Friday, October 12, 2007

The smell of Autumn

As winter approaches, the temperatures here in Greece are still quite high for this time of year. Over the last few years, seasons have changed, and we have seen it go from winter to summer, summer to winter within just a few days. However, the last few days have shown us that summer is over. At night it rains, with thunder and lightning doing their best to disturb our sleep, and in the morning we witness a sweet sunny, autumn morning with only the wet roads as evidence that the night was anything more than peaceful. Nature fools us again...

As you walk through the village streets, the morning air is filled with the smell of bread, wafting from the bakery. The sound of various tools can be heard in the distance, as most villagers prepare their olive groves so that they can start to gather this years harvest. As I walk past the houses, the sound of water running, and women scrubbing can be heard, as housewives prepare their homes. You see, here in Greece, our homes also adapt to the changing season. Carpets and rugs are laid down, sheets and curtains change colour to match the season. Thin summer clothing and linen is put away- to the top of wadrobes or to the back of storerooms. Warm quilts and clothing is brought back out to be aired and cleaned once more. Here in Greece, we change and adapt according to the seasons.

As I go for my morning walks - I have taken up pace walking to help clear my mind and keep my body fit- I notice the changing colors, the changing day, the changing world. The cars have lessened as have the tourists. The small yachts which filled the waters have disappeared once more. The buses have stopped running. There is a peace which is hard to find anywhere in the world...

This is the smell of Autumn...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Greeks around the world can connect with each other in these two very interesting, very unique sights which are both named after two of my favorite daily drinks.

Both sights add a different perspective to Greek life and Greece, and both are a great way to connect with other Greeks around the world.

A portal into the lives of many Greeks, who share their interests, photos, ideas with the rest of us.

A sight with daily information on matters in Greece, and about Greeks around the world, giving us a constant glance at what is going in our own country.

If you don't know these sites visit them, and join these communities....a home away from home...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Advice needed!!!

Ok, so today I'm taking a small break from the problems in my village, and looking into my own problems. That's where I need your help. If there were an ad which would cover this area it would probably say

" Self employed thirty-something mother of two needs ideas ."

Having scoured the Internet looking for opportunities for a second source of income, I am so not capable of finding a solution. So I thought that, maybe, you could pause for a moment, and try to help me out. Yes, today I need, emotional...anything to help me get unstuck.

Let me give you some insight. If I were a TV serial I would probably be something between Lost, Desperate Housewives and Weeds. Why these three you ask. Well, Lost because, although I am not a disaster victim stuck on a mysterious island, my life matches the confusing, disturbing scenario that I am used to watching. Desperate Housewives because well, the glove fits ... a close knit society with all its pros and cons, women trying to keep the family unit together...(only we don't have such exciting daily events). Weeds, because as situations go, illegality may be the only answer. It's a case of survival.

Anyway. Life sucks at the moment. If there were a bottom this girl's barrel, then yes, I've touched upon it. Now the funny side is...that there is a funny side!!! I mean, I can laugh. Each conversation I have with any of the bank employees seems to be filled with hysterical quotes, such as "if you pay of all the loan today, you won't be blacklisted" to which I unassumingly reply "if I could pay it off, I wouldn't be talking to you now, would I!!". I have an endless list of these employees great quotes, which, one day, when I have less to worry about, I may take the time to make a post of, but not now. What I need now is your help...

Ideas, guys, ideas. I'm hard-working, but I'm just not getting there. Private teaching is great, if you get paid correctly, but my problem is just that. Imagine, yesterday October 8th, I got paid for a student who had lessons in July!! IOU has become a way of life, intead of an exception to the rule, and my good-nature has been played to death. So I need ideas. I need to find my destiny, which I am sure is not waiting for me to just fall upon it.

In this TV serial there are two scenarios:

1. Perfection... Having money in the bank, investing in my future and the future of my children, not owing anything, not being owed, taking weekend trips, finishing that book, feeling a sense of achievement.

2. Reality...Working 24/7, owing to all and sundry, not being able to give enough time or energy to my kids, fighting mental blocks trying to finish that book, feeling a sense of letting me and those I love down.

I need to scratch scenario 2, and I need your help and ideas... Whatever you can think of... (as long as its legal) . Now as for scenario 1, well ... that's where I need to be heading.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Perdika - Greece - Natural Gas Pipeline

Let me just say sorry for not having written for the past two weeks. They have been weeks of mixed feelings, as all of my free time has been spent looking into the facts surrounding the development and operation of natural gas compression stations around the world. A few adjectives I would use to express my current emotional state are exhausted, enlightened, betrayed, insecure, distraught, and these are only the feelings I am feeling at the moment; imagine what every day has been like since we were informed of what was apparently going to become our future home.

I will not go into the ins and outs of what I have read, what I have heard, or what I have seen. Let me just tell you a little about what we are faced with. Some of you may know this area, some may not. In 1993, having finished university, I was approached by a multi national company, who wanted to take me on having done my work experience with them. After many attempts to contact me by mail, two of my colleagues and two of the partners in the branch I worked for, came (for what I thought was a visit) to Greece. On the last day of their vacation they approached me with a contract to join the company, which I turned down. Flattered as I was, I felt deep inside that I was meant to be here, in my father's village, giving what I could back to my father's birthplace. It was a feeling...I gave up a career for a feeling...a feeling of waking up to a view of the Ionian sea...a feeling of fitting in...a feeling of bringing up my children in a place which was made up of freshness, the air, the water, nature...a feeling. I had the choice, I made the decision.

Today, even though the problems are more than I could have expected on that sleepy autumn day in 1993, I still have that feeling. Yes, there have been days when I have thought this is too hard, when the bills pile up, when I don't get paid, when I think "you should move, the kids deserve more", when I feel like I'm fighting more than living, but I still have that feeling.

That's the feeling I don't want to lose. No one wants their home turned into an industrial development site. Not when they have chosen to make a place their home. Everyone has a choice...I made mine...and that was to stay here...where the air I breathe is fresh, the sea is 5 minutes from my home and my children can live a childhood surrounded by nature and all it has to offer.

My parents have moved back here. Many of the Greeks who live and work in other countries have invested their savings here. The whole village has invested its future to make this a village where tourists can come and find peace of mind, clean beaches and a traditional Greek way of life.

So we say NO. No to industrial development in tourist regions. No to National Companies making decisions without thinking of anyone else. No to any type of pollution so near homes. No to the most economic solutions. There are other areas, far from homes, far from natural habitats, far from tourism, far from farms, far from anybody's back yard. The village of Perdika says NO.