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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Nothing moves in this world...

Web news ~ 16 June 2011
'Except the blind forces of Nature, nothing moves in this world which is not Greek in its origin' - words from one of my great great grandfather's lectures at Cambridge in 1885. I replied to Richard Pine yesterday, discussing the Republic's possible return to the drachma:
Dear Richard. I was thinking of the knock on effects. Who’s helping who – the dyke (Greece) or the lad with his finger in the leak (EU-IMF)? If we go back to the drach what happens to Europe and the Eurozone? I was thinking of all the frozen conflicts that exist across the continent, especially the Balkans. I guess I’ve thought of the Euro as a sort of centrifocal dynamic tending to avert Mazower’s 'dark continent', the return of what Thomas Mann in 1947 called ‘the folkish layer’ - fear of complexity, longing for neat wooden villages set in pasture land on the edge of pristine forests, the innocent domestic rituals of pastry-cooking and precise needlework. Is this Germany’s high agenda – a sort of redemption for their earlier contributions to European history. Lin says you can leave the Eurozone without leaving Europe. UK never even joined yet we’re a player. We look forward to possibly meeting your daughter in early September. Best, Simon 
Stringer Malcolm Brabant's report from Athens collates images from the Square - Πλατεία Συντάγματος - the chamber of the Hellenic Parliament - Βουλή των Ελλήνων - and champagne served in the foyer in Brussels of yet another holding meeting of European finance ministers, including Christine Lagarde and  Wolfgang Schaeuble, their views opposed - the former pressing for creditors to hold their nerve and continue to bear the debt, the latter pushing for major privatisation of Greek assets, public companies and Greek real estate.

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Notices in Ano Korakiana and on its website announce that tonight High School pupils will give a performance in Skripero - 3 kilometres up the westward road from Ano Korakiana - of Moliere's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Ο Αρχοντοχωριάτης.
ΤΟ ΣΑΒΒΑΤΟ Η ΘΕΑΤΡΙΚΗ ΟΜΑΔΑ ΤΟΥ 4ΟΥ ΓΥΜΝΑΣΙΟΥ ΘΑ ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑΣΕΙ ΣΤΟ ΣΧΟΛΙΚΟ ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΣΚΡΙΠΕΡΟΥ ΤΟ ΕΡΓΟ ΤΟΥ ΜΟΛΙΕΡΟΥ ''Ο ΑΡΧΟΝΤΟΧΩΡΙΑΤΗΣ''. ΣΤΗ ΖΟΦΕΡΗ ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚΟΤΗΤΑ ΤΩΝ ΗΜΕΡΩΝ ΠΟΥ ΖΟΥΜΕ ΣΑΣ ΥΠΟΣΧΟΜΑΣΤΕ ΜΙΑ ΒΡΑΔΙΑ ΓΕΜΑΤΗ ΓΕΛΙΟ ΚΑΙ ΧΑΡΑ. ΕΙΣΑΣΤΕ ΟΛΟΙ ΠΡΟΣΚΕΚΛΗΜΕΝΟΙ!![ΩΡΑ΄8.30]  ΔΩΡΑ ΜΕΤΑΛΛΗΝΟΥ....in the gloomy reality of the days where we live we promise you an evening of full laughter and joy. You are all invited. Dora Metallinou
Yesterday saw the last end of term celebrations of the village school due to close - pupil numbers having fallen below 14. Primary School children will attend a larger school near Ay.Markos next term - about two and a half kilometres away. The kindergarten stays in the village in a another building. The present school building will not, thank goodness be abandoned, but will become the home of Corfu Special School with a higher teacher-pupil ratio than its predecessor.
Αυλαία χθες το απόγευμα για το Δημοτικό Σχολείο της Άνω Κορακιάνας, που όπως είναι γνωστό δεν θα λειτουργεί πλέον από την επόμενη σχολική χρονιά. Στην αυλή του σχολείου και κάτω από τη συνεχή διάθεση αμφισβήτησης από πλευράς του καιρού, παίχτηκε η τελευταία παράσταση, με την τέλεση της καθιερωμένης εορτής στο τέλος της σχολικής χρονιάς.
Τα συναισθήματα ήταν ανάμικτα. Από τη μια το γέλιο και η χαρά που εξέπεμπαν οι αποδόσεις των μαθητών του νηπιαγωγείου και του δημοτικού, μέσα από τα σκετς («διαλόγους» τα λέγαμε παλαιότερα) που παρουσίασαν. Και από την άλλη, η εμφανής συγκίνηση στα πρόσωπα των περισσοτέρων και ιδιαίτερα στα πρόσωπα των μαθητών (των τελευταίων μαθητών του ιστορικού αυτού σχολείου όπως επανειλημμένα ειπώθηκε), των δασκάλων, αλλά και αρκετών γονέω
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The village will see a funeral tomorrow evening. We have known for three months that Sally's sister Rachel has been very ill. On Thursday Mark told us that she was gone. Later he wrote:
Rachel's funeral will be held on Friday at 6.30pm  in the village. So many times have we seen the posters go up on the telegraph poles telling us of who has died in the village and have heard the music band go through the bottom part of the village between churches and now that day will come for us on Friday.
Families and friends, Greek and English, will say farewell. I don't know if I'm insensitive writing of such things in this public diary. Compared to the city, life and death in a village is more public.

Ραχήλ, ελαφρύ το χώμα που σε σκεπάζει. 
Σάïμον και Λίντα
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We had a second emergency meeting on behalf of the CHPCP, having decided to define ourselves as a voluntary advisory group for the project. Present were Mike Tye (Chair), Charles Bates, me and Linda, Nigel Smith MBE, Leslie Pinder and Denise Forsyth. We were winding down after a discussion on  helping get the project restarted.

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Tony Herbert has sent me the DVDs of the videos lent by Marion Bréhaut following our shared visit to see her in Eastleigh last Monday. The first thing I did was to rip and edit a short extract from one of her tapes:Some time in 1980 Cliff Michelmore introduces an episode of Day by Day, Southern Television's Regional News programme, in which my stepfather chats to David Bobin about Stanley Bréhaut, his cameraman on Out of Town for twenty one years.

The novelist Graham Hurley - writer, among other books, of superlative police procedurals - who was an apprentice of Jack's at Southern wrote to me last year about Stan:
Simon...I knew Stan Brehaut and George Egan (Out of Town, Director) very well. Stan was the first cameraman I ever worked with. He was a loner and a buccaneer, which I guess is why Jack rated him so highly, but he had a hatred of tripods which - towards the end of a great career - became a bit of a handicap. He used to work with an old handheld Ari, which limited him to 100ft rolls of film (just over two minutes), but this kind of discipline bred a fiercely economic shooting style and meant that rarely a shot was ever wasted. Nowadays, of course, most video cameraman graduate straight from the Fire Brigade school of location work and simply hose the thing around on the assumption that post-production might salvage a shot of two from the wreckage.' 
By the time this clip was made Stan had decided a tripod and even Jack's trophy sniper's scope - a gem of an optic I recall from childhood - were helpful additions to his outdoor filming kit. David Knowles who worked closely with Jack on both Out of Town and Old Country, which he produced for Channel 4, told me recently that Jack would make deliberate mistakes on camera.
"It gets people writing in" Jack told him.
"I always wondered" said David to me the other day "whether that was true or an excuse"
I have spotted one mistake in this clip and possibly another. Watch this space, especially if a gun-kit spotters sees that "Zeiss" scope.

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