So, last week we took three of our grandchildren to Zakynthos for a week. It was good. I especially enjoyed the day at the Water Village at Zakarinado. For a man in his mid fifties there’s not much in this wonderful world to compare with having to repeatedly climb up and slide down the wide assortment of forty or fifty feet high water slides with such appealing names as the Boomerango, the Super Bowl and the wonderful Black Hole with a nine year old. Geo, the thirteen year old, had originally accompanied little Josh on his first ascent, but they swiftly returned, Josh looking well peeved and Geo ashen and shaking, repeating in a Zombie-like manner, “I’m not going up that. Look at it. I’m especially not going down it. Look at it. Look up!”
And as these rides all require a pair of humans to partake of the thrills, owing to the fact that you ride down on dual rings, and probably stuff to do with physics, fluid mechanics, weight distribution and a two-for one offer at the local graveyard, I was the one chosen to accompany the boy on the rides. I loved the lazy river though. I could have spent all day on it. Lovely day out.
For the most part though, our time was spent either in or by the pool, in the sea and on the beach, and wandering along the lovely seaside paths. Both boys asked me why so many girls and women on the beach and at the pool were only wearing bikini bottoms and nothing up top, Geo with more interest than the younger one. I simply advised them to enjoy the scenery and study the effects of sunlight on skin which is normally covered up. But don’t get caught staring. Eye contact is forgivable though. Just don’t waver in your gaze boys.
The food was good, naturally, and for Jess it was her second holiday to Greece with us, and she especially enjoyed the boat trip round the south of the island. We’re going to Crete in September, Juanita and I. No children this time.
So then the other day, upon shaving, I noticed that my ears and nose needed trimming already. The sun, sea and Mythos must have put a spurt of growth on it. The ears are quite easy to deal with as it’s mostly a patch of fuzzy dark growth that can be removed by pressing the ear from behind and skimming a well lubricated Gillette fusion over the offending area repeatedly yet gently at various angles until the lobes look like a porn starlet’s mound of joy. But without the bruises or friction burns. Then a quick swipe around the edges to mop up any strays. In both cases.
The nose is another matter entirely. The stuff that constantly bushes out of the nostrils is still easily controlled by the clandestine use of my wife’s ‘intimate shaving and shaping tool’ as long as I can remain convincing when denying all knowledge of why it’s getting so blunt so quickly. She doesn’t scream that loudly so it can’t be too bad. If I’m feeling particularly raunchy or simply in a hurry, I’ll swipe my razor around the outer edge of my nostrils to remove the most offensively visible hairs.
But. Until I entered my fifties, a razor was sufficient to sort out the external stuff too. Now, with increasing age, the hairs which sprout from the finely curved leading edge are becoming sturdier and thicker. I’ve found that the only serious way to deal with them is to grit my teeth and pluck the fuckers out one by one, individually and completely. Not so long ago it was but a fine down which occasionally I would notice in my lower peripheries, but now every time I look down my vision is blocked by huge white poles erupting from in front of me. Some of the bastards are thick enough that I’m almost tempted to let them grow, harvest them and weave them into capstan ties with which to turn an easier profit from the hardened sea-dogs down on the fishermen’s wharf. A few cables woven from my nasal hairs would probably be strong enough to haul the fucking Titanic from her grave.
Which reminds me, I’ll need a haircut from Richie before I go away in September. There’s something to look for’ard to. Fretful Mathew came into my shop the other day, freshly barbered by Richie. He looked spick and span, yet sorely troubled.
“Graham, ” he started, “do you think that the barber Rick really can’t get through a sentence without at least two words beginning with ‘F’ being used? I find it very wearing.”
I considered long, hard and deeply, for at the time I was deep in conversational intercourse with the lovely Alex, a new regular young lady customer and my mind was wandering in pastures new, green, elegant and very winsome.
“No, Mathew” I said. “He really can’t. Because he’s a fu