By Brenda Chamberlain
A gorgeous and private account of the time spent by way of Brenda Chamberlain at the Greek Island of Ydra within the early 1960's. Sea and harbor, mountain and monastery, her acquaintances and neighbors are unforgettably pictured; those have been the truth outdoors herself whereas inside there has been a clash of emotion and warring wishes that is additionally vividly delivered to existence. pleasure and woe are woven effective during this list: the satisfaction of a large number of clean stories thronging to the senses, the struggling with which she emerges with new knowing of herself and human life.
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Extra resources for A Rope of Vines: Journal From a Greek Island (Library of Wales)
Each pilgrim was carrying a long beeswax candle as well as food for the day and night of vigil. One couple was unlike the run of 36 Ydriots, a tall man and his tall wife, singularly similar in face and figure, both iron-haired and noble-faced, smiling with serenity as they sat at a table drinking lemonade. On its arrival, the ship seemed to be already full, but the eager candle-bearers streamed endlessly aboard, shrieking and exhorting. In the crush, Popi was carried away from us, pale and petal-faced under a straw hat.
We went back into the pine trees’ shade to eat breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and frankfurters, retsina, water, and apricots. It was still cool under the trees, but when we came out into the open again, we realised it would be another ‘Touch not the wall’ day. The gateway of Agios Nikolaos was opened by a witchcaretaker. She mopped and mewed round the chapel, pointing through a corner of the eikonostasion at a silver-bound bible heavily chained. There were numberless offerings of silver eyes, and legs, and more eyes, festoons of silver legs.
This is an uneasy island, ghost-ridden, and with black 11 danger in the air. It is advisable to keep the well covers closed at night, for it is possible to have the spirit of a dead person down there, and in the dark hours it is likely to walk abroad if the iron lid is left off. The half-strangled agony of donkey and mule bray makes for uneasiness too, day and night. 12 4 The animal-train waited in an angle of the bone-white street. A mitera with a mischievous face was in the act of mounting her beast, and as she leapt sideways from the wall her body’s litheness was clearly evident.