This is Maria, our accountant. She does the books for quite a number of local businesses and somehow manages to keep abreast of current Greek tax law, which is still in a state of monstrous flux, but at least it is not being rewritten twice a month as it was three years ago. Her daughter is now ten months old and will point to her nose or her hair when she is asked where they are. She will also clap her hands when requested to do so in English. She has enormous blue eyes that stare and stare at me and while her mother is working her attentive dad is taking very loving care of her. Maria requested that I did not post the photograph which also included her husband with the baby.

Maria is my prime source of Greek cultural oddities and today she showed me the tiny bracelet her daughter should have been wearing since 1st March, they will get around to putting it on soon. The bracelet is two lengths of embroidery thread, one red and one white and they are joined in the middle with a small metal slide, similar in principle to the slide on a bolo tie. In this particular instance the slide is a red flower in hard enamel and though this detail can vary, the threads cannot. The purpose of this bracelet? Well, Spring is here, the days are lengthening and the sun is getting higher in the sky, so this little bracelet is to ensure that young skin learns to turn brown and not red. And that is the reason why Greek people do not use sunscreen, because they wore little red and white cotton bracelets in March when they were babies.

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