Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cats really are the most curious creatures. Young Betty after her five days adventure (what could have happened to her in that time?) decided since her return the best place to be was on the lid of the kitchen pedal bin and, except to eat or use the toilet, she never moved from it. It made the removal of rubbish quite a production number. The last couple of days though she has changed it for the rimmed lid of the dogs’ large biscuit barrel. Weird.
Some anonymous joker has been leaving humorous(?) comments on my Blog. Now I wonder who it could be, friend or someone I don’t even know. It’s gratifying to know my Blog excites some comment but it would be even more gratifying if the comments were at least witty. So, commentator, declare yourself or desist and find your amusement elsewhere. Your comments are the equivalent of rather mindless graffiti. You are what is known in Greek as a malaka. Look that up in your Greek /English dictionary.
Thinking of the word commentator reminds me of my father who could never get his tongue around it just as he could never spell eleven. ‘That commenter doesn’t know what he’s talking about,’ he would say, listening to a football match on the radio, and eleven always came out as elven.
Once more the feast of Dormition, the assumption of the Virgin Mary has been and gone. After fourteen days of fasting ending on Friday 13th, Greeks will have flocked to their home towns to celebrate so Saturday was panegyrie time. This year, instead of enjoying the village panegyrie in Litsarda, we were invited to our friends, Stuart and Hillary’s, also in Litsarda, for a barbecue, an enjoyable evening among a dozen friends. From down the road we could hear the band going full tilt and when we left at twenty to one the party was still in full swing with more people arriving and a hundred or more cars parked both sides a not too wide a road.
The various regions of Greece all have their own way of celebrating what in the Orthodox calendar is the most important festival after Easter. On the island of Lesvos at Petra pilgrims climb the 114 steps to the church on their knees some with a heavy icon strapped to their back. Perhaps one of the oddest traditions takes place on the island of Kefalonia where at two churches the so-called holy snakes of the Virgin appear, crawling (do snakes crawl?) over the icons and fearlessly handled by the pilgrims.
This year for the first time in 88 years on August 15th there was a liturgy in the Panagias Soumela monastery at Pontus in Turkey’s Treibezond region. Thousands of Pontian Greeks from all over the world attended. It must have been the most incredible and emotional experience remembering the killings and expulsions of 1922-3. It will now evidently be an annual event.

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