Got to Spetsai bar just before 9 pm to ensure a table. About 8 people already there. Demi, short for Dimitra, arrived c. 9.30. Numbers up to 20+. Alexandros late due to art lesson running late. Pupil didn’t want to leave. Somewhat late for lessons? I once had a pupil in Athens, Chrisoula, who came Sat nights, 9 till 11 and then hopped off to a night club. Another time I jokingly suggested to a pupil, Costas Papadopoulos, (always remember name, Greek equivalent of John Smith, I believe) we could meet before school, school starting at 8am! He actually agreed. Had to explain it was a joke! There I am again, digressing…
Back to the bar. Well, perhaps a little aside about Alexandros. He’s an art restorer, specializing in religious artworks. Have seen him working on icon. Something to be admired. Painstakingly slow work.
Back to the bar, really this time. Joined by group of teachers from Lykeio (Senior High), where Demi works (art and drama). 2 of group had birthday and some of Vassili’s pupils turned up, dressed in carnival attire, with a cake complete with 45 lit candles. They did the Greek birthday chant, followed by the ubiquitous Happy Birthday and then left.
Was wee bit concerned re bringing food into Costas’ bar - my review will reveal all - just as soon as I’m safely back in Scotland Then he can’t get me. Wouldn’t stop him banning me if he felt like it. And a ban from Costas is a ban for life.
Bar eventually packed and then some. Sardines have nothing on this. 98% of crowd smoking like proverbial chimneys. Yes, a smoking ban does exist here. I know. I asked. To be told, Yes, but this is Greece. Don’t want to repeat my reply as I want to be able to deny it. In any case the group thought my reasoning re the flaunting of laws leading to ‘problems’ hilarious. Extrapolate and I think that about says it all.
Spent a pleasant time, apart from the smoke, and rolled out c.1am after 3 glasses of specially made fresh lemonade. I developed an intolerance towards alcohol some 12 years ago. A pain in the proverbial.
Got up early next day to do some writing - that’s why here I keep reminding myself! Sky overcast. Started to drizzle. Wondered if Latin American dancing was still on. Wondered down to Dapia. Lots of people having coffee, all muffled up in readiness for polar expedition. I had put on a long-sleeved blouse. Dancing on wet marble not a good idea. Re-scheduled for following day at 11 am. Came back and did some re-writing.
Six o'clock went for the second of my Bowen treatments. What a sense of well-being. Would like to continue it but nearest practitioner for me is some 36 miles away. Called in Spetsai Bar for one drink. Bumped into couple of ex-pupils, one of which I still have no memory. Did the usual, Oh, how are you? What you up to now? etc. She was happy. Didn’t stay. Even more crowded/smoke! Got late text from Demi. Bar-b-q tomorrow. Fire at 12. Meet 1. Eat 2/2.30. παρέλαση 3.30.
Made sense to me. Event wasn’t at Demi’s or there wouldn’t have been any need to meet up at Roussos. Charcoal being lit early to be fully burnt for cooking so could eat in time to go to carnival parade.
Met Demi OK. Went to venue, house belonging to people from Athens. Lot of that here. Fire only just been lit. Knock on effect meant didn’t get to see parade. Loads of food. No austerity here Good company/conversation. Started to drizzle c.4 and continued for 15 hours or so. Much needed. I tell everyone this is a gift from the people of Scotland to the people of Greece. Like to do my bit for international relations.
Till next time… Byee