Tradition tells us that the Greek island of Corfu is the island where Ulysses was washed ashore. My question is this: What the hell was General Grant doing in the Ionian Sea? I thought he was in the Army, not the Navy. Oh well, I guess he was welcomed with open arms. After all, the island of Corfu has been invaded (and occupied) by the Romans, Normans, Sicilians, Venetians, (there they are again!) Turks, French, Russians, and the British. Oops, I forgot the Italians and Germans. All of these foreign influences have made the island quite interesting, which is why some folks call Corfu “The Jewel of the Ionian Sea.” (Lots of jewels in this part of the world!)
Of course, like most islands, Corfu has an “old town,” filled with new souvenirs that are mostly authentic fakes. Way up top, sits the Old Fort, built by those damn Venetians, who apparently never stayed home. The big “cash crops” are sponges and ceramics bearing Greek god images. (i.e., Hercules,Achilles, and me.) The best dishes, in case you go, are Sofrito (veal with garlic and vinegar), Bourdetto (white fish), and Kalamarakia (fried squid).
Our party did a tour of Old Town and then drove across the island to one of the famous beaches. The beach was lovely, but the water was a bit chilly. By the way, if someone says “Corfu,” don’t say “God bless you.” (They didn’t sneeze) All in all, this was a fun stop, and one of those small islands that few tourists get to see. (You’ll note that Corfu is on the WESTERN side of Greece, which gets a lot less traffic than the Mediterranean side.)
As usual, the best part of the voyage was meeting some of our fellow shipmates, and on this occasion we really hit the jackpot. Two days before we landed on Corfu, we met Miss Helga and Dr. John, a fantastic couple from Naples, Florida. Helga is a beautiful and talented former interior designer, originally from Cape Cod. (Personally, I’ve never seen a cod wearing a cape, but I guess it’s possible.) Her hubby, Dr. John was an imminent heart physician, now retired. The four of us (and a few interlopers) shared many joyful moments, and as you might imagine, we spent a great deal of time drinking and laughing. As they say, the best ship is friendship!
Speaking of great friends, I would like to thank the lovely and talented Princess of Portugal (and her husband, Baron Lee) for hosting a spectacular feast last night at their villa in Round Rock. The Princess made the MOST delicious version of coconut chicken curry that I ever tasted. (along with Indian vegetable pies, great wine, and the BEST port I’ve had in a long time!) Thanks also to Countess Connie, who brought the port all the way from Portugal, via France to the USA. (Gluttony is such a great vice. Sloth is nice, too.)
By the way, I just read that the creator of autocorrect passed away. Restaurant in peace.
So what else is new? Well, my Internet went down this past week and I had to spend some time with the family. They seem like good people.
The Texas Book Festival is here in Austin this weekend, and I’ve been quite busy signing autographs, conducting lectures, and asking rich-looking women for their phone numbers. (For research purposes!) The rain has finally stopped, and our weather is sunny and warm. This should help book sales, although after Texas lost to Oklahoma State last night, the natives will be depressed. If you’re downtown this weekend, look for me, and if we see each other, please ask for my autograph in a very loud voice. (That damn Stephen King is sitting next to me, and he thinks he’s hot stuff.) Thanks.
Well, I must run. My fans will be disappointed if I show up, I mean, don’t show up in a timely fashion. I shall leave you with this departing thought: Despite the old saying, “Don’t take your troubles to bed,” some wives still sleep with their husbands! (Just saying)
Have a safe and sweet week. Love to all,