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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Two Easters

Latin Palm Sunday ~ 1 April 2012
We would have set out tonight but we''ve postponed travel to Greece awaiting the birth of our first grandson. We'll not be in Ano Korakiana until the middle of Greek Easter - a fortnight after the Latin; as Mark said when I e-mailed him.
"Well you will just  have to throw your bags through your door and play catch up on the booze and food, on arrival."
At nine this morning Guy phoned.
"Amy's went to the hospital at 3.00. They sent her home. Then we went in again at 7.30"
We said we'd to go and collect Cookie dog to feed and stay with us.
"So we're going to have two Easter's" said Lin
Oliver Sebastian Hollier
In the village yesterday, the Eastern celebration of the prayer to Mary in Ag.Giorgos Church, referred to as Akathistos, Ακάθιστος, meaning 'not sitting'. The church is bright, the anthem one of jubilation, the congregation standing to rejoice...
Ημέρα του Ακάθιστου Ύμνου η χθεσινή για τα εκκλησιαστικά μας και στον Άη – Γιώργη ξεκίνησε από τις 7 το απόγευμα η Ακολουθία των «24 Οίκων». Η φωνή του παπα-Κώστα απλωνόταν έως το περιαύλιο του ναού, με τα επαναλαμβανόμενα «Χαίρε…». Νίκος και Τάκης Σαββανής θα ξεχωρίσουν στην απαγγελία του «Άσπιλε» και του «Και δος ημίν Δέσποτα» αντίστοιχα, ενώ προς το τέλος της Λειτουργίας, ο Νίκος Μεταλληνός θα αναγνώσει κείμενο με την ερμηνεία του Ύμνου και στη συνέχεια το εκκλησίασμα θα περάσει μπροστά από τη μεγάλη εικόνα της Παναγίας για προσκύνημα…
It was Akathistos Anthem Day yesterday celebrated at Saint George's, the sequence of '24 Stanzas' starting at 7 pm. The voice of Father Costa spread through the church, with the repeated call "Rejoice ..." Nikos and Takis Savvani reciting the 'Immaculate' prayer and the Lord's Prayer 'Give us this day our daily bread', respectively, while towards the end of the Liturgy, Nick Metallinos reading an interpretation of the Anthem, after which the congregation passed the icon of the Virgin on pilgrimage ...This isn't a satisfactory translation of Thanassis' words on the village web. At least I'm not trying to translate the actual Anthem which contains rhetorical devices that defy translation' with an alphabetical acrostic for the first word of each hymnκοντάκιον, and its stanzas - οίκος, house - and the lines beginning ‘Rejoice!’ full of internal rhymes that work in Greek. 
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Phone call to Lin from Guy just after noon
"You have a grandson"
Oliver and grandparents at Good Hope this afternoon

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Because our fellow member of Handsworth helping Hands wrote most of this I've managed to slip off a Grant application for Community Chest Funding for this coming year

Distracted I sent it off to Michael Brown of the North West Birmingham Development Agency, who's leading on local Community Development instead of Ken Brown, our Ward Support Officer
Mike Tye pointed it out and my mistake was repaired in minutes, with swift apologies and redirection. I've got to print out and sign a hard copy anyway and find a stamp and envelope and write an actual address: Ken Brown, Constituency Ward Support Officer, Perry Barr Constituency, Homes and Neighbourhoods, Perry Barr Constituency Office, Tamebridge House, Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2TX - blimey! No wonder we prefer e-mail.
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Maria Margaronis' superb documentary programme drawing on a great range of sound archives broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last Saturday (available on BBC iPlayer until 7 April'12)...
...She asks if the spectre of Greece's unstable past is haunting its current nightmares. Culturally at Europe's heart, geographically at its edge, Greece has always been pulled and pushed by the contradictory needs of the big powers. Maria looks back through the turbulent 20th Century that saw Greece suffer multiple national schisms. Beginning with the 1922 crisis of defeat against Turkey and the subsequent mass refugee influx that swelled Greece's population by around a fifth. War brought Nazi occupation that would last from 1941 to 1944 and led to compromise, collaboration and resistance that brought terrible reprisals, the virtual extermination of Greece's ancient Jewish communities and destruction for many villages. Those years would lead directly to the enduring trauma of Civil War. The central event for Margaronis that divided and still divides Greek society and memory. It saw Greek's fighting their former British allies in the streets of Athens in December 1944 and led to atrocities on both Left and Right and finally wholesale repression and exile of the Left after their defeat. Silence and then dictatorship and Junta from 1967 to 1974 would continue to divide society. The return of democracy and the rise of the PASOK party led to a different sort of memory, the unquestioning heroization of the wartime resistance and the celebration of Left wing memory that obscured painful questions of what Greeks had done to Greeks. Entry into Europe was potentially both a celebration of progress and a safe haven for Greek identity. The recent financial crisis has made Greeks once again deeply divided about both Europe and their own history. The divisions remain and consciously or unconsciously, history is informing that debate. Producer: Mark Burman.
The programme is laced with memorable resonant phrases, not only from the mouths of those she interviews or extracts from the archives but her own thoughts - "history is dangerous" "like a piece of crumpled paper Greece is far larger than it looks on the map" "what burns, under the skin, is what we did to each other." I hope a permanent version of this broadcast will be available. I can imagine no better introduction to Modern Greek history, much of it still unwritable - especially in Greece where memory struggles to live - for the reasons so wisely explored here, different sounds smudging a single story, signposts loom out of the mist pointing in several directions or nowhere. We hear the Greek word for the phrase 'the killing of memory' - but I can't find it in my dictionary - it sounded like νεμοκτόνια, nemoxtonia, but I'm not sure. 'History', says the speaker 'is full of silences, some imposed, some chosen'...with 'no version of the past that most Greeks can agree on.' That history should be contested is a general and not unhealthy truth, but, says Margaronis "demons of the past are alive on the streets of Athens."


  1. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson!

    I hope baby Oliver inherits your good looks and charm!

  2. A sweet thought - combining flattery and generous wishes. Many thanks.


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