Friday, January 28, 2005

At last, I was liberated for one whole hour! With any luck, Janine will see something she likes and 'not notice the time tick away'.

I chose my favourite 'kantina' - "Costa's Jungle Bar" - overlooking the esplanade. It was quiet this time of day. Just a few 'pooch chariots' from the rich villas on the hill. I sat outside, facing the water, ordered a "Chocoholicos" (Cyclops-size) and pulled-out my notebook.

"Summers in the Med" by Wallington Dunstable III

This was it. This was going to be my film about a retired World War II veteran from North Africa filling his days writing travel books.

There, beneath the Aegean sun... He writes travel books. He does this all day... This is what this very highly decorated war hero, adjutant to Monty, does... His golden Greek twilight years. Buoyed by lucrative annuities (mustn't forget the underlying economics). Suddenly, here he is, at the typewriter up in the villa: the memories, the pack drill, after roughing it with the resistance in Southern France... He sits at his desk. His moustache slightly waxed, but positively twitching with ideas... He is composing a book on travel...

I licked away my retsina and chocolate moustache. Somehow, I had to drive the narrative a little further.


Agapi Carides sold plastic Burmese-child-slave-labour-manufactured hoola-hoops on the marina in Heraklion. Her son, Thurswald, painted the traditional blue eye on their rims to ward off evil.

(OK! Now we're getting somewhere.) Wallington Dunstable III has returned to the bay in Heraklion...

... on the marina, it's the seventies (an unexploited decade in flashback movies). The old soldier. Odysseus in a safari suit. Greying temples. On the water, downhill from the vacation homes of German tourists. He beat Gerry once (... no, better leave that). He had already been here before, just after the war. With Monty (need to check that). He was already married then. With Geraldine. They lived in Tunbridge Wells. But, well, 'if you can't be with the one you love, etc, etc'. He was lonely, the balmy nights and bouzouki music. There, in the foreign evening heat, the battle-scarred young Eton-chap met Agapi, a fisherman's daughter. A ravishing beauty in olive skin and a muslin skirt tied-up like Sophia Loren in 'Boy on a Dolphin'... and so on and so forth ...

And now, thirty years later ... but, no, NO! It can't be! Agapi! After all these years! Her glaucoma eyes (from staring at the shiny sea, touting hoola-hoops to the mooring yachts of rich Swiss and Saudis) peer inquisitively at this strange tall fuzzy British bloke whose voice sounds darkly familiar. That voice. Something awakens within her. She grabs Thurswald just as he completes a row of lashes. She stands up (on a crutch?). She reaches out and ...

'George, you forgot to give me the Mastercard'

... he strikes her down with one Karate slice of his ash-wood cane and unceremoniously dumps her writhing corpse into the oily waters...


'Oh, sorry darling. Here it is. Have you seen anything you like yet?'

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