Part 4: Greece, Athenian book ends

I remember reading a history book many years ago about the significance of the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. If the Persians (and boy did they outnumber the Athenians), lead by Darius, had won that day, the world as we know it today would look quite different.

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Part 3: Greece, Oh Oia in Santorini (featuring guest writer, the Beast)

This post has been guest-written by the Beast

One of the best things about staying in luxury hotels is having a phone next to the toilet. For the seasoned business traveller this is a necessity; international wheeling and dealing, currency markets and the stability of the pound in the face of Brexit cannot and will not wait for the constitutional of an international businessperson.

For me, it is a little more parochial. I like to be photographed pretending to be on the phone while sitting on the toilet. I mean, really, who am I going to call?

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Part 2: Greece, a Cretan good day to you

Soon after we arrived in Crete, we knew that the locals had warmed to us because they gave us the traditional Cretan greeting. That’s when you say: “A Cretan good morning to you, sir!” while you fake-shake the end of a man’s penis.

This is not actually a traditional Cretan greeting but one of us envisioned that it was. We’d pretend to greet each other like this, even though I don’t have a penis, over our three days on the island, during which the Beast did all the driving. (We got a VW Polo, which was marginally better than the Suzuki Celerio.) This was cause for another fight because he tried to drive like the Greeks: fast, and down-shifting on hills instead of breaking. I asked him to slow down. He took offence. As a cis male, he said, it was in his blood to drive this way, like the Cretan (cis males) did, and how could I possibly understand?

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Part 1: Greece, the mainland road trip

“Zeus does not bring all men’s plans to fulfillment,” Homer notes in The Iliad. He did, however, manage to ensure that our 10-day trip to Greece went off without a single hiccup.

Okay there were a few hiccups. But we had an extraordinary time. The sort of time where every hour or so you look at the other and note how extraordinary everything you’re seeing, hearing, learning, remembering, eating, and drinking is. The sort of time where you just stop and hug because you don’t believe you’re there, walking where Homer’s heroes did, where bonafide ancient Greeks did, whose names we all still know–except for the one American tourist who asked “Who is Alexander the Great?” The sort of time where you just laugh because you don’t believe they actually eat that much yogurt and feta. But they do! Heaping plates of it!

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Getting there

Despite rarely shifting past third gear until Barrie, Ont., we still made good time driving to the cottage last night.

To help pass said time, the Beast read aloud some Yelp restaurant reviews. I can’t remember when he first started doing this, but it’s something we both enjoy. Whether they are mundane reviews by “Tammy” about the cold biscuits from Red Lobster, or “Ryan” expressing outrage over the small portions at Denny’s, they are entertaining—and provide a glimpse of how average, humorous, and outrageous we humans can be.

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Early retirement and rosé all day

On Saturday we took my mom to the Keg in London, Ont., for her birthday dinner. It’s not often that we’re all–me, the Beast, mom, her partner Russ, my brother, sister in law, and my nephew, who is three and a half, out together.

The very kind server brought her a piece of that Billy Miner pie.


I had one bite and then excused myself to the washroom, which Ben, my nephew, did repeatedly through the course of our meal. I think nearly everyone took him. He kept telling us he had to go poo but I don’t think he really needed to take one.

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Anger management: there’s an app for that

I’m sitting on the deck trying to murder wasps with the hose.

It’s on the “jet” setting and I want to take them all down.

I’ve been doing this frequently, while the Beast watches, concerned. He’s of the “leave them alone, and they will ignore you” school, which sounds like a school for people who share Deepak Chopra quotes on Facebook. It just doesn’t make any sense.


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