In 1978, towards the end of a couple of months traveling through Europe with my (then) partner and a friend (in yellow overalls), I spent a few weeks living on a beach in a remote part of Corfu. (Yes, that’s me on the right.)
There were a couple of dozen others living on the beach and a loose community formed. We were all young and idealistic and spent many evenings drinking local red wine under the Mediterrean moon talking about the world and our future in it.
A group of Germans from Nuremberg had attempted to drive an old Mercedes down the goat track to the beach and got throughly stuck – which offered daily entertainment involving donkeys and tractors until, after about a week, it was pulled back to the top.
I am still friends with one of those Germans today and yesterday I visited him in Nuremberg and showed him the little notebook in which I had kept a note of expenses on that trip. The notes on the left are his recommendations of German authors to read, and on the right is his shopping request for when one of us had gone into town. Little notes from forty years ago!
It’s quite amazing to think we have kept in touch these years (and I still have that notebook!) only actually meeting up half a dozen times. And it’s magical to share a meal and talk about who we were back then and the experience of living in that idyllic situation, even for a few weeks. Something that was never planned, it just happened, and can never be repeated – or forgotten.