Monocle Weekend
Edition: Sunday

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Kalimera! Kalispera! We start this Sunday with a scene-setter from the Cyclades. It’s the afternoon after the night before (we’ll come back to this in a moment) and I’m looking out across the Aegean. Today the sea is an intensely dark navy blue with the occasional whitecap and turquoise dapples closer to shore. The sun is hanging a bit lower than the last time I was here but it’s still sharp in the cloudless sky. A gentle breeze is rustling the tall grasses beyond the terrace, in the background there’s a mellow, jazzy station, and close to hand a chilled assyrtiko from Estate Argyros is helping to bring the past 48 hours into focus.By now you’ll know that we’ve been in Athens for the sixth edition of our Quality of Life Conference and I think I’m having that odd, melancholic slump that hits after being in the thick of hosting a major event. I don’t have enough distance to have a full perspective on how it all went but if the comments from delegates and speakers are a decent barometer then I think team Monocle did a pretty decent job – perhaps the best ever. Athens was a tiny bit chillier than hoped for our welcome drinks and Greece’s coronavirus rules were rather more cumbersome than elsewhere in the EU (don’t you dare go near that dancefloor young lady or shake your bum young man!). But wonderful hosts, provocative ideas and the odd little glimpse into the future made this family outing at the eastern end of the Med the perfect tonic as we slide from quarter three into four. Now, what did I learn?

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  • The Pacific Shift