Filling Time.Waiting In Limbo: Christmas to Easter

Luigi Pirandello Diana E La Tuda 1926
Luigi Pirandello
Diana E La Tuda

"Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go."
Brooks Atkinson

I’m filling time, the time between Christmas and Easter.

 The time of waiting for summer.

 The time of limbo.


"A hush is over everything, Silent as women wait for love; the world is waiting for the spring."
Sara Teasdale

All seasons hold beauty, but, each one of us has our time, and mine is summer:

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

John Ruskin.

I was born for hot weather, on the first of July, the sunny season, not for rainy mornings, dark skies, and chilly afternoons.

 I want to be outside, in my garden, on the beach, sitting at a pavement cafe, anywhere, as long as it's outside, and I don't need to wear socks, nasty things!

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

Carl Jung

Rainy afternoon
Rainy Afternoon

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Yet, in the bleak mid-winter, there is a light, a solstice light, after the twenty first of December, nights become shorter and days last longer, summer is loading!

I see the light
I See The Light

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
Leonard Cohen

How shall I fill my time?

Filling Time
Filling Time

"For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting."
T. S. Elliot

In Greece, this year, Easter falls on the first of May, how enchanting that sounds, but, it’s four months away, not so enchanting.

Four months of listening to the wind rattle the windows and howl down the chimney.

 Loutraki is well known for its blustery days, a veritable windy city, it could take on Chicago any day.

Photo;Wiktor Franco
Photo; Wiktor Franco

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

Four months, to rid myself of this Christmas weight, I don’t think I shall ever make a Christmas cake again, my family hate it, and I eat it alone, morning, noon and night, the cause of all my kilos!

I shall snuggle up in bed, all warm and toasty, a comforting cup of coffee at hand and read.

How to get through winter
How To Get Through Winter

"I've never known any trouble than an hour's reading didn't assuage."
Arthur Schopenhauer

I have plenty to read, my family know me well, and I received ten books from the little darlings, as Christmas gifts.

A good book and a cup of coffee
A Good Book And A Cup Of Coffee

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."
Oscar Wilde

As rain patters on the window panes, and drips on the table outside the door, I shall sit with my sewing box, and return all errant buttons to MGG’S (My Greek God) shirts, the task he has been requesting me to knuckle down to, since the beginning of last summer.

I shall stitch and fix my daughter’s glad rags, the daughter who, while once having an emergency in a hotel, with no mother to help, looked up, “How to thread a needle” on Youtube!

She didn’t manage things with the needle;

 “It was a stupid needle from the hotel’s free sewing kit”

 So I was told.

 She used the free safety pin.

The splish splash of rain
The Splish Splash Of Rain
"I am like a drop of water on a rock. After drip, drip, dripping in the same place, I begin to leave a mark, and I leave my mark in many people's hearts."

Rigoberta Menchu

I shall de-clutter my kitchen cupboards, whilst rejoicing in the spectacular almond tree growing outside the kitchen window.

 The first tree of the year to bloom, reminding me that spring is on the way.

Almond Blossom
Almond Blossom

“Flowers that bloom in the winter may not survive till spring.”
 K. Hari Kumar

There’ll be much more rejoicing, upon finding long lost items, put away in the most unexpected places, by MGG whilst emptying the dishwasher.

Maybe I’ll come across the four of six crystal whisky glasses, which mysteriously disappeared, one night over Christmas.

“Is there something you need to tell me MGG”?

I shall secretly smoke indoors, (Baby it’s cold outside!) not so secretly though, MGG has a good sense of smell, and he knows why I suddenly have a passion for scented candles.

I don't help things here by leaving stinky ashtrays lying around.

By the way, that stuff you can buy to put in ashtrays, to kill the smell, well, it doesn’t work.

Nothing works; I have tried everything, only ripping down curtains, tearing off loose covers, stuffing them in the washing machine and sluicing down every surface with warm soapy water, come spring, does the job.

The art of smoking
The Art Of Smoking

"Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times."

Mark Twain
We may be lucky this January, and experience the balmy, HALCYON DAYS days of glorious sunshine, tricking us into thinking spring has arrived early.

It hasn’t, there’s still February and March on the horizon.

A misty, wet ,day
A Misty, Wet ,Day.

"Sob, heavy world Sob as you spin, Mantled in mist Remote from the happy."
W. H. Auden

I shall wear my Ugg boots with my nightie, much to my family’s disgust, but, if my feet are warm, then everything’s right with the world.

I shall sleep in my best cashmere jumper, well; it was bought for its warmth, wasn’t it?

You may ask “Why my best and not my second best”?

There’s cashmere, and then there’s cheap cashmere, cheap cashmere looks fine, well, at a pinch, but, it bobbles up like nobody’s business, so, best not to roll around in bed whilst wearing it.

Good Cashmere lasts forever and still looks like new, even after being nicked by my daughter, worn to death only to be found bundled up in a plastic bag, with other dirty items of clothing, in the corner of her bedroom, where it had been lingering for a year or more.

A winter's Eve Photo; Elpi Baliaka
A Winter's Eve
Photo; Elpi Baliaka

"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Come February it’s Greek CARNIVAL TIME.

 I never liked this time of the year, especially when my children were small, endless parties, endless costumes to create or buy.

But, once this trying period has passed, it means we’re just that bit closer to spring.


"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."

Oscar Wilde

Only March to endure now, don’t forget to say “White Rabbits” three times on the first of the month.

What is the meaning of this, why white rabbits, why three times?

This is something I must look into.

"Bunnyland" Alena Beljakova. 2009
Alena Beljakova. 2009

Hopefully, this is goodbye to bad weather, most likely cold North Winds will blow, but bringing with them, a hint of spring.

“What light through yonder window breaks?”


Wet and Wild
Wet and Wild

"The sea complains upon a thousand shores."
Alexander Smith

In March, my Sweet Melina, my granddaughter, will turn four, where has the time gone?

April is here, according to T.S Elliot;

 “The cruellest month”

 I assure you T.S, you are wrong!

I take peek through a door, I see a new world, bright and shiny, smell fresh earth, cleansed by cool spring showers, I feel summer approaching.

Peeking into summer
Peeking Into Summer

"Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.!
Christopher Columbus

It’s time to drag out dusty garden furniture, to plant basil and mint, and to dig out summer clothes, which, hopefully will fit, after this “Winter of Discontent”.

 It's time to throw open the widows and let the world flood in.

Edouard Boubat. Paris. 1968
Edouard Boubat. Paris. 1968

"All the windows of my heart I open to the day."
John Greenleaf Whittier

 I’ll bake the most scrumptious cake for MGG, who celebrates his birthday on the twenty ninth of this marvellous month.

And, at last, here come the darling buds of May.

Darling buds of May
Darling Buds of May

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date: 
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; 
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st; 
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

William Shakespeare.

 I shall make a May wreath for my darling Melina.

With which, to crown, her pretty head.

La fille de Méliès. by Colette Saint Yves
La fille de Méliès.
 by Colette Saint Yves
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
Margaret Atwood

Melina and I will take carefree walks along the sea front, where tables and chairs are appearing outside cafes.

We will watch fishermen, bringing in their day’s catch, marvel at the sun, glistening on the sea.

Melina will  turn to me and ask;

 “When can we go swimming?”

I will answer her, excitedly;

 “Soon Melina, very soon”

And we shall twirl and dance with joy.

Dancing With Joy
Dancing With Joy

"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy."

Henry Ward Beecher

I shall have survived the winter.


  1. Beautifully written and illustrated. You've expressed my sentiments as well on these long, gray, dreary days of Pacific Northwest winter...biding my time until March when the return ticket will whisk us back to Greece. I'd just posted on FB a series of photos taken by friends of our home to update us and noted that I was ready to return and had been gone only three weeks! Glad you reminded me of that nasty wind there (which we have coming off the mountain) it caused me to think maybe a few more weeks wait won't be so bad after all! Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Jackie, so, you're back in America, I have seen some of your pictures on Facebook; nice!
      I'm just not a winter person, I hate everything about it!
      You should see the weather today, here in Loutraki, windy is not the word, and it's freezing! I just want to crawl back into bed with my book.

  2. Beautiful reflections on the season`s changes. Each one is special in it`s own way. Before living in Greece I was blind, and this extraordinary country has taught me to see and I treasure them all.

    1. Yes Amanda, each season is special, but, I have to say, summer is my season!
      Glorious Greece, we are so lucky to be living here. I don't want to even think about an English Winter!
      We should certainly count our blessings.


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