Diane Victory Griffith [Di]

  1941 -
  City of Birth:

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Diane's Story > Chapters > My Entire Life

"Excerpt from "Chasing Dreams in Lefkas"" 


Date Range: 10/19/1941 To 02/18/2012   Comments: 0   Views: 24,356
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It was midnight and we were sitting at a campsite in Lefkas drinking some very cheap wine. Tony looked despondently towards me. What are we going to do about selling these videos?"

“Maybe we should have a go at doing some personalised ones.”

He was not enthusiastic, but I grew more forceful as I drank more wine, "Honestly I think it would work!" His face looked doubtful, and I added quickly, “Well we will never know if we don't try!"

We arrived at Nidri at 10am. To find that we had to park our VW camper some considerable distance from the beach. It was difficult to carry the folding table two chairs, umbrella as well as the tripod, camera, and bag of accessories. But we struggled along. I was determined that nothing was going to deter me.

Tony asked, "Are you sure you can manage?"

"Yes, I'm fine!" I answered without hesitation, barley able to walk upright under the strain and the scorching heat of the sun. We finally reached the end of the little jetty where the micro-lite was situated and we paused to get our breath. After a while we positioned ourselves nearby on the sand. Tony opened the table and I opened out the chairs and we both sat down for a rest. The sweat was pouring off us. People all around were beginning to stare, so I pulled out the sign that I had laboriously made that morning, out of a discarded empty 'OMO' packet that I had found in a bin on our very basic camp-site. I had turned it inside out so that my carefully written notice was plainly visible, “Your Holiday on Video”

I placed it on the table, and Tony set up the tripod and the camera. All around us people were sunbathing, and they raised themselves lazily to see what was going on. I walked over to the man who was reclining on a sun-bed near the microlite. "Excuse me!" I began, "Do you speak English?"

He tilted the black cap from over his sleepy eyes and answered, "Only... leetle beet!"

So I decided to explain our plans and hopes to him in the best Greek that I could manage. The man acknowledged with a slight nod of his head and I continued, "We would like to take a video of the micro-lite when you take somebody up and…” I was interrupted by the man answering me in English, "Yes... Er… of course!"

I continued, now also in English, "We sell the videos to the people and we will give you some money for every one that we sell. Is that alright?"

The man looked at me through half-closed eyes, and answered, "Yes! ...Why not?"

"Thank you… Efharisto!" I said as I walked back to Tony.

"Well that seems to be settled!" I announced as I sat down again. "Now all we have to do is wait until someone goes up, then I'll go and ask them if they would like us to film them."

We sat under the umbrella for a very long time. People were walking past us and reading our notice with some amusement. Tony was beginning to look very embarrassed. “I feel a bloody fool sitting here! Everybody is laughing at us!"

"No they're not!" I answered." Then we heard a burst of laughter. I knew that Tony felt unnerved. His voice was insistent when he spoke quietly, "Why don't you go and ask that bloke what time his first flight is arranged for.”

I squared my shoulders and walked across the hot sand to the water’s edge. "Excuse me!" I said, "When are you going up?" I motioned with my arm to help him to understand. His eyes squinted against the sun as he replied, "Today? …Er… No! I not go!" He made a gesture with his hands saying, "Today the weather ees… not right! There ees... too much wind!

Oh! No! I thought. This is turning into a nightmare.

"I don't believe this is happening!" Tony stated as I walked back to him.

 We folded the table and chairs, our cheeks flaming. But despite our humiliation I felt a surge of renewed determination, a spark of challenge surged once more through my veins, "Well after going to all this trouble, carting this stuff all the way up here, I am not going back without having a proper try!"

"So what do you want to do now?" Tony was plainly exasperated. "How about this couple here!" He pointed to a young couple who were kissing passionately, their bodies entwined on the sand in front of us, "What about asking them if they would like a video, a blue movie maybe!"

"Don't be silly!" I replied, trying to keep my composure, "I want to try the other end of the beach where the Para-glider is."

"Right!" Tony swallowed hard the veins in his temples pressed out against his red perspiring skin. "Right! Anything you say, but let’s get to hell away from here!"

We struggled along the curve of the beach, and arrived at the other end totally exhausted. Tony threw the table and chairs on to the sand and dropped to his knees near them.

"Don't draw attention!" I said quietly.

"Oh, I like that,” he sneered. “That has got to be the understatement of the year! Don't draw attention! I'm walking all over the beach with a table and chairs, a bloody umbrella, a tripod and camera, and on top of all that, a soddin' OMO packet! And you say, don't draw attention!"

"Oh, Come on Tony, you promised that we would give it a go!"

"OK! I won't say another word, except that I don't think you should do it!" He put his hand up to stop me, “I will just sit here and wait for the orders to come pouring in."

I looked at the platform where the Para-glider took off from. It was not far away, but there was a rough stretch of shallow water between it and where we were positioned. There were a few people standing on the wooden platform waiting for their turn. A young woman dressed in a bikini top, and a pair of tight blue denim shorts, was strutting around with a degree of arrogance that showed just how confident she was about her own ability, and sexuality. I suddenly felt old, frumpy, rather silly, and very tired. My exhaustion wasn't only physical; it was also mental and emotional. But I wanted so much to prove to Tony that my idea would work. I held my shorts as high as I could and I took my first step towards the platform and hoped that I would not fall on the sharp slippery stones. It seemed that everybody turned to look when I uttered my first sound, "Excuse me!"

The strutting woman looked down at me with a questioning expression on her hard but attractive features. "Yes?" She answered, "What... you want?"

"I was wondering if anyone would like a video..."

"What?" She interrupted me, putting her hand to her ear.

I felt my lips quiver and I summoned all my courage again and shouted louder, "I was wondering if anyone would like a video ... of the flight! It looks very nice when we put music to the film ...that is my husband over there." I looked in the direction where Tony was sitting, "He takes very good videos! We have made one of the island and…"

"What?" She said again turning to the people standing on the platform beside her, sounding very annoyed, "What does she want?"

I heard one man say with a sneer, "Something about a video!"

A woman standing next to him shouted to me, "What did you say?"

I yelled back, summoning every once of strength in my body. "Would anyone like a video taking?"

Her reply was with a loud laugh. "A video! Goodness! No thank you!" Now there were peals of laughter from all around.

 I turned and stumbled back to Tony, who was looking even more ridiculous than I felt. He resembled a sketch from 'Monty Python'!

I stumbled up to him, feeling utterly miserable, and totally defeated, and noticed that he had packed everything up. I looked into his face, and as he handed me the camera in its bag, he simply said, "Lets Go!"

We staggered back to the van, struggling with all our belongings that kept sliding about. Our hands were sweating and our clothes were sticking to us. Tony mimicked my words, "We will look really professional!" He sighed. "We looked more like professional idiots!"

We finally threw our things into the van, climbed in, and collapsed into our seats. Then we both began to laugh.

I knew that it would be a long time before we forgot the ridiculous happenings of the day. And I also knew that neither of us would ever really want to.



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