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?
NB. I SEEM TO HAVE LOST MY INTERNET CONNECTION SO I WILL HAVE TO POST THIS LATER.