My family and I come from South Australia, near Murray river, where I spent the first 8 years of my life. My grand father came to Australia from Scotland in 1880’s, where he founded a pastoral company. He then met my grandmother who was of English descent. After they married, they went to live to the bush together, which was very unusual those days. Normally men went to work on their own and left women behind. My grand mother decided to join.
For at least a year and a half she did not see another white woman. She just took her piano with her and off she went to this wild and rough territory. When she got pregnant with my mother, she was told she had to go to Adelaide to deliver the baby. In Adelaide she happened to stay in the house of the family of my future father. He was 12 at the time and was delivering a newspaper at the very same moment that my mother was being born. Little did he know it was going to be his future wife!
I left Australia in 1954 and went to live in England. In 1958 I came to Greece, working for the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration in Athens. I had worked with migration before, but Greece was more of an experiment as I did not speak a word of Greek. In Athens I got involved with teaching English to the Italians and the Poles who also migrated to Greece. Most of them were illiterate even in their own mother tongue, so it had to be a direct method. I was the only one that had a work permit. It was very difficult to obtain one as a foreigner at the time. There weren’t enough jobs even for the Greeks, never mind foreigners. It was a hard period for the country.