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published elsewhere than my blog! 18 June 2012

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Hi all (whoever is still out there):  

I’m so chuffed becathe Globe and Mail 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/was-a-99-cent-itunes-hit-worth-this/article4269725

“You’re Gonna Eat Wood!”: Ruminations on a Greek Wooden Spoon 12 June 2012

Posted by brouhahahaha in food, greek, humour, recipes.
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My mother, like every other woman in the Greek diaspora, kept a wooden cooking spoon – a koutála – handy at all times.

This multi-function kitchen gadget served as the weapon of choice for mamádhes everywhere. So known is this use, in fact, that the Greek for “you’re due a walloping” translates literally as “You’re gonna eat wood!”

To be fair, I don’t think that my mother actually ever used the dreaded spoon on me. She probably just waved it around at a few times when I was four or five years old and said, “Wait until your father (a.k.a. “The Boss) gets home.” After that, a robust shake of the drawer where THE KOUTALA lived was enough to smarten me up.

I do find it curious that the mere threat of THE KOUTALA seemed far more useful a corrective tool than its male counterpart, THE BELT, as threatened or swung with seeming abandon by The Boss. (The Greek diaspora, after all, is hardly a matriarchial society.)

Perhaps this is so because in my little corner of Greece in Canada, food meant chastisement as well as love. This does not always jive with the many heart-warming recollections of immigrant food I have read.

I lack the number of fingers and toes required to count the number of articles about nonnas, bubkes and yiayiáthes, standing at their vast hearthes and showering affection upon anyone in the general vicinity with enough baked goods to feed the whole of Prince Edward Island.
Conversely, I have noticed only cursory literary mentions of food as a tool of discipline. One exception: Christina Crawford’s accounts of life with her movie-star mother, Joan. Admittedly, the food-related traumas from my past were not quite that severe.

One example that keeps ringing in my brain like that song you hear on Muzak and then can’t shake for days: “You little ingrates, during the wartime we were lucky to have a dry crust of bread to suck on and some weeds to eat – so you had better finish that tripe stew and that lamb’s head or else…(stentorian fingering of THE BELT).”

Moreover, food also became fraught in my childhood universe of one because it was a direct symbol of my Otherness within the smaller Anglo community of my upbringing. At least today I can chuckle when I read about all the pleasures of the Mediterranean peasant diet. In past, I had spent far too much time wondering whether those authors skipped home blithely from Brownies, swim practice or slumber parties. I imagined their triumphant arrival home to dinners catered in front of the TV by Chefs Swanson and Boyardee and accompanied by pleasant chat in dulcet tones.

Those kids, the kanadhezákia, did not know how good they had it! While they were lazing in front of the tube eating tater tots and fish sticks, I was trudging home in the dark through the snowdrifts from Greek school (which took place at least 10 evenings per week). The teacher (some guy who they sent to Canada because he was too sadistic to teach school in Greece) had assigned me approximately 10,000 lines in punishment. So, I was shivering more from the anticipated plea-bargaining with The Boss than from the cold.

What wafting harbingers of dinner greeted me? Colonel Sanders? McCain’s pizza? Pogo sticks, even? Nope. Instead, the wet sneaker stench of cabbage and rice slapped me across the face yet again. That smell was enough to bring bitter tears cascading down my frozen cheeks. If instead the plat du jour was lentil soup or stuffed vine leaves, I would sink to my knees in abject terror. What was so wrong with Hamburger Helper, anyway?

At the time, the only Greek foods I found remotely palatable were the Greek-Canadian experiments that my mother (like me, Canadian-born) indulged in when The Boss was working late. One of my favourites: chicken “lemonáto”, cooked in Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup diluted with Realemon and redolent with dried oregano . Another: fried Spam “a la Grecque”, which came with Kraft Dinner made with sweet-salty brown butter and mizithra cheese, all stirred together with THE KOUTALA.

(I have no idea what ended up happening to the many packages of the powdered orange stuff in the KD box. Since it was a sin to throw out anything in my house, perhaps they were donated in aid of hungry kanadhezákia.)

Since those grim and scary days, my interest in Greek food has expanded tremendously. In fact, the only thing food-wise that causes me to weep into my platter of stuffed vine leaves is the memory of the sheer number of delicious lunches I gave away in my zeal to score Wonder bread and peanut butter.

So, whither THE KOUTALA after all these years? It takes pride of place in my very own utensils canister. I liberated it from my mother’s kitchen drawer when I moved to the big city some 20 years ago.

In my idealistic world view, I felt that in this way I could help put an end to the cycle of violence in the Greek diaspora. (Let me stress that in no way was this particular revolutionary act related to a desire to save my student assistance loan money for important things such as … um, textbooks… rather than mundane household items.)

By this point, I had blown THE KOUTALA up in my mind until it was roughly the size of a baseball bat. Imagine my surprise when what I actually found was regular old spoon somewhat smaller than a soup ladle, and worn and stained to boot. I marveled: “So small! So harmless!”
As I do not have children (by choice – with THE KOUTALA in my possession I would fear for their physical and emotional safety), the only things getting whipped into submission in my household are the vats of homemade hummus that I scarf down on a weekly basis. With, of course, Greek-style pita.

*********************************************************

Kristina Brouhaha is a perpetually disgruntled recovering legal professional living and (not) working in Greektown, Toronto, Ontario. In her (considerable) spare time she dreams of the halcyon days of blogging at her erstwhile site http://www.bespokebybrouhaha.wordpress.com, ingests at least 2 food-related publications daily, practices the accordion she bought on a whim a few months back and pursues her long-deferred dream of working as a line cook. While she realizes that Mickey Ds and Harvey’s are pretty much always hiring, she can’t live with the idea that as a fast-food pusher she would be (theoretically, at least) old enough to have grandmothered her boss.

farewell to JJ 28 May 2012

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I am writing to let you know that my partner JJ (John Johnston) died suddenly on Friday 25 May, of a heart attack.  He was 74 years old.
 He is survived by his sister Margaret Thomson and brothers James (Jim) and David Johnston in Scotland, his son John and son-in-law John Cunningham in London, England, his former wife Mary Goss Johnston of Toronto, his two cats Cleo and Patch…
…and me.
John was both a proud Scot and a proud Canadian.  He moved to Toronto from Cumbernauld, Scotland in the early 1990s having retired from the Royal Mail (U.K. post office) after 38 years there.  Once in Toronto, he worked with the Corps of Commissionaire until he retired four years ago.
Everyone who met him will remember his good humour and wit… I remember one landlord representative at the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal when John was working the desk there saying, “How is it that you always get the last word, and that it’s always funny?”
One of JJ’s wishes was that his ashes be scattered in three locations, which reflect his love of both his homeland and his adopted country:
… the ravine between St. Clair and Eglinton off Bathurst in Toronto (next to the Valleyview apartment building where JJ lived for 4 years)…

JJ gave me one of the recipes represented in this photo, and he also liked the “horiatiki salata in a jar”.

… the Atlantic Ocean at Inverness, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia…

Inverness is reputed to have the best sunsets in Canada (by the locals, at least!). JJ, after seeing a few of them, stopped arguing with the locals about where the world’s best sunsets actually were.

… and Loch Lomond in Scotland (just north of where he was born and raised).
There will also be future celebrations of his life held in both Toronto and Scotland – trust him to want not one but two drinking fests in his memory!

One of JJ’s pilgrimages to the only single-malt whisky distillery in Canada, located at Cape Breton, NS.

For those friends who knew JJ and me personally, it was JJ’s wish that flowers not be sent.  If friends chose to make a gesture, he would have appreciated a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society (JJ had lost two wives to cancer.  He would have wanted donations to be made in the memory of Jean Johnston, his first wife and the mother of his son John.)
Another wish that he had was that when people learned of his death, they listen to his favourite song: “Loch Lomond” as sung by Runrig in a live version.  Here is the YouTube link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQ1pNfbe3Q (please note that it is 7:34 minutes long but it is well worth the listen.  While you listen, picture JJ prancing and dancing around the apartment while it was blasting – one of the only noise complaints we ever got from the landlord resulted from his footfalls from jumping up and down during the song, which the downstairs neighbour did not appreciate.)   Please note that that song was also a tribute of his to Jean, the first true love of his life and the mother of John.  I believe that if he hasn’t joined her already, they will soon meet up again.
I would like to leave you with a quote from one of JJ’s favourite songs/poems by Rabbie Burns (web reference is here: http://poetry.about.com/od/poems/l/blburnsfarewellhighlands.htm). Although he was not from the Highlands, he loved this one stanza in particular:
Farewell to the mountains, high-cover’d with snow,
Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
He first quoted this to me when we visited Cape Breton and he showed me this scenery on the Cabot trail:

Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη σου, JJ.  (Aionia i mnymi sou/May your memory be eternal.) And, ready aye ready!!  You were loved, liked and respected by many people and brought a lot of good into many people’s lives, including my own.  You will be missed.
PS.  click here for a comic I made up about JJ a few years back – you should get a kick out of it.  http://sites.google.com/site/bespokebybrouhaha/comics

song list in honour of JJ 28 May 2012

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Musical favourites of JJ’s, in no particular order.
1.  “Hit me with your rhythm stick” (Ian Dury and the Blockheads:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6idHmoe5EM

2.   Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, most particularly the Summer section http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe-MIDDfckw
3. – “(I would walk) 500 miles” (The Proclaimers)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZdR-gyrT5Q
(JJ was known to jump up and down to this song as well, but I guess the complaining neighbour downstairs at the time must have been out or otherwise sedated.)
4.  “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps” as sung by Edmundo Ros
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hYfKuUOosI.
5.  “Flower of Scotland” as sung by the Corries (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vyx1xeZo_tk.  This version is 3:10 long.)
6. “To Pepromeno”/”Destiny”)  as sung by Yiorgos Dalaras.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZdR-gyrT5Q

7.  Edmundo Ros, “The Wedding Samba”.
8.  “Ximeroni ke bradiazei”/”The eyes that I love”, as sung by Yiorgos Dalaras.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Sp8k6ajCw
or by Vassilis Tsitsanis - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpcK2vYqsCY.
(I know I’m getting nerdy here, but JJ actually learned how to sing this Greek song by himself by listening to the Tsitsanis version, once he knew what the words meant. [At the end of this Email, you will find the English translations]).
9. “The Way Old Friends Do” by ABBA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vbo1_hDRtU.  This version is 3:11 long).  JJ sang this very nicely to and by himself in a tenor voice (but see below for the disclaimer).
10. “The Jack@$$ Song” by Harry Belafonte (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OAB3kpb2YM – this version is 2:56 long.
11. Tango to Evora – Loreena McKennitt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mnY-lWpstw. This version is approx 5 minutes long).
12. “Bella Ciao” as sung by Yves Montand (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPUlB5qy7w0).
13. “Jerusalem” as sung by Emerson, Lake and Palmer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVu9qIIkdGs.  This version is 3:22 long).
14. “I’m looking through you” by the Beatles on the Rubber Soul album.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nGVaLkCQAg  . This version is 2:27 long)
15. “The Great Pretender” as sung by Freddie Mercury (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRKn4MYArXU&feature=fvst: . This version is 3:26 long.
Oh, and how might be a good time to clarify that JJ was not really a fan of ABBA.   By which I mean to say he definetely did not know all the lyrics to 50 per cent of the songs on my 4-CD ABBA retrospective when we first moved in together.  He had certainly not memorised all of the lyrics to the Super Trouper album, um, let’s say back in 1981 when it was released.
(And lest you read this last paragraph and believe that I am outing JJ as a closet ABBA fan, I think that he managed to out himself quite well in that regard when he performed a three song set at the karaoke at the Wallace Tavern a couple years back.  The song list, you might well ask?  Chiquitata, I Have a Dream, and Waterloo.  In all fairness, I had signed him up for Chiquitita without him knowing, but the two encores were all his doing.)
Oh… and another song that JJ detested?  “Donald where’s your trousers” – which did not stop him from humming or singing along every time he heard it! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDJflQfNUE8)
All this to say, his musical tastes were rather eclectic.  I thought I would share my ideal JJ songlist with you.  If listening to any of those tunes, perhaps you could spare him a thought!
Warmest regards,
Kristina
PS.  Another song I would have liked to add to the list – JJ really enjoyed the music of the Axes of Evil (an informal musical group here in Toronto), and particularly their cover of “Dead Flowers” by the Stones.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a weblink.
*******************
To pepromeno (Destiny)
Στο πεπρωμένο σου να δίνεις σημασία / Always mind your destiny,
και να προσέχεις πώς βαδίζεις στη ζωή / and be careful with your way of life,
όταν κοιμάσαι άλλος γράφει ιστορία / someone’s writing history while you are asleep,
και κάποιος παίζει τη δική σου τη ζωή / and someone’s gambling with your own life.Όλοι έχουμε γραμμένο που το λένε πεπρωμένο / We all have a future (a karma), which is called “destiny”,
και κανένας δεν μπορεί να τ’ αποφύγει / and nobody can avoid it…
δεν υπάρχει θεωρία ούτε τρένα ούτε πλοία / there’s no theory, neither trains or ships… *
κι ο καθένας το παλεύει όπως ξέρει και μπορεί / and everyone fights for their life the way they know and the way they can.
από παιδί στον ύπνο μου έβλεπα φωτιές / I was dreaming of fires, since I was a kid.Για την αγάπη όσα κι αν δίνεις είναι λίγα / What you give for love is never enough,
και να το ξέρεις πως δεν έχει ανταμοιβή / and know that there is no reward for it,
δώστα και φύγε και μη χάνεις ευκαιρία / just give it and go and, don’t spend your chances,
στο περιθώριο μη βάζεις την ψυχή / don’t put your soul aside.Όλοι έχουμε γραμμένο που το λένε πεπρωμένο / We all have a future (a karma), which is called “destiny”,
και κανένας δεν μπορεί να τ’ αποφύγει / and nobody can avoid it…
δεν υπάρχει θεωρία ούτε τρένα ούτε πλοία / there’s no theory, neither trains or ships… *
κι ο καθένας το παλεύει όπως ξέρει και μπορεί / and everyone fights for their life the way they know and the way they can.
από παιδί στον ύπνο μου έβλεπα φωτιές / I was dreaming of fires, since I was a kid.
Pay attention to your destiny

be careful how you walk in life
while you are sleeping someone’s writing history
and someone else is robbing your soul

For love, no matter how much you give, it’s too little,
and, learn this, there is no reward
give and leave and never miss a chance
don’t set your soul on the margin

We all have something written in our lives,
Called  destiny
and nobody can avoid it
there’s no theory neither trains or ships
and everybody fights the way he knows and can
Since I was a child I have been dreaming fires

happy new year from Cleo and Patch! 13 January 2012

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Hi all:

Happy new year!!! Bonne annee!!! Kali hronia!!! miaow miaow miawo brrrppp… (English, French, grik and cattish, in case you didn’t know).

Yes, yes, we know we are a  bit tardy in wishing you all the best in 2012.  Explanation, not excuse: we are, after all, cats.  We operate on a different schedule from you guys.  In addition, we have been extremely busy napping, checking out wrapping paper, eating, napping again and hitting the hydroponic catnip from Niagara Region that our dear slave Kristina brought us for Christmas.

Having said all that, we thought it was time to emerge and show you some photos of us:

The King and Queen of Broadview (King on the left)

Cleo "Banana" Brouhaha

Patch "Ali Pasha" Brouhaha

Help! It's Cleo here!! That evil woman who lives here is keeping me prisoner in this shoebox!!!"

"Worry not, my fair Cleo! I, Patch Ali Pasha Gaspacho, shall save you from the dreaded wench and her evil shoebox!!!"

"Yeah, whatever, big bad macho Patch cat.... I've managed to escape by myself... as usual."

"Oh... heh heh... oops... sorry hon. I was caught up finishing this photoshoot for the Ecco shoe store chain!!!"

Anyway, time to have another nap…er, sign off.  So, on behalf of me, Patch and the evil lady who does not give us anything like enough treats (3 times a day is hardly adequate for snacks, don’t you all agree?!?!)…

Cleo Brouhaha

Mail chauvinism… hee hee hee 15 July 2011

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For the first time in a (way too long) time, I had a good laugh when reading the Toronto Star today.

(In fact, who should I call at the Star office to complain about nasal damage due to snorting a mouthful of Diet Coke through my nose?? But I digress…).

Why the belly laugh? Today I learned that Canada Post, our erstwhile… er, flagging public mail service, does not accept job applications by… you guessed it… mail!!!

Ah, the irony. In fact, if one makes the egregious error of actually mailing a resume to Canada Post, apparently an HR person calls back and offers support on accessing the online application service.

Which begs one… nay, two questions:

(a) how seriously do you think the telephone supported online application form will be treated; and

(b) how can Canada Post actually expect one of their spokespeople to answer questions on such an issue with a straight face??? (no wonder they went on strike!! But now I’m really digressing.

Thanks to Vanessa Lu, the reporter who brought us the story, and to the intrepid job applicants who brought it to light in the first place. (Here’s the weblink to the story: http://www.thestar.com/business/companies/article/1025158–canada-post-tells-jobseeker-to-stop-mailing-resume). And note to the Star: light stories about bureaucratic stupidities are always welcome on the front page by at least this one subscriber. I have a list of for-profit companies you might like to write about as well…

Cheers,

KB

guard your pet rabbits!!! 14 June 2011

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Hi all:

Warning/Attention/Achtung: there will be no photos in this post.  Nothing cute (or otherwise) ahead to look at except for my prose (which, unfortunately, is not even purple).  

 I return after a long time away to provide a cautionary message – should you own a pet rabbit, take precautions to make sure s/he keeps safe.

Why? … you might ask?  The answer: because when I went to my local large chain grocery store (I won’t identify the shop except to say that the name starts with S and ends with y…) this afternoon, I was shocked and horrified to see that they had two rabbits (fur and skin off and splayed out in a plastic container) for sale… for $23 and $24 respectively.

All this to say that my shock and horror was not at the fact that S***y’s were selling butchered bunnies.  I was, however, astonished at the price.

Rabbit, when I was growing up in the wilds of Kingston, Ontario, was cheap ethnic food (just ask my mother about having to cook and eat “lagos (rabbit) me (with)  skorthalia(walnut garlic sauce) ” – a dish that my father remembered fondly from “the Greece” and that his mother used to cook.  When his mother actually came to stay with us in Kingston and cooked this dish, it wasn’t quite how he remembered it – I think we can all relate to childhood favourites which don’t taste as we remember them once we are adults.

But I digress. When I first moved to Toronto as a student, I did buy rabbit and cook it for myself.  Why?  Because it was cheaper than chicken, and (I was told) healthier.

I had moved away from my rabbit years for some time,.  So, right now I can’t understand why anyone would pay $23-$24 for a bunch of rabbit meat on the bone which weighs less than a whole chicken (which, even at an organic shop, would cost less that $15).

Why am I ranting about this issue?  I’m not sure.  I suspect that I’ve found myself at the end of the “cheap meats are no longer cheap” road, and that I’m frustrated by that.  I mean… flank steak, brisket, pork shoulder… all of the cheap cuts that my mother (and many other people’s mothers and grandmothers) relied on are now more expensive than the “choicer” (and leaner) cuts.

As an example, last week at the same store where I saw the rabbit today, I bought two kilos of pork tenderloin for under $10.  Yet, a rabbit (which was just about 1 kilo) cost $24.

So, does this mean that the wealthier amongst us are eating the cheaper meats, while the poorer are eating the “better” meats? This is really the only conclusion I can draw, especially when I see what some Toronto restaurants are charging for serving organ meats.

More power to those restaurants, I have to say…they have hit a niche market.  And if the consumers are really that stupid… I’m planning to set up a business where I make traditional greek tripe soup (it’s called patsa, but I’ve got to find a better name for it… hey, how about “menudo???”) and sell it for $7-8 per bowl.

I also make a lot of other good soups for which I’d be happy to charge $7-8 per bowl.  Anyone have a name for my business?   I like “Souper Trouper”…  but people who are not ABBA fanatics might not get the reference.

Really, I’m just trying to avoid bad Bugs Bunny jokes.  However, with the appropriate high-end and monied sponsor, I’d be happy to develop a very lovely rabbit soup (without walnut paste, and with lots and lots of carrots).

Wishing you all the best,

Kristina

Toula 13 December 2010

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I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I am not a big fan of Christmas.  This may be in part because I’m scarred by the memory of having a nameday (it’s a grik thing) fall on Christmas Day – which meant I got stiffed for presents and mentions that all the other grik kids got. I guess this is because I happened to be named after (Jesus) Christ.

But, in fact, I was named after my father’s mother, Kristina “Toula” Brou(haha).  So, at this time of year I do always think about her, and thought I would share some memories of her.

(Lest you ask how “Kristina” gets morphed into “Toula”, I don’t really know.  My best explanation – the griks, rather than shortening names as diminutives tend to lengthen them.  As a child I was called “Kristinaki” or “Kristinoula”.  Somehow, the “noula” got morphed into “Toula” at some point.)

My yiayia (grandmother) Toula never actually met her father.  He had emigrated to the United States after her older brother was born, and came back for one visit at which point Toula was conceived.  As far as I know, he did not return to Greece after that, although he sent money and other things and as far as anyone in the village was concerned, he and his wife were still married.  It’s my understanding that Toula had the opportunity to meet her father but chose not to.

Toula’s maternal family were olive growers and produced olive oil.   As a result of this, a marriage was arranged between her and my grandfather, Vasili Brou(haha).  This is their engagement photo:

Despite the fact that their marriage was an arranged one, they truly loved one another – I observed this myself as a child and many others have spoken about this.  Although I do not support arranged marriages on principle, I’m glad that this one worked out for Toula.

The house where Toula lived with her husband and family was actually occupied by the Nazis in 1941 or so as it was a big house – and I suspect the familiar connection to lots of olive oil had something to do with it.  So, for about 3 years, Toula cooked and cleaned for the Germans.  This bothered her a great deal although luckily nothing bad happened to her as a result.

So… in case you’re wondering where I’m going with this… let me fast forward a few decades.

I best got to know my yiayia Toula when she came to stay here in Canada for several months after her husband had died.  My memories from that time period:

- she was what I consider to be a master lacemaker and knitter.  I asked her to teach me how to do some things then.  Her response: “I’m not going to teach you because you are going to become educated and go on to better things.  This kind of thing is for village women and housewives.”  As a result, I got stubborn, and – when she left for Greece again – taught myself how to knit.  I do find it sad that she discounted her craft so… and wish she had lived long enough for me to show her that professional women can also do crafts.

- at the time she was here, Terry Fox was running for cancer and they were documenting his run every night on the evening news.  She would sit in front of the news, not understanding English -  but cry when she saw Terry Fox running “oh the poor boy, I’m praying for you.” And I imagine she was.  When she heard he had died, she was apparently completely devastated.

- she did not know how to use an oven because where she lived at the time, people did not have ovens and took their casseroles down to a local “fourno” or oven to be baked for a small price. This created some issues for my mother when she was recovering from a very bad reaction to wisdom tooth extraction and Toula kept bringing a roast into her bedroom saying “is it done yet???”

- when I was in Greece in 1982, I had a bad accident (I managed to walk through a patio door at my aunt’s place, and then fall on the glass).  Being 12 years old at the time, my biggest problem (after being taken to the local hospital and having two gaping wounds sewn up without anaesthetic!) was that I could not go to the beach for at least a week after.  However, Yiayia Toula cried and prayed over me for weeks.  At the time I thought this was irritating.  Now, I think it was – at worst, quaint – at best, a sign of love and who knows, perhaps it helped me heal!

Yiayia Toula died some time back and had suffered from Alzheimers beforehand.  In addition to her wedding ring (which I was given as her namesake, and which I wear on the thumb of my right hand), I keep in my house another memento of her: this greeting card that she sent me for Christmas one year:

Since I moved here to Toronto, this has been one of the icons I have in my house – hung on the east wall as per the tradition.  This icon is currently in my bedroom.

My favourite part of seeing this every day, however, is knowing what was inside the greeting card (which was sent in the late 80s). Words of encouragement and love, signed with this inscription: “I kiss you on the eyes a thousand times.  Your grandmother, Kristina Brou(haha)”.

This is how she signed every letter she ever wrote to any member of my family here (replace “grandmother” with “mother”).  I always thought this was quite a cute usage, and get a smile every day when I wake up and see this icon on my wall.

So, hronia polla, yiayia (happy nameday) – and I’m thinking about you.

http://bespokebybrouhaha.com/2008/04/18/a-snapshot-of-brouhaha-history/

a picture speaks 1000 words… 25 June 2010

Posted by brouhahahaha in avarice, politics, rant, stupidity.
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… but of course I have a few more to add.

Looks like the Toronto Police Services have been privatised recently…

"Mr. Police Officer, does this mean my Air Miles card is acceptable ID?"

Spotted at the corner of King and Peter this morning. This morning, there are more cops than real people down here.

&#$*@#&$^*@#$*&@#^

As you can gather, I must be really peeved in order to be jolted out of my blog apathy!

Roll on, G-20…right out of town, preferably.

Disgruntledly yours,

Brouhaha

I’m still here… 19 October 2009

Posted by brouhahahaha in Uncategorized.
3 comments

… and sorry for being out of touch. I’ve also been knitting again (and even did a PayDay run to the LYS after months away!) but the kitties have hidden my camera. The kitties have also done their best to stop me from knitting by slurping up yarn as if it were spaghetti, by the way…

When I find my camera again (or when I figure out how to download the photos from my new iPhone to my computer, whichever comes first!, I will post photos of my newest creations, for what they are worth.

In other news: I’m preparing for Hallowe’en and will certainly have to come up with a decent costume or funny post or both before that point. And on that topic, one photo to offer you from the Globe and Mail:
Pumpkin_patch_gi_285341gm-e

I’m also frustrated with our current government/s and railing against them – there is lots of talk in our province these days about profligate government waste, calls for public enquiries, etc… but that’s nothing new (neither my frustration nor the waste, sadly enough).

I end this brief post with a tribute to JJ, who says “If yer not gonnae put a photo of me, lassie, at least put somethin’ Scottish”. I observe his wish half way, as the actor depicted in the photo below is actually no’ Scottish, but English:

Eddie_Izzard_203848gm-e

Cheers and see you soon!

kb

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