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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Monday, 30 July 2018

Dorset's Waste Enforcement Officers: A Model for Corfu?

"From detective to diplomat".

See page 6 of  "Your Dorset" newspaper, on the role of waste enforcement officers, and on ensuring that the right type of waste goes into the right bins. Fixed penalties and written warnings are issued, and prosecutions may follow.

If items are disposed of in the wrong bins, it is harmful to the environment and costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds each year in treatment costs and spoiled recyclable material. 

Σωτηρία Μπέλλου - Η κοινωνία - Δυο πορτες εχει η ζωη

Society! Η κοινωνία!

Δυο πορτες εχει η ζωη

Back in England, with my head still in Greece, listening to two of the greatest Greek songs (rebetiko-blues).

I have a feeling Emily Brontë would have liked them. It's two hundred years since her birth. "Life has two doors"... Sotiria Bellou might have liked Emily's poem, "No Coward Soul is Mine".

Yanis Varoufakis in The Sunday Times, 29.7.2018

On the tragic wildfires.

Collective responsibility and failure?

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Damian Barr on Greek Literary Influences

Glancing through British Airways' High Life magazine (July 2018) yesterday, I came across Damian Barr's Novel Destinations column on Greece.

"From Homer's Iliad to Aristotle's Poetics, without the Greeks we'd have no tragedy and no comedy, no Shakespeare, no page-turners, no EastEnders. Greece gifted us the stories we've been telling ever since".

My flight became more bearable for thirty seconds. I managed briefly to stop thinking about the terrible experiences at Corfu airport, but not even the Greeks could have predicted the problems to come at Heathrow.

I won't bore you with the details. It's not a story worth telling.

The Literary Salon podcasts.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Corfu: Corfu Municipality biological treatment centre reaches its limits - Saturation Point; Το βιολογικό της πόλης φθάνει στα όριά του

From Enimerosi (read the article in Greek)

See also:

A "rueful reappraisal" of Corfu's problems, from The Sunday Times magazine, thirty years ago:

Impressions in the Sand: Corfu, by Gerald Durrell.

The Sunday Times (London, England), Sunday, January 24, 1988, Issue 8529.

Gerald Durrell had revisited Corfu in late July 1987.

"As an outsider, I can only offer advice and most of it unpalatable to the tourists and to the Corfiots themselves. For a start, there must be strict control over all building work...Second, stop all night flights. The island has reached saturation point...Thirdly, do something about the sewage , which, on the Corfu town side, is being poured into an almost land-locked sea...Fourth, organise proper garbage disposal of all the awful detritus that tourism brings, ranging from plastic containers to hypodermic syringes...Nature, once destroyed, can never be recreated." Gerald Durrell.

Here we are, thirty years later...

Dorchester, Dorset: Dorset County Museum to close for two years

Dorset County Museum to close for two years for £15m revamp, BBC News

Στα νησιά τ' ουρανού - In the islands of the sky

Με τη βάρκα της λύπης στα νησιά τ' ουρανού...τώρα που η ζωή μας στενεύει κι όλο κλείνει για μας ("Now that our life is narrowing and it all closes for us")

From another classic Greek album:

A fan since the early 1980's!

A Day in the Life (Alex, Bermuda)

From Counsel magazine

A typical day in paradise

Some local slang words and phrases

Bermy Slang

Dodoni Again; Consulting the Oracle


Consulting the Oracle: "Will we enjoy life in China?"

Dorset, UK: Compass jellyfish and other species along the Dorset coast

Dorset Jellyfish Sightings   Dorset Wildlife Trust

More on the jellyfish invasion

Thursday, 26 July 2018

This is my letter to the world (that never wrote to me); Emily Dickinson; Raul Scacchi

I keep playing this song, my favourite track from Raul's first album, Emails to Emily (2006):

Listen! My letter to the world, Raul Scacchi setting of the Emily Dickinson poem

The vocal is by Kaliroe Raouzeou.

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,--
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

Raul in Vitsa

Place of composition, Sinarades, Corfu

Other favourites:




(sung by Raul)

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Dorchester, Dorset: Digital high street comes to county town

From Dorset for You

Why so many people fall for scams, BBC

Plataria, Thesprotia; Source of the Acheron River

We enjoyed two nights at Plataria, on the Epirot coast, with swims at the source of the River Acheron and at Mega Ammos.

Some shots from Plataria last night:

Having fun in the Acheron:

The best part was body-surfing down the faster, deeper stretches of the river.

Monday, 23 July 2018

UK: Recycled packaging 'may end up in landfill', warns National Audit Office; Compare with Corfu

From BBC News

Roger Harrabin writes: "You try to be virtuous, wiping the curdling yoghurt off a plastic pot, then putting it in the recycling bin. Perhaps you envisage the pot eventually re-incarnated as a frisbee or maybe even a plastic bench. But don’t rest easy. Your pot might get burned or buried in landfill, and you’d never know. The National Audit Office (NAO) says over half of the packaging reported as recycled is actually being sent abroad to be processed".

On Corfu:

Where does the recyclable waste go? Enimerosi

Town Council emergency meeting breaks up with the parties walking out

Corfu Update: The Municipality will be responsible for mixed waste and private contractors for recyclable materials

"Garbage Island"

Hoteliers preparing new campaign to repair Corfu΄s (rubbish) image

"There is no excuse for the situation that the destination of Corfu finds itself in. The damage that has been done is harming our tourist product and will harm it for the coming decade.
Enough is enough - we can no longer put up with this mockery".

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Manos Eleftheriou

From Kathimerini: Πέθανε ο Μάνος Ελευθερίου

Respected poet, songwriter Manos Eleftheriou dies at age 80, eKathimerini

From Greek Reporter - Greek Poet and Novelist Manos Eleftheriou Dies at 80

Rafting down the Voidomatis River (The Mother of Water or The Eye of the Bull?)

I've been coming to the Zagori region since 1982, but yesterday was the first time that I have rafted down the Voidomatis River, from Aristi to Kleidonia. It was an unforgettable experience, not because of the level of difficulty (easy) but because of the extraordinary beauty and unspoiled clarity of the water and landscape. My daughter had described it as 'serene'. I was spellbound, utterly enchanted.

We paddled happily along. There was little to fear. We waited for the final waterfall, hoping we wouldn't just disappear.

The rafting guide said that although the locals believe that the word "Voidomatis" means "The Eye of the Bull", it's actually a word of Slavic origins, meaning "Mother of Water".

Mati Vode, Slovenian; Matka vody, Slovak/Czech; Мать воды, Russian; Мајка воде, Serbian; 

Friday, 20 July 2018

UK: The Fall of the Pound and the Cost of Holidays

Holidaymakers hit as pound falls, BBC News

Greece: The IMF and Collective Bargaining/Labour Negotiations

IMF raps Greek government over its bid to reintroduce labour negotiations, eKathimerini

"The International Monetary Fund on Thursday issued a clear warning to the Greek government against its plans to reintroduce collective labour negotiations, saying that such a move would put the competitiveness of the Greek economy at risk...It may be just a taste of the attitude the Fund will adopt toward Greece should the government implement its plans to increase the minimum salary. This may actually be an intervention with a preventative character."

Frisbee Friends in the Vikos Gorge

School-friends from Washington DC,
beneath the Bridge of Misios (1748)

Greece: The Destruction of the Kaikia (thanks to the EU); Ο θάνατος ενός καϊκιού - The death of a caique

From Kathimerini: Το ξύλο του καϊκιού που έσπαζε έβγαζε τριγμούς, σαν να είχε μέσα του πνοή

The death of a traditional boat, with an 83,000-euro allowance from the European Union.

The Death of a Kaiki (video)

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Dorset: Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

This scheme sounds good.

"This national scheme provides future-proof full fibre connections for businesses and the homes around them. Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of gigabit-capable (1,000 megabit) internet connections, either individually or as part of a group. Residents can benefit from the scheme too if they are part of a group project which also includes businesses, and can claim a voucher with a value of up to £500".

UK Government: Background to Scheme

Submit a song directly for Spotify playlist consideration (DIY Musician)

From DIY Musician (CDBaby)

How much money will I make from that playlist placement?

Corfu: The Complete Waste Management Plan

From Enimerosi

Ολόκληρο το σχέδιο του υπουργείου Εσωτερικών για τη διαχείριση των σκουπιδιών στην Κέρκυρα

This is the plan. How long will people have to wait for the implementation? Let's hope the transitional period doesn't last another 10 years. I won't be coming back to Corfu for more than one night unless there has been some serious progress by May 2019.

Google Translate version:

The Regional Plan

The Regional Waste Management Plan of the Ionian Islands for Corfu foresees the following projects:

1. The transition period, which is a Component Processing Unit, batching and temporary storage.

2. Completion of the infrastructure and operation of the South Corfu HNT as HYTYY.

3. Development of bio-waste and recycling systems (4 streams).

4. Construction of a Central Waste Treatment Plant with a composting plant in Central Corfu.

5. Implementation of a composting unit in Paxos.

6. Construction of a new HYTT. Corfu.

7. Implementation of Central Green Point, Mobile Green Point, 10 Green Isles, 3 Small Green Points in the Transfrontier Islands and 1 Small Green Point in Paxos.

8. Construction of KEDISP.

9. Implementation of 3 mobile SMPs in Corfu (north, south and northwest Corfu) and 3 small SMAs in the Transfrontier islands.

10. Upgrading and restoration of existing HYATT projects Central Corfu.

The Solid Waste Management Association of Perfecture of Corfu (SYDIDA) and its Municipalities, in relation to the implementation of the foreseen works of the WSSD, had and have, like all Municipalities and Buddhists .NAS of the country, the full support of the competent Ministries in their financing. However, the prerequisite for all was and is the submission of proposals mature in their studies and licensing, in order to be included in the financial instruments of ESPA.

The Municipality has responded

The Municipality of Corfu has submitted the following proposals to date, in the corresponding invitations:

 In the Regional Operational Program ROP (Cohesion Fund), in Call 1741 / 09.2016 "Actions for the management of biowaste and recyclable municipal waste in the Ionian Islands Region", has submitted three (3) proposals:

 "Development of a separate collection network for recyclable materials" of the proposed Public Expenditure € 1,238,760

 "Development of a separate collection network for bio-waste" of the proposed Public Expenditure € 925,476.48

 "Construction and equipment of three (3) Green Points" of the proposed Public Expenditure 6,393,707 €

 In the ERDF, Invitation 1932 / 11.2016: "Information and awareness raising actions for the Integrated Solid Waste Management in PI" has been incorporated the "Information and awareness campaign for the management of MSW in the Municipality of Corfu" Public Expenditure 66.400,00 €.

 At the Ministry of Environment, in Call 1465 / 04.2016 "Actions for the Integrated Urban Waste Management", has submitted the proposal "Unit for the exploitation of biodegradable urban waste of Corfu", with a total requested Public Expenditure of 10.350.000 €.

 In Call 2240 / "Actions for Integrated Urban Waste Management: Implementation of Renewable Urban Waste Recovery and Disposal Projects" has submitted the proposal "Integral Waste Management Unit Corfu ", total requested Public Expenditure € 8.673.800

 In Call 2242 / "Support for Beneficiaries in the Maturity of Urban Waste Management Operations", the proposal "Urban Waste Management Studies for Corfu Municipal Urban Waste Management" was included in the total amount of requested Public Expenditure of € 828.044.

The (pre) history and the transition period

There existed the PESA in the Temploni and the CYTA (relatively small) of Corfu. However, CYTA in Teblonion continued to experience problems with compliance with environmental legislation and problems of malfunction since 2010, leading to the first sentence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in April 2017, and the request by the European Commission for its closure and restoration (now saturated).

SYDISA, in accordance with the PWSD, has legally started, since October 2017, the implementation of the aforementioned transition period, the mobile Compact Processing Unit - batching of residues on the outskirts of the HYATT of Templon ( and within the broader land plots of land) and temporary storage.

The operation of the above Unit results in recyclable materials for recycling, compost used as useful material for the restoration work of the TEMP and the bundled residues that would travel to the HFC South Corfu, which according to the PESA would change to CYTY so that it would be sufficient until the construction and operation of the Central Waste Treatment Plant in Central Corfu as well as the new CYTW as foreseen by the PESD

SYDICSA of Corfu completed the necessary studies and has taken the relevant decision to approve environmental conditions for the above conversion of the South Corfu HFC to HYTYY. Only the publication from the Ionian Islands Region of the relative was left which was delayed due to the fact that the residents of South Corfu were prevented from connecting with the PPC network, the connection with the water supply network and a relatively small part of the access road.

This transitional management plan has gradually begun its implementation since October 2017, but the ballasts were stored without being able to reach the CY.Y.N. of Corfu for the aforementioned reasons. At the end of March - early April 2018, the incumbent contractor of the Mobile Symmetry Processing and Ballasting Unit gradually discontinued the operation of the transitional facility, resulting in a stalemate with regard to the disposal of waste.

The competent Ministries with their continuous and uninterrupted interventions have tried to do the utmost, both in the direction of reopening the transitional solution and in the completion of the remaining work for the issuance of the permit and the operation of the CYT of South Corfu, so as to normalize the waste collection situation in the municipalities of Corfu and Paxos.

The sabotage

On May 6, a fire occurred at the CYT of South Corfu, causing damage, bigger in the administration building, on the power boards and smaller on the network that would be connected to the external water supply network. There have been unsuccessful attempts by SIDIS and the Municipality of Corfu to complete the small residual works in order to issue the permit for the HYTHT in South Corfu from the Region.

On 22 May, the Municipality of Corfu submitted a request to the Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, Greece and the Ionian Sea and on 6 June the amendment to the Decision of the Environmental Terms Approval of the HFC SA Corfu in order to be able to transfer and legally store the bundles of the broader site of the CYTA of Temploni, as well as what would be generated by the reopening of the transitional solution within the framework of the existing contract.

The last phase so far

On 2 June, the waste was disposed of and transported to the transitional facility, where up to 13 June was processed about 2,100 tons of waste. On June 15, a contract was signed between SYDIDA of Corfu and a company that took over the transfer from Temploni and deposited them at the CYT of South Corfu with the remains of bins and the commencement of the transfer- storage of bins in the CYT of South Corfu.

The competition was also completed with the appointment of a new contractor who continues the operation of the Mobile Compact Processing Unit and the batching of the waste of the transitional solution. At the same time, the competitive procedure for the repair of the damages caused by the fire at the CYT of South Corfu is in progress as well as for the maturation study of the projects for the financing of the construction of the final MEA and new HYTYY

The transfer, unacceptable

In conclusion, we would like to close by underlining the fact that no one can no longer ignore the existence of this sanitary "bomb" in Corfu, which makes the round of the world and undermines not only the economy of the island but also the image of the country as a whole . The government is not going to be indifferent. It will take decisive steps towards the implementation of the relevant planning, which, under the PECA, was approved by the local authorities, ie the local community of Corfu.

As a result, all the scope for dialogue has been exhausted, and what needs to be done is the PECA, which, as described above, provides for Leukemie's transition as a landfill site rather than landfill. The government considers other proposals to be unacceptable, which, in a provocative and clearly anti-ecological way, favor the transport of waste in Kozani while expressing the interests of various mechanisms which, by asking the state to subsidize shipments of waste outside Corfu, wish to speculate against the citizens.

More background

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Corfu: Angelokastro and La Grotta

In the Grotto

A tall rock in the sea; a few small trees -
A landscape for a Chinese scroll.
Afro-beats blare from the cocktail bar. 
Funky, cool, nice and easy -
Well away from the stench of the vromonísi*.

*"Garbage Island"