There are some things in life you don't even notice until it becomes a possibility that you can't have it any more. This is what I thought about my life, having been a good Home Country girl who turned the balance upside down and didn't do things the acceptable route of meeting, dating, engagement, marriage, living together. When my older sister got married and went through the ceremonies, I could see the contentment on her face: "I did it the right way and I earned this". Never mind, I thought, I made my choices and I would be happy with them too. There would be no emotional kiss on the forehead from my father as he handed me over to my new life - I beat him to that two years ago when I boarded an Olympic Airlines flight alone from London to Athens.
So when I found multiple missed calls on my mobile and a frantic message from my mother that she'd been trying to call me, I became worried. She called again as I began to dial "BB where have you been I've been trying to call you!"
"Is everything ok mum? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong. I just need to know your bangle size."
"My bangle size? What for?"
"Your cousin is coming from the Home Country and Dad and me wanted to give you gold bangles like we gave your sister when she got married. For your Ceremony."
On hearing this, the modern woman in me launched into a dialogue about how I didn't need gold bangles and it was okay. Actually, I didn't feel I had earned them because I didn't do things the right way. The next time I go to the UK Mr Zeus and I will indeed take part in a small ceremony at my parent's house which in Home Country terms makes us officially married. Gold bangles are the traditional mark of a married woman. Modern Bollybutton said not to worry, but Mum insisted. And traditional Bollybutton smiled.
It's not the bangles and the fact that they are gold - I'm not much of a fan of gold. It's the thought that I will receive a rite of passage which I didn't believe I would get or deserve. No matter how 21st Century I may be, a part of me will always be a Home Country girl. I don't know if that's Having It All, or just a confusing way to live!
I will finally be able to tell my best friends in the Home Country I am married and I won't have to hide my life in Athens any more.
And in case you're wondering, my bangle size is 2.4.