Part of my preparation for living in a Greek village for nearly four months is to learn Modern Greek. To that end I have bought a set of C.D.s PIMSLEUR'S QUICK & SIMPLE MODERN GREEK. One problems is I have no idea of how the words are spelt, and must rely totally on my fading hearing; 'excuse me' sounds like 'spig nommy' ; Ka ta la venite ugly car? is 'Do you understand English?' But I am still on disc 3 and there are three more to go.
Practising pitch and intonation is developing an entirely new set of muscles on my lips and tongue. It's like learning a new tune, questions in Greek have their stressed syllables in different places, for example, 'Ishte Americano' can mean 'You are American,' but 'Ishte AmerCAno.' becomes 'Are you American?' And verbs have gender.
Then there's preparing to walk the Imbros Gorge, no matter what I walk for 25 minutes every day, and there's quite a bit less of me that there was before Christmas, in spite of daughter in law Kim's inspired Christmas cooking.
Having something demanding to look forward to is one of the ways I can resist a rest home, I hope.