Friday, 13 November 2015

Remembering Alexandra

In 2008 I met a very lively, bubbly and beautiful young woman named Alexandra Henkel while holidaying in Plakias, Crete, Greece.

It was the second time I'd been to the village, and it is a magical, sun kissed place of tavernas, beaches, hills and wine.

She was travelling with a friend (I forget her name) and it was late September. While still hot the weather had become a little less gorgeous than in the previous months and we all knew that soon the storms of winter would be cascading through the valley that Plakias nestles in on the southern part of the Cretan coast.

I was about to leave to go backpacking to India and Alex and her pal were geared up to take in the delights of Ireland.

Me and Alex had a brief summer romance, where I was spellbound by this captivating 19 year old Australian who laughed and smiled a lot and always had a story to tell.

The night before we were both to move on from Plakias, Alex, me and some of our friends all went for a meal in the "higher up the hill so you can watch the sunset" village of Myrthios. After a delicious meal, a few glasses of house red wine and savouring the view as the sun turned the clouds orange and then blood red...we all made our way back down to Big P (as Plakias is known) and chatted for hours.

Me and Alex went for one final, long walk around the village and said we'd stay in touch. I helped her with her bags to the bus stop the next day (she nearly missed the coach) and kissed her goodbye.

Although I never saw her again we did stay in touch and I was supposed to visit her in Oz in 2010 but it never happened (I fell in love with the woman in this story instead....we all make mistakes) and helped Alex with her CV/ Resume when she temporarily moved to England to live in London back in 2013. She also tried to help me get some openings for my novels to get taken on by bookshops in Melbourne.

I would occasionally look back and smile when I remembered that summer of 08. The memories were good ones and Alex had made a mark on me. For all my travelling, and the many people I met, she was someone that held a special place in that book labelled "Summers That Rocked."

Photos appeared on her Facebook account some time ago of her with actor Anthony LaPaglia and I thought that they were the equivalent of the time I met Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones) in the local pharmacy. Then more appeared and comments such as "lovely couple" kind of tipped me off.

I remember seeing Anthony as Barry the Blade in the John Grisham movie The Client, later in Without A Trace on TV.

Can't say I wasn't jealous but it showed me that, ultimately time moves on and in the end we all find our destiny.

Alex, I wish you all the best.

** AND she got to see Mad Max: Fury Road before me. A movie I'd waited 30 years for. Ain't no justice!

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