Tag Archives: Gerald Durrell

Stage Set 

15 May

Enforced lingering in the marina, latterly by my reticence to leave the safety of harbour in anything stronger than a force 4, has at least given us the chance to get out and about a bit on Corfu. Not that we’ve gone far; a couple of bus journeys into Corfu Town where we struck lucky and caught sight of Champagne and her crew, formerly of the good ship Isabelle, Christine and Vic. Fizz duly ensued, the preferred Italian kind rather than that to match the boat’s name.

Otherwise we’ve not got much further than easy walking distance of the marina itself. It was on one of these walks we spotted the film crew outside the old Durrell House as featured in the TV series. Of course I immediately wanted to take a photo but was practically jumped on by a fluorescent vest wearing youth who was alert enough to put down his phone in time to stop me. No photos. So this is a sneaky one taken from the road on the return journey.

Around the back was a different story and we’d already taken the picture of the house overlooking the beach. It appeared suitably rather ramshackle as it would have appeared in Gerald Durrell’s time here, presumably staged for filming. 

His books are attributed as being largely responsible for the beginnings of Corfu’s tourist trade, a fact he, apparently, lived to regret when he saw how the island had changed. It appears that the local residents feel differently, however, if the monument in Corfu town is anything to go by. Certainly the house in Kalami that was rented by big brother “Larry” is now a rather nice restaurant doing a booming trade. The owners of the house rented by his family, on the other hand, have remained very private people, the grounds surrounded by high walls. If it wasn’t for local knowledge and the current presence of a film crew, the visitor wouldn’t be aware that it was anything out of the ordinary. I confess to a certain frisson at seeing it, though.