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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Greece and Its Finances



An analysis of the shortfall and financial situation by Matina Stevis

Tax arrears until the end of July?

60 billion Euros.

Apparently, the tax revenue "exceeds expectations" (To Vima)

Kathimerini (Greek)

Kathimerini (English)


Zest Electric Car: Just the Job for Corfu?


Very impressed by this ZEST Electric Car model; such cars can apparently be hired in La Rochelle.


Great design for good weather use. No idea about performance, availability, safety, price. More information needed, please.

Greece, Petrol Stations


I wondered why some petrol stations were no longer supplying petrol (gas).

There's one in the Central Zagori which has diversified:

No petrol, but they serve some great pies and gigantes.

Fleeting Impressions, En Route to Cherbourg (La Rochelle, Mont Saint-Michel, Bayeux)




Hero and Leander (La Rochelle)


Mont Saint-Michel





Becket (Thomas à Becket), Bayeux Cathedral




Bayeux


With a Corfu Wind Band



Read here about Richard Jones on Corfu

Friday, 30 August 2013

Seamus Heaney dies at 74





Ten Best Poems? (The Telegraph)

Poetry Please, Seamus Heaney (BBC Radio 4)

Nobel Prize Lecture

Seamus Heaney and the Czechs (Radio Prague)



From poema Greek e-zine:

SEAMUS HEANEY

Προσωπικός Ελικώνας

για τον Μάικλ Λόνγκλεϋ


Παιδί, ήταν αδύνατο να με κρατήσουνε μακριά από τα πηγάδια,
απ' τα μαγκάνια, απ' τους κουβάδες, τα παλιά στροφεία.
Με τράβαγε το μαύρο βάθος τους, ο δέσμιος ουρανός,
η οσμή απ' τα μούσκλα, τις λειχήνες, τα μουσκεμένα βρύα.

Κάποιο, σ' ένα τουβλάδικο, είχε στειλιάρι σαπισμένο.
Πόσο το απόλαυσα όταν σκίστηκε με πάταγο στη μέση
και πήρε να γκρεμίζεται ο κουβάς μ' όλο του το σκοινί.
Δεν έβλεπες καν ανταύγεια πια, τόσο βαθιά είχε πέσει.

Ενα άλλο που έχασκε ρηχό μες σ' ένα πέτρινο ξερό χαντάκι
γεννοβολούσε λες κι έκρυβε ένα ενυδρείο σωστό από κάτω.
Οταν ξετρύπωνες τις ρίζες τις μακριές απ' τα σαπρόφυλλα
έβλεπες να αιωρούνται άσπρες κεφαλές πάνω απ' τον πάτο.

Αλλα κάνανε αντίλαλο, σου αντιγυρίζαν τη φωνή σου
με νέα μέσα τους άπεφθη μουσική. Και σ' ένα τρίτο αλλού
μ' έπιανε πάντα τρόμος, εκεί αρουραίος μια φορά
μέσ' απ' τις φτέρες και τα κορακόχορτα μου ράπισε τον νου.

Τώρα έχω πάψει πια να ψαχουλεύω ρίζες, ν' αναδεύω λάσπες,
την άνοιξη όπως Νάρκισσος γουρλωμένος να κοιτώ.
Η ηλικία, η θέση μου τέτοια δεν επιτρέπουν. Ρίμες ταιριάζω
το πρόσωπό μου για να δω, τον ζόφο για να κάνω ν' αποκτήσει ηχώ.



Ποίημα σε μετάφραση του Κώστα Κουτσουρέλη,
για το προσεχές τεύχος του (.poema..), αρ. 20


Update, November 2013, Seamus Heaney, The Acropolis Museum











Farewell to La Rochelle





Farewell to French ports:

"Un port est un séjour charmant pour une âme fatiguée des luttes de la vie. L’ampleur du ciel, l’architecture mobile des nuages, les colorations changeantes de la mer, le scintillement des phares, sont un prisme merveilleusement propre à amuser les yeux sans jamais les lasser. Les formes élancées des navires, au gréement compliqué, auxquels la houle imprime des oscillations harmonieuses, servent à entretenir dans l’âme le goût du rhythme et de la beauté. Et puis, surtout, il y a une sorte de plaisir mystérieux et aristocratique pour celui qui n’a plus ni curiosité ni ambition, à contempler, couché dans le belvédère ou accoudé sur le môle, tous ces mouvements de ceux qui partent et de ceux qui reviennent, de ceux qui ont encore la force de vouloir, le désir de voyager ou de s’enrichir".

UK, Syria: MPs Vote; US Congress?


MPs vote against military action

The thirty Tory rebels

The count

Polly Toynbee

A spectrum of responses.

The Greek position

Greece: Bracing itself

Kathimerini commentary of the UK vote

Theodorakis, on the Drums of War (in Greek)

US Congress Update (China Central TV), Nina-Maria reports

David Rennie, The Economist Video, 2nd September 2013

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Greece: False Educational Certificates


An incredible 10% of civil servants employed between 2004-2009 produced fake or false certificates.

Kathimerini article:

"Alternate Interior Minister Leonidas Grigorakos on Wednesday called for the qualifications of all civil servants hired in the past 20 years to be rechecked for authenticity after declaring that 10 percent of staff hired from 2004 to 2009 were found to have submitted false education certificates".

Skiving and fraud?

There is a danger that this could turn into a witch-hunt.

Endangered Cheeses?


There seems to be an abundant supply of different cheeses in La Rochelle market.

Apparently (BBC) many rare types have disappeared.

Cheeses in La Rochelle Market

Melbourne The Best Place to Live


The Age reports on the top ten and bottom ten cities to live

Melbourne the most liveable city.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Evolution of Perception Part 2, La Rochelle's Performing Dogs


This popular show, "Les Reginensi" (Jack et ses amis), has a long tradition in the Old Port area of La Rochelle; it dates back at least thirty years. Dogs dressed up and promenading on hind legs, dogs jumping through hoops, climbing ladders, balancing on the trainer's hat or hands...Not sure what the French equivalent of the RSPCA has to say about the performance or the training methods. A tricky topic.







Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Evolution of Perception; La Rochelle Natural History Museum


Apart from a diverse natural history collection, the Museum's ethnology department also contains ethnographic objects from Africa and elsewhere.

"The specimens exhibited have been collected since the beginning of the nineteenth century by adventurers eager for new discoveries, and then by scientists who desired to understand these new civilizations and people who were so different from them...

These objects show the evolution of the perception of those who gathered them".

Perhaps this is the most interesting aspect of the ethnographic material: the changing perceptions of collectors and museum visitors.








Greece, Cyprus, Syria (+ the US, The Arab League, France and Britain)


Kathimerini report (in Greek)

Greek Ministry of Defence Denial (EnetEnglish)

Warplanes in Cyprus (The Guardian)

Pedalling backwards?

More denials

The Telegraph

Guido Fawkes, 28 August

The Guardian

Nina-Maria on China Central TV

Kathimerini again

And again...

Keep Talking Greece

BBC update, 29 August

Monday, 26 August 2013

A Modest Pad on Corfu


For Sale Wall Street Journal House of the Day. Nearly nine million dollars.

Huffington Post

Interest in real estate growing?

Wishful thinking? There's an awful lot of property on the market, and it doesn't seem to be moving.

La Rochelle, France: Fire at the Hotel de ville


Video posted on YouTube

The first images

The following morning

I'm staying in La Rochelle. I'm glad I wasn't here two months ago to witness this devastating fire which broke out in Hotel de ville (on 28 June, 2013), just a short walk from here.

Report in Le Monde

"Un spectaculaire incendie a en partie ravagé vendredi la mairie de La Rochelle, un superbe édifice datant des XVe et XVIe siècles, classé monument historique. Le feu n'a été éteint que samedi 29 juin à l'aube. L'incendie, qui n'a pas fait de victimes, a endommagé environ "70 %" des bâtiments, estime Maxime Bono, le maire socialiste de cette cité portuaire"...

More on La Rochelle

Sartre "Last Words on La Rochelle" 

Life in Western Australia



BBC, Professor Fiona Haslam McKenzie


How do the Wandjina feel?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Paxoi, No "Taxoi"


Kathimerini article on the highest rates of tax evasion at Greek resorts:

"The highest offending rates were on the islands of Amorgos, Paxoi and Symi, where all the businesses checked were found to be breaking the law".

Tax Evasion: Zero Tolerance or 100% Tolerance?

Want To Be An Extra in a Thomas Hardy Movie Adaptation?


BBC News:

"We're looking for people with really good character faces - who, in their everyday lives, wouldn't ever consider being part of a film.

"They bring such personality and texture - we want to get that in."

He also said individuals who "met the look" could potentially find themselves given larger roles in the Thomas Vinterberg-directed film.

They are searching for a total of 500 to 600 male and female extras to play farm workers from the 1840s.

Another all-day audition is being held at Dorchester Rugby Club on Friday.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Corfu Concert of The Year, Aliki By Moonlight (Aliki Kayialoglou); Η Αλίκη Καγιαλόγλου, στην πρώτη της αυτή εμφάνιση στην Κέρκυρα



I have just heard that Aliki Kayialoglou will be giving a concert in Corfu on 21st August. Not to be missed!

Free entrance, Old Frourio (Fortress), 9.30, St George's Church.

One of the greatest Greek singers and interpreters of the entechno tragoudi and the songs of Hadjidakis.

I Xanthoula

Oi Stichoi Aftoi

Press and Critics

Sadly I'll miss the concert, but very happy that we caught up at the rehearsal:




Don't the moon look good, mama, shining through the trees! 

Review, Corfu Press

Review, Corfu Land

Update 2015- Η Αλίκη Καγιαλόγλου τραγουδάει Χατζιδάκι και Piazzolla στο Μουσείο Μπενάκη


Aliki with Manos Hadjidakis


Aliki at the British Council, Thessaloniki

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Greece: Bank Foreclosure Home Auctions, Ban To Be Lifted?


Kathimerini report

Issue frozen again?

Samaras to reconsider

More on this

Final Decision

Well, probably

30% could pay their mortgage loans- but don't

Government U-Turn

Another privatisation setback?

EU Subsidy Fraud?

Greek Perceptions, Changing Attitudes to Foreign Countries


To Vima, Sunday 18 August 2013

The Greeks have become more pro-American, it seems, to judge from public opinion research published today by To Vima.

56.5% of Greeks polled by Kapa Research for To Vima indicated a change in preferences concerning various foreign countries, and a more positive or relatively positive attitude towards the USA, up from 31% in 2010. France is perceived to have the most friendly, pro-Greek attitudes, according to 72% of the Greeks polled.

43.4% are positive or relatively positive towards the UK (up from 25.5% in 2010).

France, Russia and China all polled better than the USA. India and the United Arab Emirates came ahead of the UK in terms of positive perceptions. People of course, can be very fickle, and the recent visit of Prime Minister Samaras to Washington, may have resulted in a significant improvement in polled attitudes concerning the USA.

In terms of the countries with which most Greeks believe it is in their country's interests to develop closer political and economic ties, Russia, China and the USA come off well. The UK came seventh with only 2% of the vote, behind Russia, China, the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Turkey and India.
A job for the British Embassy and the British Council? It may not have been such a sensíble idea to reduce the diplomatic, trade and cultural effort in other EU member states in order to concentrate on improving perceptions and relations in the Arab world?

How successful has the British effort been in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen or Lebanon?

USA: The Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Musical Trail


A Chris King recommendation, for the next trip to the USA:

The Crooked Road

On an unrelated topic, Chris tells me that this recording of "Jimbo Jambo" (an old-time medicine show song) includes the first known use of the word "bimbo".

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Epirus, Zagori, Vitsa Panigyri: The Morning After (August 17, 2013)


August 17th, 8am, still going strong.
The morning after the last night of the amazing three-day Vitsa Panigyri.

Grigoris Kapsalis sings:





Thomas Haligiannis on klarino.

Singing "Samantakas"


George leads the dance



Kostas Karapanos on violin:



10am, the farewell procession: Stin xeniteia

Vitsa website