Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING


LIVING                                                                          DECEMBER 2012

 

 

SWEET SIXTEEN

 

On the flight back to Athens, I couldn’t fathom how to place the head-phones on my ears and soon tired of holding them in place, pretending that I was trying to listen hard to the film, so I slept for a couple of hours instead. I slept again on the X96 bus from the airport to the port; at 05.30, the port is not an appealing place for a woman with only her suitcase as company. Fortunately, I found a kafenio which was just opening for the day and the proprietor, an efficient, tired looking woman who seemed to recognize me (I’d probably passed her café every Friday for 6 years….see last month’s living article) invited me to sit down and wait for the first boat. Never before had burnt cheese toast and luke warm coffee tasted so delicious but I hadn’t eaten since 2pm the previous day.

On  arriving home, I hoped that I’d catch up on lost sleep but our daughter who was to be sixteen the next day, announced that she was having a small party and would like to go food shopping and then to her friend’s house to ice the buns she had baked, so could I take her please? Small to me means 10 guests or less but I soon learnt that between 20 and 30 children had been invited. First stop was the supermarket where we rapidly filled a trolley with pizzas, sliced turkey, meat balls, salad galore and numerous cartons of fruit juice. How sweet, I thought. she hasn’t asked for any alcohol.

After dropping her off at the icing venue, I stopped at a garage to buy petrol as the fuel light in my car was flickering on orange. ‘Kyria Alison, I am sorry but there is no petrol until Monday’ my friendly petrol man announced. I worried about how I might pick her up later but then remembered I had to clean the house and stuff mushrooms

I returned home and made a start on the mushrooms. Remove the stalks, mix herbs and parmesan with breadcrumbs, place on large baking tray, drizzle  with olive oil and bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes. Re-heat when needed.

The house was in a sorry state and the cleaner had been cancelled by my family as they felt she’s be better employed after the party. ‘But had they never heard of setting the scene?’ I complained.

Our daughter returned at 5pm to’help’ me with the final arrangements. I blew up thirty balloons, silver, black and pink whilst she painted her toe nails.

Six hours later, the house had taken on a look of respectability. At least the bathrooms were cleaned and fresh hand towels put out, the children’s room transformed to a party room, with flashing disco lights and a sophisticated DJ system (not ours). I locked our bedroom which had become a temporary storage room, full of ironing and unwanted furniture. Our daughter’s room was to be the food room.  I covered her desk with a table cloth and suggested drinks and food be served from there. The sofa beneath her raised bed was quite a ‘cool’ den-like place to hang out in.

At 7 pm, my kitchen was taken over by two delightful girls who wanted to cook the chicken and peppers in soy sauce and I worried that the cupboards and fridge were in a disorganized state. Standards of household hygiene and organization are far higher in Greece than those of my peers in the UK..and then I worried about worrying about my house…what had happened to me? I used to be so relaxed about such things. I proudly explained to them that I had bought a bottle of real champagne for them to open at midnight(much cheaper from UK supermarkets than local shops in Aegina) I showed them which fridge it was in and I had prepared a tray with numerous little glasses  in preparation for the moment . ‘Oh Kyria Alison, don’t worry, we will just use the plastic ones. PLASTIC, I thought to myself; how could anyone drink champagne from a plastic tumbler? And then I silently worried about being un-cool and old. I felt even older when our daughter arrived in the kitchen wearing a scarlet tube dress, hair glossy, cascading down her shoulders, eyes lined with kohl (when did she learn to apply that?).She hissed at me to go but I couldn’t hear her as the music was too loud. Is there enough toilet paper in the bathroom? I asked her. “Oh just go!”

I joined Mr. L and friends at a restaurant knowing that we had to stretch the evening into the early hours. We had strict instructions not to return until at least 01.00 hours and we were not allowed to sleep in our bedroom downstairs, we had to sleep upstairs in the spare room.

Feeling like intruders in our own home, we sneaked in trying to be as invisible as possible. The house was throbbing with sweaty music, disco traffic lights flashing to the beat, excited laughter and flirtatious braying; Mr. L went straight to bed and slept almost immediately. I worried that the neighbours might not be able to sleep and perhaps they might call the police…but we have lovely neighbours who understand the need to celebrate and so the party continued until 03.30.

The following day, I got up at 08.30 and started to clean the house. I was impressed that my daughter had made a start before collapsing into bed as bin bags were already full of post party paraphernalia.

Some days later, I was looking for a place in which to put some old books. The cupboard in the children’s’ room is an alter of children’s board games…Scrabble, Cluedo, Twister , all redundantly collecting dust, a remnant of family centered activities but which I cannot throw away. I opened the lower cupboard door only to find an army of empty bottles…whiskey, vodka, wine…a testament of time that has crossed from childhood innocence to teenage recklessness.

Finally, our youngest is no longer a little child but she is having a wonderful time as a teenager on this fun-filled, relatively safe island

                                 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2012

 

 

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