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Thursday, 13 December 2007

To London for the day

I am excited. L. in Corfu is offering in exchange for me doing some editing for her to teach me Greek. I am in fact very nervous. The Greek language is older than English and plays a unifying part in Modern Greece that gives it the standing of DNA in the human anatomy. I am quite articulate in English - and now I will become a slow moving ingenue, if that. But it's worth a try! I've already made a few adjustments to my keyboard so that I can easily switch to and from Greek characters. Σιμον! Ανο Κορακιανα. Μπραωο! It was just a matter of clicking on a little Greek flag on the tool bar. I'm not saying the words are right but the letters are. Wow! Οδοσ Διμοκρατιασ - is that right? Hm. It's not is it? I'm going to have to write the characters on my keyboard in indelible pen. I think it should be Οδοσ Δημοκρατιασ ΟΔΟΣ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑΣ

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I see that some comments I made to L in Corfu about the future of the village, comparing it with my childhood village of Bagnor in Berkshire, have been put on the Ano Korakiana website by Thanassis and Kostas.
Dear Simon. We have translated into 'Hellenica', some of your thoughts about AnoKorakian, for our site -
They've sent me the URL for the relevant page on the Ano Korakiana website
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This morning I had a great conversation with Nick B over breakfast in York Road, Kings Heath (a longish cross-city cycle ride) about the direction of the web and what a new version of 'Civilisation' might look like on the Internet. 'It's already there!' he said. I think he may be right. This afternoon I took the train to London, visited the Tate Modern and wandered for a couple of hours up and down the artfully crafted fissures lined with embedded wire that sever the concrete floor of the Turbine Room. It was such a pleasure cycling through the Christmassy streets of the capital, by the floodlit buildings and bridges of the Thames, past the London Eye, then up Whitehall, past Trafalgar Square and on to Mitsukoshi Restaurant off Piccadilly for a supper with my dear friend Z.

Jan who worked with me in Glasgow has been teasing me about the size of my eco-print now I've been invited to speak in Queensland and Tokyo next year. He'll abandon his 4x4 in and take the train to make up for my air miles - an early example of one-to-one carbon off-setting.

On the train back from Euston I worked on a first lesson sent me by L from Corfu - these sentences in Greek:
"Ξέρουμε οτι υπάρχει πρόβλημα με τη στέγη μας. Εκείνο το μέρος της στέγης είναι οκ , αλλά αυτό το μέρος έχει πρόβλημα."

"We know there is a problem with our roof. That part of the roof is OK, but this part is still a problem."
Back in Birmingham by midnight and cycled home through the salted streets.

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Simon Baddeley