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Monday, June 25, 2007

THE LAST OF THE WINE

"I love
the talk round a table
in the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.
Drink u p.
Remember, in every
golden drop,
topaz glass,
or purple spoonful,
that the autumn worked hard
to fill the vessels with wine;
and may the simplest of men learn
to remember the earth and what we owe it,
to spread the canticle of fruit."
Pablo Neruda

I'm in departure mode now. my time h ere is winding down and soon I'll be flying home. I've seen all I came here to see, spent time with my friends, retraced old steps and rekindled old memories as well as gatheriing many new ones. Now it's time to leave, though I always regreat leaving.

"I would come back from far away
in order to leave,
to leave again,
and I knew that to be a kind of dying,
going away while everything stays."
Pablo Neruda

June 24, Sunday morning and I'm wakened by a chorus of church bells. I've spent the weekend with my dear friend Dinaz (the Persian Princess) in her new ome in Ano Daphne, a district of Athens I've never visited before. It's been fun catching up on news, reminiscing about past times together. We've known each other for about fourteen years and from when we first met, she's been known as the persian Princess because she is so like Drypetis, the Princess in my novel. Her son was only 12 wehn we first met and now he's a young man and looking more "Persian" than ever (They are Parsi, from Bombay but his father is Italian/Greek)

This last weekend has been another one of reunions. Friday night we met at the TKA and two friends showed up. Mike, theEnglish artist and Jan, an electronics expert from Norway who works here sometimes in a top-secret job for the Greek navy. (A surprise to see him as we'd been talking about him and he's been 'missing' from the scene for some time.) Mike was a close friend of Graham and Roberto. He's lived in Greece for years, once married to a Greek woman, andwas once the graphic artist for Olympic airways. He's a very talented painter and it's too bad he doesn't have his own gallery here, but life is tough for artists just as it is for writers and musicians.

We planned to find some street concerts this weekend and get together to hear some music. But on Saturday when we met again, nobody knew where the concerts were. A couple more friends showed up, Panayiotis (another of Roberto's friends) and Zoe and Lydia, a Greek lady who is a friend of Dinaz. So we all had a fine time sitting around, sipping wine and conversing on various interesting topics, just like the old days. Then it was late and time to catch the metro home.

The metro here, like the rest of the transit system in Athens, is slick and safe. Many of the new metro stations disply archaeological finds, and music is piped in making it a pleasant and safe place to be. It makes travel across this ast city fast and comfortable, everything airconditioned and clean. Two stops from Acropolis and we're at Neo Kosmos, and then a little walk oer to
Dinz district, and a short but strenuous walk up a hill to her house. Across the street behind a bank of lovely trees is a rocky slope and a park. Behind is a sweeping panorama of the city celar out to the sea.


It's been an enjoyable, restful stay here as I prepare to spend my final day in Athens.

June 25. Dinaz's parner, Andreas, came home early from Italy so it was really great spending some time with both of them. They are so happy together and so loving. He is an wonderful person and I am so pleased to see Dinaz with someone so caring. In the evening we drove to Makrolimani to the yacht harbour and sat in the cool breeze eating icecream. Then we picked up some pizza and beer and came home to sit on the balcony enjoying the half moon and stars over the cityscape. A perfect ending to my weekend and my holiday.

Monday, June 25. My bags are packed. I'm ready to go. I have so many unforgettable ments to cherish. And of course, I'll be back here soon. We're already planning the Assembly of 2009.

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