Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING


 

LIVING                                                                SEPTEMBER 2015         
  

WHAT HOLIDAY.?

 

If you live on a Greek island, everyone seems to fantasise that one’s life is a continuous holiday, that receiving visitors is a great pleasure and that lying on a beach and swimming in the sea is normal, post breakfast routine.

Well it isn't!!!

I arrived back on Aegina at the very end of July and for a few days, life was pretty relaxing. Child Three had blitzed the house, Mr. L had cooked a delicious roast chicken lunch and the garden had been razored and tidied. The car had been hosed and even the cats were fed and watered. That day, I went for a late evening swim with Number 3 and the next day, which was Sunday Mr. L and I went swimming at our once little known un commercialised beach, now much more public since my sister in law revealed the spot to the local women's group and now it is peppered with chatting, hatted heads, not swimming ones but stationary clusters, like gossiping buoys.

After our swim, we went to Prosinemo beach to meet an old friend and together, we watched the sun set whilst picking at a plate of freshly cooked chips and a fresh fish meze.

The sunset, a fusion of scarlet, orange and mauve was spectacular. Within minutes of sitting at our selected table, several local men who had gone to school with Mr. L joined us and the conversation soon turned to discussing the political situation in Greece and for a while, life couldn't have been any better.

 I didn't know it then but that was to have been the highlight of my month in Aegina. Child number 2 arrived a few days later and then his friend two days after that. Two, being an owl at heart, works and plays very hard and on the second morning of his arrival on Aegina, he came home at 07.00 hours. (This is normal for the youth of Greece during the summer holidays; they meet at midnight, go to a couple of bars then move on to either a beach party or a club and literally dance the night away.) At 07.00, I was drinking my first cup of tea and reading my book when two arrived in the kitchen to get a bottle of water. “Wow, you're up early”, he said, “Why don't you go back to bed?”! “Don't you think the point here is that YOU are home late”!? I exclaimed. Anyway, soon Number three was living the same life and our house became a silent place during the day, where the only sound was that of the washing machine churning, sometimes three times daily and the back doors would scrape open as I struggled with more arm loads of clean clothes and towels to hang on the line...and the sand that they bring in on their feet...I was continuously sweeping the hall, the stairs, the bathrooms. At 11.30 am, if they were awake, they would hear me steal out of the garden with my bicycle, my favourite vehicle for getting to the office and then they would hear me return at 2 pm; sometimes they would be awake, sat on the balcony, enjoying the sun and the fresh air, occasionally,Number Two will have gone off to the gym, leaving his exhausted guests to recover from Greek summer life.

Number two's guest, a delightful Texan, had a penchant for beer which he would take from the fridge at 3 pm, lunchtime...breakfast for them! Shopping during that time was physically challenging as I frequently loaded the car with packs of bottled water and Fix beer. Then Two's second guest arrived.

I could I suppose have left Two to arrange the beds for his guests, to have lugged a third bed into his room and to make it up with fresh sheets but I like to get things done quickly. Small economies, three in one room meant only having to use one air conditioning system and it left me more space to move around the house.

Cooking entailed major planning, as I needed to satisfy the appetites of so many fussy people. Three hates hot tomatoes but quite likes pasta. Two likes high protein and plenty of salads but doesn't like pasta. The Texan doesn't like potatoes!!!! Fortunately, Mr. L and guest number two would eat anything as long as the quantities were small for Mr. L and large for guest two. So lunch would look like a banquet..a huge flank of honey glazed pork, or two roasted chickens, always a couple of salads, bottles of water, glasses of beer, bowls of fresh fruit...and they would sit for ages, helping themselves to more, enjoying the holiday life, fortifying themselves for a lengthy swim and a night of clubbing..

Our neighbors politely tolerated us as they would turn to their beds at 3 pm for a long siesta whilst ours had only just woken and were full of loud enthusiasm.

I should be grateful that they would all clear the table for me but then it was time to load the dish washer and to sort the dry washing, not to mention the evening shift at the office.

During this time, a very old friend phoned Mr. L asking him to arrange a hotel room for a couple of nights; this we know is euphemistic for 'could I stay with you?

This time, I made up a bed in the children’s sitting room. I was getting good a this...clean sheets and pillows ..check! Clean towels...check!  Fan...check! Clean bathrooms...check! Clean floors....check! A blast from the past, Mr. L hadn't seen this guy for 40'years. I picked him up from the port and brought him home so that he could freshen up. He liked good coffee, (Lavazza, black with sugar and a few biscuits on the side.) Ari, a coffee shop owner in North London had over the years become a guru of positive thinking and spiritual nourishment. For a couple of days, lunch on the balcony resembled a spiritual retreat, during which time the children received advice on how to actualise their dreams.

That Saturday night, he joined us at the Cretan restaurant where we listened to live music and we enjoyed several hours of sampling fine food and watching the locals dance. Ari allowed us to pay for his meal, another dream realised!

Ten days later, Child two and his second guest left for Santorini, the Texan left for Athens.

I stripped beds and picked up beer cans, mopped a very sandy floor. Two days later, child number 1 arrived!!



 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2015

 

 

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