On last week’s trip to Athens to see my Greek family (travel post to come!), my brother, sister and I started reminiscing about previous holidays to the motherland and beyond. One of our favourite holiday prep pastimes was to create a holiday diary.
Upon returning home I sifted through my box of memories and found all my holiday diaries neatly tied together.
The diaries include My Diary in Corfu when I was 10, 1997, My Dairy in Athens when I was 12, 1999, My Holiday in Menorca aged 13, 2000, My Holiday in Cyprus aged 14, 2001 and My Holiday in Greece aged 16, 2003.
I even found a little book, complete with illustrations that I had made for my brother to take with him on our trip to Cyprus back in 2001, when I was 14.
It is always funny to read things your younger self wrote and in some ways it can also be rather spooky when you find references to things you now know more about.
My early diary entries are neat, tidy and polite, in later years they become a bit messy and the narrative becomes increasingly sarcastic although the main aim of my holiday diaries was always to keep things simple and just to maintain a record of the day to day holiday activities.
Below are some of the more humorous extracts:
My Diary in Corfu (10 years old)
“Today we walked to the supermarket and bought some milk and other food – daddy took ages to decide which watermelon he wanted. We spent the afternoon in the lovely swimming pool and had great fun on our lilo. In the evening I bought a silver ring and so did Christiana. Andreas went on some rides and we got home after midnight. We were really tired.”
This extract was accompanied by a little drawing by my sister, of two girls seated at a table with speech bubbles declaring “We’re really tired”.
My Diary in Athens (12 years old)
“Went to the beach with Yiayia, Aunt Angelica and Cousin Vasili. Wore my new bikini which went completely see-through in the water and I had to get Christiana to come down into the sea with a towel so that I could cover myself. As we were packing away the beach things, the wind suddenly uprooted the umbrella – as mum tried to catch it, the end of the pole smacked her in the eye! (It was actually really funny). She now has a black eye.”
This extract was also accompanied by a tiny drawing of an umbrella annotated with the words “The Fateful Umbrella”.
My Holiday in Menorca (13 years old)
“Really enjoying Menorca it is very clean and has some lovely shops. We managed to find a Greek restaurant on the island today, owned by a man called Andonis who it turns out is related to someone dad knows back in Greece…obviously! (Apparently he has two sons…Yiayia will be pleased and try to match make!). Got my hair caught on an olive branch as we were leaving the restaurant. V embarrassing. Tan is going well.”
My Holiday in Cyprus (14 years old)
“After falling down the stairs at home before we left for Cyprus yesterday morning, I now have a huge graze on my back which is very sore. Plane journey was awful with horrible food. Today we went to the beach and then explored Paphos town. It’s so hot we are all melting and have to keep stopping at every air-conditioned shop to cool down. Had a dip in the pool with Chrisi, tried to show off with our spectacular dives but bikini came loose. Will wear racing costume next time. Too hot to sleep. 2am: still can’t sleep.”
My Holiday in Greece (16 years old)
“Arrived in Athens this morning, first thing Yiayia told me was that a 19 year old boy has moved in down the road. Apparently his parents are very wealthy. I am NOT interested. In the afternoon we visited Uncle Theo’s godfather and godmother and met their 21 year old grandson who had just completed his national service in the army. The godmother told me that I should marry a Greek man and seemed to be hinting at her son. NO WAY. In the evening we visited Alexi and Ilias and the good news is Aunt Effie gave us each 30 euros – WHEY!”
After reading through all these diaries, I noted how funny it was that despite my constant objections to my Yiayia’s matchmaking, I had actually ended up with a Greek man in the end. Clearly I had been slowly brainwashed over the course of many years.
Long may the diaries continue!