13 August 2008

The Splendid Fane

Despite the hour, she finds me and plonks a Metaxa 5* down.

She doesn't burn a nail:

Then mou kalyetai karfi.

Not give a damn.

"Let me lead
Your footsteps towards my royal father's abode
Where all Phaeakii aristos will see
There on that hilltop
Our city, walled around with strong defences,
And defended on both sides by the narrow-entranced
Port where our brave ships
Are ready aligned, each in their place,
And where, tight-knit with the proud fleet
Of Poseidon, looms the forum of immense stones
From quarries drawn from afar, hence built strong."

Odyssey VI, 308

12 August 2008

Secret glade; devious haunt

boats and pantokrator

All this moving wordery from my literary brethren.

("Maman, I don't believe you've yet met my companion in devilry, Lord Baddeley-Wells ..."

"No, indeed. Good day to you, sir.

Far more important, where is that delightful young gel serving those cooling sherbets?"

"Allow me, Lady Holmes" [shimmers off in search]

LMH: "Good shimmer, agile toady. You could learn from him. Ah! So kind.")

Far more important, I'm suddenly sad for my wasted salad days.

guitar still life
Time to take up my lyre and compose ... in the meantime ...

"The Gods are dead; no longer do we bring
To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of olive leaves!
Demeter's child no more hath tithe of sheaves,
And in the noon the careless shepherds sing,
For Pan is dead, and all the wontoning
By secret glade and devious haunt is o'er;
Young Hylas seeks the water-springs no more;
Great Pan is dead, and Mary's son is King ..."

"Santi Deka" Corfu, Oscar Wilde

Yo! Like I'm not your Mister "Brainy Thread", going to keep allowing these posh comments. Nuff already, dudes.

Badass Badders scrolls in - maybe for the last time if he keeps up his Balliol bavardage - with:

"Pan dead? ... long ago, in Aegina, in the midst of much happy laughter, singing, eating, drinking and boisterous table talk in which, I, a polite political innocent so far as Greece was concerned, heard reference to the name Markezinis.

Outside the glow of a taverna, rather than squeeze through the crowd I strolled down the gravel road for a pee. The etesian northerly, which Maria detested and wouldn't call meltemi, was gusting as boisterously as our party, stirring the olives trees into a crackling roar that ebbed and flowed like breaking surf.

Standing in the warm dark I was assailed by fear, more intense for the closeness of the bustling taverna. My anxieties are to do with enclosure, so this was odd. Maria said later, and matter-of-factly, that I'd had a bout of Panic - sudden fear in a lonely or open place caused by 'him'.

My Greek step-mother was always coming out with this kind of tosh. I think Pan might be there when one is suddenly filled with awe in a lonely place - like the toad on the hill I saw the other day."

And the dear boy treats us to a flickeroo.

Actually, this is damn'd fine stuff and I'm humbled he'd share it here.

Also, I'm back from dinner with Island mag's composer of the 'Lost in Translation' page and frivolous with laughter from her latest deliveries of "wonderful words in Grik" for which there's no English:

  • Kili'othoulos - slave to one's stomach.
  • Xethe'onome - To be de-godded, ie Xethe'othika sti douli'a, I de-godded myself working; worked extremely hard or, as I still slip into, 'worked like a black'.
  • wincing at the cold spring water


    I'm desperately getting the pool back into shape after its earlier disguise as the great green greasy Limpopo River.

    I'm emptying it and refilling it; I'm sweeping every dust bug from the floor; I'm timing the fillings so I can monitor the cleaning.

    The silly face is because, up to now, it's been a soup temperature Limpopo; now it's being filled from our well that fills endlessly from the mountains and provides clean drinkable water.

    I once made the gaffe of telling some gaffer that we filled our pool with drinking water. He used it agin me, even tho' it was true and it got a very nice lady returning with me to have a taste.



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    My tech skills aren't up to persuading blogger.com to let me post more than 3 or 4 pics so I have to do it in stages.

    Here is Luka sneaking home to his siblings, home being that pastel house seen thru the sunset trees.

    Observe him first up there, padding along from our garden, thence to the border area accessible via steps past the greenhouse.

    Up he sneaks and thru a hole in the netting which i will soon fix and put paid to his double-crossing ways.

    Thru he goes and the next thing he knows he's being snapped from our side of the guard wire. But hold! What's this? He can go no further back home because of the wooden barred gate that separates him from the other doggies.

    11 August 2008

    Lara Croft

    Alison Carroll, the new Lara Croft

    Too many readers (aka Sid and Doris Bonkers) have posted complaints that this blog has "lost the plot" (whatever that mumbo-jumbo means).

    Not at all, dear hearts. I am merely much choosier these days of the vedettes I feature.

    Mignonne gymnast Alison Carroll (23) fits all bills with her recent appointment as "the new face of Lara Croft".

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    Jamie Lynn Repro Rap

    This is like so-o patronising to my two readers who will not have the faintest idea who Ms Lynn is.

    I am referring to the sister of the slightly famouser Britney (who gets in her own jams). At the tender age of 16, JL got preggers and shocked the world (minus readers of this blog).

    In particular, she must have shocked kiddie viewers of her TV show (who would not have known about sex) and their parents, who would have hoped that Ms Lynn was relatively unaware, certainly to the point of "doing it".

    The splendid rap video on the subject of procreation comes thanks to the even splendider sedition.com, of whom I trust my readers are tastefully unaware - which makes this a somewhat exclusive posting, if only as a bar-room bet winner to the challenge:

    "Betcha anything ya cain't show me Jamie Lynn Spears and sedition.com onna same page."


    Onna *same* page?


    "There some trickery here, but ok, show me."

    (Nota bene how I don't even bother to mention that the Youtube clip is a spoof. It would make not a jot of difference)

    Spilia Spiniada


    I have been commissioned by a successful local (but offputtingly named) online mag to contribute to some anniversary issue and have chosen to write about the area that has always fascinated me, around the old fortress where the shops seem never to close and the people never to go to bed, including the children.

    *I* thought i was writing about the area we refer to as 'spilia' but clever clogs pals correct me with 'spiniada' which I recognise but don't agree with.

    Any way, my deadline is early September and I am wasting no time enlisting all pals to chip in, rather than my usual style of beavering jealously secretly away ("Wot you working on?" Not telling you. "Oh g'won")and then the article comes out and everyone phones up with those "My deah, if only you'd asked me ... Patricia's ex practically *owns* the quartier and could have given you a guided tour with intros and freebies galore. Such a pity."

    This time I am playing helpless ignoramus even down to, "Oh really. I didn't know that ... hmm, i see from my notes that Diana says blih blah blih"

    'Did she? Hrrmph, fat lot she knows. Look, darling, I'm terribly busy right now but i can see you're talking to all the wrong people so I'm setting aside tomorrow night for an absolutely crash course visit, take bags of notes and photos and throw all that misleading stuff away ... and I guarantee a top article." Gosh thanks! "And please don't listen to the likes of that Diana." No, right.

    Later that evening. Brrr brrr. "Darling - how's the article going. I've got oodles more stuff for you so why don't we meet tomorrow evening for a lovely drinkie and briefing ... what? with whom? Oh my gawd, Chris - are you KRAZY? Do you want to be THE laughing stock in town? She knows absolutely nothing about the area ... sweetie, how long have you been out here? And still making dud judgements? Oh my ... "

    And so forth and so on until i have consulted every harpie in town and got all the data i need. Then I'll ask P or CB to accompany me on an all-nite bender and together we'll cobble something together.

    09 August 2008

    Avis Rara

    These boys don't mess around.

    Mater weeds down by the pool and complained about the "tree rats" that scuttle overhead.

    Since chummie has adopted us as sanctuary of choice, he's been dive bombing with Stukka accuracy and Momma don't moan no more about rodentry.

    Very fast: glide, spot, recce sweep and then plummet.


    08 August 2008

    Currently featuring in our local downtown Kondokali deli

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    07 August 2008



    Doncha hate meeting someone new who gets yer heart pumping?

    Out to all the sunset views, holding hands, brushing lips, heavy eye contact ... lingering thigh caress ....

    All that schmaltzinanity all over again, and we know where it's going.

    Thump dump gazump.

    Two Francis Bacon stories, both from Muriel's RIP, the darling:

  • Someone asked him why he didn't move to Switzerland?

    "What? Have to put up with all those fucking views?"

  • Muriel's always had a TV running but way up in the rafters so it never intruded.

    Another regular was there, Tom "Dr Who" Baker. On came Doc Who and Francis said, "But that's YOU up there, you cunt."

    "Yes", said Tom. "Twenty three million people watch that. Got it? Do you think 23 HUNDRED people know or care who you are? CUNT."

    Three Francis stories, come to think of it.

    Francis always bought a bottle of champers and weaved his drunken way round pouring into everyone's glass. I'd seen how they preyed off him and one night said "No thanks Francis, I won't sponge off you."

    Shock horror. he stopped and asked Muriel, "Darling who is this divine boy who "won't sponge off me"'?

    M told him i was ok but not for him, but ever after we were pals and he would insist I sponged.

    Hilarious moment one evening when he took me aside: "Darling, some writer wants to do my story. Would you check him out? I'll pay."

    It was doyen David Sylvester. FB kept saying "Only if it's all right by Christophoros." (squeeze of hand, tilt of Moet).

    God I felt uneasy.

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    06 August 2008

    New Dawg


    We have acquired - *I* have acquired - a new dog (and don't I look complacent and smug below?)

    May well call him Argos, after Monsignor Baddeley's brill suggestion.

    He has a magnificent wail and bark and is utterly faithful and dogs my heels.

    Sam is jealous as hell, as befits any only child, but he is learning to share.

    Maman is impressed: we joked about training Sam to find the garden tools she constantly misplaces.

    This new boy is toadying up good.

    Mater was weeding somewhere when Junior squealed and whined over by the prickly thingies.

    "Typical newbie. Must have impaled himself in the rose bush."

    When I got there, he was sitting atop a prized pair of secateurs lost a month back.

    We may well have a keeper.

    Comment: Lo-o-ng Homeric comment/quote from Sinbad that merits attaching here instead of burying away.

    "As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Ulysses had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Ulysses standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Ulysses saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said: 'Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?' 'This hound,' answered Eumaeus, 'belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Ulysses left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him.

    Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.' As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master."

    Badders goes on with, "And the the stringing of the great bow and U shooting through the axe heads is as good in the book as in the film. How I wish I could read it or hear it read in Greek? But I'm a barbarian."

    (Which he palpably is not and any more wimpo fishing lines like that he's in detention, 1000 lines from Pindar.)

    I must get Panos to read it into the 'puter and post it as a wav file or however one works these things.

    Oh, we're calling the hound 'Luca' after the house.

    Since posting this, I've had no less than 2 reactions saying they wept softly into their vin santo as they read the Argos passage.

    Hang on to that talent, Simon.

    12 Aug: Yikes this thread is acquiring marathon limbs. Ace contribution just in from rwells and moving and powerful, it is; much too good to tuck away as a comment. Hope I do the punctuation justice.

    Happy Endings

    After twenty years
    happy to hear
    his master’s voice –

    the dog rolled over

    and died.

    After ten years
    happy to have
    a challenge -

    the suitors

    played a game

    and were slaughtered.

    After ten years
    of gristle and grease
    happy to finally
    clean the mess –

    pretty maids

    hung in a row.

    After twenty years
    happy to be home

    he took his wife
    to their olive bed –

    happy endings.

    Hmm, it sounds to me that Wells sahib and Badders might get on rather well and that I should effect intros and remove self from the middle-man limelight.

    Un Vrai 'Boeuf'

    Back in the mists of '67, un 'boeuf sur le toit' (Ox on the roof) meant a jam session.

    I was 21 in Paris and Herr Cohn-Bendit was doing his banditry with paving stones raining down on les flics.

    I was terribly clever: cornered by a young policier, and fresh from Hong Kong and in my roundhouse kicking prime, I reeled out the old shoto-kan.

    His mates arrived and clipped me round the ear with those tipped cloaks they wield and I was taken down the station where their own martial arts instructor gave me the good news.

    Later they noticed my Brit passport (whoops!) and apologised profusely to my inert bod before tenderly delivering me to l'hôpital from where they called my landlord.

    But I made and kept some pals, not all of whose balls were kicked in past the point of siring some beauties.

    We had a grand reunion the other soir with all the children in top form.

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    04 August 2008

    Gouvia "netcafé" Loo

    Having drowned my 'puter, I had to find an internet caff in which to slum.

    Gouvia's netcafé (sic, lc) turned out a real surprise.

    Its loo sign has the prim up in arms (pun on pic).

    gouvia netcafe loo sign

    02 August 2008

    Pelekas Cutie

    We were driving back from the Pelekas Graffiti Festival and stopped for an ice cream at some panoramic view and there among the verdant Bougainvillea was this kitten.

    kitten spotted in pelekas 



    Commentaria: If you look at the comments you'll see I spoke hastily and rashly and Maria Strani-Potts has nailed me:

    "I meant to comment before," she comments, "but thought I'd challenge Busker direct: My book (in Greek) is called To Poulima tis Panoreas. It is available in Zervopoulou bookstore in Corfu.

    If you take the trouble to read it or the English abridgment in Island Magazine you will see that it is far from a RANT against the distruction of Corfu, but a tragic allegory.

    Interested readers who care about Corfu and the environment may find it contains some food for thought.

    Look at my blog"

    01 August 2008

    Mariska Hargitay

    Since she's woken me, I might as well apologise for not catching your gnome.

    In a time. In a land before time. A renegade robo cop.

    The movie I most want to catch, after the new Bond.

    PS: Duude, Justin looks buff there. Funny interview.