Saturday, 12 September 2015

A small hitch

In early June Dr Savannis gave Linda a posy of a carnation, myrtle leaves and something else whose name I didn't catch
Early September in beloved Greece

Small irritation. I forgot to pack my sketch camera. A larger disappointment - six months wasted on the ‘Restored to Life’ project (latter end of link). The post-production company entrusted with digitising old Out of Town media...
First batch of Out of Town tapes and films delivered to London in February

...delayed 5 months setting up an account with a new local TV company that began broadcasting this February.
I’d met the post-production people at their studio in London the same month, lugging a heavy suitcase to deliver thirty 16mm film and sound tape matches. The people I met were convincing. They looked and sounded competent and professional. Over four months later, in early July, I was sent an apology from London...
6th July 2015: Hello Simon. There has indeed been a delay on this project which has been around the setting up of the payment mechanism. Initially we was waiting for x (local TV director)  to come back to us with the completed credit application from in order for us to set the account up and enable us to start work on the deliveries. To be fair to x he did keep in contact by email and I believe he was also very busy working on the launch.
After quite a few emails at the beginning of June x advised that he would prefer to pay on a COD basis and requested the first invoice. I requested this internally but unfortunately it was not sent out so we have been responsible for the delay since then, for which we sincerely apologise.
The invoice will be sent this afternoon and work can commence. We have scheduled in to complete 5 episode per week but can look at this should we feel does not work with the planned launch date.
Once again apologies for the recent delay on our side and naturally we will do all we can to ensure that the episodes now get processed and delivered in a  timely fashion as per above schedule. Kind regards, Y
Over 6 months the contract I entered into with the local TV company has been one-sidedly reneged. The company has made twice-weekly broadcasts, over part of the Midlands, of commercially available copies of the Out of Town episodes I’d lent them in return for funding the digitisation, synchronisation and editing of my stepfather’s archive of original OOT episodes.
I’d had meetings with editors at the TV company’s studios to discuss this. Only in June, despite reassuring email exchanges (which I now see as non-committal), did I find out that the first assigned editor had disappeared. No digitised material had been delivered  from London - or even created. The new TV editor, after several attempts by me at contact during June and July confessed that no media had been delivered for him to work on.
Then in late July - half a year after I’d delivered my stepfather’s films and tapes to the company in London – they ‘discovered’ technical difficulties in the project that would require expensive attention with my presence - “£200 an hour’; problems that we could have begun sorting within days of the original delivery last February.
“How could you have let this happen?” asked my son while I was stoking annoyance over what had happened.
I trusted people I shouldn’t have, Richard” - thinking at the same time of my lack of sympathy for victims I hear of on radio who, after a few phone calls remit their savings to a stranger.
‘How could they have been so stupid?’ I think. “How could I have been so stupid!’
The ground for my disappointment, though it felt anything but that in February, was prepared  when I made the mistake of believing that the manager at the local TV company who’d offered me the deal – to have Out of Town broadcast material in return for post-production work on the OOT archives – shared my enthusiasm for their part of the deal. Their prime interest was in getting good quality material for free.
I don’t do victimhood. I don’t let myself willingly nurse resentment. This fiasco is fast slipping behind me. I’m working on another approach.
With old and new colleagues - working on 'another approach'


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Wise reflections from our friend Richard Pine in Perithia...
'I love Ireland, where I lived for many years. And I love Greece, where I have lived for the past 15....Economics are marginal to the European crisis of identity. The intimate relationship within the household never centred on money; the essential glues in the household are filotimia, a combination of honour, dignity and self-esteem, and oikonomia, the economics of household management....The Greek household, like any other, predates the money economy, and its priorities have not been overtaken by monetarism or even by globalisation. Extrapolate filotimia to the European or global level and you have the essentials of good universal housekeeping.
The most vital factor affecting any society’s wellbeing is not its economy but its cultural identity, the essential “Greekness” or “Irishness”. If you cannot be yourself, and know yourself, then whether you’re in debt or have drachmas in the bank is of no consequence....
We're having lunch in the city on Monday. Complimentary copies of R's latest book - Greece through Irish Eyes (Dublin: Liffey Press, 2015) -  for us and for Rob Groove who took a photo of a 'naughty' work byAristeidis Metallinos that appears in it.
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The wind was blowing under the clouds stirring the sea into white caps as our plane rocked its way under clouds and close above the yellow buildings of the city towards the Kapodistria runway. I caught a gleam of the sea - brushed steel - though a cabin window. Lin held my hand as we approached a swift neat touch down, the engines switching to grand reverse roar. No clapping, we're English! Oh the joy of being here..
"Welcome home!" said Mark, almost as soon as I'd suggested a drink together at Piatsa to hand him, at last, his 50th birthday present...a finely reinvented axe.


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