Greek Life & debates!

I was only 23 when I went out to Kos on holiday with the girls.  Typical girly holiday.  We fell in love with the place and on our return to the UK quickly realised that we wanted to go back.

I quit my Job as a Business Development Manager and stopped the purchase of a house and jetted back out to Kos 3 weeks later to have some fun!

I remember thinking……..’if I do not do this now I never will’.  So my friend and I jetted off into the sunset.

ImageI worked In a bar as a waitress and I loved it.  Slept and sunbathed most of the day, did a few hours work then partied the night away.  It was a great life.

ImageA year later I was still working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met my Nik.  That song will be our wedding song if we ever get round to getting married that is.

He was younger than me, and no longer had we got together he was whisked off into the Greek Army to do his national Service.  By this time my friend had gone back to the UK but I stayed, I had something to stay for.

His parents were not overly impressed that he was seeing an English girl.  You have to remember that many English abroad give some of us a rather bad reputation, and I understood their initial concerns, but soon put those to rest.

His family are traditional Greeks, big into their religion and beliefs and this was huge culture shock for them to have a foreigner lurking about.  His brothers were great as was his father, the mother is a different story.  I was ‘stealing’ her boy.

When we got engaged his Mother went crazy.  We didn’t do it the Greek traditional way you see, we did it OUR way.  She ranted and raved for a bit and eventually came round.  You have to remember Greeks are known for this ranting and raving thing they do…..having a normal quiet conversation is not do-able… has to be loud with lots of hands and arm shaking!

After a while I was being accepted into this family.  They had met my parents and his mother was pleased to see my father wasn’t covered in tattoos (her words).  

When we announced we were pregnant having been together nearly 6 years, his Mother flipped again.  We were about to approach the whole “you must marry immediately” debate. I knew this would be a good one.  

I will not be bullied into anything, and certainly not by my mother in law.  Nik and I had no intention to rush down the aisle just because we were about to have a baby.  She was very insistent, but we continued to say no.

ImageTimes have changed you must remember.  His parents are from a whole different generation whereas Nik and his generation have had a new world opened up to them and they want to grab it.

His parents have never been off their tiny island all their lives and know no different of the world.  What they do know, generations of their family have done before.  However, what they fail to realise is that it was not me who changed their son, it was time.

We moved to the UK when I was 4 months pregnant after some early complications.

ImageWhen I had the baby, I waited for the next debate of the childs name and baptising/christening.  It is traditional in Greece to name your children after the fathers parents.  This is very true of the Fathers name but not the mothers.  So when I had baby girl we chose a name we both liked and that was EVA.  Yet, his mother still insisted on sending cards etc addressed to my daughter as ELENI, which was her name.  Hmmmm, not happening.  She finally gave up on all this when Nik told her no more.

They came to the UK to visit not long after I had the baby (just what I needed).  They were amazed by the UK and were in complete awe of the place.  The houses, the way we lived etc.  They could not understand why people would leave the UK to live elsewhere.  They were under the impression that so many Brits lived abroad because English life was poor.  Now you have to have lived in Greece to understand this, but unless you are extremely wealthy in Greece you mainly live in poverty as did we.  The houses are damp, no heating (yes winter is cold out there), expensive supermarkets, expensive household bills.  His parents could not understand why you would give up the luxury life to live in Greece for example.

ImageSuddenly, little old me was raking in the brownie points as their son had a fabulous life in the UK with a lovely house, good job etc.

Now, when we had a Son two years later, I went along with the whole ‘after the father’ name.  He is called Christos.  This went down really well and I got lots of Brownie points.

Then the rows about Baptising the kids.  This was a tricky one as Nik too would have like them Baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church but I didn’t agree.  I said if they grow up and turn round at 15 and say thats what they want, they will have my blessing 100%, but I was not going to choose their religion for them.  Nik agreed with me, but his parents certainly didn’t.

However, this is all in the past, as these Greek Grandparents adore our kids and that is all that matters, and they too have come to realise that.  It is not all about traditions, what will the neighbours say etc, it’s about what we have now, which is love and happiness.  They realise that we have a good life, our kids are amazing and we’re happy and all those rows and debates were actually their battles with change………. not with us personally.




Day 1 BC or NOT BC

Today is the day I have been to the GP about a lump I have found near my breast in my armpit.

I will be documenting my story as I go along.  I feel I need somewhere to write about this and my blog is the ideal place.

I noticed this lump about a week ago.  Its very deep down in the armpit and I struggle to find it, but when I do it scares be to death!  I plucked up the courage to pop along and see my GP today…….it’s best to get these things checked.

After a good old grope, which was at times rather painful I must admit she found the lump and also said the tissue in the breast felt a little different to the other one…..something I hadn’t noticed so that may be nothing. She advised she make me an appointment at the breast clinic.

Ok so by now the real panic is starting to kick in.  I had sort have hoped she would say “ahhh thats nothing, off you go now”……I hadn’t really prepared myself for further investigation.

My appointment is on the 7th May and I counting the days already.  Apparently I will undergo a mammogram and an ultrasound.  If they suspect anything from those tests they will biopsy there and then too!  These tests won’t confirm any stage of cancer, but will confirm if its there.   Whoooaaa a lot of stuff all at once and really bloody scary.  Saying that, I’d prefer it that way than having to wait for days after.

So…..what am I feeling?  In all honesty my only real worry at this moment in time is my kids.  You do start fearing the worse.  I am a big believer in “what will be, will be” so I am not actually scared for me but I TERRIFIED for my children.  At only 6 and 4 its heartbreaking.

You’ll be thinking “she doesn’t even know if she has breast cancer (BC) yet and shes waffling on like this”.  Trust me faced with something like this is a huge eye opener and has knocked the wind out of me.

When I was 18 I had my first smear test and it turned out I had cervical cancer cells.  I had a diathermy loop excision on my cervix to remove the cells and have been clear ever since with yearly checks.  I remember the Doctor telling me all this and looking back I was so relaxed with the whole ordeal, I didn’t worry at all about any of it.  Thats the difference being 18 and free.  Being 37 with two young children is a whole different ball game, it makes the whole thought of “what if?” soul destroying.

Greek man is concerned too.  He has sat a lot of the day staring out the window.  He is worried, I can tell.  People often think of the patient but people need to think of those around the patient too.

NOTHING will be mentioned to my babies……I want them to stay selfish in their own little world.

I plan on using this blog as a bit of a diary of my feelings etc. along with all the usual drivel I blog about!

So there you go… 1 of BC OR NOT BC.  (yes you say that in a Shakespeare voice)

Things I did but my Kids will not do.

Playing out 

When I was a kid it was normal to play with all the kids in the street all day and all night, well at least until it got dark.  We would rush in from school, dump the bags,   get changed and meet ‘out the front’.  We’d play rounders, Akky 1,2,3, curbies, race around on bikes (helmet free) and sometimes with no hands, rollerskating down huge hills and of course the odd naughty game of knock n run!

I loved my bike, I had a Raleigh Racer, blue with white flashes on it.  My brother had a skateboard which he drove the neighbours’ mad with as he would skate along their front walls bashing all their plants.  Neighbours thought nothing in those days of coming out and shouting at you and you would apologise for fear of them telling your parents.  Respect was still a big thing then, none of this answering back malarkey!

Friends had a farm which was two fields away.  We would wander over these fields and tracks alone and play in the woods.  We would collect frog spawn from the pond, climb trees, build dens and paddle in the stream, all unsupervised.

They had a huge hay barn filled high with hay bales, we’d climb to the top and make slides all the way to bottom.  Had I have known it was full of rats it probably wouldn’t have bothered me then, but today I would FREAK OUT!

I remember lobbing huge sticks up at the conker trees and watching all the conkers fall, along with many branches which you had to dodge…..quickly.  Are you even allowed to do this anymore?  I don’t know?

We also used to walk to local park, in which we would have to cut through a dodgy looking alley, a graveyard and cross a main road to get to.  Beacon Park was a great park back then, it felt safe.  Friends and I would spend many summer holidays in that park.  My mam would wave us off and tell us to be home by tea time and nothing more was said.

I was never really the type of child who was into going to play in other kids houses,  I was always wanting to be outdoors. Amazing times and happy memories….would I let my kids out alone to cross two fields into the unknown?  Would I let them cut down alleyways and cross main roads to a park……?   I doubt it very much, which saddens me.

Today is a different world.  Who is lurking in woods?  What if a car stops on the main road?  What if they fell in that pond or fell out of that tree?

How times have changed.




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Little people & their friends

Well my 6 year old daughter and my 4 year old son each had a friend around today to play.  In honesty I was dreading it.  The kids have never had friends around before, it’s not my thing.  I don’t really remember doing it myself much as a child.  I feel anxious having my house raided by outsiders.  My home is our little world, complete with dry toast under the sofa and unflushed toilets (the kids do this by way not us).  The thought of people who are not family coming around fills me with fear.  I know it shouldn’t, but it does.  I always think they will look at the dust on the skirting boards or the little handprints on the window and think “what does this woman do all day?”.  Wow I do sound crazy, I swear I am not.  I’m just a homey type of person.  However today I took the plunge today and around they came with their mams. Lots of noise, lots of thudding from upstairs, a pizza eating competition followed by bouncing on the trampoline.  Had a good old gossip with the girls too which is always good! So after all that, all was ok…..the only thing is the kids want this to happen again!!!! ARRRRGGHHHH PASS ME THE DUSTER!Image

Cheesecake, potatoes & broccoli

This ‘blog’ lark is all new to me, but was advised by a friend to give it a go.  It feels a little like a first day at school sort of thing.  I don’t know what I am doing, cannot navigate my way around and feel a bit lost and homesick.

However…..welcome to me!  I am a mam of two wonderful children…..well I would say that, they are my children, however at times they do my head in, just being honest.  You will get a lot of honesty from me on here.  Not scared of hiding my true feelings and thoughts…..otherwise whats the point  in pretending to be something I am not?

My kids are six and four.  They really are good kids.  They have their moments like most.  Yet everyday, there always IS one of those moments.  As I type my four year old son is whinging and crying on about a crappy robot we got in Poundland this morning that is already broken.  I have had to switch off from his constant drone.  It can be soul destroying at times.  Oh hang on….he has thrown it in the toybox in a rage and has moved on to something else…..ah the peace!

My six year old daughter is quite happily playing restaurants with her dolls.  One of the poor dolls is having chessecake with roast potatoes and broccoli from what I can hear.  Lucky dolls eh?  She is a real girly girl, all glitter and pink, yet she sometimes has the back chat and attitude of a 13 year old!  Someone tell me why were work so hard raising nice polite friendly kids for the first three to fours years of their lives for it all to be ruined once they go to school and start mixing with other snotty nosed brats????  I am on top of this though…..I think!

I am being beckoned by my kids to join in the restaurant fun…..mmmmm cheesecake, potatoes and broccoli!

Well a very brief insight into me.  Lots more to come!