Category Archives: Crete

Day in the Life of a Worker-Traveller: October 16th, 1987, and 30 Years Later…

As I wrote my blog about travel heaven and hell on Monday morning, October 16th, I thought there was a strange sepia glow around, but put it down to city lights still being on or something, and didn’t think much about it. I wouldn’t have gone out if it hadn’t been forecast to be the last warm day of a spell of mild weather over the weekend. I went out for the forecasted brightest time in the early afternoon, but wondered why when I got out, as it was all cloud and wet on the ground. I think it was also eerily quiet, as somebody said on T.V. later, but I didn’t really notice that much at the time, or think it was for any particular reason.

Prophecy or Coincidence?

However, after I’d walked east five minutes along the canal towpath I saw the sun poking through the thick grey cloud, and it looked the pinky orange some other people also saw, and that was mentioned on the Yorkshire ITV weather report later. My decade-long website theme was the greenygrey, and towards the end it developed a PinkyOrangePurple twilight times theme after a sun-inspired ascent of the middle greenygrey Y: greenYgrey. Together the colour combinations were abbreviated to gYgPOP. The scene I saw on Monday was like a ggPO, with the classic greenygrey landscape lit up by a PinkyOrange sun; not looking Yellow!

This image of the scene accompanying an MSN story, of sun and Liver Bird in Liverpool, does look fully gYgPOP, with the human constructions providing the green and grey!:

Credits: Liverpool Echo

When I sat down the sky was all grey cloud apart from a thin band of blue on the western horizon. Within half an hour the sky had cleared, and was nearly all blue.

I thought that it was quite a coincidence, and would have looked a bit like Jesus parting the sea if there were any disciples around; and much better than King Cnut and the tide, although he was of course demonstrating that he couldn’t overcome nature.

30 Years Storm Anniversary

It was weird that it happened thirty years to the day after Britain’s worst storm of the twentieth century, and is said to have been partly caused by the Ophelia storm that was happening in parts of Britain and Ireland that day bringing dust up from the south, scattering the blues and greens of the sun’s light spectrum, leaving the reddish ones to dominate.

That’s the scientific explanation, and as I’ve been an advocate for science over the last decade I’m happy to go along with it. I’m also happy to let ‘red’ get most of the descriptions, although pink and orange were more accurate, as there were negatives from Ophelia, as all storms, and some of the dust was thought to have been from deadly wildfires in Portugal and Spain.

Leeds got a bit windy – stormy in the night, but escaped the brunt of the storm. I also missed the 1987 storm, as I’d reached Crete by then, and had started my life as a worker-traveller in a village called Pirgos, going to a certain cafĂ© where employers knew casual workers hung out. October 16th was quite a landmark day in my W-T career, as I started a longish term job that day. Here’s my diary for that day, and some of the previous one:

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Sweet Photo of Crete (Guns N’ Roses Song Wordplay)

As I wrote the headline to this blog the warm autumn sun broke through cloud, entering my writing room, which is the only one I have, Dark Side of the Moon built up ten minutes in, and the coffilosophy brews as I just started my second mug, pouring out into this opening paragraph of new words, and Sweet Child O’ Mine inspired the title.

Lone Crete Photo Reflects Worker-Traveller Ethos

I only took one photo in my three months on Crete; or to be more correct, I didn’t take any, but had one taken of me; it was that kind of place and experience, mostly about work and drinking, experiencing day-to-day humanity in a true Beat kind of way. Me keeping a diary was the height of culture most of the time, but there were a lot of spoken gems, and comedy classics.

The photo was taken about a month after arrival, and I look like a typical worker-traveller in it, scruffy and bedraggled, unfit and under-nourished, looking to me like a Wild West cowboy out on the range – which was the kind of image I had at the time.

The woman was a sweet pretty fellow worker-traveller. Her face is hidden for her benefit, as I don’t know her circumstances, and if she’d want her appearance here.

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