Thursday, April 29, 2010


Anthony Quinn’s staggering syrtaki steps proved a powerful boost to Greek tourism in the days of Zorba. Indeed, Nikos Kazantzakis’ lascivious figure became so popular that Greeks gladly adopted the persona of tzatziki-eating, freedom-loving, plate-breaking puppets.

And all was fine because this is how the world wanted us to be and how we wished to see ourselves...passionate people with a ravenous appetite for earthly pleasures!

The Zorba stereotype only went awry when he swivelled up in a Porsche Cayenne. Indeed, Greece boasts the highest per capita ownership of this luxury car. Naturally, foreigners began to wonder how Zorba’s lavish lifestyle was being financed in a country so near the brink of bankruptcy that Standard and Poor’s demoted its bonds to “junk” status.

A recent front-page headline in German Bild showed Greeks frollicking in the sun (thank goodness we still have that) with their frappes accompanied by a subtitle suggesting that this is how Greeks bide their time while waiting for a solution to their debt crisis. (I guess Germans shut themselves up in their miserable little rooms when facing financial tragedy.)

Truth is, we are not a nation of Zorbas as we would love to believe. If anything we are circus elephants dancing to the tune of the EU and US.

You may wonder how a huge circus elephant can be held docile while tied to a little pole. "Why doesn't he escape?" you ask, knowing that all he needs to do to be free is to swing his trunk. The truth of the matter is that, when first pegged, this powerful creature was still young. He pulled and resisted with all his might and found that nomatter how hard he fought he could not escape. He continued this struggle for some time without success. Eventually, he stopped trying and accepted his condition as fate. By the time he was in a position to succeeed his spirit had already been crushed. In his eyes, he is still the baby elephant he used to be.

And that’s Greece, folks – Tonnes and tonnes of powerful, all-consuming rage hinged to a pole. We have been reduced to nothing more than a nation of obedient onlookers watching our leaders and bankers lie, cheat, steal and swindle. Beyond the debt crisis there is a moral deficit that has yet to be addressed. (Sound familiar maybe?) So when judging us, remember, you should never define a country by its politicians and bankers alone.

But what of the circus elephant that holds all the people of Greece and is being lead by the rope by a swaggering group of swindlers? Perhaps Zorba has the solution to the problem, if only we would listen. Yes, Kazantzakis' Zorba, who said, "You have everything but one thing: madness. A man needs a little madness or else - he never dares cut the rope and be free."

So, it's time to get mad, I guess...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Perhaps hypocrisy and contradiction are just side effects of the human condition. The “trolley experiment” rated me 84 percent morally consistent. My real-life score would probably be less because it’s one thing making decisions from the comfort of an armchair and a whole different ballgame making a real-life snap decision to throw yourself on a grenade because you consider yourself morally obliged to save the lives of millions.

Anyway, you can put your own morals to the test with this famous quiz by Judith Jarvis Thomson…


Also, as an afterthought, do you think that a lot of people are influenced in their responses by the fact that the man is fat?

Monday, April 26, 2010


"To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities - I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not - that one endures."
(The Will to Power, F. Nietzche)

Don’t you find these pessimistic thoughts by Nietzche strangely consoling? They are so refreshing to hear in a society saturated with self-help books and success stories of people who have managed to change their lives from rags to riches, from being snubbed to popular, from being miserable to overjoyed…

Well, I don’t buy the books or the concepts they espouse. Misfortunes are an inevitable part of life in a society where there are so many factors beyond our control to consider. Self-help books, new age gurus and social leaders highlight success stories to convince us that society is based on meritocracy so that we can believe that it is purely up to us to make the right moves for more fulfilling lives.

So, if you are in a rut, realise that you are the standard rather than the exception. We, the ordinary people, stuck in the chicken coop with mediocre marriages and unglamorous jobs are the norm. Breaking out of this trench is just as rare today as it was for 18th century peasants to become members of the French aristocracy. The sooner we realize this the more relieved we can feel knowing that we are not to blame for all our shortcomings (perhaps, only for some of them). No, we do not deserve our failures and we can thank the goddess of fortune for sending us the right conditions to allow for our success.

Next time you’re feeling down, take comfort in a quote by Seneca, “What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.”

Hence, why harbour optimistic expectations when these can only lead to false happiness and disappointment when things don’t happen as we envision? It is far better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised. And if the worst really does strike – then perhaps we can listen to sad songs by reclusive Leonard Cohen or heart-wrenching Edith Piaf or maybe wrist-slitting Emilie Autumn (may I suggest "Misery Loves Company") and realize that we are not alone

So if you are feeling unfulfilled, remember that you are just the norm. Like me.


Friday, April 23, 2010


Very soon, I may become just another Parent School dropout. Indeed, I see myself as another failed parent statistic in the making. Classes are lots of fun, of course, but I can see some practical problems that may stop my attendance.

Upon leaving class yesterday I found myself smoking a half-pack simply because I could not motivate myself to go home where I knew that I would find mayhem!

Let me acclimatize you. Door opens. Three rush towards me. “He bashed my eye,” screams the eldest (aged 10). Both her eyes look bright and open wide so I breathe a sigh of relief.

“Liar!” retorts the adult (aged 55) of the house. “Look what she’s done to my shirt!” (Sauce stain on shirt).

“Let me tell! Let me tell!” Jumps the little one (aged 5) all excited, bidding for the role of narrator.

Then books, paper, plastic toys suddenly start flying around the house as all three of them chase and fling unbreakables at each other.

“Everyone to their rooms! Now!” My sturdy maternal voice does the trick, but then I remember Aspasia, the psychologist that heads our parent school class. “The type of a relationship a father has with his child is very much up to the mother,” she says.

So I consider where I have gone wrong and how I may have inadvertently sabotaged my husband’s relationship with his own children. Everything I do feels wrong. It feels as though I have tried to be on his side and take a joint stand but internally I often disagree, especially when he hits them every time he looks after them alone. He disagrees that I am as supportive as I should be, but I cannot bring myself to say, “Yes, daddy was right to hit you and call you swine.” Nor do I say the opposite. I try to keep a distance. To leave them space to work it out alone.

At this point I should add that things are not as easy as they seem. My husband has a brilliant excuse for his temper. He has multiple sclerosis. This illness is something that we can not ignore. He walks with a limp and is productive in his work but he constantly lives in fear and his nerves are in tatters. Apparently, anxiety is yet another side affect of this illness. (I have spoken to my eldest daughter about this at length. He does not wish to talk to her about his condition at all and feels that I am mistaken in doing so because she occasionally flings it in his face when she is pissed off with him.)

He is not the man I married but I know that we will be together until death us do part because somewhere in there lurks the man I did marry - my hero, my darling, my sweet, kind, tree man. He tries so hard. He does laundry, washes dishes, does deliveries and that is a big thing for a Greek man from a patriarchal family. I sometimes forget this and take him for granted. 

He loves his children but does not know how to express this love. And I honestly don’t know how to help him or myself.

When we talk he says the problems are in my mind. He keeps pointing out my mistakes. And granted, like everyone else, I do make mistakes. Lots of them. In one of my lowest moments I emptied a salad bowl onto his head…feta cheese, tomato and oil streamed down his neck and an olive protruded from his shirt pocket. He says that is why our eldest daughter squirted sauce on him last night. But that’s a ridiculous notion because I had committed my crime when no witnesses were present. The kids weren’t even in the house!

So, what is it that makes us all at some point want to throw sauce and salad on the man of the house? Am I to blame for his poor relationship with his children? The youngest seems fine, but the eldest keeps saying, “Let’s ditch daddy and buy a dog!”

Would we be better off divorced so that there would be no salad tossing or saucy moments? Should kids be subjected to this environment?

PS For the record. I only threw salad at him once (and he deserved it!). I have never hit him. He has never hit me. He spanks the kids on the bottom. We have on occasion abused the crap out of each other but never in front of the kids.

Our daddy looks as stunned and a tad edgy as the father in this painting by Fernando Botero, "A Family". Botero’s work always makes me grin…and in my life I, too, feel that I should grin and bear it. Unless of course there is a better way. Is there?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


After the failure of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change I've been thinking of global change to combat global warming as a bit of a lost cause...Things aren't really getting any better, are they? Well at least not in my neck of the woods where newspapers had only fleeting references to Earth Day thanks to Greek MEP Kriton Arsenis' focus on forests the size of Greece destroyed in the Amazon in just one year alone...Not a positive Earth Day message, is it?

Thankfully there are posts like the one I just read on one of my favourite blogs - Archive Fire - that I just had to share. I couldn't have said it any better myself...

CLICK HERE TO READ! And maybe you can even become a follower...just a suggestion.

Oh, and here are some ideas of things to do...

* Watch BBC series "Planet Earth" to help you rethink some aspects of waste and pollution you produce in the world. (Hint: Turn off the lights!)

* Calculate your ecological footprint and learn how to reduce your impact on the world. Calculate your Ecological Footprint BY CLICKING HERE!

* Adopt an acre, rescue a reef, donate money to a green cause.

* Change your appliances to more ecologically friendly ones.

* I'm going to definitely attend French MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit's lecture on green strategies at the Athens Concert Hall on Wednesday. Maybe you can buy one of his books.

Any other ideas? What will you be doing?
Come on, inspire me! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The Anglosaxon/Nordic fear of "pissing people off" never ceases to amaze me. Of course, I live in a country where "pissing people off" is the national pursuit. Nothing is off-limits or reverent. As for politically correct...well, forget it!

At work, people may comment on the size of your bazookas or someone may ask you "Did you not have sex last night?" People argue at the laiki (fruit and veggie markets) as they haggle over prices and there's no problem in screaming at a family member when in public (forget reality TV, this is sheer reality with loads of interaction by passers-by).

It's lots of fun, really. Quite communal and catharctic. And I've grown quite used to this argumentative atmosphere. Strangely fond of it, even.

When in Australia I feel quite disconcerted when I discover bank errors and head to the teller in Rambo fashion only to find a meek, apologetic response and the matter quickly resolved without the flourish of emotions and flamboyance I am used to. Shucks, disappointment, I don't even get to call that teller a "moron".

When blogging it is quite unbalancing to visit other bloggers, disagree with them on political issues by calling them "dickheads" and come back the next day to find a pathetic response comment stating "Yes Purple Cow, shame on us. You are right." Or to blog post something like CLICK HERE and to have people feeling perplexed rather than fuming.

A Greek would throw ancient history in your face, even if you are right. The best way to get Greeks to agree with you is to praise their country so that they, not you, have the satisfaction of pointing out all there is wrong with it.

So how come we are like this? Is it because the sun has got us hot and bothered? Is it because we lived in slavery for 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule and felt so stifled, frustrated and oppressed that all this uncivilised behaviour just rises to the fore? Has our volatile Balkan pressure cooker environment influenced our personalities as much as it has our politics? Is it because the system is set up in such a way (crooked cops, lazy public servants, etc) that you cannot "complain" to a body and get things done so that you are forced to speak up for yourself?

Would Germans and Swedes, with their mentality and beliefs, be just as productive as they are now if by pressing some magic button they could have the same hot living environment and Balkan neighbours that Greeks have? I wonder.

What do you think?
Speak freely, don't worry about pissing me off.

PS. I must give credit where credit is due...this post was inspired by Sharon and Robin's posts where they worry about pissing people off. Beats me why one should be worried. I'd be proud of breaking through someone's numbness and having them want to bash my head in. Much prefer it when they like me though.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Consider decay.

Whether it's a tooth struck by cavities, wrinkled flesh, a rotting relationship or a planet falling apart there is one common denominator - it is inevitable!

Flowers wilt, teeth decay, cars rust, people disintegrate and die, relationships break down, societies rot, economies crumble, kingdoms fall, species are struck by extinction, planets are pulverized all in the name of evolution. Nothing lasts.

And we take courage from the beautiful journey towards decay. We speak of all the things we gain as we blitzkrieg towards death - wisdom, friends, experiences, memories, an accumulation of stuff. It is a pretty poor swap if you ask me.

There was a time before decay. Do you remember those carefree days in the sandpit? Do you recall the colour of your doting grandmother's eyes? Were you really bored in class as you learnt about the rise and fall of the Ancient Roman Empire not knowing that this was the destiny of all societies? Do you ever reminisce the freshness and invincibility of youth just before you realised that one day you would cease to exist? How often do you think of the days when you said "I love you" in every second breath before the silence of decay set in? How did you feel on your very first day at work when you brought chocolates to sweeten up your new colleagues hoping they would like you?

You were very much liked but also disliked, because like carries seeds of dislike just as love carries seeds of hate. Perhaps it is these seeds that grow and bring about decay.

All we want is something that isn't rot, something that lasts forever. We hope for the immortal in the face of a God, a power, a meaning, a purpose, something that can linger on even when we have long been forgotten.

Something stable.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Humbert: "She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo...Lee...Ta."

What would Vladimir Nabokov's Professor Humbert Humbert from Lolita land make of our world today? A world where Primark sells padded bikinis to 7-year-olds and Tesco presents pole-dancing kits as playthings for budding nymphets who at night can lounge on their Woolworth's Lolita beds while mixing drinks with their Barbie cocktail set. It's a paedophile's paradise ripe for the plucking! There's even an excuse for this underage sexual preening - marketing experts call it KGOY (Kids Getting Older Younger).

Really, what would Humbert say? Would he like it or would he be turned off by little girls looking like women as much as he is perversely turned on by pre-pubescent "nymphets".

Of course we all know what Lolita herself would say. She would say, "I was a daisy fresh girl and look what you've done to me." Even if she doesn't use Nabokov's precise words, this is what she keeps saying. We just don't listen. We think she likes being Lolita in Lolita land when she was just meant to be a little girl.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I know I’m not the world’s worst mother but I sometimes feel this strange compassion for Medea that means that I must be somewhere below average. I find it hard to trust my instincts and just get on with motherhood as I philosophise too much. That’s why yesterday I attended the first session at Parents School.

Hopefully, pooling my parental resources with those of others may help crack through the confusion. And who knows, I may come out a better parent/person.

Our group leader, Aspasia, a psychologist doing her PhD on family mechanisms already pinpointed my one saboteur when it came to being a mother. “You appear to have a problem with ambivalence,” she said. She’s not wrong. Everything I do as a mother I assume is wrong and even when I’m right I waiver. I keep rushing to the internet, to tomes of books, to other mothers to learn more about what should be self-evident.

My daughter asks “What’s a lesbian?” And I just dart out the room, rush to dial child helplines in panic so that I can get advice on how to broach this subject with a 10-year-old without detracting from her childhood innocence. After I compose myself I take on this academic air and say, “Remember how you asked me….” That means I lose out on the momentum. I’m surprised my daughter keeps coming to me with such questions at all!

Trust yourself,” says Aspasia.

She asked us if our children felt security in their home environments. Everybody but I said “yes” (I didn’t say “no” either. I just kept quiet). Everybody around me emphatically nodded that their kids felt warmth and love. Truth is, I don’t think my children feel secure at all. How can they feel secure when I myself am suspicious of everything and everyone?

“Do you trust your children?” she asked us.

“Do I?” I wondered. Truth is, I don’t even trust myself.

Goodness knows I really need this school to help me work through my “issues”.

When I got home the kids were fighting, hungry and sleepless. Perfect opportunity to practice being the new positive, composed, self-assured mother I’m trying to be.

“So did you learn anything new?” asked my husband, raising his voice to be heard above all this mayhem. I refrained from snapping. That’s a start. Right?

* The painting above is Eugene Delacroix’s Medea about to Kill Her Children (1838) that depicts Medea clutching her children, dagger drawn to slay them in vengeance for her abandonment by Jason. Though I have never contemplated slaying mine, the thought of throwing them out the balcony has crossed my mind on occasion. That said, I should add I love them more than anything in the world!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


With terrorism and economic downfall gripping Greece at the moment I think I'll take the example of my blogger friends and escape. It seems that writing about first kisses is quite the fashion...So here's my story:

The picture of that kiss suddenly emerged from the abyss two summers ago to rekindle memories forsaken. Haunting memories represented beautifully by Rodin’s sensual masterpiece, “The Kiss”. Every time I see that statue, I inevitably remember that dark, trembling, momentous kiss that forever sealed my first unconsummated love affair.

The lovers lips in the sculpture show longing but do not actually meet to suggest that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having truly touched…And like Rodin’s work, the kiss of our platonic love was never meant to blossom as it was rudely interrupted by time, distance and circumstances over 20 years ago.

Now the kiss is over. Dead. It died so young. Perhaps it was virtue itself that killed it. Or censorship!

When I met the master of that masterpiece kiss again - over 20 years later! - his eyes were still exotic like a dark lord and his luscious lips had remained unchanged through the decades. Or maybe that is how he appeared in my eyes (after all, he was the shell that prompted such trembling longing and this in itself means that I will NEVER be able to see him as he really is). I even thought that his soul, ideals and beliefs were still beautiful. Only this time, there was no future to hope for even though for a split second he seemed to be the man I hoped he would become.

Objectively speaking, though, he was nothing much. My love is what made him special. But I guess my love was not strong enough to be duped twice by beautiful words and meaningful glances. Though for a moment it was fun to cast logic aside, to pretend and to remember the kiss with the same innocence in which it had been received. And yes, I admit my weakness, it was flattering to be complimented and told about how unforgettable I am. (Though I bet he says that to all his exes).

Call me cruel, but I consider it satisfying to have this married cad reveal what I missed out on - an unfaithful husband who would have done to me what he is doing to his wife!

Still, it was jolly decent of him to lie about how he often thought of me over the years with fondness, nostalgia and regret. He'd even gone to the trouble of keeping tokens of our affection and he remembered fine details - songs heard, clothes worn, words spoken. But had he really, unequivically, truthfully felt the magic I had then we would still be together making one another's lives miserable. And that is something I can never forgive him for.

How nice though that he remembered me enough to seek me out. Bear in mind that this was before I joined FB when such things required a bit more inventiveness. Since FB though, there has been an epidemic of forgotten exes crawling out of the woodwork (causing me to wonder how I could possibly have had that many!), but he was the first and I now know just how to handle them (with the ignore button - for what could an ex possibly want from a married woman?). This one, however, caught me off guard...After all, there had been a time when he had been idolized back in the days when I could still admire people.

He will never know that I am grateful for the memory of that wondrous kiss that took me to the sky and back! Yes, there had been fireworks! When I see him again in 121 years, I wonder if I’ll still remember THAT kiss. What a pity that some things can only be enjoyed once and never be repeated. What a pity we can't be romantic fools forever...

For other people's first kisses you click HERE or HERE...

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This was my favorite story as a child.

It was a tale about a vain girl who convinced her grandmother to buy her a pair of shiny red shoes rather than sensible black ones for church. The shoes reminded her of dancing shoes and there was nothing that the girl liked more than to dance.

So she bought the sinful shoes, unaware that they were enchanted. Once she wore them all she could do was dance. At first she seemed to enjoy her beautiful dance and abandoned herself to its beauty, but before long the sun started to set and she began to tire.

Even so, she was obliged to dance out of the city and far out into the dark wood. Her feet took her to the open church graveyard where the dead did not dance. For her, there was no peace or rest. She saw an angel who sternly said, “Dance in your red shoes till you are pale and cold, till your skin shrivels up and you are a skeleton! Dance you shall, from door to door and where proud and wicked children live you shall knock, so that they may hear you and fear you! Dance you shall, dance!

The frightened girl wanted mercy. When she came across a woodcutter she begged the man to cut off her feet. He did and the last picture of the book showed the bloodied girl lying under a tree while her feet danced off on their own.

Visitors would come and I would play the sweet little girl asking them to read me a story just to see their faces go pale as they read on. Especially the last page with the slain feet dancing off. It was deliciously gross. Friends would come and I would say, “Do you like red shiny shoes?” And then I would show them the book. (Usually just after showing them a larger-than-life picture of Satan from my Children’s Bible).

Unlike my children's Bible, "The Red Shoes" was not one of the books my mother kept for the sake of posterity. Infact, I had conned my grandmother into buying it for me. Like the girl in the book I loved to dance and of course, may the Lord forgive me, I still adore red shoes. As Hans Christian Anderson says, "There is nothing in the world like a pair of red shoes!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010


She was lucky enough to grow up in a house by the beach. Each day she’d gaze at the ocean and try to second guess the size of each new wave breaking onto the rocks. Surfers (also lovingly known as wax heads due to their obsession with their sleek boards) would ride their crests.

It was an obsession she could understand because the wild waves were the only unpredictable element in a land so routine and symmetrical.

There was no pressure in this orderly paradise on earth so far removed from friction. The buses would come at exactly the time stipulated on the timetable. Homework-free happy pupils would traipse back and forth to school with just their pencil cases. Nobody was hungry but everybody felt kind of numb, err tranquil. People were generally genuine and easygoing.

And then she read the word. Many words for that matter and they fuelled her excited imagination with restlessness. She could relate to nothing else in her environment but the craziness of the waves flagrantly flinging themselves on the rocks as if to break the pointless monotony of perfection.

No, she could not be a part of the stifling beauty of this land for there were fragments of the Balkans painfully etched within her soul.

Now she drinks her morning coffee on a balcony overlooking the Acropolis. And as she gazes at the teeny Parthenon (just visible over the cement jungle) she ponders the golden years of Pericles and has imaginary conversations with Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, even Homer...The fineness of  antiquity makes an exquisite juxtaposition to the graffiti, chaos, corruption and pollution. On the one hand, ideology. On the other, human frailty and ugliness. Strange bedfellows co-existing in disjointed harmony. As in every marriage, one cannot help but distort and affect the other for better or for worse.

Is she happy living here in a place so far removed from paradise? The truth is that she does not have time to be unhappy. And at least people can spell her name right when she orders pizza. They could never quite master that in the land of Smiths and Browns.

And of course, she does have this blog.

PS Sometimes she looks at herself as a third person to try and better understand her choices and view them with objectivity. But nope, it still baffles me why she made the switch. Personally, I'm finding it hard to empathise. Leaving Australia - one of the most beautiful countries of the world - was pretty 'stupid' regardless of whether I look at it in first, second or third person! But then again, she and I were never ones to make logical choices.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Could somebody please explain to me why all US people keeping blogs are not focusing on WikiLeak's release of the classified US military video showing US soldiers indiscrimately firing on Iraqi civilians? The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency, photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh. All up, 12 people are killed, and two children wounded.

Persons killed were carrying “cameras” that did not at all look like RPGs that are infinitely longer. Or is RPG the new Pentagon name for “camera” just as the new word for "terrorist" is "little girl"?

Where is the social justice? How can US citizens really believe that the US is in Iraq to remove poverty and social inequality in such a manner? Is the removal of Saddam justification for killing one million Iraqis?

The US soldiers in the video have clearly become desensitized to war. Their reaction to the little kids getting injured is an ironic "serves them right for bringing their kids to war". They laugh when the rescue truck runs over a body. When the camera man is clearly injured they say "pick it up! come on pick it up" (in reference to the camera) clearly wanting to finish him off.

It is as though they are playing a video game - as though they don't know that they are cutting short people's lives. I find that the only difference between terrorists and these soldiers is the fact that these soldiers are authorised by the US government to commit futile acts of violence. This is not a one-off incident, but just another day at war or "at work" for these amoral soldiers.

Could somebody please explain to me why the US people do not seem to care and are so accepting of this situation? Why are they not taking to the streets like they did during the futile Vietnam War? Have the US people become desensitized and amoral? When the little Iraqi children in this video grow up how do you think they will feel about your country? (and justifiably so!)

Please explain because the bloggers I read, mainly US citizens, seem so nice and warm, intelligent even, and I cannot understand how they can continue with their comfortable lives and not feel affected by this video and the war in Iraq. Because the only thing special about this classified video is that it actually got out.



Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I tend to be a person of ritual. Regardless of belief, I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoy the whole pomp and ceremony of Greek Orthodox festivities. The oiling of the masses on Holy Wednesday, dying red eggs on Holy Thursday, the candlelit flower Epitaph procession around the streets of Athens on Good Friday, the midnight Saturday mass followed by mageiritsa soup, lamb on a spit on Sunday…many of these Greek Orthodox Easter traditions are steeped in pagan tradition to celebrate the rite of Spring.

Indeed, there was an Epitaph procession for the earth goddess Gaia…and this all just adds to the beauty and mysticism. Knowing that something has been done since antiquity adds to its allure. (Not to mention all the childhood memories that pop to mind).

Anyway, I could write and write and write about how Easter went this year which is almost the same as last year and the year before and all my Easters regardless of whether I've enjoyed them as a Greek in Australia or an Australian in Greece. I’ve already read fellow bloggers’ descriptions of their Easters…So here’s mine in a nutshell…

Good Friday Candlelit Epitaph Procession with Friends at Local Church Packing for Family Long Weekend Escape Walking Barefoot by the Sea at Eretria Small Byzantine Church with Fascinating Frescos in the Middle of Nowhere for Midnight Easter Mass Culminating in Fireworks to Symbolise Greek Freedom from 400 Years of Turkish Ottoman Occupation •  Mageiritsa Soup   Cracking Each Others Eggs According to Greek Orthodox Custom – “Christos Anesti” (Christ Has Risen) and response, “Alithos Anesti” (yes, truly he has risen) – Winner is the One Whose Egg Remains Uncracked Lamb on a Spit (We all take turns Sitting by the Spit) Greek Dancing Sunny Weather Smell of Jasmine Playing with Happy the Golden Retriever Horse Riding and Generally Spending Quality Time with Horses While Contemplating George Says’ Question on Whether Horses are Intelligent (Conclusion: All Animals are More Intelligent than Us Humans)Reading from the Children's Bible I had as a Kid to my Daughters and discussing how they feel about Pontius Pilate, Judas, etc and what they would do in a Similar position Coming home and Finding that I Gained an Extra Follower over Easter and now have 12 (Thanks Lilbuttercup, Could this be Symbolic...?)

How was your Easter?