It's that time of year again! The year-end in Greece is usually the end of July. They don't really stop for Christmas - maybe a couple of days off - but you don't really feel that psychological break as we do in England or the US. August is the time when pretty much every Athenian buggers off for a month, while the tourists come in (not so many this year of course). I could never figure out how industry could just sort of shut down for a whole month (they do it in Italy too), but that's exactly what happens, and everyone is in holiday mode from about the end of June! During August, most Athenians will go 'back to the village' where they usually have a country home. This may sound grand, but it's anything but. The notion of actually coming from Athens is pretty new, maybe by only one generation or so. If you ask most Athenians in their 30's and 40's where they come from, they will usually name the villages or islands where their parents are from. As property is very much kept in the family here, most will still have maintained a property there, which will eventually be passed on to their children and so on and so on. It's where most will spend their holidays and maybe escape to for the odd weekend here and there too.
This year, as George and I have no money whatsoever, we are putting a tent in the back of our 13 year-old Nissan Almeira (The Beast of the Asphalt) and driving round the north of Greece. This will happen next Friday. In the meantime, I am off to Crete to stay with a dear friend for a few days and George has taken off to an island this morning with his mates for a bit of male bonding time. I am no big fan of camping, but I will throw myself into the spirit of things this year. Even though I haven't been working, I desperately need a break from the house and the city. Just to switch off, relax and forget about it all for a while. Everything will spring into action come September, I just hope I will be able to too.
Thanks to all of you who have followed along so far, have a great summer and look forward to catching up again in a few weeks!!