The night was short due to our wild evening out at Third Eye so the alarm shattered my blissfuls. Skinny was waiting ‘patiently’ with Obi skittering about next to him. Obi’s back paws now exposed to the elements following the removal of his blue socks after his claw operation. I marshalled and we set off across the field and down the road towards the Promontory. There were plenty of stars interrupted by a number of banks of clouds to the east and west. The easterly clouds kept the night longer once the sunlight began to emerge above the horizon. Oskar, despite his earnest wishes, reluctantly found himself completing a second lap of the Promontory as Ursula was not quite in position to receive him, Obi and Fido. I handed them over the next time around and Skinny and I did just one more accompanied by Charlie. A quick trip over the rocks, biscuits then back to the camping as I was on a bit of a mission.

Skinny and I completed the pastry run returning with a spinach slice for Tony. Skinny was exchanged for my swimming trunks, I grabbed the slice, just as Skinny was about to ‘investigate’ it with dire consequences to Tony’s breakfast staple and wandered down to drop it off to him on my way to the sea. Ursula was outside their cabin having decided that the sea was too rough at that time for swimming. I persevered and entered the water opposite CBV where it was comparatively calm. I was caught several times in the waves so had my hair ‘washed’ more times than I cared for. Ursula, meanwhile took photos to continue the subterfuge.

I needed to get on so went for a hot shower having remembered to turn on the hot water beforehand. It appears Olivia now has a substitute and no one is charged with the task of hot water monitor. Breakfast followed along with last-minute packing and various other chores, some of which were never completed.

Antonis arrived, goodbyes were said, bags were loaded and Eliza and I set off for Souda Airport to arrive on time following an uneventful journey. Antonis drank coffee and waited for his father, who was in Platanias, to join him. Eliza and I completed the security and passport checks and took our seats in departure area 13 for the WheezyJet flight at 14:35. Opposite, was a very well-dressed gentleman who we learned had been on a week’s walking holiday near Maleme. He told us that he comes each year and stays at a very pleasant hotel where he’s able to join in a number of walking trips around Crete. He lost his wife several years ago and now has a dog which he adopted. We shared doggy snaps. I was surprised to learn that he is over twenty years older than me! If I’m still as fit as him at eighty-five I’ll be quite happy. He admits he has a bit of a heart condition – I showed him my Apple Watch’s ability to provide an ECG – his sight nor hearing he maintained are not that good now either. But still, he seemed happy enough.

A delay due to weather was announced so the flight left around one and a half hours late. Apparently, a storm had prevented a number of planes from landing at Souda. Our plane, with several others, was forced to stack but was running low on fuel so landed at Iraklion to refuel so had to fly back to Souda to land again. The usual cleaning and preparations were completed in double-quick time so the delay was minimised. I was in seat 1D, our new acquaintance was in 2C but Eliza was further back with the riff-raff. As it turned out, she was seated next to a lady who’d enjoyed a marvellous stay on Crete and was armed with olives and other comestibles so they were able to chat and enjoy wine. It was busy at the front with the comings and goings of the flight attendants and all the visitors to the loo. The movements were similar to one of those tile games where you have to move several pieces in order to move the tile of your choice into position. The trolley, the flight attendants and the loo visitors performing an aeronautical Blue Danube Waltz. There was plenty of space for my legs with a screen between the seats and the crew area and the exit doors. The loo visitors would step in front of me, as the flight attendants and trolley passed down the centre aisle so I had plenty of passers-by.

Conversation with 2C was difficult due to the aircraft noise: my two Irish neighbours were a couple and we only spoke nearer the end of the flight when it transpired they would be hard pushed to make their connection to Shannon due to the delay. I agreed to sit tight once we landed so they and the others who vainly hoped to get their connections, raced off. I waited for Eliza and together we performed all the necessary arrival procedures then headed to South Terminal to pick up the rental car.

I hardly knew where I was going due to all the roadworks but managed to find the A23 and arrive in Lewes to drop off Eliza at Landport. I buzzed the door of number 39 just before 21:00 and was able to confirm that my arrival was indeed a surprise. I stayed a short while but needed to eat and get some shopping so departed for Tesco which I discovered remains open till midnight.

Kallie was pleased to see me after a short bark and Eleanor emerged from her boudoir to greet me. They had only very recently returned by train from visiting Emily and Johannes in Scotland and arrived back just before me. I made some food, we chatted a while, I went to bed and fell quickly asleep.


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