19 January 2005

Lucy, R.I.P

lucy waking me up in t'morning

Sans Lucy

On the very day I left Corfu, my mother returned from the airport to find Lucy had been poisoned.

Hence name of this blog.

Very sad: lovely dog, she was, honey-toned with a touch of Alsatian. That's her playing with the red-collared Sam, another shot of her waking me in the morning, and a final shot of Luce and Sam standing guard on the house from the patio ramparts.lucy n sam playing

The vet said it was rat poison and that she'd obviously had a massive dose">

The locals use it prodigally, but whether it had been deliberately mixed with her food or just scattered around and she got out, who knows?lucy n sam en garde

18 January 2005

Lost Pal

This shot of Sam was taken when he and Lucy were both alive, but it *looks* as if he's calling plaintively for his lost pal

The Trip Home to Seattle

When I reached the platform for the Heathrow Express, it was announcing an 11:50am train for Terminal 4. With each tick of the clock, the bloody schedule got later and later.
They now have officious Roza Kleb-style kommandantes patrolling the platform to see we don't misbehave. I had an urge to boot them *into* the gap.

For all my baffled Seattle pals - yes, the London Underground *does* caution "customers" about the gap.

But customers? What nonsense is this? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned "passengers"? Bah humbug.

Taken from my flight from Athens to London: at the time of snapping, they looked like clouds but now I think they have to be mountains.

Parting's sweet sorrow

Mum's and my last lunch at the Windmill restaurant had a splendid view of the snow on the mountains, even tho' the photo did scant justice to the view.

View across the lawn to the hillside which, when my parents bought and built on the land, was virgin, spared those vulgar overlooking mansions.

Sam rolling with joy in the January Corfu sunshine

16 January 2005

Snail Mail Supreme

I'm sorting through old postcards sent to my mother and come across one from the Koeiau Quartet of the 'Inside of the Emerald Buddha Temple, Bangkok'.

It is postmarked Chiangmai Airport with a date of 31.10.45 (Ocober 31st, 1945).

Mum and I work out the Quartet gave a private concert in San Luca in 2002, so it is a misprint, some dozy clerk at the airport post office accidentally knocking the 'year' out of synch.

One has no idea how much mail went out under this wrong year, but isn't this the sort of thing that serious philatelists pay large sums for?

I have told Mum to file this away, in case.

15 January 2005

Vive Articulacy

Vive la langue! Vive vocabulaire!

Some of the words I've been able to employ on my Euro-jaunt, or heard used correctly sans trace of self-consciousness or pretension:

  • perfervid
  • disingenuous
  • plangent
  • epistemological
  • intractable
  • schism
  • detritus
  • evanescent
  • subfusc (OK, *not* yer average everyday bon mot)
  • apotheosis
  • zenith
  • expropriation
  • curtailing
  • trenchant
  • saurian
  • apophthegm
  • seemly
  • inured
  • torpor
  • antithesis
  • captious
  • tranche
  • Rosicrucian (ditto 'subfusc')
  • Catachresis
  • Osmotic
  • Antediluvian


Blimey, I can't turn my eye on the Royals for a minute but they land themselves in another mess.

Talk about idiocy: surely someone - butler, bodyguard, chauffeur, brother (of course), fellow guest, even a passing tramp - couldn't somebody have hinted that, just possibly, the frivolous display of the heavily symbolic swastika might cause offence to one or two folks out there ... ?

James HewittOn the other hand, what can you expect from the high-sprited love-child of famed "love rat" James Hewitt (see pic), who busted the sainted Diana's heart way back. I mean, just take a gander: that red hair, those Windsor-free devil-may-care good looks.

Tous les Garcons

Sigh ... Francoise Hardy ... any redblooded man of the Sixties will tell you that *this* was the chanteuse. This the Woman.

14 January 2005

Autumn Haiku

Never was 100% sure how western syllables fitted (or did not) into the 5 - 7 - 5 haiku ruling.

David Blaber's prize-winning entry in The Spectator provides a good aide-memoire :

Why rehash the mists,
The mellow fruitfulness, all
That melancholy?

Why waste sound metre
On what's moribund, and rhyme
On mouldering leaves?

No elegy can
Evoke the season, only
The sigh of haiku.

Let autumn, once named,
Fade, in rationed syllables,
Silently, with grace.

12 January 2005

Jan 15: Must-monitor link

Two days from catching that SeaTac-bound jetliner, I'll be feeling jittery as hell.

I must cheer myself up with the distraction of checking out this whole Pro-Write blog brouhaha.

As people keep telling/reminding/asking me - it's time I got my own darned writing act together.

11 January 2005


sympathique albumReturning to Seattle will not be the *total* sulky blubfest anticipated.

She with whom I share "Differing Social Expectations" (DiSE) has invited me to Pink Martini's Jan 20 Seattle appearance at Benaroya Hall.

Must be the promo tour for their Tomato album. Very nice.

Lunacy to accept, I know, and it will all end in tears and pinch-faced averting of gazes, but I need something to look forward to on my return.

Dinner after on me, when I can practice expressions of interest in her current and labyrinthine affaires du coeur.

Bullet Penséés

Some random thoughts as I cruise into my last week in blissful Corfu:
  • The sheer linguistic fluency of everyone in at least 2 other languages than their native Greek
  • The beauty of the Greeks - male as well as female.
  • Pedestrians and vehicles pierce and part where they can and with no obvious harm or lack of temper. When I mentioned the Jay Walking laws of Seattle I was ogled disbelievingly and photographic proof demanded of lights-obedient pedestrians.
  • CNN in this part of the world is hosted by delicious black ladies with names like Tumi and Fumi and impeccable cut-glass accents.
  • MTV is in German with hilarious wacky kraut DJs introducing the US hit parade. I've finally caught up with Eminem's Michael Jackson video, as well as that extroadinary Jessica Simpson show where she daily astounds her new husband with demonstrations of her exasperating daffyness and general all-round stupidity.
  • The news of interest to the locals is Anna Nicole-Smith losing all those millions. Rumours of Brad and Jenn breaking up is greeted with bored shrugs: no one thinks she has looks worth a dime, certainly not worthy of the pretty boy Brad.
  • I try to buy something Greeky and Euro-Cool as 14th birthday present for Anna. Nothing. All is pseudo American rubbish. The Great Satan's influence infects everywhere.
  • What's this I read about a *California* tsunami? Honestly, you'd think things would settle down a bit so we can focus on where our rescue dollars are actually going. Settling down last night with my whiskey and early evening CN News, I felt a distinct twinge of tsunami fatigue and made a mental note to speed any donations on their way before I think better and invest in a better bottle of bourbon
  • Top 20 Catchphrases as per The Guardian: never heard of the winner, 'Little Britain's Dafydd's "I'm the only gay in the village". Heard of #2 and 3, Tommy Cooper and Homer Simpson, but few of the rest. But I'm glad they fitted in Ali G's "Is it coz I is black?". Always liked that one and look for opportunities to use it m'self.
  • Un-blissful thought: working on the land has to be one of *the* tedious toils de politesse de nos jours. Pitiless, pointless and no escape.

09 January 2005

Random snaps from bedroom

The dogs playing

Sam *demanding* I get out there and join in a romp.

Over his manly shoulder - sunshine and ... garden.

Dread hoeing and heaving, lifting and sifting. Raking and shoving and gloving ....

Lucy wondering how come I'm still in my pyjamas
Lucy and Sam suggesting I rise and shine
8:30am view if I bother to rise from bed and open the shutters


What a great mousepad this would make ...
Mum reading Athens News - of which front page concerns Greece's contrib to the tsunami funds
Fellow lunchers at Nautilus - note the un-persecuted dragging on cigs
Another view of the old fort
The stunning Mt Pantacrator
Nautilus, or The Windmill
Idyllic view of boats, also from T' Windmill
The old Fort, snapped from a favourite lunching place, The Windmill


Yet another shot of the breathtaking view.
Proof that I cleaned up mum's wood pile

08 January 2005


Epiphany Blessing: Everything signed and blessed, the Pappas sits down to a drink and victuals Posted by Hello

Pappas signing guest book with Theodoros, Yorgos, and Soula looking on.  Posted by Hello

Feast of Epiphany, Jan 6, when the local priest blesses all the houses in his "parish".

Here, the local Pappas signs the guest book.  Posted by Hello


Brother Pete, Sophie A and my mother around the unique and magnficent dining table3.table

I asked Sophie to don reflective pose as she showed off some of her jewelry sophie anderson
Pete has known Sophie from before she was born.

Hence his easy-going double-entendres and generally lewdish louche chatter.

Here he is making some point over lunch.

Not just a pretty face, Sophie is the talented designer behind Gingerbread-Lady PLUS having the distinction of turning me on to French band Air.


The talented and feisty Sophie A, whose Tinkerbell Boutique all UK readers should check outsophie_tinkerbell

l-r, my Filipina sister-in-law, Coy; my Mother; and me, in familiar bottle-tilting posture Posted by Hello

The Holmes family on New Year's Eve, snapped by delayed shutter Posted by Hello

Peter HolmesMy younger brother, Pete. The Man. An oaken, solid chap with oaken solid skills and interests - gardening and landscaping, cooking, good living, painting, guitar playing - and oaken solid worries - plants, weather, slow-paying clients, airline staff and timetables, ruffian neighbors, bureaucracy, and so forth.

I can't work out which I get more emotional over: our reunions or partings.

A host without equal, albeit seen here with suspiciously empty looking bottle.

My room, complete with Pete's Martin guitar Posted by Hello