Some day I ought to put together a compilation tape (or playlist, I suppose) of all the songs I have used as titles for these posts. Even though some (including this one) are not really songs.
I have decided to follow a familiar pattern, to break from the daily diary format at the weekend, and offer something more reflective. No particular theme springs to mind as yet – certainly no observations on the refugee crisis – just a few random observations. Hence bits and pieces.
It is one week since my arrival. Haven’t exactly hit the ground running so far as the work is concerned – I have taught just three lessons. But it’s clear that my first task is to spread the word. And there are signs of success, with some return customers, young people who have chosen to be with me, as opposed to simply stumbling into the lesson almost by accident.
Socially and culturally I am, inevitably, a little isolated, and spending a fair bit of time in my little apartment. Which suits me very well; I have all I need to hand: beer in the fridge, wi-fi on tap, somewhere comfortable to sit and read (five novels devoured so far). And I prefer cooking and eating here, rather than sitting alone in a restaurant.
However, I am no hermit, and attended my first social occasion last night – a birthday meal in honour of Miki, fellow volunteer, Barcelonan, musician and all-round great guy. It was a civilised, amiable and entirely enjoyable evening.
And this morning my first exploration of the local cultural landscape, with a hike up the hill to Mytilini Castle, the medieval ruins on the cliff overlooking the city. I had the entire place to myself, and pottered around for an hour or two, the vaults and the water tank both proving quite astonishing.
A post-script. The street on which I live is called Papanikoli. If it isn’t a reference to Father Christmas, it certainly ought to be… and that’s the way I choose to think of it.