Emily and Phoebe

Monday, November 20, 2006

Christmas is coming...

and Emily is getting in the mood by mangling some carols.

"Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle or de hay,
How-a-far it is to run
In a way-hay open sleigh."

Phoebe however is not in a very Christmassy place at the moment. As she firmly explains to her sister (in Greek):

"Don't be silly, Emily. Firstly, it's not Christmas, and secondly, no one has even put any decorations up yet."

Pretty hard to argue with, I think you'll agree.

Bah, humbug!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

History lesson

According to Phoebe, "Mussolini was good because he grew up to be Il Duce."

It seems that in addition to learning about the student uprising against the junta in 1973 (see earlier post), the local preschoolers are also taught about World War II (for their celebration of Ohi Day).

I'm very impressed by this emphasis on 20th century history at kindergarten level, and look forward to hearing Phoebe's interpretation of the Thoughts of Chairman Mao, her analysis of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and her views on the rise and fall of the League of Nations.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bicycle 3

So, Emily has learned to ride her bike, Phoebe got a bike for her birthday, and we took advantage of the November 17th half-day holiday to go to the park.


“What did you do at school today darling?”

“We sang songs.”

“Oh, how lovely. What kind of songs”

“Antistasiaka tragoudia.”

Protest songs? At pre-school? Well, I suppose it makes a change from the Greek equivalent of “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”.*

* In fact, the songs in question were being learnt to commemorate November 17th 1973, when demonstrations by students against the military dictatorship were brutally crushed by the army.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Extracts from Phoebe's Friday morning screaming frenzy, roughly translated from the original Greek:

"It is NOT Friday!"

"It is SATURDAY!!"

"I am NOT going to school!!!"

"You are all BASTARDS!!!!"

Friday, November 10, 2006


Emily has been playing football in the park, where she was in goal.

"They didn't score once, Dad, it was great, I was jumping around and I stopped the ball with my hands and I stopped the ball with my feet and once I stopped the ball with my face and they didn't score and I'm the best termatofylakas - what do you call it it English? -"


"- the best goalkeeper. Am I a good goalkeeper Dad, am I good?

"Truly my darling, you are the Queen of Goalkeeping."

"Are you good at sport, Dad? Are you the King of Golf?"

Hmmm. What to say? Should I attempt to maintain her youthful delusion that Daddy is best at everything or introduce a note of realism? It's no contest really: the Truth will out.

"Sadly, my love, I am not even the Court Jester of Golf."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We are at a children's bookshop with Lazarus and Eleni, their daughter Anna (2), and new baby Louisa. I offer to hold the baby for a little, which results in

a) the women in the shop coming over all gooey, pointing at me and giggling shyly (which I like to think is because of the adorability of moi rather than that of the baby); and

b) a strange 'hacking' sensation behind my knees. This turns out to be Phoebe punching away at the back of my legs. She stops, finally, when I give Louisa back to Eleni.


Emily asks me to make her a cheese and salmonella sandwich. I briefly wonder if she's making some arch comment about the lack of hygiene in the kitchen, but decide that she probably means mortadella...

Monday, November 06, 2006


Phoebe is wearing her Winnie the Pooh pyjama top. She tugs down on the left sleeve, exposing a bare shoulder, and goes to seek advice from her sister, the mistress of seduction.

"Emily, is this what ladies do when they want to look sexy?"

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday Morning Silliness