|June 2010 ~ Victoria Jubilee Allotments are opened|
|Plot 14 - September 2010|
...Coming back to Ano Korakiana after a couple of days digging like that I could hardly move, my spine hurt so. In Venice - on the way - I was hobbling on a stick. For 24 hours I lay on the wood floor at 208 Democracy Street and read. It took me a minute to get up. I couldn't carry a cup of tea upstairs. Since then I've improved my skills greatly. My back hasn't given me such a problem since.
|June 2012 ~ a tractable mess|
There's a sturdy free-cycled shed on recovered slabs to which I've added a sturdy veranda. I share its use with two other gardeners. We've laid wood chip paths, and I've set out a composting area near the fence between me and the park. I'm growing four rows of onions from sets;..
|Recovered builders' bags for composting|
My choice of Estima and Marfona arose from the pleasure I got from the baked spuds with a rich serving of butter sold from the Dinky Donuts stand in the Birmingham Rag Market for £1.50; £2 with a cup of tea. They know I like the skin nearly burned - firm almost crispy. I eat the lot.
|Pretty sure this one's a Marfona|
Amanda, there, told me their choice of potatoes for baking. These are the seed potatoes I found in Oldbury via the web and which should be ready to lift in another month.
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Tomorrow is the last day of Edward Burtynsky exhibition Oil at the Photographers Gallery in Ramillies Street London. Burtynsky has taken pictures of landscapes scarred by the extraction of oil, and the cities and suburban sprawl connected with its use. 'In no way' he writes 'can one encompass the influence and extended landscape of this thing we call oil.'
|Breezewood, Pennsylvania - its name an eponym for such landscapes|
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Minoti Chakravati-Kaur has emailed me from the Western Isles - places off the high west coast of Scotland I've never visited:
Dearest Simon. Early morning in Portree at the Isle of Skye and just getting ready to set out for Brin Croft and on the way to see the iconic castle of Eilean Donan. I am blessed with a desire and God has gone along with it and so a price has to be paid. See how you and Theodora have enriched my life.
Yes I will leave the shirt in its fabIndia bag with Theodora. I will also give her a shepherd woven shawl which I thought she could throw over her shoulders when she watches TV. I will take as many pictures as I can in Brin Croft where we hope to reach at around 3 pm and will try to video record her for a little while if she allows us to do so.
Chicken coup? wow that is what I have wanted to do for a while.
I will certainly send you the photographs we have taken on Lewis and Harris - I have never seen such white sands in my life before and the colour of the sea around them in shades of turquoise and blue and green and a mixture of all three such that I cannot even describe adequately. We had to video record them as it was impossible to capture the sight on a camera in one shot.
I also wanted to show you the Harris Tweed I have bought and some wool to knit waist coats to match with them. The herringbone design in charcoal grey. I literally tracked down weavers and saw them at work on their looms on Lewis and Harris and made friends with them all. One of them Donald Mackay will be receiving the MBE award on Monday. It is fascinating and I intend introducing the Gaddi shepherds to the idea as they too have looms but have not been able to continue against the competition they have against Australian merino and fluctuating wool prices in the world. That is why I would like you to see Theodora's shawl it has come from the loom of a Gaddi shepherd whom I befriended in Delhi when he comes down with those shawls. Will write more after I reach home in Langford on Tuesday. See you then and stay happy and cheerful. Love from your friend Minoti*** ***
I'm over halfway through Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy - begun in early May. I've just been sent my copy of Lawrence Durrell's - until now - unpublished novel Judith, edited and introduced by Richard Pine, who's been involved in helping organised celebrations of Durrell's Centenary in Corfu at the Durrell School.
Dhiaa and I had an exchange about Christians, Jews and Arabs...
'I think the three main world religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) can and must save the world' he wrote 'because they are also capable of destroying it.'
How I miss dear Ano Korakiana for all my delight in what I'm doing in England. Thank goodness for the chance to glimpse the village website by Thanassis Spingos....
Βαφτίσια χθες, Κυριακή το απόγευμα, στον Άη-Θανάση...a baptism, Sunday evening in Ano Korakiana, in Ag.Thanasi, which among its 36 churches, is the 'cathedral', η «μητρόπολη», of the village, priest Kostas (who back in February promised a prayer for Oliver) baptises Αγγελική...
My note: In the Orthodox church baptism is the same as christening. A child has no formal or shared name until this event, being called 'the child' or 'baby' until it's immersed, unclothed, into the big bowl. The more the toddler screams the better. Devils are being driven out. In fact at all the Greek baptisms we've attended this ducking isn't anything like as traumatic as it sounds, with parents and godparents and sisters, brothers and cousins all about, plus lots of hugs and embraces in a big dry towel and the water tested to ensure it's the same temperature as a baby bath.
|As far over the village as Ag.Thanasi is below, the view from Ag Isidoras|
|When cars were fun ~ my grandma driving a a Renault type EU in the 1920s|
|12 years ago I wrote this in Local Government Studies|
|'...car-dominated mobility has been significantly fractured'|
|..for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased..|