Besties in Paradise

Date: 2 September 2018. Guys, it’s pumpkin spice latte season again. How did this happen?

Location: the Greek equivalent of a piazza, Argostoli, Cephalonia.

It is, a friend pointed out, a solid premise for a reality TV show: 8 girls of varying levels of acquaintance and friendship, coming together for a week in a Greek villa. I’m currently enjoying an espresso freddo (coffee four for the day, someone please prise my twitching hands off the gently perspiring glass) in the calm before the storm and lazily looking up boat rentals on my phone. So far, Cephalonia is just as expected. It’s no Santorini or Mykonos and there are no little white houses snuggled in by bougainvillea or fancy beach clubs. I don’t necessarily mean that in a negative way — and should probably note here that I’ve never chosen to visit either of those islands. It’s to Greece’s west, part of the mythical Ionian islands that have been so immortalised by Homer’s work that they seem frozen in time, so that it seems impossible to actually visit them. We landed on the island at sunset, and that sunset — gold fading into brilliant pink and silky purples — did not disappoint. Today it’s brilliantly sunny. The main town, Argostoli, boats a cobbled waterfront. I saw a pair of loggerhead turtles bobbing for attention in the harbour this morning. It’s the sort of place where you just want to rent a little boat and seek out private coves and blue water. And that’s just what we’re going to do, I hope.

You already know most of the cast of the new show — working title Besties In Paradise — already, though you may need to review the tags to remind yourself of our history.

There’s Lady Lovelylocks. I think we have to give her the Girl Next Door role. Tall, wholesomely pretty, blonde, athletic, sometimes awkward but with an unexpected sense of humour. Then there’s Ariel, she of the fabulous hair and wide-eyed and Disneyesque desire to see the best in everyone. The fans will eat her alive. There’s Paris, the outwardly-ditzy blonde who used to live in London with me, with a passion for Frenchmen (well, Frenchman, now). There’s Tassels, of our 2014 US road trip fame, who self-identifies as being deceptively innocent looking but with a villainous streak — which she had fun exploring during her stint on Australian Survivor. There’s her fellow Survivor survivor who we will call Number 8 because I usually want to know someone moderately well before I semi-obnoxiously dub them with a nickname by which I then forevermore call hem in my head. The other characters new to you are

⁃ Édith, the statuesque, husky-voiced and hot-tempered young Frenchwoman who is using this holiday to give up smoking (promising to trade each putative cigarette for a drink). This can only go well.

⁃ Gin Girl. The usually mild-mannered and extremely gentle allied health professional who, after just a gin or two, gets this glint in her eye that means the most fun sort of trouble is brewing. We want to see if the same effects can be achieved with ouzo.

And that’s it. Our cast of eight. Who will die first?

Oh, right. Not that sort of show?

We’ll see.

Love,

Alex

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