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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cider and wine making

My enjoyable search for a suitable film to be put into a DVD continues. I realise that the greater part of my films of Jack are from Old Country not Out of Town, the preceding series. That already puts a limit on the use of Out of Town films at SWFTA that could be used. Barring finding further copies of OoT that contain shed scenes rather than just OB sequences, that limits us to Old Country. I have never gone through the films I have systematically, preferring to look at them when the mood took me. Many I've never seen before, being out of the country at University in America when this series was running, so I enjoy seeing them even twenty years or more after they were broadcast. I learn as I go along but for now I'm recognising that some films were the first of the standard two film episode around a half-time commercial break. Thus each film either shows the start of the programme, ending with 'Part One', or it starts after the commercials and ends with credits. The person recording these on to VHS off their TV at the time of the broadcast would often turn on the recorder after the titles started, turn it off before they'd quite ended. That needn't be a problem. What we seek is a 'shed' session that can be spliced at start and finish of a suitable 16mm film from SWFTA. Roger Charlesworth at Plymouth now has my copies - on 5 DVDs - of all the episodes and parts of episodes I have.
As I go through the films I have I stream a selection on Vimeo and YouTube. Thus I've just put one of two films about cider making on the internet.
This was a film I liked because in content it so reminded me of the process of making wine in Ano Korakiana. Neighbours share a machine for crushing the grapes. I got a chance to turn this while Leftheris and Fortis were working with a load of grapes they'd bought from trucks parked by the highway brought up from Zakinthos - after local grapes had shrivelled on the vine in the heat of July and August last year. The juice from the crushing is allowed to ferment without further pressing. Relatives came with extra flagons to collect some of Lefteris' wine. Juice from the lower quality grapes and the debris in the drained tank is pressed out with a screw press that also goes around the village. The pomace from the pressings is used by some to make Tsipouro  - Τσίπουρο - a party spoiler that no-one I know likes much. Leftheris, our neighbour, spreads the pomace on his garden. This  is a tiny clip of me being warned, while helping with grape crushing, to keep my hands out of the cogs. Some of this wine should be ready by Easter.

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I'm learning more about the work of Central Handsworth Practical Care Project. It was largely run by Glynis Foley, its project manager, who lived in St.Peter's Road. She died a few months ago. Disliking the oversight of a committee, for the last ten years at least, she'd held all the reins, keeping the project's minimal paperwork to herself - audited until the Coalition came to power by BVSC - while Edmund Branch who I've known, to greet, for years, does a range of jobs around the neighbourhood - small repairs, garden maintenance, security works, house clearance and furniture recycling for local pensioners. I suggested I might be a candidate for work, for which we'd pay, to get the foundations made up for a shed on our allotment. "Yes we could do that" said Ed. He's worked three years with Chris, a younger man. I sat beside him as Edmund drove us in the project's truck to do various jobs. I said I'd take pictures for a short film about the project; hoping to give it higher profile now that funds are getting so scarce. The first job involved emptying things from a house after a death, taking some to the dump, other to the Red Cross Shop in Newtown and some specific items - an electric kettle, a sewing basket - to other pensioners Edmund knew wanted them.
Later they removed a few boxes from the house of a new widow and discussed arrangements for her transport to her husband's funeral in a few days. Then they came to our allotment to prepare an estimate for a few hours' work there. Next came an hour's work with a chainsaw clearing foliage and overhanging baskets from a public footpath near Romilly Avenue. "This is a slow time of year" said Edmund. I didn't like the idea of all those photos just going to the tip, so took the portrait of the young woman with her bouquet in the small avenue to put in my study.
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Thursday evening in the Agricultural Co-operative in Ano Korakiana: The first meeting was held to plan for this year's village Carnival. I assume the event will be on a Sunday in mid-February (13th?). Old and new volunteers turned up on an exceptionally chilly evening - for Greece - to discuss organisation and ways to make the event even more successful than last year's.
Το φωτογραφικό φακό ήταν η Αγγελική Άνθη
...and in Corfu city centre, news via Facebook, of active citizens - Κantounistas - Καντουνίστας - demonstrating in a humorous and light hearted way about people parking their cars on the city's new cycle lanes and joining together to bag and dispose of litter [See Living in lala land]:
To Maria*:
Dear Maria. What exactly does kantounista mean? X Simon
From Maria:
Kantounia are the many little alleys in the Old Town of Corfu. Kantouni is a Corfiot word not used anywhere else in Greece...there are ATENISTAS (Athens) and many other analagous words in other Greek towns. It is a new idea and term that our young people have invented. Just when I had lost hope I see our young Corfiots are becoming more active. Let's pray that it will last and bring results. Maria
*Maria is a a Corfiot - Maria Strani - a writer married to a writer Jim Potts (see Corfu Blues). A few years ago Maria wrote a passionate cry of anger and grief at what had happened to Corfu in the last two generations through the greed and fecklessness of her fellow citizens - The Pimping of Panorea. I argue with her that this is not just a Corfiot problem. Being a small island amplifies the effects of human habits that are endangering the planet.
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Peter Papageorgiou wrote me a CV for Kantounistas:
Ο Simon εκτός από ακαδημαικός είναι 2ης γενιάς φιλέλληνας, περνάει αρκετούς μήνες το χρόνο στην Κέρκυρα, (μένει στην Κορακιάνα) και είναι λάτρης του ποδήλατου, περπατήματος, των μέσων μαζιής μεταφοράς, του αρέσει να μαζεύει σκουπίδια και η εθελοντική εργασία γενικότερα. Επίσης έχει αντιτεθεί, με νόμιμα πάντα μέσα, σε ζητήματα "κακής" ανάπτυξης, έχει διαδηλώσει υπέρ της προστασίας του περιβάλλοντος και έχει λάβει μέρος σε critical mass (ένα τέτοιο θέλω να οργανώσουμε κι εμείς μια μέρα...


  1. Hi Simon, RE: Jack, might it be possible that some of the audio could be used for podcasts? Perhaps with still images?


  2. Thanks Simon. That's what we did with the recovered film of Richard Hill's 'exploding' bait box, fishing for Black Bream::

    What do you think of this use of stills over the 'shed' commentary prior to the OB of the boat leaving Littlehampton? At the end again there are no original credits though there is the theme tune of the programme.

  3. ...and I realise I missed your main point - making podcasts with still images. This track for which I have no film might be a perfect candidate:

  4. Hello Simon, a fellow kantounistas here...
    You are very right, Corfu is not the only place or island to have similar problems. But it is understandable that Maria and many ohers feel like it is... I often think so too. I think it has something to do with the grass always being greener on the other side...!

    As I see you are into wine making, I have a poem for you, written years ago when I got involved with a friends wine making too...
    it is called the wine makers blues. I will e-mail it to you as it will probably make this comment rather too long...


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