Friday, October 12, 2012

Hmm - am still employed. Though in common with many here in Greece am about to have a pretty substantial pay cut - 20%. This comes with the possibility of extra teaching hours, however, to make up for the shortfall. In fact, the whole situation may even end up working in my favour - no translation (I hate translating) and only teaching hours. The situation is to be reviewed in December and I think the translating could be put on hold as a full time job unless things buck up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Have been summoned to my office today to discuss the "oikoniomika dedomena gia to etos". Ominous. Instead of leaving my employer like I've been threatening to do for the last 15 years, could she be about to leave me? Poetic justice, perhaps. If so, what do I do? Frightening. And somehow, strangely, a bit exciting. Then again, it may be nothing. Or a pay cut. Or - well. Who knows. No point guessing. If the worst comes to the worse I can survive a few months unemployed. May even enjoy the break and it will certainly push me to do something new instead of remaining in this rut.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Joined twitter recently to find out what it's all about. After nearly a week as a member I'm still not sure I know what it's about. Anybody out there ever used it?  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just a quick blog - request for help. Any Black Country bloggers got a decent recipe for groaty pudding? And does anybody have any idea what groats are in Greek??

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to my childhood - place I went to every year until I was seventeen - and still my favourite beach in the world

Thursday, June 21, 2007

what's in a name?

For some obscure reason, the mobile telephone company I use has decided to change its name. It used to call itself "Tim", itself a fairly saft name for a company, but probably 
better than calling itself Keith or Malcolm.  
It has now decided to call itself "Wind", which means that 
thousands of  
users, when asked which company they use, , will be forced to reply 
"I have Wind."  

This unfortunate marketing ploy reminded me of a similar doomed choice of name by
an Athenian slimming company a few years ago. The company's main aim is to persuade
to lose a considerable number of pounds, both in the 
avoirdupois and financial sense of the 
by availing themselves of its services. The enterprising company developed a marvellous 
which could analyse your body fat electronically and inform you that you were 
I can derive the same result by lifting my shirt up in front of a mirror and being brutally 
but technology is so much more fun.  The company needed a name for its device. 
Here in Greece, many new products are given an English name. It makes them sound
more trendy, more scientific, and so the company decided the machine would have an English name. Many larger than life 
posters soon appeared around the city featuring a slender woman with a huge smile on her face. And smile she should. Apparently 
she'd just spent half an hour on the "Analiser." I was ready to sign up 
immediately, but
unfortunately the posters mysteriously disappeared one night and the company
reverted to
calculating body mass indices with a tape measure and set of weighing scales.

My sister in law's job involves helping companies outside the UK to import their 
into Britain. She recently received a request for help from an Eastern European
company which manufactures a marvellous toy which offers greater mobility to disabled children. She was 
delighted to help, until she saw the name of the toy. 
The manufacturers had originally decided to use a beautiful German name, Spasswagen, which means "fun car".  In full awareness, however,  
of the fact that
the average Englishman has no ability to pronounce correctly any foreign word 
which is not 
associated with curry, they decided to anglicise the name somewhat. And thus, 
Spaz Wagon was born. Predictably, it was not to be a commercial success.   

Good night each, kalhnyxta kai nos da i chi gyd     


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Something wonderful happens in this big old city every Easter. It empties. Everyone goes to their village to celebrate Easter and a peace decends on the Metropolis that will not exist again until the middle of August. The few of us who remain get an idea of what it must have been like here forty years ago. I'm not being antisocial - I also enjoy the bustle when all five million Athenians - native or adopted - are packed in here like sardines. But it's pleasant to enjoy the contrast every now and again. And I get to enjoy the 
pleasure of planting my bottom on a comfortable chair on my balcony or tending to the plants without hearing boy racer 
zooming by below on his decibel-maximising souped-up moped cum sewing machine every five minutes. 
I also get to enjoy pottering about. It's hard to truly define "pottering about", but basically it's the art of doing something for hours
without actually really doing much that you couldn't have done in five minutes if 
you'd put your mind to it. But who wants to put his mind to anything much in an empty sunny city where the most important decision is whether to deadhead the
red geraniums or the white ones. I plumped for the red ones. The white ones will happily wait until August.
Kalhnyxta se olous, good night each each, a nos da i chi gyd