Friday, 24 February 2012

Dear So and So: The optimist’s edition

Dear weather,

Thank you for the glorious sunshine and clear blue skies that greeted me this morning. It was a timely reminder of why I fell in love with Greece more than 20 years ago. After a cold, wet winter full of grey clouds and gloomy forecasts on every front, a sparkling new day was just what I needed to reboot my Inner Optimist.

Now, if you can just nudge the mercury up towards the 20 degrees C that is considered spring-like here, we would be ever so grateful. So too would our bank balances, already straining under the weight of extra taxes, less income and heating bills.

All the best,
The daft-looking British bird grinning inanely at the sky from her balcony.

Dear daffodils,

Come on, you little darlings. I can see you poking your first swords of green through the dark soil in my window boxes. I planted your bulbs in good time this year (thanks to advice from my mum and the man at the garden centre), you’ve had a good dowsing of rain over the past few weeks, and the sun is now making its appearance more and more as we head towards March and the official end of the winter.

I’m a simple soul, and it doesn’t take much to make me smile. I can’t wait to see you burst into bloom and nod your yellow trumpets in the spring breeze. That’s why I come out to inspect you and stroke your green shoots ever so gently every day. 

And if there are any of your tulip friends lurking in the ground, give 'em a gentle nudge too, willya?

With promises to talk to you,
The Reluctant Gardener.

Dear People of Greece,

I know things are tough. Really tough. And for once, I’m not rolling my eyes at cries of ‘everyone’s against us’.
things can get better – we just have to believe it, and (importantly) do whatever we can to foster hope and faith in this wonderful country and its brilliant people.

Already, there is a growing groundswell of Greeks and non-Greeks living here, Greeks abroad and people with no connection whatsoever with the country, coming together to send a positive message and to try to kick-start a new ‘can do’ attitude.

The Ginetai workshop - - is one of the places where people who want to imagine a better tomorrow can come together as a community. ‘Ginetai’ is Greek for ‘do-able’ and that is the central tenet of the project – by imagining a dynamic future, Greece can emerge from the current quagmire. There are many other groups joining in the conversation and most of them have something interesting, engaging and optimistic to offer, but 'Ginetai' is a terrific starting point.

By the way, don't forget that there's an army of non-Greeks standing with you. We may not share your Hellenic DNA, but we’ve been bitten by the Greek bug, fallen in love with the country and its people, and want to play a part in a brighter tomorrow. 
We are NOT about to leave, despite inaccurate and alarmist reports in certain sections of the British press of evacuation plans being drawn up to empty Athens of people like me.

Every crisis is an opportunity. Now is the time to place our faith in people like us, not the rabble of 300 rich kids squabbling in Parliament. Now is the time to raise our gaze from the grubby pavement and look up at the glorious Attika sky.

Here’s to the future,
Your friendly neighbourhood Anglida.

Dear Politicians of Greece,

Get your fingers out, for pity's sake. 
OK, we know you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. But believe me, the hard place where most ordinary folk are living is much less hospitable than yours.

Along with the wage and service cuts and tax hikes, how about doing something to encourage growth? You know Greeks are born entrepreneurs, so how about doing something about the multiple hoops they have to jump through and obstacles to be overcome to start a new enterprise?

Whether it’s a local greengrocer having to wait 10 months for a license to sell fresh eggs or the unimaginable administrative acrobatics (reportedly including health checks and demands for stool samples!) just to set up an online business selling Greek olive oil products, the obstacles to enterprise are ridiculous.

Is it any wonder that some have sought to get around them? Or perhaps that’s the whole point? Perhaps you and your kind set things up that way to encourage the passing of suitably-filled envelopes under the table to ‘friendly’ officials?

And whilst I have your attention, why not consider taking a cut in MPs’ salaries and perks? If you cut them by 22% the minimum wage has been slashed by, you’ll all still be much, much better off than the vast majority of the people you claim to ‘serve’.

If you do, they might (and I stress ‘might’) be persuaded to trust you again.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

Annoyed but unbeaten.

Dear British Museum,

Don’t you think now would be a really good time to give back what Lord Elgin ripped from the Acropolis all those years ago? We’ve got just the place for them, and we promise not to damage the marbles with over-vigorous cleaning techniques.

Alternatively, maybe Greece should present you with a back-dated bill for their rental all these years?

Thank you,
Just your average culture vulture.

Dear friends & family,

You are all wonderful and I love you like mad. That is all.

Hugs and kisses,

Dear So and So...


  1. Dear you....what a wonderful optimistic post....sending good thoughts and wishes for you and the Country!

  2. Fabulous post, very upbeat indeed! I approve :D

    Hope the flowers are growing well and if only the MPs and co read your blog, we should all send it their way, it might help them out!