Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2009

 

                         A EUROPEAN WORK EXPERIENCE

 

I apologise to my regular readers for not writing my usual ‘Living’ piece in August but I was actually in London for two weeks and when I finally returned, I did so with two delightful teenagers who came to join us for a week; this left very little time for reflection! Anyway, why shouldn’t I take off time in August too just as everyone else does in Greece!

Many people ask me what it is that I do in London when I visit six times per year; what I do is I work..... Very hard. Having completed a three year registered nursing course many years ago for which I was awarded my one and only medal, I then specialised in oncology which led to work as a research nurse in biological therapies at a centre of excellence in south London. From here, I was seconded to do a biology degree which explained many of the theories underlying the principles of biological therapy.

I doubt I’ll ever find such interesting work here in Greece with flexible hours to fit in with the family, mainly because research work is still the domain of research registrars or there just aren’t the funds to employ research nurses.

Being an employee of the National Health Service, I am obliged to work 100 hours per year to keep my registration going. in the past, Itried to do this via agencies in London but something always went wrong at the last minute.  However, I finally found a job in London which enables me to fly over when I am able to fill in for colleagues during annual leave and to help meet research deadlines. This is now my fourth year and I still thoroughly enjoy going over. The only factor I don’t particularly like is the flying and if there was ever a train which would take only 10 hours from Athens to London, I would use that instead.

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages:

I am still able to nurture the friendship of my very precious gang of female friends.

I am able to keep up to date professionallly, therefore my Curriculum Viate is still healthy; this provides me with the security of knowing that if ever I were to return to England, I would still be employable.

I am still an English tax, national insurance and pension contributer.

I am able to check on and maintain my house.

I am able to buy produce such as cheap peanut butter, shortbread biscuits and Yorkshire tea as well as clothing for tall women, Chritmas crackers and a wide range of books in the English language

I get to smell English autumns and to walk in dewy grass

I am reminded that transport is expensive and generally inefficient in England which compares badly to Greec e, where I find public transport delightfully affordable and generally efficient.

Our children are able to maintain their English roots, visit libraries and swimming pools and reep the benefits of the numerous holiday play and sports schemes

Overall, I find that it has helped me to adust to my life in Greece where I prefer to socialise with native Greeks and have no need to seek out expat company. I feel fortunate to have a rich dual life where I have a balance between Greec e and England.

I am not alone in my adventures. I work with a colleague who flies in from Spain every other week and another who flies in from Paris to work nights. There is even a colleague who flies in from South Africa for the summer each year.

Ironically, my two professional worlds overlap. Research nursing entails recruiting patients to clinical trials and following them up. Central to every clinical trial, is ethical practice and informed consent. Mr L and I both agree that the process of purchasing land or a house is similar to a trial in as much as the client should be fully informed and able to make a decision based on the delivery of full, accurate and honest information so that the contract signing in a way represents the informed consent. On more than one occasion, a Greek doctor working in London has edged up to enquire about property for sale in Greece and by the same token, I’ve been able to offer my knowledge of oncological practice and clinical skills to associates and friends on the island.

I would urge anyone thinking of moving to Greece of employabe age to attempt to explore the possibilty of working periodically or via the internet.

 The sixty six hours worked every two months earns me the equivalent of an average monthly salary earned in Greece!!!

Finally, my absences force my family to appreciate all that I do for them!!




Alison Lorentzos                                                            copyright 2009



 

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