Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                                          OCTOBER 2009

 

THE PARTY!!

 

I recently celebrated a milestone birthday as did our oldest son and decided that I’d like to have a joint party on the island to which we could invite family and friends. In my fantasy world, I conjured images of my son and his friends, past and present sitting on one table, giggling at the absurdity of adults dancing whilst the English looked on in awe at the fiesta of national dancing and in this fantasy, I am 5 kilos lighter because of my systematic work-out at the local gymnasium and there is a whole grogramme of people I know personally, all singing or playing music, a contribution to the celebration of what? Getting older? No, staying alive more like, surviving even!

In reality however, things are often very different. Let’s start with the invitations.. I picked an image of champagne bubbles from the internet on our home computer inside which, my daughter would paste a white box and type in Greek the simple details such as time, place etcetera. This was simple enough but the printer was in the office and she couldn’t e-mail it as an attachment so several days later, I asked my son to quickly select an image of a champagne bottle, create 20 on a page and then print out a couple of sheets. Later, my daughter and I were literally cutting out images and gluing them onto card. I kept mis-spelling some of the venue details and resorted to asking her to write them in pencil so that I could write over them in ink. When ready, it was time to distribute them. The first house hadn’t a letter box and although we knew our friends were in, there was no bell on the exterior electric gate to capture their attention. The second house had a letter box but it was rusted at the bottom and each time my daughter placed it inside, it fell out the other end. The gate was locked so she tried climbing over the fence; this attracted the attention of our friends who believed someone might be breaking into their house late one stormy Friday evening. They were not at all surprised to find it was the English woman and her daughter. Several days later and we still hadn’t distributed them all so I gave a batch to Mr. L and instructed him to give them to a bunch of friends who were town based. He remembered 2 out of 5 which left three families feeling quite forgotten.

Two weeks before the event, our son announced it was totally un -cool to have a party with one’s mother. Fortunately, the invitations were not even ready by then and my gang of English girlfriends was possibly relieved that they could travel together un burdened by disgruntled teenagers.

I selected a dress hurriedly from a local shop, pale pink silk and tie-dye blurred circles; it looked a little large but I was assured it was a one size garment. A few days before the party, I tried it on and received the vote from the children that it was voluminous and looked like an elegant nightie. On closer inspection, I located a label which boasted number 46. I am NOT a size 46 and on a good day I can fit into a generous 40, particularly if I have been working out. (I haven’t ‘worked out’ for 3 years and the only working out I did prior to the party was to work out who should sit where and with whom on the night).

My good friend A rushed round to rescue the dress in order to perform emergency surgery, which was successful. I also happened to find an elastic belt in my daughter’s dressing up bag which transformed the dress into something more like a garmentworn by a Christmas fairy. Shoes! I needed shoes! So before meeting the gang from the bus-stop in Piraeus, I slipped into a shop yelling;" Not too high, elegant and size 41, what have you got? "5 minutes later, I flew from the store with new strappy sandals, sparkling and lethally heeled.

My parents arrived 4 days before the event and were dispatched to peel onions and potatoes in preparation for the dinner I was to host for the gang and my family the night before the party. They also cleaned my garden furniture and manned the office for a couple of hours but sadly, didn’t have time to paint my balcony!

The gang arrived as planned on the Thursday night and as they were staying in apartments above the taverna where the party was to be held, they commandeered the decorations. The tables looked lovely.

Music!!!! I begged my children to create a disc with a cocktail of disco music to play when the musicians took a break but they ended up fighting over computer usage and music style. Mr. L bought a 70s CD which we promptly lost at the taverna. When the musicians took a break, my boys had disappeared, leaving me to cope with the industrial size CD player which I was unable to operate. Despite this, the musicians tried hard and lost themselves into their own genre of music playing, perhaps not quite what the locals smash plates to but enough to tempt some into dancing. My friend D, one of the gang who sings like a nightingale, stood up to sing some Beatles and James Taylor ballads. The guests were spellbound by her voice and she even managed to get them all to sing along.!!

I didn’t dance because I couldn’t; my heels were far too high for my untrained calf muscles and when I walked, I held onto the backs of chairs like a disabled fairy

The food was excellent, the wine plentiful and the atmosphere relaxed. We stayed up until 03.30 and finally slept, drunk on good company. I will remember this party for various reasons but mostly because of the warmth that is generated from having family and friends around for a few hours, simply enjoying being with each other.

 

Cheers! Here’s to real life!!

 

Alison Lorentzos                                                            copyright 2009



 

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