Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Stupid Tooth and My Visits to Greece.

Dentist2Once it was rather late to do anything on Monday, I realised I should have gone to the ‘on call’ dentist – oh well, I will phone my dentist this morning and hopefully they can see me soon. Would you believe I filed down the worst of the sharp point with an emery board!!! It worked though. Trouble is my tongue is sore from being scraped by the rough area. Its incredible how much one moves the tongue during the course of a day. Swallowing is the most painful and one swallows all the time. We had some pork chops for supper and I had one hell of a job eating mine. I cut tiny pieces off in order to deal with them but my tongue was still hurting like hell.

A guest post by Bex at A to Z posted some Common Misconceptions about Greece and I was interested to see what she wrote. However, my experience regarding the business of throwing plates wasn’t confined to one particular dance; we were on the island of Lefkas in the Ionian Sea – many years ago – and my family and I were dancing with a bunch of BouzoukiGreek friends; plates were being thrown all over the place. I had flip flops or thongs on and kept losing them and was worried I would cut my feet on the china. My particular friend kept calling them to sweep up the broken crockery, which they did. Luckily I never did any damage to my feet, but lost a gold earring instead!!! It was great fun. I love the Greek people they work hard and play hard. What absolutely fascinated me, one could be quietly sipping an ouzo in a taverna (at any of the towns or villages we visited) and suddenly someone, just an Komboloi 001ordinary patron, would start singing, then everyone would join in either singing or getting up to dance. Someone always seemed to have a bouzouki.  In those days, it was usually a group of men who would get up and dance, don’t know if its changed. They did allow us visitors to join them though. This applied wherever we were and I travelled from Athens to Kerkira (Corfu) my parents having been sailing the Aegean prior to me acropolisflying out to join them in Athens. I never did spend any real time in Athens although I visited the Acropolis – still wearing flip flops, not recommended, there was lots of broken stone to climb around. Greece is one of the places I would like to visit again. I went there twice, spending about 6 weeks in total, and barely skimmed the available things to see and do. One of my favourite places was Delphi which was a delightful spot, apart from its historical significance. I still have the komboloi (worry beads) I bought there. If you watch this video you will see why we non Greeks call them worry beads.

My mother found a giant komboloi whilst they were in the Aegean, I saw one – in Delphi I think – and wanted to get it. I was told to bargain, so I did, I was then told to walk away, which I did, so much for that, I never did get my giant komboloi. I wonder what happened to the one my mother bought?

One thing that really interested me was the acoustics of the ancient Greek Delphi Theatretheatres. You can stand in the centre of a theatre and speak in a normal voice and be heard at the top of the auditorium. I see in the article mentioned above there is a picture of the theatre at Epidaurus which is in use today. The one I vDelphi Theatreisited was at Delphi and certainly wasn’t in use then, but we tested the sound and it really worked. There was a museum there, may still be, with one particular statue, The Charioteer, which had the most incredible eyes, they followed you all round the room. It is postulated that he was part of a group driving the chariot of Apollo. Sadly, so many artifacts in Greece have been lost, broken or buried due to earthquakes, some, like the charioteer, have been found but how many have been hidden from view? This is one of my pictures, but as you can see, it is no longer very clear, it was, after all, taken some 43 years ago. On that particular trip we sailed (on my family’s yacht) from Piraeus which is really the port for Athens, through the Corinth Canal which was begun by the Romans, (there is a carving to commemorate that fact right on the canal wall) along the Gulf of Corinth into the Ionian sea stopping at various towns and villages on the way. One place, and I don’t remember the name, they actually had some Roman ruins, a beautiful mosaic floor onto which they threw a bucket of water so you could appreciate the colours. They were beautiful, but I still prefer the home grown ruins. The ancient Greeks always sited their important buildings somewhere so that one can enjoy the most beautiful scenery from them. Just look at the background of my Delphi Theatre picture. The great thing about being in your own yacht, you can stop where you want and visit for as long as you wish. Its also easy to “chat up the locals” as we used to call it. We made many friends that way.

Bex, who wrote the article mentioned above, is lucky enough to live there, as I said, I would love to go back. I am glad she says things are not as serious as portrayed in the news. But then reporters like to make mountains out of molehills don’t they? Gotta make it interesting.

I thought this sounded pretty refreshing, especially with our current heat wave. I have several Bobby Flay recipes which I use frequently.

Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails

Contributed by Bobby Flay

SERVINGS:Makes 8 drinks

When watermelon is in abundance, this is a great way to use it. Bobby Flay FW0709WBF05purees seedless watermelon chunks, then strains the juice through a sieve and mixes it with silver tequila, sugar syrup, blueberries, mint and fresh lime juice.

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

8 cups diced seedless watermelon (1 pound)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 3/4 cups blueberries

3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, plus 8 sprigs for garnish

1 1/4 cups silver tequila


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a simmer with the sugar and stir over moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute; let the sugar syrup cool.
  2. In a blender, purée the watermelon until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the watermelon juice, pressing gently on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp.
  3. In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with the lime juice, blueberries and mint leaves. Using a wooden spoon, lightly muddle the blueberries and mint. Add the watermelon juice and tequila. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  4. Pour the cocktail into tall ice-filled glasses. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo,

    Glad you liked my post and could relate to it. Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree with regards to the plate throwing. All my Greek friends, without fail, have looked at me like I'm mad when I mention plate throwing - and they are one of the first people on the dance floor.
    Yes, I am very lucky to live here and have also visited (and lived for my first year actually), near Delphi.
    Epidauraus is fantastic and I was lucky enough to see a performance of "Richard III" there last year with Kevin Spacey in the summer. Only 20 Euros a ticket!
    I love this country - the people have taken me into their homes and hearts and I will do all I can to dispell the myths surrounding her - especially the God awful one that the Greeks are lazy.

    Take care, follow my adventures at:

    1. I personally would never subscribe to the idea that the Greeks are lazy. I have never known a people work so hard. I have never actually heard anyone voice that myth. Is it a European conception or universal? Have you been to the Aegean or the Ionian islands?

  2. Wish the acoustics in most US venues were half as good!
    Sorry about your tooth.

    1. Maybe they need to be in the open air.

      Thanks for the sympathy.

  3. Sorry to hear about the tooth. It happened to me once when I was away from home for some weeks. Added whole new dimension of stress.

    I've been watching Joanna Lumley's wanderings through Greece - it's currently on Australian TV - and it has certainly sparked some memories. Interesting how everyone sees things differently. My memories of Delphi at around the same time as you were there were of a dirty little town, overwhelmed with tourist stalls and gimmicks, not to mention a disgusting little man who felt entitled to grab my friend's breasts as we walked down the main street (we were dressed in a very covered up way too) so that by the time we got to the theatre the gloss was well and truly gone and we were happy to leave the next day.

    1. Thanks Helen. What a shame that your experience of Delphi was so bad. I surely never experienced anything like that when I was in Greece and I am assuming Bex hasn't either. Mind you, having lived in North America so long, I might find Greece a lot dirtier than I did when I was there, the first time I went back to the UK I found it quite dirty, but they have been doing heaps of clean up since, even the rivers are blue occasionally.