Yesterday was Good Friday, a day I usually set aside for a good walk. In London over many years a fairly specific route developed that started around Ebury and Pimlico before continuing past the Royal Hospital, the home of the red-coated Chelsea Pensioners. The place feels to me like a London landmark even if it is not perhaps part of the A-list for traditional tourism. I feel a sense of peace walking alongside its spacious and glorious grounds. I then continue down Royal Hospital Road to the river by the luxurious mansions of Cheyne Walk occupied by many disparate individuals over the years from John Paul Getty to Mick Jagger, though the one most associated with the area is probably the writer Thomas Carlyle who lived a little back from the river in Cheyne Row. I turn east towards Pimlico again, and once more I can see, but now from a distance, the evocative sight of the Hospital.
But yesterday I was not in London. I am back in Piraeus with my beautiful girlfriend who hosts this blog and we went on our equally evocative ramble around the old port. We passed the huge church of St Spyridon, its steps still damp from cleaning in preparation for Greek Easter which this year is a week after the Western one. There were other repairs being effected and the doors were open as the basilica itself was readied for this, the prime feast or marker of the Christian faith. We moved on from there to the fish market. I love fish markets- they have a tangy freshness about them, a dampness that could be mistaken for recent rain. We bought mackerel for our dinner and watched as the fishmonger gutted and cleaned it while at the same time the ash grew on the cigarette clamped between his lips. These are the old ways of doing things. Back home Bina (Roberta) fried the fish with oil and flour and pepper. It was a meal in itself, and needed nothing else save for a glass or two of local white wine and a small bowl of sliced cucumber and tomato.
I do not regard myself as religious, maybe not even spiritual in any meaningful way, but I am alive I hope to place and to the passing of time and of people. Bina has brought me back to life with her love and her beauty. I usually end my blogs with some music and this song has always meant something to me. It is now regarded as a Christian hymn but I never heard it in any church, but in the folk club back in Chester where I spent my teenage Friday nights, when it was newly written and mint fresh. It is a vibrant song (this is sung by the writer), and I find it uplifting aside from its specific lyrics. Bina has caused me to dance again and maybe just maybe some Lord was at hand the day we met. What I do know is that we shall stay together for as long as we are on this earth. The dance shall go on.
By Ian Craine