Emily and Phoebe

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Loutraki again

Where Phoebe still has not yet learned how to swim, but has at least mastered the art of peeing in the sea without anybody at all noticing (until of course she proudly announces "Daddy, I peed, I peed!!!" to the entire beach...

Playing in the park

...with my new camera!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I go upstairs to find that the sofabed has been turned into a sort of den by being half unfolded and then topped with a duvet. I cannot see inside but there is a note balanced on it in Phoebe's handwriting:




1. ONLY for readiNg
2. and bookmargs
3. quiet"

A reading club! My clever beautiful girls have formed a reading club! We will spend the summer sitting together and reading and I will make sure they never run out of books!

I lift up the duvet cover. Emily and Phoebe are sitting together, books beside them, playing Nintendo.

Ah well, one step at a time...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bleu telia

Bleu Telia is an space created by artist and teacher Emilia Bantouna, where she runs art classes and workshops for children and adults. We went yesterday for an exhibition of some of the work that her different groups have produced in 2008-2009. Emilia has got some truly amazing stuff out of the kids over the years, but more importantly than that, she has been a constant source of love, encouragement and kindness to the girls. Here is a link to the gallery section of her website. There are other parts to explore as well, but be warned that some of it is in French...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Advantage, Phoebe

The local tennis court is open from eight o'clock each morning and a couple of times I have taken the kids up to play for an hour or so (before it gets too hot). Phoebe finds it a bit difficult (she can barely see over the net) but has developed a new serving technique which involves taking a run-up before throwing the ball in the air and giving it a solid whack. This has turned out to be a very effective way of intimidating her opponents (especially when, as sometimes happens, she lets go of the racquet and it hurtles across the net along with the ball).

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Me: "Would you like some OJ girls?"

Phoebe: "No, I don't like that juice, it's got bits in it."

Emily: "You're very silly, Phoebe, because the bits are where all the goodness is. I'm right, aren't I Daddy?"

Me [spluttering with laughter]: "Yes you are, my love. And you'd know, because you're all about the healthy eating, aren't you?"

Emily [stonily]: "Here I am, trying to eat this, trying to eat that, trying to encourage Phoebe, and all I get is sarcasm. It's a wonder I eat anything at all, you know."

Ouch! Emily has developed an unnerving ability to put me well and truly in my place. (And not before time, some might say...)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The not very wild bunch

Monday, June 08, 2009


Emily and Phoebe need to wear skirts for their end of year dance/celebration/event thingy. (This year, we have been promised, it will only last an hour and a half. Hmmm, I'll believe it when I see it, since these things have a habit of dragging on until close to midnight...)


Nevi casts her vote, and then for the first time in maybe eight years, we go to Loutraki for the day.

Back to Athens in the evening to take the kids to see My Big Fat Greek Cliche My Life in Ruins. Which they liked a lot.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bad fairy (part 2)

It is morning.

I am working on the computer and Emily is standing in the doorway of the study watching me. "Dad, I'm bored," she says. A few minutes pass. Then: "Hey, Dad, I wonder if the tooth fairy remembered to come last night!"

I swivel round and stare at her. "Oh bugger!"

I rush for the door, easing her gently to one side with my elbow. Racing down the hall and into the girls' bedroom, I grope around in my pocket for a coin. I leap up on to the chair next to the bunk-bed and in a single deft move, filch the tooth from under the pillow and replace it with the coin. I turn to see Emily observing me. I unobtrusively jam the hand holding the tooth into my pocket and lift up the pillow with a flourish. "Look, darling! The tooth fairy remembered! Here it is!"

It's lucky I have such presence of mind or she might have suspected something...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bad fairy

It is morning. Emily reaches under her pillow and takes out a tooth. She does not look surprised. "Well, the tooth fairy didn't come, Dad. I guess she was just sitting around drinking beer last night and forgot all about me..."