Londoners bask in heat

Nothing more refreshing than walking through the  fountains.Somerset House: major arts and cultural centre in the heart of London,

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain  in Hyde Park : The most inspirational fountain! It was designed by Kathryn Gustafson

Hyde Park Serpentine Lido. It’s hidden spot-a swimming pool within the Serpentine lake-  in Hyde park . And yes I swam there! Lucky me!  So far I’ve survived, no side effects after 24 hours…

Cricket in the local square. The neighbours show their talent

others in the cricket  which I fully enjoyed but I’ve no idea who won.

A bit of chatting with the people of all ages

Others into music. Malcom and  the other two neighbours kindly offered their talent to entertain  us.

If I remember well, Lord Byron said that the English summer starts 31st July and ends 1st August.We shall see, so far it has started a bit earlier and lasts a bit longer.

Even the traffic warden stopped by to watch the only goal the English team scored against the German team 😦

Christmas in Abu Dhabi


And the Christmas season starts on the beach with our swimming suits.

At the British Embassy, the Christmas Carols were accompanied with snow. I had no doubts about the fact  when the British Ambassador said to the children to go outside (to the gardens of the British Embassy) to see the snowfall. If  in the past they were able to rule the world why not these days to create snow in the desert with the help of the petropounds?  It was a nicely organized event where the Ambassador was in full spirit giving commands to his guests to sing  the Christmas Carols

At the Greek Embassy  the personal  initiative worked wonders,  the teacher Ioanna organized the Christmas show with the children who attend the Greek school which is hosted in the premises of the Greek Embassy. It was lovely evening seeing all the bilingual children to recite their poems with  perfect Greek . The hardworking teacher Ioanna is a gem and we are lucky to have her to teach our children.

How to talk to anyone anytime anywhere

minartes1The followings could be  extracts  from a script  with the title ‘How to talk to Anyone Anytime Anywhere’ .

The venue was the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi –  a villa like those we see in the fino’s films during the sixties. I was looking for Nathanail (Greek actress) to peep out from a corner and running into the huge grass garden to meet ‘Alexi'(Greek popular posh name) .

 Instead of this imaginery scene my first encounter was  a Pakistani diplomatic couple. The woman said “You should visit Islamabad, it’s beautiful place, there is lately a bad press but the situation isn’t exactly as you read in the headlines…”

Penelope  “Don’t worry my country is always under those headlines and I sympathise you”. I knew the feeling so well.

Seconds later,    Saddam Hussein was approaching me with the look of a bon viveur. He was wearing a tuxedo, white bow tie and a big cigar. He introduced himself as Iraqui businessman and Penelope as Unani( the Greek in Arabic). As he was walking away, the man next to me murmured in my ears “he is throwing the best parties in town with belly dancers and food! I wasn’t surprise it was a natural attachement to his appearance.

Third Scene  in the round table : A Jordanian businessman was enthusiastic about Penelope’s nationality and he started to talk about his hero Alexander the Great  (I don’t know how the conquerors settle in people’s mind as heroes, perhaps the power, success and his early death). But he had another card in his sleeves, his homeland was Bethleem and he carried on saying “you know this  great guy Jesus, he was born in my town! there is still the cave which is lightened by a big star…….” Μy  religious aunt Eftalia came to my mind, perhaps she would be in shock hearing the references about Jesus.

Fourth Scene: A  couple of Indian people speaking with  perfect English,  sign of educated  and uppercast Indians. The lady said   “India is a vast country,  most Indians do not  have common things  except their name. We are Zoroastries.. “. A that point  I could identify them, they looked  exactly like my Indian friend Sorop who had the same roots and religion. 

The rest  of the evening was a stereotype , the  cause of the reception was a chilrend charity and the hostess was the wife of a prominent man in the local society. She cares for the children as well as for her connections and the couple’s social status. These things go together everywhere around the globe.

As I was walking away  , the minarets lights were on giving a very exotic atmosphere, I had the  feeling that I had refreshed my  primary school knowledges  about religions and history. The lesson was “everything can be used as a talking point when you are in a such diverse social circle”.

Penelope undercover

penelope2

 There are two groups of  people, those who hate any kind of disguising and those who just love it. Penelope belongs to the second one. I do not care what Freud and the rest of Fathers and Mothers of psychology say, but from a very early age I loved to make fun of myself by disguising with masks, clothes  and whatever else could give a touch of absurdity in my appearance. As the time was going by  I became more and more eccentric, up to the point  to carry in my bag a mask , as you see in the picture, which  from time to time I am wearing it in the social outings when I am getting bored, when the  conversation is going downhill or when there isn’t any of the above reasons  but just because I am in the mood to wear it.  I don’t know for how long I’ll carry on with this eccentricity -so far nobody has called the emergency doctor-perhaps when my little albions will stop to be thrilled with their mother’ s disguise and  start to feel embarrased which I think it’s going to be pretty soon. Until then I am going to enjoy and at the same time entertain my little ones  and particularly this time  of the year which is Apokries -the Greek carnival-  and I   feel more at home and ‘legal’    😉

The King, Me and the 103

‘Your Royal Highness……’ I said curtsying and giving my hand

The King murmured something, kept with one hand his jacket (probably is part of the protocol gesture) and  he gave me his other hand. Seconds after the royal handshake, I looked my palm for specks of gold but no joy…

‘Your Excellency……’!!! I said

‘Call me Bruno’ the Ambassador said to me ‘hmm Swedish egalitarianism’ thought and felt more comfortable.  Bruno is the name that suits his appearance.

After I slipped through the gathering of the guests. The majority , Swedish tall, blond.., the perfect Arians, Hitler wasn‘t around.  Two men approached me, they were his royal highness’s escorts. One of them introduced himself as the ‘king’ of all scouts in Geneva! For sure he wasn’t the kind of man of helping old ladies crossing the roads but helping rich and famous splashing their own parties. He asked my ‘whereabouts’. Greek is the first word that comes in my mind to describe myself,  everything else comes afterwards, even the ΒΗΜΑ bestseller list. He asked me about if I know Fix ‘Of course I know Karl’ I said to him coming in mind the big Brewery building in Syggrou, Athens during the BC period. The scout started to be happy with my ‘acquaintances’ so he moved further, mentioning more big Greek rich names. Of course I knew all of them, as well as panagiotTaki (columnist in Spectator whose the only concern is the plutocrat’s miserable life). Soon I was bored with talking heads and I moved to another circle full of Swedish, a young girl started to talk to me with energy and enthusiasm, when eventually she realized I was Greek, she made a pause and she said to me “I know a Greek word’’ I was ready to hear once more the word ‘kalimera’ with a Swedish accent, and she said clearly with Greek accent ‘EKATON TRIA= one hundred three”. Wow this is quite advanced Greek! I said to her.  The girl smiled and said «this was the number of my hotel room in Greece!!!»

The king was still there talking to the guests. “What a hard work to be King these days” I was thinking as I was leaving the party the time I felt I had enough of this kind of social gathering and driving back to my nest and my comfortable bed.