R is for … Rock
SKALA Eressos, besos – calientes!
Hot kisses, yes, if you know where to find them.
No, silly, not under a rock … that’s not what this R is about.
Ok, this R is for … did you say, um … Rock?
More specifically, the Skala Women’s Rock Group at Little Buddha, as it’s named on Facebook.
It’s fun swimming with the wimmin at the harbour end of the beach, a Blue Flag beach, mind you.
Miss F and Miss T are there every single morning of the glorious summer, and part of spring and autumn too.
They get their little ducks ready steady go all in a row, and it’s splish splash to The Rock, a tiny island 314 metres off shore.
If it’s 10am, it must be swim time.
The daily dip is as much part of Skala’s lesbian culture as the appropriation of Sappho’s sexuality, and the tourism industry that has grown around it.
Yes, Sappho, the lyric poet — Plato named her the Tenth Muse, bless him —she was born in Eressos.
She died here too, but of course nobody knows if she swam to the rock.
Could she swim, with that stylus poised in front of her lip, and a writing tablet glued to her left hand?
She’d have been hamstrung, that’s for sure.
You can’t imagine her emulating the strapping lass who sliced through the sea in 4mins 10 and, on reaching The Rock, turned round to see hapless heads and arms bobbing in her wake.
Generally though, The Swim to The Rock is a social swim.
Miss F told you last year, as she paddled along next to a gasping and unfit you, that she and Miss T started The Swim to add to the spectrum of activities for the women in Skala.
Her swimming cap was turned up at the ears.
It is a chance to exercise, she said, have fun and to do something that doesn’t result in a hangover, a babalas as we say in RSA.
When you’re a first timer, and you’ve finished your swim, Miss T will line you up with the other swim virgins, and someone – everyone, goddamit, it’s the digital age – everyone will take a photograph.
You’re standing there dripping and Miss T lowers a medal over your wet head.
You bow to accept the Sappho Siren Award for Excellent Swimming, a laminated square of paper hanging on a piece of cotton.
There’s that picture of Sappho on it.
You got yours during the Sappho International Women’s Festival in September last year, and you don’t know if every new Rock Star gets one.
But you do recall the words of Miss F during your first swim.
When’s it going to end, you panted, treading water and catching your breath.
She smiled, and uttered words as sweet as a kiss: “As we say, this swim isn’t a race … it’s all about the journey we take, together.”
R is for … Rock