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“Watching the Basil grow”: It’s tough to be a news blogger in summer time

These are very troubled times: politically, economically and socially – not only in Greece but in Europe too and in the world. In addition, there is this bloody summer heat that melts the asphalt, liquefy the news and burns the brain – unless, of course, one is on vacation next to water or high up on top of some cooling mountains.

For the time being, I am personally bound to be in a apartment in one of the suburbs of Athens, struggling to keep pace with the news; but what I factually do is to take care more of my plants, herbs and veggies growing in the balcony, help them make it through the hot month of July, than to care of news. It’s a restless feeling, this damned summer feeling.

And news can be such inspiration-killers, sometimes.

News? What news? There is a major issue about the cuts in low-pensioners “poverty allowance” (EKAS) that has been drastically cut. Additionally, there are further cuts because of rise of contributions in wages and hikes in solidarity tax. Thousands of Greeks started this month in shock. How many times have I written about “cuts in pensions and salaries” since 2010? Countless. So, are the new cuts worth reporting?

Frankly, I don’t know. Frankly, I have the feeling to suffer again under this austerity-reporting burn-out syndrome. It happens every once in a while, and it is worse to overcome it in the summer months.

Furthermore, I have finally decided to get some things done, things that have been waiting to get done since months, like the new website design and other bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic staff.

Everyone who knows how the Greek administration but also a heat-suffering private sector works, cannot expect me to return to desk and pick up the news thread, when I have spent half-or a whole morning trying to have things done. It is simply impossible!

The Greek agenda is the usual: the government on one side and the opposition on the other. The eternal Greek brawl: Damned if you do it, damned if you don’t.

While the opposition was accusing SYRIZA to have stepped back from the promise to cancel the 50-seat bonus for the first party to win the elections, now that the government submitted the changes in Parliament, majority of opposition parties say that they will not support the bill. Damned if you do it, damned if you don’t. For the opposition the devil might be hidden in the bill’s details. But who cares about details, when temperature is 38C in the shadow at noon and 30C at midnight?

This caring less about details has little to do with whether the A/C is on or off. – mostly it is off, because I prefer all balcony doors and windows open; blame my smoking habit – It has to do with this damned summer feeling. And things things to do in, at, by and next to the sea.

A swim in the sea

beach in Athens
beach in Athens

Walking by the sea

sunny Athens

An evening in the open-air cinema next to the sea

Floisvos open-air cinema, Palaio Faliro, Athens
Floisvos open-air cinema, Palaio Faliro, Athens

Dreaming of vacations by the sea. On an island. Even for a short or just an extended weekend.

Agia Marina Aegina
Agia Marina, Aegina

So, who cares about news details nowadays?

OK. For the moment , the big things are happening outside Greece, anyway.

  1. London Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Boerse braced for row over headquarters after their merge.
  2. The red loans in Italian banks mount 360 billion euro, so much as the famous Greek debt. At least 10 of them are in need of recapitalization and getting ready to apply for some €116billion in ECB loans asap. The banks have the potential to drag Europe yet into another crisis.
  3. The German Deutsche Bank does not feel well either.
  4. In UK, two Prime Ministers saw their reputation to have been eliminated within two weeks. David Cameron via the Brexit Referendum and ex PM Tony Blair via the Chilcot Report that says UK went to war in Iraq in 2003 on the basis of flawed intelligence that went unchallenged.
  5. Not to mention the political future of British Boris, Farage and Corbyn or EC’s Juncker.

A friend on Twitter suggested that when Britain is done with its politicians then it would come time for German Finance Minister to resign, followed by Merkel and Rajoy.

A consequence of political change sin Europe, something like paraphrasing Leonard Cohen:

First we take London, then we take Berlin

aaaɪ doʊnt noʊ! It’s to hot outside to make plans on how to change the leadership in Europe. Mid-summer is certainly much too bad time to make strategy plans. Only rough outlines. Drafts. Short paragraphs. Key words. Titles.

News? What News? This small guy below is having so much fun growing…

small leaf Basil
small leaf Basil

… who cares about other news?

PS the life of a news blogger can be tough sometimes…

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  1. ….let’s go swimming!!

  2. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    There is a nice song about this, enjoy and just add your own lyrics here and there, keep the chorus line and have a summer-hit: