Colenso Books

COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

Orders and enquiries to the publisher:

Follow by Email

Monday, 30 April 2012

The First Cygnet this Summer, at Abbotsbury

Summer is here!


At Abbotsbury (BBC)

Queues at UK airports?

BBC News , Immigration Minister, statement in Parliament.

Dorset Voices: Portland Photographers Pleased!

Some welcome feedback from photographers  (on The Portland Portal) who contributed their work to Dorset Voices.

Update, with two Portland photos

Thessaloniki 1912-2012, Centenary of Liberation, Programme

Thessaloniki celebrates.

Programme of events.

Aspects of Slavery: On Abolition, Apologies and Propaganda

"Bristol got rich on the back of the slave trade..."
The Independent, 11 May, 2006

Update: 29 September 2015, The Guardian

  George Morland

African Hospitality

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1785-1845), Weymouth MP and abolitionist

The African Slave Trade and Its Remedy (1839;1840)

Alexander Falconbridge of Bristol, surgeon on slave ships

More on Falconbridge

The Dorset connection (BBC)

Legacies of British Slave Ownership

Bristol's Graceful Mansions (update)

Slavery and the British Country House (English Heritage, 2013)

On the film Twelve Years a Slave (New Statesman)

J. M. W. Turner and "The Slave Ship"; Thomas Clarkson

Representing Slavery - Art, Artefacts and Archives in the Collections of the National Maritime Museum

A Curse for a Nation, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

British Museum "The Wealth of Africa, The Slave Trade", Students' Booklet

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1839;1840) cites the eye-witness evidence of the ship's-surgeon Alexander Falconbridge, concerning the Middle Passage (before 1790). Buxton describes Falconbridge (from Bristol) as a respectable witness before the Committee of Inquiry in 1790:

"Falconbridge then tells us that the negroes are sometimes compelled to dance and sing, and that, if any reluctance is exhibited, the cat-o'-nine-tails is employed to enforce obedience. He goes on to mention the unbounded licence given to officers and crew of the slavers, as regards the women; and, speaking of the officers, he says, they 'are sometimes guilty of such brutal exceesses as disgrace human nature'..."

"An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa"

"Exercise being deemed necessary for the preservation of their health, they are sometimes obliged to dance, when the weather will permit their coming on deck. If they go about it reluctantly, or do not move with agility, they are flogged by a person standing by them all the time with a cat-o'- nine-tails in his hand for that purpose. Their musick, upon these occasions, consists of a drum, sometimes with only one head ; and when that is worn out, they do not scruple to make use of the bottom of one of the tubs before described. The poor wretches are frequently compelled to sing also, but when they do so, their songs are generally, as may naturally be expected, melancholy lamentations of their exile from their native country.
  On board some ships, the common sailors are allowed to have intercourse with such of the black women whose consent they can procure. And some of them have been known to take the inconstancy of their paramours so much to heart, as to leap overboard and drown themselves. The officers are permitted to indulge their passions among them at pleasure, and sometimes are guilty of such brutal excesses, as disgrace human nature. The hardships and inconveniencies suffered by the negroes during the passage, are scarcely to be enumerated or conceived. They are far more violently affected by the sea-sickness, than the Europeans. It frequently terminates in death, especially among the women...
  And, to conclude on this subject, I could not help being sensibly affected, on a former voyage, at observing with what apparent eagerness a black woman seized some dirt from off an African yam, and put it into her mouth; seeming to rejoice at the opportunity of possessing some of her native earth. From these instances I think it may be clearly deduced, that the unhappy Africans are not bereft of the finer feelings, but have a strong attachment to their native country, together with a just sense of the value of liberty. And the situation of the miserable beings above described, more forcibly urge the necessity of abolishing a trade which is the source of such evils, than the most eloquent harangue, or persuasive arguments could do".


From The Felon's Account of His Transportation at Virginia in America,
by John Lauson (mid 18th century)-
A chapbook of a Bristol boy's conviction for robbery and theft, transportation (for 14 years) and slavery on the Virginia plantations.
(reprinted and edited, J Stevens Cox, The Toucan Press, Guernsey, 1969):

The Poor Unhappy Transported Felon's Sorrowful Account of His 14 Years Transportation at Virginia, in America: In Six Parts. : Being a Remarkable and Succinct History of the Life of John Lauson, who was Put Apprentice by His Father to a Cooper in the City of Bristol, where He Got Into Bad Company, and Went a Robbing with a Gang of Thieves, But His Master Got Him Back, Yet He Would Not be Kept from His Old Companions, But Went a Thieving with Them Again, for which He was Transported for Fourteen Years. : With an Account of the Way the Transports Work, and the Punishment They Receive for Committing Any Fault. : Concluding with a Word of Advice to All Young Men to be Upon Their Guard, Lest They Go Through the Hardships He Went Through

"England as Slave-Trader and Slave-Owner"
(no 8 in a series of WWII propaganda booklets, "England ohne Maske" ("England Without a Mask") published by the German Information Office, Berlin, 1940):

  Berlin, 1940

Post-War Channel Islands booklet, from a different perspective :

Channel Islands, 1950s.

Related posting: The Greek Slave

Finally, a simple song written after visiting Fort Elmina, Ghana:


They took me down to Fort Elmina,
The meanest place I’ve ever seen.

They took me down to Fort Elmina,
The meanest place I’ve ever seen.

They threw me in a dark old dungeon,
The walls were thick, (I) couldn’t see the sun.

The ocean’s roar can’t hide our cries,
As one more slave amongst us dies.

The floor is wet, the floor is foul,
A new-born babe begins to howl.

Cape Coast is worse, the rumours say,
But if I could change, I’d go today.

The ship came in, after three long months,
They packed us in, they chained us down.

I said farewell to Fort Elmina,
The prettiest sight I’ve ever seen.

I said farewell to Fort Elmina,
The prettiest sight I’ve ever seen.


ROBERT SOUTHEY (born Bristol)

Poems on the Slave Trade

Sonnet I

Hold your mad hands! for ever on your plain

Must the gorged vulture clog his beak with blood?

For ever must your Nigers tainted flood

Roll to the ravenous shark his banquet slain?

Hold your mad hands! what daemon prompts to rear

The arm of Slaughter? on your savage shore

Can hell-sprung Glory claim the feast of gore,

With laurels water'd by the widow's tear

Wreathing his helmet crown? lift high the spear!

And like the desolating whirlwinds sweep,

Plunge ye yon bark of anguish in the deep;

For the pale fiend, cold-hearted Commerce there

Breathes his gold-gender'd pestilence afar,

And calls to share the prey his kindred Daemon War.

Sonnet II

Why dost thou beat thy breast and rend thine hair,

And to the deaf sea pour thy frantic cries?

Before the gale the laden vessel flies;

The Heavens all-favoring smile, the breeze is fair;

Hark to the clamors of the exulting crew!

Hark how their thunders mock the patient skies!

Why dost thou shriek and strain thy red-swoln eyes

As the white sail dim lessens from thy view?

Go pine in want and anguish and despair,

There is no mercy found in human-kind--

Go Widow to thy grave and rest thee there!

But may the God of Justice bid the wind

Whelm that curst bark beneath the mountain wave,

And bless with Liberty and Death the Slave!

Sonnet III

Oh he is worn with toil! the big drops run

Down his dark cheek; hold--hold thy merciless hand,

Pale tyrant! for beneath thy hard command

O'erwearied Nature sinks. The scorching Sun,

As pityless as proud Prosperity,

Darts on him his full beams; gasping he lies

Arraigning with his looks the patient skies,

While that inhuman trader lifts on high

The mangling scourge. Oh ye who at your ease

Sip the blood-sweeten'd beverage! thoughts like these

Haply ye scorn: I thank thee Gracious God!

That I do feel upon my cheek the glow

Of indignation, when beneath the rod

A sable brother writhes in silent woe.

Sonnet IV

'Tis night; the mercenary tyrants sleep

As undisturb'd as Justice! but no more

The wretched Slave, as on his native shore,

Rests on his reedy couch: he wakes to weep!

Tho' thro' the toil and anguish of the day

No tear escap'd him, not one suffering groan

Beneath the twisted thong, he weeps alone

In bitterness; thinking that far away

Tho' the gay negroes join the midnight song,

Tho' merriment resounds on Niger's shore,

She whom he loves far from the chearful throng

Stands sad, and gazes from her lowly door

With dim grown eye, silent and woe-begone,

And weeps for him who will return no more. 

Sonnet V

Did then the bold Slave rear at last the Sword

Of Vengeance? drench'd he deep its thirsty blade

In the cold bosom of his tyrant lord?

Oh! who shall blame him? thro' the midnight shade

Still o'er his tortur'd memory rush'd the thought

Of every past delight; his native grove,

Friendship's best joys, and Liberty and Love,

All lost for ever! then Remembrance wrought

His soul to madness; round his restless bed

Freedom's pale spectre stalk'd, with a stern smile

Pointing the wounds of slavery, the while

She shook her chains and hung her sullen head:

No more on Heaven he calls with fruitless breath,

But sweetens with revenge, the draught of death. 

Sonnet VI

High in the air expos'd the Slave is hung

To all the birds of Heaven, their living food!

He groans not, tho' awaked by that fierce Sun

New torturers live to drink their parent blood!

He groans not, tho' the gorging Vulture tear

The quivering fibre! hither gaze O ye

Who tore this Man from Peace and Liberty!

Gaze hither ye who weigh with scrupulous care

The right and prudent; for beyond the grave

There is another world! and call to mind,

Ere your decrees proclaim to all mankind

Murder is legalized, that there the Slave

Before the Eternal, "thunder-tongued shall plead

"Against the deep damnation of your deed."

The Sailor, Who Had Served In The Slave Trade

In September, 1798, a Dissenting Minister of Bristol, discovered a Sailor in the neighbourhood of that City, groaning and praying in a hovel. The circumstance that occasioned his agony of mind is detailed in the annexed Ballad, without the slightest addition or alteration. By presenting it as a Poem the story is made more public, and such stories ought to be made as public as possible.


He stopt,--it surely was a groan

That from the hovel came!

He stopt and listened anxiously

Again it sounds the same.

It surely from the hovel comes!

And now he hastens there,

And thence he hears the name of Christ

Amidst a broken prayer.

He entered in the hovel now,

A sailor there he sees,

His hands were lifted up to Heaven

And he was on his knees.

Nor did the Sailor so intent

His entering footsteps heed,

But now the Lord's prayer said, and now

His half-forgotten creed.

And often on his Saviour call'd

With many a bitter groan,

In such heart-anguish as could spring

From deepest guilt alone.

He ask'd the miserable man

Why he was kneeling there,

And what the crime had been that caus'd

The anguish of his prayer.

Oh I have done a wicked thing!

It haunts me night and day,

And I have sought this lonely place

Here undisturb'd to pray.

I have no place to pray on board

So I came here alone,

That I might freely kneel and pray,

And call on Christ and groan.

If to the main-mast head I go,

The wicked one is there,

From place to place, from rope to rope,

He follows every where.

I shut my eyes,--it matters not--

Still still the same I see,--

And when I lie me down at night

'Tis always day with me.

He follows follows every where,

And every place is Hell!

O God--and I must go with him

In endless fire to dwell.

He follows follows every where,

He's still above--below,

Oh tell me where to fly from him!

Oh tell me where to go!

But tell me, quoth the Stranger then,

What this thy crime hath been,

So haply I may comfort give

To one that grieves for sin.

O I have done a cursed deed

The wretched man replies,

And night and day and every where

'Tis still before my eyes.

I sail'd on board a Guinea-man

And to the slave-coast went;

Would that the sea had swallowed me

When I was innocent!

And we took in our cargo there,

Three hundred negroe slaves,

And we sail'd homeward merrily

Over the ocean waves.

But some were sulky of the slaves

And would not touch their meat,

So therefore we were forced by threats

And blows to make them eat.

One woman sulkier than the rest

Would still refuse her food,--

O Jesus God! I hear her cries--

I see her in her blood!

The Captain made me tie her up

And flog while he stood by,

And then he curs'd me if I staid

My hand to hear her cry.

She groan'd, she shriek'd--I could not spare

For the Captain he stood by--

Dear God! that I might rest one night

From that poor woman's cry!

She twisted from the blows--her blood

Her mangled flesh I see--

And still the Captain would not spare--

Oh he was worse than me!

She could not be more glad than I

When she was taken down,

A blessed minute--'twas the last

That I have ever known!

I did not close my eyes all night,

Thinking what I had done;

I heard her groans and they grew faint

About the rising sun.

She groan'd and groan'd, but her groans grew

Fainter at morning tide,

Fainter and fainter still they came

Till at the noon she died.

They flung her overboard;--poor wretch

She rested from her pain,--

But when--O Christ! O blessed God!

Shall I have rest again!

I saw the sea close over her,

Yet she was still in sight;

I see her twisting every where;

I see her day and night.

Go where I will, do what I can

The wicked one I see--

Dear Christ have mercy on my soul,

O God deliver me!

To morrow I set sail again

Not to the Negroe shore--

Wretch that I am I will at least

Commit that sin no more.

O give me comfort if you can--

Oh tell me where to fly--

And bid me hope, if there be hope,

For one so lost as I.

Poor wretch, the stranger he replied,

Put thou thy trust in heaven,

And call on him for whose dear sake

All sins shall be forgiven.

This night at least is thine, go thou

And seek the house of prayer,

There shalt thou hear the word of God

And he will help thee there!


William Cowper, Anti-Slavery Poems

Slavery by Another Name, Douglas A Blackmon

White Cargo

New York Times review of White Cargo 

Sail Away, Randy Newman

Ten Million Slaves, Otis Taylor

Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners Part 1 (BBC 2 iPlayer) 1. Profit and Loss
Documentary. David Olusoga discovers the price of the abolition of slavery. Huge sums of money were paid out in compensation, not to slaves, but to the slave owners.

Part 2, The Price of Freedom
Documentary. David Olusoga traces the bitter propaganda war waged between the pro-slavery lobby and the abolitionists.

"Colonialism,,,", from The Intellectualist (Facebook):

Artist credit unknown.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  from Poems on Slavery, 1842

Update, January 16th. 2020:

I went to a lecture by Professor Christer Petley, at the Thomas Hardye School - 
very well researched and presented by the author of  

Book reviews from

"White Fury tells a highly readable complete story... the volume is thoroughly researched and it is well-illustrated. (Robert Davis, New York Review of Books)

[A]n exceptional book that will become a major point of reference for historians of the 18th-century Caribbean and scholars investigating the sudden abolition of the British slave trade in 1807... White Fury is a powerful contribution to scholarship on the British Atlantic in the age of revolutions, and it deserves to be widely read. (Reviews in History)

Petley mines hundreds of extant letters written by Taylor, as well as a wide range of printed sources, to craft a highly readable account of the aspirations, everyday realities and crises faced by Jamaica's richest sugar planter... Petley has produced a smart, accessible biography of one of the most important slaveholders in the eighteenth-century British empire. (Brooke Newman, Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies)

A subtle, sensitive and marvellously evocative biography of Jamaica's richest and most powerful planter, bringing powerfully to life the brutal but highly productive slave system which undergirded the success of the British Empire in the late eighteenth century. (Trevor Burnard, University of Melbourne)

A revealing and persuasive account of one man's life at the centre of Britains slave empire in the Caribbean. In subtly tracing Simon Taylor's 'white fury' provoked by the movement for abolition Petley offers an original and provocative account of British slavery as it entered its death throes. (James Walvin, author of A Short History of Slavery)".

Blog post by the author, Christer Petley: Slavery and Revolution, Jamaica and Slavery in the Age of Revolution

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Bolshoi Ballet, The Bright Stream, Live in Cinemas tomorrow

Looking forward to this Bolshoi Ballet performance  of  The Bright Stream on Sunday, live HD via satellite, direct to the local cinema. Synopsis here.

It's high time Corfu's Cinema Orfeas applied for transmission rights and obtained this system. An essential facility for any town that has an audience for opera, ballet and theatre. Also essential for the students at Corfu's Ionian University Music Department. Some other parts of Greece have it already, including Preveza:

Athens - Athens Concert Hall
Kavala- Oscar Municipal Theatre of Kavala
Komotini - Komotini Concert Hall
Loutraki - Alexandreio Conference Center of Loutraki
Mytilene - Municipal of Mytilene (for info:
Preveza- Cultural Center of Preveza (for info:
Thessaloniki - Thessaloniki Concert Hall
Veroia - Star Cinema

These live HD satellite broadcasts have really democratised culture and brought enjoyment of ballet, opera and theatre to millions who had limited access in the past. Who needs the big city now?

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Falling Costs of Holidays in Greece and Corfu?

No idea if this article is accurate, but there appear to be some tempting package holiday discounts on offer.

I am also uncertain about Simon Calder's price estimates in this article in The Independent.

To quote Mr Calder:
"In Corfu, says the Post Office, a beer costs €4.50, compared with just €2 in Spain. But before you cross Greece off your holiday wish-list, note that no quantity is specified. From my exhaustive research on the subject, beer in Greece tends to be served in jumbo, thirst-quenching half-litres, while the standard measure in Spain is halved: a measly 250ml, hardly worth getting out of bed for, and unsurprisingly cheaper than that pint in Corfu.
How much was that beer, again? In the Corfiot resort of Sidari this evening, any bartender trying to charge €4.50 for a foaming pint of Mythos (that's Greek beer, not insect repellent) will see all his customers vanish to Shaker's Bar, where the same drink costs €2.
Likewise, the "cup of regular filter coffee" priced by the Post Office at €2.50 is a nonsense: any sensible visitor will sip proper Greek coffee in a kafeneio, and is unlikely to be troubled for more than a euro."

It obviously depends what kind of beer you drink, and what type of coffee you like. Much as I enjoy an "elleniko, metrio" or a Mythos, I do enjoy a filter coffee and an occasional bottle of Corfu's excellent (superb!) brand of Royal Ionian beer from the micro-brewery in the north of the island. You can very easily spend Euros 3.50 for a coffee, or 4.50 for a bottle of beer.
But you can keep your table or sit for as long as you like and watch the world go by. You're paying for occupying a prime seat on the Liston (or by the sea) as much as for the drink itself. It's worth it!

As with everything else in life, you have to know where to go, and what to buy.

If you have a taste for fresh fish, for instance, you're better off staying in England. In Greece it's never been cheap. A friend once pointed to a decent-sized one in the display case at a fish taverna, without thinking to ask the price, and I think it set him back around 100 Euro.

Update, The Guardian

London Festival 2012; Dorset's Maritime Mix

The programme, for those who can make it, and Cultural Olympiad events.

Maritime Mix (Dorset and the Jurassic Coast)...

and don't forget to get your copy of "Dorset Voices"

Thomas Hardy and the Wessex Landscape

New exhibition open in Dorchester County Museum:

Landscapes of Thomas Hardy's Wessex

Sailing, Weymouth Bay, Portland Harbour, Sailing Olympics.

More on the Olympic Sailing venues in Dorset. This time from the BBC

An earlier posting on the Sailing Olympics preparations in Weymouth and Portland, by Nina-Maria, for China Central TV

Olympics sailing teams take up residence in Weymouth

Security arrangements

Update on Security

Rescuing Dorset's Literature (Dorset Life; on Frank Kibblewhite and Sundial Press)

My Dorset Life article, "Rescuing Dorset's Literature", can now be read online.

Frank Kibblewhite , Sundial Press

Bob Dylan, Presidential Medal of Freedom

Telegraph report

BBC Update: Dylan receives the Medal of Freedom

Michael Gray Not even a handshake...

Ain't got no home
Dear Mrs Roosevelt

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cricket in Corfu, Hope Village, Jo'burg Cricket Club Tour

Very worthwhile tour. Watch the video.

Where it all began (YouTube)

Greece, Pensions and Benefits, Wrongly Paid or Falsely Claimed

Kathimerini reports on a clampdown on wrongly-paid or falsely-claimed pensions and benefits.

The statistics sound bad (this item made British TV News on Sky, and many other TV channels and newspapers around the world), but I wonder how they compare overall with the rates of benefits fraud and administrative errors in other European countries?

Here's the Huffington Post

Zakynthos (The Telegraph)

Some ways for the next government to cut waste

Corfu Arrival, c.1970

A scene of George Peppard arriving in Corfu, from the film "The Executioner".

That's Mandouki, from 0.47-0.57.

The Corfu scenes must have been filmed in 1969, in fact.

The film was directed by Sam Wanamaker, and starred George Peppard, Joan Collins and Judy Geeson.
More details here.

"Dorset Voices" at Brympton Festival, Thursday 26 April

Brympton Festival programme (Thursday 26 April).

"Dorset Voices" was presented during the 5.30-6.30 session.

A small, but distinguished audience! Author Tim Heald and his wife Penny, Richard and Lucy Barnett, amongst others, and the excellent company of Louise Hodgson (author) and Julie Musk (publisher) for the Literary Dinner which followed.

See Dorset Voices section, Local Authors, Local Subjects:

Jim Potts represented the Dorset Voices editorial team.

Exploring the grounds of Brympton House

Bagehot in Vietnam with William Hague, Nina-Maria in The Hague.

Bagehot's first posting from Hanoi, where he is covering the visit to Vietnam of Foreign Secretary William Hague, for The Economist. His second posting, on the promotion of educational opportunities in Britain.

A travelling family! Nina has to go to The Hague today to cover a  story for her news organisation, it's the War Crimes Trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia.

"Due to security concerns over holding the trial in Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor’s trial is being conducted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone at the premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague".

Nina-Maria (VOA) back in June, 2007

In The Hague

Update on the verdict (BBC)

With Alex in Bermuda, and Priscillia just back there from France, I'm preparing to return to Greece.

A crazy life.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Weymouth in the early 60s, Joseph Losey's film, "The Damned"

I met Joseph Losey, the great film-director ("The Servant", "Accident", "Don Giovanni" etc), in the early 60s, around a year after this film, The Damned ( "These are the Damned", US title), was first released. The Damned starred Oliver Reed and Shirley Ann Field.

Release dates: UK, 19 May 1963, USA, 7 July 1965, I suspect that much of it was filmed as early as 1961.

I love Shirley Ann's opening taunt: "Never seen a clock-tower before??"

Worth watching the film for the scenes of Weymouth and Portland alone.

Another excerpt/trailer

Intro to the American release

The film is mentioned in Julie Musk's excellent - and extremely useful- book "Lesser Known Weymouth".

Dorset Echo article on The Damned locations

More from The Dorset Echo

Further information from The Dorset Echo

The DVD can be ordered on Amazon.

Traditional Music of England, British Library Sounds Archive

There is a huge archive of recordings from Dorset and other parts of the UK held by the British Library.

Well worth exploring. I started here, with "A Daisy a Day".

Thanks to Real West Dorset for the link.

Launch of 'Dorset Voices', Bournemouth Library/Bournemouth Festival of Words

Paddy Hughes and Louisa Adjoa Parker


Jim Aldhouse

I was delighted with the successful launch of "Dorset Voices" at Bournemouth Library last night.

It was a  full house, and all the readings were extraordinarily entertaining and professional.

Here's a list of the contributors whose work was showcased last night:

Robin Daglish, Claire Wyburn, Janet Hancock, Timmy Crump (read by Louisa Parker), Pam Kelly, Helen Pizzey, Valerie Bridge, Judy Bannon, Maya Pieris, Janet Gogerty, Gail Aldwin, Phil Mullane, Patrick O’Neill, Margery Hookings, Jim Aldhouse, Anne Clegg, Paddy Hughes, Geraldine Farrow.

The editors wish to thank them all for coming to the launch and for participating. Congratulations all round!

Thanks too, to other contributors and members of the public who came to listen, to Roving Press, Bournemouth Library and Bournemouth Festival of Words.

A pity I forget to mention Shakespeare, on his birthday. Chronia Polla!

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Appeal of Paxos

Another love story, with the island of Paxos (Carinthia West).

A Paxos love story, of a different kind   (Belinda Harley)

Ionian Island sold

The island of Oxia, near Ithaca, has been sold, it is reported, apparently bought by a member of Qatar's Royal Family.

Time to re-read Spiros Plaskovitis' novel, The Facade Lady of Corfu.

On underused highways and the selling of islands (Kathimerini)

Happy Birthday, Milo!

Somerset and Dorset for Longevity

Interesting report from the BBC.

Too late to move again now.

Some people might argue that you have to weigh up an interesting, varied and exciting way of life against increased longevity in a quiet village.

A glass of the hard stuff, or wealth the answer?  (The Independent).

Lorentzos Mavilis, Symposium, Society for Corfiot Studies, 28-29 April

With all the attention on Edward Lear (Bicentenary) and Lawrence Durrell (Centenary) in Corfu this year, it is important to highlight the importance of the life and work of Lorentzos Mavilis. It's the centenary of his heroic death this year (he was killed in action fighting in Epirus). The Society for Corfiot Studies is organising a two-day symposium on 28-29 April. I am a great admirer of Mavilis' poetry and his sonnets. Press release and programme (in Greek) below.

Plaque on the house where Mavilis lived. With cable!


        Θ. Μακρή 1 - Κ. Δαφνή (πρώην πάροδ. Αρσενίου, Μουράγια)
  49100 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ
  τηλ.: 26610-30674


Στην Εταιρεία Κερκυραϊκών Σπουδών

Επιστημονική Διημερίδα για τον ποιητή Λορέντζο Μαβίλη
(100 χρόνια από ντον θάνατό του)

Επιστημονική Διημερίδα για τα 100 χρόνια από τον ηρωϊκό θάνατο του ποιητή Λορέντζου Μαβίλη στον Δρίσκο της Ηπείρου, στις 28 Νοεμβρίου του 1912 (κατά τον Πρώτο Βαλκανικό πόλεμο, επικεφαλής λόχου γαριβαλδινών εθελοντών), διοργανώνει η Εταιρεία Κερκυραϊκών Σπουδών, την 28η Απριλίου 2012, απόγευμα, ημέρα Σάββατο, και την 29η Απριλίου 2012, πρωί, ημέρα Κυριακή.
Η διημερίδα θα διεξαχθεί στο Μουσείο Σολωμού (Κέρκυρα), εκτός από ένα θέατρο αναλογίου, με θεατρικό λόγο βασιζόμενο στις επιστολές και στο έργο του Λορέντζου Μαβίλη, που θα διεξαχθεί την 28η Απριλίου 2012 και ώρα 20.15 στον Καθολικό Ιερό Ναό του Αγίου Φραγκίσκου, με την επιμέλεια του κ. Πέτρου Γάλλια, καλλιτεχνικού διευθυντή του ΔΗ.ΠΕ.ΘΕ. Κερκύρας.
Επίσης, την 29η Απριλίου 2012, με τη λήξη της διημερίδας, οι σύνεδροι και το κοινό θα συγκεντρωθούν τιμητικά έξω από το σπίτι όπου έζησε και έγραψε ο Λορέντζος Μαβίλης, στην Πόρτα Ρεμούνδα (οδός Λαυρεντίου Μαβίλη).
Η Εταιρεία Κερκυραϊκών Σπουδών, στο πλαίσιο των 100 χρόνων από τον θάνατο του Λορέντζου Μαβίλη, προετοιμάζει και νέα σειρά σχετικών εκδηλώσεων, που θα ανακοινωθούν προσεχώς.
Το πλήρες πρόγραμμα της διημερίδας της 28ης και 29ης Απριλίου 2012, στην οποία η είσοδος είναι ελεύθερη, έχει ως εξής:

Σάββατο 28 Απριλίου 2012
Εναρκτήρια συνεδρία

Πρόεδρος: Νίκος Παπαδημητρίου
Γραμματέας: Μαγδαληνή Μανωλοπούλου

18.00            Κώστας Καρδάμης: Ο Λορέντζος Μαβίλης και η μουσική: Ρητά σημαίνοντα και άρρητα σημαινόμενα
18.20            Ευριπίδης Γαραντούδης: Ο Μαβίλης και το επτανησιακό σονέτο: κληρονομία, συγκλίσεις και αποκλίσεις
18.40            Άντεια Φραντζή: Η γυναίκα στο έργο του Λορέντζου Μαβίλη: κυριολεξία και μεταφορά
19.00            Θεοδόσης Πυλαρινός: Ποιήματα για  τον Λορέντζο Μαβίλη από τους ομοτέχνους του
19.20            Συζήτηση
19.40   Λήξη συνεδρίας     

Ώρα 20.15
Ιερός Ναός Αγίου Φραγκίσκου
Θέατρο αναλογίου
Με τη «Λήθη» και το «Μούχρωμα»

Θεατρικός λόγος βασιζόμενος στις επιστολές και στο έργο του Λορέντζου Μαβίλη, από το ΔΗ.ΠΕ.ΘΕ. Κερκύρας.
Επιμέλεια: Πέτρος Γάλλιας, καλλιτεχνικός διευθυντής του ΔΗ.ΠΕ.ΘΕ. Κερκύρας

Κυριακή 29 Απριλίου 2012
Πρωινή συνεδρία

Πρόεδρος: Αναστασία Σιώψη
Γραμματέας: Λεωνίδας Μερτύρης

09.30            Δήμητρα Γιωτοπούλου: Ο Μαβίλης και η αρχαιότητα
09.50    Ηλίας Γιαρένης: Ο Λορέντζος Μαβίλης και η βυζαντινή κληρονομιά
10.10            Παναγής Σκλαβούνος: Ο  παιγνιδιάρης Μαβίλης και η επίδοσή του στο σκάκι               
10.30            Συζήτηση
10.50            Διάλειμμα

Μεσημβρινή συνεδρία

Πρόεδρος: Νάσος Μαρτίνος
Γραμματέας: Βέρα Κονιδάρη

11.10            Βασίλης Λέτσιος: «Ποιητής και Ήρωας»: Μια κριτική παρουσίαση αφιερωμάτων στον Λορέντζο Μαβίλη
11.30            Μαρία Ρώτα ‒ Περικλής Παγκράτης: Δυο άγνωστες επιστολές του Κωνσταντίνου Θεοτόκη στα Γράμματα  της Αλεξανδρείας και επιβιώσεις των περί Μαβίλη απόψεών του
11.50            Θάνος Χρήστου: Η μορφή του Λ. Μαβίλη στην Τέχνη
12.10            Συζήτηση
12.30            Συμπεράσματα 
13.00            Πόρτα Ρεμούντα: «Έξω από το σπίτι του Μαβίλη»
(μια επίσκεψη απόδοσης τιμής)

Ο Λορέντζος Μαβίλης (6 Σεπτεμβρίου 1860 - 28 Νοεμβρίου 1912) υπήρξε λυρικός ποιητής, συνεχιστής της σολωμικής παράδοσης, ένθερμος πατριώτης. Ο παππούς του εκ πατρός  ήταν πρόξενος της Ισπανίας στην Κέρκυρα (ο ευπατρίδης Don Lorenzo Mabili de Bouligny, Ισπανία 1765-Κέρκυρα 1853). Ο ποιητής γεννήθηκε στην Ιθάκη, όπου υπηρετούσε ο πατέρας του Παύλος Μαβίλης (1814-1895), νομικός και δικαστής του Ιονίου Κράτους.. Μητέρα του ήταν η Ιωάννα Καποδίστρια-Σούφη. Σπούδασε στη Γερμανία φιλολογία και φιλοσοφία. Κατά την παραμονή του στη Γερμανία ασχολήθηκε με την σύνθεση λυρικών ποιημάτων (κυρίως σονέτων), και σκακιστικών προβλημάτων, που δημοσιεύτηκαν σε γερμανικά έντυπα. Το 1896 συμμετείχε στην επανάσταση της Κρήτης, πολεμώντας στα κρητικά βουνά. Το 1897 κατά τον ελληνοτουρκικό πόλεμο συγκέντρωσε εβδομήντα Κερκυραίους εθελοντές και πολέμησε στην Ήπειρο, όπου και τραυματίστηκε στο χέρι. Τα έξοδα της εκστρατείας των εθελοντών τα κάλυπτε ο ίδιος. Το 1909 γίνεται ο ενθουσιώδης κήρυκας του ξεσηκωμού και το 1910 εκλέγεται βουλευτής Κερκύρας. Το 1911, υπερασπιζόμενος τη δημοτική γλώσσα ως αντιπρόσωπος της Κέρκυρας στην Ελληνική Βουλή, είπε απευθυνόμενος στους καθαρευουσιάνους: «Χυδαία γλώσσα δεν υπάρχει. Υπάρχουσι χυδαίοι άνθρωποι, και υπάρχουσι πολλοί χυδαίοι άνθρωποι ομιλούντες την καθαρεύουσαν». Στις 28 Νοεμβρίου του 1912, κατά τον Πρώτο Βαλκανικό πόλεμο, επικεφαλής λόχου γαριβαλδινών εθελοντών, σκοτώνεται στη Μάχη του Δρίσκου, κοντά στα Ιωάννινα.

Warning: for all Greek Political Parties, and Politicians Everywhere!

Watch this classic Radio Arvila video, and take note.

These guys from Thessaloniki make some brilliant and inventive satirical TV programmes and videos.

Samaras promises.

Barosso speaks

Corfu Odyssey, Summer 1967- Summer 1968 (with my Austin A35 Van)

Summer 1967, when it was still "cool" to smoke a pipe:

From Castle Cary to Corfu

Posing with my first car (an Austin A35 van), the day I set out from Castle Cary for the long drive down to Brindisi, and then by ferry to Corfu, to take up my first real job. That A35 Van was the vehicle of many adventures and life-changing odysseys. It was ideal for the Corfu roads in those days. I eventually brought it back to England and sold it to a friend for ten pounds.

This photo marks the very beginning of my overseas career!

The Austin in Corfu, parked in Anapafseos Street, Garitsa:

Corfu, Spring 1968

Setting out again soon (by plane). Glad to hear the weather is improving in Corfu

Sunday, 22 April 2012

"These Tremendous Years"

It doesn't really pay to try to predict the future. We have no way of knowing the outcome of the French or Greek elections.

I have been browsing through an old book (an album published by the Daily Express in 1938), called "These Tremendous Years, 1919-1938, A History in photographs".

The last page of the book ends with the words:

"And in Britain, men and women settled down again to enjoy their peace."

These were the previous two pages:

 This page ends with the Prime Minister's words to the crowd: "I believe it is peace in our time...Go home and sleep quietly in your beds".

Six months later (Spring 1939), another book came out:

Journalists, politicians, diplomats, economists, historians and futurologists are always being overtaken by events.

Update on French Elections, First Round (Le Monde)

The Telegraph


Reuters (Hans-Werner Sinn on Greece and the Euro)

The Greek Economy

The changing face of Europe?

European Investment Bank: Drachma Clause, British Law

Kathimerini reports

Greeks need to decide whether to stay in the Eurozone (article in Greek)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Edward Lear, Majorca Limerick

My own memories of  walking and camping in Majorca.

Before the Blues- Irish Melodies- the Bermuda link

These links may come as a surprise from a blues-oriented site; first, a 1911 recording of  the setting of Thomas Moore's  poem "Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms," as interpreted by the Irish tenor John McCormack.

Sir Thomas Moore, a close friend of Lord Byron, spent some time in Bermuda (1804).

"Believe me if all those endearing young charms": this lovely song was one of the first my brother ever learnt to play on the guitar.

See also "The Last Rose of Summer"

Now, a 1911 recording of "The Last Rose of Summer" by Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini.

Amazing recordings, over a century old.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Vikos Gorge in the Spring

I'm looking forward to being there soon!

My glitsa will be waiting to take me for a walk down the gorge.

This article in Kathimerini made me all the more anxious to get there.

There can be few more beautiful or peaceful places in the world.

Hiking the gorge

I don't think I'll even be aware of the Greek elections.

Dream on.