CHALKBOARDS

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Now where was I then?
Oh, I remember. Corfu wasn’t it? Turkey 3, Czech Republic 2 and Austria 0, Germany 1. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/568cdd5ee4b02440900e0465/1898810

The lazy Oxford breakfast?
I wasn’t sure whether breakfast was served all day or whether it was just a huge breakfast. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/568cdd5ee4b02440900e0465/1898806

BEDTIME STORY 1964

A film every psychotherapist should watch, at least that’s my perception.
I watched a film on TV last night, ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, made in 1988 and released in the UK on 30th June 1989. Michael Caine is an actor whom I admire immensely. I looked online for the script to discover that the film is a remake of the 1964 film, ‘Bedtime Story’ in which David Niven played the role reprised by Michael Caine and in which Marlon Brando played the role reprised by Steve Martin. I was able to find a passing decent copy on Youtube and watch it on my TV screen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y75E5tBPzF0
I won’t recap the plot but merely say that I enjoyed both laughter and tears and the strongest feeling that I wished friends had been watching it with me. A film about deception, perception, camaraderie and friendship; for me, life as I have experienced it and I say that both objectively and subjectively.
The storyline takes place in Beaulieu-sur-Mer which is depicted in the film as Beaumont-sur-Mer. The opening scene is of the Château De La Napoule in Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the Alpes-Maritimes Department of France. The castle was built in the 14th century by the Countess of Villeneuve. In 1918 it was purchased and restored by American husband and wife Henry Clews Jr. and Marie Clews. In 1951, in memory of her late husband, Marie Clews founded the La Napoule Art Foundation, a non-profit organization which houses the Clews Collection and hosts international programs in the arts.
La Napoule
A still of the opening scene; a location I’ve visited and where I’ve taken photographs.
Photo
© James Sapsard
The photograph above has been published on the Guardian website. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/55afb147e4b0571ff3516306/1652711
The walkway, with arched windows, is open to public access.
Photo
© James Sapsard
Today I waited expectantly for the postman who has long since been and gone. No sign of the book I ordered online yesterday, ‘Dorothy Bohm Colour Photography 1984-94; 1st Edition autographed by Dorothy Bohm’. A pleasure postponed or perhaps merely deferred; the latter suggesting only a brief hiatus, which is not quite the right word but I’m trying to flout the rigours and constraints of a sometimes oppressive education.
There was only one edition and I already have a copy, autographed by Dorothy Bohm with a dedication:, “For Martin and Annabel with best wishes from Dorothy Bohm Hampstead, May 1995”. It was published by The Photographers Gallery London to coincide with the exhibition of Dorothy Bohm’s photographs at the gallery from 7th October to 19th November 1994 when the gallery was housed at 5 & 8 Great Newport Street, London before its move, in 2012, to its current location, 16–18 Ramillies Street, London. http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/
I forget where I bought my copy. It was in the past two or three years and I paid £4 according to the pencilled price on the first page.
I was prepared to change my name to Martin but could find no one willing to change her name to Annabel. It never occurred to me to simply look for an Annabel. Multitasking has never been my forte.
I hung a trip in the ether; I’m sorry, I mean I checked the internet, to discover what my copy might be worth although I would never sell it, just treasure it more should it be priceless. Up popped another copy signed by Dorothy Bohm, in pristine condition, for £15, the one which I now await.
I rather like this whole business of using a computer to write about whatever subject one fancies. No noisy typewriters, fading ribbon or reams of paper piled high. One can even read one’s mail without moving from one’s seat, or do what I just did, a random check on Dorothy’s book. I now see another copy, unsigned , at £90. I suspect that such an optimistic endeavour may reflect an overinvestment by the seller. And the best part of writing? Merging fact with fiction.

SPECIAL BOOK EDITIONS

In 2010, in a secondhand bookshop in Wimbledon, I bought a book of poetry by Lynda King, ‘Time At My Shoulder’. I was drawn by her name because Linda King is the name of Charles Bukowski’s widow and because of the similarity to Lindy King of United Agents, whom The Guardian regards as no.7 of ‘The 20 most powerful celebrity makers’.
untitled
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/jun/22/celebrity.media
The authenticity and emotional depth of the 150 pages of poetry in Time At My Shoulder was heartrending. The book bears no ISBN number and no publisher’s details. The only information was that it was printed in Geneva in December 1999 and is dedicated “for Henry and Françoise”.

I was to discover that Lynda King had been an actress with a minor role in the 1959 film, The Bridal Path, which takes place on the island of Eorsa in the Inner Hebrides, where Ewan MacEwan, a widower and father of two, played by Bill Travers, is looking for a wife. It’s based on a novel by Nigel Tranter and was produced and directed by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat. It was shot on location around Oban, Easdale and Appin and premiered in Edinburgh.

Internet research disclosed nothing about Lynda. On 19th August 2010 I created a Lynda King Facebook page with the intention of putting some of her poetry openly online in the hope that a knowing eye would see it and contact me. There are eleven of her poems at:
https://www.facebook.com/Poetry.Of.Lynda.King
six of which I posted on 16th February 2012 and five on 22nd August 2015.

After Christmas 2011 I had made no progress with the Facebook page. On re-reading the book, I came across a poem called ‘Dordogne’, the first line of which reads “Robert and Stuart bought the Moulin Neuf”. I googled “Moulin Neuf” to discover that it’s a bed and breakfast establishment in the Dordogne region of France:
http://www.the-moulin-neuf.com/
I emailed Robert and Stuart on 18th February 2012 and received this reply from Robert on 20th February, “I find it quite extraordinary that you have found Lynda’s book and that you were then able, through the internet, to find the Moulin Neuf! I’m delighted that you enjoy Lynda’s poetry. She writes beautifully. I indeed have 2 copies of her book on my desk whilst writing to you. I could tell you lots about Lynda but the best person for you to speak to is Françoise Rodocanachi, who is a lifelong friend of Lynda and who lives in Geneva. See also page 125 of the book. [Page 125 has a poem entitled “THE RODOCANACHI HOUSE CHIOS”] Françoise does not have internet but can be contacted either by writing to her at [address withheld] or indeed you can phone her on [no. withheld]. I spoke with her on the telephone yesterday and told her of your interest.”

I telephoned Françoise Rodocanachi who is the Françoise to whom the book is dedicated. She told me that Lynda King was living in Canada and sadly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

She also told me that the ‘Henry’ referred to in the dedication is the actor Henry McGee to whom Lynda King was married until his death on 28th January 2006 and that Lynda was an actress.

Having learned that Lynda was an actress, I researched her on IMDB where I found this entry:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0455023/#Actress

“The Bridal Path” is at:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052649/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_1

“Beyond This Place” aka “Web Of Evidence” is mentioned at:
http://www.listal.com/movie/web-of-evidence
where there is a link to the full cast list in which she is cast as Miss Williams. http://www.listal.com/movie/web-of-evidence/cast

“Sweet Revenge” is mentioned at:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246965/
where there is a link to full credits where she is shown under ‘Other crew’ as ‘production controller’.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246965/fullcredits#cast

For some unknown reason, Lynda was not mentioned in Henry McGee’s obituaries in the Guardian, Telegraph or Independent:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2006/feb/03/guardianobituaries.artsobituaries1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1509339/Henry-McGee.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/henry-mcgee-6110081.html

Françoise expressed surprise that I have a copy of Lynda’s book. She told me that 500 copies were printed in Geneva and that Lynda had been “ripped off” when she discovered the books bore no ISBN or publisher’s identity and consequently could not be sold in Switzerland. As far as she knew, the only copy in England was one which she and Lynda had smuggled into the library of the American Embassy in London in a whimsical moment and clandestinely planted in the bookshelves. She believes that is the book I have.

Lynda’s poem, “A Visit To Florence 1989” ends with the words; “A lot can happen even at sixty” suggesting that she is now aged about 86 and was about 30 in The Bridal Path.

Françoise flew to London in April 2012 and I met her for lunch on Wednesday, 25th April in the Capital Hotel in Basil Street, Knightsbridge. She had told me she would bring photographs and information about Lynda King. She very kindly gave me an additional 40 page booklet of more of Lynda’s poetry entitled ‘There is no more to say’.

Henry McGee is well known yet his marriage to Lynda was never revealed. After meeting Françoise I sketched out a brief documentary film treatment on the discovery of Lynda, her marriage to Henry McGee, her film work and her poetry but despite contacting several production companies there was no interest.

In the film, The Bridal Path, Lynda King plays Miss Ainslie, a bank clerk in the Bank Of Scotland in a three minute appearance some nineteen minutes into the film and is credited in the final credits as the ‘clerk’.

Françoise Rodocanachi was the second wife of Constantine ‘Kostia’ (Georges) Rodocanachi (born 2nd April 1908 in Marseille, France and died in September 1981 in Geneva, Switzerland). According to The Times dated 19th July 1935, Constantine Rodocanachi married his first wife, Domina ‘Domna’ (Emmanuel) Zervoudachi on 18th July 1935 in Oggebio, Italy. They were divorced on 2nd July 1954 in Marseille, France shortly after which he married Françoise whose maiden name was Ferguson:
http://www.christopherlong.co.uk/gen/vlastogen/fg03/fg03_408.html

The final image on this page shows Françoise Rodocanachi in the 1960’s:
https://emiliecousteauparis.wordpress.com/tag/vintage/

With so much history and poignancy flowing from this book, which so unexpectedly fell into my hands, it has become my most special book edition.

FOLLOW

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Approaching Saint Catherine’s Monastery, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt “James, stop photographing rocks and keep up!” The monastery was built between 548 and 565 and is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. Housing the world’s oldest continually operating library it possesses the Syriac Sinaiticus, a late 4th-century manuscript of 358 pages which contains a translation of the four canonical gospels of the New Testament into Syriac. Until 1859, it also housed the Codex Sinaiticus or “Sinai Bible” which is an ancient, handwritten copy of the Greek Bible, most of which is now held in the British Library, London. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5645b219e4b04096fed8b8dd/1805765

Approaching Saint Catherine’s Monastery, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt
“James, stop photographing rocks and keep up!” The monastery was built between 548 and 565 and is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. Housing the world’s oldest continually operating library it possesses the Syriac Sinaiticus, a late 4th-century manuscript of 358 pages which contains a translation of the four canonical gospels of the New Testament into Syriac. Until 1859, it also housed the Codex Sinaiticus or “Sinai Bible” which is an ancient, handwritten copy of the Greek Bible, most of which is now held in the British Library, London. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5645b219e4b04096fed8b8dd/1805765

The Tour Guide Follows In Dahab, Egypt The man in charge comes last, following the other six riders to ensure their safety. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5645b219e4b04096fed8b8dd/1805773

The Tour Guide Follows In Dahab, Egypt
The man in charge comes last, following the other six riders to ensure their safety. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5645b219e4b04096fed8b8dd/1805773

Making Tracks In The Sand In The Sinai Desert “Why don’t you guys follow me for a change?” https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5645b219e4b04096fed8b8dd/1805777

Making Tracks In The Sand In The Sinai Desert
“Why don’t you guys follow me for a change?”
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5645b219e4b04096fed8b8dd/1805777

MORE WHEELS

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Gear System This gear system waterwheel and toothed lifting device, based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci, stands in the grounds of his final home, the Château du Clos Lucé, 2 Rue du Clos Lucé, 37400 Amboise, France. In 1965, two lost manuscripts written by Leonardo da Vinci (The Madrid Codices I-II) were discovered in the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid by Dr. Jules Piccus, Language Professor at the University of Massachusetts. Leonardo da Vinci had completed volume I between 1490 and 1499 and volume II between 1503 and 1505. In the first volume, he introduced and dealt scientifically with the idea of transmission by means of toothed gears. His findings are the basis for the gear system in every machine, past or present, that relies upon a gear system. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1795204

Leonardo da Vinci’s Gear System
This gear system waterwheel and toothed lifting device, based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci, stands in the grounds of his final home, the Château du Clos Lucé, 2 Rue du Clos Lucé, 37400 Amboise, France. In 1965, two lost manuscripts written by Leonardo da Vinci (The Madrid Codices I-II) were discovered in the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid by Dr. Jules Piccus, Language Professor at the University of Massachusetts. Leonardo da Vinci had completed volume I between 1490 and 1499 and volume II between 1503 and 1505. In the first volume, he introduced and dealt scientifically with the idea of transmission by means of toothed gears. His findings are the basis for the gear system in every machine, past or present, that relies upon a gear system.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1795204

Abandoned Carriage Wheel, Axle And Suspension I saw this broken, discarded wheel lying in open woodland behind a hotel in which I spent a night shortly after visiting the Château de Fontainebleau, 77300 Fontainebleau, France. It was clearly a heritage piece, well preserved and respected by visitors. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1795208

Abandoned Carriage Wheel, Axle And Suspension
I saw this broken, discarded wheel lying in open woodland behind a hotel in which I spent a night shortly after visiting the Château de Fontainebleau, 77300 Fontainebleau, France. It was clearly a heritage piece, well preserved and respected by visitors.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1795208

WHEELS

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Waterwheel This waterwheel was constructed from the drawings and descriptions contained in Leonard da Vinci’s notebooks and stands in the grounds of the Château du Clos Lucé, 2 Rue du Clos Lucé, 37400 Amboise, France. The Château was built in 1471 and Leonardo Da Vinci was invited to live here in 1516 by King Francis I. It was Leonard da Vinci’s home until his death in 1519 at the age of 67. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1793529

Leonardo da Vinci’s Waterwheel
This waterwheel was constructed from the drawings and descriptions contained in Leonard da Vinci’s notebooks and stands in the grounds of the Château du Clos Lucé, 2 Rue du Clos Lucé, 37400 Amboise, France. The Château was built in 1471 and Leonardo Da Vinci was invited to live here in 1516 by King Francis I. It was Leonard da Vinci’s home until his death in 1519 at the age of 67.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1793529

Portuguese Waterwheel 1 On my way to the Ria Park Hotel & Spa, Vale do Lobo, 8135-951 Almancil, Portugal, I saw this old waterwheel. I never discovered whether or not it was still in use. It wasn’t unlike those designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th-16th C and recorded in his notebooks. It was worth stopping for and photographing because I didn’t know when I might see another. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1793533

Portuguese Waterwheel 1
On my way to the Ria Park Hotel & Spa, Vale do Lobo, 8135-951 Almancil, Portugal, I saw this old waterwheel. I never discovered whether or not it was still in use. It wasn’t unlike those designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th-16th C and recorded in his notebooks. It was worth stopping for and photographing because I didn’t know when I might see another.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1793533

Portuguese Waterwheel 2 Settled in at the Ria Park Hotel & Spa, Vale do Lobo, 8135-951 Almancil, Portugal, I saw this old waterwheel on my way back from the beach. I hadn’t seen and photographed an old waterwheel here since just before I arrived the previous day. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1793535

Portuguese Waterwheel 2
Settled in at the Ria Park Hotel & Spa, Vale do Lobo, 8135-951 Almancil, Portugal, I saw this old waterwheel on my way back from the beach. I hadn’t seen and photographed an old waterwheel here since just before I arrived the previous day.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/5630c6f5e4b07e373ce97a23/1793535

WET

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Venice – It’s Still A Bit Wet Out There “The clothes are dry but how do I get to them?” https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785562

Venice – It’s Still A Bit Wet Out There
“The clothes are dry but how do I get to them?”
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785562

Walking Near Salcombe In Devon “Why don’t you go down and check. Call me if the water’s warm." https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785568

Walking Near Salcombe In Devon
“Why don’t you go down and check. Call me if the water’s warm.”
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785568

The Body In The Pool The Hôtel du Château “Cité Médiévale de Carcassonne”. Security was alerted and the body quickly removed. No more was heard of the incident and no one has asked questions. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785573

The Body In The Pool
The Hôtel du Château “Cité Médiévale de Carcassonne”. Security was alerted and the body quickly removed. No more was heard of the incident and no one has asked questions.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785573

Corfu – The Coast Walk To Messonghi The non-existent line separating the road from the sea, unlit at night. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785575

Corfu – The Coast Walk To Messonghi
The non-existent line separating the road from the sea, unlit at night.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/563240a2e4b097ba40e93a08/1785575

Flow River Flow – An Additional Photo

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Julius Cæsar wrote that he crossed the River Thames on foot 80 miles from the sea. Brentford is 80 miles from the beach at which Julius Cæsar is said to have landed. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779842

The Thames At Brentford 
Julius Cæsar wrote that he crossed the River Thames on foot 80 miles from the sea. Brentford is 80 miles from the beach at which Julius Cæsar is said to have landed.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779842

 

 

Flow River Flow

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Brentford is the first place at which the tidal portion of the River Thames was fordable on foot. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779835

The Thames At Brentford
Brentford is the first place at which the tidal portion of the River Thames was fordable on foot.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779835

It’s believed by some historians that Julius Cæsar crossed the Thames here at Brentford during his invasion of Britain in 54 BC. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779832

The Thames At Brentford
It’s believed by some historians that Julius Cæsar crossed the Thames here at Brentford during his invasion of Britain in 54 BC.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779832

The Thames At Brentford

Although there is no archaeological proof that Julius Cæsar crossed the River Thames at Brentford, he wrote that the river bank where he crossed was protected by sharp stakes. A great number of oak stakes were discovered during the building of Brentford Dock between 1855 and 1859. https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779839

The Thames At Brentford
Although there is no archaeological proof that Julius Cæsar crossed the River Thames at Brentford, he wrote that the river bank where he crossed was protected by sharp stakes. A great number of oak stakes were discovered during the building of Brentford Dock between 1855 and 1859.
https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/56261b84e4b00378ab588bbf/1779839

“Ballad Of Easy Rider”

The river flows
It flows to the sea
Wherever that river goes
That’s where I want to be
Flow river flow
Let your waters wash down
Take me from this road
To some other town

All he wanted
Was to be free
And that’s the way
It turned out to be
Flow river flow
Let your waters wash down
Take me from this road
To some other town

© Roger McGuinn 1969

“Easy Rider” was released in UK cinemas on July 14, 1969, twelve days before I returned from hitchhiking round France, Italy and Switzerland, 2023 years after Julius Cæsar was ‘hitchhiking’ round London in 54 BC. We never know in whose footsteps we follow.

An Afternoon, Santorini And A Disposable Camera

All images © James Sapsard.
Images may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Imerovigli. The day was hot; hotter than any I could remember. It seemed as though I was buying an iced drink at every shop I passed. I turned left and staggered down a shaded alley. Maybe there was a way to the beach. Water warm but cooler than the sun. I saw the rock. I didn’t know it then but I was gazing at Skaros. What a fool I was. With the gods but without a camera. Well, not entirely without. I’d picked up a disposable camera on my way up the hill. Now, thankfully, the way was down.
Santorini 1
I felt a hand on my arm; the lightest touch; the hand of a lady. I turned, smiling. There was no one there. It’s the heat, I told myself, or maybe a mosquito. Then I saw her, indistinct in form; a heat haze; a mirage; hair to her waist; such lonely eyes. We reached out to each other. A bead of sweat ran into my eye and I blinked. In that moment, she was gone. You’re hallucinating, I told myself. I didn’t believe that then and I don’t believe it now. I know who she is. She’s been with me all my life; appearing only in moments when I doubt my own lucidity. It’s that doubt that makes her real; our mutual denial and illogical defiance of her non-existence.
I stumbled on, wanting to simply lie down and sleep in the shadow. I descended half a dozen short flights of steps, turning this way and that, until I emerged, my view of my destination no longer obstructed by the walls of the route I had taken.
Santorini 2
Now I could see the second, lower, path. I was intent only in taking the upper path and climbing up onto the flat summit, where I could see another ancient path. I picked my way carefully down the remaining flights of white steps until I reached the single pathway that almost immediately divided. I climbed a few steps onto the upper path. Where the path was steeper, flights of steps had been laid. As I took the first flight, I looked to my left.
Santorini 3
I climbed on, Skaros, the peak I wished to climb now beside me on my right, the lower elevation at the back of the rock now apparent to me.
Santorini 4
I glanced again to my left.
Santorini 5
I continued on my way to find that the path ended behind the rock. I retraced a few steps and began to climb intending to reach the summit. As I glanced back, I saw Nature’s rock goddess, somehow previously unnoticed.
Santorini 6
I climbed higher until I stood just below the lower, rear plateau of the rock.
I nearly died that day, my human frailty reaffirmed. It had not been difficult, reaching Skaros, but the climb to the top was beyond me and such skills as I possessed insufficient to achieve my purpose. The path had been easy enough, my route recorded on my newly acquired disposable camera.
I had climbed behind the rock, over the barriers installed by man and disguised as rock fall; ever circling and upward until I could progress no more. I could see, above me, protruding from the smooth rock, a short length of twisted, rusting, tempting handrail, as far beyond my grasp as my feeble understanding, yet my outstretched mind and arm tried and tried to reach the remnants of a rusting handrail, a clear indication that once there had been an iron stair case, long since removed, to the higher plateau.
I turned away, seeking an alternate means or route to the hilltop fort. I saw a way, dangerous, enticing and thrilling, to my right, stepping out over the void, relying on the strength of my arms to sustain my life on an upward pull of indeterminate length. I found the strength; to abort my foolish quest. I climbed, contemplatively, down and retraced my steps to follow the lower path.
This path seemed more precarious yet it was not overgrown. I took its twisting route expecting only to find another path ending.
I turned what effectively was the final corner.
Santorini 7
Not visible from the headland, the hidden chapel of Theoskepasti was now revealed to me. Still troubled by thoughts of the risk I had almost foolishly taken, I now found my peaceful solitude facing the calm Aegean. Such blue water, such blue sky; the height and depth of the firmament. What more could there be?
I entered the small courtyard in front of the chapel. I wondered, would my inexpensive disposable camera accurately frame and capture the memories my mind was creating? The lens and exposure were fixed. I stood as far from the chapel as I could, leaning back over the courtyard wall at the cliff’s edge, pointing my camera skyward and framing the belfry.
Santorini 8
I sat on the wall and rested; my forgotten tiredness and dehydration catching up with me. Time to make my way back. In my fatigued state, the path seemed almost treacherous. I wanted another photo of the caldera. I realised also that nature called. I stepped carefully down from the path and pointed the camera.
Santorini 9
There would be no more surprises today, I mused and after responding to nature’s call, turned back to the path. I had not expected what I could now see.
Santorini 10
Amazed, I peered within. Caution was now the order of the day. I was peering into a room but the interior was too dark for me to make out the depth or size. I promised myself that I would come back to this and one day, I will.

© James Sapsard 2015
All images © James Sapsard