Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

    LIVING                                                                    JANUARY 2012

OLD CARDIGANS AND SLIPPERS

We didn’t have a glitzy Christmas. I was too tired to organise my usual Christmas Eve party but we did have an enjoyable Christmas which revolved around family, Godparents and historical friends, pesudo family, the ones whose children have grown up with ours and have shared many experiences.  Like comfort clothing, the attraction of these friendships is the easy-wear, non-pretentious ease in which we are simply with each other, the familiar security of a favourite old cardigan or a pair of faithful slippers.

In our sitting room, the upholstery was hanging down from a very old Belgian chair and one of the panels had fallen from the Arts and Crafts hexagonal table so that a beautifully carved flower which usually sits at an elephant’s head, lies lamely at the base of a ceramic bowl and the gap that was its place is as plain as a toothless smile.  Old cardigans and slippers though will see and not judge because they know the situation so well. They know how busy our lives are and they know why and how we are here. They know that one day the elephant and the flower will be re-united but they care more about the food and conversation… and we had some wonderful food this year. My sister-in-law (child numbe two’s Godmother) is the best cook of spanikopitta.  The pastry is perfect! Crisp and golden , it envelopes the freshest fetta cheese and spinach with a hint of mint.Being a member of Aegina’s Womens’ Group, she often bakes to sell her wares at the Fistiki fest  and always runs out of supplies. Last year, she had to go home several times to bake more batches and true to form, the ones she baked for us were fought over and demolished within seconds of the lid being removed.

Child number two was eighteen two days after Christmas. He refused a party (he had organised his own celebrations on Christmas Eve when he danced the night away at one of Aegina’s night clubs till the early hours with his friends) but accepted his Godparents and family for dinner. The feast was prepared with him in mind. He loves my spinach and pepper vegetarian bake which has a rich cheese sauce , not as famous yet as Thea Anna’s spinikopitta but equally tasty though cumbersome to eat . Curry was on the menu along with pork and apple casserole, roast chicken (boring) and the ubiquitous chocolate cake. This was his 18th chocolate cake but the first to be consumed with a glass of champagne.

New year too, not in the mood for parties, we made a last minute decision tospend the evening with old slippers and cardigans and each cooked something so that the work was evenly distributed. We even danced a little, much to the shame of our respective children who groaned with embarrassment. They had their turn though. At 01.00 hours I drove several 15 year olds down to the club with the biggest party where apparently ALL of their friends were going to be. “Only TWO hours” I reminded them” and DON’T drink any alcohol. I’ll pick you up at 3.am”. Our two sons had been instructed to spy on their sister and to correct any dubious behaviour. Busy with their own plans though, they delegated this task to other friends whom they knew would be at the venue. Ah the bliss of a small community! We always know everything about our children.

The phone rang at 2am. Could the pick-up time be extended please as their friends had only just started to arrive What IS it with Greek parents? Don’t they ever go to sleep at night? We settled on 3.30 although the desired target time was 5.am! We meanwhile, sat by the fire warming our hearts , fantasising about imaginary scenarios in which we could best embarrass our children such as turning up at the club and dancing our 1970 dance routines . That aside, the young people here have a wonderful life in which the focus is on fun and friends within the safety of a watchful community and when I did finally collect our daughter, she collapsed into the car with satisfied exhaustion. Oh that was great fun, she said. I haven’t stopped dancing!

We are happy that our children have a huge circle of friends on the island with whom they have grown up and they are secure in a having a family that loves them.  During a crisis such as the one we are experiencing here in Greece, we hope that everyone has a collection of old cardigans and slippers and we recommend that you spend lots of time with them as they really are the best therapy!

I wish everyone a tolerable and hopefully, happy new year.


Alison Lorentzos                                                               copyright 2011



 

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