Greek

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Today’s Lunch – 30th October 2019

Published October 30, 2019 by helentastic67

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

This week’s post is all about the food! Food of the gods maybe, and the reason for food and celebrating is because last week I was 46 and now I’m a whole year older. I’m never super happy around my birthday.  Not complaining about getting older. The other option is not to be here and it’s not an option. It’s just being alone brings up all kinds of issues and loneliness. Family usually get together to eat amazing food somewhere but I’m always left feeling a bit underwhelmed.

Sunday went to Hellenic Republic in Brunswick! (It’s got my name on it!) It’s the restaurant owned by the recently departed master chef judge George Columbaris (he didn’t die btw!) It’s modern Greek food. So good!

 

We start with dips and bread, olives, some salads and two slow cooked meats, including a lamb shoulder apparently for two, but we have so much to choose from we share between five! Not to mention Saganaki and haloumi cheese. Rolled home to have Hummingbird cake. I request it from time to time and my mum makes it. Was so happy I skipped dinner, had a big beck’s mug of water instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my birthday, got to have late lunch with my lovely masseuse Caroline. Went to a cool hipster cafe in Northcote called Tinker. And had this hot cake with Persian fairy-floss on top. Caroline was very impressed with my efforts to finish it. Repeat of last night’s dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And today, back at my favourite cafe in Fitzroy North. I’ve always thought it was in Clifton Hill but all this time I’ve been wrong. Recent weeks has seen me not make it here but today I skipped something to be here. Thought I’d concentrate on my once a year slice of this amazing goodness. I call it the Salted chocolate thing, thing, thing! Because I forget it’s called the ……………Montalbano.

This was after a very healthy lunch of pancetta quiche with side salad and medicine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I’ve got a photo shoot here later! To be continued……..

Cheers H

European Stare

Published September 2, 2019 by helentastic67

European Stare

There is likely a version of this in every country and culture, as is my style I prefer to describe a situation or scenario, so you can best imagine to which that I refer.

I had scheduled a time to call a friend, we are both busy. I often do this as it’s how I make sure things happen and my life works.

While I’m busy with my appointments, my ‘not-working’ and the voluntary stuff and the friend with her family and being a mum.

So, I rang her and after the bold statement that she felt ‘people didn’t call her because they think she’s OK, because she has a husband’.

Um, can you feel my eye rolls?

You all know I don’t have a husband?

The painful conversation continued and she was telling me about a toy they had purchased for their second child, said child was clearly in the background and correcting mum for calling said toy by its wrong name.

Can you feel my disinterest in said conversation?

This story come from about five years ago and I can’t believe how vividly I recall it. There seemed to be more conversation between mother and daughter than mother and Helen, so I cut the call short because it was giving me a migraine.

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The following day I had a conversation with a friend in actual person. Said person comes from a Greek background and is as ‘Aussie’ as I am. She threw me a look of horror and surprise. I couldn’t help it, I smiled because we both know what she was going to say.

She said “Oh no! My daughter come up to me when I’m on the phone and they know not to bother me.” She went on to say the closer her children insisted on her attention the sterner the “look” would get.

My mum, who is not European, is from good Aussie/English/Irish stock, yet not first fleet.

Did not do European stare.

As a youngster, my mum spent a lot of time on the phone. No really, so long, if there is a world record for mum’s spending time on the phone it would have my mum’s name on it.

She did something different after stomping our feet and grumbling, doing the little grumpy dance (You know the one, lie you need to go to the bathroom and are waiting for permission) Didn’t need to, just painting a picture. I was young.

Mum can say to whomever she was speaking to “Can you just hang on a second?” as she put her hand over the mouth piece and said to you. “Can you go peel the potatoes” or maybe “Pick some carrots” or you know “feed the cat.” You knew, it was always something, seemed like busy work to me.

So, you either learned to leave her be and find something close to distract yourself, but you know she could talk. Now I use the European stare on her. It’s good for every time you need to communicate simple things and easy to add tone.

 

Wrong

Published April 12, 2019 by helentastic67

Wrong

There are brief and rare moments going FULL WRONG that makes all thing’s about disability anything but wrong.

I have a habit of weight-baring on my walking stick. I’m not the only one, it just goes to show I do need it, but there are times I use it rather forcefully to the great annoyance of some around me.

One lovely day, going off to our early December family Christmas lunch, which was somewhere nice. We girls can’t always get together on the actual day, so we do a nice lunch out.

It was on a Sunday, because it’s when we are all free.

Are you all aware I go off-grid on the weekend? I don’t go out, I don’t put on a bra or shoes. Yes, I have a shower, however, I don’t do PERSON.

So, going to Hellenic Republic in Kew, George Collobini’s great Greek restaurant. Definitely, a bit expensive, but special so it’s the way to go and it’s got my name on it.

But Sunday, HARD to do PERSON. So, walking stick was riding that thing, have hard and noisy.

Mum growled at me ‘Do you have to be so noisy?’

To which I replied ‘I’m sorry, if only I could live without it!’

I’m sure I also told her to ‘Go ye forth and multiply’, but in other words, yes my favourite ones. Starting with my favourite F word ending in “off” and mum laughed.

So proud of my relationship with my mum at times like this.

Toot

Published January 21, 2019 by helentastic67

toot

Toot

As you may recall the last place, I lived I was in a unit, I was the front unit in a small block of three. What was so good about it was that apart from feeling like I lived in a house, complete with three bedrooms, a real laundry, a small backyard and a linen cupboard. But what was particularly good was I had street frontage.

street frontage 1

I could sit on my couch and see when the landlady came down with her secateurs and dead headed the roses. I could see people walk their dog’s past and stop to smell the roses. Part of the reason why I never picked the roses to bring them inside was because I could watch people appreciate them, from my couch and it also meant I discovered my garden hose cut by something sharp, I could tell it was likely my landlady who was insisted I not use the garden tap, telling me they paid for it.

smell the roses

Ironic, I don’t miss her and her ‘Handsy’ husband. However, the point being, is that when I had the CBF’s (Can’t be Fucked) to leave the house, I would stay in bed, but look out the window and see that I wasn’t alone, even if I didn’t want to go out and be a part of the world.

cbf

I remember a downside was the 50 something, man child who still lived at home, who parked outside my bedroom window. About six metres from my window and across the front lawn. The footpath, then the nature strip. (But still) and he would go out to warm his engine at 6am every friggin morning and he wouldn’t do it once, but several times. Every morning. I wanted to scream at him.

man child

“Dude! Your car is old, but it’s not vintage” now you know said ‘Man-Child’ was Greek. Because they are.

old car parking

But the main cool thing about having a street frontage was that most days there would be a car that drove past and tooted. Now, I didn’t know who was doing the tooting for ages and having lived in Clifton Hill years ago, opposite some low-rise Public Housing (don’t start me). Apparently, the norm is when visiting someone in Public Housing, you pull up in your car out front and toot your horn. None of this getting out, going in and using the doorbell. Don’t be ridiculous.

honking

So, I had presumed (note: Avoidance of the word assume) that some lazy ass was saying hello to the wogs across the street without stopping.

lazy ass

It was a very fair assessment, trust me. So, the tooting horn continued, I have to give it to my carers who seemed to appreciate my frustration.

frustration

Until one day, I mentioned it to Aunty Christine and she growled at me “THAT’S ME”. What? Apparently, Aunty Christine would go past and toot a hello every other day, would have been helpful if I’d known this.

thats me

From then on, when I’d hear it, I’d turn to my carer in residence and point outside to say ‘That’s Aunty Christine’. Sometimes, she would later report a guy across the street looking strangely at her ass she drove past. So, she would just give them a dismissive wave. As if they were meant to know she was doing the 5 quick toot salute to Helen? Priceless.

dismissive wave

The downside is I now live on a very busy corner in an apartment and no more tooting.

no more tooting

Being Italian

Published November 27, 2015 by helentastic67

Being italian

I should also mention, I will use the term “Wog”, from time to time and to those who are unaware.

Wog.

Now, I tried to do a Google search and after an attack of OCD and being distracted by rubbish for 20 minutes, the basic definition of Wog is ‘a foreigner’.

I learned from an early age , it actually meant “Western Oriental Gentleman”, but in Australian culture we really save it for Italians and Greeks that immigrated to Australia back in the late 1940’s and after. The immigrants also came from other European places too, however w!!hen Aussies use that term, we generally mean Italians/Greeks!

I went to a Private Catholic School where even the kids with 2 Italian parents would yell out and call me a wog! And I only have one Italian parent. I don’t consider myself a ‘wog’ per say, but I think I’ve .”

Great Italian food culture and that ‘feed an Army mentality’ and all the other good stuff from my mum. The great CWA –cooking/baking.

CWA being Country Women’s Association of which she does not belong and does not need to. Anyway, occasionally I’m going to drop the ‘Wog-bomb’ and I feel I’m allowed as I’m a little Italian as I like to say…

I speak a few words of Italian and even less Greek, but when I walk into my GP’s office, the 2 Greek ladies start speaking briskly in their native tongue and you can pick up a lot from their hand gestures and tone!

I have often discussed this with my GP who is Greek!

They’re tone says “Oh, that’s a pity, but she’s so pretty! Hopefully she has a husband!”

WTF?!

I usually get asked by the Greek ladies on my tram in guttural/broken English “you Greek?!”

I return in the same tone “no Greek, a little Italian.” I tell them from my father and they often ask from what part of Italy?

After the last 10 years or so living in an area with plenty of ‘wogs’ that can put my finger tips together and tap my forehead and reply “Calabeze!” Given up years ago saying “Calabrias” The hard movement is to symbolize “stubborn!”

The Italian from that area are known to be stubborn. Sounds about right!

Years ago, I worked across town in a Supermarket and a guy asked where the Tzatziki was? I confess I was younger and didn’t know what that was. I tried a cheeky question to ascertain what it was. FYI: If you aren’t sure, it’s a dip! It’s kept in the Supermarket in a fridge.

He looked at me rather disgustedly and asked how I would not know what this ‘thing’ was.

I asked “why?’, this wog motioned to my name badge and said ‘you’re Greek!”

Why do you say that?

“Your name is Helen!”

FUCK OFF! (Obviously not what I said, but I then explained I was not.)

So many times I’ve had to respond to the query “You Greek?” Always asked or as a statement and I always respond with “No! No, Greek!” Greek ladies always look so disappointed. I am surrounded by Greeks these days. The good ones luckily. My GP! My Chiropractor! My taxi driver, young John! So lucky!!!

I have a mobility scooter, which I like to call Hell on Wheels!

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