I'm a transplanted Brit, living in Greece for the past quarter of a century.
Long of limb, broad of beam, open of mind and impatient of nature, I can sometimes wreak havoc without meaning to.
But I MEAN well....
Friday, 20 June 2014
Flashback Friday: Secret Diary of a Transplanted Brit-Chick - and a question
Back in September 2009, I started this blog:
Here's what I wrote in the first entry:
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
Better late than never
Caffeine intake: WAY too much Alcohol intake: Not enough Days since stopped smoking: 1,168 (v.good) Ciggies smoked: 0 (v.v. good) Ciggies craved: 93 (not so good) Stray hairs plucked: 4 Kilometres walked: 7 Chocolates eaten: 0 (am v. virtuous) Weight: Don’t even go there – km walked & chocs not scoffed having no effect
I know it’s not really the ‘done thing’ to start a diary in September, but I only came across you this week when I ventured into the Black Pit (a.k.a. the spare room, where all manner of junk goes to die – or breed, not sure which) to unearth an exercise book that No.1 (& Only) Son needed for school.
There you were, winking at me innocently from atop of a pile of free never-to-be-watched DVDs, silently accusing me of my good intentions back in January.
Oh well, better late than never.
S'pose I’d better introduce myself first (it’s only polite after all). I was born in the south of England at the end of 1964, which means I am part of Generation X (sounds much more interesting than “Hello, I’m from Surrey”). In 1989, after my first (and very stupid) marriage that went pear-shaped and a series of disastrous attempts at relationships, I threw a wobbly about men, Britain, my brilliant career (ha!), etc. and packed it all in to come to Greece for six months.Or so I thought. Then I met Nikos. 20 years later, we’re married with a millstone-like mortgage and a 12-year-old son to show for it.
Thanks to that millstone, and the habit of a lifetime, I’m a working mum. Since hitting the big 4-0, all illusions of immortality have melted away, so I try to eat right, exercise every day and keep off the demon fags. Oh, AND look drop-dead gorgeous at all times and keep my man happy in every room of the house (remember what Jerry Hall had to say about the bedroom, the kitchen, etc?).
Yeah, right… That’s the Cosmo-inspired dream. Reality bites.
Aaaannnnyway… Today. Ignore 7am alarm, crawl out of bed at 7.15, kick No.1 Son out of bed & have argument about breakfast/schoolwear/homework, reject last night’s outfit choice, empty wardrobe in search of perfect emsemble, revert to last night’s choice, slap gloop on face. No.1 ignores my pleas for kiss before leaving, Other Half snores through my parting hug and I stumble out door and head for bus stop. Feel invisible (quite an achievement when you’re 5 ft 10 and unmentionable dress size).
Athens public transport for hour’s trip to office. Sit-down on bus (good, chance to read & look intelligent), stand all the way on train (bad, blisters already bubbling in new shoes). Try to adopt confident, casual and sashaying walk from station to office. Stumble over unseen pothole, lose all credibility, try to slink unnoticed to desk.
Eight hours tapping away, trying to look industrial, bashing out words for other people. Then home-time. Rewind morning commute.
Decide to be virtuous and walk last 20 mins from station to house. Regret decision 5 mins later as new-shoes blisters re-awaken.
Home to OH & No.1. They ignore me. Teenage pursuits and YET MORE shouty Greek party political blah on telly (elections in coupla weeks - hooray!) far more interesting than me. Make tea, ignore messy kitchen, and dive into cyberspace in a sulk.
Tired, time for bed. Bored. Restless. Can’t sleep. Remember washing not done, unironed clothes, bills not paid, zits not squeezed. Get up and shave legs. Hunt for Band Aid to stem gushing flow of blood from nicked ankle. Compromise with toilet paper. Fall back into bed.
(Note to self: Must make future diary entries more interesting – anyone who finds diary will think am most boring middle-aged wimp ever.)
It all came to a fairly abrupt halt when I turned 45 three months later, with this:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2009
Status: Officially older, not necessarily wiser Mood: Overwhelmed
Well, it's official. I can no longer say I'm in my early 40s. Or even live up to the claim of 44 and 3/4 my blog title claims.
Doesn't help that the nice girl in the pharmacy I ask for a good face cream hands me one for "mature skin" (would it hurt them to call it "wiser"?).
Undaunted, am determined to be cheerful, upbeat and positive on my birthday. Chocolate eclairs and macaroons bought to share at office help (yum). [Note to self: Sweets bought to SHARE with well-wishing colleagues]
Open up computer to a flood of well-wishers, including a message from Welsh Fran, loopy childhood friend who declares to world of Facebook that I'm "one of the most lovable, crazy, gorgeous people on the Franplanet". Think (hope) that's a compliment....
Day passes in a blur of good wishes from more people than I have years on the clock, and a flurry of work (they had to pick today to get me busy?), then it's off home on the train-bus-train-metro-bus samba.
Two-and-a-half hours later, walk through front door to find No.1 dodging homework and Sister-in-Law and neices bubbling excitedly round the flat. SIL fails to twig significance of day despite Kiddo saying "Happy Birthday Mum" and me opening cards in post... ....only when I explain combination code on lock of the cherry red suitcase I'm lending her for her first trip to London do her eyes goggle and jaw drops.
Enter OH, armed with a bunch of roses, badly-written but loving card - and a killer migraine. So, a quiet night in then. (He'd better make it up to me at the weekend!)
Treat myself to spicy noodles with sweet chilli and cashews... ...but candles keep falling over into the gloop, so give in and pig out.
Here's to the next 45 years!
(If you're curious about what came between that beginning and end, check them out at http://transplantedbritchick.blogspot.com )
Nearly five years later, I've started feeling a little nostalgic for that Transplanted Brit-Chick. What do you reckon, should I resurrect her?