Gillian Bouras
An Australian
Writer
Living in Greece

It's Still Greek to Me!

 

September 2015

The month has passed very rapidly. The next three weeks will do the same, and then I will be back at the airport, and headed for Greece. Again. Before I left in July the confused, confusing, and ill-fated referendum had taken place, and on my return the result of yet another election will be known. What it all means, greater minds than mine have been puzzling over for quite some time. And who really knows what will happen? All I know is that I fear for my grandchildren.

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August 2015

Here I am back in Marvellous Melbourne, and feeling the cold, I must admit. It was 36 degrees the day I left Greece. But never mind: the temperature has crept up from the 7 my brother reported all too recently to a bearable 14. And some of my foreign friends in Greece rather envy me the cold. I would rather swelter than shiver, but not everybody shares my tastes.

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July 2015

Summer is usually holiday time, fun time, in Greece. This month and next month are regular break periods and school holidays, when families take trips, and when retirees and the young spend hours on the beach. Tourists arrive in droves, and most often go island-hopping, and in so doing help to keep the country going. There is a lightness of mood and quite a deal of frivolity. Usually.

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June 2015

The White Rabbit syndrome is upon me again. The main reason for tardiness this month is the removal of a cataract. My Kalamata ophthalmologist had been nagging me for at least two years about the state of my right eye, but when it came to the crunch she recommended that I have the procedure done in Athens. So of course I complied, and went to a branch of the Athens Eye Hospital, where everything is so hi-tech and new that patients are in a fair way to be dazzled post operation.

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May 2015

After an exceptionally long, hard winter, Spring has arrived at last, and Greeks are looking forward to a long weekend, for May Day is a public holiday. But there is not a great deal to look forward to in Greece at present, as the country is still trembling on the brink of economic collapse, and may well run out of cash in the next few days. My youngest son and I have more or less stopped taking an interest in the ongoing krisi, as we agree that we have been reading and listening to the same old thing for far too long. Call us ostriches if you like. But keeping up-to-date, we have decided, is exceedingly stressful. So we are trying to concentrate on more positive matters, being powerless, in any case, to influence the path of this much-beset country.

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April 2015

It’s been a long, hard winter, and everybody is moaning about it. March has resembled February in the amount of rain that has fallen, and cold winds are still blowing. Heavily symbolic they are, doubtless, of the current state of European-Greek relations. My friends and I are tending to draw a heavy veil over this matter, and over many others: the world is in a terrible mess, but we must strive for optimism, even if such striving becomes an exhausting struggle at times. Brave nature leads the way: the scarlet anemones have continued to flower through downpours, and have been joined now by bottle brushes and judas trees, while the little avenue of wattles along the beach road does this ageing expat’s heart good. Golden wattles, no less, and they are quite simply blooming in mad profusion: every tree is covered in the little yellow spheres.

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March 2015

My least favourite month of the year is over, for which much thanks. Although it is the shortest month, here in the Peloponnese it always seems the longest. There have been some sunny days, but these have most often been accompanied by winds that seem to come directly from Siberia, and nights have been simply freezing. My hot-water bottle is very high on the list of My Favourite Things at present.

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February 2015

Once again I am doing a fair imitation of Alice’s White Rabbit in being late for a very important date. But my excuse this time may well beat all the others, for I have been ailing for much of January. I was apparently walking around with pneumonia for quite some time, and that wasn’t the whole story by any means. But I seem to be hale and hearty enough now, and have returned from the bosom of the family to my own abode after having received lots of TLC from my sons and their wives.

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January 2015

Happy New Year. Belatedly. I’m finding it hard to think positively about the unfolding of time, and so on: the world is in such a mess, for one thing.

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December 2014

Kalo mina, as the Greeks say: have a good month.

Here in the countryside, seasons have their rituals, so now the olive harvest is well underway. Plumes of smoke rise from the fields as unwanted branches are burned. The hills are alive with the sound of chainsaws, and of olives pattering on to voluminous ground sheets. Olives are pattering in very satisfying numbers this year, as most trees are bent low under a bumper crop. As a result, farmers are in a rather odd state of exhilaration and exhaustion. They are pleased with the progress of the harvest, but are working very hard. And their wives are working harder. As usual. For they are the ones who have to feed the workers, so cooking has to be done before the women themselves go to the groves. Then there is the business of what we would call morning tea or a smoke-oh, with the attendant matter of getting supplies to the workers.

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November 2014

Well, October has gone. It brought with it, as usual, OXI Day, the anniversary of the Greek refusal to allow the Italians to occupy the country. This event occurred in 1940, and I imagine that next year will see the intensity of celebrations doubled. The 28thof October is always a public holiday, and children throughout Greece take part in parades, recite patriotic poems, dance traditional dances, and sing appropriate songs. The blue-and-white Greek flag flutters everywhere.

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October 2014

The world is in such a complete mess at present that all we ordinary powerless mortals can do is enjoy the moment. Carpe diem is definitely the way to go. With that philosophy in mind, I am pleased to report that idyllic autumn is upon us here in the Peloponnese, and it can never last long enough, at least not for me. The weather will break in ten days or so, however, but will then mend itself in the Little Summer of St Dimitrios, which is a run of sunny days that occurs near the Feast Day of said Saint: October the 26th. Here and now the bougainvillea is still blazing, the pomegranates are bursting on the trees, and the miniature cyclamens are peeping in mauve clusters from cracks of rock.

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Gillian Bouras

 

Eureka Street

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Gillian Bouras 2017 CreativityGames.net