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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Hotel Sunflower

I glimpse it - this old hotel - as we hurry by on the dual carriageway into town. Yesterday on my bicycle I had time to stop and wander around the outside of Hotel Sunflower in Gouvia. Decaying. Ivy growing up its terraces, I thought I saw a face at one of the upstairs windows. A traveller in another time?

There must be a sad story behind this.
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Simon Baddeley Once upon a time at the Hotel Sunflower near the sea in Corfu...I met someone...I was in Room 2, she - I'm still not sure. We were sat near one another on the beach...strolling back to our hotels I realised we seemed to be going in the same direction.
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Zena Phillips It's a start. Romance, mystery, who dun it, sci fi ? Who knows. I favour mystery.
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Simon Baddeley I was thinking more poignant, but certainly romance...' Life and Thought have gone away Side by side, Leaving door and windows wide. Careless tenants they!' Last year I went back to Greece, to Corfu... and wandered into things had changed...yet even so...I stumbled, almost by mistake towards a busy main road and there it stood, Hotel Sunflower. Someone tapped my elbow. I turned, startled ..."Are you OK? Can I help?"
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Zena Phillips O please continue.
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Jane Cochrane She was beautiful but sad .... she was returning for the first time to the place where she had met her handsome young husband who had sadly died a year ago. Her melancholia seemed to affect the whole location ... the beach longed to hear her melodic laugh, the beating sun cooled just a little as she strolled across the quay and the hotel stilled and quietened as she entered.
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Simon Baddeley ...sounds of traffic abruptly muffled; the dust she'd stirred seemed to stand in the air - nothing moved, time stopped...
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'This summer in Corfu'
Zena Phillips The suspense, the suspense...
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Simon Baddeley Your turn
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Jane Cochrane She entered the hotel seemingly in a trance, her beautiful auburn hair reflecting on the hard white marble floor and walls. She walked across the foyer oblivious the eyes that watched her until sudden an elderly gentleman gasped and dropped his cane. The retort of cane on marble rang out like a shot and her composure were instantly dispelled as she heard again the pistol that had killed her husband and baby son in one instant tragic second exactly a year ago 
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Zena Phillips I've fallen in love with a sad tune on a tiny violin. Forget the rest of the story. That's pathos enough.
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Back to the future. 8th October 2018 I received this message on Facebook from Bryan Bentham:
Hi read your story which you did with Zena ...I went in gouvia with friends on a 18-30 in the mid eighties we stayed at sun flower hotel the pic brought back so many memories ...when we arrived there was 3girls sat on bar stools out side drinking the bar was on left hand side at end we all became great friends and I  ended up married to one we went back to the hotel for our honeymoon again with 18-30 I remember the family who run the hotel ..when you went through front door there was a reception and across was the safe deposit boxes then 3 steps down to basement rooms mine been first one my partner had the large room on the left on first floor I was married to her for 28 yr but sadly she died of cancer 3 yr ago this pic brought so many things back to me. 
I replied. We pass the old building almost twice a week. I made up stories in my head about it, and with Zena and Jane, from peering through the dusty windows when passing on my bicycle. Now you have given me a real story - both happy and sad. Can I enter your words on that blog entry? Kindest regards, Simon
Yes of course you can ..I remember the hotel like it was yesterday ...I wonder if the daughter who ran the hotel is still alive she was lovely lady so even baked a  cake for us it's funny how things happen I now live in Zakynthos

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