Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina





What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?



                                                                               SEPTEMBER 2007

Adaptation To Life In Aegina

Here is an extract of the first Christmas letter sent to friends around the world documenting our adaptation to life in Angina.

Dear All.
We have been on Aegina Island for almost 3 months although it seems much longer.
So far, the children have adapted beautifully to their new environment and appear to cope well with Greek education. Sometimes they complain about the volume of work which currently has to travel through three linguistic processes.
Learning French in Greek is extremely challenging as is Ancient Greek when one has no knowledge of Modern Greek.
Meanwhile, I am slowly metamorphosing into what I hope is the epitome of a Greek mother.
I ponder the midday meal whilst ferrying the children. I ensure their rooms are clean and tidy in preparation for the vital arrival of the swarm of tutors who help them to tackle and assimilate the relentless wave of new information and at 5.30 pm, I dutifully take coffee and home-baked cake placed on an antique plate edged with rose-buds plus napkin and cake fork and the ubiquitous glass of cold water, all of which are positioned on a highly polished tea-tray and I gratefully deliver this to each of the esteemed tutors.
If I am ironing, I frequently lose myself by wistfully imagining life without Billy, a mongrel dog whom I accepted into the family during a moment of weakness.
He is quite cute in his own way. Both of his ears have that floppy spaniel quality, one brown, the other white and I’m fascinated by his eyelashes which are white on the white side of his face and brown on the eye over which there is a brown patch. He looks s little like a canine marble cake.

However, despite his cuteness, he is occasionally disgusting and I’ll swear he possesses demonic genes.

O n my birthday, we decided to have a romantic family picnic on the beach preceded by a swim in the sea…or so I hoped but as soon as my shoulders experienced the soothing chill of the sea, I felt Billy’s claws in my side and then his hot breath in my face which wasn’t at all pleasant.
Back on the beach, he decided to shake himself dry over a group of sophisticated, skilophobic Athenians and having no empathy for the visually impaired, he proceeded to trip up George as he struggled to pick his way over the shards of shingle.

George dislikes Billy and Billy knows it...

There’s more to come….. We spread out the navy blue picnic blanket and artistically arranged the feast: French bread, salami, cheeses, cherry tomatoes, green salad dressed up in dill, warm pizza and sparkling water which glistened in the sunlight; an ideal scenario for a still-life painter but alas, Billy is a real-life tainter and on this occasion he excelled himself by noisily vomiting at the edge of the blanket, a steaming pile of salami pink vomit that resembled a grotesque haemorrhoid, quivering on a bed of deep brown glossy seaweed.
Feeling suddenly anorexic, my main concern was that the bikini-clad, chat- into- the mobile- phone whilst chain-smoking beach babes shouldn’t get vomit stuck under their finely manicured toenails, or worse…slip in it!!!.
(I secretly hoped they would but Greek mothers would never think such a thing and since I am trying to emulate one, I should behave accordingly) So I instructed the children to cover the vomit with seaweed and then place very large pebbles over it; this at least might conceal it until natural biological processes of decomposition took over to eradicate it.

Billy was immediately dispatched to solitary confinement in the car where he incessantly barked for 45 minutes. Conversation was impossible and our fellow beach babes kept shooting us disapproving glances.
Feeling stressed out and definitely not in a happy birthday mood, we trudged silently back to the car, unified as a family in our collective decision to allow Billy to lead the life of a stray, at least for the rest of the day until we returned him to his previous owner. It was then that we learned he could run in excess of 50 kilometres per hour.
We decanted him from the car and sped off optimistically but as we approached our gate, we found him waiting for us!

Yesterday I dropped the children at school, late as usual. Morning prayers were over and the children were filing into their classrooms. (I used to take Billy on this morning ritual but eventually gave up because I couldn’t cope with the cacophony of barking dogs that thronged my car, the ensuing shame of interrupting the Lord’s Prayer yet again.)

Today, the children are at home all day instead of being at school because it is Saint Dionysus’s day, a day of great celebration. The weather is particularly dramatic, freezing gales and furious waves. This morning we were particularly British and rushed to the beach where we thoroughly enjoyed nature in her true glory, indeed we sat in a cave and chatted for a while. Our neighbours think we are completely eccentric and are waiting for us to be struck with flu but it won’t happen.
We have just returned home to a roaring log fire which makes an icy excursion seem so worthwhile and if we look out of our widow, we can see the snowy mountain tops of Megara.

With this view in mind, we wish you all a happy winter!!

 Alison Lorentzos          copyright  2007