Thursday, 10 January 2013

Thank You Lou Reed

In 1972, Lou Reed came out with the album "Transformer" and it transformed his career. Prior to that he'd been a bit of a cult artist and wasn't really known to anyone who wasn't into the Velvet Underground. The album, produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, spawned a couple of huge hits that have since become rock "standards". One was "Walk on the Wild Side" and the other, the one that I spent all day humming today, was "Perfect Day".

See, that's the thing, as I'm sure you'll agree. In our age of electronic communication, moments in our lives are defined by the music we listened to at the time. At least, that's the case with mine, since I've always been a complete music freak. But I reckon I'd be on pretty safe ground if I made the assertion that just about anyone in the "Western" world would hum that tune if they decided, as I did today, that they were indeed enjoying a "perfect day".

Yes, OK, so a few days ago it snowed here; a first - at least in the more than seven years that we've been living out here. Yet I'm quite sure that some who read about this on Facebook, but who were in other parts of the world, had visions of us all wrapping up with scarves, woolly hats and gloves and rushing outside to throw snowballs at each other. The fact is, it "snowed" for about twenty minutes and the flakes were so small that my camera wouldn't pick them up, thus I abandoned my attempt to capture the moment with a view to sharing it on this blog. Stick? It certainly didn't. Yes we have had arguably the coldest couple of days and nights for many years this past week or so, even colder than the persistently cold winter that we endured from December 2011 through February 2012. But today things were already returning to normal and it thus spawned my propensity to hum Lou Reed's wonderful ballad all day long.

Well, I say "all day long", but it actually came to my mind as we were eating lunch out on the terrace. The thermometer was showing only about 15ºC in the shade, but on the terrace, out of the breeze, it was almost too hot. We had to have our faces in the shade in order to stick it. But there we were eating a light lunch of pittas, topped with my wife's delicious home-made hummus, grated carrot and sliced tomatoes, accompanied by a few black olives and a glass of retsina and we remarked on why Rhodes is such a fab place to live. To be strictly accurate here, why Kiotari is such a wonderful place to live.

Gazing down the tree-filled valley below us today, we were quite taken with how clear the light was, how definite was the horizon, where the deep blue of the sea met the paler blue of the cloudless sky. On days like this we are entirely happy with our own company. Quite often, pottering about from dawn until dusk, we don't even open the garden gate. When you hear that Rhodes enjoys in excess of 300 days of sunshine per year, you have to be here during January to really appreciate that fact. We get the rain alright, sure. But to have such wonderfully perfect days as this between the rainy days drives home to us the fact that we're very privileged to be here. I know, on occasion a post such as this has the tendency to come across as a bit smug. But, then, it's difficult for it not to!! Just taking a deep breath and feeling the sun baking on your chest, you really do have to pinch yourself to remind yourself that it's only January 10th. Once the sun dips down below the hill to our right later during the afternoon it's time to light the log-burner, true. But when you're staring at creation in such vivid light and feeling warm and well-fed you do get a bit, well, "trite" and find yourself thinking, "yes, the best things in life are free".

This one was actually yesterday, when there were a few clouds around

The Chrysanths are all out in the garden now
As we ate, a huge bird of prey came into view from behind us, appearing above the house and gliding further on down the valley in silent grace. We're so used to buzzards, hawks and golden eagles that we often don't even remark on them nowadays. Sometimes, though, when the sky is clear and we're not moving around too much, it's exciting to see how close to us they'll come now and again. Driving home up our lane last night in the dark we were amused to be following a hare in the headlamps as he (or she, maybe) bounded along the lane before us. Maybe the Buzzard we saw was doing a reccy to see if it was still around.

So, as it was such a perfect day, I of course got the camera out, hence the photos, some above, plus these two...

It's worth having a winter when you've got one of these anyway

Walking to Gennadi a couple of days ago, this Greek local came past walking his dog. Well, at least the dog was walking!! But this bears out the truth of the comment at the end of the 4th para in this post.

Anyway, thank you Lou Reed. I'd have been hard put to find another song to hum if you hadn't given us "Perfect Day".


  1. It's easy to see why you sound so contented because your home, terrace and view are beautiful. You two truly chose a "wonderful place to live" and then made it even better. Thanks for sharing your "perfect day".
    Judy Markadakis

    1. Nice to hear from you Judy. How's life over there?

  2. " have to be here during January to really appreciate that fact. We get the rain alright, sure. But to have such wonderfully perfect days as this between the rainy days drives home to us the fact that we're very privileged to be here"

    Can emphasise with all that! Just left Rhodes and wishing I was back already!


  3. Ah Mister Manuel how about Dave Lee Roth's Just Like Living In Paradise? That pops into my head when I was viewing the photo's.

    We have lots of snow here in Britain, well it is Winter!!

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Yes, well, Annette, one could start a rather long list here!