Vicki and Gabe do Scopelos
In 2006 I decided that there was no way I could keep living a creatively fulfilling life until I learnt how to do chine colle (that last “e” is supposed to have an acute accent on it, but I haven’t figured out how you do that yet. And you say it like: sheen collay).
I found out that there was a course to learn it on the island of Scopelos. When I told my friend Vicki, she said: well, you’re not going without me. So off we went.
We stayed for a few days in Athens before we sailed on the ferry to Scopelos. The room was so small, that we had to take turns standing on the balcony, because it couldn’t fit the two of us at once. It took me two days to find the fridge; it was inside the plinth that was holding up the TV. It could only hold two bottles of soft drink at a time.
There was only one spare pillow, so I dashed to the cupboard and grabbed it before Vic had a chance, because two into three doesn’t go. And I got there first.
On the first afternoon, as Vic was standing on the balcony and I was lying on the bed looking at the view (why stand up, when you can lie down) it suddenly occurred to me that I was actually looking at the Acropolis. Just lying around, looking at the Parthenon; another boring afternoon in Greece..
We sailed on the gigantically ginormous ferry to Scopelos and had a stupendously squalid time. There were some scandalously wonderful little boutiques where we bought clothes that we wore all the time we were there. (Vicki bought more than me.)
What I have discovered since then, though, is that these clothes that you buy and wear all the time when you’re away from home, you never wear again. So I’m not buying clothes on holidays again.
Shoes don’t count.
And my life was immeasurably improved by learning how to do chine colle.