Monday, 28 February 2011

See the clouds like surf

Our son Richard phoned us once, when he was touring the island on a scooter, to say he was "on Mount Pantocrator." He described the view from where he was. "No you're not" we said, thinking of our Pantocrator rising behind the village at the eastern end of the Trompetta Range in the north Corfu. But there's the other mountain of the same name to our south, seen the other evening, clouds rising like a great wave from the sea beyond, about to engulf the rest of the island.
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I’m defeated in attempting to read or even dip into sections of Milorad Pavić's Dictionary of the Khazars. There are clearly some who regard it as a favourite, others impressed by its style and innovative use of hypertext. I haven’t found a guide into the book, something like this self-confessed 'analist' enthusiast's map of the book. I wonder if the resonances of its dense playful invention are untranslateable. Is it full of references and word play, puns and assonance, similes, metaphors, metonyms, that can only work for a native speaker of Serbo-Croat in which it was originally written?
So now that I’m nearing the end of the engrossing book by Bruce Clark on the effects of the compulsory population exchange brought about by the Lausanne Treaty on Greece and Turkey, what shall I read next? Is it to be McBain or Balzac?
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Email from Steve Lee in Suffolk. He’s having his house near us in Ano Korakiana renovated and has offered me discarded wood:
Hi Simon. I have had a call from my friend George and today he told me he has started removing the roof on the house. Also I told him that you may be interested in some wood, and he said be free to take what you like . If you’re about with your camera would you be able to take an odd photo or two. Regards Steve
I’ve been trudging back and forth with the barrow, negotiating the steps up from our place and the steps down to Steve’s. His heap of wood gets smaller, ours larger - and now it's all to be cut to fit the stove.
Meantime Lin's finishing the plaka in the garden begun over a year ago.
These are just the jobs I’d like to delegate to the practical care project, but Chris and Edmund are a thousand miles away in Birmingham. Oh well. The stove's working far better, after a morning taking apart the flu pipe and scraping it clean of accumulated soot.
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Jim Potts refers me via his blog to John's Corfu World blog which displays this intriguing black and white film of Corfu in the 1930s. How did Yianni find this in the Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT) - Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση (ΕΡΤ) - Archives?

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