|on the descent to Kalamata, a little bit of uphill|
|Gil lives! in Kalamata|
At the house ("a work in progress") we meet Peter, who seems to be arc-welding something in his workshop. Their house, which they've been building for about the last 9 years, is a fantastical and unique construction, set in a vale of olive trees with an enviable view of the sea below and the western Peloponnese on the horizon. It's hard to describe the house and immediately we resort to what are undoubtedly cliched comparisons with Gaudi and Hundertwasser. When asked later about the design, Peter smiles and says "We kind of ad-libbed".
We are warmly welcomed into their home with a nice cup of Yorkshire tea. It's better than the stuff from China, I can tell you. They are great hosts - we are camping on a terrace in the garden and a young couple from the States, Kat and Chris, are also staying in the nearby wooden house that Peter and Linda built as an interim home while they worked on the Bigger Project. We sit down to a fabulous chicken curry and good conversation. It turns out Kat has been here scouting for crew and actors for a film she is writing, directing and producing herself. Peter has just finished making a film about the vendettas of the Mani. We are surrounded by artists and art - the house is tiled with mosaics and Peter's sculptures abound. Linda sings in a local choral group and one morning Peter is heard working his way around Lullaby of Birdland on the flute. His conversation is peppered with aphorisms and some very dry wit all delivered in warm northern vowels. We suddenly discover something we have been missing on our travels without ever realising it: English humour.
Kat and Chris have less time than us and depart a couple of days later and Linda encourages us to move into the wooden house. They have been in their proper home now for over a year and are still busy each morning finishing the tiling on the roof. The house looks almost completed and it's hard to imagine the amount of sheer hard work that has gone into the construction. Interestingly, they have no electricity connected, but rely on some solar panels and gas. Linda teaches English part-time and Peter, who retired early, is free to work on other projects when not finishing off the house. He has been bending and welding steel for a 3 metre-tall sculpture. What we see are two legs. "They're like the Wrong Trousers" he jokes.
|the view from Linda and Peter's|
We find in their home a place of calm and good vibes, man. How to describe it? Linda thinks that living here gives her "head space". That's it.