Eat Drink and Be Married by Eve MakisThe story is about a family, there isnt a great deal of a storyline - no mysterious plot unfolding, or high drama, but a realistic and often blackly funny look at modern life for an immigrant family. Anna works in her parents fish and chip shop, on a council estate in the city of Nottingham. Her parents; Tina and Tony left Cyprus years ago and have worked very hard to build up their business. They may have left their homeland behind, but their customs and traditions are firmly held. Anna is tired of her mother and her aunts trying to find her a nice Greek boy to marry - their ideal man would own a fish and chip shop, drive a Mercedes and have a modern mock Tudor house on the outskirts of the city. Anna, on the other hand, would like to go to college, would like to have a career and would like to find her own boyfriend.
Despite these differences, this is a family who love each other, are loyal and steadfast and will defend each other to the hilt. They are subject to ridicule, racist remarks and sometimes violence from the local people who lurch into the chippy with a belly full of beer on a Friday and Saturday night. There are also locals who love the family, who work with them and befriend them and will defend them.
This is a story of the difficulties faced by first generation teenagers. Trying to keep up with the local kids, trying to please the family. Rebelling against the old traditions. Its also a story of how the older generation want to keep their ideals, want to carry on their customs and want the very best for their children.
There are some wonderfully funny characters, not least Annas Mum Tina - a bolshy woman who swears like a trooper (in Greek) at those that annoy her and smiles sweetly at anyone who may be an authority figure. Annas grandmother Yiaya - who tells tales of Cyprus in the days before the Turkish invasion - stories of whitewashed villages, olive picking and bringing up a family.
Alongside the funny, sometimes very sad story there are the recipes and the description of the fine Greek food that the family serve up - mouthwatering treats that will be familiar to anyone who has ever holidayed on the Greek islands.
Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die
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Yesterday I found myself in a dinner conversation with three other women, all in different stages of a relationship with a man: one recently married, one engaged, and the third in a long-term partnership. We began talking about whether each of us had changed, or planned to change, our names upon marriage. I felt my heart rate quicken a little when the subject came up, because this is a topic that brings up strong feelings for me, and for many other people. As a young romantic, I used to doodle the name of my latest crush in my school notebook in flowery cursive. I wanted to know how our names sounded together, and I took it for granted that one day, my dream guy would fill in that blank permanently. Other kids would snicker at it when they heard it for the first time.
Minus the singing. And the mullet. I really enjoy hosting wedding receptions. I have also learned, after years of consulting with soon-to-be prison mates, that a potent combination of hormones, cheesy Christmas songs and toxic amounts of lechon in the bloodstream lead many a bachelor to propose and eventually get married to their girlfriends during the holiday season. Given this, here is my little gift to soon-to-be prison mates: Some choice advice to make the reception a memorable experience for both the newlyweds and the wedding guests:.