A Rope of Vines: Journal From a Greek Island (Library of by Brenda Chamberlain

By Brenda Chamberlain

A gorgeous and private account of the time spent via Brenda Chamberlain at the Greek Island of Ydra within the early 1960's. Sea and harbor, mountain and monastery, her friends and associates are unforgettably pictured; those have been the truth open air herself whereas inside there has been a clash of emotion and warring wishes that's additionally vividly dropped at existence. pleasure and woe are woven wonderful during this list: the pride of a large number of clean stories thronging to the senses, the being affected by which she emerges with new realizing of herself and human lifestyles.

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A lame woman has just led three laden mules and a donkey past the house and up the white steps towards Kiapha. The beasts were hung over with bundles of household gear wrapped in woven cloth of red, bright green, orange and yellow stripes – square bundles, waterpots, a straw hat, carved crooks, a mass of rooted herbs and cooking utensils. A small pale-coloured donkey brought up the rear, carrying dead poultry, two on each side tied by the legs and flopping forlornly their broken necks. Then another donkey with two sack-panniers, each one bearing a contented sheep with foreleg delicately dripping from the mouth of the canvas bag.

27 Mopping and bobbing, the witch crossed to the door and let out a small white dog and a lean cat. To show off her pet, to make a circus-turn out of her dog’s pleasure in being released, she jumped up and down in the heatstricken yard. The more the dog disregarded her, the wilder became her cries and gestures. At last, bravo! he barked, and she was convulsed at his intelligence. She pushed me forward into the room that smelt of decay and despair, touched by the outside world of politics and war.

The boy is intimidated by the strangeness of this environment, but the girl is part of the tough context in which she finds herself. We made for a grove of trees behind a ruined house. The children lagged behind, imagining they could see serpents in every gorse bush and herb-tuft. Here, in the middle of the wild mountain, was a sense of habitation. I called the boy and his sister to come quietly: a cicada was making sad music among the fir trees. The boy rushed up to say he had seen a phantom. ‘A man dressed all in white is there, by the old house.

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