Wednesday, November 26, 2008

about the blog list

It's a work in progress so stop grouching if you aren't in there yet and think you should be.
If you're not in the old one either and wish to object by all means leave a comment.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

An aging woman's last vestige of beauty is her hair.

Through 13 years of battling cancer Elevtheria was adamnant, she would not undergo any therapy which caused hair loss. When the doctor's found cancer in her liver a few months ago she was faced with a stark choice - baldness and hope or certain death in the near future.

My children helped her to make the decision, "Gran what is more important, you having hair or us having you?"

4 months on we awaited test results to see how effective the therapy was being.....

... Lung cancer GONE! Liver cancer reduced in size. We are continuing therapy and maybe we will beat this thing yet.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tears for Kalliope

What do you remember about the day before your wedding?
I remember a rather tense hen party with my Greek friends and English relatives eyeing each other warily over the canapés. I remember drinking hot chocolate at 5am with my brother when he returned from the stag night.

My mother in law remembers the death of Kalliope. Murder most foul! In fact the only reason she remembers the date of her wedding 50 years ago is because there was no music, as a sign of respect for the bereaved family.

My in laws were married on 24th August, 1958. We had a quiet family celebration to mark their anniversary. They remember nothing of their wedding but were able to tell me every detail of the death that preceded it. No mean feat when you consider that my dad in law often forgets that he is wearing a hat….

Kalliope was a young woman who lived in the mountain village of Ayia Gala in Chois.
She was married and expecting her first child. Her day was taken up with a round of chores, ranging from housework and cooking to tending animals and working in the fields, a simple life hard work but without the stress of our modern lifestyle.

The only apparent blot on her landscape was that her husband, Lefteres was a philanderer. He had an eye for the girls and all the village knew about it. He was particularly taken with Barbara and not very happy that he was about to become a man with responsibilities. Lefteres, like many of the men from chois was a sailor and spent long periods of time away from home, he is said however to have had a hand in planning the death of his pregnant wife.

On 23rd August 1958 Kalliope’s husband was away but Barbara’s brother was there, in the village and filled with malevolent intent. He wanted Lefteres to make “ an honest woman” of his sister and this was not possible as long as Kalliope was in the pictue.
He followed the unsuspecting wife of his sister’s lover as she set out to bring the animals in for the night. It was a feast day and there was music in the street played by a band of travelling minstrels. It was a hot summer night, nobody would have been indoors. It seems unlikely that no one saw the comings and goings of any village member. And yet when the police questioned the villagers not one of them could shed any light on the movements of their fellows or suggest a possible motive for the crime.

Kalliope was found in the fields where she had gone to tend her mother’s animals, not one corpse but two, her and the unborn child. She had been stabbed to death her killer(s) were never punished. Her husband married Barbara. Everbody knew what had happened to Kalliope but not one single person cared enough to make it known, until now.

Rest in peace Kalliope, today ( half a century after your death) you will be mourned, you and your child.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Coming Soon.

A true story of marriage and murder.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Needs meme

I saw this meme on Trav's Thoughts
and decided it would make a good stop gap
until I get round to posting about my holiday.

All you have to do is ...
Google your first name
with the word needs after it
and post the results

Here is what I got... more or less

All Cathy needs is a big feather to fan him and ...
(It depends who HE is!)

Cathy needs …A life worth living
(I’m working on it.)

(Who’s Sydney?)

Cathy needs a bit of cheering up today.

cathy should get a boyfriend.. cathy needs an angel, I want to hug cathy. ...
(You’ve got to love GOOGLE! )

Vincent D'Onofrio in "Paradice Hotel "...

Cathy needs pain medicine.
Cathy wants to be suctioned
Cathy wants ice chips.
Cathy wants to change ...
(Ok already, sheesh.)

cathy needs chocolate. lots of chocolate and a name change. ...
( mmm and hmmm.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fighting For No Future.

She lies uncomplaining on the white sheets, attached to tubes, pumping poison. Chemotherapy, dying for a cure.
She hadn’t wanted to take these last steps, the final fight against the cancer she has battled for 13 years but she considered the children. It would give them time to come to terms with her death if nothing else.

She is stoic in the presence of others, revealing herself only to me when we are alone.

Taking her frail hand in mine I stroke it gently and smile bravely hoping to hide the fear in my heart. She smiles back and I see my heart reflected in her eyes.
You can see other posts about my mum in law

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm tired, I'm fed up, I'm too damned busy!
I'll post when I've got the time, energy and enthusiasm.
It could be a long wait.

I'll pop round and visit you all in the meantime.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

World Enviroment Day


material source

The Earth has warmed by approximately 0.75 °C since pre-industrial times. Eleven of the warmest years in the past 125 years occurred since 1990, with 2005 the warmest on record. There is overwhelming consensus that this is due to emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), from burning fossil fuels.

Examination of ice cores shows that there is more CO2 in the atmosphere than at any time in the past 600,000 years Warming in this century is projected to be between 1.4 and 5.8 °C. The impacts of climate change are already visible. Examples include: the shrinking Arctic ice cap;
accelerating sea level rise;
receding glaciers worldwide;
thawing permafrost;
earlier break-up of river and lake ice;
increasing intensity and duration of tropical storms;
lengthening of mid- to high-latitude growing seasons;
shifts in plant and animal ranges and behaviour.

In the Arctic, as peat bogs thaw they are releasing methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Scientists are increasingly concerned about the possibility of abrupt climate change, including reductions in ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream which warms Europe, and changed patterns of rainfall, such as the monsoon seasons, which would affect food security for billions of people.

Ask a polar bear…

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. Since 1980, between 20 and 30 per cent of sea ice in the European Arctic has been lost. Polar bears depend on sea ice, where they hunt seals and use ice corridors to move from one area to another. Pregnant females build winter dens in areas with thick snow cover. They have not eaten for five to seven months when they emerge with their cubs in the spring. They need good spring sea-ice conditions for their own and their cubs’
survival. During the past two decades, the condition of adult polar bears in the Hudson Bay area in Canada has declined, with a reduction of between 15 and 26 per cent in average adult body weight and the number of cubs born between 1981 and 1998.
Some climate models project that there may be an almost complete loss of summer sea-ice in the Arctic before the end of the century. If this happens, polar bears are unlikely to survive as a species.

Ask a farmer…

Although crop yields may increase in some areas due to climate change, the negative effects are likely to dominate as warming increases. Africa is especially vulnerable, and studies warn that there may be a significant increase in hunger. Poor communities are most directly dependent for their livelihoods on a stable and hospitable climate. They often rely on rain-fed subsistence agriculture, and are deeply dependent on climatic phenomena, such as the Asian monsoons. They are also most vulnerable to extreme weather events such as droughts and tropical storms.

As glaciers melt in the world’s great mountain ranges, water supplies to rivers will be affected. In Europe, eight out of nine glaciated regions show significant retreat. Between 1850 and 1980, glaciers in the European Alps lost approximately one-third of their area and one-half of their mass.
In China, highland glaciers are shrinking each year by an amount equivalent to all the water in the Yellow River. The Chinese Academy of Sciences says that 7 per cent of the country’s glaciers are vanishing annually. By 2050, as many as 64 per cent of China’s glaciers will have disappeared. An estimated 300 million people live in China’s arid west and depend on water from glaciers for their survival.

Ask an islander…

In the past 100 years, global sea level rose between 1 and 2 millimetres a year. Since 1992 the rate has increased to about 3 millimetres a year, primarily through thermal expansion of warming oceans and freshwater flowing into the oceans from melting ice.
Melting ice is responsible for a significant portion of the observed sea level rise, with the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets the largest contributors. The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting faster than new ice is being formed. In the Antarctic, three large
sections of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed over the past 11 years, followed by a marked acceleration and thinning of glaciers that were held back by the shelves.
As sea levels rise, inhabitants of low-lying islands and coastal cities face inundation. In December 2005, a small community living in the Pacific island chain of Vanuatu became perhaps the first to be formally moved as a result of climate change.

Ask an indigenous person…

Arctic communities, including indigenous people striving to maintain and adapt traditional lifestyles, are particularly vulnerable to environmental change. The Arctic is home to some 4 million people, of whom roughly 10 per cent (400,000) are indigenous..
Widespread melting of permafrost in Alaska and Siberia is causing serious damage to buildings, pipelines, roads and other infrastructure. Climate change means shorter ice seasons for traveling on winter roads, and warmer and less predictable weather, causing more forest fires in some regions.
Agriculture in the Arctic is severely limited. Subsistence economic activities are therefore mainly hunting and fishing, reindeer herding, trapping and gathering.
Sea-ice changes and related increased coastal erosion are also causing damage, necessitating the relocation of some coastal communities (such as in Shishmaref, Alaska), and affecting indigenous marine hunters and fishers.

Ask yourself…
There are many options available to avoid catastrophic climate change. These include worldwide improvements in energy efficiency and a shift to low-carbon and renewable resources such as solar and wind power, bio-energy and geothermal energy. ….


As individuals we can also make consumer choices that help.

Don't purchase overpackaged goods.

Don't buy unnessesary goods, such as fashion fads.

Don't replace anything that isn't worn out or broken beyond repair

Recycle whatever you can...

What are YOU doing?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

join the blogblast for peace
click on the link in my sidebar
Cry, O man
For your love of war
For the death of babes
Barely born.
Cry, O man
For the hater's screech
Coiling round the hindbrain
Beyond logic's reach
Cry, O man
For your endless greed
For the words I want
In the place of we need
Cry, O man
For your leaders lies
For religious falsehoods
As they blind your eyes
Cry, O man
For your thirst
For revenge
Cry O Man
For war to end

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shout Out for Jocelyn

On Thursday, April 24, 2008 Jocelyn posted
“Just Sayin”

Apparently inspired by…

This Is Just To Say.

by William Carlos Williams.

Her response was, as always, excellent entertainment and inspired the following poem which I left as a comment.
As I have received no inspiration since and also think that anyone who hasn’t visited “O Mighty Crisis” is missing out I decided to post my ditty here.

I also suggest that you all take a few days off work so that you can go and read Jocelyn’s blog from start to finish.

Now weighing…

I have gained

12 pounds
Since the day we were married.

I have no siliconed breasts
Or liposuctioned thighs
To incite your ardour

Forgive me
For becoming
The mother of your children

Instead of
One of those porn queens
You so admire.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother of a Day.

"I'd like to be the ideal mother,
but I'm too busy raising my kids."- Unknown

I started my day with a 2hr lesson for a student who couldn’t come on Friday because he was having fun somewhere else.
Our lesson was interrupted by the sound of screeching from the yard.

Daughter 1 “Be careful Granddad!”
Daughter 2 “The cat’s going to fall!”
Daughter 1 “Granddad’s going to fall.”
Grandma “Get down from there before you fall.”

I went to investigate and found the cat up a tree and Granddad,
who is 87, up a ladder. Both my children and Grandma were shouting at him from below. My husband was drinking coffee and ignoring the situation.

My student, never one to miss an opportunity to get out of grammar lessons, sprinted into action. He soon had Granddad off the ladder and the cat out of the tree and the whole family praising him for saving us..

This is pretty normal.

Other events of the day include comforting my youngest daughter who was upset when a fly landed in her bath. She tried to save it but it died. She was upset because she wasn’t sure if it had drowned or if she had killed it during the rescue attempt.
Whatever, she now wants to bury it in the garden.

Further death and disaster was thankfully averted when she remembered that she had a snail in her pocket and managed to remove it before it suffered any permanent damage. It is now installed in a box, on a bed of lettuce, for the night and will be reintroduced to the wild tomorrow morning.

I’m happy to have the snail as a houseguest as it isn’t that long since my daughter caught a cockroach and put it in a box with some breadcrumbs. Needless to say I did not let it stay overnight.

You know you’re a mother when…

Your child throws up and you catch it.
You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.

or in my case…
you don’t swat flies.
Come to think of it today was fairly uneventful.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

Diet Plan - day one

Breakfast - Glass of skimmed milk and 2 melba toast.
I’ll substitute coffee for the milk, coffee isn’t that fattening and…
… well melba toast is dry so I’ll have a couple of cigarettes.

So coffee and cigarettes, same as usual.

Snack 1 – 2 pieces of fruit.
Who the hell’s got time to snack? By the time I’ve gotten the house straight it will be lunchtime anyway!

Lunch – 1 chicken breast without the skin, I slice of bread, salad,.
Damn it! no chicken and the kids want hamburgers.
Substitute - hamburger in a sesame bun, ketchup,

it’s made of tomatoes
and I’ll have a pickle too

because that is cucumber, nearly .

Snack 2 - a piece of fruit.
Give me a break I’m working here! Like this kid is going to understand my explanation of passive voice if it’s muffled by banana.

Evening meal. – Lentil soup, salad, 1 slice of bread.
Just a minute, lentils are similar to beans, cocoa is made out of beans…mmm
Substitute, Hot chocolate and toast, yummy.

I always drink plenty of water so that’s alright then.

I think that went quite well.
I’ll just peek at tomorrow’s menu before going to sleep…

… Breakfast, same as today.

Ok coffee and cigs is fine by me

Snack – A glass of fruit juice.
Good I think I can manage that.

Lunch, Poached fish and boiled greens...

...Yeah, Right!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Lengthening shadows creep across the walls.
Eyelids close as the dream world calls.

A gentle caress, a warm embrace,
A welcoming smile on her lover’s face

Affection found in the touch of twilight,
Longing for the kiss of gentle midnight.



She wears a sad smile as she cooks and cleans.
Caressed by the whisper of half forgotten dreams.

The siren call of the unloved wife,
“There must be more than this to life!”

Caring for her children as each day passes by,
Just another mother dying in a lie.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Message in a Bottle Meme

Mimi of Peaceglobe fame has tagged me for her message in a bottle meme. So here is my message which I would also like to put on almost everything that we so wantonly waste. In fact I would prefer to go further.
We need to regress for progress. If you don't understand what I mean just think back to your grannies cupboards and drawers with their bits and bobs of saved string and brown paper, Jam jar vases painted on rainy afternoons and groceries wrapped in paper rather than prepackaged in plastic. Recycling isn't enough, we have to stop using the world's resources in such a selfish, shortsighted and irresponsible manner.

(Don't worry I'll soon be back to my usual style of irregularly posted miserable poetry.)

Right before I go, If you are on my blogroll or have commented on one of my last five posts then you are tagged.

Go HERE for the rules/instructions, I don't do rules but you will need the instructions on this one.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Waiting For The Storm.

My soul is oppressed
By the black and angry sky.
By the heavy velvet silence
Soft with foreboding.

Tension snakes up my neck,
Gripping me like a vice,
Squeezing out my sanity.

A dagger of light gashes the defenseless air,
The darkness retreats,
Temporary surrender.
It swallows the blade.

A thundering crash of sound,
Punches a hole into my world.
The beat of my heart
Leaps to join the rythmn,
The drumbeat of pain.

The storm lashes out.
The raindrops,
Dancing with my migraine.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Day in the Life

A a a a a aa aa! I was woken by the sound of “u and ur hand” playing on my beautiful pink telephone. 7am, time to wake the kids. I slid out of bed and stumbled groggily into their room. With my one open eye I spied a Bratz doll skiing nonchalantly across the carpet, she’d better watch out for the coloured pencils, I thought groggily.

After waking the girls the next step as I stagger through to the kitchen to make coffee is to boot up the computer in the lounge ready for daughter #1 to organize our early bird playlist. Daughter #2 usually emerges at about 7.40am complaining about the seams in the toes of socks and the unfairness of having to wear clothes in general. Thus in a haze of Evanescence combined with early morning grumbles and punctuated by my own screeches of “we’re going to be late!’ we prepare for the day.

Arriving at school just in time, as usual, I am greeted by the president of the PTA who is intent on informing me that 3 snow whites and 11 dwarfs are still missing and she needs $250 to pay for the carpenter and the coat hooks. I do a quick reality check and realize that she is actually talking about carnival costumes and the bloody idiot who put up our new curtain rails after a 6 week delay due to a bout of flu which he followed by falling off his ladder and dislocating his shoulder. Surprisingly enough I have little confidence in his abilities and insist on inspecting the finished job before handing over any money.

When I return home I find my mother in law serving coffee to the handyman who is doing some work on her back wall. Without even looking I can tell that there has been little progress in the yard because she proceeds to tell me his life story. He is 76 years old and has a nice pension but is now working to help pay for his grandson’s university education.

It would be nice if I could ask about the wall but I know that it would be considered extremely rude so I listen and compliment him on his ability to “work” at his advanced age and on his dedication to family. He is visibly pleased as he happily slurps some coffee and helps himself to another biscuit.Shrugging off my irritation about how much it is costing us to show proper hospitality to our “guest” I go upstairs to sort out my own chores.

Our house is built on top of my in laws’, a fairly common practice in Greece and we more or less live as one family keeping our doors open and often sharing meals etc. I won’t bore you with the details of my housework, anyone who has a house knows how it goes and it isn’t as if I had gotten much done before my mother in laws screeches had me rushing back down the stairs.

Once the workman had finally started to do some work Elevtheria decided to clean out my daughter’s pet squirrel’s cage, not a good idea unless my daughter is there to assist. Somehow the squirrel had gotten out of the cage. I found my mum in law running round the kitchen with blood dripping from her hands and her skirt bunched up displaying her respectable white knickers and shouting “Squirrel, squirrel!” At this point the aforementioned rodent wriggled out of her bunched up skirt and started running round the kitchen floor. I placed the top half of the cage over it and it sat there quivering in fright as I inspected Elevtheria’s wounds and decided that she would probably need a tetanus jab.

I called my husband who was at a strike meeting in Athens and asked him to come home to help deal with our minor emergency. With the squirrel back in its cage my mum in law treated at the first aid centre and my kids fed a hasty meal of chicken and rice with sweetcorn that I had managed to rustle up while granddad picked them up from school I decided to take a breather. Looking at the clock I realized that I had 20 minutes to get to work at 3pm so I set off for my first lesson dodging heaps of garbage piled in the streets (the dustbin men are on strike), making my way round holes in the road which were dug in readiness for the laying of gas pipes just before the council workers went on strike and I hope against hope that I will finish my lessons before the lights go out due to power cuts as the power station workers are on strike.

At 8pm about half way through my final lesson the lights go out. I make my way home through pitch black streets wondering what we will eat for supper and hoping I don’t get mugged. Arriving home safely I set about making some sandwiches and once they have been eaten organize the kids getting ready for bed by candlelight. Fortunately the power is restored at 10.30pm which means I can start writing this post instead of twiddling my thumbs in the dark.

So there you have it, between missing mythical figures, catastrophic carpenters, minor emergencies, navigating streets like middens and coping with kids by candlelight you can see how a blog gets so sadly neglected, can’t you?


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fun With Food

What’s on the Menu Tonight?

It can be very confusing choosing a meal in a restaurant these days so here are a few tips to help the uninitiated to work out what is, or rather what isn’t, on offer. If you prefer eating at home you might find my previous post on cooking useful.

Cockie-Leekie - is not made from post coital penises

Wontons - are not heavy

Vol.-au-vent – is not an Italian smart car, yet!

It is however the name of a film about a deaf and dumb guy
who lives with a chicken , Go figure!

Soufflé – is not much help if you want to hide your bald patch.

Vinaigrette – Has nothing to do with wishing you hadn’t drunk so much wine.

Mortadella - Only smells like something that died,

Gazpacho - has nothing to do with military police.

Tagliatelle & Fettucine – have nothing to do with kinky sex.

Unless you know differently...?

Cannelloni – is not a solo dance form

Tzatziki – is unpronouncable unless you’ve been practicing from birth.

Anyone looking for useful information can click on the links.

If you would like to add your own helpful hints, you know where to leave your comments.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

They shoot horses, Don't they?

If my PC was a horse it would be a dead horse. And I have spent the last few days flogging it.

I am pretty sure that the fact that it is currently operating well enough for me to write this post has a lot more to do with my bloodymindedness than anything else. It is no longer using windows as an operating system, it is running on my will power.

I know nothing about computers, technically speaking, and my usual tactic of giving it a hard "paddington"stare has not been of any help whatsoever. I have had to resort to tinkering. It seems to have worked, for now. I don't think it will last though and will someone please tell me what that burning smell is?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Room – part 2

She sat quietly for a while feeling some comfort in the familiarity of her uncomfortable perch.

Somehow the room seemed smaller than before, as if the walls were pressing inwards. Would their pressure crush her, she wondered, or expel her rudely into the unknown world beyond the door.

A small icy thrill chilled her and was followed by an inexplicable stab of excitement mixed with fear. Fear for the little ones, she pushed it away irritably. What about ME she screamed silently, wordlessly and her question echoed painfully inside her skull.

“I think, therefore I am.”
“He who hesitates is lost.”
“Being is doing.”

Pondering, waiting, existing in a limbo of indecision she is lost to herself.
Beyond the now open door voices, forbidding, encouraging, warning, enticing, ridiculing.
Was it bravery or cowardice that held her there, she did not know, maybe it was both.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pillow Talk

Your early spasm
Robbed me of my orgasm
You premature prick

Friday, January 11, 2008


I have just been over at Nick's Bytes and thought his post about Guantanamo deserved some support. Why not pay him a visit?

Monday, January 7, 2008

'7 random weird facts meme.




1. There is nothing I don’t know about dog bone and rabbit green soup.

2. I am afraid of water but being of the opinion that we should face our fears I once took a scuba diving course which ended when a concerned tourist tried to rescue me from the swimming pool where I was having a practice session. I was in full diving gear at the time while he was just wearing swimming shorts and a look of heroic determination.

3. I spend most of my time inside my own head even when my body is walking round doing other things.

4. I have narrowly escaped death several times that I know of, on one occasion I gave a bunch of bikers a lecture about judging people by their appearance. They offered me a beer. The following day they were arrested for stabbing someone to death during an argument.

5. I hate being told what to do.

6. some of the tastiest dishes I have ever cooked have been the result of wildly improvising when I did not have the required ingredients for a particular recipe. Needless to say I can never duplicate the results as I later forget what I threw in the pan during my wild lack of correct ingredient panic.

7. I am wildly disorganized and forgetful. On the rare occasions when I get my act together I accomplish more in half a day than most people do in a month.

8. I think this is my 100th post.... a bloody meme!

Comments on this post should include weird or random facts about yourself.

That way I don't have to tag anyone, feel free to lie.