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Saturday, 25 March 2017

FT: Juncker warns Trump to stop ‘annoying’ praise for Brexit EC president warns break-up of EU risks war in western Balkans

Russia: Unreported World, Family Values; Channel 4

Watch, Channel 4, On Demand

"Marcel Theroux meets one of Russia's biggest families as he investigates the Russian Orthodox Church's resurgence alongside a movement that promotes family, God and country, but that has a darker side". 25 minutes. You may need to register with Channel 4 to watch (and turn off Ad Blocker) - both requirements intrusive and irritating!

Professor Richard Pankhurst, Obituaries; Ethiopia

From The Telegraph - Professor Richard Pankhurst, expert on Ethiopia

From The Times

I often consulted Professor Pankhurst's comprehensive scholarly works (especially Economic History of  Ethiopia 1800-1935, Addis Ababa. 1968), when working in television in Ethiopia in the early-to-mid 1970's.

Professor Pankhurst and The Institute of Ethiopian Studies were very supportive of my film, which included objects from the Institute's collection. I remain most grateful.

The journal Ethiopia Observer was always essential reading. I still treasure my copies.

Published writings since 2000

Some of my faded old photos:

Classic Piedmont Blues

Two of my favourite acoustic guitar players - John Jackson and Doc Watson, are featured on this Smithsonian Folkways CD, and I recommend you sample the excerpts from all the tracks.

"With a selection of indelible recordings made over 70 years, Classic Piedmont Blues captures the essence of this fascinating blues tradition. Originating in the foothills of Southern Appalachia, the Piedmont blues served as a breeding ground for cross-pollination between traditions: rural and urban, black and white, country and coastal. Swept up on the tide of the Great Migration, it was carried from the Carolinas and Virginia, north and east through Maryland and Washington, D.C., to New York City and back again. Featuring influential artists like John Jackson, Cephas and Wiggins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and many others, this collection offers an illuminating overview of the Piedmont style. 64 minutes, 36-page booklet with extensive notes".

Friday, 24 March 2017

Greece and the Euro Zone: The IMF perspective; Poul Thomsen, Director of the IMF’s European Department

Oxford Talks: Poul Thomsen, 22nd March,  St. Anthony's College, Oxford, European Studies Centre.

Is there a text available?

I have only seen this KTG posting. "Greece will need at least twenty years to have its GDP return to pre-crisis levels" - that's the headline comment quoted.

I would like to read Poul Thomsen's own words on programme implementation, pensions and Greek resistance to opening closed professions.

How to Weigh Time (Time Weighs Heavily)

Trial Idea for an Installation

Alternative title:
 How to Weigh Time and Distance
(the fossils came from Northern Nigeria)


Τέσσερα διηγήματα ενταγμένα στον χώρο και τον χρόνο των Παξών, πριν εκατό και παραπάνω χρόνια, αναφέρονται σε ιστορίες που άφησαν εποχή, αλλά που η λήθη είχε ξαχνίσει τόσο που θα χανόντουσαν και αυτό θα ήταν άδικο για τους πρωταγωνιστές. Μέσα από αυτές τις ιστορίες διασώζεται πλούσιο λαογραφικό υλικό και τούτο τους δίνει ένα μεγαλύτερο δέσιμο με τον τόπο που διαδραματίζονται.

Πρωταγωνίστριες οι μάνες, που σε όλες σχεδόν τις μικρές νησιωτικές κοινωνίες κρατούσαν τα ηνία της οικογένειας, μιας και οι άντρες ήταν οι περισσότεροι ναυτικοί. (Από την παρουσίαση στο οπισθόφυλλο του βιβλίου)


Η Δέπαινα
Μακαρία Μοναχή
Το Σχώριο
Οι Διδυμάνες

ISBN13 9786188159730


Χρονολογία Έκδοσης Μάιος 2016

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Redevelopment of 14 Greek Regional Airports, including Corfu Airport

From Pappas Post - Designs Revealed for Redevelopment of 14 Greek Regional Airports

"Immediate actions that will be implemented at the airports as soon as Fraport Greece takes over operations before the launch of the summer season include:

– General clean-up
– Improving lighting, marking of airside areas
– Upgrading sanitary facilities
– Enhancing services and offering new free Internet connection (WiFi)
– Implementing works to improve fire safety in all the areas of the airports

Corfu Airport New Design Plans (from Pappas Post):

Kerkira Airport – Corfu (CFU)

• New terminal
• Expanding terminal by 10,294 m2 and remodeling current terminal
• HBS (Hold Baggage Screening Systems) inline screening
• Refurbishing and upgrading the fire station
• Reorganizing airport apron area
• Refurbishing airside pavement
• 27 percent increase in the number of Check-in Stations (from 22 to 28)
• 33 percent increase in the number of departure gates (from 9 to 12)
• 33 percent increase in the number of security-check lanes (from 6 to 8)"

Signs of a new era, eKathimerini
"The privatization of Greece’s regional airports is an extremely positive development for the country. Just looking at the terrible state of the airports at major international tourism destinations such as Santorini and Corfu is enough proof of Greece’s need to enter a new, modern phase".

Corfu Port Roundabout Construction Delays - οι εργασίες κατασκευής του νέου κόμβου στο Λιμάνι.

I've been reading about the lack of progress with the construction of a huge new nodal roundabout or intersection at Corfu Port, on the road leading to Mandouki. It seems to have been left unfinished.

What's going on?

Any progress with repairs to the damaged seaside promenade at Garitsa?

Comments welcome, as the online reports aren't clear. Problems at both end of the town?

Here's a piece- and a photo- from Corfu Post - but I'm none the wiser. When will the work be finished?

EU, 60 Years; Will Greece drop objections to Rome unity declaration?

From Reuters: EU hopes Greece will drop objections to unity declaration

"Greece has threatened not to sign the Rome declaration setting out the bloc's vision of its future. It wants the text to make a clearer commitment to protecting workers' rights - an issue on which it is at loggerheads with international lenders who want it to adopt more reforms in return for new loans....Another EU diplomat said any attempt by Athens to win leverage on the international debt talks by holding off in Rome should not succeed: "We won't be blackmailed by one member state which is linking one EU issue with a totally different one."

Greece Continues to Block Joint Statement of 60th EU Anniversary. Greek Reporter

"Vangelis Kalpadakis argued that Athens could not support the text referring to the values ​​of the EU and solidarity between member states, while Greece is asked to meet the unrealistic demands of the International Monetary Fund in the bailout program review negotiations. The Greek side wants to include a paragraph with an explicit reference to EU achievements regarding labour laws and social benefits in the declaration that will be made".

Update - Letter from PM Tsipras  - Επιστολή Τσίπρα προς Ευρωπαίους για τα εργασιάκα εν όψει Ρώμης, Kathimerini

PM Tsipras Asks Juncker if the ‘European Acquis’ Applies to Greece, Greek Reporter

Statement by President Juncker on Prime Minister Tsipras' letter on the occasion of the Social Summit, European Commission Press Release

Απάντηση Γιούνκερ στην επιστολή Τσίπρα: «Μην αντιστρέψεις τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που συμφωνήθηκαν στο παρελθόν για την ανταγωνιστικότητα», To Vima

"Συγκεκριμένα, ο κ. Γιούνκερ σημειώνει στο συγκεκριμένο σημείο της επιστολής του: «Πιστεύω ότι πρέπει να επιτευχθεί μια συμφωνία που θα σέβεται τις δεσμεύσεις που έχουν αναληφθεί από όλες τις πλευρές κατά την έναρξη του προγράμματος: οι δεσμεύσεις των ελληνικών αρχών να μην αντιστρέψουν τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που συμφωνήθηκαν στο παρελθόν για τη διατήρηση της ανταγωνιστικότητας». Επίσης, στην ανακοίνωσή του ο πρόεδρος της Κομισιόν κάνει αναφορά στην έκθεση της εμπειρογνωμόνων και σημειώνει ότι ορθώς υπενθυμίζει η έκθεση και είναι γνωστό σε όλους ότι δεν υπάρχει ένα μέγεθος που να ταιριάζει σε όλους, όταν πρόκειται για την οργάνωση των συλλογικών διαπραγματεύσεων".

PM 'isolated' at Rome summit over bailout talks, EU statement, eKathimerini

IMF: more work needed to reach deal on Greece loan, Agence France Press

The Times: Scheming bosses force Greeks to hand back wages

"Thousands of Greek workers are being escorted to cash machines every month to return up to a third of their pay to employers who have lost out during the government’s crackdown on tax evasion. The practice first surfaced in December when a government decree forced local companies to pay all employees’ salaries via bank transfer, a move designed to tackle widespread tax evasion and undeclared labour in the country. However, companies faced with increased taxes and social security contributions, have resorted to claiming cash back from workers after it has been paid. The technique has quickly spread across the country. The claim, made by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), Greece’s largest umbrella trade union,..".

Europe Prepares for Tough Brexit Negotiations, Spiegel Online

UK Airlines and Routes After Brexit; the EU 'Open Skies' Agreement

UK-based airlines told to move to Europe after Brexit or lose major routes MSN/The Guardian

From Saga Magazine - Flight price changes and the EU ‘open skies’ agreement

"Regardless of the type of holiday you take, whether it’s a package or you book independently, all UK holidaymakers who fly overseas may suffer in the future if flight prices increase. And this may well happen as a result of Brexit. The UK will need to renegotiate the ‘open skies’ agreement with the EU, which has allowed all EU airlines to fly between any two points in Europe. This freedom has enabled no-frills airlines, such as EasyJet and Ryanair, to flourish, and this has forced other airlines including British Airways to cut the cost of their fares. As a result, flights around Europe are significantly lower than they were in the early 1990s. In two years’ time though, having access to cheap fares may be a distant memory. It will all depend on whether the UK government decide to introduce their own aviation laws and negotiate their own deals. New agreements will also have to be made with the US. Currently, as a EU member state, carriers from the UK can freely fly to and from the States under the EU-US open skies agreement. This is all subject to change".

Bob Dylan on Rock 'n' Roll

I'm really not interested in listening to Bob Dylan's new crooning albums, but he had some good things to say about rock 'n' roll in this interview/Q and A with Bill Flanagan on

Edited excerpts:

Q. As a kid, did rock and roll feel like a new thing to you or an extension of what was already going on?
A. Rock and roll was high energy, explosive and cut down. It was skeleton music, came out of the darkness and rode in on the atom bomb and the artists were star headed like mystical Gods...Rock and roll was a dangerous weapon, chrome plated, it exploded like the speed of light...Jerry Lee Lewis came in like a streaking comet from some far away galaxy. Rock and roll was atomic powered, all zoom and doom. It didn’t seem like an extension of anything but it probably was.

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on

Dylan's answer reminded me of what Bruce Springsteen had to say about the big bang in chapter seven of his autobiography, Born To Run, "The Big Bang (Have You Heard the News...).

Read the whole chapter again!


Hound Dog

Good Rockin Tonight

Blue Suede Shoes - for many in England, the  release of the HMV 78 was the real "Road to Damascus" moment - buying it an act of defiant teenage rebellion. We never had TV in those days, but the record was dangerous enough in itself.

Dylan did embark on his performance career at Hibbing High School by singing Little Richard covers. Time he released an album of those covers?

Long Tall Sally

See also, The Guardian - Bob Dylan reveals an unsuspected love for Stereophonics

The Victims of the London Attack

BBC News - London attack: The victims

BBC News - London attack: Police name Westminster attacker

Related, a controversial opinion piece from Spiegel Online - "A Wounded Metropolis, London in the Age of Terror and Brexit"

Dorset Photographic Portfolio, "Take Two"; Two-By-Two Theme

I've been expanding on the "Take Two" theme, drawing on some old albums. Some photos were taken almost fifty years ago, on very cheap and basic cameras. Some have been scanned from old prints. All were taken in Dorset. I've included more "people" shots, but they're still mostly "two-shots".

You can look at my updated portfolio here: please click.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Greece: 15th century Ottoman mosque destroyed in fire, Didymoteicho

From Geo News (thanks to Chris for the link)

Reuters: Fire badly damages Ottoman-era mosque in northern Greece

Bournemouth and Russell-Cotes Museum; Meeting Modernism - and much more

 I'd hoped to see more Dorset landscapes at the Meeting Modernism exhibition, but the seascapes from the windows were splendid! Almost stereoscopic...with the sound of the surf...

...and some valiant surfers

Meeting the much less modern...

Seeking help and solidarity after squandering money on drink and women!

From The Telegraph - "Anger after head of eurozone finance ministers says southern Europe blew cash on 'drinks and women'"

Dijsselbloem under fire after saying eurozone countries wasted money on ‘alcohol and women’, FT -

"In comments reported by the Spanish press, Mr Dijsselbloem told FAZ: During the crisis of the euro, the countries of the North have shown solidarity with the countries affected by the crisis. As a Social Democrat, I attribute exceptional importance to solidarity. [But] you also have obligations. You can not spend all the money on drinks and women and then ask for help".

At least he didn't specify whisky or ouzo...

Listen to the new Eurozone theme tune:


Sappho: Bluebells (ΣΑΠΦΩ) - A deeper shade of blue


The shepherds lead their flock to grass
and crush the bluebells as they pass;
the distant mountains drink their hue
and glimmer back a deeper blue.

Sappho, translated by Theodore Stephanides

Available direct from the publisher, Colenso Books.
If you are interested, you can enquire about book sales at this email address:

(Photos below by Jim Potts - "Nature lovers beware - products of more than one place and one country")

οιαν ταν υακινθον εν ωρεσι
ποιμενες ανδρες ποσσι
καταστειβοισι , χαμαι δε
το πορφυρον ανθος ...
[κειται ]
ετσι οπως τον υακινθο καταπατουν
με τα ποδια τους στο βουνο βοσκοι
και το πορφυρο ανθος στο χωμα...

Corfu Dawn, Vitsa Dawn; Sappho Distich


   Our songs must end, companions dear,
the east is bright and day is near.

Lyra Graeca I, Sappho 65
Translated by Theodore Stephanides

from Sweet-voiced Sappho, Colenso Books, 2015

Available direct from the publisher, Colenso Books -
If you are interested, you can enquire about book sales at this email address:

Sappho's Leap, Lefkas:

"Let me return to Mytilene's fields
among the maidens whom, in other days,
I taught to dance before your holy shrine
and sing your joyous praise.

As once the ships of the Atridae sailed
from Ilium, saved by your protecting hand,
likewise, O Hera, guard me on my way
to my own native land".

From "Sappho in Exile", translated by Theodore Stephanides
from "Sweet-voiced Sappho", Colenso Books.

Hotmail Services Down Yesterday (Outlook Glitch)

Very frustrating outage, no explanation for the technical glitch.

Other Microsoft services were also affected.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Jurassica dinosaur museum, Portland project progress

From BBC News

Filming in Poundbury

From Celebrating Poundbury - Filming in the Buttermarket

Harry Potter star Timothy Spall films new Channel 4 series in Poundbury based on Philip . K . Dick short stories, Dorset Echo

Zakynthos, Real Estate and the Emir

Does anyone understand what's happening in this complicated and convoluted case? Kathimerini (in Greek)

The moral: think twice before investing in real estate!

Ανατροπές και εκπλήξεις με την επένδυση του πρώην εμίρη του Κατάρ στη Ζάκυνθο

Mount Athos: Vatopedi Saga

eKathimerini report: Court acquits all defendants in Vatopedi Monastery land swap trial

"An Athens criminal court on Monday acquitted all 14 defendants charged in connection with a property swap between the Vatopedi Monastery in the Mount Athos monastic community in northern Greece and the Greek state".

Court acquits all defendants in Vatopedi Monastery land swap, from KTG

All Defendants in the Vatopedi Land Exchange Trial Acquitted, Greek Reporter

Martin Parr, Photographer; Photographing People and Other Legal Rights

There have been several programmes about photography on BBC TV recently, in which the work of Martin Parr has been featured and rightly praised.

From BBC iPlayer:

Britain in Focus: A Photographic History-Series 1: Episode 3

What Do Artists Do All Day?-26. Dougie Wallace

One image from Martin Parr's "The Last Resort" has kept drawing me back; it was included in a touring exhibition that I helped to present in Prague in the late 1980s ("Inscriptions and Inventions, British Photography in the 1980s"; catalogue published,1987).

It is included in this posting from The Online Photographer (the online colour reproductions are far from satisfactory, but you can still buy the book).

All the images in "The Last Resort" are telling; the untitled photograph to which I refer (of holiday-makers eating junk food) is one of the six images included in the exhibition (the six photographs were nos.9, 21, 24, 29, 19 and 28).

The catalogue, written by Ian Jeffrey, suggests that it is "difficult to determine whether they are essentially voyeuristic photographs which exploit their subjects - a criticism which has been widely levelled at them in Britain".

Some Amazon customer reviews of "The Last Resort" book

The two BBC TV programmes (see iPlayer links above) dealt with that criticism very persuasively.

But it is a question that all social-documentary and amateur photographers must often ask themselves - as well as TV script-writers/dramatists, and documentary film-makers...


Some UK legal  considerations (check for any subsequent changes in the law): Photographers' Rights - Street shooting, people, privacy and children, A brief guide for street photographers - From urban75

Photographers' Rights: Public vs Private, from

Photographers' Rights, Q and A

An overview, Lindsay Dobson photography

Holiday snaps saved as UK retains Freedom of Panorama, Telegraph

Freedom Of Panorama, European Parliament Research Service

The Oldest Known Melody; Hurrian Hymns

From Vintage News - This is the oldest surviving melody dating back to 1400 BC (with video/audio)

Hurrian Hymn No. 6 (YouTube) - I'm not sure how authentic this musical reconstruction can be.

Homer in the island of the Phaeacians (Scheria)

Looking forward to getting back: too long away

Pieter Lastman, Odysseus and Nausicaa,1619
(Alte Pinakothek, Munich)

Allori, Alessandro 1535-1607. "Odysseus and Nausicaa", 1580. 
Fresco. From the cycle "History of Odysseus".