Quiz Question: Switzerland is famous for: (A) watches and clocks (B) banks (C) chocolate Answer: All of the above, but who cares about anything but (C)? We flew back to England via SwissAir, and it was quite possibly the best flight we've ever had. The seats were comfortable and relatively roomy. The on-board entertainment, with which we ordinarily don't bother, was excellent; it was a series of short clips, wordless, showing absolutely hilarious and harmless practical jokes. For example, Demetrios' favorite was the one in a clothing store. There were three empty seats outside the women's fitting room, and as soon as a woman would enter, three men would come and take those seats. When the woman would come out to inspect the outfit in the mirror, each man would hold up a placard scoring the item from 1-10. Of course, the scores were totally inconsistent, making them meaningless. My favorite clip was of a pretty young woman who would stand on a street corner, and as soon as some man would appear, she would wave and beckon to him. As she was quite pretty, and as there was obviously a hug on offer, the man would smile and head toward her as soon as the traffic light turned. But just as he was about to reach her, another man would sprint ahead of him, whom the woman would enthusiastically embrace. Anyway, we laughed until we had tears running down our cheeks. And YES, the flight attendants did hand out Swiss chocolates, both at the beginning and then again at the end of the flight. We are glad to be back in England, where everything is clean and tidy and where the weater is cool and breezy. Our mood has lightened considerably. Demetrios sang in the shower yesterday for the first time since Kostas died, and he went back to working on his book, too. Here at the library in Ormskirk, I've even (apparently!) found a way to access my blog after all.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Posted by Anastasia Theodoridis at 8:05 AM
Saturday, July 21, 2012
"Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order [referring to the 1991 LA Riot]. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond [i.e., an "extraterrestrial" invasion], whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government."- Dr. Henry Kissinger, Bilderberger Conference, Evians, France, 1991
Posted by Anastasia Theodoridis at 10:57 AM
Friday, July 20, 2012
Posted by Anastasia Theodoridis at 10:50 AM
Thursday, July 12, 2012
There was a Trisagion Prayer service at Kostas' grave today, as is customary on the 9th day after death. We lit some of those very thin candles and stuck them in the ground, where they almost immediately bent over double in the direct sunlight. (Temps today still near 100.) We laid the rest flat on the ground, lit. We poured red wine over the grave; anybody know the symbolism of that? I don't, and neither did any of our friends. Blood of Christ? We scattered a bit of koliva (boiled wheat) over the grave, too. At least I know what that means; it symbolizes the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection, for Christ said that unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and "die" it cannot grow into a new wheat plant. Greek graves are different from ours. One reason is that the bones are usually dug up after 3 years, cleaned, and stored in an ossuary. This makes space for another burial, the available land being in short supply. So Greek graves have a headstone, which apparently stays there no matter who is currently occupying the plot; to this is affixed a marble plaque with the name of the reposed person carved into it, along with the dates. At the foot of the grave is something like a narrow marble cabinet. It may contain a glassed-in frame, built in, for displaying a photo of the deceased. It may have another place for an icon, an attached vase, an attached oil lantern, a locked comartment for storing candles, matches, incense, oil. It is also carved with the name, birthdate and death date of the deceased. All these are already in place at Kostas' grave. How can a person be here one day and so completely gone the next? Ths sad, brutal truth that hit me as I looked around at our friends is, we are all going to bury one another, unless we go first. (Demetrios says I shouldn't say that, so I didn't, in company; instead, I write it here.) I miss his sly grin when he was about to tell a joke, and his giggles afterward. He was the only man I ever knew who giggled - except of course for his best friend, Demetrios. He giggles, too. I miss his resounding bass voice, so dramatic when passion crept into his arguments; how I wish I could have heard him in court, arguing a case! We spent the weekend with Mena, his widow, at her country house. The temperatures ranged between 100 - 110, and she had no air conditioning. So it was misrable, made more so by mosquitoes and cigarette smoke, as several our our friends are smokers. She has invited us again for Monday, with promises of swims in the Meditteranean, but I intend to beg off unless she has her new air conditioner installed by then.
Posted by Anastasia Theodoridis at 2:43 PM
Monday, July 9, 2012
We had plans to visit Cambridge last weekend, and a friend from church had also invited us to Dublin for next weekend. All our plans, however, have been thrown into disarray with the untimely death of Demetrios' dearest friend since their boyhood. Our dear Kostas reposed in the Lord on Wednesday morning. Demetrios flew to Greece a few days before, in a frantic effort to save him, and I came Friday. Kostas had had a cardiac arrest a month ago. He was standing outside a pharmacy when his heart stopped, and inside the pharmacy was an emergency room doctor, who promptly resuscitated him, so we thought that rather a miracle and said to ourselves it obviously wasn't Kostas' time yet. But then he was subjected to the malpractice (and I mean that literally) of a Greek hospital, and that sealed his fate. It's hot here; 40 degrees, centigrade, which is 104, Fahrenheit. We are are used to English temps more like 15 - 16 centigrade, which is somewhere in the sixties, Fahrenheit. And that's the HIGH temp! Much colder at night. We've (obviously) been spending all our time with the newly-widowed Mena. Today we are going to catch up on things like unpacking. Returning to England before long, to finish out the "summer" there, such summer as they have there. Hard to believe, the last thing I did before leaving there was turn off the radiators! More another day; I don't feel much like writing today; we are still trying to process the absence of Kostas. So, so strange, that someone should so entirely disappear that in some moments, as Demetrios said, it seems he must never have been here at all. And yet he was... didn't Emily Dickinson write a poem that ends, "And oh, the difference to me!"? Kostas made a huge and wonderful difference.
Posted by Anastasia Theodoridis at 4:27 AM