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Vana Manasiadis

Nostalgic Nestor

Don’t be fooled by the epics. Old Nestor lived down the road from us in a house bus that looked like a horse
that was parked outside the WCC plant nursery in Berhampore
precisely over the man-hole to the storm water pipe that rose all the way to Mornington.
Old Nestor was a quiet sort of chap who tended the oregano and basilicum that grew from the window box lodged on the dash,
who made his own wine from the green grapes he found on special at the Newtown New World, who didn’t mind walking 500 metres to the nearest loo or washing his y-fronts in the sink.
At tea-time mum’d say: It must be nostimo, this what Nestor cook, tasty tasty. His herb-filled, grape-juiced dishes would catch the olfactory imaginations of all of Akatea Street.
Wise Nestor was also thrifty, living a whole year off earnings from the Martinborough fair, at which he’d sell Wairarapa olive leaves dipped in gold.
Then one fine day Old Wise Nestor rode his house bus in the direction of the place from which he’d come.
The Joneses touched their fingers to their noses and said: Aaah, the big nostos then, the great return;
and the Rawhitis, arms outstretched before them, said: Aue Aue, what algos awaits him, what pain.
Achtung! said Schliemann, the German archaeologist: Nestor is derived from νοστευω which is derived from νεσομαι which is the same as Germanic ganisan to be saved and Anglo-Saxon genesan to survive.
No one saw the horse house bus again, but many years later we received a blank postcard from Pylos and presumed that Nestor had got home alright.
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