Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ouvarlakia ala Johnny

How are the Sundays in England? The question came up on the screen as I was checking the comments on my blog. Rits was asking it! (typical journalist question). I looked at me, the crumbs from the croissant were all over my pyjama as well as on the top of my precious laptop, my get-away to the Greek world! Next to me, Johnny has buried himself in the Sunday Times; the only thing I could see was the steam from his hot English Breakfast tea. In the next room the little Albions were watching cbeebies. The above could be a scene from the inside world in England on Sundays mornings. A glance out the window and here we are! a formidable English scene from the outside world. Joggers in groups were running (the source of my guiltiness if somebody takes account the 500 calories which each croissant contains and me sitting and eating them !), people were strolling with their dogs and two beautiful shiny horses with their equestrians who were impeccably dressed in black trousers, boots , hats and green jackets, were galloping down the street. My front road is very popular for the above activities because it leads to the river and the canal. If you exclude the joggers, the scene is not far away from those in Jane Austen’s books. Johnny’s voice brought me back to the reality and the weirdness situation in my house. “Are you going to cook ouvarlakia today? The Greek translation of the ‘ouvarlakia’ is Yiouvarlakia. The sound “y” has lost its way and apparently it had never arrived to Johnny’s ears! Johnny loves Greek food. As I say to him “thanks to me and my Greek food, the flow of your genes has been changed to the healthier one” So here we are, the recipe for the ‘ouvarlakia ala Johnny’ (Greek meatball’s soup)
Half kilo beef mince,
One cup of rice
One onion, one two carrots grated, parsley cut finely, one spoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mix all together and cover the meatballs with boiled water in a saucepan. Boil for half hour. Meanwhile mix a ball of the liquid from Yiouvarlakia with one lemon and one egg previously whisked and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the liquid back the saucepan with the Yiouvarlakia. Leave them to rest! Bon Appetite!
The 1st tip which makes them sweeter and healthier is the carrot! And the
2nd tip to make smoother the sauce is to poor slowly the hot liquid to the whisked egg and lemon.
The carrot innovation was as a result of my laziness. My initial thought was to mix vegetables with meat so I will save myself from preparing a salad! Pheeww !

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Two thrillers in one

“No Country for Old Men” the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novella by the Coen brothers, was the film we saw last night. Cormac, Coen and I are a difficult combination. Cormac has hardly female characters in his books because, as he says, he doesn’t understand women! On the other hand, bad guys and violence is a common plot for Coens' films. For me, movie without man loves woman and generally without romance and flirt between the two sexes bores me. So my secret plan was siesta in the cinema. I sat comfortable in the seat; I took off my boots, ready to have my own adaptation in my dreams. To my surprise the film was interesting! It was a bold thriller and there was plenty of suspense, so I was holding Johnny’s arm in case of extreme brutality and at the same time I was kicking my legs to relieve my anxiety. At that point the inevitable happened. One of my boots disappeared in the hole between the step and the front seat, as the seats are in different levels. The anxiety at that point transformed to a really personal one. I murmured to Johnny my personal drama and I fall to all fours on the floor to find my belongings. From that position I had a really different view. It was like I was seeing the land from the boat. Everybody eyes were fixed on the screen and hardly anybody noticed that I was crawling on my knees. Even some of them, they raised their feet for me to crawl underneath!! I have to say that I felt a relief for this invisibility but without any joy in finding the boot. The end of the thriller was the same for both sides. The bad guy disappeared limping and I left the cinema hopping in one leg. We arrived safely at home. I think Johnny has got used to this kind of happenings! The only thing he said was “ ayia-ayia ...no adult moment with Penelope”! Cormac and Johnny, I think, have some similarities! My only comfort was a glass of wine...
P.S Go to see it! If you like thrillers! And it is a formidable one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A poem for Alef

By Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,'
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Airports the melting pot of emotions and the power of visual aids

Being in airport arrival halls is like being in a group therapy. People faces are full of agony, excitement, happiness ... There is no inhibition on showing their emotions.. So tears and laughs are everywhere like premenopausal women meetings. The last time I was waiting forJohnny’s arrival from one of those exotic places he likes to travel ,I was sharing my feelings with a man who had decided to write down in a big placard the reason of his excitement and agony. He was holding a big placard with the following message “Kate I love you”. For a quite long time people were arriving but there was no sign of Kate nor Johnny. After a while I caught myself to start to worry not for Johnny’s delay but for Kate’s , in such a degree that when Johnny arrived, I didn’t show the appropriate enthusiasm ... I was still worrying for Kate’s appearance... The power of Visual aids in practice....
P.S. Kate arrived ten minutes later pheww! Johnny had the longest kiss of his life from me as an excuse for waiting to see Kate!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Echo and sound

My past few days were full of parties so I found the opportunity to engage in the sport most I like. I was gliding through social gatherings, listening and constantly accessing my surroundings: How people dress up, how they behave, flirt and talk. This time I concentrated on the sound of the language and once more I noticed that the English language can be exciting, it can be fun and chic. It is for sure a language of offence and the same time of cordiality but it is barely the language of love and passion!!!
P.S. Johnny is taking intensive course in speaking Greek!!!