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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dorset: Milton Abbey, In Urgent Need of Repairs and Conservation Project

The building is clearly leaking and the water is causing damage.

"The conservation and repair work of the Abbey and its surroundings is an essential and urgent task -
as is the creation of an effective initiative to ensure future sustainability".
Heritage Lottery Submission made 15 May, 2014

"There is one monument in the church which is, I think, the most commendable of all. It is to Caroline, Lady Milton, who died in 1775. The effigies of both Lord and Lady Milton are carved in marble upon an altar tomb. The little lady is exquisite beyond all expression. She is fully dressed in a simple costume of the time. She lies back dead. Her head drops on a pillow over which her loosened hair has tumbled. Her hands fall by her side inert and helpless...By her side her husband reclines, his head resting on his hand. He is assumed to be alive, and to be gazing upon her with a look stupefied by grief. He wears a bag wig, a sword, and pompous robes. He is uncouth, foppish, and ridiculous. He is living, she is dead. His grtesque self-importance and too prominent concern only serve to intensify her simplicity, her stillness, her dreamless sleep."
 Sir Frederick Treves, "Highways and Byways in Dorset", 1905.

Ann Clapcott's tomb:

Behold and see you who pass by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now, so will you be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

In the meantime, a game of cricket, or a round of golf?

Mark Ponsford, 1999

Mary Gauthier, Singer-Songwriter

A fine country/folk-singer from New Orleans, new to me

Mercy Now

Drag Queens in Limousines

A feature article in the Financial Times today.

"Gauthier was 35 when she released her first album Dixie Kitchen in 1997, its name a reflection of her other life as chef and manager of a Cajun restaurant in Boston. She sold her share in the restaurant to finance the follow-up, Drag Queens in Limousines (1999), which marked her breakthrough. Trouble & Love is her seventh studio album, recorded in Nashville with a network of musician-friends, including Gretchen Peters and Beth Nielsen Chapman. They provide Gauthier with the companionship she has failed to find elsewhere in life".

On British Composers and the English Landscape

An excellent article by Philip Clark in the Financial Times today.

An interesting observation on The Lark Ascending:

"Vaughan Williams knew all about how idyllic landscapes could be turned on their dark side. By 1920, when he came to complete The Lark Ascending, a “pastoral romance for violin and orchestra”, he had endured the traumas of the trenches as a member of the field ambulance corps. Did The Lark Ascending, begun in all innocence, now stand as their memorial – the image of the lark symbolising a flight from horror?"

US Foreign Policy and the Use of Force; Hard Power on the World Stage

David Rennie on the Charlie Rose show, PBS, USA (from 4 minute mark)

On President Obama's West Point Commencement Address (panel discussion, including David Rennie)

Friday, 30 May 2014

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa Street, Man, Goat, Bicycle (Video)

Great little video!

Two Outstanding Greek Poems (On a Past Economic Crisis, and on Tourism)

I've referred to these poems by Dimitris Tsaloumas before. I've been reading them again, and I recommend them to you. First published in Greece in 1982, they are still extremely relevant and topical.

I was discussing Tsaloumas' poetry with Mimis Sophocleous at the Pan-Ionian Conference in Corfu, saying that Tsaloumas is as important as Seferis. We agreed.

Australian dual-language edition, 1985.

Oxford, England: Gargoyles and Grotesques

Images from Oxford Today

London House Prices

From The Telegraph

"London house prices in April rose at their fastest monthly rate since official records began in 1995, Land Registry data showed today.

The monthly gain, of 4.2pc, would have added £17,645 or some £588 a day to the value of the average home in the capital, taking it to £435,034.

The annual gain of 17pc was the highest since April 2003".

Corfu Gas Death Family: Legal Aid Approved For Inquest; New Date

From the BBC

"A family whose children died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday has been granted legal aid for an inquest after it was rejected.

Robert Shepherd, six, and Christianne, seven, of Horbury, West Yorkshire, were killed by fumes from a faulty boiler in Corfu in 2006.

Their parents Neil Shepherd and Sharon Wood were refused funding as lawyers are not normally required at inquests.

But after a meeting with David Cameron they have now been granted legal aid....

The family met Prime Minister David Cameron and legal aid minister Shailesh Vara in April.

In a statement, Mr Vara said: "This is a very tragic case in which two young children lost their lives and my deepest sympathies are with the family, with whom the prime minister and I recently met.

"Questions remain unanswered and I have therefore authorised legal aid for representation at the inquest to hopefully provide much-needed answers."

A full inquest is due to take place next year".

From ITV

New date for inquest

Update 24 April 2015, Yorkshire Evening Post

Peter Mandelson's Diary: The Corfu Trip

From The Spectator

"My trips to meet Russians in Russia these days are a little less controversial than my encounter with them in Corfu. The Corfu trip, though, did have the bonus of throwing me together with George Osborne, whom I had not known previously".

Roland Barthes, The Rustle of Language; Oracle of Dodona; Dodoni

There is a rather splendid quotation in this London Review of Books article by T.J. Clark on the Henri Matisse Cut-Outs Exhibition at the Tate Modern:

"I imagine myself today something like the ancient Greek as Hegel describes him: he interrogated, Hegel says, passionately, uninterruptedly, the rustle of branches, of springs, of winds, in short, the shudder of Nature, in order to perceive in it the design of an intelligence. And I – it is the shudder of meaning I interrogate, listening to the rustle of language, that language which for me, modern man, is my Nature".

Roland Barthes


I'm reminded of a few lines I wrote at Dodoni, listening to the rustle of the oak leaves in the precinct of the ancient oracle:

Dodona Oracle, Easter 2000 

The leaves are not rustling,

The pigeons don't fly -

But the wild flowers are saying

"You'll live till you die."

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Culture in Dorset (Traveller Month)

A worthwhile educational event in Borough Gardens, Dorchester, today. Here are some photographs I took. I'm thinking of buying a small gypsy caravan. Just the job for writing in Greece.


Music and Traditional Songs of Deportation
On guitar, the (retired) Chaplain to the Travelling Community

Reading the cards:

Working with wood (making clothes' pegs):

Horse-Drawn Caravans

Snug, with wood-burning stove

If you want to buy a gypsy caravan, here's the number to call (cost £2000-£4000?)

I couldn't afford a caravan (and the transportation costs to Greece), so bought two books instead:

Compare: Roma Music and Culture in Northern Greece

Who are the Roma people? Euronews

In the UK, "Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised ethnic minorities under the Race Relations Act" (Travellers' Times, Summer 2014.

This event is being hosted by the South West Dorset Multicultural Network in partnership with the South West Alliance of Nomads, Magna Housing, Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust, Weymouth
College and the Dorset Race Equality Council with the support of Dorchester Town Council.

It seems that traditional caravans are more acceptable than the modern variety.

Dorset County Hospital: Patients Discharged In The Middle Of The Night

This does not make reassuring reading  (Dorset Echo)

"THOUSANDS of people have been discharged from hospital in the middle of the night, an Echo investigation has revealed.

An ever-increasing number of patients were discharged from Dorset County Hospital during the hours of 11pm and 6am in the last five years".

Greece: The Land Registry (Cadastre; Cadastral Survey; Ktimatologio), Questions Raised

From EnetEnglish

Original Greek article, Eleftherotypia

Further developments, EnetEnglish

Electronic Registration of Property (Real Estate)

Greece: European and Regional Elections, Final Results (including Corfu and Ioannina, and the Ionian Islands, in detail)

From To Vima

Official Government Results

Corfu Votes, in detail

Ioannina Votes, in detail

Ionian Islands, Regional/District results

Tsipras on Farage

Corfu: On Ag. Spiridonas, North East Corfu; and Barbati; Corfu Forum

A comment on Corfu Forum

Earlier comments (on Barbati)

Google, On The Right To Be Forgotten

From BBC News

And the right to be remembered?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cyprus: The Troublesome Transfer of Money

From The Telegraph

British families struggle to transfer money trapped in Cyprus

A year after the island's banking crisis, families are losing thousands as they slowly transfer their money out of Cyprus

Greece: Property Taxes Increase (Retrospectively Legalised Spaces and Constructions); Unpaid Taxes, Huge Debts

According to Keep Talking Greece

"Property owners have to add the legalized square meters to their tax declaration (E9) and be charged with extra taxes and municipality fees. Also affected are owners who legalized illegal constructions"

People can't pay their taxes

"Almost 2.5 million people are unable to pay their taxes. As a result, the new debts created in the first four months of the year came to 4.3 billion euros, or 1.07 billion per month".

To Vima

"Taxpayers have generated, on average, one billion euros of debt each month in 2014 - 66bn euros owed so far",

Lightening of tax burden? Kathimerini.

On the E9

Samaras wants to lower taxes

UK: More Archive Films from the 1930s and 1940s online

From The Courier

British Council archive

Daily Mail, stills from films

BBC News

C. M. Woodhouse, Forty Years Ago: On the 1974 Greek Election Results; Constantine Karamanlis

From The Spectator Archive

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Stanley Spencer: The Colours of the Clyde

BBC 4 documentary about this great artist

The Visionary Art of Stanley Spencer (The Lancet)

Thomas Hardy Society, Birthday Weekend Events, Dorchester; Hardy Conference and Festival

From Dorset Echo

Details from the Society

21st Hardy Conference and Festival, 26 July- 2nd August, 2014

Conference and Festival Booking Form

Conference and Festival Walks and Tours

 1. Sun tour Thomas Hardy’s Cornwall ..........places @ £30.00 £.........
 2. Sun tour Jurassic Coast Boat trip ..........places @ £12.00 £.........
 3. Sun walk A Walk round Dorchester ..........places @ free £.........
 4. Mon walk Under the Greenwood Tree ..........places @ £10.00 £.........
 5. Mon Tour A Church Crawl with Mr Hardy ..........places @ £10.00 £.........
 6. Tues tour Thomas Hardy’s ‘Melchester, ..........places @ £15.00 £.........
 7. Tues tour Sturminster Newton & Shaftesbury ..........places @ £10.00 £.........
 8. Weds tour Stourhead ..........places @ £10.00 £.........
 9. Weds walk A Wildlife Walk ..........places @ £8.00 £.........
10. Thurs tour Wolfeton, an Abbey Barn & an Inn ..........places @ £18.00 £.........
11. Thurs tour A Coastal Tour to Lyme Regis ..........places @ £10.00 £.........
12. Thurs walk A Tour of Shire Hall ..........places @ free £.........
13. Fri tour Tess of the d’Urbervilles Tour ..........places @ £10.00 £.........
14. Fri walk From Max Gate to Came Church ..........places @ £11.00 £.........

Simon Baddeley and Richard Pine: Their Corfu Lunch at Old Perithia

Two writers meet for lunch on Corfu (Simon Baddeley's blog, Democracy Street)

Richard Pine's new book:

The Disappointed Bridge, Ireland and the Post-Colonial World

On Old Perithia

Richard Pine, Wikipedia

Dr. Maya Angelou, Obituary


More from the BBC

MSN News

10 Questions (YouTube)

On the work of Maya Angelou (pdf file)

Her love of the music of John Lee Hooker and Charlie Parker (go to the top of  Singin' and Swingin' and Getting' Merry Like Christmas)

From 1952-1953 she was married to a sailor, Enistasios (Tosh) Angelos, of Greek origin.

The BBC Obituary states that she took her surname from her first husband, "an aspiring Greek musician called Enistasios Angelos".

John Lee Hooker sings

Charlie Parker plays

Corfu Summer Holiday Reading?

"The Holiday", by Erica James

"When she’s invited to spend the summer on Corfu and is offered the chance of a no-strings holiday romance with the irresistible Theo, what should she do? Go for it, or listen to the voice of Modern Woman and tell him to sling his hook?"
Try the first page:

Swanage Cliff Rescue

Impressive rescue (report, with video)

Thomas Hardy: Two Lectures at Dorset County Museum; Dorset Landscape

On May 29, 2014

"The current series of Thomas Hardy events at Dorset County Museum continues with a talk about how local writers have responded to Portland Bill. On Thursday 29th May, Professor Roger Ebbatson of Lancaster University gives a talk entitled, The Isle of Portland: Some Literary Echoes. Prof Ebbatson will talk about the strange and rugged landscape surrounding Portland Bill; specifically looking at how writers like Thomas Hardy and AE Housman portrayed it in their work. While Housman focussed on the predicament of a young convict, Hardy explored the landscape and folklore of Portland in his books and poems. In The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved, Hardy describes how one of his characters tries to commit suicide by taking a small boat out from Portland Bill into The Race. Knowing the area’s notorious reputation for strong currents and lethal sandbanks, the man expects that he will soon be drowned. However, his wishes are foiled by the brave actions of island boatmen who rescue him just in time! The talk is FREE but donations are encouraged to cover costs. The lecture starts at 7.30pm on Thursday 29th May and the doors are open from 7.00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. This lecture will be preceded by a Book Launch: Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner at 6.30pm. The Victorian architect John Hicks has always been eclipsed by the literary fame of his infinitely most distinguished pupil Thomas Hardy. This study assesses Hicks in his own right and in so doing casts light on Hardy’s years of architectural training. Hardy’s Master is the first attempt to bring the abundant documentation available, including important local newspapers, to bear o the career of an architect who had a profound impact on many Dorset churches. It includes a comprehensive list of architectural projects, both religious and secular, of Hicks’ practice in the county. T. P. Connor was Head of History and the History of Art at Eaton for nearly twenty years. He has written on early Palladian architecture, the Grand Tour and on a library in the English Civil War in many different journals, and took the chance of retirement to study architecture of his new surroundings".

On June 26, 2014

"THE LOCAL landscape in the writing of Thomas Hardy will be discussed in a talk at the Dorset County Museum.

Professor William Greenslade, from the University of the West of England, will give a talk entitled The Remote and the Familiar: Hardy’s Uses of Landscape on Thursday, June 26.

Professor Greenslade will look at how Hardy frequently referred to the Dorset, or Wessex, landscape in his novels and poems and how he used the physical and atmospheric qualities of the natural environment to generate melodrama and set the scene.

The talk starts at 7.30pm, with doors open from 7pm, and is free but donations are encouraged to cover costs".

Travel: An Important New Book; Travel, Discovery, Transformation

Culture and Civilization, Volume 6

Edited by Gabriel R.Ricci

"This latest volume in the Culture & Civilization series gathers interdisciplinary voices to present a collection of essays on travel and travel narratives. The essays span a range of topics from iconic ancient travel stories to modern tourism. They discuss travel in the ancient world, modern heroic travels, the literary culture of missionary travel, the intersection of fiction and travel narratives, modern literary traditions and visions of Greece, personal identity, and expatriation. Essays also address travel memoirs, the re-imagining of worlds through travel, transformed landscapes and animals in travel narratives, diplomacy, English women travel writers, and pilgrimage and health in the medieval world. The history of travel writing takes in multiple pursuits: exploration and conquest, religious pilgrimage and missionary work, educational tourism and diplomacy, scientific and personal discovery, and natural history and oral history. As a literary genre, it has enhanced a wide range of disciplines, including geography, ethnography, anthropology, and linguistics. Moreover, twenty-first-century interests in travel and travel writing have produced a global framework that promises to expand travel's theoretical reach into the depths of the Internet, thus challenging our conventional concept of what it means to travel. The fact that travel and travel writing have a prehistory that is embedded in foundational religious texts and ancient narratives of journey, like the Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh, makes both travel and travel writing fundamental and essential expressions of humanity. Travel encourages writing, particularly as epistolary and poetic chronicling. This is clearly a history and tradition that began with human communication and which has kept pace with our collective development".

I've started work on a chapter for volume 7 ("Travel, Tourism and Identity") in this series. It will include two case studies: Corfu, Greece, and Dorset, England.

Greece: Coastline Construction Warning from Spain

Let's hope they heed the warnings

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sweden: European Elections

The Greens did well in Sweden

More on the Greens

Left Party 6.3 percent

Social Democrats 24.4 percent

Green Party 15.3 percent

The Liberals (Folkpartiet) 10.0 percent

Christian Democrats 6.0 percent

Moderate Party 13.6 percent

Sweden Democrats 9.7 percent

Pirate Party 2.2 percent

Feminist Initiative 5.3 percent

Centre Party: 6.5 percent

The Region of the Ionian Islands: The Next Three Months

Corfu Press

What decisions will be taken and what project/financial commitments will be made during the transitional period before the new administration takes over on 31 August?

Η διαχείριση της διοίκησης της Περιφέρειας και οι αποφάσεις για τα έργα το τρίμηνο που απομένει μέχρι την αλλαγή σκυτάλης, αποτέλεσαν το πεδίο της πρώτης μετεκλογικής κόντρας του νικητή και του ηττημένου των περιφερειακών εκλογών.

Roma Culture and Heritage, Dorchester, 30 May

Information here

Borough Gardens, Dorchester, noon to 4pm., Friday 30 May.

Family event. Traditional culture and heritage.

Greece: MEPs, Voters' Choices Criticised

This seems like a  "sour grapes" and highly undemocratic commentary from Kathimerini

Poor choices

"In the past Greece has been represented in the European Parliament by many capable and respectable politicians who have made a name for themselves in politics, business and other areas.

By allowing voters to pick their candidates as well as their parties, the result has unfortunately met some of our worst expectations. The majority of the candidates who were elected to represent Greece in Brussels, with just a few shining exceptions, belong in the category of politicians whose only claim to fame is that they make regular local TV appearances and people know who they are if they walk past them in the street.

We often complain about the standard and the quality – or lack thereof – of Greece’s politicians. But when we as citizens elect the products of a shallow media environment to represent us at the highest level in Europe, then the onus lies with us just as much as it does with the political parties who nominated them".

Doesn't this "recognition by media exposure" apply to all politicians?

Or is it a matter of keeping the lucrative jobs "for the boys"?

Full list, to date, of elected Greek MEPS

Dorset: Jurassic Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Status; Wind Farm risk

From the Dorset Echo

BBC News

Secrets and Lies: How Far Surveillance? 3 June Event, London; Snowden Interview, NBC Exclusive

An event of some interest on 3 June, at King's College, Strand, London:

Murray's Handbooks for Travellers; Greece and the Ionian Islands

A useful publication on Murray's Handbooks for Travellers

I found particularly useful "A Handbook for Travellers in the Ionian Islands, Greece, Turkey, Asia Minor and Constantinople", 1840 (and subsequent editions).

George Bowen (Sir George Bowen) contributed greatly to Murray's Handbook for Greece (1857 edition; he was the sole author or major contributor).

See also

Recent reprints of Murray Handbooks on Greece and the Ionian Islands




From a different reprint company:




Australia and the Portuguese: The Case of the Lead Cannon; The Discovery of Australia

The Times, Friday May 23, 2014, Bernard Lagan

Monday, 26 May 2014

Mary Stewart, 1916 - 2014; Obituary; "This Rough Magic", Corfu Novel

Mary Stewart, the novelist, has died aged 97.


This Rough Magic

This Rough Magic (1964) was one of the more popular Corfu novels I read in the 1960s. It spent 8 months on the American best-seller lists.

From page one:

"Has someone been telling you that Corfu was Shakespeare's magic island for The Tempest?"

Lawrence Durrell has a lot to answer for!

Two descriptions of the novel:

"When Lucy Waring's sister Phyllida suggests that she join her for a quiet holiday on the island of Corfu, young English Lucy is overjoyed. Her work as an actress has temporarily come to a halt. She believes there is no finer place to be "at liberty" than the sun-drenched isle of Corfu, the alleged locale for Shakespeare's The Tempest. Even the suspicious actions of the handsome, arrogant son of a famous actor cannot dampen her enthusiasm for this wonderland in the Ionian Sea.

But the peaceful idyll does not last long. A series of incidents, seemingly unconnected - but all surrounded in mystery - throws Lucy's life into a dangerous spin, as fear, danger and death - as well as romance - supplant the former tranquility. Then a human corpse is carried ashore on the incoming tide... And without warning, she found she had stumbled into a nightmare of strange violence, stalked by shadows of terror and sudden death".

Good Reads

"When Lucy Waring came to Corfu to visit her sister Phyllida Forli, she was elated to discover that the castello above their villa had been rented to Sir Julian Gale.

A very minor cog in the London theatre, Lucy not unnaturally felt something close to reverence for Sir Julian, one of the brilliant lights of England's theatrical world. But any hope of meeting him was quickly dashed by Phyl, who indicated, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that not all was well with the great man and that his composer son, Max, discouraged visitors, particularly strangers . . .

Lucy encounted Max Gale the first morning of her arrival—and a tempestuous meeting it was. For Lucy had made friends with an enchanting dolphin by whom she had first been thoroughly frightened then completely captivated. It was when she was sunning on the rocks above the cove that the shots came, and the only person in view was Max Gale . . .

Thus begins a series of mystifying and thoroughly frightening events which tinge the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with the dark hues of violence. In every way This Rough Magic measures up to its predecessors—in spirited characterization, vivid description, glowing romance and unrelenting excitement. This is storytelling at its best".

Jacket, William Morrow edition, 1964

Griko Music of Southern Italy

Fascinating song

Another example

The Griko Language

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Indian Tourists Heading for Corfu? The new wave; From China too

The Times of India headline

Tourism from China

UK: Mail Delivery Costs Comparison

Useful comparisons

The Greeks Have Voted- and the British (SYRIZA, UKIP; the European Elections: political earthquakes, or just tremors?)

See also Guido Fawkes and the misleading, confusing ballot papers

"Speaking exclusively to Guido in the media scrum after his press conference, Nigel Farage has called for the Electoral Commission to be abolished for allowing the misleadingly named An Independence From Europe party onto the ballot papers".  A fair point. See Ballot Paper, South West Region, and the confusing, vote-splitting similarity between the first and last parties listed:

Rod Liddle, in The Sunday Times (25 May) blames the UK result on the "sneering, smearing BBC", "the arrogance of the liberal elite", the "self-satisfied, middle-class" metropolitans.

"I suspect thousands- maybe hundreds of thousands- of voters thought likewise: we have had enough of you people, with your absolutism and your sneering certainties. And your insulated London lives and easily-acquired affluence and, most of all, your disproportionate influence in this country's affairs".

In summary, he seems to be suggesting that people are tired of the traditional ruling political classes. That may be a part of the explanation, as well as a growing distrust of metropolitan journalists and the mainstream media. Unsettling and worrying times in Europe (including France and Denmark). More commentary on France

From Sunday:

First round of results expected 7pm Greek time

The Tourist Gaze, John Urry & Jonas Larsen

This book may be of interest.

Some extracts can be viewed here

3rd edition preview
John Urry and Jonas Larsen

“The original Tourist Gaze was a classic, marking out a new land to study and appreciate. This new edition extends into fresh areas with the same passion and insight of the object. Even more essential reading!” - Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor, Warwick University (more reviews here)

This new edition of a seminal text restructures, reworks and remakes the groundbreaking previous versions making this book even more relevant for tourism students, researchers and designers. ‘The tourist gaze’ remains an agenda setting theory. Packed full of fascinating insights this major new edition intelligently broadens its theoretical and geographical scope to provide an account which responds to various critiques. All chapters have been significantly revised to include up-to-date empirical data, many new case studies and fresh concepts. Three new chapters have been added which explore photography and digitization, embodied performances, risks and alternative futures.

1. Theories
2. Mass Tourism
3. Economies
4. Working under the Gaze
5. Changing Tourist Cultures
6. Places, Buildings and Design
7. Vision and Photography
8. Performances
9. Risks and Futures

Article on Tourism, Foucault and the Eye of Power, Keith Hollinshead

Kaffee Fassett Exhibition in Bath (The American Museum in Britain)

Information here

American Museum in Britain, Admission details

Scotland: Land Reform, Registration and Taxation

From the BBC

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Corfu, A Crucible of Change

An interesting and unusual approach to the history of Corfu:

A slideshow by Sasha Chaitow

Lecture (link)

NB "This paper may be downloaded and shared privately for educational purposes but may not be republished, online or in print, in part or in full, without the author's express written permission".

About Sasha

Not a Grockle! βρωμοτουρίστες!

Not a word listed by William Barnes in "A Glossary of the Dorset Dialect" (1886) either.

An invented word (according to Oxford English Dictionaries, and only dating back to the 1960s), much used by the author John Fowles, who lived in Lyme Regis. He couldn't trace the etymology of the word, which is a derogatory term for summer visitors or seaside holidaymakers in the West Country. "An annual nightmare", says Fowles. The word was possibly first heard (in the media) in the film "The System" (1964).

Click on article to enlarge it

"There are just too many of us these days. We have a dialect expression here in the west of England: “the grockles.” A “grockle” is someone ugly, but necessary: a visitor, a tourist, a foreigner. It is not just here in Dorset, but all over the world: the grockles begin to ruin everything.
 Places touch me, move me, far more. If I am lucky, now, in the present, visiting; but these days it seems more and more in memory they move me, what they were like. There is a beach on Spetsai in Greece I describe in The Magus. Later visitors have told me how the grockles have completely spoilt it. But I can still remember it as it once was". John Fowles, from Paris Review interview

He uses the word "grockles" in The Magus (1966): "Greece--why hadn't I thought of it before? It sounded so good: 'I'm going to Greece.' I knew no one- this was long before the new Medes, the grockles, invaded -who had been there." Fowles had moved to Dorset in 1965.

"Come to the Greek Islands" (a satirical video aimed at grockles)-  βρωμοτουρίστες

also found on YouTube:

UK: Weymouth and Portland, High Proportion of Part-Time Workers

The highest proportion of part-time workers in the country (Dorset Echo)

UK: Local Elections, Results to date

From The Telegraph

CYDER SCRIBES: Writers of Somerset and Dorset

A great new initiative

"The Cyder Scribes are a group of authors based in Dorset and Somerset who have come together to celebrate all things literary across our two counties".

Posts will include:

Reviews of books by local authors or with a Somerset/Dorset setting.
Features on and interviews with local authors
Reviews and notification of literary events in the region
Local competitions
Features on local writers/book/poetry groups
Anything else related to literature in the region

Raul and Gioia: Congratulations!

Just Married!

Big Jim's Blues Gigs, 1970-2014; Jim Potts

Photos, gig archive here

(Repeat posting, as previously misfiled).

Blues, R 'n' B, Rockabilly Blues, Songs

YouTube videos channel, MrHighway49, plus films and blues soundtracks 

Some audio recordings on (the old site)

Back in 1963 (my first blues demos! Hoochie Coochie Man, and Roll 'Em Pete, with solo mouth-harp)

Blues film soundtrack, 1964-1965 (lyrics Hooker and Potts)

Some Reviews (above)
"Music to listen to at home, late at night with a bottle of whiskey"
(Blackcat Rockabilly, Review)

An early influence