Friday, 29 October 2010

Fire, Rain and Faith

My computer is broke for the moment.  Fingers crossed, Bill's diagnosis of a broken on/off switch is the whole problem and I just need to find a repair shop.  In the mean time, other people's photos will have to do.

The last part of our trip took us to what I refer to as the Burnt Church, the Church of Agia Mavra.  Bill pointed out the cracked patina on the front doors [which I could have shown you...] was similar to the finish on one side of my Grandmother's china cabinet, which was also involved in a fire in about 1944, I believe.  I would never have that refinished as I see it as part of the furniture's history - a special form of 'distressing' if you will.

Inside the church were both the new icon with jewellery and the old icon with the melted jewellery around it.  Bill pointed out it was brass, not gold, which I thought was a relief.  I'd hated to think about already poor people giving up what they could little afford.  Giving up something of sentimental value would be sufficient, I should think.  Interesting to read that the divide between the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox churches included arguments about whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used at Eucharist and that the respective leaders of both each excommunicated the other.  How adult of them...

There was one last stop for another ice cream and some scenic photos of the bay below, only the scenery was more about storm clouds than shore line.  When one of the umbrellas took flight and a potted plant was shattered, we hurriedly finished off our cones and headed for the coach.  

One of the other bus trip stories that stuck in my mind was the tradition of having the local priest bless any new endeavor:  a new business on opening day, the first launch of a new fishing boat, a new home, etc.  Sometime around Easter was a good time to have each room in your home blessed, even if it wasn't new (I wondered if this was a religious version of 'spring cleaning').  You could even have the priest bless your cat if you wished.  Well, that's the tour operator's story.  I'd have to learn a bit more about the Greek Orthodox religion and perhaps live among the locals a while before I swallowed all that.

On our last before leaving day, it was good to have long trousers and a sweater to hand.  I was amused by the Brits' determination to have a holiday in spite of cooler weather.  A few even toughed it out by the pool during a brief rain storm.  Most were from the North of England, obviously, and so their temperature perceptions were different to mine.  As I said, on our last day the sun blazed so perhaps our Welsh neighbours would have a good second week.  I don't think I could have entertained myself sufficiently for a second week, so I was pleased to be headed home to my own bed, sunshine or rain.

I'll update this with photos when (I refuse to say 'if') they become available.


Jo said...

I think it is the Catholic's that have a blessing of the animals. Some time aroung Easter, I believe. I have seen it in the news both here and in south Texas, maybe San Antonio.

Struggler said...

So funny. Reminds me of a very chilly week we spent in Sardinia at the end of the summer season one year. My wonderful mother in law, determined to get a tan, did indeed tough it out by the pool during rapidly cooling temperatures :)
I like the concept of having new ventures blessed. Every little thing helps, right?