Half way through March there was a sudden appearance of blossom on trees, flowering of birds 0f paradise plants, grass being mown and a scattering of canna lilies growing on a patch of wasteground. Spring isn’t a gradual process here, instead turning up and pretending that it’s always been there. Look, no buds, buddy. Agapanthus and geraniums that I brought with me from Germany have had very little winter rest but they’re doing their best at keeping up with their Greek cousins.
Sadly there hasn’t been the same flourishing of skill with the Greek language. I’m at the stage where I seem to know a lot of verbs but I can’t actually do anything with them. Previously I’d said that I’d probably be able to order a cup of coffee at the end of 20 lessons but my experience on Kea demonstrated that it may take a little longer. Fortunately I can order wine and beer very successfully. On a more serious note I did find that using my five words of Greek on the islands seemed to be very much appreciated, whereas here in Kifissia I could speak fluent Greek in iambic pentameter whilst farting rainbows in rhythm and I’d be lucky to get whatever.
Although I’ve only been here for four months it feels a lot longer, and I mean that in a good way. It seems at the moment that I have the best of both worlds in that I feel perfectly comfortable and at home here in the northern suburbs but every day is a big adventure of finding somewhere or something new. Whisper it softly, but the strikes seem to have stopped. Now it’s just the general disorganisation that we have to concern ourselves with but we’re getting used to that too.