Childhood ghosts

Half a century with Barbie


My first one is on the left.

My parents bought my first Barbie at a PX, a special store for NATO officers and their families. Back then you could not find such a doll in Greece.

I immediately fell in love. I dressed her, bathed her, combed her hair. One day her leg broke. I cried and thought she was dead for good. Luckily, my mom found a doll repairer who managed to fix her leg.

I still have her today, as well as all our Barbie dolls, my sister’s and mine. I’m so glad that my mom kept them in our country home for years and now they are in my place.

I feel that they have a soul, a life of their own.

Now, Alexandra sent me this link about Barbie turns 50.

Happy birthday, my dear friend.


Οι Αριθμοί κι’ Εγώ

Οι αριθμοί με συναρπάζουν από την πέμπτη Δημοτικού. Ενώ πάλευα με την παράλογη ελληνική και γαλλική ορθογραφία, η αριθμητική ήταν για μένα παράδεισος λογικής.

Μία δασκάλα είχε πει στη μαμά ότι μπορεί να είμαι παιδί με ειδικές ανάγκες. Μπορεί να είχε δίκιο. Όλα τα παιδιά έχουν ειδικές ανάγκες.

Viv-9 years

Εγώ ονειρευόμουνα ότι θα γίνω Madame Curie, μαζί και ηθοποιός και τραγουδίστρια.

Η σχέση μου με τους αριθμούς συνεχίζεται.

Οι αριθμοί με ηρεμούν. Έχω την ανωμαλία να χαλαρώνω στη δουλειά κάνοντας προϋπολογισμούς. Το Excel είναι το αγαπημένο μου.

Οι αριθμοί δεν λένε ψέματα. Ένας αριθμός είναι αυτό που βλέπεις, όχι αυτό που νομίζεις, τίποτα παραπάνω, τίποτα παρακάτω.

1 – 7 – 33

Μερικές φορές επιδιώκω να κάνω πολλαπλασιασμούς. Δυνάμεις του 2, δυνάμεις του 3. Το διάβασα σ’ ένα βιβλίο, ότι το έκανε ένα αυτιστικό παιδάκι, για να αποφύγει δυσάρεστες σκέψεις. Κάτι σα να μετράς τα πρόβατα για να σε πάρει ο ύπνος.

Όταν βαριέμαι αρχίζω…

11 στο τετράγωνο = 121                       

12 στο τετράγωνο = 144

13 στο τετράγωνο = 169

Ψάχνω να βρω συσχετισμούς, θαυμάζω το μυστήριο, τα μαγικά μέσα στους υπολογισμούς. Πώς γίνεται να είναι όλα τόσο συμμετρικά, με τόση λογική και μετά ξαφνικά ένα ΤΣΑΦ και μπαίνει μέσα στη λογική το παράλογο, οι πρώτοι αριθμοί, το Πι, το άπειρο, το χάος.


Μετά την ταινία παθιάστηκα με τον αριθμό αυτό.

Προσπαθούσα να βρω τρόπους να τον μάθω απέξω 3,1415926526___ Δεν θυμάμαι παρακάτω.

Αριθμοί και Μουσική;

Ρωτήστε καλύτερα το Μπαχ να σας εξηγήσει.

Ρωτήστε καλύτερα τον Μπαχ (Ιωάννη Σεβαστιανό).

Προσπαθώ να βρω μια λογική επαναληψιμότητα στις χρονολογίες που έχουν συμβεί σημαντικά γεγονότα στη ζωή μου. Υπάρχει κάποιο μοντέλο; Ακολουθούν στατιστικούς κανόνες;

Λατρεύω τις στατιστικές, τα ποσοστά. Οι αριθμοί λένε πάντα την αλήθεια. Κάποτε παρακολουθούσα ένα σεμινάριο όπου παίζαμε ένα σενάριο με εικονικό στήσιμο μιας εταιρείας. Τις δύο πρώτες φορές ο ανταγωνιστής μας ήταν ένα βήμα μπροστά. Και σε πολύ καλή θέση μάλιστα. Την τρίτη, εκεί που είχαμε αποφασίσει να πάμε και πάλι συντηριτικά, μου ήρθε η επιφύτηση. Ξαφνικά σκέφτηκα, «τι λένε οι αριθμοί; Ποιες είναι οι πιθανότητες; Πόσο τοις εκατό παραπάνω θα βάλει, βάσει των δύο προηγούμενων κινήσεών του; Και τότε, ναι, τα κατάφερα και τον έπιασα, και όχι μόνο αυτό, αλλά και τον ξεπέρασα και έκλεισα τον πρώτο γύρο σε θριαμβευτική θέση. Κανείς δεν θα με πίστευε. Όταν με ρωτήσανε πώς μου’ρθε αυτή η κίνηση, είπα ότι απλά είχα έμπνευση. Τόσο που φαινόταν ύποπτο. Αλλά εγώ ποτέ δεν κλέβω στα παιχνίδια.

Ούτε λέω ψέματα. Όπως και οι αριθμοί άλλωστε.

Όπερ Έδει Δείξαι.


A Little Princess

Sarah knows the meaning of tears and happiness. She’s true to her heart.

Souls like us

Souls like us

Rock ‘n Roll suicide

That’s what we were back then. Just kids. Not knowing what to do and yet knowing everything at the same time. We were hard on others. And we were hard on ourselves. Many things I ‘ve done, I choose to think they happened to someone else, not me.

So this rock n’ roll suicide killed the kid we were. And I believe it was a good thing, no matter the cost.

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth Photo of G.M.

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
Photo of G.M.

You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette Photo of V.T.

You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
Photo of V.T.


Beings from another world: My childhood friends

When I was a child, I believed that my toys have a soul. I could see it in their eyes.

Photo by V.T.

Sometimes he scared me.
Photo by V.T.

I never told this to my friends. But somehow, I was certain that when I turned my back, my dolls would start dancing in the middle of the room.

Photo by V.T.

“You bet.”
Photo by V.T.

My teddy bear (Winnie the Pooh) kept me company during the dreadful 15 days of chickenpox. He still has a prominent place in my apartment and it’s a comfort having him around.

BFF. For ever.

BFF. For ever.
Photo by V.T.

I talked to them. And I was not the only one who did. I cried reading the Little Princess, when Sarah told her expensive doll “Emily, can you hear me? My dad’s dead.”

I kept and cherished my Barbie dolls collection. They are the best models when I take pictures for my blog.

The old gang. Photo by V.T.

The old gang.
Photo by V.T.

I love staring at the fashion dolls in stores’ windows. Oh, yes they look so alive – like the Blade Runner Replicants. They live in a world of their own, parallel to ours, so close, separated just by the glass of a window.

It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does? Photo by V.T.

It’s too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does?
Photo by V.T.


The unbearable lightness of being

Teenagehood is a breakthrough. There is the excitement of the beginning of a new era, having a new body, living new experiences. You’re finally entering the world of grown ups.

So you think.

But in fact you are entering into a world of pain.

You are like a bird that pops out of its egg. “Who is this stranger that wants to come out of my body?” It’s an explosion of energy that can no longer hold you inside your shell. You’re struggling to destroy the ceiling; you’re suffocating inside the walls, trying to break them with your own body.

And that hurts.

It’s your body that controls your soul, so much that you cannot image. Incredible chemical changes are happening inside your organs, as your muscles develop. Your hormones are driving you crazy.

But that’s not all of it.

Photo by Sonia Edited by V.T.

Sonia took this photo in our high school years
Edited by V.T. in 2013

The bright light of life blinds you, as you come out of your eggshell. And then, you find yourself inside a wild forest – a world full of animals unknown to you. It’s strange but you prefer to stay in this place, surrounded by wolves, rather than returning to the warmth and safety of little red riding hood’s home. Your childhood days are over.

Sometimes you hate this new life but can never go back. Some other times, you hate yourself. Many teenagers hurt themselves. I remember them with razor scratches and cigarette burns on their arms. They called them ‘tsampoukades’, acts of the brave ones. I have two of those. I did it on my left hand and that was the less harmful of the ideas I had in mind…

I’d say to teenagers, life’s a burden and your self an unbearable weight to carry. But there’s a law of nature that opposites always exist. When there’s darkness and heaviness, there’s also light and lightness.

Self-destruction can be a very creative process.

Embrace the unbearable lightness of being. Light has a double meaning – brightness or weightless.

Your choice.


Childhood alone

Have you had a childhood friend that no one else could see?  I did.  She disappeared when I was four years old.

I see...

I see inside your soul

My childhood world consisted of stories I’ve read in books.  Not all of them were children’s books.  My heroene was Queen Elisabeth I.  And my nightmares were in the Titanic and the Holocaust, stories I’ve read in history magazines.  I cried together with The Little Princess.  I totaly empathized with her sufferings, especially when she said to her doll «Emily can you hear me?  My dad died.»  I remembered her words last summer, when dad died.

Sad and determined. Alone and smart.

Sad and determined. Alone and smart.
Photo edited by V.T.

My dolls were my best friends.  I never got alone with the other girls at the private elementary school.  I was a bad student so was not as popular. I hated my teachers.  One of them used to slap and insult us.  She told my mum that I was retarded.  The other one threw my notebooks out of the window because she didn’t like my handwriting.

My American friends

My American friends
Photo of V.T.

I read a lot but not my homework assignments.  I did not know how to spell right but knew all about the religious fights in medieval Europe, how many wives King Henry had and the daily life of Anne Frank.

I'll never let you push me around

I’ll never let you push me around

All children are damaged, one way or another.  I wish that they ‘re left alone.  Their lives are hard enough.  Adapting to the real world is a cruel experience.