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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Brexit: The Draft Deal: PM has Cabinet backing

Theresa May statement, BBC News

Guy Verhofstadt -

Leo Varadkar -

Leo Varadkar -

"Avoiding a hard border has proven to be one of the most difficult challenges. What has become know as “the backstop” is now fully spelt out in the Withdrawal Agreement. The backstop would apply “unless and until” a better solution is agreed".

Nigel Farage At His Angriest As Cabinet Backs Draft Brexit Agreement, LBC

Poole Hospital, Dorset

Poole's support over hospital shake-up plan referral stalls, BBC News

"Campaigners have argued the health services review will put lives at risk. Following the decision, Chris Brady from campaign group Defend Dorset NHS said: 'There will be significant issues in travel times - people will die' ".

Efterpi Mitsi: Greece in Early English Travel Writing, 1596–1682

A fascinating book

"This book examines the letters, diaries, and published accounts of English and Scottish travelers to Greece in the seventeenth century, a time of growing interest in ancient texts and the Ottoman Empire. Through these early encounters, this book analyzes the travelers’ construction of Greece in the early modern Mediterranean world and shows how travel became a means of collecting and disseminating knowledge about ancient sites. Focusing on the mobility and exchange of people, artifacts, texts, and opinions between the two countries, it argues that the presence of Britons in Greece and of Greeks in England aroused interest not only in Hellenic antiquity, but also in Greece’s contemporary geopolitical role. Exploring myth, perception, and trope with clarity and precision, this book offers new insight into the connections between Greece, the Ottoman Empire, and the West".

Table of contents (6 chapters)


Pages 1-15

Angell in Oxford: The Travails of a Greek Monk in Seventeenth-Century England

Pages 17-41

The “Fruit of Travell”: Fynes Moryson and Thomas Dallam in the Greek Islands

Pages 43-86

“A Revelation of Time”: Translating Greece in George Sandys’ Relation of a Journey

Pages 87-118

“Fensed with Experience and Garnished with Truth”: Experience and Invention in William Lithgow’s Greek Journey

Weymouth Waves

From far away (small, bigger, biggest):

Thomas Dallam, Early voyages and travels in the Levant, 1599-1600; Zante

On Zante (book pages 18-25, web pages 84-91):

page 19:

Corfu Literary Festival, September 2019

Corfu - a magnet for writers.


23rd to 30th September 2019.

Inside the Foreign Office (BBC TV Trailer)

"A unique insight into the extraordinary world of British diplomats, working in some of the most complex and sensitive jobs in government".

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Henry Miller vs Ghikas in Hydra, 1939: Another poem by Henry Denander

From The Loulaki Bar and other poems from Hydra

I climbed up the hill only once.

A tragic loss of a beautiful house (with a wonderful view).

Thanks for sharing these three poems, Henry!

A house on a small Greek island: A Poem by Henry Denander

This is a telling poem. I have a copy framed in the guest bedroom!

From The Loulaki Bar

Tsipouro (Cipporo) - A Poem by Henry Denander; Hydra

I am really enjoying Henry Denander's collection "The Loulaki Bar and other poems from Hydra".

Here's one called Cipporo

We call it Tsipouro in Epirus.

It's a good companion piece to Robert Graves' poem, Ouzo Unclouded.

Pick your poem - pick your poison!

Albanian Art; Albanian Dialects; Robert Elsie; Albanian History

Robert Elsie (June 29, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was a Canadian-born German scholar (Wikipedia)

Albanian Art, Robert Elsie

Albanian Dialects

Historical documents, some samples:

1945, Brigadier Edward Hodgson: Report on the Present Administration of Albania

1945, Harry Hodgkinson: Impressions of Albania

1971, Titos Jochalas: On Albanian Migration to Greece

1983, Abas Ermenji: Overthrowing the Communist Regime

A recent book of interest (2016):

The Albanian Operation of the CIA and MI6, 1949–1953

Thursday, 8 November 2018

British and Belgian artists in World War One

From The British Library:

Why paint war? British and Belgian artists in World War One

Ethiopian Magic: Divination, Medicine and Talismans

From The British Library: Illustrated Lunchtime Talk, 19th November

An insight into the British Library’s Ethiopic manuscripts collection

"Ethiopian magic, divination and magical recipe books are a striking and very distinctive form of Ethiopian Christian material culture, yet they remain a relatively poorly understood and understudied topic.

As well containing spells, these manuscripts are adorned with rich illustrations. These drawings were created for spiritual edification and the protection of clients from real or imagined harm. Ethiopian magical art consists of visual representations of the world of demons and evil spirits, exposing the invisible for the client to understand.

Who were these works produced for? What is Ethiopian ‘magic’? Why do the scrolls contain extensive quotations of styles and motifs found in early Babylonian, Hebrew and Greek magic images, and what do these quotations signify? What was the relationship between Debtras (practitioners) and the clients?

In this illustrated talk, second year doctoral student at SOAS University of London Eyob Derillo will discuss the background of Ethiopic magic and explore the wider British Library Ethiopic manuscript collection, from divination manuals to amulet talismans and handbooks used by magic practitioners".

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

YouTube and the EU's Article 13 Copyright Legislation; Save Your Internet!

Read here

From Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

"This growing creative economy is at risk, as the EU Parliament voted on Article 13, copyright legislation that could drastically change the internet that you see today.

Article 13 as written threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people -- from creators like you to everyday users -- to upload content to platforms like YouTube. And it threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere. This includes YouTube’s incredible video library of educational content, such as language classes, physics tutorials and other how-to’s.

This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world. And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ. The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies. It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content. We realize the importance of all rights holders being fairly compensated, which is why we built Content ID and a platform to pay out all types of content owners. But the unintended consequences of article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk. We are committed to working with the industry to find a better way. This language could be finalized by the end of the year, so it’s important to speak up now.

Please take a moment to learn more about how it could affect your channel and take action immediately. Tell the world through social media (#SaveYourInternet) and your channel why the creator economy is important and how this legislation will impact you". Susan Wojcicki.

Poole Bay, Dorset: Oil exploration drilling planned

From BBC News

"An energy firm plans to drill a well more than 1,000m (3,280ft) below the seabed in Poole Bay in a bid to explore oil reserves. Corallian Energy hopes to erect a temporary oil platform later this month before drilling the "appraisal well". Environmentalists have said an accident at the site could "devastate" the coast. But Corallian said "all practicable measures" would be taken to avoid "spill scenarios".

Expats and Brexit, Money Box Live, BBC Radio 4

An important programme; many questions, some answers, multiple issues:

Expats and Brexit, Money Box Live, BBC Radio 4

"Whether it’s access to healthcare, pensions or the right to work on the continent, how will the UK’s withdrawal from the EU affect the finances of the 1.3 million Britons living in Europe? Louise Cooper and a panel of guests discuss what might happen to expats' rights, whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations".


Letter to the Editor, Daily Telegraph, 7 November, 2018:

Expats will be sacked

SIR – In the discussions about Brexit, one category of people seems to have been forgotten. Many of the 900,000 British expats in Europe work as civil servants. Until now, our status as European citizens has allowed us the same access to jobs as French the event of a "no deal" situation all non-French nationals will lose their jobs on March 29 2019...", Julian Marshall.

A controversial Remainer's attempt to explain Brexit to the Germans and other Europeans, by  Anthony Barnett, Eurozine

"Brexit has been driven by an English nationalism combined with extreme globalization – but also by EU overreach, writes openDemocracy co-founder Anthony Barnett. A second referendum is hypothetical at best and a different result far from certain".

First published in “Blätter”, the Journal for German and International Politics (Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik).

Why I cannot support the Government’s proposed Brexit deal, Jo Johnson

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

UK: The Rising Costs of Probate; A New Death Tax?

From MailOnline - The cost of securing legal control over a deceased's estate will soar next April

From Which? Probate fees shake-up to send costs soaring for large estates Fees will be charged on a sliding scale between £0 and £6,000

Corfu Port: Greek Port Concessions Imminent?


"The concession process for the Greek ports of Alexandroupoli, Kavala, Igoumentsa and Corfu could start before the end of the year, according to the chairman of the country's Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED). According to I Kathimerini, Mr Xenofos made the comment at an Enterprise Greece meeting with representatives of Russian banks and industries, adding that the concessioning of other regional ports may also begin by the end of 2018 or at the start of 2019, alongside the sale of 50.1% of Hellenic Petroleum shares".

Large Hydropower Dams 'not sustainable'; Hydroelectric Dams, Environmental Impact

Sustainable hydropower in the 21st century, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA

"This paper discusses how the hydropower sector needs to not only focus on energy production but also, include the negative social and environmental externalities caused by dams and recognize the unsustainability of current common practices".

Large hydropower dams 'not sustainable' in the developing world, BBC News, Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent

"A new study says that many large scale hydropower projects in Europe and the US have been disastrous for the environment".

Environmental Impacts of Dams, International Rivers

Turkey: A Controversial Dam, National Geographic

Sunday, 4 November 2018

UK: Criminal Waste; Tippers; Illegal Disposal of Waste, BBC Radio 4

From BBC File on Four 

"It’s been called “the new narcotics”, a crime that promises high-rewards with little fear of being detected, and it is attracting criminal gangs usually associated with drugs and violence. “Waste crime”; the illegal disposal of the UK’s mountains of often hazardous rubbish, and those involved are finding new and inventive ways of cashing in. File on 4 investigates how gangs hide hundreds of tonnes of waste in fields and makeshift tips around the country, and goes out with enforcement officers as they raid factories and depots around the country. The crime costs the UK an estimated 600 million pounds a year, as it’s escalated from opportunist fly-tipping to a dangerous and competitive criminal industry. One farmer tells the programme how he was confronted by hooded men when he went to investigate suspicious activity on his land. The gang dumped 100 tonnes of waste before switching their lorry number plates and driving off. Three days later, a nearby farm was also hit, with another 100 tonnes, and again the gang escaped. Others use their own premises to hide hazardous waste. They set up a legitimate operation, with licenses to process harmless rubbish. But that’s just a front, a technique to trick to investigators from the Environment Agency. Behind the legal piles of rubbish are hundreds of tonnes of hazardous material. The authorities are trying to fight back. But do they have the resources they need?"

Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Sally Chesworth Editor: Gail Champion

EU Countries, Index of Proficiency in English; Country Rankings

From Euronews

Which EU countries are the best and worst at speaking English?

BBC World Book Club in Beijing: Lijia Zhang and Lotus.

A fascinating programme on the BBC's World Service.

"This month BBC World Book Club comes from Beijing with Lawrence Pollard. The programme is a guest of the Bookworm, three rooms and a roof terrace full of books in Chinese and English, a fixture on the literary scene here for over a decade. Bestselling Chinese writer Lijia Zhang answers questions about her novel Lotus. Lijia taught herself English while working in a missile factory in a bid to become a writer and a journalist, and she’s written Lotus in English. It’s a deeply researched picture of the people who look up at the economic miracle from beneath and their struggles for dignity, love and a future they can believe in".

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Santorini's Waste Management Issues at Alonaki, Santorini, Greece

From - Ενέργεια από τα σκουπίδια; - προσπάθεια να αντιμετωπιστεί η περιβαλλοντική «βόμβα» που απειλεί το νησί: ο σκουπιδότοπος στο Αλωνάκι, ένας χώρος με θέα τη μοναδική Καλντέρα, μεταξύ Φηρών και Μεσαριάς, που δεν τιμά το πιο ιδιαίτερο νησί της χώρας. Στον συγκεκριμένο χώρο, που λειτουργεί χωρίς άδεια και υποδομές, καταλήγει χωρίς επεξεργασία το σύνολο των σκουπιδιών της Σαντορίνης, που αγγίζουν τις 20.000 τόνους τον χρόνο.

Link from Costas Tsiringakis (Facebook, Your Complaints to the Mayor, Public Group)

See also, Garbage Disposal in the Sea, Hydra, 1956-1960

Meanwhile, on Corfu, another "Stop to the Rubbish" and Health SOS protest:

Friday, 2 November 2018

UK: Healthy High Streets

From Sky News/MSN - UK's unhealthiest high streets 'shortening lives'

Childhood obesity linked to air pollution from vehicles - Research suggests first year ‘critical window’ in which toxic air can increase weight gain, The Guardian

Charles Causley: Cornwall's Nature Poet; Launceston; Cornwall

BBC iPlayer, 18 days left

Tremendous poetry and songs, especially the duet "Who?" from the album "Cyprus Well", a beautiful interpretation by Jim Causley and Julie Murphy (track 10 on  the album, on Spotify).

"Who is that child I see wandering, wandering/ Down by the side of the quivering stream?" (listen from 13.00 minute point). 


Who is that child I see wandering, wandering
down by the side of the quivering stream?
Why does he seem not to hear, though I call to him?
Where does he come from, and what is his name?

Why do I see him at sunrise and sunset
taking, in old-fashioned clothes, the same track?
Why, when he walks, does he cast not a shadow
though the sun rises and falls at his back?

Why does the dust lie so thick on the hedgerow
by the great field where a horse pulls the plough?
Why do I see only meadows, where houses
stand in a line by the riverside now?

Why does he move like a wraith by the water,
soft as the thistledown on the breeze blown?
When I draw near him so that I may hear him,
why does he say that his name is my own?"

Charles Causley, from The Collected Poems for Children (Macmillan, 1996)

BBC Film Description:

"Charles Causley was one of the great poets of his generation. Born in 1917 in Launceston, north Cornwall, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, the only time he left was for active service in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. His father died when he was a boy as a result of a gas attack in the trenches of World War One and he lived the rest of his life in the same house as his mother. He knew everyone and they knew him. He devoted his life to teaching, poetry and his mum. Charles Causley said that everything you needed to know about him was in the poetry. He wrote directly from experience about the people of Launceston and the changes in the town, both world wars, his shipmates, local history, myths, animals and God".

See also: Charles Causley, Celebrating Spring in North Cornwall

Cornwall Trip: Last Stop Launceston

Charles Causley reads Eden Rock

More readings

Jim Causley sings Charles Causley's Who

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Nurse, A Bittersweet Comedy

I hadn't heard this before.

On BBC Radio 4 last night (Episode 1, Series 3)

"Bittersweet comedy drama about a community mental health nurse". Starring Paul Whitehouse.


A typical exchange:

"You always know when someone's been to Oxford".


"Because they tell you".

Greek Culture; Clever People; Ο εξυπνότερος λαός του κόσμου;

89% of Greeks regard their culture as superior to others.

Greek attitudes toward religion, minorities align more with Central and Eastern Europe than West. Pew Research Institute

Eastern Europeans are more likely to regard their culture as superior to others

Two songs by Mesomedes of Crete (2nd century CE); Invocation of the Muse; Invocation of Calliope and Apollo

Steff Connor, video

Invocation of the Muse and Invocation of Calliope and Apollo

The Last Camel, An Afar Proverb; Ethiopia

An Afar proverb from Ethiopia (sadly, I can't remember the source):

"It is the first camel in the train which holds everyone up, but it is the last which gets the beating".

The Discontent of Rasselas in the Happy Valley, Samuel Johnson; The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

It's time to read this marvelous work again.

"The sages who instructed them, told them of nothing but the miseries of publick life, and described all beyond the mountains as regions of calamity, where discord was always raging, and where man preyed upon man".

A thought for those beyond the mountains (or far from Zagori)!

The discontent of Rasselas in the happy valley

Chapter Two of Dr. Samuel Johnson' The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

Edited by Jack Lynch

Here the sons and daughters of Abissinia lived only to know the soft vicissitudes of pleasure and repose, attended by all that were skilful to delight, and gratified with whatever the senses can enjoy. They wandered in gardens of fragrance, and slept in the fortresses of security. Every art was practised to make them pleased with their own condition. The sages who instructed them, told them of nothing but the miseries of publick life, and described all beyond the mountains as regions of calamity, where discord was always raging, and where man preyed upon man.

To heighten their opinion of their own felicity, they were daily entertained with songs, the subject of which was the happy valley. Their appetites were excited by frequent enumerations of different enjoyments, and revelry and merriment was the business of every hour from the dawn of morning to the close of even.

These methods were generally successful; few of the Princes had ever wished to enlarge their bounds, but passed their lives in full conviction that they had all within their reach that art or nature could bestow, and pitied those whom fate had excluded from this seat of tranquility, as the sport of chance, and the slaves of misery.

Thus they rose in the morning, and lay down at night, pleased with each other and with themselves, all but Rasselas, who, in the twenty-sixth year of his age, began to withdraw himself from their pastimes and assemblies, and to delight in solitary walks and silent meditation. He often sat before tables covered with luxury, and forgot to taste the dainties that were placed before him: he rose abruptly in the midst of the song, and hastily retired beyond the sound of musick. His attendants observed the change and endeavoured to renew his love of pleasure: he neglected their officiousness, repulsed their invitations, and spent day after day on the banks of rivulets sheltered with trees, where he sometimes listened to the birds in the branches, sometimes observed the fish playing in the stream, and anon cast his eyes upon the pastures and mountains filled with animals, of which some were biting the herbage, and some sleeping among the bushes.

This singularity of his humour made him much observed. One of the Sages, in whose conversation he had formerly delighted, followed him secretly, in hope of discovering the cause of his disquiet. Rasselas, who knew not that any one was near him, having for some time fixed his eyes upon the goats that were brousing among the rocks, began to compare their condition with his own.

“What,” said he, “makes the difference between man and all the rest of the animal creation? Every beast that strays beside me has the same corporal necessities with myself; he is hungry and crops the grass, he is thirsty and drinks the stream, his thirst and hunger are appeased, he is satisfied and sleeps; he rises again and is hungry, he is again fed and is at rest. I am hungry and thirsty like him, but when thirst and hunger cease I am not at rest; I am, like him, pained with want, but am not, like him, satisfied with fulness. The intermediate hours are tedious and gloomy; I long again to be hungry that I may again quicken my attention. The birds peck the berries or the corn, and fly away to the groves where they sit in seeming happiness on the branches, and waste their lives in tuning one unvaried series of sounds. I likewise can call the lutanist and the singer, but the sounds that pleased me yesterday weary me to day, and will grow yet more wearisome to morrow. I can discover within me no power of perception which is not glutted with its proper pleasure, yet I do not feel myself delighted. Man has surely some latent sense for which this place affords no gratification, or he has some desires distinct from sense which must be satisfied before he can be happy.”

After this he lifted up his head, and seeing the moon rising, walked towards the palace. As he passed through the fields, and saw the animals around him, “Ye, said he, are happy, and need not envy me that walk thus among you, burthened with myself; nor do I, ye gentle beings, envy your felicity; for it is not the felicity of man. I have many distresses from which ye are free; I fear pain when I do not feel it; I sometimes shrink at evils recollected, and sometimes start at evils anticipated: surely the equity of providence has ballanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.”

With observations like these the prince amused himself as he returned, uttering them with a plaintive voice, yet with a look that discovered him to feel some complacence in his own perspicacity, and to receive some solace of the miseries of life, from consciousness of the delicacy with which he felt, and the eloquence with which he bewailed them. He mingled cheerfully in the diversions of the evening, and all rejoiced to find that his heart was lightened.

Lalibela, Ethiopia; King Lalibala, A Poem

From King Lalibala
(who was renowned for his magnificent structures)

To mighty Lalibala Peace,
     Who stately Structures rear’d,
And to adorn the Pompous piles
      For no Expences spar’d.

By vast Expence and hideous pains,
       The Rock a Church became:
The Roof, the Floor, the squared Sides
       All one continu’d Frame.

No stones in blended Mortar lay’d
        The solid parts divide;
Nature has carved all without,
        Within the Workman’s Pride.

by an Ethiopian poet quoted by Job Ludolph in
"A New History of Ethiopia"
translated by J.P., Gent, 1682.

 J.P. was Milton's nephew, John Phillips.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Anti-Plagiarism Tool; Anti-Cheating Technology

From Times Higher Education - Pilots of £6m anti-cheating tool report successful results -EU-backed project using facial-, voice- and keystroke-identification technology enters final stages

Arthur Rimbaud in Ethiopia; Harar; Isabelle Rimbaud; Catholic Mission in Harar; Paul Verlaine

A re-posting. with some additions (first posted 2010) .

"During the whole course of his disease, and up to his last breath. his thoughts were constantly turned towards Harar, which he had loved passionately and where he earnestly wanted to return to die, would there have been any possibility of carrying him there". Isabelle Rimbaud, letter to the Fathers of the Catholic Mission at Harar (Roche, December 15th, 1891).


"Toi, mort, mort, mort ! Mais mort du moins tel que tu veux,
En nègre blanc, en sauvage splendidement
Civilisé, civilisant négligemment ..."

The Mission at Harar

Monday, 29 October 2018

Venice floods; St. Mark's Square; Italian floods

Floods hit Venice, Euronews

"Venice city officials say 70 percent of the lagoon city has been flooded by waters rising 149-centimetres above sea level".

At least six dead as heavy rain, flooding, hits Italy, Euronews


From Dust-to-Digital: a new DVD


Black Delta, Part I (1968)
Black Delta, Part II (1968)
Parchman Penitentiary (1968)
Give My Poor Heart Ease: Mississippi Delta Bluesmen (1975)
I Ain’t Lyin’: Folktales from Mississippi (1975)
Made in Mississippi: Black Folk Art and Crafts (1975)
Two Black Churches (1975)

To be released 2 November, 2018

Product Description

"In addition to being a groundbreaking documentarian of the American South, William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris co-edited the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and is the author of multiple books. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine named him among the top ten professors in the United States. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the roots of the blues. This DVD features seven films made by William Ferris between 1968 and 1975. FILMS INCLUDED: Black Delta, Part I (1968) (b/w) Black Delta, Part II (1968) (b/w) Parchman Penitentiary (1968) (b/w) Give My Poor Heart Ease: Mississippi Delta Bluesmen (1975) (color) I Ain't Lyin': Folktales from Mississippi (1975) (color) Made in Mississippi: Black Folk Art and Crafts (1975) (color) Two Black Churches (1975) (color) 'The combination of William Ferris and Dust-to-Digital is so important in preserving the cornerstone of our musical American history...' Lucinda Williams 'Bill Ferris is a profound historian. I am his biggest fan!!' Quincy Jones 'Going from farm to front porch across America's south in the 1960s, William Ferris recorded everything from praying pigs to haunting blues a political act, he says, at a time when black voices were being silenced.' Rebecca Bengal, The Guardian 'The 73-year-old UNC professor has spent six decades becoming Southern culture's chief documentarian. Equally at home on Mississippi state work farms or in college lecture halls, Ferris has broken some of America's biggest racial divides to collect tales of a sometimes-hidden history. It's a story he likes to share, too.' 

Tom Maxwell, IndyWeek March, 2015

Air pollution still too high across Europe: The Invisible Killer

Report from the European Environment Agency

Pure Rockabilly!

Sixty years ago:

Wanda Jackson - Hard Headed Woman

Live at Town Hall Party 1958

See also:

Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama (stereo)

Brazilian 'Blues' Aria: Cala a passarada aos seus tristes queixumes (Bachianas brasileiras No. 5); Heitor Villa-Lobos

"Cala a passarada aos seus tristes queixumes"

A lovely interpretation of the aria (1938) from Heitor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas brasileiras No. 5, W 391, performed by Thibaut Garcia  and Elsa Dreisig

Tarde uma nuvem rósea lenta e transparente.
Sobre o espaço, sonhadora e bela!
Surge no infinito a lua docemente,
Enfeitando a tarde, qual meiga donzela
Que se apresta e a linda sonhadoramente,
Em anseios d'alma para ficar bela
Grita ao céu e a terra toda a Natureza!
Cala a passarada aos seus tristes queixumes
E reflete o mar toda a Sua riqueza...
Suave a luz da lua desperta agora
A cruel saudade que ri e chora!
Tarde uma nuvem rósea lenta e transparente
Sobre o espaço, sonhadora e bela!

Ruth Valadares Correa

Another favourite from Brazil (1971):

Caetano Veloso - In the hot sun of Christmas Day

Czechoslovakia: 100th anniversary

From Euronews

"The Czech Republic marked 100 years since the birth of Czechoslovakia with a military parade in Prague on Sunday. It’s the biggest procession of its kind in the country's post-communist history.
But since 1993, the state peacefully separated into two independent nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In a unique gesture, troops from the UK, France, Italy, and the US all took part in the event".




Sunday, 28 October 2018

Hope for the Mediterranean

Simon Reeve documentary, BBC iPlayer, series 1, Episode 4

The hopeful part is towards the end:

"The Mediterranean region attracts a third of world tourism and visitor numbers are predicted to rise to half a billion a year by the end of the next decade. Simon travels to a western corner of Corsica, a nature reserve that must be one of the most heavily protected bits of sea on earth, and one of the few places where tourists are actively discouraged from visiting. Lying on the beach, hiking in the mountains and watersport activities are all banned. The park's manager shows Simon the results, taking him for a dive in the fishiest place in the Med. In a sea where over ninety percent of fish stocks are over exploited, it is a beacon of hope in what is otherwise an uncertain future for the Mediterranean".

A depressing part:

"Travelling along the arid southern Spanish coast, Simon takes to air to witness the sea of plastic that form over a hundred square miles of greenhouses. It is where much of our supermarket fruit and veg are grown, but as Simon discovers it is a massive industry built on the back of a low paid, migrant workforce".

Blue Belts to save our seas

Please don't call a referendum on the subject.

EU pledges new money to protect ocean life, EU Observer

Dylan Track (Alternate - Blood on the Tracks)

A good one  - Bob Dylan - You're a Big Girl Now (Take 2)

From More Blood, More Tracks, Bootleg Series

For good measure:

Bob Dylan - Desolation Row (The Hollywood Bowl 1965)

Bob Dylan - Simple Twist Of Fate (live from The World Of John Hammond TV special)

Jimi Hendrix at the Marquee, 1967

England: Opt-out organ donation plan wins Commons backing; Organ Donors

From BBC News

"Under the plans, passed by the Commons, adults in England will be presumed to be donors unless they have specifically recorded their decision not to be...If passed by the Lords, the measures would come into effect in spring 2020".

Books of the Year, 2018 (Greek Topics)

My nominations:

From 2017:

Γυναίκες Ηπειρώτισσες - Παιδιά, της Ελλάδος παιδιά: 28 October, Ochi Day

Two songs for Ochi Day, 28 October:

Different video, same song

Γυναίκες Ηπειρώτισσες μέσα στο χιόνι πάνε κι οβίδες κουβαλάνε κι οβίδες κουβαλάνε Θεέ μου τι τις πότισες και δεν αγκομαχάνε Γυναίκες Ηπειρώτισσες ξαφνιάσματα της φύσης εχθρέ γιατί δε ρώτησες ποιον πας να κατακτήσεις Γιαννιώτισσες Σουλιώτισσες ξαφνιάσματα της φύσης εχθρέ γιατί δε ρώτησες ποιον πας να κατακτήσεις Γυναίκες απ’ τα σύνορα κόρες γριές κυράδες φωτιά μες τους βοριάδες φωτιά μες τους βοριάδες εσείς θα είστε σίγουρα της λευτεριάς μανάδες Γυναίκες Ηπειρώτισσες ξαφνιάσματα της φύσης εχθρέ γιατί δε ρώτησες ποιον πας να κατακτήσεις Γιαννιώτισσες Σουλιώτισσες ξαφνιάσματα της φύσης εχθρέ γιατί δε ρώτησες ποιον πας να κατακτήσεις

Μεσ' τους δρόμους τριγυρνάνε οι μανάδες και κοιτάνε ν' αντικρίσουνε, τα παιδιά τους π' ορκιστήκαν στο σταθμό όταν χωριστήκαν να νικήσουνε. Μα για 'κείνους που 'χουν φύγει και η δόξα τους τυλίγει, ας χαιρόμαστε, και ποτέ καμιά ας μη κλάψει, κάθε πόνο της ας κάψει, κι ας ευχόμαστε: Παιδιά, της Ελλάδος παιδιά, που σκληρά πολεμάτε πάνω στα βουνά, παιδιά στη γλυκιά Παναγιά προσευχόμαστε όλες να 'ρθετε ξανά. Λέω σ' όσες αγαπούνε και για κάποιον ξενυχτούνε και στενάζουνε, πως η πίκρα κι η τρεμούλα σε μια τίμια Ελληνοπούλα, δεν ταιριάζουνε. Ελληνίδες του Ζαλόγγου και της πόλης και του λόγγου και Πλακιώτισσες, όσο κι αν πικρά πονούμε υπερήφανα ασκούμε σαν Σουλιώτισσες.

See also, Kalpaki Memorials

A poem by Efterpi Sarrou


A Tweet from the British Ambassador (Kathimerini) - Κ. Σμιθ, η πρεσβευτής της Μ. Βρετανίας: Ελλάδα και Βρετανία, μόνες στα άκρα της Ευρώπης συνέχιζαν να αντιστέκονται στη ναζιστική πλημμυρίδα:

«Στο εξής δεν θα λέμε ότι οι Έλληνες πολεμούν σαν ήρωες, αλλά ότι οι ήρωες πολεμούν σαν Έλληνες», δήλωσε ο Winston Churchill, αναγνωρίζοντας την ανδρεία των Ελλήνων. Μετά το ΟΧΙ, η Ελλάδα και η Βρετανία μόνες στα άκρα της Ευρώπης συνέχιζαν να αντιστέκονται στη ναζιστική πλημμυρίδα».

Original tweet

(There seems to be some uncertainty about when Churchill may have said these precise words).

Romania's bear hysteria; Hunters and Conservationists; Brown Bears; Romania; Greece

Romania's bear hysteria pits hunters against conservationists, DW (Deutsche Welle)

See also:

Bears in Bliss (Zagori, Greece)

A pre-history of post-truth, East and West (Eurozine)

This article on postmodernism and related topics looks interesting, but needs some concentration. Marci Shore Eurozine article

Nigeria: The Day Nigeria Struck Oil

From BBC World Service Radio, "Witness"

Nine minutes. A lesson for Greece, and for us all.

The Day Nigeria Struck Oil

"An eyewitness account of a discovery that changed Nigerian history. Chief Sunday Inengite was 19 years old when prospectors from the Shell D'Arcy oil company first came to his village of Oloibiri in the Niger Delta in search of crude oil. It was there in 1956, that commercial quantities of oil were first discovered more than 3km below ground. It marked the start of Nigeria's huge oil industry, but it came at a cost for villages in the Niger Delta. Alex Last spoke to Chief Sunday Inengite about his memories of those days and the impact oil had on his community".

Saturday, 27 October 2018

West Bay Today: Chilly Thrills

Big Jim Blues

"Big Jim Blues" (1939) Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy (YouTube)

A signature tune?

A new discovery:

Claude Thornhill - ANTHROPOLOGY

Australia: What the world can learn

From The Economist, October 27th, 2018 - "What the world can learn from Australia; It is perhaps the most successful rich economy"

"Rising incomes, low public debt, an affordable welfare state, popular support for mass immigration and a broad consensus on the policies underpinning these things—that is a distant dream in most rich countries. Many Western politicians could scarcely imagine a place that combined them all. Happily, they do not have to, because such a country already exists: Australia".

Friday, 26 October 2018

Poole Hospital: CQC warning notice over surgery safety; Dorset

From BBC News

"A hospital where a string of serious mistakes took place needs to improve patient care and safety in surgery services, inspectors have said".

Hydra: Wilhelm Müller - 1821, Lieder der Griechen (Songs of the Greeks; Les Chants des Grecs)

With thanks to Brian Sidaway

Four poems in German by "Griechen-Müller" ("Wilhelm Müller of the Greeks")


Hoher, steiler, fester Felsen, darauf Hellas' Freiheit ruht!
Seh ich deine Wolkengipfel, steigt mein Herz und wallt mein Blut.
Hoher, steiler, fester Felsen, den des Meeres Wog umbraust,
Über dessen kahlem Scheitel wild die Donnerwolke saust!
Aber in das Ungewitter streckst du kühn dein Haupt empor,
Und es wankt nicht von dem Schlage, dessen Schall betäubt das Ohr;
Und aus seinen tiefsten Höhlen schleudert das erboste Meer
Wogenberg' an deine Füße, doch sie stehen stark und hehr,
Schwanken nicht, so viel die Tanne schwankt im linden Abendhauch,
Und die Wogenungeheuer brechen sich zu Schaum und Rauch.
Hoher, steiler, fester Felsen, darauf Hellas' Freiheit ruht!
Hydra, hör ich deinen Namen, steigt mein Herz und wallt mein Blut;
Und mit deiner Segel Fluge schwebt ins weite Meer mein Geist,
Wo der Wind, wo jede Welle jubelnd deine Siege preist.
Ist Athen in Schutt zerfallen, liegt in Staub Amphions Stadt,
Weiß kein Enkel mehr zu sagen, wo das Haus gestanden hat,
Dessen Ziegel nach dem feigen Sohne warf der Mutter Hand,
Als er ohne Kranz und Wunde vor der Tür der Heldin stand:
Laßt die Türm und Mauern stürzen; was ihr baut, muß untergehn:
Ewig wird der Freiheit Felsen in dem freien Meere stehn!

An English translation of Hydra by Heiner Georgsdorf follows (with thanks). The actress Eva Mattes (cf films by Fassbinder and Herzog) gave an impressive and dramatic rendition of the poem (in German) at Heiner's wife's birthday party on Hydra recently, according to Brian. I am grateful for permission to reproduce the powerful translation.

Wilhelm Müller (1794 – 1827)


High, steep, sturdy rocks, on which Hellas’ freedom rests!
When I see your cloudy peaks, my heart speaks up, my blood begins to seethe.
High, steep, sturdy rocks, round which the ocean’s wave does roar,
With booming thunderclouds caressing its bleak ridge!
But in this tempest, you boldly raise your craggy head,
Nor does a lightning strike, so loud it pains the ear, cause you to finch;
And from its deepest caves, the furious ocean hurls
Surging billows toweringly at your feet, but they stand strong and noble,
They do not quiver, as much as the fir does in a mild evening breeze,
And crested monsters break to foam and froth.

High, steep, sturdy rocks, on which Hellas’ freedom rests!
Hydra, when I hear your name, my heart speaks up, my blood begins to seethe.
And on your flying sails my spirit floats above the sea,
Where every breeze and every wave praise jubilantly your victories.
Is Athens ruined, has Amphion’s town been razed,
Is there no grand child who knows where once stood a house,
From which a mother’s hand threw roof tiles at her cowardly son,
When he appeared, unhurt and uncrowned, at the heroine’s door:
Let walls and towers all come down; what you have built, it must fall:
Forever will this rock of freedom stand in this free sea!

From the cycle Lieder der Griechen (Songs of the Greeks), 1821

Die Suliotin

Ich hab die Spindel lang gedreht, hab manche Winternacht
Gewebt am Stuhl, und froh dabei ans neue Kleid gedacht.
Ich hab die Herden auf den Höhn gehütet manchen Tag,
Und bin geklettert ohne Not den jungen Ziegen nach;
Ich habe meinen Kleinen auch manch Kinderspiel gezeigt,
Und Sprung und Lauf und Schuß und Wurf ward mir mit ihnen leicht.
Jetzt schleif ich einen Stahl für mich und drehe Sennen mir
Mein Herr, mein Hort, mein Herz, o nimm mich in den Kampf mit dir!
Ich kenne jeden Felsenpfad auf Sulis steilen Höhn,
Und wo die flinke Gemse zagt, da kann ich sicher stehn.
Hast du noch nicht gesehn, was ich vermag im Sprung und Lauf,
Wohlan, so gib ein Probestück mir mit den Männern auf!
Und eine Klippe zeige mir auf Suli weit und breit,
Die ich dir nicht erklettern kann zu aller Frauen Neid.
Den Vogel treff ich in der Luft, wo's gilt nur einen Scherz –
Meinst du, verfehlen könnt ich ja des großen Feindes Herz?
Mein Herr, mein Hort, mein Herz, o nimm mich in den Kampf mit dir!
Mein Töchterchen kann spinnen schon. – Was sitz ich länger hier?
Mein jüngster Knabe steht allein. – Was ist mein Arm ihm wert?
Mein ältester geht auf die Jagd. – Was sorg ich für den Herd?
Mit dir, mit dir will ich ins Feld! Da hab ich meinen Stand,
Bei dir, bei dir, da, Brust an Brust, da, Liebster, Hand in Hand!
Und sollt ich fallen, sieh nicht hin, und denke nicht an mich,
Denk an den Feind, denk an den Kampf, und denke, Herz, an dich,
An unsre Kinder, an dein Haus, an Sulis heilge Höhn,
An unsres Gottes Tempel, die auf ihren Gipfeln stehn,
An deiner Heldenväter Staub, und dann an eine Gruft
Für mich, für dich, in freier Erd und unter freier Luft!


    My task is done, my song has ceased, my theme
    Has died into an echo. 
Childe Harold

»Siebenunddreißig Trauerschüsse? Und wen haben sie gemeint?
Sind es siebenunddreißig Siege, die er abgekämpft dem Feind?
Sind es siebenunddreißig Wunden, die der Held trägt auf der Brust?
Sagt, wer ist der edle Tote, der des Lebens bunte Lust
Auf den Märkten und den Gassen überhüllt mit schwarzem Flor?
Sagt, wer ist der edle Tote, den mein Vaterland verlor?«

Keine Siege, keine Wunden meint des Donners dumpfer Hall,
Der von Missolunghis Mauern brüllend wogt durch Berg und Tal,
Und als grause Weckerstimme rüttelt auf das starre Herz,
Das der Schlag der Trauerkunde hat betäubt mit Schreck und Schmerz:
Siebenunddreißig Jahre sind es, so die Zahl der Donner meint,
Byron, Byron, deine Jahre, welche Hellas heut beweint!
Sind's die Jahre, die du lebtest? Nein, um diese wein ich nicht:
Ewig leben diese Jahre in des Ruhmes Sonnenlicht,
Auf des Liedes Adlerschwingen, die mit nimmermüdem Schlag
Durch die Bahn der Zeiten rauschen, rauschend große Seelen wach.
Nein, ich wein um andre Jahre, Jahre, die du nicht gelebt,
Um die Jahre, die für Hellas du zu leben hast gestrebt.
Solche Jahre, Monde, Tage kündet mir des Donners Hall,
Welche Lieder, welche Kämpfe, welche Wunden, welchen Fall!
Einen Fall im Siegestaumel auf den Mauern von Byzanz,
Eine Krone dir zu Füßen, auf dem Haupt der Freiheit Kranz!

Edler Kämpfer, hast gekämpfet, eines jeden Kranzes wert,
Hast gekämpfet mit des Geistes doppelschneidig scharfem Schwert,
Mit des Liedes ehrner Zunge, daß von Pol zu Pol es klang,
Mit der Sonne von dem Aufgang kreisend bis zum Niedergang.
Hast gekämpfet mit dem grimmen Tiger der Tyrannenwut,
Hast gekämpft in Lernas Sumpfe mit der ganzen Schlangenbrut,
Die in schwarzem Moder nistet und dem Licht ist also feind,
Daß sie Gift und Galle sprudelt, wenn ein Strahl sie je bescheint.
Hast gekämpfet für die Freiheit, für die Freiheit einer Welt,
Und für Hellas' junge Freiheit, wie ein todesfroher Held.
Sahst in ahnenden Gesichten sie auf unsren Bergen stehn,
Als im Tal noch ihre Kinder mußten an dem Joche gehn,
Hörtest schon den Lorbeer rauschen von der nahen Siegeslust,
Fühltest schon in Kampfeswonne schwellen deine große Brust!

Und als nun die Zeit erschienen, die prophetisch du geschaut,
Bist du nicht vor ihr erschrocken; wie der Bräutigam zur Braut,
Flogest du in Hellas' Arme, und sie öffnete sie weit:
»Ist Tyrtäos auferstanden? Ist verwunden nun mein Leid?
Ob die Könige der Erde grollend auf mich niedersehn,
Ihre Schranzen meiner spotten, ihre Priester mich verschmähn,
Eines Sängers Kriegesflagge seh ich fliegen durch das Meer;
Tanzende Delphine kreisen um des Schiffes Seiten her,
Stolz erheben sich der Wogen weiße Häupter vor dem Kiel,
Und an seinen Mast gelehnet, greift er in sein Saitenspiel.
›Freiheit!‹ singt er mir entgegen, ›Freiheit!‹ tönt es ihm zurück,
Freiheit brennt in seinen Wangen, Freiheit blitzt aus seinem Blick.
Sei willkommen, Held der Leier! Sei willkommen, Lanzenheld!
Auf, Tyrtäos, auf, und führe meine Söhne mir ins Feld!«

Also stieg er aus dem Schiffe, warf sich nieder auf das Land,
Und die Lippen drückt' er schweigend in des Ufers weichen Sand;
Schweigend ging er durch die Scharen, gleich als ging' er ganz allein,
Welche jauchzend ihm entgegen wogten bis ins Meer hinein.
Ach, es hat ihn wohl umschauert, als er küßte diesen Strand,
Eines Todesengels Flügel, der auf unsren Wällen stand!
Und der Held hatt' nicht gezittert, als er diesen Boten sah;
Schärfer faßt' er ihn ins Auge: »Meinst du mich, so bin ich da!
Eine Schlacht nur laß mich kämpfen, eine siegesfrohe Schlacht,
Für die Freiheit der Hellenen, und in deine lange Nacht
Folg ich deinem ersten Winke ohne Sträuben, bleicher Freund!
Habe längst der Erde Schauspiel durchgelacht und durchgeweint.«

Arger Tod, du feiger Würger, hast die Bitt ihm nicht gewährt!
Hast ihn hinterrücks beschlichen, als er wetzt' an seinem Schwert,
Hast mit seuchenschwangerm Odem um das Haupt ihn angehaucht,
Und des Busens Lebensflammen aus dem Nacken ihm gesaugt.
Und so ist er hingesunken ohne Sturz und ohne Schlag,
Hingewelkt wie eine Eiche, die des Winters Stürme brach,
Und die eine schwüle Stunde mit Gewürmen überstreut,
Und des Waldes stolze Heldin einem Blumentode weiht.
Also ist er hingesunken in des Lebens vollem Flor,
Aufgeschürzt zu neuem Laufe harrend an der Schranken Tor,
Mit dem Blick die Bahn durchmessend, mit dem Blick am Ziele schon,
Das ihm heiß entgegenwinkte mit dem grünen Siegeslohn.

Ach, er hat ihn nicht errungen! Legt ihn auf sein bleiches Haupt!
Tod, was ist dir nun gelungen? Hast den Kranz ihm nicht geraubt!
Hast ihn früher ihm gegeben, als er selbst ihn hätt erfaßt!
Und der Lorbeer glänzet grüner, weil sein Antlitz ist erblaßt. »Siebenunddreißig Trauerschüsse! Donnert, donnert durch die Welt!
Und ihr hohen Meereswogen, tragt durch euer ödes Feld
Unsrer Donner Widerhalle fort nach seinem Vaterland,
Daß den Toten die beweinen, die den Lebenden verbannt.
Was Britannia verschuldet hat an uns mit Rat und Tat,
Dieser ist's, der uns die Schulden seines Volks bezahlet hat!
Über seiner Bahre reichen wir dem Briten unsre Hand:
›Freies Volk, schlag ein und werde Freund und Hort von uns genannt!‹«

Griechenlands Hoffnung

Brüder, schaut nicht in die Ferne nach der Fremden Schutz hinaus,
Schaut, wenn ihr wollt sicher schauen, nur in euer Herz und Haus.
Findet ihr für eure Freiheit da nicht heilige Gewähr,
Nun und nimmer, Brüder, nimmer kömmt sie euch von außen her.
Selber hast du aufgeladen dir der Knechtschaft schweres Joch,
Selber hast du es getragen, und du trügst es heute noch,
Hättest du darauf gewartet, hochgelobtes Griechenland,
Daß es dir vom Nacken sollte heben eine fremde Hand.
Selber mußt du für dich kämpfen, wie du selber dich befreit,
Dein die Schuld und dein die Buße, dein die Palme nach dem Streit.
Viele werden dich beklagen, viele dir Gebete weihn,
Viele sich für dich verwenden, viele deine Rater sein
Hoffst du mehr? Bau auf die Hoffnung deiner Freiheit Feste nicht,
Daß der Grund, auf dem sie ruhet, nicht den Bau zu Trümmern bricht.
Deiner alten Freiheit Ehre ist der neuen Welt gerecht,
Denn der Freie schläft im Grabe so geduldig, wie der Knecht.
Lege reuig deine Waffen nieder vor des Türken Thron,
Beuge friedlich deinen Nacken zu dem alten Sklavenfron:
Dann, dann magst du sicher bauen auf die Macht der Christenheit,
Dann, dann magst du sicher hoffen, daß der Türke dir verzeiht.
Ruh und Friede will Europa. – Warum hast du sie gestört?
Warum mit dem Wahn der Freiheit eigenmächtig dich betört?
Hoff auf keines Herren Hülfe gegen eines Herren Fron,
Auch des Türkenkaisers Polster nennt Europa einen Thron.
Hellas, wohin schaut dein Auge? – Sohn, ich schau empor zu Gott –
Gott, mein Trost in Schuld und Buße, Gott, mein Hort in Kampf und Tod.

See also: Les Chants des Grecs

Neugriechische Volkslieder (Fauriel) - Wilhelm Müller translations

Related: a book about the artist William Pownall, edited by Heiner Georgsdorf

Heiner is a 'devoted henchman of documenta' in Kassel, Germany. Their last project was ‘documenta 14’ in Athens.