There are benches, a notice board, planted borders, an avenue of Mediterranean pines and a fountain that only works some of the time. At its far end is a Disney-esque church, complete with towers and a cupola. Cigarettes are smoked, newspapers are read and the gossip is just audible above the birdsong. It has abstract columnar sculptures and war heroes stare down unblinkingly from their plinths. The Greek flag flies in the breeze from the Taygetus Mountains above.
On Sunday after church, a Greek orthodox priest holds court as coffee is drunk at the Square’s tables. Patrick Leigh Fermor’s house is just up the road and his memoir of time spent in this area, “Mani”, is for sale in all the bookshops. As we daydream in the sunshine, the land at our elbows drops down through olive groves and mulberry trees to the Ionian Sea.
Like our Green, the Square is a civic amenity for young and old, birdlife and animals, with its shady trees and the plants and flowers beneath them.
This is Greece in a time of austerity, we are Camden in a time of austerity, such places as this Square and our Green will need protection, our protection, or the bastards will be selling off our back gardens next.
- Ted Booth (Guest Blogger)
Southern Peloponnese, May 2015