a confusion of collectives

When I was six-years-old I had a teacher called Miss Benzie and she was a saintly both in her love of children and what appeared to be a great love of explaining things to children and encouraging us to continue our own investigations.   I clearly remember her explaining the concept of a collective noun after we had had a story which included a flock of sheep.  Over the following weeks we added more to the list that she kept on the back wall of the classroom along with the lists of shades of colour and names of mountains.   Since then I’ve always enjoyed the idea of...more

More Food

A recommendation for great yoghurt: Olympus.  It is far lovelier than the Total yoghurt which seems to have the largest share of Greek yoghurt in the UK.  I’m not a fan of low fat products and tend to see them as low taste with added sweetener but the Olympus 2% yoghurt is fabulous and doesn’t taste like it could be remotely good for you.  It’s available in the UK but I’m not sure where.  Incidentally one of the quirks of international economics means that you can buy Total Greek yogh...more

What time do you call this?

Difference between Greeks and Brits:Greek Friend: Hi Tab would you like to meet for coffee next Monday afternoon?Tab: Yes, love to.  Shall we meet at pretentious Italian coffee shop at 3.00pm?Greek Friend: You want to have lunch?Tab: No, just coffee is fine.Greek Friend: Okay so we'll do the afternoon then - 6.00pm?Tab: ?...more

Home and Away

Earlier this morning I walked down Kifissia Avenue and cut through the streets of Marousi to my gym.  Apart from the dodgy pavements and the even dodgier traffic it's an interesting city walk with old villas and the old government building on the edge of Kifissia that reminds me of a pineapple.  Once you reach the edge of Kifissia and the area referred to as KAT there's quite a steep downhill stretch which would normally give you a view right across the northern suburbs and down to Athens.  It's the best way of seeing Athens, from a distance with Ymittos mountain to the other...more


Recently I've been thinking more and more about being middle-aged; if I'm honest, I mean I've thinking more about myself  and how I feel about being middle-aged.  I know all the stuff about it being a state of mind and being as old as you feel and all these things that people say  but when you get down to it, you're still middle-aged and there's a downward slide approaching.  Several years ago I remember some older friends of mine suddenly being so old and I couldn't quite work out what had happened.  That certainly wasn't going to happen to me and...more


There's a bit in the 'Add New Post' of my Word Press setup that allows you to request feedback on your draft before publishing.  Where on earth does it go?  Who looks at it?  Do they mark it out of ten or perhaps advise you to sell the laptop and cancel your internet connection?  Is it a person or more of a 'computer says no' type of thing?   I'm terribly tempted to send this in just to see if I get any answers....more


According to Mr T's colleagues he drinks coffee like an Italian; this isn't a compliment.According to the shoe mender I speak Greek like an Australian; I'm not entirely sure that's a compliment either.We are mocked because we eat English dinner at 8.00pm when any self-respecting Greek might just be finishing his afternoon espresso....more

A sunday in Athens

In the cooler months we've got into the habit of taking the bus downtown and walking around different parts of the city before ending up somewhere in Monastiraki or Thiseo for lunch.  If we want souvlaki then we head down to Monastiraki otherwise we go to one of our favourite places on Ariadnou near the Agora.  Although it's tourist central there's still some good food to be had especially at Thannassos in Monastiraki....more

Can't you see that there's a queue?

This morning I visited a supermarket that I haven't been to for a few months and in that time they've brought some changes in but because they'd neglected to send me a personal note outlining these changes, I found myself confused by what was going on.  When I took up my post at the deli counter which involves arms akimbo to prevent anyone standing too close (southern Europe and northern Europe have different ideas about personal space; I'd prefer you were in another room and our hosts would like to sit in my pocket).  Anyway, I'm at the deli counter in the middle of the scrum tha...more


November feels like a very long month this year and blogging ideas have gone into hibernation so I had a quick look at the prompt of the day on BlogHer and saw that yesterday's was to write a list of everyone you've ever had a crush on in your life , you then had to choose just one from the list and describe them in great detail.  How much time do they think that I have?  Besides most of my crushes were highly inappropriate and would embarrass me beyond words just thinking about it on my own and I can feel myself blushing now remembering ...more