To prove how dedicated I am, this week I am writing from my holiday! For the last three years we have visited Corfu in the Summer. We first came to visit a friend who had left the London antique trade as a runner to fulfil his dream of becoming an artist on the Island. Which he did successfully. While I am conjuring up my next lighting designs in the Sun, my dreams of moving to Corfu one day quickly follow.
When you first arrive the intense heat permeates the air letting you know you have arrived in a foreign land. This is the island where my daughter Eliza and I jump off ten metre rocks into the sea below. Where my son learnt to swim. The island I dream that Charlotte and I will possibly retire to.
The Old Town of Corfu punches much above it’s weight. Having been an ancient dwelling it passed from Byzantine stewardship into the hands of the Venetians for nearly four hundred years. An extremely brief spell under Napoleon followed by the Russian and Turks. Britain subsequently ruled for nearly fifty years. With such diversity the cultural input in such a small town is enormous. It has the grandiosity of a substantial Italian City. Municipal buildings, museums and colonnaded walkways set the tone of the tall shuttered buildings.
Once out of the main town however there are few original buildings remaining. The landscape is breath taking and what it lacks in architectural beauty it gains in mountainous terrain and crystal clear warm seas. My greatest love though are the olive groves that are abundant. Built like paddy fields on ancient walls these are areas that can have changed little since the ancient worlds. Gnarled trunks thick as ancient oaks yet standing only several metres high litter the entire Island, somehow drawing nutrients from the parched soil.
Much to my families protest I pull them away from the sea to drive up into the mountains to look at the old stone houses amongst the olive groves.
Corfu is unpretentious, welcoming and fun. Nothing is taken too seriously. The food is simple but good and my children’s shocking behaviour somehow deemed exceptable. What more could you ask for from a holiday destination !