spending long hours at home, looking after our newborn baby girl. before her arrival, the idea to be "grounded" without much time (nor freedom) to go out was rather daunting. when i had my first child, i found the limitations of being forced at home rather unbearable. we were leaving in singapore at the time and i remember i would look out of the window and think i was missing out. i had the constant feeling (/fear) there was a whole world outside where many things were happening; where people were doing super interesting stuff and going places i could not reach. this made me restless - and anxious to feel "normal" as soon as possible.
oddly, this time around i have none of the feelings i have just described. if i look out of the window - there is a beautiful sea, beaten by a sharp wind and brightened by the clearest light from the cloudless sky. the usual ferries come and go; few ships slowly leave the harbour to my right; rare cruises come early in the morning from the entrance of the gulf to my left. down in the street - some waiters linger around for their cigarette break, a man is selling chestnuts and few students are strolling around in their uniforms.
the main feeling is that - nothing is in fact happening... which, in truth, gives a very peaceful, stress-free meaning to the whole atmosphere.
during the day there is a stilness around the house that seems to put a constant smile on my face - despite my very sleep deprived nights and the bags i am sporting under the eyes - who could easily make me eligible as the next poster girl of some heroin-chic trend.
in the morning i walk my son to school. am trying my best not to deprive him of much attention. since the arrival of his little sister at home...he has been very cool about everything, but trying to "check on me" - basically to see whether "mum still cares" kind of thing. so, i am happy to take him to school and kind of melt inside every time i notice how special that makes him feel.
on my way back, i always leave the main road and venture in a couple of side streets to buy food for lunch. there are some tiny "lokantas" (small outlets, bakeries, miniscule restaurants) where you can buy home-made food. more than restaurants i would describe these places as "kitchens" - since you literally open the door and step inside an old kitchen where usually two or three ladies are potting around huge pans and trays - filled with steaming vegetables and soups. the dishes you can buy are very simple, hearty recipes like: baked beans, stewed spinach, roasted aubergines, lentil soup, fritters etc. these are served in small portions they wrap for you to take away. i always love to see the ladies cooking - with their huge skirts, their flowery scarves, their tubby bodies, their red faces, their hands cutting and mixing, washing and pouring, wrapping and turning...they look at you quietly, with something childish as they gaze somewhere behind you - and even behind the window door - and behind the cloud of steam and heat seeping out, slowly in the cold day.
they look like chechnyan matrioskas - i always think to myself... bothering very little about how proper (and accurate) this fancy metaphor can actually be. and, as i think that. they must be looking at me and suspect (fair enough) those bags under my eyes are a total give away of some shady, unhealthy addiction.