|These are on their way to the breakfast table|
The only two months we find really hard to deal with here are July and August. Unless you can spend the entire time under a shower or in the water it's a bit gruelling with the heat really. Mind you, this summer's been kind to us so far with temperatures having been a little down on the averages for July. We've had days in the lower instead of the upper 30's and nights down in the mid 20's. Cool!!
A great compensation for the heat is the fact that the fig tree in the garden continues to grow in size and every summer yields even more of its gorgeous, soft, juicy fruit for three or four week, usually starting in late July.
|Quite a few of these will get swallowed by guests on the Bay to Bay trip|
That bowl above can be filled from the fig tree on a daily basis for several weeks and, even though we love the fruit, there are just too many for the two of us to eat. They do keep for a while in the fridge, but not long enough to enable us to scoff them all. We did try freezing them once, but they thawed out all squidgy and the taste was gone.
So, there's nothing for it but to give some away. We do have a few friends on whom to unload them of course, but even then there is a surplus, which is why I take a big bagfull with me on the Bay to Bay excursion each week. Anyway, it's a good experiment.
I usually wait until we've done the first swim-stop (Lindos Bay), which is only ten minutes from our starting point in St. Paul's. After we set out from Lindos Bay, though, there is a long stint while we cruise the length of Kalathos Bay on our way to swim-stop number 2, when we drop anchor in Haraki Bay. Once all the guests have settled around the deck to baste themselves, I extract the carefully concealed bag from my hiding place in the cabin below and begin a tour of the boat. Holding the bag out in front of me I'll ask each tripper in turn, "Ever tried fresh figs straight from the tree?"
Sometimes it helps if I eat one first, just to show them that you can eat the entire thing, skin and all. There are those who gouge the flesh out with their lower teeth, not eating the skin, but frankly it's not worth the effort. The skin on a perfectly ripe fig is very thin and it's all part of the fibre anyway, eh? What is interesting though, is the fact that if anyone's going to chicken out it'll be the men. Women and girls, they'll all dip a hand in, extract a fig and go for it, biting into the sumptuously sweet and soft flesh with enthusiasm. They're never disappointed. The men though? Well there are some who'll have a go, gingerly shoving a hand into the bag as though fully expecting to have it bitten off by some nasty monster lurking deep within and brandishing razor-sharp gnashers, all the while adopting that expression that says "I don't want to do this but I've got to save face in front of my mates/wife/partner/family [delete as appropriate]."
You can tell they'd rather not bother and are dreading the act of actually placing the fig in their mouths and I love goading them into it, because without exception the look of relief on their faces when they do and then realise that they're actually enjoying it is a scream. But there are always some guys who, despite their outwardly tough image (you know: various tattoos, earrings, spikey hairdoes which betray the fact that they were young in the 80's, gold neck-chains and chunky rings, red and white bandanas, the list goes on) will grimace and give me a "Nah, s'OK. I won't bother."
That's when I take my life in my hands and say to their other half or their kids - "It's always the fellas who wimp out!"
I say "take my life in my hands", but they're really all big softies these blokes. It's very rare you get a really hard nut, despite what they look like. But I have to say it speaks volumes about how adventurous people are, or perhaps aren't, when you dangle a big bag of fresh figs in front of them and suggest that they might like to try one.
|This is the view you get from inside the cabin on board the "Lindos" with crew Kosta and Jimmy [Dimitri]|