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?



Travis said...

A day in the life eh?

I must say that the time we wait between blog posts is certainly worth it. I love your writing.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

What a day! It was as if a lifetime—at least of strikes—was packed into it. Here in the U.S. strikers have traditionally be handled efficiently by hired thugs with clubs, the police with guns, and the military with machine guns. What else could one expect in this bastion of capitalism?

Pauline said...

Call that an excuse? Why, as you very well know, I have to get up before I go to bed, work an 87 hour day before lunch (if you can call a teaspoonful of water lunch)
organise the parking for all cars in a fifty mile radius,work another 95 hour day, have no tea,and give fair attention to my plan for world domination - which of course is top secret so I'm not telling you about it - all while coping with a sweeping brush in a most uncomfortable position, BUT DO I COMPLAIN? DO I NEGLECT MY BLOG?

Mona said...

:) O dear, those are Ever so many reasons to neglect a blog.

I am glad that Mom in Law is feeling better.

lime said...

so you're telling me if i run away to greece it doesn't get any better....ok, sigh, thanks.

cathy said...

travis, you're such a lovely pup. Thankyou.

ssnick, A policeman pushed a strike protester here yesterday and that was the main heasline news for the day.

pauline, "Luxury pure luxury, I 'ave t' lick th'road clean wi'me tung!"

mona, I wish she was better but she is a fighter, nothing is going to make her lie down until she is dead.

lime, sorry to rain on your parade.

Bond said...

What? No 73 mile walk to the grocery store, up hill both ways?

But as Travis says...I love your writing so I visit each day hoping for more words

Miss Understood said...

I feel positively knackered just reading it. I think I need a lie down!

val said...

OK, I lost the will to live about the time of the seams in your daughters socks. I HATE how they rubb the cuticles of the toes!

Jocelyn said...

This is my favorite post of yours. It gave me glimpses I've been wanting, right down to your MIL's name--Elevtheria? How fabulous.

You are quite the woman, you know.

Pauline said...

Road, you have road? Why that's nowt short o' disgraceful. To think o't' indolent rich swanning about on roads all la di dah like!
Fair makes my blood boil while good honest folk have to struggle from hole t' hole wi' no more than tracks int' mud ter showt' way. You mun think yerself lucky even t' have a tung fert lick it with an all. Folk ower ere are soooo poooooor as t'av sold their tungs tert cobblers fert mek shoes fer them indolent rich bastards that have ROADS FERT WALK ON AND LICK AND T' LIKE!

cathy said...

bond,, over broken glass:)

miss understood, now that's what I call sympathy!
have 40 winks for me.

val, It's life Val but not as we imagined it.

jocelyn,I always thought it would bore people if I talked to much about myself.

pauline, not road as such, more like rubble and holes strategically placed to cause maximum inconvenience to the general public.
Shoes? what shoes?

Jimmy said...

That's what I call a hectic day!
Great post by the way

Bond said...

wait??? You stole W but not my button?

AHHHHH I was confuzzled

puerileuwaite said...

So let me get this straight: you ALSO wake to the sound of "u and ur hand"? I thought I was the only one!

cathy said...

jimmy, nice to see you. have a glass of stout for me, it isn't easy to find in Greece.

bond, don't cry I have your button too:)

pug,I love that song:)

puerileuwaite said...

Wait. There's also a SONG?

Enemy of the Republic said...

I WANT THAT MATT MAN ICON. Is he giving them away on his blog?

BBC said...

I would so not want to be a parent in this day and age on this bat shit crazy planet.

I'd be more than happy go turn my life back about 40 years to better days. I wouldn't have a computer, but I wouldn't know or care either.

Blancodeviosa said...

hey love bug!

cathy said...

pug :)

enemy, yes.

bbc, ignorance was bliss.

blanco, yo girl! grab yourself a blogging without obligation badge from my sidebar, why don't you?

Logophile said...

You are completely excused. No really, you are, completely. In fact, I will gladly write you a note to that effect that you can show in the office if you get called on the carpet.
Course, Im sadly deliquent most of the time myself so Im not sure what weight it will carry.
I did enjoy the year I lived in Greece but it had it's issues, whenever I wax too nostalic I think I will head over here and reread this post.

BBC said...

As for the spirituality thing, if there where quick and easy answers we would probably have much shorter lifespans.

You are wrong, we would have longer ones, in our human forms anyway. Not that the spirit worries about such nonsense, being omnipresent.

It's the planet that spirit worries about, never mind, I don't suppose I can get you to see what I'm trying to tell you.

Just go hug your kids because they don't have a rosy future. Not that I expect you to believe me.

chica40208 said...

wow crazy day

chica40208 said...

wow crazy day