Done, fait accompli! My famous Granny from CG and I finally arrived at our cozy home in frigid snowy Ottawa just several short hours ago after jointly conducting the international Olympic flight from Athens to Montreal with aplomb and good humour.

On the plane my grandmother was good spirited, humourous and occasionally combative asking me constantly for a cigarette even after I asked plane crew to tell her directly in Greek that ‘apagorevetai’ (not allowed). She has mild amnesia so immediately after she forgot and asked me for another ciggy. I said I could offer her a cigarillo or Havana cigar but she declined . She would say things like ‘now we will turn into birds and fly’ just before take-off, or eyes blazing to me ‘how shameful of you’ when she over-heard me joke with other passengers that she was constantly asking for ciggys. Then times of beautiful tenderness when she would press my hand against her face and kiss my hand. I love you Kouki.

My sister and I escorted her from my sister’s apartment in Athens early this morning at 6am by taxi convoy. The tricky part was to persuade her to dress and leave the apartment. But we managed great after we fibbed by saying that we were going to visit our folks down the street. We had arranged for wheelchair assistance at both ends in Athens and Montreal. For a week my sister Steph hosted Granny, Kouki that is, in Athens. Everyone is realllly happy that we pulled this off. My sister over the phone from Athens: ‘George you are phenomenal, you deserve a medal.’ The issue of my grandmother left in Athens to fend on her own for a long time had been festering and we had now done the right thing. My folks tonight had a wonderful pork dinner and perfect lemon merangue pie for us when we walked thru the door … my Granny walking in from the Ottawa deep freeze appropriately dressed in a light coat and barefeet in slippers.

Great spirits – alls well !