I spent last week in a different world. At home in Cornwall, it's cold and "the rain it raineth every day" - and has done for months. On holiday in Corfu, the sky was cloudless for a whole week, and on the day we left the temperature was edging up to the high 90s (fahrenheit).The island seemed as beautiful and peaceful as always, without evidence of unrest or political trouble - except for the fact that there were half the usual number of tourists.We would have enjoyed the relative emptiness if it wasn't so obvious that the Corfiotes need their visitors - or rather, need their money.
My friend Joanna Hodgkin was on the island at the same time and kindly let me accompany her when she spoke about her new book to Durrell enthusiasts. Books by Lawrence Durrell, the first husband of Joanna's mother Nancy, and his brother Gerald Durrell, have attracted many visitors to Corfu and there was a good turn out to listen to Jo.
That aside, for seven days we forgot "real life" - though my one reminder of it was very welcome - a kind review of The Fifties Mystique, published in The Jewish Chronicle, by Rabbi and Life Peer Julia Neuberger.