't hang about, you get your packing done straightaway, no messing! Impeccable choices, of course.
    Enjoy your weekend, steer clear of the ouzo and Mamma Mia (Worst Film Ever) but binge on olives, tzatziki and rum as much as you like! Love you! xxx

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    1. Haha! At least there'll be no danger of bumping into Ed Shearling while we're there.
      I ma bloody loving the heat - but I bet I'll be needing my thermal knickers come the weekend. xxx

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  3. So happy for you guys! I like to think I might have had a little influence after going on and on about Greece for the last 8 months :) Five sleeps until departure for us. I am steering clear of ouzo for the same reason but hope to sample a lot of wine while I'm there. We are half packed, with all my little bottles of lotions (under 100 ml) and tiny pieces of clothing rolled up. I am sorry about you missing out on Glastonbury but Corfu I am sure will rock!

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    1. Oh yes, you did push us in that direction! I can't wait to see your photos. Have an ace time. xxx

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  4. I wanted to call my narrowboat Bootlebumtrinket after the boat he had in the books.

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  5. Happy happy happy blog post. Just what was needed after the last few days here in the North West. It is so surreal here at the moment.
    On the opposite side the Manchester City games, the football win and the great Manchester run on Sunday show the determination of spirit of people. So we've picked up a bit tonight.
    Your trip sounds exciting and a childhood dream realised. Yay fantastic.
    Lots of love xxxx

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    1. I'm glad to hear it. It has been a sad week and weird to see so many police on the streets even in Walsall! xxx

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  6. I'll second Curtise's advice to stay away from Ouzo-it goes down so easy you don't notice you're drunk until you fall off your barstool. Well, that's how it worked for me ;)

    That jumpsuit reminds me of the curtains in my bedroom circa 1970.

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    1. Same here! I've still got the scars on my knees from an encounter in 1991! xxx

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  7. yay! greece!!
    corfu sounds awesome - as your travel wardrobe looks! all this colorful dresses, so pretty. and i have a heavy case of clog envy :-)
    love the bronze ornament your dad bought!
    xxxxx

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    1. Mad to think we've never been to Corfu, I think it's the most popular island! I cannot wait (and neither can my clogs!) xxx

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  8. Oh brilliant! I am so pleased that you've booked a Greek trip, after France it's my favourite European destination. I've never been to Corfu either, however the scenery on The Durrells is wonderful. God, wasn't Mamma Mia dire? Curtise is spot on. Loving your Dad's mid century souvenir, he was obviously a man of taste. xx PS More fab clogs, I see that these ones are Lottas.

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    1. We love it, too. We haven't seen The Durrells, I don't know if I fancy it although Jon's found another series from the 1980s with Imelda Staunton and Brian Blessed which might be worth a shot.
      Both pairs are Lotta's - I think I'm addicted! xxx

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  9. Love me a bit of Greece. What a stunning place and I fell in love with Corfu because of Gerald Durrell. I too wanted that life when I was a kid. Have a wonderful time and get on that nudist beach...I loved the one in Menorca. Everyone in together in the altogether not given a shit!
    Oh yeah...CLOGS!!!
    Loves ya.
    xxxxx

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    1. Oh yeah, let it all hang out and sod the rest of 'em! Loved the one in Fuerteventura, too! xxx

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  10. Oh how I enjoyed this post! The anticipation!!! I'm sooo happy for you! The outfit is adorable, and I just love the green clogs! Your choice of dresses and everything is perfect. Can't believe how cheap it is to stay in Greece! One day, we'll make it to Europe!

    The quote at the end is just beautiful, I enjoyed every sip. At first, I thought that it was YOU writing so beautifully! I mean, I KNOW you are a great writer, but this was simply breathtaking, and I thought... WOW! Vix! :)

    Much love!

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    1. You'd love Gerald Durrell's writing and I bet Anya would, too. It used to be on the school curriculum in the 1970s. xxx

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  11. Why does New Zealand have to be so far from the action? I just armchair travel now.oozoo sounds dangerous. Must taste good to get you trapped into drinking it. Your clothes look fab. I will have so much fun reading all about your adventures. Lots of love Xxx

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    1. You're so far away in NZ! We can be in Greece in three hours, we should pop over more often! xxx

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  12. What a fabulous array of frocks you have there! The green is my favourite of course. I had no idea you were wearing a jumpsuit until you said it in your post - what ever it is it's lovely on you and it made me smile with its colourfulness.

    How brilliant to find some forgotten euros.

    I think it's a marvellous idea to go to Greece instead of Glastonbury and I know you'll have a fab time. I've never been but hoping to take the grandkids in October half term when I won't die in the heat....

    xxx

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    1. That jumpsuit is so voluminous it's hard to tell it's a jumpsuit unless I do the splits - and that's just asking for trouble!!!
      I think you'd be safe in October. You know me, I'm like a lizard, it never gets too hot. xxx

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  13. Check out "Shirley Valentine". Might be my favorite movie of all time. And much of it is set in Greece.

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    1. Liz! I'd forgotten all about Shirley Valentine! I saw it at the cinema when it first came out. Thanks for the reminder. It's on the list! xxx

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  14. A change in routine is sometimes needed! Enjoy Greece.

    Oh, and Union Made on the label! I miss the old ILGWU commercials! Look for the union label when you are buying that coat, dress, or blouse!

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    1. I can't wait!!
      I'm surprised how often those union labels pop up on clothes in charity shops here, they've come a long way, baby! xxx

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  15. We loved Greece, even though we only got out of Athens for a day trip to Delphi. We didn't want to leave!

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    1. My Dad always raved about Athens. Mainland Greece is spectacular, so wild and untamed! x

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  16. My reading of 'Little Drummer Girl' should go into the Guiness Book of Records: I started it in the summer of 1979, and I STILL haven't finished it. Have a great time!

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    1. No way! I haven't seen the film yet but finished the book in a day. xxx

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  17. I wonder if your trip will overlap Cheap Chick's Greece tour? I need to go back and find her dates. I too have been thinking none of this waiting stuff. I'm booking our anniversary trip this weekend and busy making miniadventure plans until then. Your wardrobe choice is superb.

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    1. Sadly our paths won't cross, they'll be back before we've gone - would have been fun, wouldn't it?
      I hope you've booked that trip. It's so good to have something planned to look forward to. xxx

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  18. Life is short Vix.
    I hope you have a wonderful time-x-

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  19. I think I spotted your American twin today. A lady was wandering the aisles of the store where I work in a floor length floral maxi that looked very 70s, a floppy hat and a short denim jacket.

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    1. Hello darkelady! she sounds fab. You've inspired me to dig out my cropped denim jacket now. xxx

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  20. I'm reading 'My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart. She describes Greece so well. Sooo jealous!
    Have a ball!! Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. I'll have to see if I can find that book, it sounds ace! x

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  21. Have you washed The Duels on TV Thats set in Corfu and its beautiful , Idont bale you for wanting to go there xxx

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    1. We haven't seen the series, I'm scared it'll ruin my memories of the book! xxx

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  22. Hope you have the best time. Xxx

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  23. Hope you have fun! I love the dresses you selected to take along. I haven't been away since the early 2000's!

    The weather's turned here, it was deliciously warm here yesterday with blue skies and a warm breeze but after a 5am thunderstorm this morning, we're left with grey skies, drizzle and a far cooler breeze xxx

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    1. We didn't get any of that thunder but it's rained on and off ever since I posted - typical as we're at a festival from Thursday this week! xxx

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  24. You have to come to where I live next time. I would have you at home, but no room left. Rebeccas is living with us and Paloma (yougest, has taken over the 3rd room for weekends, hahahha. I would definitely search for something up your alley. I always think how much you would love it here.Best time is September october when all the children are back to school
    Think about it

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    1. That sounds like a plan! I'd love to visit your part of the world again, it's been far too long. xxx

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  25. We had to do My Family And Other Animals at school too and I loved it.I thought I was the only one who hated Mamma Mia lol. I always enjoy Simon Reeve's programs wherever he goes. I want to come with you! xx

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    1. Mama Mia was dreadful, I couldn't watch more than 15 minutes of the drivel!!!
      Simon Reeve is so good, I love his passion. xxx

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  26. Agreed, ouzo is not a good idea. Looking forward to an excursion to Corfu with you and Jon, however! A nudist beach, you say...? Don't forget the sunscreen.

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    1. I'm on it, Factor 40 in the bag! xxx

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  27. Greece! What a surprise. You never cease to amaze. But why not? Can't wait to see Corfu through your eyes. And those colorful clothes.

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  28. Good for you that you have decided to go ahead and book that trip to Greece! Wish my packing would be so straightforward as yours, though. And Jon is the complete opposite to Jos, who is leaving is packing until the very last moment. Love the green clogs, what an amazing colour. xxx

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    1. It's so much easier when the weather is more or less guaranteed! I'd take more to Glastonbury.xxx

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  29. This post sizzles with anticipation! It makes me want to unearth my travel guides. I can picture you in any one of those amazing frocks in the sun, having a blast. And how lucky Walsall is that you brighten up your own area with them too. I'm afraid you won't take many photos if all your time is spent at the nude beach - the other people there might not like it.

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    1. I think I'll be leaving the camera in the apartment when I'm on the beach - some things don't need to be shared! xxx

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  30. What a great idea and such a fab way to spend what would have been your Glastonbury money. I've actually managed to persuade Himself to have a holiday the same week (I'm still in shock!!), only Cornwall but still it's going away somewhere!!!

    Haha I know I'm in the minority but I bloody love Mama Mia, mostly because it is so dreadful.

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    1. Yay! Cornwall will be fabulous!
      I'd never have put you down for a Mama Mia fan! xxx

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  31. Greece is on my list!!!!!!!!! U look so fresh and gorgeous in that sundress <3

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  32. I'm so excited for you two! Sounds like you scored quite the deal.

    I've wanted to go to Greece for ages but never managed to get there. I'm excited to read about your adventures and see the photos you'll bring back.

    Love all your clothing choices.

    You and I would have fought hard over a piece I found today while thrifting. A maxi lace semi fitted dress with angel sleeves. It looks all kinds of 1960's Italian.

    Love the sundress and your fresh face.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. The make-up free face! I was practicing for our trip.
      That dress sounds incredible. I need to see you wearing it! xxx

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  33. Oh fabulous, your clogs look so comfy and stylish. For a beach holiday later this year I am hunting for kaftans, preferably chiffon with lots of beading - impossible, they only exist in my head it seems. Your dresses all look so pretty but comfy too. I think you are going to be a real head turner.

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    1. I've seen a few in chazzas but the quality has always been a bit nasty and nylon-y. Ebay might be worth a shot. Search for Antik Batik, they do some incredible embellished silk kaftans, you could bag a bargain! xxx

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  34. woaaa, that looks like an amazing trip, such a fabulous plan!, I agree with you about enjoying every moment!, yeah!
    And I understand that packing for a different kind of holiday could be a challenge, but for sure you're going to rock!, all those fab prints and your new cute clogs!! So cool that you're going to Corfú!, I love Gerard Durrell books!
    besos & sol

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    1. It is a challenge, we've got into a Goa mindset over the years and take the same clothes without much thought! It's a whole new world. xxx

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  35. That's amazing that you managed to get all that for the price of Glastonbury tickets! What a lovely holiday, and you look so fab in your jumpsuit, floppy hat and clogs. I have the exact same clogs in blue, love 'em.

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    1. Clog twins! We've got great taste!!! xxx

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  36. I had one of my favourite holidays in the Peloponnese; seeing your photos made me wish I was going to Greece this summer. It sounds like you got a brilliant deal and your wardrobe is sorted for the fabulous weather. I'm as green as your lovely clogs ;) xxx

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    1. Hehe! We've been meaning to go for years. I was surprised at how little we paid! Counting the days! xxx

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  37. We're thinking of Corfu this year (prompted by The Durrells TV series), so I would really like to hear about your trip!! We'll probably go in September. Your holiday wardrobe is so fabulous xx

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    1. I will, I will! I'm so excited to be taking pale coloured clothes, a fancy hat and heels. xxx

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  38. Safe travels and merry memories.

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  39. Hi Viix, sounds like so much fun! Can't wait to see photos sans the nude beach. Lol

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    1. Thanks, Cherre! Lovely to hear from you! x

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  40. How exciting! We looked at holidays to Corfu this year (after watching The Durrells, not sure if it would be your thing but I love the show!) but decided on Tuscany instead. We may go later in the year now or book it up for next year so I'll be interested to hear how you got on, it looks beautiful! xx

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    1. I've always fancied Tuscany, you'll have an amazing time. The flights are such a good price you really should go later in the year. xxx

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  41. Wow! Greece is another place I would love to visit someday! You have the perfect wardrobe for it that is for sure! It is all gorgeous, like you! :)

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  42. Ooh, I really enjoyed the Gerald Durrell books! We were considering Corfu for this week actually. Chris really wants to walk in the Vikos Gorge in Northern Greece and the quickest way to get there is to get a flight to Corfu and then a boat! My Dad loves it there- mind you, he's half Greek, so I imagine that's why!
    So exciting that you got it for less than the price of Glastonbury AND found the cash lurking around! It's destiny, you were meant to go there!!x

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    1. Corfu seems to be a bit like Goa in that nobody ever seems to visit just the once! I can't believe it's taken us so long to get there. xxx

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  43. No Glastonbury? That genuinely shocked me. Corfu looks amazing, though - all that sun and lovely olive trees. The thought of Jon packing immediately did make me chuckle.

    I wonder if they're getting more visitors from Britain because of the Durrells? We'd hoped to go to Cadiz this year, but bloody Rick Stein went there and then it was nigh-impossible to get a decent hotel, so we're off to Zaragoza instead. TV does influence people. (Don't get me started on West Bay - thanks a *bunch*, bloody Broadchurch, you destination-ruiner...)

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    1. I know, we were gutted to miss out on tickets and there's no way i can sit at home and watch it on the telly!
      Jon's like a little boy when he's got a holiday booked mind you, I have to supervise his packing, he's inclined to go a bit mad and pack 17 tee shirts and no shorts.
      We haven't watched The Durrells on the TV, it doesn't appeal. I bet Kerala's going to be full of British pensioners this winter after The Real Marigold Hotel! xxx

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  44. As I'm sitting by the fire (yes, winter has eventually arrived here - well, winter for us, so far down to about 6 overnight and 21 maximum - I'm on that beach in Corfu, sitting back, relaxing... your olive clogs are BEAUTIFUL, perfect companions to the turquoise ones and will go with so many things. Love the floaty dress you're wearing with them. (And, I agree, forget the Mama Mia...) xx

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    1. It seems very strange to imagine you in the cold, Elizabeth! xxx

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    2. But winter is very short here! And I wonder...will we see you wearing a blue clog and an olive one (mix and match!!)... :)

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  45. I love your rainbow travel wardrobe, especially the union-made cotton Jumpsuit (the RUFFLES!). I've never been to Greece so I am looking forward to seeing your photos. Have a smashing time, and eat lots of delicious food (olives, feta, etc.) for me.

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! The Greek food is incredible, even the tomatoes are better! xxx

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  46. How exciting that you're traveling to Greece. I've never been, but I will live vicariously through you, once again. You will be a head turner in the vintage that you plan to wear. And that hat Thank you so much for sharing with Hat Attack!

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