My SymiWillWelcoming in the New Year 02/01/2008, 21:16

On New Year’s Eve, we all went for a walk around Horio, back up to Agia Triada and down past the Megali Panagia. Barbie was with us, of course. Last meal of the year was a big steaming plate of tomatoey pasta. Very nice too.

At 30 minutes to 2008, we left the house to welcome in the New Year. I made sure I had a pocket stuffed full of Swizzels Matlows lollipops (I brought a big bag from the UK with me. Christos thinks that Parma Violets are one of the most disgusting things he’s ever tasted but he hates strawberries and loves feta so he can be ignored) before I set out.

Barbie was not waiting for us, and two days later, she is still missing. I imagine she is up in Horio.

We sneaked a peak at the celebrations going on in Opera House and then went down to the harbour as Christos said he was certain that, if nothing else, there would be a general honking of horns at the appointed time.

Sitting on one of the benches at a quarter to 2008, Lakis joined us, and stayed with us as the church bells rang and the horns of the Proteus and the water boat Irini sounded in the New Year.

I do hope that I can be cuddling Lakis when I also welcome in 2009…dear old woolly bear!

Shortly afterwards, we are back up at the house. Christos was first through the door which apparently means that he and the house will now have some symbiotic good-luck relationship for the next year…I hope they’ll be very happy together.

We all said “Kali Hronia” to the fat cat that has created a permanent dent in the back of the sofa, and scrambled unseemingly for the stash of prezzies under our pathetically small tree.

Christos had the best…Claudia and I are putting in official complaints to Agios Vassilis that he is a stingey bugger.

The trip switch was duly flipped and the house plunged into darkness before it was flipped again, welcoming in the new light of 2008.
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click for larger version

Given that he and the house are now in love, Christos got to cut the vassilopita. This is an awful-tasting dry cakey-bready thing, yet it has the benefit of having a coin hidden inside it, the winner of which gets even more luck (there’s a lot of luck-wining around this time of year). Christos cut the cake into 8 pieces. The first piece is, tradition dictates, for the house, the second and third pieces for family, the next three for me, Christos and Claudia, the penultimate piece for Jord & Jo, and the last (after very little thought) we dedicated to fat cat.

Tradition dictates that everyone present rips into their chunks of cake in search for the coin, creating an awful bready mess. No need this time, as Claudia soon found the coin stuck in her piece. A nice new 20 euro note (and the luck, of course) was her prize.

After three hours at Kantirimi we all fell into our beds at five in the morning, waking shortly after midday to start cooking the New Year’s feast.

The menu: chipolatas wrapped in bacon, roast chicken breasts, roast potatoes with oregano, a cauliflower & broccoli cheese topped with cheesey breadcrumbs, Paxo stuffing (to which I added a fresh, chopped, fried red onion and some brown breadcrumbs), carrots (thinly sliced and sautéed before boiling in lightly-sugared water with chopped dried apricots), baby sprouts (from Taxas…boiled, then sizzled in a dry pan, and finally fried in butter) and gravy.

Lucy, Agapitos, George and Alex joined us for dinner as the fat cat greedily looked on. They seemed to enjoy it.
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click for larger version

After doing almost all the cooking, I also had the joy of doing all the washing up. With the guests gone and the place tidied up, I finally relaxed with my PSP as I helped Lara Croft fight her way through to the next piece of the Scion of Atlantis.

Claudia made her MySpace page even prettier, and Christos gave the occasional Machiavellian chuckle as he SymiGreeced in the corner.

Oh, and it thundered and rained all day, by the way.


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