Saturday, 2 March 2013

Snooker on a Saturday Morning

I'm making my way to the back of the cafe, since I need to go to the loo, and I glance up at the TV screen burning away to my right on the wall in the indoor section of the establishment. Neil Robertson is building a respectable break in some snooker tournament somewhere else on the planet; probably the far East, as all kinds of indecipherable oriental symbols form a line along the top of the screen. I'm struck by the weirdness of such a moment.

We'd just been to a rather sad, yet nevertheless for us profitable, house clearance sale. I say sad, because the rather lovely, homely British lady at whose home the sale was taking place is moving back to the UK, since she rather suddenly very recently and unexpectedly lost her partner and can't afford to stay here any more. At least the cash we placed in her palm will help her as she makes yet another huge change in her life. As for us, we're on our way home with a car-full of useful stuff. We've got some new bakeware, a huge "tapsi" [Greek for baking tray of sorts] which my wife was delighted about as the one she's been using isn't quite big enough, a rather swish toastie-making machine, some earthenware dishes suitable for serving up salads and things, a whole pile of recent paperbacks, some decent booze and more besides. All together a rather satisfying morning's browsing amongst mostly other ex-pat Brits.

So, here we are now in Lardos village, stopping for a frappe on a rather pleasant sunny morning and I've just been to see Kyria Stamatia in the bakery. As usual she regaled me with tales of how her son and daughter-in-law are going to be the death of her. Too much stress for her very weak heart, she tells me. The doctor told her she mustn't get stressed out. "Think I'll move back to Germany" she says, only partly in jest, whilst she hands me a delicious "Psomi" together with a complimentary "koulouri" to go with our coffees...

Photo courtesy: http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/07/snapshots-from-greece-koulouri-greek-cookies-bread-thessaloniki.html

We flop down at a table outside the fairly new cafe called Cafe Megusto, just along from Roula's taverna, and my wife begins a conversation with an elderly lady called Loula at the adjacent table. Papa Savvas (The village priest) walks by and waves. I wave back and call out a greeting, but then realise that he was hailing Kyria Loula, not me. I won't go down that road here, but he's not my favourite person on the planet. Tales you hear, things that happen, you know the drill I'm sure. Anyway, we'd noticed this cafe a few times and up until now never gone in for a coffee. But this morning it just looked like the right place to sit, and it was. The frappes arrive and they're delicious. I take a few slurps from my straw and then get up to go to the loo, and so we're back to my opening comments above. Neil Robertson, at the top of his game. Must feel good. Mind you, the idea of being in a different part of the globe every other week doesn't appeal to me one iota. He's welcome to that side of his life.

It's just odd isn't it, how sometimes a millisecond causes a reverie. Here I am in a Greek village on a Greek island and there in front of my eyes is a snooker table and a young Australian stalking confidently around it, cue in hand, entirely oblivious to some of the places to which his image is beaming live from innumerable TV screens the planet over. Funny old world we now live in with all this technology.

Cafe Megusto is very nice. It's not large, but it's very tastefully decorated and presented and the young thirty-something proprietor, also called Savvas, is quick to attend to his new arrivals to take their order with a pleasant smile and a "kalos orisate!". His two little girls are playing out front with their dolls and a big pink plastic bath (which plays a tinny electronic tune) and we're soon having near-coronaries as they frequently stride out into the road to play with the bright pink motor scooter that's parked a few feet out from the cafe's kerb. Not that this road is hugely busy, but it's nevertheless not a good idea for toddlers of only four or five to be sitting in the middle, pretending to bathe their naked plastic baby doll, whilst humming Greek folk tunes that they learn in school, when a farmer approaches in his pickup loaded with firewood. Eventually mum comes out and drags them back and threatens them to try and ensure that they stay within the confines of the cafe's terrace. Not sure if her threats will have any lasting effect though. Before long one of the children is sitting on the motor scooter's saddle, feet dangling about eighteen inches from the footboard, hands on the handlebars and making "vroom-vroom" noises.

After a very acceptable half-hour or so of conversation with kyria Loula, whom we discover had lived in Toronto for a few decades before retiring back here to her home village (a familiar story in these parts, all over Greece in fact) we leave the appropriate amount of coins on the table and return to the car for the short drive home.

No snooker on our TV when we get home. Mind you, we'll be visiting my mum in the UK in just a few weeks time and the World Championship will then get under way in Sheffield. It'll be all over the British TV for a couple of weeks. Worth going home for I'd say.

8 comments:

  1. That's set me up for the day now John, I can ignore the cold grey day outside and conjure up images of a Saturday morning in Lardos instead! But don't be too sure that the snooker player was oblivious to the varied parts of the world to which the tv pictures were beamed. My great grandma who lived in a 'Tyneside flat' (if you know what that is) had a TV installed for her last few years. She and her spinster daughter would get undressed and washed in their tiny kitchen/scullery (no bathroom for them) and dear great grandma would refuse to do so if the tv was on as she was convinced the people on it could see her.............
    Vicki

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    Replies
    1. Well, you can't be too careful I reckon!!

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  2. I know what a Tyneside flat is! I live 6 miles wesr of Newcastle upon tyne. Its nice to know that you are on the mooch.

    Love
    Annette
    xxxxx

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    Replies
    1. Hi Annette, which one of us is going to explain to him? My family come from the Newsham/Blyth area. Having spent my childhood visiting from Sussex(sorry) and listening with incomprehension to their accents I am afraid I still don't know what mooch means!
      Vicki

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  3. Hello Vicki and John,

    To mooch about means to have a look around somewhere - it is a local saying which is not that well known.

    From
    Annette
    xxx

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  4. You two girls carry on. I'm off for a mooch about on the beach...

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  5. I think Annette will tell you, John, it's not the beach, it's 'the sands'!

    Vicki

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