“Lets just pause there for a moment.” The camera woman interjects. It’s late October and we’re filming for a tv series called ‘My new Greek life.’
The sun is beating down, with no intention of letting Autumn take over the reigns for a while. The summer has been long and dry; the bright pink geraniums are in full bloom. We’re sitting under the pergola, trying to find relief from the heat (and a good camera angle) to continue our sit-down interview.
“The sun is shining on your faces. If we can all shuffle forward a couple of inches, that should solve the problem.” She says.
The woman behind the camera is calm, professional, considerate and down to earth. She gently probes us and asks questions that cause us to think on a deeper level. She extracts thoughts and feelings that had remained un-thought, and un-felt. It’s surreal to have interest in our lives. As we warm up, we explain the motivation for leaving the UK and moving to Greece.
“Do you like to challenge every aspect of your lives?” She enquires.
I’ve never really considered it, but I guess she’s probably right. We do challenge and scrutinise every part of our life. Following the crowd is not an option. Sidestepping normal is the objective. Operation ‘My new Greek life’ is underway.
The last few days have been a whirlwind of filming. The three person film team are comprised of two British women (go girl power!) and a young Greek guy.
It’s interesting to see the process behind the scenes. As we go about our normal routine and tackle a multitude of jobs, the woman follows us wielding a big heavy camera with ease.
There’s no staging. We’re not asked to do anything out of the ordinary. We’re not told what to say. We simply go about our everyday lives. We explain why we have come here, what we are doing, and answer questions.
The filming process is surprisingly un-intrusive. We forget that they are there, until the hidden wires from our microphones escape from under our t-shirts.
Out and about…
In addition to filming at our villa, and capturing us working on our old stone ruin (that will become a holiday rental) we head out and about. One afternoon we’re all piled into the hire car. The olive groves whizz by in a blur of silvery green foliage and ripening olives. Kristos, the young Greek guy is behind the wheel.
“Kristos, why do you drive in the middle of the road?” We ask. Christos is young and never seems to be without his takeaway coffee and a cigarette.
He smiles. “This is because it is easier to drive fast when you are in middle of road. There is more space, and not so much corners.” He grins as we career along.
Other drivers on the road seem to apply the same reasoning. It all makes perfect sense.
One morning, we head into Rethymno for the big weekly vegetable market. We stop just outside the hustle and bustle with the camera team in tow. A police officer approaches us and quickly reels of a long sentence in Greek. He looks at us expectantly.
“It is for English T.V.” we all chorus.
Satisfied, he waves us off and strolls away. We sit at a cafe and chat about the filming for the day ahead, whilst sipping icy cold frappes and cappuccinos. The surrounding customers at nearby tables glance at the camera with interest, in-between sips of ελληνικό καφέ Greek coffee.
In-between filming for ‘My new Greek life’ and shelling walnuts from our massive walnut tree, the following week is spent soaking up the late October sunshine and sneaking off to the beach. The sea water is like a bath after the last 5 months of continuous sunshine. The tourist season is drawing to a close, and my boss plies us with a red-wine-and-pomegranate-concoction at 10am as we snack on σπανακόπιτες spinach pies.
The film crew have become friends, and on one particularly warm evening, we all sit at little taverna gorging on Greek salad, tzatziki and juicy olives. Being in Crete, the film crew and ourselves can’t avoid a few shots of local raki to finish off the meal.
As the filming draws to an end, we begin to reflect back on the last couple of weeks. The film team were strangers at the beginning, but we’ve quickly become friends. We’ve shared stories, experiences, home cooked curry (courtesy of Mr SN) and my 30th birthday.
We hope that filming was as enjoyable for them, as it was for us. For them it was just another day at the office, with the odd glass of metaxa on the rocks to remind them they’re in Greece. They taught us a lot. They were problem solvers, hard working and dedicated. Most importantly though, they had ingenuity. ***
*** If you ever need to send a hard-drive through the post, when you haven’t got a jiffy bag, just re-purpose a sponge.
When does ‘My new Greek life’ air?…
There’s not much longer to wait. The first episode of ‘My new Greek life’ airs tonight (Tuesday 11th February ) in the UK, channel 5, 10pm. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed filming it. We are especially excited to see the other contributors featured on the programme, and to see their adventures unfold.
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