Sunday, 20 August 2006


For many regular visitors to Emporios, the place represents an escape - not just an opportunity to step aside from any personal stresses, but also to leave behind those endless reminders that the world-at-large is relentlessly hurtling towards the abyss.

There is no plasma screen (nor any sort of TV) in the bar at Artistico and there’s nowhere in this literally end-of-the-road village where you can buy a newspaper. Anyone who cannot bear to be deprived of their daily fix of news needs take the bus along the twenty-mile winding cliff road to the port of Pothia where they will find Greek newspapers and, if you’re lucky, the odd copy of yesterday's Times, Telegraph or Guardian.

These things are 'givens' - as known and predictable as are high and low tide. Thus, for the die-hard Annual Emporian, coming to the village represents - amongst other things - an understanding that there will be an absence of change.

But change is happening --- even here in Paradise. For one thing, 'The Chicken of the Sea' is to be seen no more.

So-named by our friend Sophie, on her first visit to Kalymnos last year, this proud cockerel used to make a twice-daily sprint along the beach, followed - at a respectable, matronly distance - by his hens.

The newspapers (which we don’t have) very probably didn’t report his going, but he is a victim of change, a casualty of the news we cannot read: proximity to Turkey, where there have been cases of bird-flu, has meant that all domestic fowl now have to be penned.

As a result, many of the locals who once kept hens, geese and ducks have either sent them off to pastures new - or, alternatively, given them the chop!

On the positive side of things, this does mean that the dawn chorus of cock-a-doodle-doodling that was prone to disturb one's ouzo-induced slumbers as early as 4.30 in the morning are all but silenced.

Sadly it also means that we are no longer treated to the elegant and entertaining strut-past of the Chicken of the Sea.

There are times when even small, seemingly insignificant, changes feel oddly momentous…


Rob Cox said...

So glad you 'made it' with relatively little hassle!! I came to your blog only half-expecting an up-date from your pre-flight predictions but found many more entries! You are an example to us all less-than-perfect bloggers!

polkadotsoph said...

C.O.T.S. R.I.P.