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Two Books by Jim Potts: "This spinning world" (short stories) and "Reading the signs" (poems)

ISBN 978-1-912788-06-4  ISBN 978-1-912788-02-6 Available direct from the publisher:  colensobooks@gmail.com (recom...

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Monday, 30 April 2018

Westminster: rotting from within

From The Washington Post

"Westminster is rotting from the inside, its water and waste pipes sclerotic, its ventilation shafts congested, its neural networks — the communication, electric, fire systems — nearly shot".

Andros, Greece: Entrance to Old Spring Rediscovered by Dutch Walkers

Αποκαλύφθηκε πηγή του 1899 στην Άνδρο, Andriaki Press

"Εδώ και πολλά χρόνια, στον δρόμο από την Αγία Τριάδα προς τη Σταυροπέδα, υπάρχει μια πηγή που είχε γίνει απροσπέλαστη, εξαιτίας της πυκνής βλάστησης και κυρίως των βάτων που έκρυβαν την είσοδο".

Corfu Literary Festival, 17-21 May 2018

Programme of events

Unfortunately I'll be back in England at the time of the festival.

The Ionian Islands in British Official Discourses; 1815-1864

Constructing Ionian Identities: The Ionian Islands in British Official Discourses; 1815-1864  - Maria Paschalidi (pdf)


"Utilising material such as colonial correspondence, private papers, parliamentary debates and the press, this thesis examines how the Ionian Islands were defined by British politicians and how this influenced various forms of rule in the Islands between 1815 and 1864. It explores the articulation of particular forms of colonial subjectivities for the Ionian people by colonial governors and officials. This is set in the context of political reforms that occurred in Britain and the Empire during the first half of the nineteenth-century, especially in the white settler colonies, such as Canada and Australia. It reveals how British understandings of Ionian peoples led to complex negotiations of otherness, informing the development of varieties of colonial rule. Britain suggested a variety of forms of government for the Ionians ranging from authoritarian (during the governorships of T. Maitland, H. Douglas, H. Ward, J. Young, H. Storks) to representative (under Lord Nugent, and Lord Seaton), to responsible government (under W. Gladstone’s tenure in office). All these attempted solutions (over fifty years) failed to make the Ionian Islands governable for Britain. The Ionian Protectorate was a failed colonial experiment in Europe, highlighting the difficulties of governing white, Christian Europeans within a colonial framework".

The Academical Dress of the Ionian Academy, 1824–1864, Jonathan C. Cooper (pdf)

"The Ionian Academy was founded in 1824 at Corfu, then part of a protectorate of the British Empire. However, its academical dress bore little resemblance to that of British universities but, rather, was based upon the costume of Classical Greece, largely due to the influence of the first Chancellor, a notable philhellene. Context will be given through a brief consideration of the Protectorate and of the organizational structure of the University; an account of the first Chancellor will follow. We shall examine the classically inspired dress of students, graduates and university officers worn at the institution during its early years. Reforms to dress brought in during latter years will also be considered. Limited pictorial evidence, state records, university annals and contemporary reports of the institution will be examined".

Corfu, Greece: The Old Fortress, British Hospital, Upcoming Demolition?

From Corfu History - Aγγλικό νοσοκομείο Παλιού Φρουρίου: Προσεχώς κατεδάφιση;

Three Bear Cubs Heading for Arcturos Bear Sanctuary; Hristo Vladev

From the Sunday Times, Picture of the Week, April 29, 2018 (Hristo Vladev): Three Bear Cubs in Belitsa, Bulgaria, are to be moved to a Greek bear orphanage

From The Jakarta Post -  Three bear cubs rescued in Bulgaria. Photo by Hristo Vladev, AFP

"Three bear cubs have been rescued in Bulgaria after villagers found them roaming alone on a road in the country's southern Rhodope mountains...If unable to reunite them with their mother, the organisation plans to send the cubs to the Arcturos bear sanctuary in neighbouring Greece, where they will be prepared for their reintegration back into the wild".

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Tuareg and Fulani Herders

There have been attempts, in northern Mali's Menaka region, to incite enmity and ethnic conflict between Tuareg, historically nomadic Berber people, and Fulani herdsmen, over scarce watering points in the Sahara, according to Euronews (28 April, 2018).

A plea to leave pastoral people in peace!

Back in 1978:

Fulani Flautist

At the edge of the forest reserve
We stopped to stretch our legs.
The road gangs had not reached this far.
The jungle cats had yet to come
To claw up trees and undergrowth.
No bulldozers, graders or scrapers,
No pipeline crews; only our Landrover
Had so far disturbed the peace.
   Out of the forest the faint sound of a flute;
A mirage of silver-white cows.
I watched the herd materialise;
The sound of the flute grew louder.
Long-horned cattle, groomed like stallions,
Sleek-skinned, clean and cared-for.
The Fulani flautist emerged from the trees:
Standing before us with a welcoming smile.
He stopped to play, acknowledged our interest,
And them ambled away with his herd.
   I would have followed the Fulani herdsman,
But I could hear less soothing sounds.
The big yellow cats were coming,
Rumbling through the forest reserve.
The ground was beginning to tremble.
And the fragile flute of the nomad
Would soon be crushed beneath caterpillar tracks;
And the cattle would soon have to graze
On whatever might be left
Between the asphalt and acres of maize.

JP, September 1978

See also, my posting, September 20, 2014:

My Old 'Ud (Outi, Oud); Chorly, Tuareg 'Ud

Chorly (album samples)

Also,  on modern Tuareg music, from Prospero, The Economist - When Tuareg music and rock’n’roll collide

Imarhan - Imarhan (Official Video)

Greece: $1.45 Billion Air Force F-16 Upgrade

From e Kathimerini: KYSEA approves F-16 upgrade by US

From Pappas Post: Greek Government Approves $1.45 Billion Air Force Upgrade from United States

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Weymouth: A major arts partnership?

Could a major arts partnership be coming to Weymouth? Dorset Echo

Aspropyrgos, Greece

I missed this article by Alexander Clapp when it was first published on October 24th, 2017 (The Economist, 1843 Magazine). Grim.

Remembering Hydra, Greece - A New Book

Yesterday I received a new book about the island of Hydra:

"When We were Almost Young, Remembering Hydra through War and Bohemians", compiled and edited by Helle V. Goldman, Tipota Press, Norway.

A fascinating anthology of memoirs and reminiscences, mostly by foreigners, of life on Hydra in the 1950's and 1960's.

"What they shared was an eagerness to forsake the modern rat-race for a simple life without refrigerators, telephones or cars".

Publisher's information:

"The Greek island of Hydra was once famous throughout the Mediterranean for its prosperous sea captains. When fortunes turned, it became an island of humble fishermen and sponge-divers. In the 1950s and 1960s, word spread of Hydra’s unique beauty and incomparable light, and its unconventional community of painters, writers, socialites and other wanderers. Seeking or escaping, they stepped onto Hydra’s horseshoe-shaped harbour and found something that bound them to the island. Some went on to reap global acclaim for their art. One of these was Leonard Cohen, whom Hydra brought together with Marianne Ihlen, inspiration for his timeless songs “So Long, Marianne” and “Bird on a Wire.” Others never entered the limelight. What they shared was an eagerness to forsake the modern rat-race in exchange for a simple life without refrigerators, telephones or cars.
This anthology of 14 short memoirs, spanning the 1940s through 1980s, offers the reflections of the contributors on their tender younger selves and the exhilaration, heartbreak, light and darkness that transformed them on this island. The contributors include award-winning author Alison Leslie Gold and London Times and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Martin Klein. Additional material includes a collection of private letters sent to Marianne Ihlen by her friend Sam Barclay in the early 1960s, and a bibliography/filmography of books and feature films about or set on Hydra".

Monday, 23 April 2018

Vikos Gorge, Greece: 22 Canyons and Gorges

22 Canyons and Gorges, Qantas Travel Insider

Vikos Gorge, see image 7:

"According to previous Guinness Book of World Records editions, it is the world's deepest in proportion to its width".

Thanks to Jeremy for the link.

Dorset: "Sun, sea and stonkingly large council tax bills - Dorset has the highest charges in England"

From Ali Hussain,The Sunday Times, Money, April 22, 2018 

Sun, sea and stonkingly large council tax bills - Dorset has the highest charges in England, but there is a good reason for it.

"The Dorset countryside is famed for its natural beauty and Jurassic Coast, but the region has also acquired a more dubious distinction: it has the most expensive council tax in England, according to analysis for Money by the TaxPayers’ Alliance pressure group.

The tranquillity and glorious weather that many were enjoying last week was punctured by disgruntled locals as they responded to the news.

“There are still potholes on the roads,” said a newsagent in Wareham, Dorset, who had just been told that residents in her area have endured some of the biggest increases in council tax since the charge was introduced 25 years ago. “And there are fewer police on the streets than there used to be.”


"Parts of Dorset have the highest population of over-65s in England, compounded by an increase in the numbers of dementia sufferers with high care costs", said councillor Tont Ferrari, cabinet member for community resources at Dorset county council."

See also, Peter Conradi, Sunday Times, April 22, 2018:

In spite of the huge Council Tax hike, the Dorset Echo reports (April 23) that 'the growing elderly population could threaten future council services".

Dorset County Council Tax 2018/19

"The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. ("Adult social care authorities" are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.)

The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge an additional "precept" on its council tax for financial years from the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care. Subject to the annual approval of the House of Commons, the Secretary of State intends to offer the option of charging this "precept" at an appropriate level in each financial year up to and including the financial year 2019-20".

See also, Your Dorset, page 2

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Corfu Town, from a drone; Η Πόλη της Κέρκυρας από ψηλά

Watch the UP DRONES video (YouTube)

Η Πόλη της Κέρκυρας από ψηλά. Ή αρχόντισσα του Ιονίου ντυμένη στα γιορτινά της

Aerial Shoot by T R E L O K E R K Y R A I O S 

See also, Greek Reporter article

Song: Κέρκυρα - Κέρκυρα
Στίχοι: Αλέκος Σακελλάριος 
Μουσική: Γιώργος Κατσαρός
1η ερμηνεία: Ρένα Βλαχοπούλου

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Thessaloniki; Modernization; Landscape of Development; Η πρωτεύουσα των προσφύγων

After re-reading  Yorgos Ioannou's evocative essay, "Refugee Capital"
(Η πρωτεύουσα των προσφύγων), in the book of the same title, I came across these documents:

Post-1950s Thessaloniki, Modernization and Its Discontents (pdf), ELENI BASTEA AND VILMA HASTAOGLOU-MARTINIDIS

Η ταυτότητα της Θεσσαλονίκης μέσα από το έργο του Γιώργου Ιωάννου, Κατερίνα Κόσσυβα (pdf)

A poem by Ioannou:

A Poem by Bernard Spencer:

Two poems and an article by Jim Potts, translated by Sakis Serefas:

Thessaloniki, "in my day" (1980-1985):

(Above) With the Mayor

"The School for Scandal"

Aliki Kayaloglou, Greek Songs
at The British Council, Thessaloniki

"Think of the starved and homeless exiles of the city
    Then, think of the bay,
Calm underneath a sky that throbs, an air that's gritty,
   Beautiful today, tomorrow and another day....

      But still the bay
Waits wide and tranquil at the end of every turning,
    Beautiful today, tomorrow and another day". 

From Salonika, by Francis King (Rod of Incantation, 1952)

A Poem by Glyn Hughes:

A Lecture in Thessaloniki and Athens, 1984

From Θεσσαλονίκη

Εχτός από τη μάνα σου κανείς δε σε θυμάται
σε τούτο το τρομαχτικό ταξίδι του χαμού…

Κάτου από φώτα κόκκινα κοιμάται η Σαλονίκη.
Πριν δέκα χρόνια μεθυσμένη μου 'πες «σ' αγαπώ».
Αύριο, σαν τότε, και χωρίς χρυσάφι στο μανίκι,
μάταια θα ψάχνεις το στρατί που πάει για το Depot.

Nikos Kavadias

ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ ΙΙ - Ν. Καββαδίας - Ξέμπαρκοι

Της Σαλονίκης μοναχά της πρέπει το καράβι. 
Να μην τολμήσεις να τη δεις ποτέ από τη στεριά.

Nikos Kavadias