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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Europeans' Attitude to Brexit Vote

From FT - From gloomy to glad, Europeans respond to Brexit vote, Rick Mertens in Brussels

Dorset councils merger plan; NHS Cuts Across England

Plans to reorganise local government in Dorset in a bid to save cash are an "attack against democracy", an MP has claimed (BBC News).
"NHS cuts 'planned across England' (BBC News) - "The BBC has seen draft sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) which propose ward closures, cuts in bed numbers and changes to A&E and GP care in 44 areas. There have been no consultations on the plans so far. NHS England, which needs to find £22bn in efficiency savings by 2020-21, said reorganising local services is essential to improve patient care".

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Ten Happiest Countries In The World

From National Geographic - "Visit the Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World - The most blissful places on Earth definitely are worth a trip".

From The Telegraph

Island Songs - Nostalgia

"It comes as no surprise that islands (especially the tropical kind) and songs are exquisitely bound in a heavily nuanced, romantic, and bucolic embrace that the marketing industry has sought to capitalize, captured, for example in the exotic nostalgia of Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell" (1956)". Island Songs, A Global Repertoire, edited by Godfrey Baldacchino, The Scarecrow Press, 2011).

I suppose that Harry Belafonte's "Island in the Sun" could also have been mentioned as an example.

I have recently been suffering from a bout of island nostalgia (islomania?), not always for islands that I have ever visited, but a kind of generalised xeniteia regarding islands everywhere, big or small, tropical or Northern European, in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Baltic Sea or Pacific Ocean. But I wouldn't call it "exotic nostalgia", and I don't blame the marketing industry...instead let's praise the talented singers, songwriters, musicians, and all the people who created those that are traditional folk-songs.

Some of my favourite island songs (and the interpretations I prefer, not all on YouTube or Spotify):

"L'Isola Blu", Benito Merlino (CD, D'oro E Di Sangue - another great song) - a very different image of an Aeolian island from that given in Rossellini's film masterpiece "Stromboli" (highly recommended).

"Island Home", Christine Anu

"Yo te Canto, Puerto Rico", Guillermo Portabales

"Lamento Cubano", Guillermo Portabales

"Petit Pays", Cesaria Evora

"Nha Cancera Ka Tem Medida", Cesaria Evora

"Ξεκινά μια ψαροπούλα", Sotiria Bellou

Κέρκυρα - Όλα σου είναι παραδείσια - Θανασης Σπινουλας

"Γιαλό, γιαλό" - traditional kantada

"Σαμιώτισσα" - traditional

Στα νησιά τ' ουρανού - Αλίκη Καγιαλόγλου

"Tora pou i zoi mas stenevei
k'olo kleinei yia mas..."

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Writing Software - Apps to Help the Creative Process

Helpful apps suggested by The Writers' Academy, Penguin Random House - "While there will always be a certain romance to good old pen and paper, writers are increasingly making use of online apps and writing software to help them with the creative process".

A useful reminder for writers - an apt aphorism by Don Paterson (from New Writing 9, 2000):

"Every morning the writer should go to the window, look out and remind himself of this fact: aside from his own species, not one thing he sees - not one bird, tree or stone - has in its possession the name he gives it".

BBC 4: Your Money and Your Life, Generational Changes

An alarming radio programme! "Sixties and Beyond"

In a four-part series, Louise Cooper considers the financial and emotional dimensions to the most important decisions we make in our lives.

Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 has been increasing steadily for the past four decades.

This demographic success story brings its dilemmas for today's retirees: how to plan for a retirement that could easily last 20 years, and how to find enough money for expensive care fees.

Louise talks to some of today's over-60s about the pressures and uncertainties of planning for retirement.

Presenter:Louise Cooper
Producer: Ruth Alexander
Editor:Andrew Smith.

"Forty and Fifty-Somethings"

In a four-part series, Louise Cooper considers the financial and emotional dimensions to the most important decisions we make in our lives.

For many, the forties and fifties is a time when you have the greatest number of financial responsibilities, as you're supporting your children and often these days, your ageing parents. The trend has given this generation a new nickname, 'the sandwich generation'.

And that's the simple model. It's in these two decades, that an increasing number of people are starting new relationships, giving rise to another new term, the 'blended family' which brings the complexities of managing money and relationships into sharp focus.

In this episode, Louise speaks to families and experts about the pressure of caring for children and parents, and the delicate balance of blended family finances.

Presenter:Louise Cooper
Producer: Ben Carter
Editor:Andrew Smith.

Corfu for the Sophisticated Traveller? Κέρκυρα- Για «πεκαδόρους» ταξιδιώτες;

Κέρκυρα: Για «πεκαδόρους» ταξιδιώτες - Δηλαδή για «ψαγμένους», όπως λέγεται στα κερκυραϊκά.
- or Corfu, for the hip, "in-the-know", but idiosyncratic traveller:

From Kathimerini, Κέρκυρα: Για «πεκαδόρους» ταξιδιώτες (ΚΩΣΤΗΣ ΖΑΦΕΙΡΑΚΗΣ)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Pindus Mountains, Greece: 1,075-Year-Old Pine Named ‘Adonis’, Europe’s Oldest-Known Living Tree

From National Geographic - Posted by David Maxwell Braun, National Geographic Society.

"A Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece has been dendrocronologically dated to be more than 1,075 years old, says a team of scientists from Stockholm University (Sweden), the University of Mainz (Germany) and the University of Arizona (USA). This makes it currently the oldest-known living tree in Europe".

"It is one of more than a dozen individuals of millennial age living in a treeline forest in the Pindos mountains".

Scientists discover grove of 1,000-year-old trees in Greece, MNN

See also:

Trees and the sacred in modern Greece. Sacred Natural Sites: Sources of Biocultural Diversity

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Greece: Walking Trails - Τα ελληνικά μονοπάτια αποκτούν για πρώτη φορά κανόνες

An article about paths and trails for walkers and hikers.

From Kathimerini (in Greek) - a regulatory framework is needed urgently, as a result of unacceptable interference in paths for walkers. More respect for nature called for, maintenance of signs, removal of trash.

For an example of how well paths and trails can be organised,visit the island of Andros.

Some walks on Andros (pdf)

More on walking on Andros

Andros Routes, Way Marking and Sign Posting

A great model for the rest of Greece!

Bells on Sunday; Somerset; Ilminster.

A nostalgic soundscape - BBC Radio 4 - Bells on Sunday  - from St. Mary the Virgin, Ilminster, Somerset, a large Minster church. "There have been five bells in the tower from medieval times, augmented to six in 1861 and to eight in 1907. We hear all eight bells ringing here, Grandsire Triples".

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The British Experience

I have been re-reading Peter Calvocoressi's "The British Experience 1945-75" (first published 1978), in particular his account of the events leading up to Britain's entry into the EEC.

I was reminded of how much our lives and expectations have changed since then, in his concluding section, 'Notes Towards a Definition of Britain' . His first observation is as follows:

"In Britain a man, or a woman, may go to an apparatus in a wall in a street, insert a card, wait for about half a minute, receive £10 in cash from the apparatus and walk away with it. He may do this in broad daylight or in the dark. This is remarkable".

Greece: increase in protected Natura 2000 sites?

Greece planning to increase total area of Natura 2000 sites listed as protected - Giorgos Lialios, eKathimerini

"Protecting valuable coastal ecosystems should be a priority for a country like Greece, which has with nearly 14,000 kilometers of coastline, but just 6 percent of Greek national waters are designated as protected in the European Union’s Natura 2000 network. The Environment Ministry has recently taken steps to make up for this oversight – albeit belatedly – by putting forward 1.93 million hectares of marine areas for inclusion in the network, among them the Gulf of Corinth, the sea around Crete, the coasts of Paxoi, Pylos and Andros and the sea between Kavala and Thasos".

Olympic Medallists: "It's surreal"; From London to Rio; Brazilian Songs

Many athletes exclaim "It's surreal!" when interviewed after winning a medal.

Do they mean that 'it seems unreal', as in a dream, or that it's unbelievable, amazing, bizarre, strange or fantastic?

Whatever they mean, Team GB has been brilliant.

Medal Table (BBC) 

"A blissful break from Brexit blues", Tim Lewis, The Guardian

Some sour grapes, Le Monde- "JO 2016 : comment les Britanniques ont acheté leurs médailles"

Rio 2016 Olympics: France agonises over Team GB glory, BBC News, Hugh Schofield

Some 'surreal' sports photos

Rio-London - some "surreal" Brazilian songs in English:

Brazil's Caetano Veloso, London, London

Original Version, 1971

Original Album

In the Hot Sun of a Christmas Day

Caetano Veloso: Cidade Maravilhosa



Eleanor Rigby, Caetano Veloso

Gilberto Gil - Aquele Abraço

"O Rio de Janeiro continua lindo
O Rio de Janeiro continua sendo...
Aquele abraço!"

Ionian Islands. Greece: Waste Management Plan; Μελέτη Αναθεώρησης Περιφερειακού Σχεδίου Διαχείρισης Στερεών Αποβλήτων

Ionian Islands, Regional Waste Management Plan here (pdf file)

Action, not words!

Μελέτη Αναθεώρησης Περιφερειακού Σχεδίου Διαχείρισης Στερεών Αποβλήτων (Π.Ε.Σ.Δ.Α.) Περιφέρειας Ιονίων Νήσων και Στρατηγική Μελέτη Περιβαλλοντικών Επιπτώσεων (Σ.Μ.Π.Ε.) αυτού

Most Liveable Cities 2016

From The Economist

"Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries. Melbourne tops the list for the sixth year in a row, and six of the top ten cities are in Australia or Canada".

Friday, 19 August 2016

Corfu, Greece: Plous Bookshop, Tο Βιβλιοπωλείο Πλους φιλοξενεί ενα αφιέρωμα για τον μουσικό, συγγραφέα Raul Scacchi; MINIMANIMALIA

Παρουσίαση Βιβλίου του Raul Scacchi 

Tο Βιβλιοπωλείο Πλους φιλοξενεί ενα αφιέρωμα για τον μουσικό, συγγραφέα Raul Scacchi και το τελευταιο του βιβλίο "MINIMANIMALIA". Για το βιβλίο και τον συγγραφέα θα μιλήσουν ο Θεοτόκης Ζερβός, η Τζόια Μαέστρο και η Medora Davison θα διαβάσει επιστολή του Jim Potts.

I wish I could be there. I contributed the following piece, to be drawn upon as appropriate. I hope it may be of interest to others who cannot be present at the book launches in Corfu or Pisa.

A personal account of collaboration, based on an email exchange between December 8, 2006 and 31 May, 2014.

I’ve already written my personal tribute to Raul (16 June, 2014), who died on June 9, 2014, so I will try not to repeat myself here. It has been published on several web-sites, including (in Italian translation) on

Raul and I first met at the Christmas Arts and Craft Fair at Dassia, Corfu, in November 2005. Raul had copies of his CD “Emails to Emily” for sale. We must have exchanged CDs - it seems I gave him a copy of my blues CD, “On the Memphis Road!” recorded at the Sun Studios in Memphis.

The first email I received from Raul was on 8th December 2006. “I have listened to your disc, which is really well done, considering it’s live and in single takes. I hope you had an opportunity to listen to the one I gave you, I really would like to have your opinion about it. I hope we could work together in the future…”

Raul was not the type to give false praise or compliments. And, to be frank, at the time I wasn’t into his kind of synthesised computer-composed music either, so my initial response to “Emails to Emily” wasn’t much more enthusiastic than his about my CD, but I certainly saw possibilities for future creative collaboration. I soon became a great admirer of his musicianship and all his albums and compositions.

Over the years my role and input to Raul’s projects would be in the form of editorial assistance, making suggestions, fixing faulty English language grammar, word order, and choice of words, making modest improvements to song-lyrics, but it would also extend to sending him some of my own previously published and unpublished poems for possible setting to music or for professional arrangement and orchestration. He always brought fresh and innovative ideas to the sound and structure of a song.

We would also gig together on a number of occasions, at small festivals or fund-raising events, after rehearsing in his studio at Sinarades. Raul was always generous with his time, supportive and tolerant of musicians with relatively limited musical know-how or technique.

Although Raul was incredibly versatile, and could play almost anything I asked for on his guitar, we had very different approaches to song-writing. My approach began with words: “words before music” – metrical adjustments later, once a suitable melody had emerged. Raul’s approach was definitely “music before words”, with metrics being of paramount importance. He began with the music. He was quite strict about that, although at other times he did his best (ie very successfully) to create interesting music for my poems and lyrics. His first album, Emails to Emily, we should not forget, consisted of adventurous settings and arrangements of poems by Emily Dickinson.

I could also be (diplomatically) critical at times, if for instance he overused the electronic wah-wah guitar pedal effect, or if he overlooked the need for studio-coaching of his selected vocalists (nearly always non-native-English-language speakers), who could have easily been helped to correct their stress-patterns, pronunciation, clarity and intonation, to enhance the listener’s interpretation and appreciation of the words of the song.

Apart from our regular get-togethers in Sinarades or Kefalomandouko (Corfu Town) – many meetings, working on a sustained and fully collaborative basis on all the songs for “Neuromantics” (see the CD sleeve-notes), we had a frequent exchange of emails from the end of 2006 until 31 May, 2014.

I supplied some of own poems and song-lyrics for the album “Cooking Friends” ("The Nomad”, “Where’s that Good Samaritan Gone?”, “The Nights Are Drawing In”); for “Failed Expectations “(“The World’s Her Oyster”- a lyric I had originally written about the death of Amy Winehouse); for “Minimanimalia, Canzoniere Animinimalista”(“The First Lyre””, “21 Dolphins”, “Confessions of a Wanton Boy”- I also had some input to other songs); Raul also did me the honour and great favour of agreeing to my request for him to try setting, orchestrating or re-arranging other poems and songs I had composed in the past for my own simple folk guitar accompaniment, eg “Thirty-One”,“Cowrie Shell”, “Martial Law”, “Greek Girl”, “Taking Care of Business” and “The Song of the Shoulder-Shrugger”.

Apart from these, we collaborated, mostly by email, on polishing various songs included in “Necromantics – Beyond” (eg “Backstage”,” Psychopomp Lullaby”, “The Monk”, “The Soul Collector”- my input being mostly in the form of small fixes or minor additions to the lyrics, but Raul would write on 11 June, 2010, in response to my suggested tweaks or fixes to The Soul Collector, “Thank you, I will remember you in my prayers”). Klaus Knopp was apparently also happy with the small changes made to some of his excellent if stylistically challenging lyrics. See also the sleeve notes of the album, with my introduction.

I was often away from Corfu, in the UK, Australia or Zagori (Epirus). I have only recently been reading through our old emails, but I think some exchanges are quite revealing.

One translation I attempted for Raul was not very satisfactory, I admit. I was visiting Australia, trying, in some haste, to make a little sense of the lyric about a small fish, a silver-sided sand smelt (Atherina in Greek), rather than worrying about the metrics at that stage. I sent my hasty rough draft to Raul on 5th November, 2011:


On the rock where I sat, idly fishing one day,
I heard a sweet voice from not far away,
Very softly it sang – the sea was not deep-
Of the sweetness of life, but I started to weep.
Leave it frayed, full of holes, the torn fishing net,
To let the silversides swim (through) without having to fret,
To dart to and fro, vagabonds in the sea,
To feed in the shallows, little rascals like me!

Raul replied the same day that it was “ok as a first draft, the metrics though have to be completely arranged. Maybe it would be better for you not to stick so much to the original version, there’s no need to do it. Feel free to write about anything else, if it feels better. Just try to write something about some kind of love, with some sort of an optimistic view, so we can use it as the last song, sort of hope message”.

I wasn’t very good at getting to grips with Raul’s subtle metrics, unless he provided me with a template. Maybe his arrangements were too sophisticated for someone who liked a solid r ‘n’ b or rock ‘n’ roll beat. I had no problem with metrics when writing my own poems. And as I’ve said, for me the words come first!

Raul’s interpretation of “Atherina”, in the Greek version which he sings himself, is included on the Minimanimalia CD, and is beautiful as it is. There is also a much better English translation than my own included in the book.

On 25 March 2012, Raul wrote, about “The Black Swan”, “I’m not sure where to put it, because it fits both Failed Expectations AND the Animinimalistic Songbook which will follow…Maybe you want to write something for this future project?”

On most occasions Raul was happy with my emailed contributions, encouraging comments, suggestions, and occasional input of ideas, often fairly minimal, but he would respond that ‘they made things sound better’ - for instance in relation to songs like “Pâté de Foie Gras”, which I believe I may have first suggested or even drafted in part, and “The Hermit Crab and the Stray Cat”, “Hedgehog on the Edge of the Road”, “Criminal Monkeys”.

Raul would often write: “Thanks a lot for your (as usual) precious suggestions”.

I was critical of the wah-wah effect in “A Dog Waiting”:

Jim: “Is the wah wah a woof woof? If not, a slightly lower mix for the wah wah?” (2.11.2012)

Raul: “You’re right about the wah wah (woof woof), but tell me something…what’s wrong between you and the wah wah?” (2.11.2012)

Jim: “The wah wah tends to date the composer…a touch of the late 60s?”

I sent Raul some of my own poems on related topics, for possible inclusion in the Animinimalistic Songbook album, such as “Confessions of a Wanton Boy”. Raul used the concept, title and the first half from my poem (up to “God forgive my genocide”), but added some additional material of his own for the final song version.

My main contribution to Raul’s important posthumous concept album about animals came in the form of other poems originally published in my collection “Corfu Blues” (Ars Interpres, 2006), which Raul later set to music and orchestrated for his unfinished demos of “The First Lyre” and “21 Dolphins”.

On 25 October 2012, I sent the following email to Raul:

“Are you interested in a song about dolphins? This is based on a haiku (the chorus) I wrote in Corfu in 1967, and a draft poem, much changed, that I wrote in Halkidiki in 1983 when the Ministry of Agriculture, in order to protect the fishing industry and the nation's nets, declared dolphins as pests.
They paid out 600 drachmas then for every dolphin nose (or beak), that was cut off and presented to the officials.


Twenty one dolphins danced in the harbour.
The teacher kept on talking.

But the Minister says that dolphins are pests.
The Minister says they're no longer our friends.

Dolphins are outlawed, they're not welcome guests
They're no longer allowed near the ships or the shore.

They may have their own language
But they damage our nets.

The fishermen kill them,
But don't get upset.

Any dolphin brought ashore
Will have its nose (beak) chopped off with a slice,

So no fisherman can be paid
For the same (dead) dolphin twice.

There's a fair fixed amount
For each dolphin nose.

We need such a proof, to prevent all abuse-
And please remember, that dolphins are foes.

They're foes to all fishermen,
So don't be a fool.

The Minister says
We should teach it in school.


Twenty one dolphins danced in the harbour.
The teacher kept on talking.”

As I said, it all began with my little “Corfu Haiku”, written when I was a teacher on Corfu in 1967 and later selected by Iron Press and the British Haiku Society for inclusion in “The Haiku Hundred”, Iron Press, 1992 (new edition, The Haiku 100, The Historic Collection, Iron Press, 2015:

“Twenty-one dolphins
danced in the harbour
the teacher kept on talking”.

I had little idea how far Raul had progressed on setting the dolphin poems/song of mine to music. I only found out when I called on Gioia in Sinarades on 25 July, 2016 and received a copy of the book and CD. The last time I had heard from Raul on the subject was in October 2012: “The dolphins are waiting for the right inspiration”.

Raul consulted his friend Stephanie in Canada (who sang “Man Friday” in “Neuromantics”) about my poem “The First Lyre”; she thought the lyrics were “incredible”. She wanted to know about the inspiration for the song. I replied to Raul on 10th October, 2012:

“Thanks! That raises my spirits, I think it is quite a good poem (it was broadcast on the BBC). I think I was inspired by the thought or image of an ancient Greek lyre, and the tortoise shell, which got me thinking about all the other animals who suffered to contribute to the cause and creation of music and the fame of Orpheus. The thought that suffering and even cruelty can lie behind much artistic creation, including lyric poetry”.

Again, I only heard Raul’s setting of my poem for the first time after Gioia gave me the book and CD in Corfu in July 2016.

I was very glad that Raul took up my suggestion of setting Francesco Petrarch’s wonderful sonnet, Una Candida Cerva (my email of 30/1/2013); on 22 February 2013, after he sent me some (flawed) English translations he’d found, I wrote “I thought you would set the original Italian (more beautiful!)…Can you find some other translations… or even try the Italian original?”

Raul was so modest, perhaps he thought it might be considered presumptuous of him to set a sonnet by Petrarch in Italian. I am so glad that he did follow my suggestion. The words came first on some occasions! (See also this posting).

I am thrilled with the book and CD, “Minimanimalia”, a true labour of love and enduring tribute to Raul. I congratulate Gioia and all her collaborators, technical and artistic, for achieving something I had imagined could never be achieved. The illustrations are superb. The animals will be eternally grateful. I hope these extracts from email exchanges between Raul and Jim will shed extra light on the genesis and development of some of the songs.

Extracts from more of Raul’s emails:

On The Hermit Crab and the Stray Cat:

“I’m thinking of a new song, maybe you can help. It’s about a hermit crab…I’d like to make a parallel between the hermit crab and the words of a poet. They look for the same thing after all: a place to stay. The hermit needs a shell for shelter, the poet’s words look for a different place, the heart of a man, where they can settle to give new life to a (sometimes) dead thing”.

“I will have to find some music, it’s getting more and more difficult, I don’t know if I can reach the Beatles White Album (20 songs!)”

On Robin’s Nest:

“The second one is just an idea for a song about bird’s nests. In reality it is one of those naughty songs with a double meaning. Basically it’s about a friend of ours, Robin, who runs a bar called Robin’s in Agios Gordios”.

On Guinea Pigs:

“I’m thinking about a new song about guinea pigs. The general idea is that mankind should build a monument to all the simple lives that are sacrificed for our benefit, to show respect and compassion”.

On Hedgehog on the Edge of the Road :

“The idea of the song is now: very melodical from the beginning to the end of the first verse. Then it moves up a bit in the second verse, with an odd rhythm. From the third verse on it becomes a sort of soul acid song”.

On Prayer:

Prelude: Invocation.

It should go something like: Is there anybody going to listen to my prayer for the ones who cannot speak their mind? This is just the idea

Second part: Complaint.

Reporting of animal abuse (whether for their meat, fur, experiments in labs, hard work carrying stuff or attached to a chain, somebody even enjoys their suffering)

Third part: Confession.

Denounces the most evil of all animals: MAN!?

Conclusion: Invocation reprise.

On Pâté de Foie Gras

From Raul:

“To make a good use of the spirit of the mountain, you think you could work on Foie gras a bit? Maybe you could point out the fact that geese are kept with their feet nailed to the ground, so they won’t move! Man is capable of incredibly disgusting things, and he’s not ashamed of it. “

From Jim:

“Are they really kept with their feet nailed to the ground? That's horrific. I didn't know that. Can you double check that before I work on the verse?”

From Raul:

“You’re right, there’s no real evidence, maybe it’s something which was done by individual peasants, rather than the industrial standard procedure”.

From Jim:

“You are a militant animal activist. The French will be after you with a long tube”.

From Raul:

“If they catch me I will tell them that YOU wrote the lyrics…. Eh eh ….”

Email from Raul, 25 March 2012:

“I didn’t pay attention to the parade in the village, I’m allergic to national pride, religion and families, like in the good old times. I prefer to write songs, so I don’t have to think about it”.

On Atherina: From Raul, 9 November 2007

“I really start missing our meetings in Kefalomandouko, where we could work together, exchange opinions and laugh. It was fun, for me at least. For the moment, don’t worry about this last song, just keep doing your things. If you wish, you could send me some of your poems, so I can see whether I can put some music to them. I can’t promise anything though, I’ve never worked this way. I’m slowly turning into an animal, because I’m spending most of the time with my dogs and cats and we don’t have much to say to one another because we’ve been together too long now, and we don’t have the same interests anyhow.”

Minimanimalia, una festa per gli animali e l'ambiente Eventi a Pisa
Minimanimalia, una festa per gli animali e l'ambiente

Bipolar Bear

Scandinavia: Norway, Denmark and Sweden; activity holiday tips

For future reference (from The Guardian)

Wild Scandinavia: adventure without breaking the bank

Dorchester, Dorset: Dorchester's £1.8m fund to improve leisure facilities thanks to Poundbury

From The Dorset Echo

A suggestion: if the fund is intended for "community facilities which benefit the whole district", and not just for leisure facilities, how about earmarking a substantial part for Dorset County Hospital, for improved maternity and end-of-life care?

Results of CQC inspection

PDF Report

Brexit: Wait and See (DW)

From Deutsche Welle - "There's a good chance it will never happen".

Will there ever be a Brexit?

Some EU politicians doubt that Prime Minister May really wants to leave the EU.

"The British government isn't legally bound to the referendum," German EU lawmaker Elmar Brok said in an interview. "Britain will never leave," Austrian Interior Minister Hans-Jörg Schelling told Germany's "Handelsblatt" newspaper last month. "Five years from now, they'll still be a member."

How are Londoners coping with Brexit result?

Brexit means Brexit … but the big question is when? The Guardian

The case for delaying Brexit, The Economist - "there are also powerful political reasons to pause before invoking Article 50. Its provisions are biased against would-be leavers. It gives the other 27 EU countries the right to determine the terms for Brexit without Britain even having a vote on them".

Update, Sky News - "Owen Smith Pledges To Block Brexit Unless There Is A Second Vote - The Labour leadership candidate is proposing a second referendum or a General Election to approve the final Brexit deal".

Guardian Opinion Piece - Mary Dejevsky - "The Brexit vote must stand. Owen Smith is wrong to suggest otherwise"

Britain could stay in EU if public opinion shifts, says Tony Blair, The Guardian

Brexit: Wait and See (DW)

From Deutsche Welle - "There's a good chance it will never happen".

Will there ever be a Brexit?

Some EU politicians doubt that Prime Minister May really wants to leave the EU.

"The British government isn't legally bound to the referendum," German EU lawmaker Elmar Brok said in an interview. "Britain will never leave," Austrian Interior Minister Hans-Jörg Schelling told Germany's "Handelsblatt" newspaper last month. "Five years from now, they'll still be a member."

How are Londoners coping with Brexit result?

Brexit means Brexit … but the big question is when? The Guardian

The case for delaying Brexit, The Economist - "there are also powerful political reasons to pause before invoking Article 50. Its provisions are biased against would-be leavers. It gives the other 27 EU countries the right to determine the terms for Brexit without Britain even having a vote on them".

Update, Sky News - "Owen Smith Pledges To Block Brexit Unless There Is A Second Vote - The Labour leadership candidate is proposing a second referendum or a General Election to approve the final Brexit deal".

Guardian Opinion Piece - Mary Dejevsky - "The Brexit vote must stand. Owen Smith is wrong to suggest otherwise"

Britain could stay in EU if public opinion shifts, says Tony Blair, The Guardian

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Weymouth Carnival; Red Arrows

King George is watching the Red Arrows display


Parga and Paxos in August

Parga, from Epirus Post - Χιλιάδες αυτοκίνητα προσπαθούν να παρκάρουν σχεδόν ταυτόχρονα στον κεντρικό δρόμο, με αποτέλεσμα να γίνεται το αδιαχώρητο...το φετινό μαζικό κύμα, φέρνει στην επιφάνεια τα χρονίζοντα προβλήματα της Πάργας. Το πρώτο σχετίζεται με την καθαριότητα και το αποχετευτικό και το δεύτερο με το κυκλοφοριακό.

Paxos - «Βούλιαξε» το νησάκι της Παναγίας των Παξών -

Dorset: West Bay Rock Fall (East Cliff)

Beachgoers hurt in Jurassic Coast rock fall, BBC News

Search and rescue operation stood down after large rock fall at West Bay, Dorset Echo

UPDATED: Emergency services called to rock fall at West Bay

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Epirus, Greece: 15th August Festivities and Panigyria - τα χωριά που γιορτάζουν την ημέρα της Παναγίας - H Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου


A map from Epirus Events

Η μεγαλύτερη γιορτή του καλοκαιριού πλησιάζει….Ακολουθώντας την παράδοση, συλλέξαμε πληροφορίες για τα χωριά εκείνα που γιορτάζουν την ημέρα της Παναγίας

From ioannina24 - H Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου αποτελεί μία από τις μεγαλύτερες γιορτές της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας. Κάθε καλοκαίρι στις 15 Αυγούστου, οι Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί γιορτάζουν με ιδιαίτερη λαμπρότητα τον θάνατο της Θεοτόκου, την ταφή, την ανάσταση και τη μετάστασή Της στους ουρανούς...Στην Ήπειρο οι πλατείες των χωριών "φοράνε τα καλά τους", οι κοινότητες και οι πολιτιστικοί σύλλογοι στήνουν γλέντια για να τιμήσουν τη Μεγαλόχαρη και οι πιστοί προσεύχονται και ευχαριστούν για το "θαύμα" της Παναγίας...Έντονα θρησκευτικός ο χαρακτήρας των πανηγυριών σε παλαιότερες εποχές, σήμερα έχει περισσότερο ψυχαγωγικό χαρακτήρα, η συμμετοχή όμως παραμένει η ίδια, ίσως και μεγαλύτερη.

An excellent article by the British klarino-player, Nicki Maher:

Nicki Maher: Musical Expressions of Emotionality: Communities in Kefi

"A memorable occasion when I felt that raw sense of connection was in Vitsa, a small village in Zagori, at the three-day festival that is held every year there for dekapentaugousto (the feast for the dormition of the Virgin Mary, celebrated every year all over Greece on the 15th August). This panegyri takes place under the beautiful platanos (plane tree) that dominates the main square and which imbues the whole festival experience with a rather magical quality".

I wish I could have been there...

In the old days:

Τσιφτετέλι-Τακούτσια - Η ηχογράφηση έγινε στη Βίτσα Ζαγορίου από τον Λευτέρη Καρέτση

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Australia: The First Families to Emigrate Came from Dorset

From The Bournemouth Echo - The 'pioneer family' who emigrated to Australia from Dorset in 1801

"THE first families to emigrate to Australia came from Dorset" - Patsy Trench.

"As Dorset gears itself for its annual Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival it is interesting to note that so many of the earliest free settlers to make their lives in the penal colony of New South Wales came from this same county" -

The Evacuation of Greece, 1941; The Mediterranean Fleet, Greece to Tripoli (The Admiralty Account of Naval Operations, April 1941-January 1943)

I often find something of interest at Bridport Market on a Saturday morning:

First published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1944

Albert Camus in Greece; In Love with the Island of Lesvos; The Future of European Civilisation (Athens Symposium, 1955)

Όταν ο Αλμπέρ Καμύ συνάντησε την Ελλάδα - 'Μπορώ να με φανταστώ πάνω σε μία μικρή βάρκα, να ταξιδεύω σαν τρελός μέσα στα κύματα'

«Ένα πρωί ο Καμύ φτάνει στην Λέσβο. Ερωτεύεται το νησί με την πρώτη ματιά και αποτυπώνει τα συναισθήματα του σε ένα γράμμα που στέλνει στον φίλο του Άγγελο Κατακουζηνό:«Άγγελε, φίλε μου. Ανακάλυψα το μέρος στο οποίο θέλω να ζήσω. Πρόκειται για ένα πανέμορφο νησί, σχεδόν αρσενικό θα έλεγα. Θέλω να ζήσω εκεί, δίπλα στην θάλασσα, ατενίζοντας τα κύματα του Αιγαίου, αυτά τα κύματα που κουβαλούν επάνω τους τα αρώματα της πατρίδας μου, της Αλγερίας. Έχω ήδη εντοπίσει ένα μικρό σπίτι κοντά στην θάλασσα από το ποίο θα μπορώ να αποχαιρετώ τον ήλιο που δύει πάνω από το Αιγαίο, και ίσως έτσι καταφέρω να συνηθίσω την ιδέα του αποχωρισμού. Μπορώ να με φανταστώ πάνω σε μία μικρή βάρκα, να ταξιδεύω σαν τρελός μέσα στα κύματα. Όμως αγαπητέ μου φίλε, δεν με μάγεψε μόνο η ομορφιά του νησιού, αλλά και η ομορφιά των κατοίκων του. Θαυμάζω αυτούς τους ανθρώπους που από μακριά φαίνονται στεγνοί, όπως τα δέντρα της ελιάς που καλλιεργούν, αλλά αν τους παρατηρήσεις από κοντά είναι γεμάτοι πλούσιους φυσικούς χυμούς, και λάμπουν, όπως λάμπει το ασήμι στα φύλλα των ελαιόδεντρων.»

Το μέλλον του ευρωπαϊκού πολιτισμού (Athens Symposium, Franco-Hellenic Institute, 28 April 1955) -

"Καταρχήν, ποια είναι τα στοιχεία που συνιστούν τον ευρωπαϊκό πολιτισμό; Θα απαντήσω ότι δεν ξέρω. Ο καθένας μας όμως έχει μια προνομιακή προοπτική, συναισθηματική κατά κάποιον τρόπο (πράγμα που δεν την εμποδίζει, εξάλλου, να έχει λογική και να στηρίζεται στην παρατήρηση), η οποία τον κάνει να επιλέγει ένα, ανάμεσα σε άλλα, από αυτά τα στοιχεία. Ο ευρωπαϊκός πολιτισμός είναι αρχικά ένας πλουραλιστικός πολιτισμός. Εννοώ ότι είναι ο τόπος της ποικιλομορφίας των σκέψεων, των αντιθέσεων, των αντιτιθέμενων αξιών και της ατέρμονης διαλεκτικής. Η ζωντανή διαλεκτική στην Ευρώπη είναι εκείνη που δεν καταλήγει σε ένα είδος ιδεολογίας απολυταρχικής και παράλληλα ορθόδοξης. Αυτός ο πλουραλισμός, που υπήρξε πάντα το θεμέλιο της έννοιας της ευρωπαϊκής ελευθερίας, μου φαίνεται ότι είναι η πιο σημαντική συμβολή του πολιτισμού μας. Αυτός ακριβώς βρίσκεται σήμερα σε κίνδυνο και αυτόν οφείλουμε, με κάθε τρόπο, να διαφυλάξουμε. [...]"

"The universe of technology, by itself, is not a bad thing, but considered as the most important mechanical agency of civilisation, (it) finishes by provoking a sort of perversion, at the same time in the mind and in morality" (quoted in Camus, Philosophe: To Return to our Beginnings, Matthew Sharpe).

Holiday Costs and Hidden Extras

From Mail Online - "stealth tax rises, currency con tricks, car hire extras and credit card swindles are making foreign trips unaffordable for British families"

Friday, 12 August 2016

On Poetry and Greece, Stephanos Papadopoulos

"Poetry will not fix the economy or punish the Greek political elite for ransacking the country, but before we even begin to think about economics, something needs to restore order in the average Greek’s proud and angry soul" - Los Angeles Review of Books, Stephanos Papadopoulos.

Stephanos Papadopoulos is the author of three poetry collections: The Black Sea (Sheep Meadow Press, November 2012), Hôtel-Dieu (Sheep Meadow Press, 2009), and Lost Days (Leviathan Press, UK / Rattapallax Press, NY; 2001).

Glykeria in Vitsa, Zagori - Γλυκερία, Βίτσα Ζαγορίου

I haven't read any reports on this concert in Vitsa on 10 August 2016. How was it?

Update: I have now seen a short video sequence on Facebook and some photos from Πολιτιστικός Σύλλογος Νέων Βίτσας - one here:

Γλυκερία ..Βίτσα Ζαγορίου ..Μια Μοναδική Συναυλία Την Τετάρτη 10 Αυγούστου!

Ti se melei esenane - Τι σε Mέλει Eσένανε  

Disorderly Environments and Messy Desks

“Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” Vohs concludes. “Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.”

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Dorchester Prison plan refused

From BBC News - "Controversial proposals to turn a former prison into 189 homes have been refused by councillors. Developer City and Country, which was behind the plans for the former Dorchester Prison in Dorset, said it was "disappointed" by the decision".

View from Dorchester (Trevor Bevins) - Last minute plea to include ‘affordable’ housing in prison plans (print edition article August 10, 2016) - "Alastair Simpson is among those who spoke to the Dorchester Labour Housing Forum, desperate for affordable housing given the high property prices and private rents in the town". “Being Dorchester born and raised I’m extremely disappointed not to be able to afford to live in my town. I had high hopes for the prison site. After the luxury developments at Brewery Square I thought there might be a chance for us. As if Dorchester needs more luxury apartments for second homers or retirees. It is exactly that market which drives up property prices in the county and drives out those who provide the basis for the local society to work. There are complaints about the lack of young people in the county, but this is a vicious circle that pushes us away; we cannot afford to live in the place we grew up.” Chair of Dorchester Labour Barry Thompson said: “They should reject the application until it includes an affordable element".

EU: Cities and Air Pollution

From Deutsche Welle:  "Ministers and mayors have signed a pact to increase cities' efforts to tackle air pollution within the European Union. It comes as national European governments are poised to water down air pollution limits".

"Proposed stricter EU pollution limits are set to be blocked by the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Poland and a handful of other EU countries in a vote on Friday".

An epic Middle East heat wave could be global warming’s hellish curtain-raiser. Washington Post

"In coming decades, U.N. officials and climate scientists predict that the region’s mushrooming populations will face extreme water scarcity, temperatures almost too hot for human survival and other consequences of global warming".

Brussels sued over air pollution, EU Observer

UK: Fears for Pensions (FT)

Fears for pensions as gilt yields turn negative - "British government bond yields traded in negative territory on Wednesday, compounding fears that a global collapse in government borrowing costs has tipped the UK’s pension industry into a funding crisis". Financial Times (subscribe to read in full).

The Bank of England’s new quantitative-easing programme is not a failure - How a misunderstanding about QE led to lots of misleading headlines, The Economist

Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults

From Frontiers in Nutrition

"The Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet) involves substantial intake of fruits, vegetables, and fish, and a lower consumption of dairy, red meat, and sugars. Over the past 15 years, much empirical evidence supports the suggestion that a MedDiet may be beneficial with respect to reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and dementia. A number of cross-sectional studies that have examined the impact of MedDiet on cognition have yielded largely positive results".
"Eat like the Greeks" as one tabloid paper summarised the findings...

"Experts say eating like the Greeks with lashings of olive oil can protect against the onset of devastating mental decline. The cure-all regime has long been considered a good way to stave off heart disease. Now scientists have said it is good for the brain too, whatever your age".

In my experience, the Mediterranean diet, at least in Greece, involves a heavy consumption of red meat, feta cheese, and sugars.

Alternatives: The Economist - Science is getting to grips with ways to slow ageing. Rejoice, as long as the side-effects can be managed

UK Politics: The Guardian Tom Watson Interview

10 August 2016. The Guardian g2 interview

More alarming developments in British politics:

Tom Watson on Jeremy Corbyn and Labour rifts, The Guardian

Tom Watson: “There are Trots that have come back to the party, and they certainly don’t have the best interests of the Labour party at heart. They see the Labour party as a vehicle for revolutionary socialism, and they’re not remotely interested in winning elections, and that’s a problem. But I don’t think the vast majority of people that have joined the Labour party and have been mobilised by the people that are in Momentum are all Trots and Bolsheviks. Some months ago, I described Momentum as ‘a bit of a rabble’, and although leading lights in Momentum privately acknowledged to me that they were a bit of a rabble, it caused great offence to everyone that had signed up to Momentum. Some of these people are deeply interested in political change, in building a more equal society, and are just on a journey in politics that they’re new to, and I don’t want them to feel that I’m labelling them because I’m not. But there are some old hands twisting young arms in this process, and I’m under no illusions about what’s going on. They are caucusing and factionalising and putting pressure where they can, and that’s how Trotsky entryists operate. Sooner or later, that always end up in disaster. It always ends up destroying the institutions that are vulnerable, unless you deal with it.”

Update, BBC News - Labour leadership: Party wins appeal against voting rules

The Observer: Jeremy Corbyn: Tom Watson is talking nonsense – and he knows it

The  Guardian - Tom Watson claims proof of far-left planning to infiltrate Labour

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Four Aphorisms

Four Aphorisms of Friedrich Nietzsche

From Beyond Good and Evil, translated by Marianne Cowan, 1955

Jenseits von Gut und Böse.
Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft. 1886.

Viertes Hauptstück: Sprüche und Zwischenspiele.

97. A great man, did you say? All I ever see is the actor creating his own ideal image.

(Wie? Ein grosser Mann? Ich sehe immer nur den Schauspieler seines eignen Ideals).

107. When the mind is made up, the ear is deaf to even the best arguments. This is the sign of a strong character. In other words, an occasional will to stupidity.

(Wenn der Entschluss einmal gefasst ist, das Ohr auch für den besten Gegengrund zu schliessen: Zeichen des starken Charakters. Also ein gelegentlicher Wille zur Dummheit).

169. Talking much about oneself may be a way of hiding oneself.

(Viel von sich reden kann auch ein Mittel sein, sich zu verbergen).

172. For sheer love of humanity one occasionally embraces some random person (because one cannot embrace everyone). But this is the one thing one must not let the random person know…

(Man umarmt aus Menschenliebe bisweilen einen Beliebigen (weil man nicht Alle umarmen kann): aber gerade Das darf man dem Beliebigen nicht verrathen.....)

I thought some of these aphorisms and observations quite apposite or amusing. Then I read on, and found some distinctly unacceptable, rather abusive and wrong-headed comments about the English (the British?).

Nietzsche had no respect for Bacon, Hobbes, Hume, Locke and Carlyle, it would seem. He considered the intellects of Darwin, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer as mediocre.

From Beyond Good and Evil -  
Eighth Article, Peoples and Fatherlands

252. “These Englishmen: they are not a philosophical race…It is characteristic of such an unphilosophical race that they cling firmly to Christianity; they need its discipline to become “moralized”, to become “humanized”…For keen noses even the Christianity of England has a typically British odour of spleen and alcoholic excess…Let us not forget that we already owe to Englishmen a total depression of the European spirit, brought about by their profound mediocrity…European  commonness, the plebeianism of modern ideas, belongs to England...But what is insulting in even the most human Englishman is his lack of music, to speak metaphorically (and also literally!). There is no rhythm, no dance, in the motions of his soul or his body. He doesn’t even have a desire for rhythm and dance, for “music”.

Jenseits von Gut und Böse.
Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft. 1886.

Achtes Hauptstück:
Völker und Vaterländer.

« Das ist keine philosophische Rasse — diese Engländer…
Es kennzeichnet eine solche unphilosophische Rasse, dass sie streng zum Christenthume hält: sie braucht seine Zucht zur „Moralisirung" und Veranmenschlichung…Für feinere Nüstern hat selbst dieses englische Christenthum noch einen acht englischen Nebengeruch von Spleen und alkoholischer Ausschweifung...Vergesse man es zuletzt den Engländern nicht, dass sie schon Ein Mal mit ihrer tiefen Durchschnittlichkeit eine Gesammt-Depression des europäischen Geistes verursacht haben...
England’s Werk und Erfindung, die europäische Gemeinheit, der Plebejismus der modernen Ideen,,, Was aber auch noch am humansten Engländer beleidigt, das ist sein Mangel an Musik, im Gleichniss (und ohne Gleichniss — ) zu reden: er hat in den Bewegungen seiner Seele und seines Leibes keinen Takt und Tanz, ja noch nicht einmal die Begierde nach Takt und Tanz, nach „Musik".

Marianne Cowan, the translator, suggests in her introduction that there is "a good deal of good-natured playfulness in this book..."Peoples and Fatherlands" has a tongue-in-cheek flavour in its plural of fatherland".

I can't detect anything playful, tongue-in-cheek or good-natured in Nietzsche's comments. Three years later, in 1889, he suffered a mental collapse, possibly a form of dementia. Others believe he may have suffered from brain cancer or bipolar depression.


A maxim of La Rochefoucauld:

"Philosophy triumphs easily over past, and over future evils, but presents evils triumph over philosophy".

"La philosophie triomphe aisément des maux passés et des maux à venir ; mais les maux présents triomphent d'elle" (François, duc de LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Max. 22)

More (audiobook in French)

Dorset-Greece; From Pelion to Poundbury; Elaionaki Single Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Information here 

Olive oil from a 500-year-old olive grove in South Pelion, Greece

John and Sue Harris had an impressive stall at the Dorset Food and Arts Festival in Queen Mother Square.

Greece: Epirus Coast; Lefkas (Lefkada); Paxos; Huffington Post (Greece)

The Coast of Epirus, Huffington Post (Greece) - Από την Πρέβεζα ως τη Σαγιάδα: Eνα ρεπορτάζ για τις άγνωστες ομορφιές της Ηπειρώτικης ακτογραμμής

Lefkada Fire - Η Λευκάδα μετρά τις ζημιές της από την πυρκαγιά στο ιστορικό κέντρο της πόλης

An article with which I can't agree, at least about Paxos, always a favourite island (although I preferred it before it was "discovered" by the sailing flotillas and the luxury motor-launches and cruisers):

Τα 4 ελληνικά νησιά στα οποία δεν θα θέλαμε να πάμε ποτέ ξανά στη ζωή μας

Η Δέσποινα Τριβόλη δεν θα πήγαινε ποτέ ξανά στους Παξούς
Αχ οι Παξοί! Εκεί που οι ελιές και τα κυπαρίσσια κατεβαίνουν σχεδόν ως τη θάλασσα και φτάνουν στα ωραιότερα νερά που έχω δει, καταπράσινα και πεντακάθαρα, ένα νησί γεμάτο πανέμορφους χτιστούς ελαιώνες και γραφικά ψαροχώρια. Και κάπου εδώ τελειώνει η ποίηση και αρχίζει η πραγματικότητα. Υπάρχουν δυο βασικές ερωτήσεις πριν πάτε στους Παξούς: Έχετε ιστιοπλοϊκό ή σκάφος; Έχετε οικογένεια και παιδάκια; Εάν η απάντηση είναι «όχι» οι Παξοί δεν είναι για σας.

Αρχικά, κάθε μια από αυτές τις καταγάλανες, πεντακάθαρες παραλίες που ανέφερα πιο πάνω δεν έχει καθαρό ορίζοντα- αντί για ουρανό ή θάλασσα βλέπεις μόνο αγκυροβολημένα σκάφη.

Κυρίως όμως ακριβώς επειδή οι Παξοί απευθύνονται σε ανθρώπους που κάνουν ιστιοπλοΐα, οι τιμές είναι ιδιαίτερα τσιμπημένες αλλά η αντιστοιχία ποιότητας-τιμής παραμένει κακή. Αυτό ισχύει για τα ξενοδοχεία- η τιμή ενός στούντιο θα σας κοστίσει όσο κοστίζει σε άλλα μέρη ένα ξενοδοχείο 4 αστέρων, τις υπηρεσίες, αλλά κυρίως για το φαγητό: To νησί είναι γεμάτο μέτρια ιταλικά εστιατόρια και πανάκριβα ελληνικά ή ταβέρνες με αγάπη στα κατεψυγμένα. Είναι ζήτημα αν φάγαμε καλά 1 φορά στις 5 μέρες που ήμασταν εκεί με μοναδική εξαίρεση το ιταλικό παγωτό της Ιταλίδας στη Λάκκα.

Οι Παξοί είναι ένα εξαιρετικά οικογενειακό, ήσυχο νησί- αν έχετε μικρά παιδιά είναι ό,τι πρέπει- πολλές οικογένειες νοικιάζουν μια από τις όμορφες βίλες του νησιού και περνάνε ζωή χαρισάμενη. Εάν όμως κατευθύνεστε με μεγάλη παρέα ετοιμαστείτε να μοιραστείτε τα μυστικά σας, να παίξετε επιτραπέζια παιχνίδια και να κοιτάξετε το υπερπέραν. Εναλλακτικά, μπορείτε να αγοράσετε και μια τράπουλα.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Brexit on the BBC - The Inside Story

Brexit: The Battle for Britain, BBC iPlayer

"On 23 June, Britain was hit by a political earthquake. Within hours of the EU referendum result, the prime minister had resigned, the pound was falling and Westminster was reeling. So how and why did this political revolution happen - and how does it stand to reshape Britain's politics? In this film, the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg tells the inside story of how David Cameron's referendum plan backfired - and Vote Leave won. Talking to the politicians and the people who ran the campaigns, she finds out how a perfect storm brewed, which would not just end David Cameron's premiership, but reshape Britain's place in the world".

Related: Post-Brexit Sunderland, Faisal Islam, The Guardian

Sky Trailer

Today, 13 August 2016, BBC 4 iPlayer -"Felixstowe is home to the UK's largest container port - one of the biggest in Europe. How will Brexit affect the town and British trade more broadly?" From 51.10 point

Newcastle and Gateshead: Playing the Skyline; Kathryn Tickell and Hannabiell Sanders; BBC Radio 4

Some wonderful music imspired by the skyline of Newcastle and Gateshead

"In the first of this new series Kathryn Tickell and Hannabiell Sanders turn the skyline of Newcastle into music. At the old Baltic flour mill by the Tyne they look upstream, where the great curves of the Sage Concert Hall and the bridges meet, to be end-stopped by the square solidity of the castle, from which the city gets its name".

Hannabiell Sander's finished work from 15.50 point

Kathryn Tickell's finished work from 22.00 point.

Kathryn Tickell is steeped in the traditional music of Northumberland. She plays the region's indigenous instrument, the Northumbrian Smallpipes. So her music, she says, "always speaks in the accent of the Northeast."

Hannabiell Sanders' accent is very different. Her father is Jamaican and she was born in the American South. How would she describe her music? "Psychedelic Afro-funk jazz fusion!"

Previous Episodes

I wish there was a good CD recording of Graham Collier's composition inspired by the island of Paxos, Greece. It's in three parts, like Kathryn Tickell's composition (The Sage, The Bridges, The Castle). Graham Collier's "Paxos" three-part composition: Lakka, Logos and Gaios.

I have an old cassette recording of a live concert recording.

Greece: The Costs of Buying and Selling a Property; ENFIA Property Tax

From eKathimerini (Greek) - Πόσο κοστίζει η αγοραπωλησία ενός ακινήτου


Doubly deceived, Alexis Papachelas

"These (older) people were brought up in a postwar culture which stipulated that owning properties, for instance, was a long-term, unshakeable investment. Now they don’t know what to do with these properties. They can’t sell them because no one will buy them, while the property tax, known as ENFIA, is draining their resources. Their fortune, once a source of security, is now weighing heavily on their shoulders".

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hydra, Greece; Simon Raven; Leonard Cohen

Rough Island Story, Simon Raven, The Spectator Archive; 26 May, 1960

See original

A very different impression of 1960s Hydra, compared to Leonard Cohen's portrayal of the island.

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen writes to muse just before her death (The Guardian)

On the Greek National Character, Sir Harold Nicolson (The Spectator, 1952)

From The Spectator Archive -  MARGINAL COMMENT, 21 March 1952:

"No, I am certain that I could not really like anybody who did not really like the Greeks",

"There is, however, one natural element in Greece which always surprises me with its immutability : the Greek national character. No nation on earth has, within the last half century, endured such terrible calamities. Since 1897 the Greeks have experienced six major wars, four foreign invasions, two civil wars—the first distracting, the second fiercely destructive—all manner of coups d'etat and pronunciamientos, several revolts, three serious revolutions, and a succession of economic catastrophes such as would have shattered any weaker breed. Their villages have been burnt and their children kidnapped; the most frightful murders have been committed; yet here they are, their railways working splendidly, their roads repaired, their merchant navy almost restored to its pre-war prosperity, starting to argue passionately again whether more might not be done with American aid to canalise the waters of the Vardar. We all know that the Greeks are very brave; we all know that they are highly intelligent; but it is their astonishing resilience that, more than any other quality, compels my deep respect. Along the line that runs from Salonika to Athens a few block-houses and military posts still remain from the civil war. The soldiers have amused them- selves in their spare moments by marking out in white-washed stones the battle-honours of their regiments. Victories against the Bulgarians in Macedonia, victories against the Turks in Thrace, victories against the Albanians in Illyria, victories against the Italians in Northern Epirus; but these lists, scarring the mountain-side with the motto     "Long Live the King !", always begin with three lapidary names —" Marathon," "Salamis","Plataea". No, I am certain that I could not really like anybody who did not really like the Greeks".

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Corfu, Greece: Instructions to Residents on the Management of Waste

Οδηγίες της Υπηρεσίας Καθαριότητας προς τους δημότες - Enimerosi

ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ. Η πρόσφατη κατάληψη του ΧΥΤΑ Τεμπλονίου και η μετέπειτα δύσκολη περίοδος καθαρισμού του Δήμου, σε συνδυασμό με την αυξημένη τουριστική κίνηση στην Κέρκυρα, ανέδειξε την άγνοια και αδιαφορία μερίδας των συμπολιτών μας ως προς την σωστή διαχείριση των απορριμμάτων.

Some examples

Photo (cropped) from

• Do not leave large items (furniture, mattresses, etc.) on the pavement or in public spaces. They go to the landfill

• Do not throw away your waste in open spaces, such as plots, parks, groves, etc.

• Do not abandon your vehicle on the roadway, in a public or municipal public area or on private property, before contact with the competent department of the Municipality.

Also on

Photos below by JP: