In 2007 I visited Chaniá in Crete for the very first time. I was summoned by a woman who called herself my 'Cretan Cousin'. I was interested - anything to do with my real identity is of interest - but imagined that the links would be tenuous. After all her grandmother had been my great grandfather's niece. But that was not so.

Marie Naxaki Karioti had grown up alongside my great grandfather's family and their family home Lindsay House just above Suda Bay in Chaniá - as her published memoir 'Ties That Bind Scotland to Crete' attests. I was so struck by those ties that bind that I promised to visit my 'Cretan Cousin' in Chaniá each year. Over the years I got to spend time with her she helped anchor me in the Cretan landscape as I explored a past that helped define just who I was, or might have been. I have never been quite sure. Nonetheless, I am so grateful for Marie's generous inclusion of me into her story.

Marie also introduced me to many wonderful people who are still firm friends. Marie Naxaki Karioti happily and proudly made it to her hundredth year. In June 2017 many came together to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday. Many mourn her still.

There is celebrity by association. Eleftherios Venizelos bounced Marie on his knee (just like Jack Lang bounced Bridget Cooke née Hill - Judith Cooke's mother - on his). It is nice sometimes to acknowledge this. Besides Marie's father was a very significant figure in Crete throughout his life - as was Bridget's in the Australian Union movement. 

Marie Naxaki Karioti, though, was a celebrity in her own right. Before she died Marie contributed enormously to Cretan life after she returned to Chaniá. In 2014 Greek movie houses and television stations showed a movie about her work: