Here is a novel form of the elixir of youth – no magic potions, just preserved in brine and other substances.  I liked the final conclusion of the boatman.


‘A year after the war I told Mirso, a boatman in Poros I hadn’t seen since 1938, that he looked browner, haler and younger than ever.

“It’s the air,” he said, pausing over his oars, “and not only that.  What with the brine outside and the resin in, it pickles us.  If I died now and you were to bury me, I wouldn’t start stinking for ten years or more.”‘

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, introduction by Michael Gorra, New York: New York Review of Books, 2006 (1958), p.283

Photo credit: S Alb at


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