GUEST BLOG by Joe
What a treat to see Sofe back here in London.
I've known her for many years. Indeed I've known her for as long as I've been alive as she was a friend of my parents and frequently looked after my brother and I as babies and toddlers.
It has been far too long since I visited Skopelos, however Sofe manages, always in deepest midwinter, to visit us every year and has become known to the kids as 'Sofe-from-Greece-who-will-want-a-cuddle'.
We eat out whenever she visits, enjoying her choice of traditional British fish and chips (a little strange, I always reflect, for a Mediterranean island-dweller who, back at home, has virtually unlimited access to some of Europe's finest, freshest, healthiest and most exotic seafood dishes!)
Nevertheless, this year we visited a nearby chippie for the full fish, chips, mushy peas, salt and vinegar experience. To cap it we treated ourselves to pudding of the peculiar salty-sweet, crispy-soggy juxtapositions that are pineapple fritters. To my surprise, they were actually rather nice!
Whenever she visits, Sofe recounts enthusiastically stories from when I was young. This invariably baffles my young children who of course find it hard to grasp that I was once their age myself. A story that always features is of my tantrummy refusals to eat the strange foods she used to cook me and my brother as children, notably 'dirty chicken' and 'minced-liver risotto' (known notoriously to me and my brother at the time as 'savoury'). My kids then react in delightful horror as I tease them that Sofe is visiting again tomorrow and will be doing the dinner. All great fun!
Sofe is also the person who, last year, introduced the kids to the joys of second-hand shop foraging. Since then, no trip into town has been complete without a thorough trawl of the many second hand shops. As a result, the house has become a dragon's hoard of bargain toys, second-hand books, eclectic nick-nacs and second-hand jewellery.
Back at home, we took the opportunity to show Sofe the full collection of which she was, naturally, most appreciative!
Thanks for taking the time to visit ... and until next time, 'Sofe-from-Greece-who-will-want-a-cuddle'!