Gillian Bouras
An Australian
Writer
Living in Greece

It's Still Greek to Me!

 

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

September 2014

It took me a long time to get to Crete, even though it is not far from the Peloponnese, where I live. Seven years had elapsed since my move to Greece, and it was only then that I went on a three-generation excursion to Crete (I’ve done some mad things in my time) with my parents and with my youngest son, who was just five.

Read more...

August 2014

My emigration from Greece to Australia has been the defining act of my life, and I know I’ve made that statement umpteen times before. Why do you allow it to be defining?  asks my eldest son, and of course he has a point. He had yet to turn eight when the holiday that got out of hand started, and so can’t really share my point of view. He has his own: naturally.

Read more...

July 2014

People’s attitudes to travel are usually quite fascinating. I once rang a friend from a Melbourne tram. ‘You’re always going somewhere,’ she said, although as it happened I was not going anywhere very exciting. In a London supermarket long ago, a man once told me that you could walk from Hampstead Heath to Oxford Street in about an hour. Via Regent’s Park. ‘But of course,’ he remarked, ‘we are not going anywhere; we are already here.’ On that fatalistic note, he left.

Read more...

June 2014

Late again. More excuses. But it’s a really good one this time. I’m just back from a four day excursion, and am so glad I went.  Organised by the Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute of Athens, the trip involved visiting Sparta, Mystras, and Monemvasia., so that both Ancient and Byzantine Greece received due attention. And we had expert commentary from an American archaeologist who clearly knows certain parts of Greece like the back of his hand.

Read more...

May 2014

 

The first of May is a public holiday in Greece. I don’t suppose too many of the locals have heard of Alfred Tennyson, the nineteenth century English poet, who penned, among many immortal lines, the not-so-memorable “I’m to be Queen o’ the May, Mother.’ But the locals, many of them, anyway, still keep to the custom of gathering ‘knots of flowers and buds’ for the making of ‘garlands gay.’ My late mother-in-law never missed making a May Day wreath, and it is considered bad luck for a house not to have one. Alas, I have taken this risk for many a long year.

 

Read more...

April 2014

Late again, but with a good excuse, as I’m just back from the Big Smoke, which is how I think of Athens, where smoke is a definite feature of the cityscape. Greeks who live in the countryside are more likely to refer to it as To Megalo Xorio, The Big Village. I’ve had a week being Granny/Yiayia, and in fact I started the interlude about 27 km south-west of Athens, in a place called Nea Peramos, which is where my two ‘big’ grandsons live. Nikitas turns 8 and Maximus 6 this week, and where have all those years gone? I ask myself.

Read more...

March 2014

I’m pleased to report that this last month has been the most bearable February I have ever known. There have been a few rainy spells, and bouts of cold, but not many, so as a result the wild flowers have gone mad, a sure sign that the Peloponnesian landscape is awakening from its winter sleep. Balmy weather has comforted us all, although it could well be, as my Scottish ancestors might have said, that we will pay for it later. In the meantime, enjoyment is the name of the day, and the locals have got on to spring tasks of ploughing and planting much earlier than usual. Jackets and coats have been shed, and people are readying themselves for Clean Monday, which is the huge celebration and general nosh-up that marks the beginning of Lent.

Read more...

February 2014

I know I’ve moaned about the speed of Time’s winged chariot before, but the vehicle seems to be accelerating, even while people of my age are trying, as a friend rather ruefully remarks, to break said chariot’s axle. To no avail, of course. And we can’t shoot the horses, either.

Read more...

January 2014

It’s happened again: another year is here, creeping up on us when we least expected it, when we’d hardly finished dealing with the last one. Some people I know are relieved, not having been entirely happy with the notion of 2013. 2014, they say, has a much better ring to it. Well, here’s hoping they’re right, and here’s hoping for good things to happen to all people. (So many bad things seem to happen to good people, let’s face it.)

Read more...

December 2013

Forty-five years ago, my parents moved into a house that had no front fence. In most of that Melburnian suburb, although side fences served as a practical sort of divider, lawns sloped freely down to the concrete pavements, and nobody thought anything of it. I certainly didn’t, but these days the subject of fences and walls is very much on my mind, and I think of that estate’s plan as being symbolic of a kind of trust and freedom that may have disappeared forever.

Read more...

Gillian Bouras

 

Eureka Street

Gillian occasionally writes for

Eureka Street

(Type 'Bouras' into their search bar to find all her articles.)

 
Gillian Bouras 2017 CreativityGames.net