Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Festival in Ano Korakiana

Το πανηγύρι...
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"Όσοι βρεθήκαμε το απόγευμα της Πέμπτης (24-7) στην Αγία Παρασκευή, πρέπει να αισθανθήκαμε λίγο καλύτεροι. Λίγο πιο ανεβασμένοι.Από τη μια μεριά οι ενεργές δυνάμεις του χωριού με επικεφαλής το ΔΣ της Φιλαρμονικής μας και ο παπα-Κώστας με τους Επιτρόπους της Εκκλησίας να δουλεύουν για να είναι το πανηγύρι της Παρασκευής 25-7 όσο το δυνατό καλύτερο. Από την άλλη, Κορακιανίτες αλλά και πολιτογραφημένοι Κορακιανίτες (λόγω γάμων) να επισκέπτονται και να περιποιούνται τα μνήματα των αγαπημένων τους, που δεν είναι πλέον μαζί μας. Η ζωή σε μια ολοκληρωμένη στιγμή της. Οι ζωντανοί με τους κοιμηθέντες, αλλ’ όχι μηδενισμένους, όπως βεβαιώνει η Εκκλησία μας.
«Ουκ έστι θάνατος τοις δούλοις σου Κύριε, εκδημούντων ημών από του σώματος και προς σε τον Θεόν ενδημούντων, αλλά μετάστασις από των λυπηροτέρων επί τα χρηστότερα και θυμηθέστερα και ανάπαυσις και χαρά».Έχουμε το προνόμιο να ζούμε σε ένα από τα ομορφότερα χωριά της Κέρκυρας. Και έχουμε ακόμη ένα προνόμιο μικρότερο μεν, αλλά εξίσου σημαντικό: να συναντιόμαστε μια φορά το χρόνο, στο πανηγύρι της Αγίας Παρασκευής, μόνιμοι κάτοικοι του χωριού, ξενιτεμένοι και όσοι πέρασαν στην απέναντι όχθη και αναπαύονται στο κοιμητήριο της Αγίας. Και να γιορτάζουμε. Όλοι μαζί.
"We are privileged to live in one of the prettiest villages in Corfu . And we still have a duty smaller but equally important: to meet once a year, during the festival of Agia Paraskevi, permanent residents, expatriates and those who have passed to the other side and rest in the cemetery of of the Saints.. And to celebrate. All together.
Να θυμόμαστε και να γιορτάζουμε.Μην αφήσουμε να παρακμάσει αυτό το γεγονός, που πιθανόν να είναι μοναδικό στο Νησί μας. Πέρα όμως από τη φροντίδα να συνεχίσουμε αυτή τη σύναξη, δεν πρέπει να μας ξεφεύγει και το ασθενές σημείο της Κορακιανίτικής Κοινωνίας. Τις προβληματικές πολλές φορές σχέσεις μας. Τις τριβές και τις ρήξεις που δημιουργούνται ανάμεσά μας. Στους απλούς κατοίκους, αλλά πολλές φορές και ανάμεσα στους φορείς του χωριού.Στο χωριό έχουμε πετύχει πολλά και η Κορακιάνα κατέχει υψηλή θέση στην Κοινή Γνώμη της Κέρκυρας. Αν δεν είχαμε και το πρόβλημα σχέσεων, θα μπορούσαμε να πετυχαίναμε πολλά περισσότερα.Δεν είμαστε υποχρεωμένοι να αρέσουμε σε όλους. Ούτε είναι απαραίτητο να μας αποδέχονται όλοι. Όμως, χάριν του κοινού καλού και της προόδου της Κορακιάνας (που εμείς θα εισπράξουμε εν τέλει) έχουμε χρέος να κάνουμε πάντα ένα minimum υπέρβασης. Θα είναι μια ανάπαυση και χαρά για όλους μας. Ντόπιους, επισκέπτες, εξ αγχιστείας συγχωριανούς που βρίσκονται συχνά στο χωριό. Θα γίνονται οι μέρες της διαμονής μας στην Κορακιάνα (μόνιμη ή για διακοπές) ανεπανάληπτης ευχαρίστησης και ανεφοδιασμού των ψυχικών μας αντιστάσεων. Ιδίως σε μέρες θλίψεως, όπως αυτές που ζούμε.Όλα αυτά αφορούν περισσότερο τους απαισιόδοξους που νοιώθουν (και δίκαια) απομονωμένοι και αποξενωμένοι.Τέρμα στη θλίψη. Βρισκόμαστε σε φάση αλλαγής σελίδας (πιστεύω) στην ζωή του χωριού, μετά τις πρόσφατες αυτοδιοικητικές εκλογές.Οι νέοι «άρχοντες» θέλουν. Έχουν όμως ανάγκη την βοήθεια ΟΛΩΝ μας. Μη την αρνηθούμε."   ΣΠΥΡΟΣ Π. ΣΑΒΒΑΝΗΣ

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Υ.Γ. (του korakiana.gr). Πετυχημένο ήταν και το φετινό πανηγύρι που διοργάνωσε η Φιλαρμονική στο χώρο της Αγίας Παρασκευής. Πολύς ο κόσμος, ωραία η νυχτερινή ατμόσφαιρα, νόστιμα τα ψητά εδέσματα. Μιας πρώτης τάξεως ευκαιρία συνάντησης αλλήλων….Μοναδική παράλειψη, μια καμμένη λάμπα στο μονοπάτι, που οδήγησε τον Πρόεδρο του Συνεταιρισμού…στο σφάλο (έπεσε στη σφαλιά) !!
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*** *** *** ***
"Everyone knows Brassicas bolt in Handsworth"
"I didn't"
"More fool you"
Typical. I was sharing with Linda my apprehensions on my latest planting, after reading in a book about vegetable gardening where someone's talking about compressing the soil to ensure their just-planted cabbages won't bolt. This! After the care I've taken preparing a bed like eiderdown - triple dug, carefully couch-weeded, mingled with topsoil and well damped compost  - for Brussel sprouts, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. At first I was delighted to see the seedling plugs growing. Then in the last week I begin to worry if they're bunching or bolting. Another lesson, after already losing an earlier crop to bolting.
"If you've got rabbits they'll like the leaves" said one fellow gardener.

At least the hooped netting has kept the pigeons at bay. So. Next time I plant brassicas they'll go in harder ground. perhaps the same since it's been so well dug, but walked over. My rhubarb's coming along. My marrow is pregnant; at least four fruits growing lustily.
So how do I protect them to maturity from the invasion of slugs and other ground creeping denizens? The runner beans are quickly twisting their chaotic way up the bamboos I've raised.


My six rows of potatoes are coming along well. Four rows of Jerusalem artichokes are above my head.
*** *** ***
Yesterday Paul, one of HHH's more recent volunteers, and I cleared the back garden Lin and I'd inspected yesterday. Using sacks in bins, bins alone and builder's bags plus wheelbarrow we worked our way through the place in four hours, carting rubble, dead wood, a settee and sofa, assorted metal, a bedstead, green waste and over 200 old carpet tiles - some of which I'll keep for the allotment - up a narrow alley between houses to the van parked in Stamford Road.


We've also used Google satellite to locate the premises from which the flytipping into this garden has been coming. We'll explore that later and Linda will phone the housing agency who are landlords of the adjacent mess of a garden to see if she can persuade then to tidy it. Much of the rubbish web cleared has leaked or been chucked from the gardens on either side of it. Paul and I took a ton and half of rubbish to Holford Drive where, on our way to the dry bay, we were entertained by Bob Bennett who's occasionally to be met playing his trumpet ...
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"Do you have a CD?"
"Yes. I add backing tracks. If you want one I'll leave it at the office next time you're here"
"How do I pay you?"
"No! no. Music's free"
*** *** ***
An email from Francis Niemczyk to Dean Hoffman, copied to me:
Dear Simon / Dean. Thank you for the messages from you both a couple of days' ago: please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you, but have just finished a stint of night shifts and have only just had the chance to catch you on my e-mails.
Am very happy to collaborate in the way you outline Dean. However, I do not currently have a pc capable of sending the data files for the sound and video transfers. However, perhaps Simon has the facilities to downland from the digibeta tape (i.e. Digital Betacam) transfers that I am currently in the process of making - and sending to Simon - of the 16mm film material and audio recordings of the commentary by Jack (could supply other formats than digibeta tape for Simon to send to Dean - e.g., DV / DVCAM tape or DVD transfers if that's easier for Simon to send). In any case, it's not a bad idea to have 'archive' tape copies of the raw sound and picture material anyway as a 'safety copy' of the original material, digibeta probably being the best format for this, being of full broadcast quality.                                                                                                      One other point to mention is that the transfers I am making are of the British PAL 625-line / 50 Hz video standard, as opposed to the American NTSC 525-line / 60 Hz (or 59.94 Hz, to be pedantic) video standard. Possibly this may not be an issue for you Dean as you would be effectively working with data files? Best wishes, Francis 
Dear Francis and Dean. Can you arrive at an optimal way to proceed? I rather imagined myself collecting a pair of DVDs from you Francis, representing the digitised film and sound tape from one episode, and then being able to send that pair by land-mail to Dean in US or others in the UK.  Is it more complicated? Of course (:)) Best wishes, Simon

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Far to go

Hannah Rowan Hollier born at 00.14 the morning of Thursday 24th February (photo: Richard Baddeley)

After the excitement on Thursday I went to London for the afternoon - Birmingham Snow Hill to Marylebone ... dawdling for my 10.14 train to London, I decided to photo myself alongside the statue between the platforms. A professor of dentistry with a classy camera asked to take a picture of me taking a selfie. He emailed it to me and but edited it with eyes askance in B & W on his Flickr stream.
With John McKenna's Commuter at Snow Hill Station (photo: Damien Walmsley).
From Marylebone I cycled north towards Hornsey to see Francis Niemczyk. I wanted a touch-look-talk at his place - to view the kit he's using to synchronise the ageing 16mm film and 1/4" reel-to-reel tape from my stepfather's archive of Out of Town programmes. Round Regents Park it was still sunny but humid. The forecast rain clouds were gathering. Kentish Town Road, Fortress Road, Junction Road to Archway, and urban heat brought the overcast to breaking point. There was lightning and thunder and on Hornsey Rise - a downpour; rivulets riding down the gutters; vehicles fecklessly throwing up sheets of drenching spray I dodged by walking the pavements until I could shelter below a petrol station canopy; dispense myself a milky coffee and choc cookie, before free-wheeling down Crouch End Hill, through the Broadway and along Park Road to Francis' side street. He's on night shift these days, sleeping from about 8.00am to 4.00pm. I followed him through the house to his garden shed so's I could see the kit he's using on the film and tape [links to the back story - the material and my journey to collect it from the West Country in April 2010)

The process of restoring the material I inherited from my stepfather is taking time. It's nearly a year since the first synchronisation (actually the second, as the restored episode that gave me the original idea of what might be done, was completed in May 2010 by Roger Charlesworth at SWFTA). Although we now have a list of the tapes that go with the films and Lin and I, in June 2013, duct taped a dozen pairs of tapes and film, based on the numbers pasted on them at SWFTA, and had five of these pairs taken to London for Francis to work on, only one pair has yet been synchronised. This sample, just over for four minutes, has been done perfectly, and gives an idea of what's involved.


The restoration process is nothing if not tricky, painstaking; even tedious.
"The atmos sound's not a problem but the spot sounds - like a hammer blow or a gate shutting - are"said Francis. He's lots of other film work, hitches with his machines, and he needs to work nights ... We discussed the possibility that after he's synchronised the next two pairs of sound tapes and film over the next fortnight, he focus on digitising sound tape and film and leaves the synchronisation for the moment. Then I suggested we see if it's possible to enlist additional helpers - people who might not have the technology or the skills to transfer the delicate 16mm film and the reel-to-reel sound tapes to DVDs, but do have the craft and perseverance required to work on synchronising the digitised sound to the digitised image on the archive material if provided with pairs of DVDs for each episode. One volunteer has described this in an email to Francis:
Hello Francis. My name is ***. I live in Maryland and became acquainted with Simon Baddeley and his efforts to rescue heretofore neglected and forgotten Out of Town material through his group on Facebook
One of the obvious problems Simon faces is the enormous amount of time and potential expense of stitching back together Stan Bréhaut’s MOS material with Jack’s extant recorded narratives. While Simon has made us aware of some of the technical challenges (e.g. sometimes having to time compress or dilate the narrative to match the flow of the picture), much of the effort appears to be the grunt work of cleaning up noise and persistently fiddling with the timing to get a good match.
Several of us in the circle of Jack’s fans have the digital tools and experience to be able to help with this on a volunteer basis, once the original digitalizations  are made. I suggested to Simon that he might farm out some of this raw material to us to accomplish some of the tedium. The would be little risk in trying this as all that would be passed to us are working copies of the original rips – and they can easily be passed to and worked on anywhere in the world. 
For myself, I was involved with website production for about 15 years which did involve a fair bit of video and sound editing & have use of a fairly powerful machine and the complete Adobe CS6 suite of software. For sound I move back & forth between Sony & Adobe, depending on the tools needed.
You are the one in the position to digitalize the precious originals and to judge which pieces require your technical expertise and which can be passed on to patient and reasonably capable enthusiasts. 
I am suggesting the following process for yours and Simon’s comment and discussion:
1. Proceed with mass digitalization of material before getting involved with the editing of individual pieces.
2. Do whatever tape to picture pairing can be done or identify a range of possibilities.
3. Provide reasonably detailed technical specifications for the finished product,
4. Send out pairs of rips to potential volunteers & let us do an “apprentice pieces” to see if further cooperation with this or that volunteer has potential.
Perhaps this will free you up to do the most challenging work and let the project progress in a more timely and economical way.
Thanks for your attention & I look forward to your reply. If you think it a go, we can arrange a telephone chat. Cheers, ***
From Hornsey I cycled south - knowing I can never get lost in London - ending up on the Holloway Road, then Camden Road where the rain returned more persistently and I had to shelter in a bus stop where I continued reading my Harris on Dreyfus, pondering the character of George Piquard, the author's interesting narrator,  as successive buses loaded and unloaded wet passengers until a let up...

...in the rain allowed me to continue into Friday evening Camden Town where the one way system fooled me into nearly cycling north again towards Chalk Farm and no-one I asked knew the way south
Passing through Camden Town on Friday evening
I had a sweet supper with family just off the Edgware Road and later cycled fast - the conversation difficult to break off - to Euston to catch a fast train back to New Street.
*** ***
I had a bizarre exchange about a hair-split on the difference between a primary and a secondary source. A didact let fly on a letter copied me by Richard Pine that he''d received from Seamus Heaney. The dialogue on a Wiki Talk page, its owner insisting the letter be removed at once. I disagreed - suggesting the letter was in the public domain permitted by the Heaney estate, quoted by Pine's publisher. This editor replied:

You asked for my suggestions; I replied. If you don't want the facts don't ask for them. Obviously, you are way out of your depth. I find it sad that someone whom claims to have degrees resorts to a website to publish their thoughts. If you can't contribute according to our norms, take your ball and go home. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Chris, Such an intemperate and, frankly rude response is unacceptable. You owe Simon an apology. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to AndyAndy's edits 13:38, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Chris, you have a reputation for speaking bluntly, but I have not seen you behave rudely before. I ask you to consider your words to Simon and make proper overtures to him regarding them and your behaviour in this thread. Even when we have a strongly held opinion we may not express it rudely. Fiddle Faddle 13:56, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: @Timtrent: So you two have been called upon because my "rather didactic advice" offends someone? Here's some more didactic advice for everyone: WP:PRIMARY and WP:SPS describe this letter as a primary source of questionable verifiability. Without provenance, I think the letter is problematic at best. My degree is in history. The study of history teaches us that a letter written contemporaneously to the subject period is a primary source. Primary sources are not to be used in tertiary sources because they require secondary source analysis, which is meant for qualified individuals, not hobbyists.
On wiki all editors are hobbyists; no one here is an expert even if they really are. Wikipedia is not set up with "verified" accounts; therefore, editors cannot argue from a position of authority. I don't take the word of anyone online, anyway. On Wikipedia we argue the facts independent of users.
Sibadd came to my talk page and asked for my advice. I provided it. That user chose to then argue with me about same and complain when my response was brusque. I didn't nominate anything for deletion or threaten to interfere. I didn't even raise an issue on the article's talk page. I registered an opinion and I wasn't degrading, demeaning, or hostile when doing so (in my opinion). And yes, Timtrent, I will be just as vehement in person; I find such intimation otherwise to be insulting. Sibadd's argument about the letter holds no water with me and I don't understand why a user that's been registered since 2006 doesn't understand these policies, guidelines, and essays or my reaction to their argument. While I have been trying to attract academics to Wikipedia as a Campus Ambassador, I reinforce the clear understanding that Wikipedia is functionally different. I don't care if you hold the Lucasian chair, you're just another editor cobbling together secondary sources on wiki. I do find it sad when academics mistake Wikipedia as an alternative. Adrianne Wadewitz never did that; she contributed encyclopedic knowledge and adhered to our rules, as we all should.
I am disappointed that for the amount of time I take considering how to respond, toning-down my initial response, and assuming good faith that I'm still perceived as some kind of reckless bomb-thrower. So, if my response doesn't meet your needs, take it to a noticeboard. I'd be content with an IBAN from all interested parties.Chris Troutman (talk) 02:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I had not expected a rationale for rudeness to be attempted. I have no issue with your opinion being held strongly, nor with that opinion being expressed assertively. I have an issue with your rudeness to the editor. You can be as blunt as you wish up to but not passing the point of rudeness. I don't care one fig for anyone's degrees. I don't care whether the letter is out or in. I don't care about the article, though I care about articles. I do care about the way people behave towards others. I very much doubt I will say more on the matter in a timely manner, I am travelling today and tomorrow. After that the matter will have cooled and not be helped by being re-raised, so I think any further response form me will be unwarranted. I simply express my surprise and distaste for your behaviour, and for your reinforcing it. It is not your message I quarrel with; it is one you are entitled to deliver. It is your mode of delivery. Fiddle Faddle 05:05, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Good to find out about Adrianne Wadewitz, and I'm glad other Wikipedia editors responded, reminding me of Jimmy Wales' and Andrea Wekerle's 2009 article on 'keeping a civil cybertongue...
...we need to create an online culture in which every person can participate in an open and rational exchange of ideas and information without fear of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment or lies. 
*** *** ***
Ah! The troubles of the bourgeoisie in peaceful Britain, as fire rains on Palestine, we are in the absurd situation of having such a backlog at Birmingham Registry Office that Guy and Amy cannot register the birth of Hannah Rowan, our grand-daughter, within the legal time limit for registering a new birth. The first available appointment is 28th August - a date Guy found after finally finding an unengaged phone slot on Monday morning - constantly ringing and ringing for nearly 40 minutes - will not allow time to get Hannah her compulsory passport, an application for which a birth certificate is essential. So will Amy be able to stay with us in Greece in September or even October?  I've written - via Facebook - to our MP, Khalid Mahmood, who's replied swiftly asking for details and saying he's on the case.
These delays on papers, the trickiness of proving you exist in the matrix...reminds me of Richard Pine's response on reading the wikipedia editors' exchanges about the letter from Seamus Heaney (SH):
Simon - not clear who the authors are, but obviously Chris Trouthead is a nasty person.
The stuff about the letter is BOLLOX - it's tantamount to saying the latter is a forgery, or never existed in the first place. Especially since SH is no longer with us to verify it.... What pathetic small-minded hypocrisy. RP
Now that's interesting. Is Richard's incivility, in a private email, that I've made public in a blog, a tertiary, secondary or primary source?  Is it possible I faked the letter and this email?  Is Seamus Heaney a real person? (continued on p.94)
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Lin and I went round to inspect a garden in Stamford Road that seems a fair candidate for Handsworth Helping Hand's assistance. There's been flytipping into the end of the garden from premises on Putney Road. We need to see if we can stop that, as well as contacting the Housing Agency responsible for the garden next door - get that tidied at the same time if possible.



*** *** ***
I'm as entranced as anyone by some stories in which animals are made like people - The Wind in the Willows especially - but I'm vexed by endless smiles and animals that look nothing like animals.

When I was six, Jack, who'd just started living with us, gave me a Christmas present laced with a treasury of illustration - Richard Lydekker's Royal Natural History in 6 volumes, published in 1896.

Now and then I've immersed myself, and my children and now my grandson in this magical bestiary in which the animals don't speak human, don't smile cheerfully and are, irrefutably, denizens of a feral universe...


Oliver's hardly two and half, for goodness sake, but I wanted some imprinting of images to compete with patronised animals, animated cars and Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, for all my tender spot for railways and steam trains; indeed any trains.
Lightning McQueen

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bees

I arrived - Sunday afternoon - to find the bees on Plot 14 seeming to be swarming - buzzing loudly in a cloud above my enclosure, clustered on hive and netting, settling in small groups on surrounding leaves. I watched fascinated, knowing this is not a time when bees are especially likely to to be concerned with defending themselves or their space. I phoned Gill, the hives carer and apiarist. I left her a message about what was going on. She phoned back.
"I'll come and have a look"
I gave her the new combination lock number; our site having again been visited by a thief in the night, as Danny told me, chatting to plot holders about what she thought had happened sometime between midnight and 6.00 on Sunday morning.
Gill comes to inspect the hive

It turns out, the bees on my plot aren't swarming as I feared; rather a new colony is taking over the old. The whirling swirling cloud of bees I'd taken for swarming is an invasion.
video
Scouts from another colony have found the hive. They led their bees to it. The are taking over a new home. The intensity of the buzzing marked the outskirts of a battle in and around the hive.
Skirmishes on the Balm Scented Poplar

"The existing queen has probably been killed" said Gill "or she may have just died"
So a new queen is being enthroned.
"The new bees aren't sure of their whereabouts. Not sure how to get in and out of the hive"
We watch them wandering as they learn the local topography.
"The new bees have been eating the old colony's honey" said Gill
So no honey for us for the moment.
Gill added some sugar to the hive to help sustain the new colony - one she thinks more vigorous than the one it's replaced.
Gill checks what's going on in the hive as people beyond enjoy a day in Handsworth Park






*** *** ***
Yesterday morning we attended to a long standing responsibility.  Lin drove us down the wet M5, packed with end of term traffic, onto the Ross Spur...
South on the M5
.... then 20 miles south west past Ross-on-Wye, to the Kerne Bridge turn, and so on the road beside the river to Lydbrook - a journey that ran through twenty three years, ever since we bought Rock Cottage as our dacha in the Forest of Dean the year our son was born.
Oscar walks up Bell Hill to the cottage he knows
There came a time when the children grew up, the hill up to the cottage was harder for Lin's parents; we came in 2006, to live for months of the year in Ano Korakiana in beloved Greece. Rock Cottage was left to its own devices. The forest has a way of encroaching on any of its border habitations with its trees, shrubs, brambles, nettles, moss and damp. Some of this penetrates the lime mortared walls. Our cottage that was easy to make warm in winter, always pleasant any time of the year, its lawn a sun trap hidden from view of the houses across the narrow steep sides of the Lydbrook Valley, through which runs the Lyd, a scruffy stream much culverted that runs down to the Wye at the food of the village...
The Loud Brook this Saturday afternoon





A summer morning ~ down Lydbrook valley to Courtfield from Rock Cottage
Lin and Richard at Rock Cottage 1983
Our sitting room there
Rock Cottage, Lydbrook, in 1995
At the start of the year Dave Kenworthy of Evolution Trees made a clean sweep of the trees that had started to surround and enclose the cottage and its small lawn, clearing especially a line of ash growing into the power line serving the house, undermining the bank of the footpath up Bell Hill. We'd asked our friend Martin to take a look at the place; make an assessment; suggest some plan for recovering from the mess the cottage has been left as a result of botched repairs by a builder who's let us down, promising work that hasn't been done; wasting our money - mores fools we - and finally disconnecting all the plumbing with a view to 'improvements' having already installed a set of new windows at complete variance to Lin's thrice repeated email and face-to-face specification.
We met Martin and Sandra, and their son Adam, in the car park by Lydbrook Social Club, drove to the Courtfield Arms just above the river Wye where Sandra, before I could stop her, bought our pub lunch, and Martin our drinks - for me a pint of good bitter, just the right temperature.
Dear Martin and Sandra and Adam. It was lovely seeing you all in Lydbrook. Thanks so much, Sandra, for the lunch. Thanks Adam, for your offer of help clearing inside and outside Rock Cottage. I have your mobile. Send me your email? I guess we’re looking to the weekend 2-3 August for this, but let’s make the arrangements after your concert.  We’ve been getting pessimistic about Rock Cottage after being let down by our last builder.   Following our get-together in Lydbrook some of the weight of the project ahead is lifted off our minds. Love, Simon and Linda 
Hi both. Glad to hear you're feeling a little better about the task ahead...I must confess I was shocked to see the condition of the Cottage. I always visualise it as it was in May '92 when I did that veranda roof - and I used my motorbike, we lived in Gloucester. It was a glorious summer that year, Sandra would come over in the afternoons (after work) and sunbathe in the back garden. The ride there in the cool mornings, and the ride back with my jacket tied around my waist because it was so hot - ahhh!, happy days indeed. We'll have to see if we can recapture some of that. Martin X 
Dear Martin...I could see the weight lifted off my mind by just putting the place in a skip and auctioning it (:)), and then I thought about things like ‘not giving up’ and my family’s love for the place and - as you observe - all the pleasure we’ve got from it. It’s a different time and I’m not looking to recover what’s past, but I’d like to hope there’s life in the old property yet.  We had the misfortune to have a run-in with a builder who we trusted and who let us down in mid-work. Let’s make his mess good and see where we go from there. Let’s see what can be made good for the next generation and our older selves. Love to you all.  Simon 

June 2014
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Yalova in Messinia, Tsampika and Agia Agathi in Rhodes, the most beautiful beaches in Halkidiki, Agios Prokopios in Naxos, Galissas in Syros and the beach in Irakleia in the Cyclades. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) is inspecting popular Greek beaches in order to sell them as private property. Two coastal areas have already been sold. More such sales are being completed. The Greek Finance Ministry's Coastal Development bill submitted to parliament last year - frozen this May for 'more consultation - turns my stomach. The proposed law lifts all restrictions on the maximum area designated for constructions on beaches for business purposes; of bars, erection of umbrellas and sun beds, you name it, and abolishes free access to Greek beaches by the public.

I know it's 'signature' politics; "too easy", but opposing the measure to sell of Greek beaches via comment and signatures on an Avaaz petition is better than just wringing our hands...
Under her signature, Lin commented: As a Greek property owner who spends about 5 months a year on the beautiful island of Corfu, I am horrified at the proposed sell-off of Greece's beaches to private companies.
Do the Greek government not realise that the public beaches are the main wealth of the country? Leave them alone and they will continue to bring money into the Greek economy every year, attracting the tourist trade that is Greece's main source of foreign income.
Sell off the beaches and that's that. End of. If tourists cannot visit the beaches they wish to go to, Greece will lose a large proportion of her tourist trade. If this bill is passed, the income from the beaches will be one-off payments from the private companies. One payment and no more in future years.
Why do you, the Greek government, want to shoot yourselves in the foot with this misguided idea? Do you want to destroy the tourist industry? Do you want to reduce Greek citizens to pre-tourism poverty? Are you really short-sighted enough to go ahead with this preposterous idea?
The beaches do not belong to the Greek Government. They are not yours to sell. They belong to the Greek people!!!
I can only think that corruption continues to be rife in Greek government. Someone must have been offered a very big incentive to propose this disgraceful bill!
Kimolos
Under my signature: Παραλίες για την πώληση!! Πωλείται! Η πορνεία από τις παραλίες. Το πούλημα της πανωραίας. If you can push drugs and traffic children, prostituing beaches is easy! The promoters of this bill are pimping - beloved Greece - "Ελλάς! So alluring she can make us a lot of money if we put her up for sale" - they whore their own beautiful daughters, sisters and mothers. Shame on this proposal.

Stop the sell-out of Greek    beaches to private companies

Stop the sell-out of Greek beaches to private companies

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