Emily and Phoebe

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Agios Fanourios

Here are some photos from our visit to the panegyri at the church of Agios Fanourios. This is a feast day we go to every year, partly because it is only a short-ish walk from the village and partly because the food served there is a delicious raisin cake called a fanouropita.

Incidentally, if you have lost something and you bake a fanouropita, legend has it that Agios Fanourios will help you find it. We have never baked one ourselves, but perhaps we should have, since last year, at this very service, Emily lost her bandana.

(Which might, come to think of it, be Agios Fanourios's way of punishing freeloaders who turn up each year at the end of his church service to stuff themselves on fanouropites that other people have made...)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kyra Xeni

Most days here on Tinos the girls play with their friends in the morning, which is followed by lunch en famille (either at home or out). I then have my all-important nap and finally in the afternoon we go to the beach. In previous years that has pretty much been the extent of our activity and everyone has been quite happy doing that and no more.

This year, the girls and their parea have been having such a great time together that every day they want to go to whichever beach their friends are going to. And if they aren't going to a beach, they want to do whatever the others are doing, be that going to a concert, listening to an opera recital (yes, really, in our very own village!) or walking to Kyra Xeni.

Kyra Xeni (the name means something like "Lady of Guests") is a church in the neighbouring village dedicated to the Virgin Mary and each 14th August (the day before the Feast of the Dormition, almost everyone in the village makes their way there to attend a church service and then eat a watery kind of tomato soup in a huge refectory*.

Because the girls and their friends have been so inseperable this summer, it didn't come as a huge surprise when, on the afternoon of August 14th, they asked if we might go to Kyra Xeni**.

There are two ways of getting there. One involves a ten-minute drive on a newly asphalted road, an option was rejected - not by me, I hasten to add - on the grounds that "You only go by car if you're really old or ill, Dad!". The girls' friends and their families had opted for the truly authentic Kyra Xeni experience, involving an hour-long walk along footpaths, through fields and up a steep hill, which meant of course that we had to do the same.

Well, we did it, and I have to say it wasn't that bad. The soup looked ghastly (I didn't try it, of course)*** and once it got dark we were stumbling around trying to light our way with our mobile phones (we hadn't brought torches - duh), but the service was a great social occasion and on the way back we were taken on a sort of midnight nature trail by one of our party, where we were shown various forms of Tinian flora and flora, including a splendid frog (see below).****

* I'm not sure whether the soup is intended to be enjoyed or whether it is eaten as a kind of penance.
** "Please, please, please can we go? All our friends are going and they go every year and we've never been before so please, please, please, we're begging you, can we go?"
*** Nor did I try it on August 23rd to celebrate the Enniamera, which comes nine days after the Dormition. (This time the soup came garnished with large chunks of roasted goat).
**** My favourite part of the evening, though, was when we about half-way there, and I heard the following whispered conversation between Emily and Phoebe:
P: Emily, what exactly is Kyra Xeni?
E: I'm not sure. I think it's some kind of restaurant.
P: Oh. I thought it was a beach...

Kyra Xeni


Monday, August 16, 2010

Tinos again

After our return from foreign climes we spent a couple of days in Athens (just enough to unpack and repack our bags and take the girls to a therino to watch Sabrina) before making for Tinos.

Here are a few photos that I should have posted last time. The painted stones that E, P and their friends were selling to tourists, E & P at the beach, and last but not least, man with sheep...