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Skyros Blog

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The Pea Fair

Sarah Bridge is our transfer manager this year, spending her summer based in Atstitsa Bay and ensuring everyone safely arrives and departs from their Skyros Holiday. She will be writing a weekly blog about life in Atsitsa so check back each week to keep up-to-date.

The beauty of being at Atsitsa Bay is that you never know what the day will bring, and last week was a great example of that. As well as the regular courses throughout the day, from early morning until dinner time, there are also evening activities every night, and participants can suggest, request or even offer to put on events which are close to their hearts. One such suggestion was a ‘Pea Fair’ which was a new concept to me but seemed to be a favourite with people who had been before. It sounded intriguing! 


All day I watched as people beavered away making banners, floor plans and engaging in mysterious preparations for the night ahead. Come 9pm and the stage was set. Our chef, Taki – who had been promoted to Pea Fair King for the night – cut the ribbon to official open the Fair and then the curious crowd arrived. Everyone was given a bag of painted pebbles (the Atsitsa Bay equivalent of peas – the traditional currency in a Pea Fair) and went off to check out the many stalls which had sprung up during the day. With fairy lights and torches suspended from the trees and the little table-stalls dotted around the terrace in the moonlight the effect was like entering a magical grotto and amazing to see how a familiar space could be . 

The choice was impressive: there were people offering foot-washing and reflexology foot massage, several children had been making bracelets to sell on their stall and there were head massages, inspirational quotes and fortune telling stalls on offer. 

Some verged on the surreal: you could pay a pebble for someone to talk gibberish to you, one guest was charging a pebble for the chance to paint one of his toes with nail polish and I spent one of my ‘coins’ on a stick. Course director Malcolm Stern teamed up with wind-surfing instructor Mark Gunston to offer ‘Complimentary Therapy’ where you could take your pick from a genuine compliment, a false compliment or total obsequiousness, while others offered a postal service for handwritten notes, sent immediately or during breakfast the next day. 


My pebbles soon disappeared in sampling all these delights. With just two left I had to spent wisely and I wasn’t disappointed: a recitation of some French love poetry and a being embraced in a three-way hug was the perfect end to a magical evening. And there was still the cabaret to come! Never a dull moment… 









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