Category Archives: Homesick

On fish, family and summer

This post began to write itself a few months ago after a visit to the fish counter at my local supermarket. There wasn’t any progress for months until yesterday’s crisp and sunny Monday morning. Walking to work with the latest episode of  This American Life’s, my body found warmth through the sounds, memories and feelings evoked by these stories with the beach as their common denominator. It was time to go back and write on how I feel really about fish…

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http://www.cinefilip.gr/gr_epikairotita_001.htm

This sign was a common and seasonal sight where I grew up. Every summer, our local cinema would put a similar one on the preface of the building and announce that the winter season was over. ‘We’ll meet again in September’ and that’s how we knew it was time to catch up on anything we’d missed during winter in the summer cinema under the stars.

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It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train…

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not one of those Greeks who goes on complaining about English weather all the time. I actually don’t mind not having to bear the heatwaves when you get to work and you’re dripping with sweat and your boss (who is a cheap bastard) doesn’t turn the air-con on because he says it affects the electrical circuit (?! – what he really means is that he doesn’t want to pay the bill).

I do miss the food though. I can be found describing several dishes to my friends and I feel that I can almost taste the tastes in my mouth. Stuffed peppers and tomatoes with bulgur wheat that my mum makes with a huge chunk of nice salty feta. And bread. Bread that comes from the baker where they bake it in the morning from a batch they made there and didn’t just get out of the freezer. Bread that doesn’t crumble into a thousand pieces when you try to cut it with the knife and has a nice thick crust and a good solid centre.

When people usually ask me if I miss home (they tend to ask that especially on a crappy, rainy day), I usually say not that much. And I am honest. There’s many things I don’t miss about home. And I’m pretty content where I am and I don’t mind carrying an umbrella with me because, yes, England IS the only place in the world where you can experience all 4 seasons in one day.

But yesterday night, after a day out with beloved Greek friends who make me laugh even when the skies are grey, I came home shivering and I wrapped myself in my pink blanket. I turned on the TV and My Big Fat Greek Wedding was playing. My face lit up inexplicably.  I had just missed my favourite scene where the groom’s family brings over a bundt cake which causes great confusion to the Greek mothers and grandmothers. (You can watch the scene here.)

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