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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Brexit Talks Frustration; Differing Views of Trust and Progress; Who's Getting Angry?

Who's getting angry?

'Divorce bill' row frustrates Brexit talks, BBC News

David Davis: 'Some concrete progress' in Brexit talks

EU: UK demands are 'impossible'

EU negotiator: 'No decisive progress' on Brexit, Sky News via MSN

Michel Barnier accuses Britain of 'nostalgia' for benefits of EU membership in frosty press conference, The Telegraph

Who do those arrogant EU apparatchiks Juncker and Barnier think they are? Telegraph Opinion Piece

Greece could use Brexit to recover 'stolen' Parthenon art, Deutsche Welle

Brexit talks yield 'no decisive progress,' says EU negotiator Michel Barnier, DW

For years the EU bent over backwards to please Britain. Now you ask for 'flexibility'? Guy Verhofstadt, CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, The Telegraph

EU's Juncker Slams U.K. on Brexit as Fractious Talks Resume, Bloomberg

Why the EU will have to start talking about trade soon, CapX

Liam Fox accuses EU of trying to 'blackmail' UK over Brexit deal, The Guardian

Ryanair: Brexit puts flights between UK and Europe at risk, The Guardian

"I warned Jeremy Corbyn about Brexit - now Labour must regain its radicalism", Yanis Varoufakis on a radical vision for Brexit, New Statesman.

Ten Own Goals From The UK’s Brexit Position Papers, Huffington Post

Bermuda Paintings by Winslow Homer; Bermuda Odes of Thomas Moore - and more

Winslow Homer's Bermuda paintings - from

See also:

“You go to heaven if you want, I’d rather stay here in Bermuda” - Mark Twain

Epirus, Greece: From the Mountain Peaks to the Sea, and other documentary films (Ionian Islands; Thessaloniki and Halkidiki)

Griechenland - Von den Gipfeln bis ans Meer: Epirus Doku (2016), YouTube

A beautifully-shot documentary film (German commentary).

Some of my favourite landscapes and scenery.

See also, another episode:

Thessaloniki and Halkidiki

From Island to Island:

The Ionian Islands

The Cycladic Islands

The Dodecanese Islands

UK: Currency rates at airport bureaux de change

From BBC News

"Travellers buying their currencies at UK airports are being offered as little as 86 euro cents to the pound. Foreign exchange broker FairFx, which carried out a survey for the BBC, said this rate, from Moneycorp at Southampton airport, was the worst at any airport bureau de change".

News in Pictures, The Times; Schaeferwochenende; Sheep in the Swiss Alps

A wonderful picture of sheep "coming down" from their Alpine pastures in the Swiss canton of Valais (scroll down to fourth photograph)

To my eyes, the sheep appear to be climbing up the mountain path!

Larger view

Shepherds' Weekend, more

Corfu: The Erimitis Project

From Corfu Today: Το θέμα Ερημίτη δεν τελείωσε

From - Με παρέμβαση δημάρχου, "στοπ" στις μπουλντόζες σε επένδυση 100 εκατ.
του Νίκου Χρυσικόπουλου

"Σε μια περίοδο που η κυβέρνηση επιχειρεί να αποκαταστήσει την εικόνα της χώρας προς το εξωτερικό ως επενδυτικός προορισμός και να συνθέσει ένα νέο αφήγημα για την προσέλκυση ξένων κεφαλαίων, η έναρξη των προκαταρκτικών εργασιών για την δημιουργία πολυτελούς τουριστικού θέρετρου, εξοχικών κατοικιών και μαρίνας, επένδυση ύψους 100 εκατ. ευρώ, στην Κέρκυρα εμποδίστηκε σε κλίμα έντασης από εκπροσώπους και υπαλλήλους της Τοπικής Αυτοδιοίκησης, με αποτέλεσμα να υπάρξει παρέμβαση και των αστυνομικών αρχών".

"The government is continuing to send out mixed signals with regard to its commitment to reforms that will invite much-needed investments, as its deeds do not appear to match its words. A case in point was the contradiction in statements Tuesday by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and a representative of the NCH Capital venture capital firm, Thodoros Pangratis, who claimed a multi-million-euro investment project on Corfu was being obstructed... on Tuesday, Tsipras insisted the only way Greece can exit its protracted financial crisis is by creating an investment-friendly environment through the implementation of the necessary reforms, including a reduction in bureaucracy....But his statements appeared to be at odds with remarks by Pangratis, who told a radio station on Corfu that a 100-million-euro investment by the fund for the construction of an upmarket tourist resort in the area of Erimitis on the island is being stalled. According to reports, one of the main obstacles to the project is the mayor of Corfu, Costas Nikolouzos, who is also a senior official of the ruling SYRIZA party. The case of the Corfu mayor is is yet another instance of senior SYRIZA party members opposing investment projects, ostensibly on ideological grounds".

The Folk-Lore of William Barnes, John Symonds Udal

As reproduced by "Dark Dorset" - first published in The Dorset Year Book 1920 -21

See also:

Chinese traditional calligraphy artists

From Christie's. a brief guide to five Chinese calligraphy artists

Brexit and EU Law; UK Position Paper; Enforcement and Dispute Resolution

Enforcement and Dispute Resolution,  A Future Partnership Paper, UK Government (pdf)

"This paper is part of a series setting out key issues which form part of the Government’s vision for that partnership, and which will explore how the UK and the EU, working together, can make this a reality".

"In leaving the European Union, we will bring about an end to the direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The UK and the EU need therefore to agree on how both the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, and our new deep and special partnership, can be monitored and implemented to the satisfaction of both sides, and how any disputes which arise can be resolved. The UK wants to: ● maximise certainty for individuals and businesses; ● ensure that they can effectively enforce their rights in a timely way; ● respect the autonomy of EU law and UK legal systems while taking control of our own laws; and ● continue to respect our international obligations".

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

To a Garden—On Leaving It (When William Barnes Left Mere, Wiltshire)

To a Garden—On Leaving It

Sweet garden! peaceful spot! no more in thee
        Shall I e'er while away the sunny hour.
Farewell each blooming shrub, and lofty tree;
        Farewell the mossy path and nodding flow'r:
        I shall not hear again from yonder bow'r
The song of birds, or humming of the bee,
Nor listen to the waterfall, nor see
       The clouds float on behind the lofty tow'r.

No more, at cool-air'd eve, or dewy morn,
       My gliding scythe shall shear thy mossy green:
My busy hands shall never more adorn,

       My eyes no more may see, this peaceful scene.
But still, sweet spot, wherever I may be,
My love-led soul will wander back to thee.

(I should have included this poem when writing this article for Wiltshire Life back in 2002. Although never much of a gardener, myself, I still share similar feelings when thinking back to our old home and garden in Somerset, situated about twelve miles from Chantry House, Mere. According to Douglas Ashdown, Barnes' most famous poem, Linden Lea, was "written in November 1856 after a visit to Mere").

The following poem is also about Barnes' garden at Chantry House, Mere:

A Garden

      A sweet secluded garden! charming sound
                    To those who seldom seek the world, like me.
     Secluded be it, so that none may see
Within the woody boundaries around.
               And while the songs of warbling birds resound,
             And while I hear the humming of the bee
          Around the glowing fruit upon the tree,
       And flow'rs of ev'ry colour on the ground,

    There, blithely busied, I will toil to store
        My ripen'd crops, until the chilly days
                         Of early darkness, and of glowing fires.

        And when the hollow winds of winter roar,
             I'll sit me down beside the cheerful blaze
                     In happiness. To this my soul aspires.

Remembering our old garden in Somerset 

Not forgetting the garden in West Bay, Dorset:

Two of these valuable antique urns were stolen from the garden by burglars

Blithely busied? It was hard work mowing the slopes around the lawn!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Weymouth, Dorset - Views on Weymouth and how it needs to change

From Dorset Echo

Weymouth and Portland has lowest average weekly wages in the country, Update, Dorset Echo

Whispering Blooms, Photos of Poundbury by Jack Orton

Whispering Blooms, the photographer's own site

"This series aims to explore the lives of the older generation in the 21st century, nostalgia and the strong symbolic relationship that we have with flowers".

About Jack Orton and "Whispering Blooms" -  Jack Orton’s oblique take on architecture and the built environment, British Journal of Photography Online

"For Whispering Blooms he ventured to Poundbury, a small, experimental village in Dorset planned by the Prince of Wales in an eclectic patchwork of traditional architectural styles. Described as a “Brexit bubble” by its residents, Orton focused on the older generation living there and their attachment to flowers".

A nostalgic "Brexit bubble"? Not my perception of  Poundbury.

I think the photograph with the Union Jack flag is the most telling (no. 18 out of 21) as a composition (triangles and diagonals), and in terms of semiotics.

See also, The Towers (Poole, Dorset)

Fragmentary (Milton Keynes)

Jack Orton, Fine Art Documentary and Portrait Photography

Jack Orton, Instagram

Zakynthos Fires

Fire burns on Zakynthos for third day. eKathimerini

Government Minister Claims Arson is Behind Zakynthos Fires, Greek Reporter

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Albania: Europe's last untamed river, the Vjosa

The fight for Europe's last untamed river, Deutsche Welle -The Vjosa in southern Albania is the last free-flowing river in Europe and is crucial to thousands of livelihoods. But the Balkan frenzy over hydropower threatens the future of the entire valley.

Poundbury, Land Reform and Affordable Homes

The Financial Times had an interesting article yesterday, Major land reform urged to fix UK housing crisis, by Judith Evans. Subscribe to read. I have also shared a permitted link on Twitter, @DorsetWriter

It begins:

"The village of Poundbury in south-west England, built on land owned by the Prince of Wales, is best known for its architecture: a pastiche of various historical styles that has divided opinion since the plans were drawn up almost 30 years ago. But the village on the outskirts of Dorchester is now attracting attention for another reason: it is an example of an unusual development structure that is generating funds for affordable homes. Campaigners say if changes were made to the law that allowed the public sector — notably local authorities — to pursue a similar approach to development, it could play a big role in solving the UK’s housing crisis."

Bridport and West Dorset Open Studios, 2017

Bridport and West Dorset Open Studios 2017

9-17 September 2017

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Good Advice (from Virgil - or Apollo)

VIRGIL, from Eclogue 6

Cynthius aurem
uellit, et admonuit: "Pastorem, Tityre, pinguis
pascere oportet ouis, deductum dicere carmen."

From the translation by C. Day Lewis:

Apollo tweaked my ear,
Telling me, ‘Tityrus, a countryman should be
Concerned to put flesh on his sheep and keep his poetry spare’.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Europe's Most/Least Cultural Nations?

Which is Europe's Most Cultural Nation? Euronews

Who says the performance has to be live? What about live transmission by satellite to your local cinema? What about reading a book?

Who says "culture" comes down to going to concerts, the opera, plays at the theatre, or the ballet?

Eurocentric, well-heeled metropolitan cultural snobs, perhaps?


I see Euronews has just changed the title of this posting, to "Who are Europe's Culture Vultures"! 

Weymouth: Plans for Weymouth's Rejuvenation

Plans are unveiled for Weymouth's rejuvenation, Dorset Echo

UK: Supermarket discounts- meet NHS exercise targets

From The Telegraph: Families could get supermarket discounts if they hit NHS exercise targets

The Metropolitan Museum and an Ancient Greek Vase, Pappas Post

NYC’s Metropolitan Museum Surrenders Ancient Greek Vase to the Authorities for Investigation, Pappas Post

The Case of 13 Coins, Mailonline

William Barnes, On the Road with Dorset's "Rock Star" Poet and Lecturer

Some posters from William Barnes' Scrapbooks, Dorset County Museum, William Barnes Archive, with enormous thanks to Marion Tait, Honorary Curator of the William Barnes Gallery and Archive - this posting is intended for possible linking to the William Barnes Society website. NB - these posters are pasted down in a precious scrapbook (except for the final Mere poster) hence the impossibility of photographing them on a flat surface.

"It has been calculated that Barnes gave at least 178 lectures to working mens' institutes throughout Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset". Alan Chedzoy, William Barnes, A Life of the Dorset Poet, 1985. In a note, Alan Chedzoy cites Trevor Hearl's William Barnes the Schoolmaster, 1966 (page 311). In Trevor Hearl's words: "Well into his 70's, he travelled some ten thousand wintry miles over the roads and railways of Wessex, lecturing to Mechanics' Institutes from Bristol to Southampton, from Wellington to Salisbury, often in remote villages, at the invitation of a score of societies. The evidence of 178 recorded lectures shows that instructive topics yielded to popular demands for poetry readings".

Monday, 21 August 2017

William Barnes and Bridport; Bridport Harbour; Bridport School of Art; Literary and Scientific Institute

I spent a fascinating morning with Marion Tait, Honorary Curator of the William Barnes Gallery and Archive at the Dorset County Museum. I had booked a three-hour research slot at the Archive, and Marion had, almost miraculously, found the very items I was hoping to study.

I have a special connection with Bridport and West Bay, where my mother lived for twenty-five years, and I had always been interested in Barnes' poem Bridport Harbour, which I first read in the second volume of The Poems of William Barnes, edited by Bernard Jones (1962). Jones has a note on Bridport Harbour, which begins: "Barnes wrote these stanzas for Louisa Colfox who, as she wrote in a letter of thanks on the day after they were written, was trying 'to replenish the empty purse of the Treasurer of the Art School' at Bridport. They were printed by Frost of Bridport in a small, green paper backed booklet with a title page: A POEM,/WRITTEN BY THE/REV. WILLIAM BARNES,/FOR/THE BENEFIT/OF THE/BRIDPORT SCHOOL OF ART. Mrs. Colfox also had the booklet illustrated with views of Bridport Harbour, or West Bay as it became at the wish of the railways which are now leaving it to its fate, and two of these, though not the same two, were pasted into each copy. The text of the poem was signed and dated the 29th July, 1872".

Many years later, I bought a copy of the 1954 Jubilee Year edition of the Dorset Year Book (at Bridport's Saturday Market), which contained Bridport Harbour, and a note on the poem by Giles Dugdale.

Dugdale writes:

"The poem was written 'For the benefit of The Bridport School of Art' which, like the Institute, was founded and fostered by the Colfox family and their friends. William Barnes many times lectured for them to raise funds for its support...The Bridport poem was printed and illustrated by photographs of West Bay, looking east and west. It contained a misprint, as will be seen from the letter he wrote to Mrs. Colfox:

                                                                                                            Came Rectory,

                                                                                                              7th of August, 1872.

Dear Mrs. Colfox,

                I thank you for the booklings. You have made a nice little thing of my rhymes. I hope it will be of some service to the school. The compositor has misread one word. "Crest" in the 5th line should be "crew".          

                            With kind regards all round,

                                                                        Yours truly.

                                                                                     W. BARNES

I was very excited when Marion Tait produced for my inspection an original copy of the rare "bookling". This copy was presented to the Dorset County Museum by Mr. Henry Symonds in May 1931.

I reproduce my hasty photographs of some pages and the two illustrations here (with the permission of the archivist) with the intention that my posting will be linked to the excellent William Barnes Society website.

Marion Tait had also found other relevant items, posters and letters. William Barnes gave lectures and readings at the Literary and Scientific Institute in Bridport:

The members of the Literary and Scientific Institute wanted Barnes to read his poems rather than to give a lecture on a topic of his suggestion which "may not be so generally acceptable".

Thomas Hardy on West Bay/Port Bredy - from Fellow Townsmen

"The wind had already shifted violently, and now smelt of the sea.

The harbour-road soon began to justify its name. A gap appeared in the rampart of hills which shut out the sea, and on the left of the opening rose a vertical cliff, coloured a burning orange by the sunlight, the companion cliff on the right being livid in shade. Between these cliffs, like the Libyan bay which sheltered the shipwrecked Trojans, was a little haven, seemingly a beginning made by Nature herself of a perfect harbour, which appealed to the passer-by as only requiring a little human industry to finish it and make it famous, the ground on each side as far back as the daisied slopes that bounded the interior valley being a mere layer of blown sand. But the Port-Bredy burgesses a mile inland had, in the course of ten centuries, responded many times to that mute appeal, with the result that the tides had invariably choked up their works with sand and shingle as soon as completed. There were but few houses here: a rough pier, a few boats, some stores, an inn, a residence or two, a ketch unloading in the harbour, were the chief features of the settlement."