Saturday, May 12, 2007
...I have always regarded retirement as some faraway land I will, hopefully, reach some day, but today I awoke with a tremendous urge to think more about the decisions I have made which are slowly pushing me into middle age. The source of my discontent is an article I read this morning in of the magazines I enjoy reading in my free time. The article was entitled "The great brain robbery". It triggered so many unanswerable questions, that I found myself in an early morning dilemma. Based on the fact that there are more highly skilled Greeks abroad than there are in Greece provoked my interest, and as I read the article, I began to feel an ache in my stomach, as doctors, scientists, professors described their reasons for not returning to the land of their father's. Now believe me, I am no scientist, nor do I claim to be highly skilled in any subject, but the one big question kept worrying me..."if they are so against coming to live here, then what am I doing here?" The fact seems to be that there are more negative than positive aspects to returning to your roots, especially when you are thirty-something, trying to bring up children in a place where little is offered, unless you have a full wallet. And something even more disturbing is the fact that as you are raising your children, the only certainty is that one day they will leave, and you will be the one showing them the way, because, well, there are simply no prospects. If asked why I want my children to be good students...the answer is simple, so that they can at least have a choice or more so, have the sense to know they have choices, when the time comes. I'm sorry Greece...but, once more, what you have to offer seems to be less than acceptable. I know something needs to be done, I know I have a voice, I know that things must change...but god knows I have no idea where to start, so I start with me and my family, hoping that whatever change there is, it will be for the better. As I looked out from my window this morning all I could see was a country becoming one great retirement home for those who had made their mark elsewhere... let's hope I read something a little more optimistic tomorrow!!!
Friday, May 11, 2007
...is something which takes up a lot of my time, and generally I write in Greek (because I like a challenge); poetry, songs, books....anything which records things that the eye cannot see...
Let me give you a taste of something I recently wrote, although my original poem was in Greek, I have tried to keep the essence in the English version
If you are a shadow, pass by once more
If you are a heart, beat so I hear your call
If you are a lie, truth I need not hear
If you are a net, catch me as I appear
If you are a sea, in your depth I'll dive
If you are a dream, in my sleep I'll thrive
If you are my fate, with you I will reside
If I am a time, choose me as the best
If I am a place, explore from east to west
If I am a star, wish only upon my name
If I am a moon, close your eyes and pray
If I am a sea, reach my depth with care
If I am a dream, stay beside me there
If I am your fate, I'll be here, I swear...
Having made the decision to leave Wales and live in Greece, I have never looked back, but I seem to have lost the ability to look forward. Greece is a country which may seem, at first glance, "developed" is actually "developing", and, I might add, at a very slow rate. 12 years of living here I have been able to achieve nothing of what I had hoped, apart from my 2 children. I live in a village on the Northwest coast, opposite Corfu. A university graduate, with 3 languages under my belt, I moved here with hopes of aspiring in a career which I actually never began. I never liked the thought of working with children, but once settled here, I decided to teach English, as there seemed no real teaching going on. Foreign Languages, as I discovered, were not and are not taught well enough in schools, and since we live in a country which thrives from tourism, it is a necessity...(although someone should tell the Inland Revenue, who seem to think of it as a luxury)...Luxury...a word I have forgotten the meaning of...anyway. Where was I, oh yes, I did love teaching at some point, but owning a language school in Greece, is not the perfect answer to any one's dreams, especially when nobody seems to feel obliged to pay fees when they are supposed to and so I sleep each day quoting sayings ...as you made your bed, so you must lie in it, being the most common. But I feel the need to change, as bankruptcy rears its weary head, and my children become more demanding. I am open to all ideas, as long as they are legal and moral, so that I can at least do more than lead a dog's life....
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
As I have learnt, life is not the bed of roses we so easily believed it would be, and so from an early age survival became a way of life. My "roots" are deeply embedded in a soil , rich in history, drama and hardship, much like an unkempt garden, and I, well I like to think of myself as a wild rose amidst the pretty, colourful nurtured flowers. Half Greek, half Cypriot I was born and raised in a country so different in nature to that of my breeding....Wales was the choice the made by my parents...the contrast between my blood and my place of birth could not have been greater. The blood in my veins so hot, that the cooler temperatures merely kept me "on ice" during my childhood. To understand fully, you really do have to watch "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" as it so cleverly portrays the lives of most young Greek women growing up in a country far from their own, not only in distance, but in culture, beliefs, religion, and even in their roles in society. Unfortunately, not all fathers were like Mr Portogalos in the film, as there was always the fear of daughters not marrying one of their kind. Greeks are not unlike other foreign families, apart from the fact that when I was growing up, everyone was an outsider, and family the only thing which kept us together, and as I have recently established, the only thing keeing us apart. My parents...well Dad is the Greek, raised in the village where I now live. Mum is the Cypriot..from a village on the east of the island. Both of my parents have their history, sadly I only ever met my grandmothers as both my grandfathers had died before I was born. A story I will keep for another day. As for me ... now you know ... a half Greek, half Cypriot Welsh girl... could any life have started so abnormally??????
Monday, May 7, 2007
Today, my first day as a blogger, did not begin the way I had actually hoped. I woke up, the same way I wake up every morning, and decided yes, that's it. I'll welcome people to my blog with the images I see as I wake up, they'll love it. What do I see, you ask. Well, apart from myself, puff-eyed and dazed from not nearly enough beauty sleep, the view from my window is actually spectacular. My initial welcome went something like this....Open your eyes as I open mine and join me in my journey, a journey which begins each day as I sip my coffee on a balcony looking out over the Ionian sea watching the sun rise gently as it warms the cool, silent waves along this spectacular coast of Greece. Listen, as I listen, to the morning sounds, the birds singing, old men walking, children buzzing on their way to school, the gentle breeze rustling through the trees reminding me that summer has still to arrive. The smell of bread baking mingles with the soft aroma of spring flowers, slowly opening their petals to greet another warm May day. In the background, simple melodies can be heard from one of the state owned radio stations, taking me back to times less burdened...but no. Not today. No way. The simple melody awkwardly stops as the needle jumps and scratches the vinyl record I call life. The ambiance is a mere illusion, and my day, well, although the view is the same, nothing else is. the same face gazes at me from the mirror and wishes it were still in the dreamworld I was so hastily awakened from. My son's voice distressed is the only thing I can hear, as he cries for mummy ... we are not well today. My mobile begins ringing, unknown numbers, probably the banks, but who knows as I rush around trying to plan my day around a sick son, a busy schedule and blogging...well...life is never the way we want, or should I say, the way I want but ... what the heck..I've got a great view from my balcony!!!!!!!!!!!