The Durrell 2012 conference seems like much more than ten days ago, as I have spent the last week in Corfu, where the Durrell School was holding a conference. I was staying in Kalami, at the wonderful White House, and went down to Corfu town last Thursday to talk about the book. Corinne Alexandre Garner was also presenting her new book ‘Lawrence Durrell: Dans l’ombre du soleil grec’ which is in part a collection of his Greek ‘travel’ writing. It was a terrific evening – people brought together by the love of reading so often make for a special kind of connecting. I was talking along much the same lines as I did at the London conference – ‘How do you write a book about your mother?’ – as the audience was entirely different (always the fear of repeating oneself). It does seem miraculous to have such a brilliant excuse to visit Corfu, and to start getting to know people there. Last Friday the delegates came up by boat to Kalami and looked inside the part of the White House where Nancy and LD lived and where we were staying (we cleared up) – and did some readings in the main room. There was something quite special about hearing the readings in that particular room, with the doors leading onto the balcony almost over the sea. Then there was a great lunch in the taverna below.
After which, the delegates left on their caique to head back to Corfu town. Definitely the best way to travel.
Along the way, they had stopped near the shrine of St Arsenius for a swim. Which is what we did on Sunday. It’s hardly a deserted spot any more, as lots of people seem to have the same idea and there were about three other boats moored nearby. But it is still magical all the same.