Boats, Goats and an Octopus

Sarakiniko, Ithaca

Sarakiniko, Ithaca © 2014 Mufidah Kassalias

Last Saturday was my birthday, the first I’ve celebrated in Greece, the country where I would’ve been born had a group of army officers not overthrown George Papandreou’s government in the early hours of 21 April 1967. My mother, three months pregnant at the time, didn’t want to live under martial law and persuaded my father to go with her to Scotland, where I was ultimately born.

Twenty-one years later I finally visited the land of my conception. Outwardly I travelled alone, but was three months pregnant and carrying my own daughter. I stayed for a week with my father in Athens. Too short a time to build a relationship but long enough to know I wanted to return again to Greece, to spend significant time getting to know my other country, the language and its people. However, it was another eighteen years until I was to find myself on Greek soil once more but, as with my first visit, only for a week.

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