Emily and Phoebe

Friday, August 25, 2006

The bakery

There are no cars here in the village, so by and large it’s safe for the children to play outside unattended. And as Emily is now old enough to roam around by herself, Nevi decided to send her to the bakery to get bread. Here is Emily’s account of her shopping trip:

“I told Evi [a friend who lives here] that I was going to the bakery and she said she was coming with me and we started to go together but then her mother called her and told her she couldn’t go and so I carried on by myself but then I wished that Evi was with me because she knows where the bakery is and I wasn’t sure but I kept on going and then I came to a crossroads and I got confused and then I said to myself: ‘Oh bugger!’

“And then a man saw me looking like this [she mimes looking around quizzically, her index finger pressed against her chin] and he asked me where I was going and I told him and he told me where to go but then I got lost again and then a girl saw me and told me where to go and I got to the bakery and I asked for black and white bread and they told me that wasn’t any kind of bread and so I started to come home and then the baker’s wife called me and said ‘Hey, little girl, your mummy wants semi-white bread and so I got it and I didn’t get lost on the way back and here I am!”

Yay Emily! Mission accomplished!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Expanding our vocabulary

Emily walks into the study. "Wow, Daddy, your desk looks really nice and tidy!" She pauses for half a beat. "Is that an example of irony?"
"Excellent, my love. Well done! Now let me give you an example of a clip round the ear."


I am no longer a Blad Yacht.

I am now a Blanket...

Off to Tinos this afternoon for ten days or so. I'll try to post occasionally from there, but the internet connection is dead slow and there are frequest power cuts (especially during hot weather - and it's above 40 degrees at the moment) so it may not be possible. I'll also take some piccies if I'm able.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cookie monster

"I want a biscuit from Prince Old, King of the Cookies," says Phoebe.

I can only imagine she means something from here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A few weeks ago

we were having lunch in a taverna on Tinos. We were just being brought the first of our dishes when Phoebe addressed the waiter: "My Daddy says that there are places where men can marry men and women can marry women!" She continued: "I want to marry my friend Maria when I grow up."

Pretty sure that same-sex marriage is frowned on in these parts, I began calculating how much time we had before a mob of locals arrived wielding pitchforks and flaming torches...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Our trip to IKEA

was delayed by an hour and a half this morning because Emily decided she'd broken her foot jumping into the paddling pool yesterday. There were tears, there were howls, there was shouting - and that was just me. When I told her we could go shopping for new shoes afterwards, she decided it had magically got better.

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles...

August 15th

...is a major religious festival in Greece, and we spent it at Kiourka, a village just outside Athens, where Lazarus and Eleni have a country house. Their daughter Anna is two years old (and is already now larger than Phoebe), while baby Louisa is just three weeks.

Monday, August 14, 2006


"Daddy, when you go swimming, it looks as if you have no hair on the top of your head."

Thank you Emily. Now tell me something I don't know.

"It doesn't matter though. You can sort of put it like this," (she scoops up my hair at the front into a sort of teetering bouffant quiff arrangement) "and grow it longer at the back."

Good lord, the child wants me to have a mullet. Whatever next? A bubble perm?

Friday, August 11, 2006

And speaking of teeth...

(see previous post), Emily had another one come out the day before yesterday (of its own accord, I hasten to add, without me needing to reach for my toolbox).

Unfortunately, the very very silly and forgetful Tooth Fairy didn't come. Confronted with a crestfallen Emily holding her unreclaimed incisor the next morning*, I explained to her that while fairies are creatures of wonder and magic, they are not known for being awfully bright. I suggested that TF had probably looked under the wrong pillow, or gone next door by mistake. Emily bought the explanation, and TF thankfully got it right last night (despite having consumed the best part of a bottle of wine, which just goes to show what a sobering effect the prospect of the Wrath of Emily has...).

Actually, I've no idea if it was an incisor or not. I just didn't want to repeat the word 'tooth'.

Note to self

Next time Emily complains that one of her teeth hurts, do not offer to knock it out with a hammer.

Unless you have an inexplicable desire to subject yourself to seemingly unending tears, howling, and panic-stricken gibbering.

(When will I ever learn...?)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Words our daddy taught us

It's getting late, and Phoebe is starting to become grumpy: "I don't want to go to bed, and you're a blad yacht."
A blad yacht? Hmmm. What could she mean? It's obviously meant to be insulting, because she is really very annoyed. I decide to find out. "What am I darling?" I tentatively enquire.
"You're a BLAD YACHT!" (Louder and crosser, now, at my failure to understand her.) Why do I do this? I knew this would happen. I should have just agreed with her and coaxed her into her pyjamas. And of course, although this is now the point where I should really leave well enough alone and just agree with her, I can't help myself. I really want to know what this blad yacht thing is. So, on we go.
"A ...?" I leave a space for her to insert the phrase again.
Riiiight. I'm none the wiser here, and Phoebe is becoming puce. It's time to change my approach. "Say it more slowly my love, and then I'll be able to understand you."
She stops shaking her fists, and, only just able to suppress her fury, slowly enunciates: "You. are. a. bloody. idiot! BLAD YACHT!!!"
Ah, yes, of course. Now I see. I decide to concede the point: "You're probably right, my darling." I pause "But it's still time for you to go to bed. Nighty-night!"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oo, oo, oo, I wanna be like you -ou -ou

While I'm carrying Phoebe downstairs she starts stroking my hair. "I like your hair, Daddy. I want to have hair like yours."

I smile at her and kiss her on the nose. "You do have my hair darling."

"And your eyes, I want your eyes, too!"

"You have my eyes darling. We've both got blue eyes, haven't we?"

"I want to be like you, Daddy!"

Her finger describes a line around the outside of my ear, a habitual gesture of hers when I'm holding her. She looks at me and smirks. "I don't want your big ears though."


Monday, August 07, 2006

We're back

from Tinos, where a great time was had by all. The return was slightly complicated by Phoebe's sudden need to pee about three minutes before we were due to board the ferry and then to poo about 17 seconds before we had to disembark, but apart from that everything went fine.

More posts over the next few days...