Zante- The arrival

May 10, 2013 2:42pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 26 Comments

A few weeks back it was my birthday and I was stuck in A-Z hell with flu to boot and nearly broken wrists from too much typing. 

” What do you want for your birthday?” My Mother asked during my trauma. 

” Nothing.” I fibbed. “Sleep, paracetamol and a month at a desert island would be good.”

” I think I need a holiday soon…would you like to go away?” 

” Yes, that would be nice.” I replied, thinking how funny it was that my Mum always managed to get involved in my gifts.

” Well, it can’t be anything expensive!  I’m already going away in June.” She retorted like I’d demanded this when it was her idea.  I felt somewhat confused.

“Well we don’t have to go away then! ” I said, fully knowing that this would not be an option now the travel bug was firmly planted in her mind. ” But, if we do..I want quiet. Sun, peace, no kids or ravers, no drama, just serenity. That’s my only prerequisite.” 

At 4am yesterday we made our way to the airport to travel to a Greek island called Zante.

As I stood in the queue at airport security I peered at my Mother through sleepy eyes and noticed something different about her.  This usual blue eyed, platinum blonde woman had suddenly grown VERY  dark brown eyebrows.

“Err… Mother, what’s happened to your eyes?”

” Don’t! I  got conned into having them tinted by the eyebrow threading lady and now I look like bloody Joan Crawford!” 

“Kind of appropriate.” I remarked.  She belted me on the arm and I suddenly woke up a bit.

” Exactly where are we staying Mommy dearest?” I asked her.
 My Mum has a unique way of hiding as much information as possible from me, taking control freak to a whole new level.

” I don’t know, somewhere beginning with C I think. It sounds like a fish dish.” 

Turns out it was Kalamaki and not Calamari.

I swear to God that planes get smaller. My knees were pressing into the seat in front and I was squished up right next to the window as the holiday revellers packed themselves on. I spent three hours, fifteen minutes and twelve seconds  sat in front of  three children who managed to scream and shout Every.Single.Second. of the journey. Even my Sony padded headphones belting out David Guetta, at ear bleeding volume,  could not drown them out. I vowed there and then to save up for the most expensive noise reduction headphones.   I left the plane frazzled but into the warmth of much needed glorious sunshine. 

We made our way to coach 13 to get taken to our holiday apartment.  This too was filling with people.  Behind us sat a lady and her grumpy Father who was  in his seventies.

“Dad, take your sweater off its too hot.” She said.

“Oh, go on with you, I’m not stripping on a coach. I shall be the judge of whether I’ m too hot or not.” He grumbled.

“But Dad, you’ve got so many layers on you’ll be sweating and it’s not healthy.” The caring daughter protested.

“Oh be done with you! I’m not sweating. I’m not fussed. Stop going on, leave me be woman! And how long do we have to wait on this bus? Could have been to England and back already, it’s ridiculous.” He chuntered.

” Why are you being so grumpy?” She asked.

” I’m not. It’s your fault for going on.” He snapped.

I looked at my Mother and said, ” You better not get like that or I ‘ll wrap you in a hundred sweaters on purpose.” 
He continued to moan like a miserable old scroat until he was suddenly upstaged by new arrivals to the coach load.

“Presturn! (Preston) Summmaaa!(Summer) Rhiannugh! ( Rhianna) . Gerrron’t bloody bus for I batter ya1” Screeched the well composed Mother of three small toddlers. 

Oh deep and rapturous joy. I’ m not a snob. I’ m not judgemental, I lied to myself.

” Presturn! You little sod, go and pick that dummeh ( dummy) up nah (now). And Summmaaa, stop mitherin’ me and sit down. Pack up right nah for I ‘ effin’ knock ya t’ other side of this bus! ” She bellowed.

“Tch! Damn disgraceful. Not in my day.” Said grumpy, sweaty old Dad from behind us.

I felt like I was stuck somewhere between an episode of Shameless and Little Britain. I turned to my Mother who was giggling in her seat.

“Mother.” I said as calmly as possible given I was on the verge of suicide. ” I do believe I was quite specific on my caveat of peace and quiet and if these people get off at our complex, I’m going home.”

Now I usually leave my country somewhat proud and always blow a kiss to it as I make for the aeroplane steps. ” See you soon Blighty.” I say out loud as I make for pastures new. As the plane takes off I marvel at the beauty of the tapestry fields and vast greenery and truly believe there is no finer place on Earth. And then these kind of people shatter my illusions  and I want to be an American with a hand gun. We fondly refer to them over here as the RAF group. No, not the military version but more  the Rough As Fuck, type. 

“English?” Asked the Greek bus driver as he counted his passengers from hell.

“No. Norwegian.” I lied.



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OMG you are too funny. I have been here twice. I think it may be the only Greek island I have been to; pretty but there is the small problem of roooof Brits, make sure to avoid Laganas. I remember trying to find authentic food and being told by a waiter from Essex ‘Spag Nap or Spag bol’ – have a fun hol..

Yes I’ve been warned about Laganas, even by the Greeks!
Thankfully, I have located hidden Greek Tavernas and not an English breakfast or spag Bol in sight! 🙂

Noisy families of shitbags is one of the reasons I haven’t flown for a few years.

Haha! I hear you Tony. A wise decision.

A holiday? Ahh, yes, I remember them!

I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun… which, of course, you can write about here. Holiday blogs are the way forward and postcards are just so last century, darling.

Now, you know the rules: you bring me back a stick of rock or I’ll stop reading you.

Masher, I have your stick of rock with ‘”I heart Zante” all over it. You better enjoy it!

LUCKY! *jealous*

i’ve chuntered before, it’s just that i never knew the name of it.

*whistling and looking up*…Juli…my youtube videos are getting cold…

Countering is great fun.

I know, I’m such a slacker of late! I shall endeavour to remedy this 😉

Ah, those salt-of-the-earth Northern folk! I hope the Greeks know how to make chip butties and the like. Things can only get better, Jules. You might rub shoulders with a Greek fellow like the one played by Tom Conti in Shirley Valentine, who assures you that he isn’t trying to “make fok” with you.

Oh yes, Mr Gorilla Bananas, they’ve got chip but ties off to a tee, sadly.
Yes, already met a Greek Tom Continue, with his scripted romance but I saw right through it GB and he then started to tell us the tricks he played on naive women. I have some good stories there!

LOL LOL!! Aw man… what a start. I’ve been there before you know… screaming kids and one fucking irritating over-indulged brat running up and down the aisle on the airplane bumping into everyone and everything, while his mother couldn’t be bothered to stop him. I wanted to slap the shit out of all of them! Luckily, it turned out good.

Here’s wishing you an AWESOME time away (PS. isn’t it weird that I put up a pic of Zante for your birthday? Now if only I could accurately predict those Lottery numbers!

What I find weird is that want to be there too but for some inexplicable reason we’re not. Maybe that’s a good thing because we’re NUTS! Just so you know you made the right decision.

Planes get smaller in the same way that eveything you buy gets smaller. Baby steps so nobody notices. Except us because we are smart.

Have a wonderful time, Jules! Think of us lesser gods, okay?

Hi Az, yes hideous ordeal. This is why we need a desert island. With invited people only. Must be able to read, be good fun and interesting and know when to sod off!
I know!! How freaky is that? The Zante pic you put up for me before I knew I was going there! So, on that basis, please continue to post Bora Bora pics to my timeline!

Well of course I’m thinking of you! In fact, I’d like to replace all the other holiday makers with my blogger friends. Now that would make a great holiday!
Chocolate bars also get smaller. It’s outrageous.

Jules, that would be the mother of all holidays. I’ll be the DJ. I used to be a DJ back in the 80s you know… This is the request line. Just say the word!

Word! – Cameo 😉

That’s the beauty of living in the UK. You can hop on a plane and in very short order be in a completely different world. Different culture. Different language. Different cuisine. Here in the U.S., you can fly for hours and hours, get off the plane, and everything is exactly the same as the place you left behind.

Flying used to be elegant. Now it’s about as elegant as a crosstown bus.

Yes that’s very true Unbearable Banishment ( you’re going to have to tell me your name, it’s got to be shorter!) you can move to drastically different cultures I. Just a couple of hours. In that respect we are very lucky. Just got to avoid the troglodytes that come with you!

It’s just a bus in the sky. Nightmare.

In conversation, many have shortened my blog handle to the initials. UB. Try that.


And, Aw!, for the affectionate leave-taking on the motherland. In the late 90s I visited the UK (twice) and trained it a lot. Passing those patches of green, with the stunningly blue summery English skies, I felt transported. How I miss it!
Some Dark Romantic

I am happy to do a house swap for a bit, Mina… 😉

OMG you are too funny. I have been here twice. I think it may be the only Greek island I have been to; pretty.i like the pretty places so much.Gatwick Parking

Thanks for welcome, you made me to stay, i really enjoy the ride of your chucklesome gossip and feeling free to participate by saying this that you are so humorous. Keep sharing this funny stuff.

the whole scene made me laugh for long, all this appears to be much funny as well. nice to hear that you now throw a kiss on your country whenever you travell. Airport Car Parking UK

Its really a fun full reading. It has cracked out my laugh and mothers always try to find exciting surprise for their breeds , its more sweet than funny . Anyhow travels can be more fun full and exciting if your belonging needs safety and so the same with secure car park . valet parking gatwick is the best source for safe parking.

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