Well, the phone rang at home two weekends ago and on the other end of a crackling line were "Ma and Pa in-law" who have the unfortunate and unenviable lifestyle that means they get to live on their yacht in and around Greece for most of the year.
"Do you fancy a change of scenery?", they asked, "we are in Athens with a rental car, how about flying out to meet us, we'll then drive back to Fiskardo where the boat is moored".
The bag was packed within 15 seconds, managed to book a flight within half an hour, and off we went. Unfortunately, time constraints dictated that we would be unable to spend any time in Athens and the opportunity to meet up with the local "Crazy gang" ( you know who you are...!) but there's always next time.
Ma and Pa were there at the airport to meet us as promised and off we drove through the lovely Greek countryside to Kefalonia via Lefkada.
The island is as beautiful as ever: lush, green, welcoming and warm. Rather surprisingly, Ma and Pa had never visited Ithaca so we sailed to Frikes early on the second day, rented a car and I had the distinct delight of chauffering them around the switchback roads of this stunningly scenic, rustic and friendly little island. Anogi, Exogi, Stavros,Vathy, the monastery of Katharon and the jewel in Ithaca's crown, Kioni.
The other days were spent loitering in the streets of Fiskardo although we did take a car down to Assos for lunch at the wonderful "Nefeli's" on the waterfront, scene of many a previous "eat-a-thon" on earlier visits to the island. The freshly-caught sea bass filled the plate leaving no space for the vegetables. The restaurant's cats gathered silently beneath the table, eagerly anticipating a feast-to-come so their good behaviour was rewarded with some juicy tidbits.
This island is just perfect and I usually have trouble conveying my love for the place - words aren't enough sometimes to put the feelings onto paper. Odysseus always hankered for his swift return to Ithaca and we feel that same way about Kefalonia.
We went to most of the usual haunts, met some old pals, shared too much local wine and too many terrible old jokes, swapped travelling stories, and soaked up the relaxing atmosphere. With just 5 full days, it was always going to be a whirlwind trip but sat here now at home, looking out the window at the dreadful July weather, makes me realise how lucky we are.
Oh no, I feel yet another attack of "Odysseus Syndrome" washing over me. I should have been born a Greek I think..........