Emily and Phoebe

Monday, November 30, 2009

The results are in

Well, Emily got the third highest number of votes in the class election and is now Treasurer. I'm not sure what funds she will be in charge of, but I have advised her to let prudence be her watchword and not to let the class return to the bad old days of boom and bust.

In other news, the new class president has appointed a number of his friends to special advisory positions, thus reducing the importance of the secretary and treasurer. I'm sure this will provide Emily with valuable insights into the workings of the democratic process...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As you might expect, voting rights here in the cradle of democracy are acquired at an early age. So it is that Emily's class are all set to elect three children to the posts of President, Secretary and Treasurer. She will be announcing her candidacy tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Poor Emily had a miserable day at the shops last week, trying to find a pair of jeans that would fit her. After failing to squeeze into countless ridiculous designs, she finally managed to find something at M&S. But why was every single pair at Zara (to name the main offender) tailored for the thinnest, weediest legs imaginable? I'd estimate that about 2% of girls of Emily's age could have fitted into them.

Now it's one thing for the fashion industry to decide that "thin is in" this year for adults (who, after all, can just wear last year's slightly less fashionable styles if they can't find anything to fit them this year), but what are growing kids supposed to do when they can't find a single thing in their size in a store like Zara? And what kind of message does it send them? That they can't be fashionable and won't look good unless they're thin enough to fit into this circulation-stopping gear. All I can hope is that Zara sell so few of them that they realise the error of their ways (because at the end of the day it's all about the bottom line, isn't it?).

Actually, I don't reckon what Emily was trying on were even designed for children. They looked more like they were scaled down from a skinny pair of adult jeans. So what's going on here? Do the buyers or designers at Zara truly not have the brain to realise that children are not miniature versions of grown-ups with exactly the same proportions? Or is this a deliberate tactic to foster feelings of inadequacy among pre-teen girls? Whatever. Thank you Zara for producing such fabulously unwearable clothes that my daughter now has a completely unrealistic idea of what she ought to look like.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Phoebe's godmother got her a tin-can robot kit for her birthday...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Phoebe's drumming turns out to be quite thoughtful and considered, which is a relief when what we were expecting was something more like this:

Friday, November 06, 2009

Rock star

According to Phoebe, I have quite a nice singing voice but unfortunately I can't be a rock star because I'm not good looking enough.

Actually, she said that I'm not good looking at all.

So I told her that she can't be a rock star because when she sings she sounds like a honking seal.

We then blew raspberries at one another.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


It is the morning of the parade. Emily is full of excitement and is dressed in her uniform. I am serving her breakfast.

Me: "Do you think it's a very good idea to be wearing your uniform darling? You wouldn't want to spill milk over it, would you?
Emily: "Oh, don't be silly, Dad. I'm not going to spill anything. I'll be very careful."
Me: "I'm sure you will my love, but it would be a shame to get food on it. Why not change out of it until we're ready to go."
Emily: "No, dad, I'm not changing out of my uniform. I'm going to wear it and I'm going to be careful."
Me: "Perhaps if you took off the pullover-
Emily: "Dad!"
Me: "All right, all right, I'll be quiet."

Nevi: "Emily, don't wear your uniform, it'll get dirty."
Emily: "No, it won't! Why does everybody keep telling me not to wear my uniform?"

Still later:
Me: "Emily, stop aiming karate kicks at your sister's head, darling, you're going to-"
Me: "-tear your skirt. Oh. Oh dear."
Emily: "Arrggghhhhh!!!"
Me: "Oh dear, no."
Emily: "What am I going to do? I can't go on the parade with a torn skirt! Waaaaaa!!!"
Me: "No, don't cry darling, we'll fix it."
Emily: "Everyone will see my knickers!"
Me: "Let's have a look. Just slip out of it, could you?"
Emily: "That's it, I'm not going on the parade."
Me: "There we are, it's just along the seam, that won't take long to sew up."
Emily: "We don't have time!"
Me: "How long do we have? Fifteen minutes? Yeah, that's long enough!"
Emily: "And you don't know how to sew!"
Me: "Well, there you may have a point..."

And indeed, it may not have been the most proficient piece of stitching ever, but no one noticed, and it held for the duration of the parade, at least, which is what counts. And the tear really wasn't Emily's fault. The seam turned out not to have been properly stitched - it was just tacked together at three points, so it was going to go at some point if she did anything even remotely energetic. Actually, it could well have opened up during the parade itself, in which case all of Kaisariani would have seen her knickers, so we should count our blessings, I suppose.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ready for the parade

Here's Emily in her school uniform just before the parade.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


As you will recall, Ochi Day is one of the most important days of the year, here, commemorating this country's refusal to allow the Italians to enter Greek territory during World War II.

Part of the commemorative celebrations involve schools parading through the streets and, being a fifth year, Emily was taking part for the first time this year, which meant that we had to buy her a school uniform. A school uniform just for a single parade? Well, yes, I'm afraid so. Although there is no uniform in Greek state schools (and nor, I think, in most private schools), if you want to take part in a parade you have to have one. The parade is not compulsory, of course, but no kid wants to be left out, which means that parents of fifth and sixth formers found themselves comparing notes last week on where to find the right clothes. Unfortunately, wherever we went, although designs and quality varied, prices seemed standard. Fifteen euro each for a white shirt, a sleeveless blue pullover and a grey skirt and five euro for a pair of white tights. Which may not seem much, but add in a pair of black shoes and that's a fair amount to have to stump up for an outfit that will be worn no more than a handful of times (and some items of which, judging by their quality, may not even last until the next parade comes round).

I wonder if the politicians who think that parades like this are a good idea ever ask themselves what kind of additional financial burden they represent for parents? (That was a rhetorical question, by the way...)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Blog resuscitation

In an attempt to breathe some life into this increasingly moribund blog, I've decided to abandon my previous blogging practice (wait for something interesting to happen, write a draft post about it, re-open draft post three weeks later, have no recollection of any of the events described therein, delete post).

One of the problems in blogging about the girls has been that a lot of the time there's not that much to write about: they have lessons, homework and out of school activities every day, which are perhaps not the most fascinating subjects for a post, notwithstanding my sparkling prose. So from now on I'm just going to sit down when I have the time and see what comes into my head. If that turns out to be ramblings that have not a lot to do with E&P, well... apologies in advance. And if I can't think of anything at all to write I'll try and post a few photos.


Let's see how it goes...