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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Quo Fata Ferunt, Bermuda's Motto; Whither the Fates take us...

George L. Cook explains:

"The words of the motto come from Virgil’s Aeneid (Book V: 707-710). Like the voyage of the Sea Venture to Virginia and the wreck on Bermuda, Aeneas was sent on a mission from Troy to found a second home that was to become Rome, but became wrecked on Sicily. Also like Bermuda’s castaways, Aeneas and his fellow Trojans deliberated whether to stay or continue the journey to their destination. Aeneas had a vision in which his father said to him: “ ... Quo fata trahunt (or ferunt) retrahuntque sequamur; Quidquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.” 
This may be translated as: “ ... let us follow where the Fates take us or take us back; Whatever will be, every fortune/misfortune can be overcome through perseverance.”

See also, Bermuda Legal - Quo Fata Ferunt: Bermuda’s homage to Virgil’s Aeneid

Prospero's Island?

"Whoever sails near to Bermuda coast"

A Sonnet by Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554-1628), from Caelica (1633)

Reciting Kipling in Myanmar temple

There's a time and a place...

Boris Johnson caught on camera reciting Kipling in Myanmar temple, The Guardian

Full credit to Boris for recalling a Kipling poem, Guido Fawkes, Guy News

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Zuzana Ruzickova: Harpsichordist and Holocaust survivor dies at 90

Zuzana: Music Is Life, Film Trailer

A survivor’s life in music, Washington Post

Zuzana Ruzickova harpsichordist and Holocaust survivor, dies, Deutsche Welle

"Ve věku 90 let zemřela v nemocnici v Praze po krátké vážné nemoci oceňovaná cembalistka a hudební pedagožka Zuzana Růžičková. Proslavila se zejména provedením děl Johanna Sebastiana Bacha. Natočila na 35 desek jeho kompletní dílo. Komplet Bacha pro klávesové nástroje, který natočila jako první na světě v letech 1965 až 1975, byl oslavován nejen pro rozsah, ale také mistrovství a originalitu. "Tvorba Johanna Sebastiana Bacha pro mě byla, je a stále bude hudbou, která přináší řád. Za války jsem byla v koncentračních táborech, a když jsem přijela, na tohoto skladatele jsem se upnula. Moc mi to pomohlo," řekla Růžičková loni na podzim při křtu reedice svých nahrávek. V letech 1979 až 1990 byla sólistkou České filharmonie. Získala řadu ocenění. Například dostala v roce 2003 od prezidenta medaili Za zásluhy II. stupně či francouzský titul Rytíře umění a literatury. Cembalo je podobně jako klavír klávesový nástroj. Tóny ale cembalo vytváří trsáním trnu či háčku o strunu, kdežto klavír úderem kladívka do struny. Cembalo je starším nástrojem než klavír, jeho počátky sahají zřejmě až do středověku".

Martinů, Harpsichord Concerto H 246, Zuzana Růžičková

Viktor Kalabis Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings Op.42, Zuzana Růžičková

Zuzana and her late husband Viktor Kalabis were good friends and great supporters during my years in Prague (1986-1989); we worked hard to further Anglo-Czechoslovak friendship and cultural exchanges, especially in  the field of music. 

Europe, Brexit and the English Language

Is Europe really falling out of love with English? Chris Harris,  EuroNews

Phrases only native speakers use in 17 European languages

I've certainly never heard this phrase in Greek:

‘If you Έφαγα πόρτα’ you’ve ‘eaten door’ – or rather, you’ve been rejected from entering somewhere.’


Full quote from Voices Magazine:


"Let’s start with things you might eat – or at least, things you might eat figuratively.'Έφαγα τον κόσμο να σε βρώ' meaning ‘I ate the whole world to find you’ means you looked everywhere for someone. If you Έφαγα πόρτα’, you’ve ‘eaten door’ – or rather, you’ve been rejected from entering somewhere, such as a fancy club or restaurant".

The USA and the English Language - Mrs Betty Bowers, Speak English? YouTube

Speak English? YOU FIRST! Almost 20 Words/Expressions You Need to Humanely Euthanize Now. Featuring Deven Green. Written by Andrew Bradley.

Also on Twitter:

Corfu, Greece: Russian Warship Visit

«Ναύαρχος Γκριγκορόβιτς» form Enimerosi

Russian Week in The Ionian Islands, programme

Russian Navy Warship to Reach Corfu, Before Heading to Syria, Greek Reporter

Counting the Pennies in Paradise

Always a shock to go shopping at a supermarket in Bermuda! Most things have to be imported. The taxes on goods are high. There are some compensations...

The cost of hiring two sun beds and a sun umbrella at Horseshoe Bay? 45 dollars.
The cost of a visit to a GP ? 180 dollars.
For two common  (prescribed) medicines at the pharmacy? 113 dollars. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Corfu: Old Perithia

From The Independent

"Cooler, greener, quieter and arguably cleaner (Mark and his Dutch wife Saskia have a strict no-litter policy) than most villages on the island, this is the ultimate destination for an authentic Greek getaway for those in the know".

Dorchester Retail Developments Event, 26 September 2017; Points of View, Visions for the Future

From Dorset For You - "Our aim is for Dorchester to become a destination town. People can enjoy a rich variety of cultural, retail and leisure experiences".

Tuesday 26 September: a public engagement event held at South Walks House.

G L Hearn Report, Dorchester Town Centre, Development Potential, Final Report, July 2016 (pdf)


See also, View from Dorchester, 20 September, 2017:

"Petition calls for affordable homes but not shops"

From Dorchester Voice:

People will get the chance to have their say on plans for the town at a public engagement event on Tuesday, 26 September. A presentation on new developments will be shown at 5:30pm and again at 7pm at South Walks House council offices. Cllr John Russell, leader of the Dorchester retail members’ working group, said: “We realise future plans have to be viable, welcomed and right for residents, businesses, customers and communities. We want to engage with the public.”

Local Liberal and Labour Party views:

‘Abandon plans to move historic market’

Town masterplan 'lacks inspiration' - Dorset Echo

“These plans completely ignore Dorchester’s heritage and their aim is to turn the town into one big shopping centre,” said Claudia Sorin of Dorchester Labour Party...Barry Thompson, also of Dorchester Labour, added: “I recently counted more than 30 empty retail units in the town centre and nine at Brewery Square. The council should be looking to support businesses in South Street and the High Street rather than bring in big retailers. Building homes in the town for local workers would also reduce the amount of traffic. Traffic congestion and air pollution has become a serious problem in Dorchester; there’s nothing in these plans about it.”

Probably a good idea to go along to the presentations and discussions on 26 September! Contrasting visions and priorities for the future of Dorchester town centre.

Large retail and more shopping units - or better preservation and display of the rich archaeological heritage, combined with retention of the traditional market and the building of more affordable housing?

Either way, Dorchester could become an even more attractive destination market town. It's a wonderful place to live.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Dorset NHS Hospital Changes

Dorset NHS hospital shake-up agreed, BBC News

Yeovil District Hospital could lose 24-hour children's services in major NHS shake-up, Somerset live

"Savage cuts": Concerns over future of hospital services in west Dorset and mental health unit set to close after vote by health bosses, Dorset Echo

Some good news: "The hospital trust said later it was "delighted" the review had recognised the importance of DCH continuing to provide planned and emergency services to people in west Dorset".

Portland Prison Report, Dorset

From Dorset Echo - HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and the Independent Monitoring Board have released reports on HMP/YOI Portland today

Portland prisoners 'developing drug problem in jail', BBC News

Paxos, Greece: Waste Management Methods; Anti-pollution filtered incineration?

Link noted on Corfu Forum- The Paxos Municipality investigates new ways of waste management

Filtered incineration the obvious way to go.

"Anti-pollution incineration technology now available. Due to special filters and ways of dealing with the after-burn the incineration of waste produces no airborne pollutants whilst at the same time generating electrical energy thus substantially reducing the cost of waste management".

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Aristeidis Metallinos, Greek Sculptor from Corfu

Visit the new website and online archive of this important sculptor from Ano Korakiana

Thanks to Simon Baddeley for the information and link, and for his continuing commitment to the cause of making Metallinos' work better known.

Monday, 18 September 2017

BBC Daily Politics: Jo Coburn versus Iain Duncan Smith; Hostile Interview, 18 September 2017

Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Lucy Frazer and Labour MP Catherine West to discuss Boris Johnson's intervention on the Brexit debate.  BBC2, on BBC iPlayer.

Worth watching from from 24.40 point. Iain Duncan Smith keeps his cool. Jo Coburn manifestly does not (whatever your views on Brexit, Boris and statistics). BBC impartiality? Not an edifying spectacle. Much heat and rudeness, all round.

Dorchester, Dorset: Which Square? Brewery Square or Queen Mother Square?

Some very expensive apartments overlooking the fountain in Brewery Square, and in Queen Mother Square.

The choice of views: a car park in the main Poundbury square, a multi-jet fountain in Brewery Square.

In Brewery Square there is a large digital screen, with intermittent warnings about some of the rules of behaviour - "no dogs in the fountains", "refrain from urinating in fountains"....

Brewery Square events

Children, it's OK to laugh - but not to scream!

Poundbury update: Luxury spa for Queen Mother Square

William Barnes and Robert Young ('Rabin Hill') on the Railroad/Railway; Train Poems; Train Songs; The Iron Horse

William Barnes, The Railroad, I and II (Hwomely Rhymes: A Second Collection of Poems in the Dorset Dialect, 1859)

From the poem by Robert Young/('Rabin Hill') : Rabin Hill's Visit to the Railway, What he Zeed and Done and What he Zed About It (1861; first published in two parts, Sturminster Newton,1864, 1865)

See also, the Devonshire dialect poem: John Chawbacon and his wife Moll, cum up t'Exeter to zee the railway opened, May 1, 1844 , from A dictionary of archaic and provincial words, obsolete phrases, proverbs, and ancient customs, from the fourteenth century, J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, 1878

or pdf, page 21, original p. xv

In the USA, the sound of honky-tonk, boogie-woogie, train, and harmonica blues, gospel, bluegrass, and country music were all influenced by the rhythm of the railroad, the 'lwonesome' sound of the steam-whistle, the clickety-clack of the steam train - a very different kind of nostalgia from that found in the poems of John Betjeman, or in UK skiffle music. But British smokestacks made it happen! That’s my theory. I've written two train songs in my time, "The Stourbridge Lion" and "The Kenyan Cannonball".

Three cheers for Foster, Rastrick and Co who built the Stourbridge Lion, the Delaware and Hudson!

Horatio Allen came over to England in 1828 and signed a contract for four locomotives, which were delivered in New York in 1829.

About The Stourbridge Lion

 "Much has been written about this locomotive, largely because of its claim to fame - that it was the first steam locomotive to run on a commercial line in the United States. Built by Foster, Rastrick and Co. in 1829, the Stourbridge Lion's historic first run took place on August 8th of that year." See  

Things were never to be the same once the locomotive, The Stourbridge Lion, arrived in the USA, although it was heavy for the American tracks, and apparently wasn't used as often as I'd imagined.

The test trial of the British-built Lion down a US railroad line took place on August 8, 1829.

My own effort at a humorous railway country song, written in Kenya in the 1970s:

The Kenyan Cannonball 

I've heard of all your Cannonballs
rattling down the line;
they're always heading southwards,
they all pull in on time.
The wheels keep on a-turning
and the smokestacks always shine -
but if you want to see God's country
then try this train of mine.


The Kenyan Cannonball, the Kenyan Cannonball,
The steam comes from the chimney, oh hear the whistle call.
It chugs across the sleepers, it seems ten miles a day,
If you want to get there faster, you can push or you can pray.

Some folks talk of walking down that lonesome railroad track,
they're forever counting cross-ties, with a sack upon their back.
I'm not saying that they romanticise
the freight-train or hobo-
but they're not the only ones
who've heard steam whistles blow.


The trains all start rolling from the East towards the West,
And way out here in Kenya, they still think steam's the best.
They send goods to Uganda, and back towards the Coast,
And though I've never hopped a freight, I'm quite prepared to boast:

From the wide old Indian Ocean across to that great Lake,
Over rivers and Rift Valley
runs the Iron Snake.
Yes, the mean man-eating lions once made an awful mess,
But none of them could speed it up, the lunatic express.


From Mombasa to Kisumu, and to Kampala too,
You can pay or ride the box-car, you can yodel till you're blue.
You can use the rails for bracelets, you can twist them round your arm,
But if you want to get there quicker, ride a tractor from your farm


List of train songs

1923 - Henry Whitter - "Wreck of the Old 97"

Long Steel Rail, The Railroad in American Folksong, Norm Cohen

Some more English poems

On The Projected Kendal And Windermere Railway
Is then no nook of English ground secure
From rash assault? Schemes of retirement sown
In youth, and 'mid the busy world kept pure
As when their earliest flowers of hope were blown,
Must perish; how can they this blight endure?
And must he too the ruthless change bemoan
Who scorns a false utilitarian lure
'Mid his paternal fields at random thrown?
Baffle the threat, bright Scene, from Orresthead
Given to the pausing traveler's rapturous glance:
Plead for thy peace, thou beautiful romance
Of nature; and, if human hearts be dead,
Speak, passing winds; ye torrents, with your strong
And constant voice, protest against the wrong.

William Wordsworth (1844)

From On the Departure Platform

We kissed at the barrier; and passing through
She left me, and moment by moment got
Smaller and smaller, until to my view
        She was but a spot;

A wee white spot of muslin fluff
That down the diminishing platform bore
Through hustling crowds of gentle and rough
        To the carriage door.

Under the lamplight's fitful glowers,
Behind dark groups from far and near,
Whose interests were apart from ours
        She would disappear...

Thomas Hardy (Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses, 1909)

This is the Night Mail, W. H. Auden (from the film)

The Express

After the first powerful, plain manifesto
The black statement of pistons, without more fuss
But gliding like a queen, she leaves the station.
Without bowing and with restrained unconcern
She passes the houses which humbly crowd outside,
The gasworks, and at last the heavy page
Of death, printed by gravestones in the cemetery.
Beyond the town, there lies the open country
Where, gathering speed, she acquires mystery,
The luminous self-possession of ships on ocean.
It is now she begins to sing - at first quite low
Then loud, and at last with a jazzy madness -
The song of her whistle screaming at curves,
Of deafening tunnels, brakes, innumerable bolts.
And always light, aerial, underneath,
Retreats the elate metre of her wheels.
Streaming through metal landscapes on her lines,
She plunges new eras of white happiness,
Where speed throws up strange shapes, broad curves
And parallels clean like trajectories from guns.
At last, further than Edinburgh or Rome,
Beyond the crest of the world, she reaches night
Where only a low stream-line brightness
Of phosphorus on the tossing hills is light.
Ah, like a comet through flame, she moves entranced,
Wrapt in her music no bird song, no, nor bough
Breaking with honey buds, shall ever equal.

Stephen Spender

From Summoned by Bells

Attend the long express from Waterloo
That takes us down to Cornwall. Tea-time shows
The small fields waiting, every blackthorn hedge
Straining inland before the south-west gale.
The emptying train, wind in the ventilators,
Puffs out of Egloskerry to Tresmeer
Through minty meadows, under bearded trees
And hills upon whose sides the clinging farms
Hold Bible Christians. Can it really be
That this same carriage came from Waterloo?
On Wadebridge station what a breath of sea
Scented the Camel valley! Cornish air,
Soft Cornish rains, and silence after steam......
As out of Derry's stable came the brake
To drag us up those long, familiar hills,
Past haunted woods, and oil lit farms and on
To far Trebetherick by the sounding sea.

John Betjeman

Literature of the British Virgin Islands

"Poet, editor and academic Richard Georges introduces the literature scene in his home in the British Virgin Islands" (BC Literature blog, published 30 August, 2017).

In pictures: Irma devastates British Virgin Islands, BBC - The British overseas territory in the Caribbean is reeling from the deadly hurricane. Still current at:18 September 2017 Updated:17 September 2017

"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all travel to the British Virgin Islands; tropical storm Maria is expected to develop into a hurricane and make landfall on the BVI on Tuesday 19 or Wednesday 20 September; following the extensive damage caused by hurricane Irma, there is a high risk of further severe damage; coastal flooding is also highly likely; if you are in the British Virgin Islands, you should identify shelter immediately and be ready to take cover when the hurricane approaches; if you are currently outside BVI, you should not return to the territory at this time; the local authorities have introduced a curfew from 6pm to 9am until further notice; you should continue to follow the advice of the local authorities; the hotline for British people affected or concerned about others is +44(0)20 7008 0000; you should use whatever means you can to confirm to family that you are safe".

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Monica Ali on Authenticity

BBC Radio 4, iPlayer, A Point of View (ten minute programme): 

"Authenticity, writes Monica Ali, has become the yardstick by which we measure the value of much of our day-to-day lives. 'In this hyper-mobile, hyper-connected world' she says, 'the cult of authenticity is flourishing'. But what does it mean to be 'authentic'?"

Amanda Wallwork, Projects; Geology, Archaeology and Landscape; the South Dorset Ridgeway Maps

Final day of current open studio- see Amanda Wallwork's website - Amanda's work is always fascinating.

Amanda has been "showing painting and other work concerned with archaeology, geology and formation of landscape – revealing what is not always immediately apparent, what can’t always be seen on the surface. Includes research and work in progress on recently commissioned series of maps and Field Guide exploring the landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway".

Related: Thomas Hardy's Ridgeway Sketch:

From City of Birmingham

Greek Airports, Summer Passenger Traffic Up 10%

Greek airports: 9.7% increase in passenger traffic during the summer, Tornos News

Sing Again Together, William Barnes; Old Songs, New Songs; Thomas Hardy, Any Little Old Song

From Sing Again Together

We learnt good songs that came out new
But now are old among the young,
And after we are gone, but few
Will know the songs that we have sung.

William Barnes

Any Little Old Song

Any little old song

    Will do for me,

Tell it of joys gone long,

     Or joys to be,

Or friendly faces best

     Loved to see.

Newest themes I want not

    On subtle strings,

And for thrillings pant not

    That new song brings:

I only need the homeliest

    Of heartstirrings.

Thomas Hardy

Joe Harvey and The Hardy Perennials - Any Little Old Song E​.​P​.​: Thomas Hardy poems set to music.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Language and Landscape

From The Guardian, 27 February, 2015: "The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape"

"Landmarks, the book that has arisen from my own years of word work, is a celebration and defence of land language. Its fascination is with the mutual relations of place, word and spirit: how we landmark, and how we are landmarked in turn. Each of the nine glossaries is matched with a chapter exploring the work of those writers who have used words exactly and exactingly when describing specific places".

Today I enjoyed an afternoon of performances of William Barnes' works at Max Gate, Dorchester -both Barnes and Hardy provide perfect examples of "land language". Congratulations to all concerned.

Beethoven, op. 80, Choral Fantasy; Bach, Cantata No 140, Wachet Auf

YouTube, Barenboim

Listen also: BBC Radio 3, Record Review, from 1'30 point - Choral Fantasy Op. 80 (ending)

PERFORMER: Martha Argerich

ORCHESTRA: Orchestra della Svizzera italiana

CHOIR: Coro della Radiotevisione svizzera

Sir Andras Schiff on Music - and European Culture

From BBC 3, Music Matters (from 12.44 point, on Europe and Britain. Europe as a cultural and human entity, with shared cultural and ethical values).

Greece: A Hole in the Budget Revenue

From Kathimerini  «Τρύπα» 1,7 δισ. ευρώ στα έσοδα του προϋπολογισμού το οκτάμηνο

The eurozone may be back on its feet. But is Greece? Helena Smith, The Observer

Friday, 15 September 2017

Futuristic Beijing

My daughter is in Beijing on business. She has just posted this:

"Beijing is feeling increasingly futuristic. The skyline has changed beyond recognition and the air is purer inside than out...when the sky clears though, the city's energy, forward-moving, fast-pace dynamism suddenly makes the Old World feel tired and creaking".

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body, meeting on Wednesday 20 September

Decision time in Dorchester - NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body will be meeting on Wednesday 20 September to make decisions following the recent Clinical Services Review public consultation.

BBC TV South Today carried an item, on the regional lunctime television news (1.30pm, 13 September), announcing some of the key decisions.

Major changes announced during a lengthy briefing - proposals and many details unveiled. Voting next Wednesday, 20th September.

More on BBC South Today at 6.30pm.

Opposition to cuts, Somerset Live

NHS CCG recommendations on Clinical Services Review could see services retained at Dorset County Hospital and staying in west Dorset, Dorset Echo

"Dorset County Hospital will remain as both an emergency and planned site with health bosses conceding a maternity and paediatrics unit should now remain for patients in the west of the county".

Health bosses press on with Poole Hospital A&E closure, BBC

"Health chiefs are pressing ahead with plans to shut Poole's A&E in favour of a major emergency hub at Bournemouth...The amended proposals give paediatric and maternity services at Dorchester a temporary reprieve".

Greece: The Crisis and the Changing Housing market

From eKathimerini, Nikos Roussanoglou - Crisis brings sea change to Greek housing market

When is an island not an island? BBC

When is an island not an island? Philip Sim, BBC Scotland News

A question I've often pondered, concerning Portland, Dorset; Lefkada, Greece; Vaxholm, Sweden;
Ile de Ré, France - and the Isle of Skye.

Greece: Oil spill off coast of Greece 'environmental disaster'; Salamis Island

BBC, brief video report - "Emergency crews have begun an oil spill clean-up after an oil tanker sank close to the island of Salamis. The 45-year-old vessel, Agia Zoni II, was carrying 2,500 tonnes of fuel".

From eKathimerini - Salamina hit by oil slick

From Kathimerini - Εστίες ρύπανσης σε Αγιο Κοσμά και Πειραϊκή από την πετρελαιοκηλίδα

Update from KTG - Tanker Oil Spill out of control, reaches Piraeus and beaches in Athens Riviera

Greek beaches blackened as sunken ship leaks oil. Sky News

Eco Groups Warn Greece is Not Prepared to Respond to Marine Disasters, Greek Reporter

"Greenpeace’s local energy campaign officer, Takis Grigoriou told Kathimerini that, “If a relatively small leak can cause such destruction right beside the country’s biggest port and the operations center of the Shipping Ministry, what exactly is the country’s capability in dealing with leaks and accidents from large-scale oil operations in the Ionian and Cretan seas?” Grigoriou was referring to plans for natural gas exploration that are scheduled to take place in the Ionian Sea and near Crete. “The question is not whether another accident will happen, but when,” he said."

Agia Zoni oil spill was an accident waiting to happen, experts say, eKathimerini

Heavy responsibilities (Greek article, Kathimerini) - Οι βαριές ευθύνες ενός εγκλήματος

Environmental Tragedy, Greek Reporter

Bid to clean up Greek tanker oil spillage is beset by problems, eKathimerini

Υπ. Ναυτιλίας: 1.500 κυβικά πετρελαιοειδών έχουν απαντληθεί στον Σαρωνικό, Kathimerini

Greece: The Fate of the Built Heritage of Modern Athens

From Helena Smith, The Guardian - Forget the Parthenon: how austerity is laying waste to Athens' modern heritage - "A full 80% of 19th and early 20th-century buildings in the Greek capital have already been destroyed, and time is running out for what’s left"

West Bay, Dorset: Risking Lives at the Rockfall

From MailOnline - "Beachgoers watch in horror as man clambers over a huge rockfall under the cliffs" 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Greece: Expats' Survey of Best and Worst Countries to Live - as Expatriates

A very surprising (and undeserved) survey result, reported by Keep Talking Greece (KTG)

'Expats survey ranks “Greece” as one of the worst places in the world to live as expat'

See Internations website, Expat Insider 2017 - scroll down to The Bottom 3

Ridgeway Radio Online; Ridgeway Radio, Dorchester, Dorset

I've been learning more about Ridgeway Radio - a really impressive and important community and hospital service.

Ridgeway Radio Online, website

Gallery of volunteers and their roles

Exciting plans for the future:

Application put forward for Community Radio Licence in Dorchester

Eldorado Gold Corp suspends investment in Greece (Reuters)

Eldorado suspends investment in Greece citing regulatory hurdles, Reuters - "Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp said on Monday it would suspend investment at its mines and development projects in Greece due to a delay in permits from the Greek government".

Government saying one thing, doing another on investments, eKathimerini

While Greek PM Calls for Investors, his Men Try to Chase them Away, Greek Reporter


Greece to grant permits for Eldorado Gold's Olympias project this week, minister says, eKathimerini

UK: Toxic Air Pollution

"Britain flouting duty to protect citizens from toxic air pollution – UN. Special rapporteur’s mission finds government has violated obligation to protect people’s lives and health", The Guardian

Polluted playgrounds pose a danger to thousands of children, analysis shows, The Telegraph 

"More than 950 schools are near roads which have from harmful levels of  illegal pollution, research found. The findings that thousands of children are playing in playgrounds within 150 metres of roads with illegal air pollution across the UK comes from an assessment for environmental law charity ClientEarth of the latest government data".

Is your child playing in a poisoned playground? ClientEarth

Air pollution kills half a million people in Europe, EU agency reports, DW - 12/10/2017

Pollution linked to one in six deaths, BBC News 20/10/2017

Pollution killing more people than war and violence, says report, DW

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Windrose Rural Media Trust (Dorset Life)

Having watched a Dorset Film Archive film programme at the Electric Palace Cinema, Bridport, last night, I wanted to find out more about the organisation.

Here's an article from Dorset Life, from August 2015.

This was the Bridport programme announcement and programme:

"Historian Trevor Bailey from the Windrose Rural Media Trust returns to the Electric Palace to present more archive films of Dorset life from 1910s to 1960s.

Films will include:
• Thomas Hardy remembered by the people who knew him
• An interview with Gertrude Bugler from Beaminster, who played ‘Tess’ in Hardy’s own production of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ both locally and in London.
• A 1917 working artisan pottery in Verwood
• Seaside and harbour life in Weymouth, Lyme Regis and Poole
• A rail trip from Bath to Bournemouth featuring steam engines on the Dorset / Somerset line
• The home front in Dorset in the first and second World Wars, including a royal visit
• A hearty pub outing from the Shaves Cross Inn to Lynton
• Beating the Bounds in Poole Harbour 1950
• Wareham Coronation celebrations 1953
• The last train to Portland
• Tarrant Keynston fete in 1950s

The silent films will be accompanied by traditional songs performed by Amanda Boyd, a West Country folk singer who has been working with Windrose for the past six years, arranging and performing traditional songs from Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire".

Friday, 8 September 2017

Battle of the Blues (in Europe)

Karoly Escher, Blind Musician, 1933, Hungarian Photography Museum

Russian gusli player, reproduced from Orlando Figes, Natasha's Dance, A Cultural History of Russia (photo reproduced from Chloe Oblensky, The Russian Empire: A Portrait in Photographs, London, Jonathan Cape, 1979).

Macron in Athens; Role of IMF

From Euronews: Macron says IMF should have smaller role in European bailouts

From eKathimerini - At democracy's birthplace, Macron dreams of Europe 2.0

From Kathimerini - Μακρόν: Αυτοκτονία ιστορική και πολιτική η διάλυση της Ευρώπης

From La Monde - A Athènes, Macron appelle à retrouver le « sel » et le « sens » de l’idéal démocratique européen:

« Ces lieux nous obligent », a-t-il commencé après quelques mots prononcés en grec devant un parterre d’invités, dont des lycéens.

« C’est ici que fut inventée la forme moderne de l’Etat, ici que cette cité d’Athènes construisit patiemment, par la souveraineté du peuple, son destin », a-t-il ajouté avant d’interroger, avec des accents papaux : « Qu’avons-nous fait, Européens, de notre souveraineté ? (…) Qu’avons-nous fait de la démocratie ? Nous faisons-nous encore confiance ? (…) En Europe, aujourd’hui, la souveraineté, la démocratie et la confiance sont en danger ! »

En savoir plus sur

Macron does not rule out new aid for Greece in August 2018, KTG

From Greek Reporter - In Pnyx hill, Macron Presents European Vision for a More Integrated Union

Bulgaria on a Cliff Edge, Radio Documentary; Depopulation in Balkan Mountain Villages; Emigration

From BBC World Service, Assignment Series

"What’s it like to live in the country with the fastest-shrinking population in the world?
In the mountain village of Kalotinsi in western Bulgaria, there is no shop, no school, no bus service. Until a few decades ago, 600 people lived here but now most of the houses stand empty. Thirteen residents remain, struggling to make a life in a place most people have given up on.

There are many other near-deserted villages like this in Bulgaria. With women having few children, and many choosing to work abroad, Bulgaria is facing a population crisis.

Ruth Alexander travels to the country to find out what life is like for those left behind, and to ask what is being done to reverse the population decline". BBC Programme Description.

Producer: John Murphy

Thursday, 7 September 2017

UK: To understand Britain, read its spy novels (The Economist)

The nature of the establishment, the agonies of decline, the complicated tug of patriotism: spy novels explore what makes Britain British, Bagehot, The Economist

From BBC Radio 4 (six days left to listen): John Le Carre: The return of master spy George Smiley

"John Le Carre's latest novel A Legacy of Spies is published on Thursday - always an anticipated event for his legions of readers. But this time it involves the return of his master spy, George Smiley.
Jim Naughtie has been speaking to the author and former spy about his writing, his own life and discovering the Stasi file kept on his father".

John le Carré on Trump: ‘Something seriously bad is happening, The Guardian - 'If people are “by instinct a befriender, a seducer and a liar, in the sense of a gentleman who lies for the good of his country” then MI6 is for you, “but think of the second half of your life because not many people have one”.'

The Economist: Lexington columnist bids farewell -some parting thoughts on American politics

From The Economist - Lexington - Our columnist bids farewell - After five years, which included reporting trips to 46 states, this Lexington offers some parting thoughts on American politics

EU vetoes on Balkan integration - Opinion Piece

Edmund Ekrem Krasniqi - "Time to end EU vetoes on Balkan integration", Opinion Piece, EU Observer - Edmund Ekrem Krasniqi is a Kosovar journalist:

"The key to unlocking EU integration in the Western Balkans lies in the EU treaty - abolition of the unanimity rule on enlargement...In the current treaty, all major steps in the enlargement process are subject to 28 potential vetoes. That means that none of the six Balkan EU hopefuls will become members on the visible horizon, not due to lack of reform, but due to political deadlocks".

See also:

Russia's Bosnia Gambit, Intrigue in the Balkans, Jasmin Mujanovic, Foreign Affairs

A new Cold War? The Baltics; Deutsche Welle - "NATO is conducting military drills to prepare for a potential Russian invasion of the Baltics. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told DW the military alliance was increasing its presence in response to a growing threat from Russia".

The Internet Archive; Digitized Books; Dissemination of Knowledge

About The Internet Archive

11 million books and texts - "Not everyone has access to a public or academic library with a good collection, so to provide universal access we need to provide digital versions of books. We began a program to digitize books in 2005 and today we scan 1,000 books per day in 28 locations around the world. Books published prior to 1923 are available for download".

Building Libraries Together

"The Internet Archive is one of the world's largest public digital libraries, with an extensive collection of human culture: 2 million books, 430 billion Web pages, 3 million hours of television and more. However, the archive's users upload only a small percentage of these materials and to preserve the world's knowledge the public should be encouraged to contribute. The archive is embarking on a project to make the site more community-driven by improving the tools that allow people to upload, describe and organize items. With these new tools, the Internet Archive hopes to democratize knowledge by giving global communities the ability to save, manage and share their cultural treasures for free. What Wikimedia did for encyclopedia articles, the Internet Archive hopes to do for collections of media: give people the tools to build library collections together and make them accessible to everyone".

A tremendous service!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Drinking water, plastic microfibres

From Euronews - World's drinking water contaminated with plastic fibres, study finds

A new investigation has discovered the presence of microfibres in tap water worldwide.

Old Came Rectory, Former Home of William Barnes (Country Life)

From Country Life - A sprawling Dorset cottage for sale where Thomas Hardy met his inspirational mentor  -  with photographs.

"The outside space, meanwhile, is an absolute joy to behold. There are superb, professionally landscaped walled gardens with delightful shrubs and flowers throughout – you can almost imagine Barnes and Hardy wandering through the space as they discuss the world".

More details and 40 photos

Dorset Health Care, Ambulance Journey Time Report

An independent report by ambulance service reveals operational impact of Dorset healthcare shake-up - Dorset Echo

"A major healthcare shake-up would mean longer journey times for more patients than those who would have their journey time reduced. This is the findings of a new independent report carried out by the South West Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST)".

Other problems:

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Inspection, from Care Quality Commission

Full Commission Quality Report (pdf)

The provider must:

Ensure staff have further performance observation and support to ensure the needs of callers are correctly responded to.

Reduce risks to callers by improving delays in call abandonment, initial answering of calls, warm transfer and returning calls by a clinician.

The NHS 111 service provided by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust rating remains inadequate until a full comprehensive inspection of the Trusts NHS 111 service is carried out by the Care Quality Commission.

Professor Steve Field CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP
Chief Inspector of General Practice

Corfu Municipal Art Gallery; Επτανησιακή τέχνη, Πινακοθήκη του Δήμου Κερκυραίων