On the Verge - a short excerpt

Available for a limited time, the following provides a taster of On the Verge.  This is in addition to the 'look inside' feature on Amazon's website.  (see link below)

     .............. Good, Amy was safely back in England and no doubt Alan and the kids would be there waiting with welcoming hugs.  Seemed strange that just a few hours ago we were having breakfast with Bill, sat on the old olive mill.  That reminded me, I had not eaten since breakfast.  No point in eating too much now, so after my shower I settled on the veranda with Rosie, along with a glass of retsina and a packet of oregano crisps.  For the past week I had just entered single words in my diary, leaving the padding out until Amy had gone home.  I spent an hour or so filling in details and realising how much we had packed into the week.  With this complete I set off for the beach, arriving much too early for dinner but with time for a barefoot walk along the sands and a paddle.  As I turned the last bend before the beach, I could hear music being played; it was coming from the Blue Sea.  In one corner of the patio, I could see three musicians sat playing and singing.  Yiannis had arranged for an evening of traditional music.  An excellent strategy on his behalf; bringing in new arrivals and something different for those who were just starting the second week of their holiday.  The place was full, not a spare table to be seen.  I could see Yiannis and Dimitri working hard in the kitchen and Anna, Christos and Kostas seemed to be struggling to keep pace with taking orders, serving and clearing tables.  What should I do, go for that walk along the sands, or help?  No choice really; I went into the kitchen grabbed an apron and started on the washing up.  The stacks of plates and dishes and rows of glasses on the shelves were dwindling fast and with tables filling as soon as they became vacant it was obvious they would soon run out.  The pile next to the sink was considerable to say the least but I set to and within twenty minutes I had made sure there was enough crockery to keep the flow of plates from kitchen to table.  It was about another hour and a half before things started to quieten down and Anna came into the kitchen and hugged me saying, “Can’t thank you enough Polly, we were sinking fast!”

    

     There was an extractor in the kitchen and ceiling fans too but the heat from the cookers and hot plates made it almost unbearable.  Sweat was running down the back of my neck, my hair felt damp and my top was sticking to me but we were all the same; even Anna and the boys who were working outside suffered too.  But where were Spiros and Karis?  Anna took me into a small room to the side of the kitchen area where there was a bed with Spiros and Karis curled up fast asleep.  The bed was used in the afternoons during high season by Yiannis.  It was somewhere where he could grab an hour or so sleep before preparing for the evening trade.  The evening was a total success and it was past eleven before everything was cleared away and everyone, including the musicians, sat down to eat.  Basically we ate what was left over.  Surprisingly there was a good selection of dishes and plenty for us all.  Yiannis insisted we just piled the dishes in the sink and leave them overnight to soak.  Nobody argued; we were all pretty bushed by then.  Spiros and Karis were carefully lifted from the bed onto the laps of the older children, who were sat in the back of the car, and I gratefully accepted Yiannis’s offer to drive me home, after first taking the family back to their beds.  Another shower was called for before I fell into bed and sank into a deep sleep.

 

     Surprisingly I woke in the morning at the normal time.  I wondered if Anna was managing to get the children up and ready for school after their late night at the taverna.  If she was struggling, it wouldn’t be a problem in the coming weeks as today was Friday 14th June and the end of term.  I presumed that during the school holidays, providing they had a siesta in the afternoon, they would be able to cope with working in the taverna and the resulting late nights.

 

     It was getting hotter by the day and I was beginning to think a siesta was something I needed to consider.  It was while I was contemplating the siesta idea when Anna stopped by with Karis.  She was on her way back after taking the children to school and was apologetic about the previous evening.  I told her I was pleased to help out and had really enjoyed sitting down with the musicians and family to eat and how good the food was.  I asked her how Yiannis managed to make the potato salad taste so good?  “He adds a good slug of ouzo, for added flavour!” she smirked. ................