The Meltemi Wind
I’m learning to read the weather here. From the window I can see white caps surfing across the cobalt Aegean Sea and I know it’s going to be another breezy day.
Down at the beach high foamed waves rear and with stone clattering crashes surge into the shore, suctioning bathers and slickened stones backwards in their wake before rushing forward and spitting them back out. Pebble-dashed swimmers stagger back to their towels, some bleeding where sharp edges have sliced through skin. I choose to bake in the sun treating questions such as “going in then?” with a suitable look of horror, deciding to use the wind to my advantage and let it cool my hot skin.
The Meltemi has come early this year, so people in the know say. Normally arriving in August, it swept in pre-July blustering around the mountains, sharply cracking flags in its wake and creating a surfers beach out of the usual still glass waters.
This does not bode well for our new purchase which, after years of discussion and wanting, now puffs out, threatening to take off from the terrace roof top sun space and head towards the heavens, sans Mary Poppinesque style . It is more of a marquee than an umbrella. We looked at a 4m wide and 5 meter wide parasol, 75 and 85 euros respectively, and they seemed a tad on the small side compared to the terrace space. Cosy is the word that comes to mind when I looked at them . Then, I spied an opened creamy canopy, rectangular in shape, wide and roomy, anchored by a 50 kilogram base with leather tooled edges for strength – it was perfect. How much do you think that costs? I asked Gary, Mitch’s cousin. He asked and I misheard the reply thinking he said 400 euros and turned my mind back to 85 euros ready to compromise. Luckily Gary and I had another conversation and we clarified that the mother of umbrellas only cost 100 euros – discount because it was slightly damaged and delivery was free. I looked at backward and forward between the measly hexagonal umbrella to this creamy confection of shady promise – there was no contest. Now I’m waiting for a calm day when I can sit in the shade, sipping a beer, overseeing a spectacular view without a countdown to take off.