So my long-awaited debut novel is now in the ‘development’ stages…(code for ‘I’m trying to get someone kind/crazy enough to publish it’) and I thought that I would share a little excerpt with you.
Peppered with short stories from my childhood, I would describe the book as a non-fiction (I tell only the truth!), semi-autobiographical (don’t worry it’s not all about me), comedic survival guide based on my life-long Greek experiences. And there are many of them.
Hope you like it.
* * *
In the Beginning
“I saw your mother through the window,” my father begins, “I thought she was Greek, she had such a big nose.”
My mum clouts him over the head and says, “I was looking in the window at the rings and he poked his head out of the door with a cigarette in his mouth and yelled something at me in Greek. When I said I was English he got all excited and invited me into the shop.”
She explains how she had only arrived in Greece three days earlier, to work as a ballet teacher, and had been exploring her new neighbourhood looking for a ring to buy my Grandmother.
At the time, my father was working in an uncle’s jewellery shop and when he spotted this young beautiful woman peering into his window he couldn’t quite believe his luck.
“Was it love at first sight?” I ask dreamily.
“Well my first sight was of the gap between his front teeth and his hairy chest,” my mother answers. “But I did like his accent and his assertiveness. I asked to see one ring and he brought out every tray!”
My father butts in, “She chose the most expensive ring I had and of course I had to give her discount. Then I asked her if she wanted me to show her the sights and she say yes!”
I can’t believe that my mum was taken in so easily by the Greek charm.
“Are you sure you weren’t drugged?” I ask innocently.
My father goes on to explain that he knew my mother was the one. Apparently a few weeks earlier, his aunt had read the future in his coffee cup and told him that she saw the shape of an aeroplane and a heart, which she inferred meant that he would meet a foreigner and fall in love. My father had scoffed at this, having met many tourists in his time, all of whom had been disposable.
“We met in October, then I brought her home for Christmas and she never left,” my father laughs.
“We got married in August, and that was that,” my mum adds, sighing heavily, with regret or contentment I can’t quite tell.
A year and a half later I am born with a full head of hair and a Greek set of lungs. A new life has begun.
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