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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Luke Slattery on Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor

A good friend from my seven years in Sydney, Australia, Luke Slattery wrote one of the best books on Greece, "Dating Aphrodite: Modern Adventures in the Ancient World" (ABC Books, Sydney, 2005).

Luke is a huge fan of the works of PLF: his appreciation of his hero can be found here (The Australian, June 18, 2011).

Here's a review of Luke's book (The Age)

Corfu, Through Australian Eyes

A short travel piece from the Sydney Morning Herald

Friday, 29 June 2012

Three Books, Three Days on Paxos

I took three books with me to read on the beach on Paxos.

Two of them I've read before, but not as conscientiously as I should have done (no underlinings on past readings).

1) Homer's The Iliad. I tend to go back to The Odyssey, and avoid all the battles and bloodshed in The Iliad. This time I'm persevering, with a purpose.

2) Russell Hoban's "The Medusa Frequency" (1987). I bought this short novel some years ago because of its (slight) connection with Paxos, but I found it never suited my mood on previous attempts to read it. This time I just about got through it, though I can't say I fully understood what Hoban was getting at. Nevertheless, it has some extraordinary and poetic passages.

3) A new 'novel' in Greek called "O erotevmenos Elytis" (Athens 2011), by Philippos Philippou, which is about the period that the poet Odysseas Elytis spent on Corfu in 1937 (January-September), at the Officers' Training School, in the Old Fortress. It contains a lot of material about Elytis' contacts with Lawrence Durrell,   Dr Theodore Stephanides and others, and about his relationships with some young aristocratic women on the island.

Readable, but not very illuminating so far.

To go back to Russell Hoban and "The Medusa Frequency", Hoban writes (p.16):

"I sat down at my desk, put a stone from Paxos on the HERMES flyer....
There's a photograph of an olive tree among the stones on my desk; when Luise left she wrote on the back of it:
                          I trusted you with the idea of me
                               and you lost it."

A little later, the narrator undergoes an experimental EEG session wired to a brain-cell stimulator, to cure his creative writer's block. He is obsessed with an olive tree on Paxos. Luise and he had once agreed that it was "an entrance to the underworld, a Persephone door" (pp 25-26). It's a great passage.


I leave it to others to interpret the book. Is it mainly inspired by myths like the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, or about getting in touch with archetypal myths buried deep in our subconscious minds? Is it about losing someone because you "stop perceiving her" (p. 118). Is it about art, art as "a celebration of loss, of beauty passing, passing, not to be held"? (p. 119) Or is it about the difficulty of faithful communication?

"Now that I'm lost you will perceive me fully and you will find me in your song".

I'm not sure. I'm left with my own pebble from Paxos, with an image of an olive tree, and the sound of the crackly world radio at three o'clock in the morning:

"Far, far way in the darkness are live human beings whose breathing can be heard as they speak...Always on the night air sweet women singing in all the tongues of humankind, singing to the accompaniment of strange instruments, strange rhythms in places unseen but existing at this very moment, perhaps with red dust rising on the plains or monsoon rains beating down or snow on mountain peaks impassable" (p. 14).

How much more can be perceived, Hoban seems to be saying, if only we can tune in to the right frequencies.

A haunting, poetic book, at least in parts:

"I left the house at about five o'clock. It was novembering hard outside; the dark air sang with the dwindle of the year, the sharpening of it to the goneness that was drawing nearer, nearer with every moment" (p. 54).

Russell Hoban died in December, 2011. See also a short story by Russell Hoban set on Paxos.

What Strange Creature (its hour come round at last)...Rises from the Sea?

Greece and its Lenders: On Domestic Rhetoric and External Reality

Inside Greece, Nikos Kalkouztis

Kathimerini on a reality check 

Maddie Grigg and Mr Grigg on Paxos.


A wonderful surprise to meet Maddie Grigg and Mr. Grigg on board their yacht, at Gaios, Paxos.

The last time we met was in Bournemouth, Dorset, at the launch of Dorset Voices.


A delicious glass of cold white wine made it all seem quite normal, as well as very special.

See also Maddie Grigg's other blog, The World from my Porthole

A reciprocal mention

What's Maddie been reading?

I have a feeling that we may hear more from the Griggs and of their adventures (on land and sea) in the Ionian Islands. Let's hope so!

Paxos Revisited (near Gaios and Panaghia Island)





Three wonderful nights on Paxos, which ended on a high note with a prime spot in Gaios square watching the Italy-Germany UEFA Euro 2012 match on a big screen, with about 50 or more very excited Italian holiday-makers. Wonderful reactions! They really went crazy. That's more like it. A great match and a delightful audience.

Durrell School of Corfu, Foteini Dimirouli

Another session I did manage to attend at the Lawrence Durrell Centenary Seminar (morning session on 26 June) featured the presentation of an impressive and well-argued paper by Foteini Dimirouli, of Keble College, Oxford.

Her paper was entitled "Paradise Lost? Lawrence Durrell's 'Romance' with the Hellenic World" and dealt with the change in Durrell's relationship (and the nature of his British sense of identity and his Philhellenism over time) with Greeks and three Mediterranean islands (Corfu, Rhodes and Cyprus), as reflected in his three island books.


It was particularly interesting to listen to a young Greek scholar's assessment of the writer of these much-admired works. I found myself in agreement with a great deal of what she said, although I wouldn't necessarily have read back from "Bitter Lemons" to "Prospero's Cell". For me, each book stands on its own within the time, space and political environment in which it was written.

In the questions afterwards, on the subject of colonial attitudes in "Bitter Lemons", I made the point that, much to his credit, Durrell had encouraged the Greek poet Dimitris Tsaloumas, when Durrell lived on Rhodes. See also my earlier posting on Tsaloumas.

David Roessel demonstrated on 21 June that the printed book we have is not always the book that the author intended us to read. A whole chapter, and important large chunks of "Reflections on a Marine Venus" were omitted after the typescript was submitted and edited down to a publishable size by Anne Ridler at Faber and Faber. In his acknowledgements, Durrell expresses his gratitude "for her help in editing an overgrown MS".

As a result, we have lost, amongst other things, a wonderful paragraph about the nature of the Greek way of happiness, which the talented Courtney Sherman performed at the seminar and again, at my request, over coffee with David and his wife at a meeting at Coffee and Books in Corfu's Upper Plateia.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Maddie Grigg in Corfu: The View from her Porthole

From Dorset to Corfu!

Meanwhile, back home, plans for extra trains to Dorset for sailing fans and the Sailing Olympics

Are the Ancient Gods Dead?


So these 4th Century AD lines tell us...attributed to the Pythia at Delphi

(from The Penguin Book of Greek Verse, ed. Constantine Trypanis)

A song I wrote back in 1968, inspired in part by these lines:


Delphic Oracle (1968)



Go tell the King

The water that spoke has been silenced

Go tell the King

The wine that once spoke has turned bitter



Go tell the King

The birds that once sang have migrated

That all of them now flock together

That eagles and doves are now brothers



Go tell the King

That jackdaws preside in the palace

Under the eyes of invisible vultures



Go tell the King

That far-off the birdsong is building

That talons and beaks are being sharpened



Go tell the King

That the palace will crumble in ruins

That no one will ever rebuild it:


Go tell the King these things.



(First published in Corfu Blues, the book)




VILLA ROSSA, CORFU, to become a Museum (η Βίλα Ρόσα- μουσείο αστικής ιστορίας της Κέρκυρας) ?

See my posting from February 2010, with recent updates.

Foreigners promote Greece on the Internet

Yesterday's Kathimerini (24 June) featured an article on foreigners who publicise the beauties of Greece on the internet.

One of the blogs mentioned was this one about Symi by James Collins and Neil Gosling (photographer)

Another was this Swedish blog by Johanna Korikken

Matt Barrett probably needs no introduction at www.greecetravel.com

For those who love contemporary  poetry and the island of Hydra, a website in English by the Swedish poet Henry Denander (not mentioned in the newspaper article) is recommended and often very rewarding.

From Corfu, Democracy Street, Simon Baddeley's blog (and its rich archives), is a treasure trove of  balanced Philhellenism, analysis and intelligent comment.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Lambatines, Mandouki, Corfu, 23 June, 2012, Aη Γιάννης Λαμπαδάρης










More information (Aη Γιάννης Λαμπαδάρης. Της Φωτιάς και του Έρωτα)

The Lambatines, an ancient custom (Pre-Christian?) held (coincidentally?) on the eve of the celebration of the birth of St. John the Baptist. Young and old leap over three bonfires, over blazing May Day wreaths and dry grass not consumed by the animals. The ceremony is connected with the power of Love at this hot time of the year (the bonfires are said to heat them up even more!)

John the Revelator, Blind Willie Johnson

Saturday, 23 June 2012

GDP Statistics in the EU Member States; Some Home Truths, Greece

Useful data when making comparisons beween the 27 EU Member States (Eurostat news release) and Actual Individual Consumption per capita

Some home truths for Greece?

An election diary, Inside Greece, Nick Malkoutzis

On the reliability of statistics, Hellas Frappe

Europe's Tower of Babel (Reuters/Kathimerini)

Bagehot on the possibility of a "Brixit"

The Economist, Bagehot blog

David quoted from BBC Newsnight 26 June on anti-democratic developments in the EU 

Reuters on Britain and EU Membership article

Charlemagne in The Economist

The Telegraph 30 June

David Cameron, The Sunday Telegraph, 1 July, 2012

Confusion about possible referendum, The Telegraph, 2 July

The Ionian Islands and Epirus, US Edition, Oxford University Press

I only recently discovered that, because of a technical web page glitch, the US editions (hardback and softback) did not show up in the Oxford University Press (USA) online catalogue.

I'm glad to report that the glitch has now been fixed, here is the link, with extracts from three reviews.

Watching UEFA Euro matches in Corfu and Gotland

Watching the Greece-Germany quarter final last night on an open air TV in a village square in Corfu was a very different experience to watching another UEFA Euro match under similar midsummer circumstances on the Swedish island of Gotland some years ago.

I was surprised how subdued the Greek crowd was, not because the people may have been expecting Greece to lose- it was the same mood for other matches too.

In Gotland the crowd was far more excited, vocal and involved, a totally different atmosphere.

Swedes behaving "like Greeks", Greeks behaving "like Swedes"?

So much for national stereotypes.

On the match (Kathimerini)

Friday, 22 June 2012

Durrell School of Corfu Seminar, Travel Writing and Photography, Martha Klironomos

Professor Martha Klironomos gave a talk at the DSC Seminar yesterday (June 21, 2012) on "Travel Writing, Photography and Practice" which took a close look at some of the photographers whose work was included in the original editions of books on Greece by Patrick Leigh Fermor and Lawrence Durrell.

I was particularly interested in her comments on the photographs of Joan Eyres Monsell (who became the wife of Patrick Leigh Fermor) and on Constantine Manos, some of whose photos were included in Lawrence Durrell's "The Greek Islands". In the case of Monsell, Professor Klironomos suggested that the female photographic perspective acted contrapuntally to the textual narrative of the male author. A real loss that the photographs are not included in modern reprints of the classic Patrick Leigh Fermor books on Mani and Roumeli.

Here is a selection of  photographs from Constantine Manos' Greek portfolio. Martha Klironomos informed us that Constantine Manos, a Greek American from South Carolina, had produced disturbing images of the treatment of black people and sharecroppers in the American South, and that this aesthetic practice, related to solemnity, dignity and ethnicity, also influenced the way he approached his Greek portraits (eg of women in Mani singing laments or mirologia).

A rich area for further research.

Durrell School of Corfu, Joanna Hodgkin and Corinne Alexandre-Garner

An inspiring double book launch (author talks) at the Durrell School of Corfu, on the evening of 21 June:

Joanna Hodgkin presented her fascinating book "Amateurs in Eden: The Story of a Bohemian Marriage: Nancy and Lawrence Durrell". I had read the book in England, before coming out to Greece, so it was an unexpected pleasure to be able to hear the author talk about the writing of a biography of her mother Nancy, an artist and sculptress in her own right, the first wife of Lawrence Durrell. Nancy preferred her husband's poetry, island books and "The Black Book" to his more popular and successful "Alexandria Quartet".


Joanna Hodgkin (above)

Corinne Alexandre-Garner presented her book "Lawrence Durrell: Dans l'Ombre du Soleil Grec", which is also essential reading (if ordering from Amazon, find it under the name of Lawrence Durrell), and is much more than an anthology (in French translation) of Durrell's writing on the spirit of place.
The author's perspective is illuminating on the subject of Lawrence Durrell's personal creative journey, his sense of loss, including lost homes, his feeling of "non-attachment" and the influence of the Himalayas, and of  Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching on his imagination (cf his wonderful essay "A Smile in the Mind's Eye"). The book is worth having, even for those who do not read French, for the reproductions of Durrell's paintings and of drawings from his notebooks.


Corinne Alexandre-Garner

I regret that I won't be able to attend more than a few of the sessions of the Durrell School of Corfu seminar (20-27 June), "Lawrence Durrell in Corfu: A Centenary Reappraisal", but you should really try to get along to some of the sessions if you possibly can, even if you have to turn up in your swimming costumes. There are some very distinguished speakers, writers and academics participating this year. An opportunity not to be missed, in spite of the very hot weather.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Shortage of Medicines in Greece (and the UK)

Appeal to UN (Hellas Frappe). Dramatic situation worsens.

Perhaps the shortages and pharmacy queues are largely confined to Athens?

Keep Talking Greece

Meanwhile, back in the United Kingdom...

Patrick Leigh Fermor, Some Interviews

See them here

Internet Activity and Depression

A wake-up call to review internet activity?

Following the political and economic scenes has turned almost everyone into a depressive blogger.

Aung San Suu Kyi and the Media Scrum

Nina-Maria (FSN) "in the scrum" (top right), filming Aung San Suu Kyi outside the London School of Economics:


(Detail from a Warren Allott photo, The Telegraph, 21 June)

Aung San Suu Kyi studied PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, from 1964 to 1967. We almost overlapped, although I was at another college.

Oxford University video

In her speech she said that 'the most important thing for me about Oxford was not what I learnt there in terms of set texts and set books we had to read, but in terms of a respect for the best in human civilisation.'

OECD on Bribery and Corruption (Greece)

OECD 'significant' concerns

The June 2012 Phase 3 Report on implemention of the Anti-Bribery Convention in Greece (pdf file)


http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/21/2/50633313.pdf


Kathimerini article in Greek

Greek Reporter article

Wall Street Journal article

New Statesman: How Nato could help

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Dr. Theodore Stephanides, Corfu Plaque


"I loved that island home of mine too well,
Too well I loved each cape, each rock, each tree;
Each had become a living nerve of me,
A fibre of my soul, another spell
To fetter me to Ithaca's sweet shore".

From "Odysseus" by Dr. Theodore Stephanides (The Golden Age, Fortune Press, 1965).

I opened the first chapter of my book "The Ionian Islands and Epirus, A Cultural History" (Signal Books, Oxford, 2010; Oxford University Press, USA, 2010) with that quotation.

Athens News article about the plaque

Re plaque (above): a pity about the missing "l" in Durrell.


About Theodore Stephanides

Edward Lear Bicentenary Exhibition, Palace of St.Michael and St.George, Corfu

My second visit to the exhibition this morning, for a closer look at the paintings and sketches.

Sir Andrew Motion on Edward Lear in Corfu (from Secret Narratives, The Salamander Press, 1983 and Dangerous Play, Poems 1974-1984, King Penguin, 1985):




I noted down the handwritten quotation (slightly misquoted- although the poet did revise the poem) from Tennyson's "The Lotos-Eaters" (see complete poem below) on Lear's sketch entitled "Parga Albania":

"To watch the crisping ripples on the beach
And tender curving lines of creaming spray".

(Choric Song, Stanza V)

Some images of the Palace, original home of The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George






“COURAGE!” he said, and pointed toward the land,
“This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.”
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon, 5
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.

A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke, 10
Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
And some thro’ wavering lights and shadows broke,
Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
They saw the gleaming river seaward flow
From the inner land; far off, three mountain-tops, 15
Three silent pinnacles of aged snow,
Stood sunset-flush’d; and, dew’d with showery drops,
Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.

The charmed sunset linger’d low adown
In the red West; thro’ mountain clefts the dale 20
Was seen far inland, and the yellow down
Border’d with palm, and many a winding vale
And meadow, set with slender galingale;
A land where all things always seem’d the same!
And round about the keel with faces pale, 25
Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.

Branches they bore of that enchanted stem,
Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave
To each, but whoso did receive of them 30
And taste, to him the gushing of the wave
Far far away did seem to mourn and rave
On alien shores; and if his fellow spake,
His voice was thin, as voices from the grave;
And deep-asleep he seem’d, yet all awake, 35
And music in his ears his beating heart did make.

They sat them down upon the yellow sand,
Between the sun and moon upon the shore;
And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland,
Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore 40
Most weary seem’d the sea, weary the oar,
Weary the wandering fields of barren foam.
Then some one said, “We will return no more;”
And all at once they sang, “Our island home
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.” 45


CHORIC SONG
I
There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, 50
Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro’ the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep, 55
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.


II
Why are we weigh’d upon with heaviness,
And utterly consumed with sharp distress,
While all things else have rest from weariness?
All things have rest: why should we toil alone, 60
We only toil, who are the first of things,
And make perpetual moan,
Still from one sorrow to another thrown;
Nor ever fold our wings,
And cease from wanderings, 65
Nor steep our brows in slumber’s holy balm;
Nor harken what the inner spirit sings,
“There is no joy but calm!”—
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?


III
Lo! in the middle of the wood, 70
The folded leaf is woo’d from out the bud
With winds upon the branch, and there
Grows green and broad, and takes no care,
Sun-steep’d at noon, and in the moon
Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow 75
Falls, and floats adown the air.
Lo! sweeten’d with the summer light,
The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days 80
The flower ripens in its place,
Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil,
Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.


IV
Hateful is the dark-blue sky,
Vaulted o’er the dark-blue sea. 85
Death is the end of life; ah, why
Should life all labor be?
Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone. What is it that will last? 90
All things are taken from us, and become
Portions and parcels of the dreadful past.
Let us alone. What pleasure can we have
To war with evil? Is there any peace
In ever climbing up the climbing wave? 95
All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
In silence—ripen, fall, and cease:
Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.


V
How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,
With half-shut eyes ever to seem 100
Falling asleep in a half-dream!
To dream and dream, like yonder amber light,
Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height;
To hear each other’s whisper’d speech;
Eating the Lotos day by day, 105
To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,
And tender curving lines of creamy spray;
To lend our hearts and spirits wholly
To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;
To muse and brood and live again in memory, 110
With those old faces of our infancy
Heap’d over with a mound of grass,
Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!


VI
Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
And dear the last embraces of our wives 115
And their warm tears; but all hath suffer’d change;
For surely now our household hearths are cold,
Our sons inherit us, our looks are strange,
And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
Or else the island princes over-bold 120
Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings
Before them of the ten years’ war in Troy,
And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
Is there confusion in the little isle?
Let what is broken so remain. 125
The Gods are hard to reconcile;
’Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death,
Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
Long labor unto aged breath, 130
Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars
And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.


VII
But, propped on beds of amaranth and moly,
How sweet—while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly—
With half-dropped eyelids still, 135
Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
His waters from the purple hill—
To hear the dewy echoes calling
From cave to cave thro’ the thick-twined vine— 140
To watch the emerald-color’d water falling
Thro’ many a woven acanthus-wreath divine!
Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
Only to hear were sweet, stretch’d out beneath the pine.


VIII
The Lotos blooms below the barren peak, 145
The Lotos blows by every winding creek;
All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone;
Thro’ every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
We have had enough of action, and of motion we, 150
Roll’d to starboard, roll’d to larboard, when the surge was seething free,
Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind. 155
For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl’d
Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl’d
Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world;
Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands, 160
Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.
But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song
Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,
Like a tale of little meaning tho’ the words are strong;
Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil, 165
Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,
Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil;
Till they perish and they suffer—some, ’tis whisper’d—down in hell
Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. 170
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.


Edward Lear was not one of the Lotos-Eaters. Nor was he made a Knight, or a member of The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St. George. He did not identify, perhaps, with these lines from Tennyson's poem:

Then some one said, “We will return no more;”
And all at once they sang, “Our island home
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.”




The Perfect English Gentleman, 2012? Dorset and Fulham


If you read The Telegraph, or if you have heard of a new book called "Gentlemen's Pursuits", you might want to check your "Country Life" credentials.

Amongst many other things, do you have a house in Dorset or Fulham, or both?

On the Thames at Fulham

Do you eat muesli and blueberries for breakfast?

Do you have a black Labrador dog?

Do you have a wildflower meadow?

Do you drink New Zealand Pinot Noir?

If not, you might as well admit you ain't going nowhere.


Or maybe, you're just a good, honest, truly discerning gentleperson (i.e. a good bloke).

The New Greek Government, Challenges and Tactics

Right now (4pm) Mr Samaras is being sworn in as the new Prime Minister. Greece has a new government, at last.

The Economist (update on the challenges ahead)

Finland (update) "No extra time for Greece"

BBC, on the coalition's bid for extra time

England-Ukraine

Watched the match down in Mandouki, on an open-air TV.

Guardian report on the match

Player ratings

Things are hotting up. Ian what thinkest thou?

In the meantime, back to Homer and the siege of Troy.

Even more exciting.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Public Art in Greece: "You will have to learn to eat food that grows where you live again"

The Economist, Prospero on a gathering of public art in Greece (slide show).

Eberhard Rondholz, "Greece: Portrait of a Country" ("Griechenland: Ein Länderporträt")

This new book on Greece sounds refreshing.

See author's website, to read more

New Poems by John Fowles

Dorset Echo report on newly published poems by John Fowles.

More information

I have a signed copy of the 1973 Ecco Press (US) edition of John Fowles' poems, but this new publication will be essential reading.

If you enjoy good poetry and prose, don't miss Dorset Voices

That's Greece; and Baroso at G20. More than two sides to the story.

Time to view this video (again). Made by the British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce

Worth a look at this video of Baroso speaking at the G20 (BBC)

Lectures not needed!

John Psaropoulos, The New Athenian, on confrontations to come in Greece

Football, Germany-Greece

On the Greek news this morning: reference to this Monty Python sketch, which the Greeks have just rediscovered. Still topical!

This Friday, the quarter-final between Greece and Germany (Hellas Frappe)

Fired up (Kathimerini)

Tragic history, Richard Clogg

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bob Dylan at Isle of Wight Festival, 1969 (I'm not there)

I'm rather glad I wasn't there...but a French film-maker's documentary footage is well worth watching.

Wikipedia, on the Isle of Wight Festival August 30-31, 1969.

I'm trying to remember why I wasn't there.

I had just started work, and I was getting married in the small Archbishopric's chapel (Evangelismou; the Annunciation) of the Greek Orthodox Church in London (the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain). The original plan was for the ceremony to be held at the Monastery at Palaiokastritsa, Corfu, but I was required to start work immediately, teaching English to groups of Russians and Chinese VIPs.

With retrospective thanks to John Willis (film-maker, friend and TV executive, who stood in as o pateras) and Jimmie Katsaros (D. K. Toteras, o koumbaros mou- philosopher, playwright and flamenco guitarist).


Bob Dylan, Wedding Song lyrics.

Newport Folk Festival, 1965


Corfu and Greek National Election Results, June Elections, 2012

Greek National Parliamentary Elections Results in English

Corfu results (all parties) in English, from Ministry of Interior

BBC Report (national results)

Nick Malkoutzis, A Moment of Freedom and On Syriza in Second Place

Teacher's Dude Post Mortem

Samaras: Profile (BBC)

Kathimerini Results Table


29,66
1.825.644
26,89
1.655.079
12,28
755.851
7,51
462.459
6,92
425.981
6,26
385.085
4,50
277.176
1,59
98.065
1,58
97.100
0,88
54.421
1,93
118.758