‘On the rock-hard sands he laid his sleeping bag next to mine. Then, with a deft movement, he reached out, unzipped and entered. It was more romantic than I make it sound’
In the summer of 1973, at the end of my second year at university, some friends invited me to join them on a holiday in Greece. We would take in the sites of the mainland, then find an island on whose beaches we could lay out our sleeping bags and stay for free. It was the beginnings of the winding down of the hippie invasion, but the sands of Ios, where we’d originally planned to go, were carpeted by thousands of stoned bodies, so, on advice at the ticket office in Piraeus, we set sail for Sifnos.
My friends had booked their flights some time before me and I couldn’t get a return ticket until a week later than them, so I stayed on on Sifnos alone. I got a little job in a cafe, serving meals and drinks for food and cigarettes. After a day or two, a young man arrived from England, also alone, a recent Cambridge graduate interested in Persian miniatures. On the rock-hard sands he laid his sleeping bag next to mine. Then, with a deft movement, he reached out, unzipped and entered. It was more romantic than I make it sound.Read more →