Welcome to Day Eleven of the Twelve books of Christmas with Zakynthos Informer!
Today’s book is Margaritas Olive Press by Rodney Sheilds
An enchanting true story of one man’s 20 year odyssey on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos. Dennis Potter was the first to enjoy early tales of life at the olive press, which he found ‘diverting and properly flavoured with yoghurt and honey’. ‘The house is in a wild place and stands on its own – like its owner’ is the introduction Rodney Shields is given to the remote house on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, which is to become his obsession for the next twenty years. The universal dream of finding an island paradise and making it reality is explored with wit and detail, and sometimes high drama. Rodney sets out with a vision: to find a property on the Greek island which he and his family have come to love. During his search he builds lasting friendships with islanders, becomes involved in the often tricky minutiae of Greek marital relations, until finding the ideal property – and meeting its formidable owner, Margarita. This is followed by complicated negotiations in Greek property law – the outcome of which are frequently reliant on a carrier bag full of almonds. All set amid the brilliant blue Ionian sea and olive groves which have enticed travellers for centuries. Having secured the property – or at least part of it – the drama continues over the next twenty years; rendering the place habitable by the use of mules, achieving a natural source of water without interference from snakes. Finally Rodney and his family can enjoy the simple pleasure of their island paradise amid old and new friends alike – until the dream is threatened by an approaching island fire.
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