Sunday, July 18, 2010
MY ATHENS FAMILY
After my island holiday I'll be going back to Athens for three weeks to spend time with my friends there. These friends are like a family to me as I have known them for many years and we share a great many memories together. The last two years I celebrated my birthay in Athens and this photo below is the one from last year, on the Hill of the Nymphs. There were a couple of other friends there including Patrick, from Germany, Shong, from Vancouver and her friend from Kiev; Anna Britt from Norway and my sister Jean and niece Debra who were traveling with me. My Athens friends are a multicultural group. Some of them I have known since I lived there in the '80's and others I met during the '90's when I was staying six months at a time writing and researching my novel. There are a couple of Classical scholars among this group.
I am looking forward to spending time with my Swedish friend Christine and her daughter Daniela (who I used to babysit when she was just over a year old). When I first return from the islands I'll be staying with Carol at her Villa Olympia until Chris returns from Sweden. Then one week I will spend with my dear Persian princess, Dinaz and her husband Andreas. She's even taken a week of her work (in tourism) to spend time with me. Dinaz and I were close friends of Roberto, my soul brother from Argentina who died several years ago, and also our other English friend Graham who also very sadly died (both of cancer). We really miss these absent family members and like to reminisce about our times with them.
When I lived in Athens during the '80's and part time during the '90's I had a large circle of ex-pat and Greek friends and I've kept in touch with several of them. The Greek friends never forget me and when I show up this summer I know I'll be greeted with the usual warmth and enthusiasm.
One of my friends is Zoe, who is an American woman married to a Greek. She has lived in Greece since the '80's and has struggled to make a good life with her two children but life can be difficult in Greece and she's been there so long now. We always enjoy getting together when I'm in Athens and have long talks about life and writing etc.
Greece is very much part of my life and what makes it so are these dear friends who I know I will always be connected to just like I am connected to friends here in Vancouver. That's why I must always go back as they are my family and I miss them a lot.
So I'm looking forward to this trip and spending as much time as I can with them.