31 January 2013


Glorious day, tramped and tramped and snipped and raked and measured and massacred. Sam in 7th heaven.

Also in waspish mood, reminding me how I am not ageing well. At my smallest minded petty-fogging nitpicking.

I felt like spending my birthday dining and entwining a dear lady who loves me most muscularly, and suggested either Bistro Boileau or Taki's.  

Her tart reply was that both were closed for the winter, an unwise gaffe from someone who is usually precise and informed. 

Before I even mentioned a rendezvous I'd need to see proof that the joint was jumping and that they did indeed have a fire blazing and that our table was booked atop the embers.

I am mulling my reply and it will be one to endear or elongate me.

But back to buggery, now that I'm back to fooling with the fone tapper: I recall some hilarious incidents, one concerning my supposèd host of friends:

"He has more friends than me," my mother would breeze, rubbing it in all the more that I actually knew no-one close.  I challenged this often and the response was always, "Well, you know more people than me." 

In that case, where are they? Where's the phone ringing off the hook, the crowds drifting from room, the cars blocking the drive? 

I used the 'talk to the hand' gesture as 'look in the mirror, look at what you're saying. I first used it about the jewels theft, how we both should look each day into the mirror of what the house had become - theft of time, of manners, of respect ... the double-theft of my property was a mere physical manifestation.  

 So when I listened in to a conversation with a pal who was visiting the next day, I knew how to run with this 'more friends' bit of blarney.

As we were chatting genially on the terrace, I confided,

"The way to handle the nonsense about my having all these friends is to listen to the incessant ringing of the phone and the jostling of vulgar pals, my invisible nights out and non-stop socialising ..."
This gave the impression that I was privy to the phone conversation and when I included my mother with a
"Yes, I was just saying about the way to nip my boasting in the bud about my wild social life and bulging address book of friends is to count the phone calls and  never-ending mob of 'friends' charging thru the house.",
thus giving the impression that the pal had confided in me.
Endless japes in this direction, quoting direct and seamlessly inserting my eavesdroppings into conversation as if we were one big sharing family ~ 'as you know, my mother prefers my brother's medical advice and diagnoses, but all it takes is lip-service in that direction and holding steadfast to mine and Yiorgas' plan.'

A vital ingredient of simpering is to agree and many actually did hold critical opinions which they'd even lower their voice en phone to deliver. These I'd recyle with the breeziest smile, as if recalling that day's weather forecast. 

It really is a most excellent device, no tape to run out or rewind. The only trouble is that I haven't worked out a filing system by which I can mark where conversations and content start and finish. I'm told that with my Tascam music gizmo I'm able to insert a single note at a precise place in a bar.

Speaking of music, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite have a new album out ... a well-timed birthday. 

Found another lover - story of my life.

Erratum ~ fair do - I was wrong about Takis but the Bistro had outer lights blazing. Didnt see inside but it seemed to be open. 

Anyway, drop it. She's usually right and I have no intention of giving her satisfaction of being right here. Pretend I was thinking of Harry's, or suggest Famiglia

Anyway, Dido has a new album out so I was playing her and Grafton Street is a cute little numero. Wonder what the story behind that is.

When I went back to Hong Kong around '95 I was asked to write english lyrics to a local band's cantonese lines so i just went a bit wild and wrote over-soppy mysterious little stories to the tunes. They seemed to fit so I banked the cheques and thought no more.

The band got locally famous and I was told the lead chanteur wove a whole history round them to the point where the music press were actually trying to track down the women in the song. In two cases the chicks  owned up, 'yes it was me' and their lives fitted the lines which was weird. 

I also wrote fortunes for each Chinese New Year (Feb 10, this year, Water Snake, name day of my pals Hara and Zinonos.) 

I was so fed up with churning out the same old roobish that, for the Ramada Inn Wanchai, I decided to get detailed: "You are foolish to be away from your desk [very oriental, resonates from CEO to pupil], hasten home where family and business need your strong guidance. Fie on the mini-bar! But you will never learn, will you? Even bullish partners are not to be trusted. Remember what made you the success you are and retrieve that strength." Blah blah.

Eh bien, seems that a certain money-bags Mr Abe was staying, wrasslin' with alcoholism (minibar) and so out of touch with his own business that a palace coup was in place during his 5-day absence. Abe-san cut short his visit, returned in time to catch his trusted partner (Year  of the Ox) fiddling the books, heart to heart talk with wifey, routed lover, and saved the day.

Made lifetime booking with Ramada, donated moolah for new decor of the Wanchai and built another hotel ... declared their fortune teller a genius.

 My boss was pleased and said that a room in the new hostelry would be named to my choice, so I chose Stephanie which translates badly into See-tai-fun-lay, of which the Fun Lay amused us until they stopped being fun.

Little things like that. I believe there's still a Stephanie room, 6/F, harbour view.


I'd certainly be in a Robertson jam if I had to pass this test to hike to points west of Calais.


Aide-memoire price range to gauge Caregiver pay  Caregiver list - $6.55 per hour ... to $8.55 per hour
Yahoo - $7.50
Filipino UK £6 - 7 per hour -  - filipino UK, low as can get

Gardenry - €50 per 4-5 hour day. Kosta paid around €10 per hour gardening

Call it €10 per hour

From and including: Monday, 1 May 2006
To, but not including : Saturday, 1 December 2012
It is 2406 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date
Or 6 years, 7 months excluding the end date

Alternative time units

2406 days can be converted to one of these units:
  • 207,878,400 seconds
  • 3,464,640 minutes
  • 57,744 hours
343 weeks (rounded down)
for some reason I've been calculating as 5 years 8 months.

rough calculation, 2006 to 2007, 5-hr working week, 340 weeks = 1700hrs.

4hrs a week on gardenry = 4 x 340 = 1360hrs x €10 = saving of €13600
caregivery = 1700 x €10 per hour = saving of €17000 on caregivery

total approx saving of €30,600 rounded up to €40,000 for the disgrace of having to perform useless gardenry hobby and generally being fucked around.

  • theft of jewels
  • connivance against health care treatment


 I've done us all a service by boiling (or frying) the Ashley Palmer-Watts interview down to something that, give or take a 'blast chiller' or two, we can all follow.

  • Choose potato: one with 21 - 23% dry matter (Whatever that is)
  • Pre-cut into 16mm diameter, square at the ends.
  • Place in mixture of 5% salt to cold water – that's 15g of salt for three litres of water.
  • Slowly to boil and simmer. The salt is to make the outsides crunchy, but the real trick is to keep boiling the potatoes for about three minutes longer than seems necessary.
  • Ensure potato is visibly breaking up on the outside, so that when you come to fry it, the fat can work its way into the heart of the chip.
  • Remove chips from water and place in blast chiller to remove excess moisture. Those without a 'blast chiller' (whatever that is), bung in fridge for half an hour to an hour depending on moisture content of potato, temperature of fridge and how full it is.
  • First fry – in a blend of 30% beef fat to 70% vegetable oil at temperature of 130C for between four to 15 minutes depending on the potato. This is to create a 'membrane' round the outside of the chip.
  • Remove chips from fryer and put back in blast chiller to remove further moisture.
  • Final fry: turn up heat to between 180 and 190C until chips have slightly glassy sheen on the outside.
  • Dollop on the Heinz.

29 January 2013


Taki en forme.

  • Not a country, more a circus, and a flea circus at that: The same old crooked system and the same old crooks at the helm.
  • Look at the brothel that my country has become today. 
  • Without a higher authority to keep them honest, the politicians stole the country blind, then stole all the EU money the thieves in Brussels were sending them to prepare the country’s infrastructure as a German outback.
  • Evangelos Venizelos (a famous name this bum adopted as his own) ... a fat slob who is responsible for the law granting broad immunity to government ministers—namely all the crooks, starting with himself.


Ridiculous. Used to wake and sprint to 'puter to check out Asian Babes and Grecian Gargoyles ("Just updating on the Economist news flashes, mum; be at breakfast in a trice").

Now it's CorfuBlues, and that's Jimbo onna right there, hate tho' I do to give a fellow fret wrangler a plug.

How have the mighty agèd ... even my personal trainer is cutting me down to three cranks of the tremolo per chanson. 

I tease my buddies, hear their flatbed truck coming up the drive, quick, shove on a Potts special; they walk in on some decent blues. 

Or they walk in on Larry riffing on Layla ~ fuck-a-duck, will you listen to that boy blow. Shot in the neck in a drive-by, came back shredding.

Where was I, cranking out massa Potts: "Man! This is like hot! Where the album case? I got to order me this 'un from Amazon."

I give them my 'look'.

"This ain't no album case, this hot from Jimmy Potts' blog blè, nuthin' posted older than 6 weeks, Lord have mercy."

They get up singing n cryin'. 

Jimmy Potts heard his readers, heard my baby, too. (see left)

Put it by the bread bin.

27 January 2013


Never know when you're going to improve the record.

When the theft of my girls' jewels and heirlooms were first sinking in, I didn't have a mental cranny in which to store the vileness and evaluate the full meaning.

Then I came across Salley Vickers' astute Foreword to Edith Wharton's Touchstone and was able to put the filcherie in context for myself and my audience. 

When my mother would ask "Who all?", I was able to trot out the helpful mnemonic

  • God
  • Garden
  • Grub
  • Grog
  • Girls
  • Gigabyte
and now i'm adding another G, gigabytes, for the computer chatter I ceaselessly pumped.

These were the 'who all' I kept informed when they asked 'What progress on the theft?' fell into the categories of

  • Churchy pals
  • Garden visitors
  • Dinner parties
  • Drinks parties
  • Those who asked after my daughters ~ the most relevant news of whom was naturally progress on the return of the thievèd items in my Will relating to them.
  • Puter blogging etc.
Now clever Sinbad places the most informative comment:

"The term self-referential.
Good to revisit that. I have an image of one of Leggotels that blight the shore of Corfu, one especial monster looks out over Paleocastritsa, another one a point in the shore at Dassia, one at Nisaki.
If you are inside them they offer magnificent prospects. If you are outside any of them your view is harmed, your pleasure in the panorama denied, and I at any rate ponder Betjeman’s line ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough’.
A self-referential person, like these buildings, enjoys their surroundings, oblivious of the impression they impose on all around them. “His eyes made contact with mine and I realised that he was gazing down at me from the balcony of a vast and hideous building sat astride a landscape he’d no intention of sharing with me on any but his own terms – but that ‘his terms’ were for him the world”
His world was the world, and I could only have any sort of exchange with him after I had entered it, accepted its terms and conditions.
There was no law or moral code that for him existed outside that grisly structure. This was a persona that like a dying sun had contracted from a red dwarf into a minuscule sphere of immense density, its malign gravity sucking even light into its orbit.
Any object, any other person or idea unfortunate enough to be caught in its vicinity was fated to be drawn into its self-referential vortex.
The preacher wrote ‘in the beginning was the word’ then ‘light’, for the self referential the end is darkness and insistence on having the last word.
A man who dealt in madness once said that the sane are always at the mercy of the insane, because sanity in its nature harbours doubt, reservations, the possibility of ambiguity, while the insane lodged in the security of circular logic have an answer for everything that threatens the well-defended refuge in which they have found security."

At this point, a timely reminder of gyaku-gire - another clue fed me by a learnèd pal to help me understand the hysterics into which maman seemed to fly when the topic came up: I assured her that I wouldnt mention the thievery out of the blue but, when it did from her end or someone else brought it up, I would slam in with the full histoire.

What puzzled me was that her reaction more closely resembled the theftee. Once I realised that it was a case of Gyrating Gire, all was explained and I felt justified in holding the mirror in place.

I really should get down to composing and recording my own Gyaku Theftnam-style.

Still the best most succinct reaction when I first described the theft after I'd returned - still stunned - from Villa Thefti 

"Omg, can you imagine how far down the moral sewer you'd have to swill to find a double act like that?"


Great fun. Nostalgic, even. Sad, definitely.

Sorting thru stuff, came across the old bugging gear that I'd first acquired to record phone calls with Barclays in 2007 as I wrestled to retrieve the £6000 they'd allowed by spent by pickpockets who nicked my mother's wallet on her Xmas visit to UK and Waitrose.

They were passing me to so many people and the lines kept cutting out, I simply needed some records and proofs. It got the job done.

Then the theft happened - the Piece of Work - and I was being out-paced and wrong-footed by my mother/brother team (not just on the filch but my medical treatment and pretty much everything else) as well as certain of the simperer gardenry brigade.

Once I got used to it and had the routine set up it was almost fun:

  • Phone call to or from. Hand phone over and retire to start the digital recording, which had no limit.
  • Play back after, note salient point and adjust strategy accordingly.
  • Oh the manoeuvring and thwarting, not to mention the games over those torturous meals of gab gab fah blucking fah dementia drones ~ using actual words used by both parties, spelling out tactics and moans I'd picked up on ... setting out my plans for ongoing caregivery just to hear the reaction, knowing what had been decided behind my ear.

What could I not have got up to if I'd had my new webcam, purchased for my Skype confabs with my girls.

For my birthday, les girls made up an album of photos going way back. 

Once I've got the hang of the cam, I'll plonk a page or two en blogue.

Very moving and emotional: the girls said they got teary as they put it together and I shed tears this end as I went thru it. 

So happy and young and hopeful - many shots of the family here in Corfu. Sniff.

The ones I took, holding the album up to camera were outta focus but I'll get the hang. 

Damn'd good microphone, so there'll be some songs, too. 

Et voila! Me holding up one of the loose photos, me poolside with Anna.

Another trick: look into the camera and not at the screen.

Stomach turning: 30 Jan  2013: Gazing sadly on the buggery equipment I'm reminded of an incident when I played a passage back to a guest just to check a minor detail I knew had been captured - a date or a name, can't remember.

Suddenly the dinner guest said 'I say, this is a bit stomach turning, should I be hearing all this?' I was so used to the conniving banter that I wasn't actually hearing the incidental 'noise' but it was probably my mum rearranging the distribution of her jewels in contradiction to previous allocations. Anyway ... it reminded me of an hilarious incident during my Amazon days. 

You won't believe it, go 'there goes Holmes again, the varlet, thinks he can peddle any old lie to us.' Don't care, it's soo funny and you should see me tell it.

Manager's birthday   - Loipon, the lovely manager of my QA dept had a birthday coming up and we wanted to surprise her with a party, and her hubby needed to be there. All we knew was that he worked for a 'net provider and we 
knew one of the clients was a porn site.

 I was deputed to trace his number so naturally I surfed up the porn site to search for any contact number to call and trace Il Suo Marito. Could I find one?  Zilch. Drove me crazy and Amie's cubicle was just over the fence from me so I had to be extrah discreet.

Drove me crazy ~ boobs and crevices and foreskins and front bottoms galore, but a phone number? Zilch.

My cubicle edged on the passage way so everyone who passed could see my flick flicking thru the site, getting angrier by the minute that I couldnt find a number. Bloody amateurs!

And of course everyone who passed by thought "Ooh, he's a cheeky one, in full view n all" but my body language was guiltless because all I was hunting was a fronking number, unaware of what I was surfing thru - just one twat with a number, know what I mean?, so I could call the dude and book him for the party. Not too much to ask, is it?

V-P Customer Service  - my cubicle was en route from the boss of bosses office and of course he passed by and saw one of his minions shamelessly skiving from the Queues to flit filth. Bill was ex-navy, fit crisp and not shockable, prolly thought "Whoa, I'll give him nerve, that's fer sure" since I'd not made any effort to hide what I was up to. 

Bill probably thought to humour me so he commented along the lines of "I see, (naming the site), 'Privates on Parade' (or whatever the site was called0.

Of course, as soon as Amie heard the name of one of her old man's clients she'd be round in a trice, so I gave M'sieur Price a filthy look and like 'Will you shut up, Amie might hear'.  

So Bill walked on and continued my fruitless search. Never did find that number, but I thought later What could he have thought, not fazed that his ultimo directeur catches him horning and porning, just so his line manager doesn't catch him.

I still laff about that. I must send this to my adorèd Cass, who was dept head and two seats down from me. 

Porn shui - all this reminded me of the wonderful coining years later by Diablo Cody, clever author of Juno. I see the foto has gone; must replace. Foxy lady, as I recall.

26 January 2013


Very sad post. My 'Rosebud'. Just came across it on a shelf.
Of course I'd come across it over the past eight years but the significancew hadn't set in.

  • When in February 2006 it was decided that it would be a 'good thing' if I packed up my home in WA state and joined my in Corfu as caregiver, I was slightly elated as well as dreading leaving my family.
    Of course I looked forward to living in the Corfu weather but I also looked forward to being of some use, of learning a new language, of ... so many things.This was the phrase book I picked up at a local Bainbridge bookshop and started trying to acquire the basics - too eager and excited, of course.Look - my Madison Avenue address ... apartment 9. How my girls and I stood and hugged in tears, that March 13 day, as Dave waited to drive me away to Seatac airport - and yet still I felt deep inside an excitement at the new life and new triumph I was going to.I look at the cover as I did so many times those happy years ago, innocent years: the man reassuringly mature, guiding the attractive visitor, pointing out a landmark.Nostos Hotel - is nostos a word or a name?Look, written in the inside cover, 'drobi', anticipating my shame at not knowing more Greek - me coming from such distinguished ex-pat roots but with so little of the language.Back to the man ~ mature but fit - see how little paunch he has; I must exercise hard to look shapely for summer.In London, on buses and in burger bars, poring over the phrase-book.
    I feel tears welling. I have a posh lunch and am wearing a suitable disguise as if I too am posh and relaxed - but I will give myself away with my red-eyed post-tears crumpled features. It's not just a question of taking a damp flannel ...Après nosh ... So, where was I? Not as red-eyed as expected, but I look at that phrase-book and I suddenly feel the transmission of those hopes and good intentions and ... and the unsuspecting vulnerability and my sheer sitting duckiness. The thieving, the lying, the being used and so casually ab-used. The worst bit is the persistent trusting. Oh to be one of Life's instinctive adult survivors. Nothing dramatic or mockworthy:
    "Oh aye, what's that up there, then? Bloody hell ... all my cufflinks 'n' all ... hey-ho, can't trust any one these days. [plod upstairs] Right, what's the meaning of this - I'll take whatever tone I want, thanks very much ... then you can take your turn of tone ... these, what the fuck are they doing downstairs? ... nah, you can keep your excuses: here's the deal, I'm going back to Corfu first so, first thing, I'll look up some local caregivers and costs, cash in enough shares to pay for the first three months, then both thieves on your own, sort out if you want to keep the carer or try others ... anyway, they say no-one can take more than six months ... I'll be out of the thievery, can't hack it, wouldnt know how to ... back to London, I'll miss the weather but nothing else, not the gardenry nonsense, certainly not all the dementia repeatia, nothing.
    I look at you lot and I feel all moral authority drain ... that's enough for me. Good riddance."
    I look at the Nostos Hotel and the man and the chick and they represent an aeon ago. Where did it go, where did the trusting dreaming Me go? Slowly hacked down, bit by emotional bit, everything stolen, not just jewels and heirlooms: manners, confidence, safety, respect ... everything everything ... until sitting here huddled under a blanket, no heating ... Rosebud, indeed. I can look at the book and open it, but I can't risk the memories coming thru again. I must send this to my girls. After the theft and when my mother taunted me one time (of many) about the money and pension and everything ending bang on the moment when she kicked the bucket, I told her I was fully aware of my sacrifice and duty and lack of reward, I also reminded her that it wasnt just the rug being pulled from under me, there was also the loss of the only possessions in the whole property of any sentimental or emotional meaning or importance. Snorts and shouts, indignation, lèse-majesté ...
    SELF-REFERENTIAL ROSYBUDNESS ~ Another lasting icon with fond memories.This is the page vii Foreword to the Hesperus Press edition of Edith Wharton's 'Touchstone' by clever Salley Vickers.My personal jewels had been removed behind my back by my mother and handed over to my brother and neither felt like answering to the disgrace, and I lacked words to sum up the theft.Then I came across Ms Vickers' wonderful description of 'self-referential obtuseness' and introduced them to it as 'nailing them bang to rights.'Of course, once the description of 'self-referential' was known and in the open, everything else fell into place; never mind the obtuseness, that comes with the attitude and is a sine qua non for such circles. Someone gave me a helpful reference at one dinner conversation about the thievery: Salley Vickers' coming up with the 'self-referential' key echoed Wittgenstein's maxim that if the problem cannot be put into words, neither can the answer; the problem does not exist. Ever after that, when describing or explaining the family's penchant for filchery, I was able to cut to the chase by referrring to the thieves' self-referentiality.
    Linkbud - another touching moment recently. This photo of one of my cufflinks must have been taken at my digs on Bainbridge Island, WA, on one of my girls' visits before my March 2006 departure for London and eventual arrival on Corfu on April 13 2006 and loss of all personal treasures on April 7th, 2007.Anna came across it the other day and sent it over in great excitement as if she had found the real thing having rolled under the sofa or in the hopes that it would bring me some comfort.What I ask myself is, why should either of my daughters be pleased with a photograph - named, as they are, in my Will as beneficiaries and recipients of my carefully divided treasures? Why should they be feeling like clever puppies who have retrieved a tossed stick? I always admired a friend's description of the theft as a 'piece of work' - it tied together a rather natty post and seemed most easily understood by the thieves when we did a recap.

  • 24 January 2013


    How my father-in-law would have enjoyed this article.

    I suppose I'm a Strunk/White/Fowler man, except I've been lucky enough to grow up surrounded by literate types and then I returned to Hong Kong where it was senseless to push fluent English when one was surrounded by gazillionaires who simply rented people like me if they needed the right word or accent.

    Thence to the US of A where one can get mighty unpopular playing the English Major card, but still no big deal ...

    Then Corfu 2010 when and where I discovered the Corfu Grapevine and as quirky a minority of mean muthas as one could never hope to come across on this gentle isle.

    22 January 2013


    Fencegate: aside from my €2000+ per quarter electricity bills that no one has got to the bottom of over 30 years, last year - presumably cashing in on my mother's death - my neighbours, sofia pali and her son (sofia's parents were the original, very civilised neighbours) - suddenly erected a wire fence.

    Not along the original border but so far into my property that it actually cut me off from the meter.

    I have found the photos i took and turned into a facebook album but i can't for the life of me work out how to 'separate' the photos or join them to a central album.

    Meanwhile, I presume the sapling cypresses grow apace.

    Border theft

    20 January 2013

    JIMMY POTTS ~ Fixin' to Die

    Wonderful surprise to see Jim on Youtube - see how Life brightens when you nail corfu blues to your masthead?

    The blurb:
    "Jim Potts performs Fixin' to Die, a classic Delta blues of Bukka (Booker) White, later recorded by Bob Dylan on his first album.<p>
    This song, and others like "Parchman Farm Blues", reflect Bukka's experience of serving time in Parchman Farm, Mississippi State Penitentiary.

    The photograph of its entrance gate dominates this minimalistic video."

    Ever since my appelation-controlled brother invited me down to the Cote de Nuits to strum guitar, he and I have kept up a snobby running joke about Chateau Fixin Todie.

    19 January 2013


    I have sent a plaintive mail to my lawyer about the crippling DEH bills that have plagued San Luca for years and years and years.

    • " ... people have talked about a machine to test for leaking electricity. My DEH bills are horrendous so I should try anything.
    • When the electricity expert comes with his machine, I am told he needs to install it next to our metre which has been fenced off by the neighbour.
    • It seems a good time to cut the fence for the electrician to reach the metre. This will bring out the neighbour which is a good time to call the police so it will be good to have everyone here: electrician, Stamatis, you available on the phone to talk to the police.

      I have the plans that show our border.

    • All the neighbour did was build a stronger fence where my mother built one 40 years ago to suit her garden. It was never meant to mark the border. When the neighbour built this stronger fence - for which i will not pay them - they should have informed me so I could remind them to leave a gap as before for the DEH meter reader.
    • I am also telling people that i doubt the existence of such a machine because for the 6 years I have been here there has always been a problem and many people have suggested a leakage but NOT ONE has mentioned a machine that can test for leaks.
    • DEH bills: as you know, I pay bills around €800 per quarter, altho' I use very little electricity.

      My last bill was €2,743.00 that DEH agreed to break down to 4 months' payments of €700, €681, €681, and €680,51 but they warned me I would have another bill in the meantime. That bill arrived today, for €2,931.00.

      I have used no electricity, no heating, I have frozen but this is more than the previous bill.

    • I have no money anyway, I use no heating. I may as well not pay and let them cut me off from the electricity I am not using.
    • People have recently told me I should write to the head of DEH in Athens complaining that this is ridiculous and should be investigated.

      I tell them this does not sound very effective.

      I tell them that for the 6 years I have been here there have been these huge bills but no one has ever suggested to me or my mother that we should write to anyone senior in DEH.

    • I dont know what to do. - I am hearing these new suggestions but doubt they are of any use because my mother would have heard this advice many years ago.

      Literally, I use no power. I freeze. What or who is spinning the meter like this to produce such sums?"

    Etc etc.

    Really, this has been a burden and worry on me: when I arrived in April 2006 my mother mentioned en passant the unlikely DEH bills and I dutifully setting about investigating and visiting everyone I thought might help. With every new bill, I'd get another grumble and sigh of despair at my uselessness. When we went out to Italy - the visit when my girls' stolen inheritance was handed over - I was present when my brother asked what progress on the electricity: a sigh, a nod, an exasperated nod of the head in my direction.

    On I pressed, then one day I was grubbing through Thief Alley - the connecting walk-in wardrobe connecting my and my mother's bedrooms and where I had my box of personal jewelry - and I came across a hefty file including correspondence and calculations going back to the early 1980s, including efforts by the bank manager and DEH personnel, all focused on this escaping electricity.

    I brandished them in front of my mother: What the deuce are these? Why wasn't I told this is a problem going back 20 plus years? Why was I allowed to feel such a failure?

    A dismissive shrug. What did my feelings matter?

    I suppose I now go back to DEH and beg a further amnesty - and it's hampering efforts to attract buyers because everyone assures me that a) No one will touch a property with a fence dispute; ditto a crazy electricity bill.

    Every day a reminder that I should have quit this culture of theft the day I saw my stolen treasures on that dressing-table in Palazzo Purloin.

    Investigated the cost of professional caregivery, vested sufficient of my mother's shares to take care of the expenses ... and headed straight back to Blighty and saved muchas heart-ache and humiliation, not to mention penury.

    A soothing song is called for.

    Helpful suggestion - it is hard not to despair when, after 40 years and every possible assistance and loony theorising, there is still someone who thinks it original to "suspect your neighbour has tapped into your supply: a simple test would be to turn off your supply at the meter box.

  • When it's dark push up the three levers in your meter box.
  • See if the lights have gone out at your neighbour's property [owner's note: Asposia is too far away to judge if her lights have gone out, or she is just watching TV in her parlour with other lights out.
  • It may be an idea to get an electrician to do this for you. [It is an idea because it shuts them up, as it does the police who also include some who think they've invented the wheel. When I do it, I have time to leave the power off all day. When helpful strangers think of it, I let them take as long as they like and then bid them good day. The fact that they think their theory is in any way novel, after 40 years, is all the confirmation I need of a time-wasting weakest link.

    some great sounds and great shots.


  • Look at that face - a real soldier.

  • I love that paragraph about
    "the last thing they wanted was a firefight that would reveal their position.

    As they released their safety catches and picked their targets, the “patrol” was reinforced by 200 more penguins that came waddling over the skyline."


  • "Even worse than the junta period ... darkness and chaos"
  • Some impressive laurels: 'The best Greek woman poet since Sappho'
  • Impressive accolade: The first living female poet ever to be included in the prestigious French publisher Gallimard’s poetry series.
  • The Brazen Plagiarist
  • From Greek Current


  • 18 January 2013


    Loving my inspiring Greek lessons.

    Loving my donnish παιδαγωγός, Alekos.

    Loving my fellow pupils: Adrian [not in foto], spouse Sarah [blonde at table avec skulos at heel]; Linda (purple pullie), Christine [just the sweeetest lady, svelte, looks scholarly, grey pullie], Natasha [nif, enchanting Scots accent], newbie Hollondaise belle, Esther (swotting sto grapheio].

    Warned them all this bonhomie endeth when smartie-poo Sinbad joins us, spouting Seferis. Mayhap Carrie will have him a leetle elenkò, but counteth not on it. Painted horrific pic of the Lord of rue Demo.

    Right argy-bargy last week when Aleko's new words included 'girizo' for 'return' [can't even find it in google translate] but then changed his tune and said it could also mean 'turn' as with a wheel.

    Two completely different meanings, far as I'm concerned.

    Like, supposing i have kosta down by the orchard ready for my command to turn on the hose, and i want him to return to the house for briefing?

    'Girizei!' I bark, and the honest rustic i've telling him to let blast - "Ready when you are, Mr Meyer" - i'm meaning 'get the fuck back to the Megalo Spiti ...

    Christine asked about Επιστροφές. Shake of donnish beard, no, forget that word.

    Right, thought I, get the harem on this before Don Democracy arrives and pernounces. Couldn't stand that.

    Paketo ~ packet of cigs. 'casadine?', offer I, flourishing my casadina of karelia agrino.

    Too italian, i will be laughed at. Fair nuff; served me for 6 years. Live n learn.

    I go into tabac and ask for a paketo. Madeleine looks confused, 'changed your brand?' She runs her hand down the shelf, no those to the right. oh, you mean the casadina.

    Esther, left.

    Done no justice by my lens.

    Back to Maddie sto tabac, I tell her 'casadina' is discredited, too italian. I will be laughed at.

    She tells me, save time, it is a casadina, or you will be laughed at.

    PHOTOS ~ so that Mr Baddeley can turn up and, mid hisses, ooze.

    ("This the berk u was talking about, Chris?")

    Thanks to me he can now greet with aplomb,

    "And you must be Linda, and you Sarah ... do i detect a scottish burr ... Natasha?

    ... and over there must be Esther, nose buried in this week's homework."

    'Ayup, Chris - you was right ... we got a right smarmer etho.'

    Mission accompli.

    15 January 2013

    Corfu Blues

    1456hrs Jan 16 2013.

    He's a wily bird, is 'Frets' Potts - in this case, 'Pentameter' Potts, I suppose.

    Was taking his corfu blues to bed t'other night to slide off into Lethe with some decent poesie.

    Brewing up a cup of Darjeeling, glided eye over his purple ... Greek Girl.

    "Greek girl, Greek girl,
    Dont make me wait
    why do you make me wait?
    you'll never find a husband, dear,
    If you always hesitate."

    Damn me if my pink fluffy slipper wasnt tapping out a beat and my tea-stirring hand pink-synching some chords.

    "Greek girl, Greek girl,
    Come walk with me,
    Down thru the olive grove,
    yadda grunt ... come live with me,
    Make love beside the sea."

    ... Bring me my pick of burning gold; Bend my Bigsby of desire.

    Nuther page, sheer Dylan:

    "Love rejected:
    You leave, wearing
    A high black hat."

    "Clear, bright morning in the mountains;
    Sheeps' bells -
    And honey in my yoghurt."

    208pp of sheer poetry that goes intravenous to the heart and delights and inspires.

    Even the Prose articles and interviews flow poetic on the page making that effortless readery that only comes with effortful honing. No wonder his Ionian Islands was such a joy to read and be led by thru the chapters.

    "Monks in black patrol the border.
    Behind the barbed-wire fence, a sign:
    'No vehicles or women'."
    All along the watchtower, indeed, except that Potts is very much his own word-crafter.

    Lawd have mercy, I hate sounding Pseuds Corner or friendly, goes against every grain on the fretboard, but I sat there in that cold kitchen - transported. Damn'd kettle refusing to boil - the old one, twice the size, would bubble in a trice but this junior size takes like forever.

    When I bought it Tasia was full of praise; I thought she knew the brand and was complimenting on my shrewd.

    Not all - the chroma! I looked and sure enough its green fitted everything else - washing-up bowl, the pasta clenchers, the handles on the big spoons Mum always said were so good - the lid on Sam's food container, even the frigging cap on the Estragon jar.

    I gave her a curt manly nod, signaling 'a little too gay, for my tastes' but my darling Natasha was agogette at my new-found colour-coordinated domesticity.

    Just an astonishing work of pleasure and satisfaction.

    Everyone coming to Corfu should have that in their knapsack, and those already here ditto in spades (good Django Unchained ref there). Thought-provoking.

    • Super photos, plus credits. Typical measured modest informative Intro, and like when do you read the fronking Intro, ffs, right?

      Get right to the dirty bits, huh?


  • Greek Music
  • Corfu and Paxos
  • Balkan Blues
  • Thessaloniki, Athens, Venice, Sydney
  • Songs
  • Prose, articles, Interviews
  • Appendix
  • Digressio interruptus ~ so the water's boiled in my pooftah πράσινος kettle (trying to use all the words Aleko's taught me ~ Baddeley arrived back yesterday, joins the class next triti and i'm damn'd if I'm going to sit there as he ripples off the classics.

    I'll have him: "Oy, you ochtapòdi!

    "Four octopus legs consumèd.
    A quadroped now -
    Or a tetrapus?"

    So there I was, intending only to make my tea and retire 'neath the duvet with my clip-on nite-lite - shades of reading Wheatley after lights-out - suddenly trapped and transported by James's velveteen prose, reading on reading on, the music of his prose, lost to the world beneath the oriflamme.

    I had the 'lectric ready to rock, the Ovation newly strung and singing ... and Jim's words rib-digging to be wrassled into rhythm. So much for bed and manually missing that maulable mulière.

    "You'll never find a husband, dear, If you always hesitate.

    If you've ever heard Jim rack that Epiphone bone, you'll know you can't do him to a Johnnie 'Dorset' Dowland acoustic plink-a-plunk - so out with the Phender and set to on 'Never find a husband' rag. But hold! All this 'Greek girl' roobish, all those references to 'Maria' - by jove, I may have got it.

    That Maria ... she of Chunder at the Sundown Corral and Mavtouki Moggie, that Maria.

    Oh poh poh poh poh! Had to pour m'self a tetrapus tipple of Tasia's Tantalising Tsiporo ["Jive-ass jocularity to the gentry"]

    The hum bucked in my hands. Oh em gee, that babe would have led Jimbo a right merry dance, tee hee.

    Pòte potè! - Got them low-down Levkas blues.

    Corfu Blues ~ got the name? Buy it, I dont care. Little Jimmy also thrums out a decent blog, worth following but if you haven't latched on by now, prolly never will.

    I'm snug 'n' smug with my Bookmark fav'rites; get up singing and crying.

    Loipon, so much for my cosy nightfly reading. Drat Potts.

    Vaut le lire. Take us out, Donald.

    14 January 2013


    July 28 1920 ~ Saturday January 14 2012, 2315hrs

    My father had been dead for 19 years when I first heard this excellent Iris Dement song, so I'd missed that boat.

    But it's such a superb composition and rendering that I always kept it in my mind to do something with when my mother passed on.

    A once-in-a-deathtime window - it's not like those palindrome dates that only come round once in a lifetime - but they do come round.

    You miss this one, bro', and it is gone.

    Motherless Child. Another beautiful song to cram in quick before the day's over.

    Nobody sings it with the grandeur of Paul.

  • Trivia Just woke up to the fact that both my parents died on the 14th of the month, Dad 14th June 1981, my mother 14th January 2012.
  • 11 January 2013


    Lawd have mercy, it's got dangerous to tote a keyboard these days.

    Had a kindly lady up to care for me and, espying my hot new 'puter, she sat down to play and burrow and next thing I knew she was demanding why i hadnt told her about corfu blues and why it wasnt on my RSS speed-dial?

    Cute little thang, didnt think she'd even know about those low-down blès.

    Didn't dare tell about Jim's own CDs that he dropped orf that time then.

    So, check the dude out and subscribe and all that and cite me like heck as the Mistah Coolissimo who pointed you in the right direction.

    Worse, when i said i'd blog un peu about her beef, i couldnt find any photos.

    "You dont have photos?"
    "Um er ... none under 'Potts', eh? That's odd.

    Try 'Corine'"

    Oh poh poh and double pop goes the weasle ~ a Bible's worth there. Natch, ulp.

    Where woz I? Right, 'fessing up to not having linked intravenously to that lanky blues boy's page of pages.

    Speaking of links, seeing as how James's such a queen-maker and he's given a plug to the svelte Greek Gaperine, I'd better chuck in mention of Maddy Marge Magikades, too.

    That whomever onna left ~ ain't Maddie.