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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Sunday, 29 September 2019

Admiral Makarov Guided-Missile Frigate-Warship; Russian Week in Corfu

Home port: Sevastopol, Crimea.

Next port of call? "Secret Mission"- leaving Corfu tomorrow.

Heading for Syria?

King's School, Bruton, 500th Anniversary Documentary Film

This documentary film was released on 29th September 2019, exactly 500 years to the day since King's Bruton was founded.

Lawrence Durrell on Europe and England

From 1959 Paris Review interview, The Art of Fiction

"I must confess that I’ve been a European since I was eighteen, and I think it is a grave national defect that we aren’t Europeans any more. We were talking today at lunch about Kingsley Amis. I was thinking about the anti-living-abroad trend or something—which implies a sort of unpatriotic attitude on my part—but, you see, my heroes of my generation—the Lawrences, the Norman Douglases, the Aldingtons, the Eliots, the Graveses—their ambition was always to be a European. It didn’t qualify their Englishness in any way, but it was recognized that a touch of European fire was necessary, as it were, to ignite the sort of dull sodden mass that one became, living in an unrestricted suburban way...I think that, as I say, in England, living as if we are not part of Europe, we are living against the grain of what is nourishing to our artists, do you see? There seems to be an ingrown psychological thing about it, I don’t know why it is. You can see it reflected even in quite primitive ways like this market business now—the European Common Market. It’s purely psychological, the feeling that we are too damned superior to join this bunch of continentals in anything they do. And I think that’s why it is so vitally important for young artists to identify more and more with Europe. As for me, I have joined the Common Market, as it were. But, mind you, that doesn’t qualify one’s origins or one’s attitudes to things. I mean if I’m writing, I’m writing for England—and so long as I write English it will be for England that I have to write".

Interview conducted on April 23, 1959

Sofka Zinovieff: Reading Greece, An Interview


Q. "In the fictional work, The House on Paradise Street, Maud, an English woman -married to a Greek man- tries to fit into Greek society, but feels that she will always be a xeni (foreigner), “an awkward hybrid who belonged nowhere”. What are the perks of being an outsider, of belonging nowhere?"

A. "I have felt an outsider ever since I was a child in England, so it’s something I have built into my character already. I find being an outsider in Greece an excellent way of living – I’m rather a different person to Maud! I’m enough of an insider in Greece to have friends, family and a way of life I love, but I don’t need to engage with some of the more painful aspects of being Greek and can step back from the fray".

Speaking on a similar theme, Sofka also participated in the Corfu Literary Festival:

Three Anglo-Hellenic Families – Three Books, Sofka Zinovieff in Conversation  (Corfu Public Library, Old Fortress, September 24th).

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Corfu Literary Festival (28 September 2019) Charlie Campbell, Elizabeth Speller, Jim Potts

The Gardens of Corfu Island
Rachel Weaving in Discussion with Alex Preston

Photo (cropped) by Nikos Louvros, Facebook

Followed By

Jim Potts and Elisabeth Speller in Conversation with Charlie Campbell

Municipal Gallery, Palace of St Michael and St George, 7pm and 8.30pm

With thanks to Charlie and Elizabeth,
to Nick and Annabelle Louvros,
and to all those who kindly came to listen!

Emma O'Bryen, Festival Publicity

Earlier in the day, Bettany Hughes at the cricket match:

Cricket photos from Corfu Literary Festival, Facebook

Cerne Abbas village marks 100 years since it was sold (BBC)

Cerne Abbas village marks 100 years since it was sold

Paxos: World Premiere of Dimitra Trypani’s “Amiliti/The Silent One” ; Το κορίτσι που το έθαψαν ζωντανό

From eKathimerini - A classic is born, Richard Pine

From Kathimerini - Το κορίτσι που το έθαψαν ζωντανό

Challenging received wisdom

From C-20 Journal

Dimitra Trypani - Music from THEOX original soundtrack (2017)

Dimitra Trypani - "Edward's Dream" teaser trailer

Dimitra Trypani - The Sun is God (Performed live by Ria Georgiadis)

Friday, 27 September 2019

Exeter: Roman Fort Discovered

From The Guardian - Roman fort discovered under Exeter bus station

From The Telegraph - Roman fort discovered by workmen building new bus station in Exeter

Tea Bags and Microplastics

From BBC News

Microplastics: Premium teabags leak billions of particles - study

Underground Dorchester; Dorset Life

From Dorset Life: Underground Dorchester,- beneath the streets of the county town with the guidance of ‘The Urban Explorer’.

Sebastian Faulks at the Corfu Literary Festival; Tom Holland and Peter Frankopan tonight

A new day dawns This morning it's a cloudless sky. The Corfu Literary Festival is proving to be a huge success, thanks to the amazing efforts of Annabelle and Nikos Louvros.

Sebastian Faulks was brilliant, in conversation with Alex Preston at the Reading Society last night. Sebastian also treated the audience to a reading of an extract from the beginning of his new novel, a work in progress.

Photo from Corfu Literary Festival, Facebook

Not to be missed, tonight at 8pm at the Corfu Reading Society:

Western Dominion and Eastern Influence, Tom Holland and Peter Frankopan, chaired by Elizabeth Speller.

I'm looking forward to Saturday night too, at the Royal Palace Art Gallery:

The Gardens of Corfu Island, Rachel Weaving in Discussion with Alex Preston

followed by

Short Stories – Collections and Assemblages, Jim Potts and Elisabeth Speller in Conversation with Charlie Campbell.

Not forgetting the game of cricket this afternoon: Authors XI vs Corfu Athletic Club

Gouvia Marina Cricket Pitch.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Kristalina Georgieva, new head of the IMF

IMF names Kristalina Georgieva as new head, BBC News

"Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva has been selected as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Ms Georgieva, who was previously chief executive of the World Bank, becomes the first person from an emerging economy to lead the IMF....The 66-year-old economist, the daughter of a civil engineer, studied political economy and sociology at the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economics in Sofia while Bulgaria was still under communist rule. After graduating in 1976, she got her first taste of capitalism in the UK, as a British Council scholar at the London School of Economics".

From FT

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Portland, Dorset: MI5 and the Portland Spy Ring

MI5 ignored Cold War spy tip-off over 'jealous wife' fears, BBC News, Sanchia Berg

"She claimed he had tried to push her off the cliffs at Portland Bill, and on another occasion, after drinking heavily, said: "I've got to get rid of you - you know too much."

UK: Could Labour really ban private schools?

From BBC News

Homer's Inspiration and Legacy, Corfu Literary Festival

Adam Nicolson couldn't make it (he'd booked on a Thomas Cook flight), but Polyxeni Strolonga and Alex Preston did a splendid job on the opening night of the festival: a fascinating presentation.

Facebook report

I discuss the various theories about the geographical locations and possible Ionian Island settings in Homer's Odyssey in my book, "The Ionian Islands and Epirus, A Cultural History".

See extract and previous pages

See also, an ΙΔΕΟΦΟΡΕΙΝ posting of an old poem of mine on Corfu and its supposed links to Homer and Shakespeare:

Monday, 23 September 2019

Spain demands UK 'reciprocity' on resident rights (EU Observer and El Pais)

Spain demands UK 'reciprocity' on resident rights

"Spain has confirmed it would revoke the rights of its 366,000 British residents if the UK did so to the 180,000 Spanish people living in Britain in the event of a harsh Brexit".

"Spain is demanding reciprocity from the United Kingdom in one of the most sensitive aspects of Brexit: treatment of its migrants. The Spanish government has urgently passed legislation in order to protect the rights of the 365,967 Britons who are officially resident in the country, but is yet to see similar mechanisms put in place in the United Kingdom for the Spaniards who have made that country their home. The caretaker foreign minister, Josep Borrell, has already conveyed this concern to the British government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and has warned that, if there is no equivalent move from the UK as the country leaves the European Union, the Spanish framework for British residents will decline.

Reciprocity is necessary. And reciprocity cannot be guaranteed in half-measures – it is either there, or it isn’t
The future of more than half a million people – the 365,967 Britons who officially live in Spain and the 180,000 Spaniards who reside in the United Kingdom – will depend on the way that the divorce between London and Brussels is consummated. Both the governments of caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and of Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party have said that they want to preserve the rights of this collective, but the formulas used to do so differ. The United Kingdom has put in place a general scheme for all European Union citizens – Spaniards among them – that, with some nuances, freezes the range of rights that they currently enjoy under the rules of the European Union. The mechanism consists of two categories: “settled status,” with very generous conditions, and so-called “pre-settled status,” which carries with it fewer rights. The official figures from the UK show a fall in the proportion of citizens who fall into the former category. In April of this year, when the system officially began, 66% of applicants received settled status. Today the percentage has fallen to 57%.
Spain has opted for a different route. In March, the government approved a law by royal decree that went into great detail to cover a potential “hard Brexit” – i.e. the UK crashing out of the bloc without a deal. This legislation covers nearly all of the facets of daily life for citizens, including the recognition of university degrees and driving licenses, as well as healthcare coverage and work permits. It also guarantees, with some limitations, the continuance of the activity of British companies that are operating in Spain.
The UK’s current Brexit minister, Steve Barclay, met last week in Madrid with Spain’s caretaker Foreign Minister Josep Borrell. The rights of citizens, one of the most symbolic elements of Brexit, were a key part of the debate. Barclay expressed his gratitude for the law that had been approved by Spain, which is the country of choice for the majority of Britons who opt to live in the EU. But Borrell warned the minister that these advantageous conditions will only be maintained if they are reciprocal, a standpoint about which the British delegation requested clarifications.
“We have told them that our royal decree will ensure that everything remains the same in the case of a no-deal Brexit,” said Luis Marco Aguiriano, Spain’s secretary of state for the EU, and who took part in the meeting with the British minister last Thursday. Speaking to EL PAÍS via telephone, he added: “But for that, reciprocity is necessary. And reciprocity cannot be guaranteed in half-measures – it is either there, or it isn’t.”

In order to clarify all of the small print, both sides will be meeting again in the first week of October
From the start, the royal decree includes that conditionality. Article two of the legislation stipulates that if, within two months, the British authorities do not grant “reciprocal treatment” to Spanish citizens and companies, “the measures covered [by the legal text] will be suspended.” Aguiriano pointed to this requirement and warned that the UK has not currently covered it in law.
In response, the British authorities have said that their scheme to extend the rights of EU citizens who are already living in the country guarantees the conditions that are covered by the Spanish decree. The plan from London includes the right to work, to use the healthcare system, to have access to education, to receive benefits such as pensions and to spend time outside of the UK, albeit with a limit of five years, after which “settled status” would be lost. Diplomatic sources argue that exact matches cannot be sought between the two texts, but they add that the requisites required by the Spanish government have been met. “Although there may be some elements that will require further development, for our part we consider it to have been met,” British sources argue.
In order to clarify all of the small print, both sides will be meeting again in the first week of October. On this occasion, political representatives will not attend, but rather the heads of more technical levels. The aim is to clear up as much as possible the uncertainty over Brexit, which is currently due to take place on October 31. For now there are no guarantees that the exit will take place with a deal between London and Brussels.
Aside from the coverage that it offers, the British scheme to obtain permanent residency after Brexit is not automatic. A total of 86,400 Spaniards have applied for this protected status since August 31, according to data from the British government. That accounts for nearly 7% of all the European requests, which makes Spanish residents the fifth-most-numerous collective. The Foreign Affairs Ministry calculates that of this group, around 70,000 have already secured settled status, a high percentage (81%), but not exhaustive".


"Spain, the United Kingdom and the authorities of Gibraltar say that they count on a safety net that will protect citizens who cross the border every day between Spain and the British Overseas Territory after Brexit. But the legal means to guarantee this freedom of movement are loose and, in some cases, of uncertain application. The main guarantee for continuity in the lives of cross-border workers – approximately 9,000 Spaniards – is the memorandum of understanding signed by the United Kingdom and Spain in November 2018. The text presents an unavoidable weak point: it includes rights contained in the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which has been rejected by the British parliament on a series of occasions and by the government of Boris Johnson.
The memorandum is limited to guaranteeing the “correct application of the provisions” contained in the protocol on Gibraltar included in that withdrawal agreement agreed on by EU governments with former Prime Minister Theresa May, but that was later rejected by members of parliament in the House of Commons. The EU protocol expressly covers the rights of “cross-border workers who reside in Gibraltar or in Spain, in particular in the territory of the municipalities that constitute the Association of Municipalities in Campo de Gibraltar.”
But the options for the survival of the general withdrawal text within which that Gibraltar protocol is contained are very scarce, although in recent days the European Commission has been more optimistic with respect to a deal with London. Spanish, British and Gibraltarian sources consulted by EL PAÍS have played down the importance of that legal obstacle and insist on the will to preserve the content of what has been agreed, beyond the formula that needs to be employed.
The third text that regulates flows with Gibraltar after Brexit is the Spanish royal decree covering a hard Brexit. The legislation provides for rights such as access to healthcare and education for Gibraltarians who could need them in Spain. It also guarantees financial and transport services. This framework will only come into force should the UK crash out of the EU with no deal".

English version by Simon Hunter.

Thomas Cook has ceased trading. Shock over flight prices

Thomas Cook Cares @ThomasCookCares

Thomas Cook UK Plc and the wider UK business has entered insolvency.
The UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect and all future flights and holidays are cancelled. A dedicated support service is being provided by The Civil Aviation Authority to assist customers currently overseas and those in the UK with future bookings.

"What should I do if my hotel asks for more money?"

"The CAA said it will negotiate directly with the hotel if customers are on an Atol-protected package holiday with Thomas Cook or a company that is part of the Thomas Cook Group. If the hotel requests more money, call the CAA and do not make a payment unless instructed. Anyone who incurs additional expenses overseas will be able to make a claim directly to the CAA from Monday, September 30, when it starts to process refunds. Those who are not Atol protected may have to pay and claim the money back from their insurer, bank or credit card company".

Corfu TV News:

Οι «πληγές» που άφησε στην Κέρκυρα η πτώχευση της Thomas Cook

Greek Hotel Losses from Thomas Cook Collapse Estimated at 315 Million Euros, Greek Reporter
Thomas Cook boss 'sorry' over collapse but defends pay and bonus, BBC Business News

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Watching Cricket in Corfu, Three Eras; Authors XI Cricket Team

The Newt, Hadspen, Bruton/Castle Cary, Somerset; The Botanical Rooms

From The Sunday Telegraph, Fiona Duncan

"It’s on the edge of Bruton, that hotbed of trendy urban escapism, and, with its pleasure grounds, it feels like balm. Whether you decide that The Newt is an earthly horticultural paradise or Disneyland for gardeners, it delights both eye and palate. While our country continues to be buffeted by Brexit, it made me want to hunker down: I would be very happy there. Incorporating Palladian-fronted Hadspen House, first built in 1687, and its surrounding working estate, The Newt offers many unusual elements, all revealed only when its new gardens opened to the public last May".

Update, Sunday Times Magazine, October 27, 2019

Marina O'Loughlin visits the Botanical Rooms at the Newt in Somerset: "The hotel of the moment-but its restaurant fails to thrill"

"The Newt is catch-your-breath gorgeous. There are rumours that extra first-class train carriages are being arranged to ferry a certain demographic to the place, and I'm not surprised...Rumours have also been flying about that they have, in fact, bought nearby Castle Cary station".

Marina O'Loughlin tweet:

Update: Sitwell Stirs It Up, Daily Telegraph Magazine

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Tenea, The Lost City

From BBC Travel, Jessica Bateman

Corfu and Brexit Discussions

Στην Αντιπεριφερειάρχη Κέρκυρας η υποπρόξενος της Μεγ. Βρετανίας, Kerkyra Simera

<Έγινε ειδική αναφορά για τα θέματα της διαβίωσης και της ασφάλειας των Βρετανών τουριστών – επισκεπτών, καθώς και των 10.000 περίπου Βρετανών πολιτών που διαμένουν μόνιμα στην Κέρκυρα.

Συζητήθηκε η έως τώρα άριστη συνεργασία των δύο θεσμών και εκφράστηκε η θέληση και των δύο για τη συνέχιση της προσπάθειας και την παροχή συντονισμένων υπηρεσιών υψηλών προδιαγραφών προς τους πολίτες και επισκέπτες του νησιού.

Από τη συζήτηση διαπιστώθηκε η ανάγκη μόνιμης αεροπορικής σύνδεσης Κέρκυρας – Μ. Βρετανίας, καθ’ όλο το έτος, με σκοπό τη διευκόλυνση των Βρετανών κατοίκων που διαμένουν μόνιμα στο νησί, των επισκεπτών, των φοιτητών μας κ.α., συμβάλλοντας με αυτόν τον τρόπο και στην ανάπτυξη του τουρισμού στο Νησί μας.

Για το λόγο αυτό αποφασίστηκε η από κοινού προσπάθεια για την έναρξη των απαιτούμενων διαδικασιών>.


Special mention was made of the living and security issues of British tourists - visitors, as well as of approximately 10,000 British citizens residing in Corfu.

The excellent cooperation between the two institutions has been discussed so far and both have expressed their willingness to continue the effort and to provide high quality coordinated services to the island's citizens and visitors.

The debate identified the need for a permanent Corfu-Great Britain airline connection throughout the year to facilitate British residents residing on the island, our visitors, students and so on, contributing in this way and the development of tourism on our Island.

For this reason, it was decided to work together to launch the required procedures.

Greek Student from Corfu Who Set Himself on Fire for Freedom

From Greek Reporter, Tasos Kokkinidis

London's Only Lighthouse - A Strange Landmark, a Musical Project (BBC)

The strange London landmark that nobody knows

"In the heart of London, on the banks of the river Thames, is a landmark that very few know even exists. It has been there for over 150 years, has acted as an experimental workshop for one of Britain's greatest scientists and today houses a musical project that will last for 1000 years".

Video by Dan John