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Friday, December 6, 2013

Greetings from Piraeus

Bozenna and Ted having a drink at my old 'home', the SAVOY HOTEL, in 1983


Bozenna and her husband Ted, seen here at my old "home", the Savoy Hotel, lived in Athens when I worked there in the early 'eighties. Bozenna had answered an ad in the English language newspaper "ATHENS NEWS" in which I was looking for a "shipping person" who could do my many complex Laytime Calculations (for all you landlubbers, laytime is the period of time agreed between the parties - ship owners, charterers, cargo shippers and consignees - during which a chartered ship is available for loading/discharging without payment of additional freight).

Bozenna did a wonderful job which saved my employer large sums of money and, on a personal side, she and Ted introduced me, a newcomer to Greece (I had just spent a miserable and very "dry" eighteen months in Saudi Arabia), to the many delights of Greek wining and dining. My many fond memories of Greece are entirely due to their wonderful friendship.

Sadly, Ted passed away in October 2003, aged 80, after a very full and active life during which he made every day count. I hadn't heard from Bozenna for many months and was beginning to fear for the worst when this email arrived:

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your Xmas card. I’m still alive but my body you can compare to an old car: I have got bumps, dents, scratches and my headlights are out of focus. My gearbox is seizing up and it takes me hours to reach maximum speed. I overheat for no reason and every time I sneeze, cough or laugh, either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!

Unfortunately, I can’t change myself for a newer model. The good news is, my memory is still reasonably good and I have quite a lot of younger friends, who help me not to become depressed. I spent 4 months in Laganas as usual and managed to swim 90 times, each time 1 kilometre. Not a bad result for me.

I read regularly your blog. I’m invited by friends to celebrate Xmas Eve, Xmas and Boxing Day, also for a dinner dance on New Year’s Eve which is a bit of a joke as I’ll have to dance with my stick.


Thanks, Bozenna, I feel so much better now! My wonderful memories of you and Ted and of Greece will stay with me forever! The world was so much younger then and so were we. I shall open a bottle of Retzina and drink to your very good health (such as it is ☺ )!