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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Με τη μαμά μου...

 Their leaves falling gently, in August these trees are alive with the sound of bees. 

This morning the sky is cloudless. From the log cabin where I'd slept cosily, I walked swiftly across the frosted gravel in nightie and slippers, carrying my clothes into the warmth of the bathroom at Brin Croft, got dressed and made a cup of tea.
Inverarnie is 2200 miles north west of Ano Korakiana
Yesterday it was cloudy and milder with rain and wind in the night. Anthony, my nephew, Bay's son, flew up from London to say goodbye to his grandmother. The house is quiet yet so connected - as my mother made it - to everything, so here we chat across the world by email, Skype and phone to family, grown-up, children and babes, to Lin in Birmingham and Gabe in New York, vexed the stock exchange is still closed.
Mum would not fully approve all this nurturing care, hand holding and gentle kissing, but she's only just with us now - a slight misting of my glasses. At moments I’ve wanted to raise my voice and shake her as from a stupor but she's a long way off. She may hear us somewhere on a liminal threshold as our voices hover on a bank, beside a wood in the evening or she may see Bay and me and our children and friends in the suspended time of dreams, We speak to her gently. Hold her hand. I've read her my latest letters from Greece and then England, written only a week ago, and other things I know she enjoys, no, loves - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
...and once more they began to see surfaces— meadows wide-spread, and quiet gardens, and the river itself from bank to bank, all softly disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous. Their old haunts greeted them again in other raiment, as if they had slipped away and put on this pure new apparel and come quietly back, smiling as they shyly waited to see if they would be recognised again under it....
What an antidote to Marlow's passage up-river in Heart of Darkness. 
"We'll get the boat out, and paddle up stream"
Instead of 'the horror, the horror', the exchange between Rat and Mole in their rowing boat on the river.
Rat!' he found breath to whisper, shaking. 'Are you afraid?'
'Afraid?' murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. 'Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet— and yet— O, Mole, I am afraid!' 
Anthony took a flight south early this morning. Last night, after supper, made by Liz, i drove him back to a hotel near the airport. Earlier we'd walked together, first south along the strath towards Birch Cottage past the esker, then down a slope over a gate and style to Farquar's path beside the Farnack, in the company of the terriers, dashing Lulu and blind Bibi happily trailing in our wake, until we could cross a wooden bridge and climb the sledging hill to Brin Croft in the dusk.
*** ***
As beloved Greece hangs by a thread - από μία κλωστή - I have a lot of time for this man, the prisoner Kostas Vaxevanis, Κώστα Βαξεβάνη.
Back to the future ~ 16/11/12Acquitted magazine editor to face retrial...The publisher of the Hot Doc magazine, Costas Vaxevanis, is to face trial once again after the Athens Public Prosecutor’s office appealed a court decision earlier this month acquitting him of charges of violating privacy laws after publishing what the magazine claimed was the so-called Lagarde list, a list of some 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts....
***** *****
Theodora Barbara Burnett Stuart, on 1st November 2012, peacefully at home, Brin Croft, Inverarnie, formerly of Mains of Faillie, Daviot, beloved life of the late Angus, mhàthair mìorbhaileach* of Simon and Bay, step-mother of Fiona and Jennifer. A long life of adventure and fulfilment. Cremation private, thereafter a memorial service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday 8 December at 2.30pm** in the funeral home of William T Fraser, Culduthel Road, Inverness. All friends respectfully invited and afterwards a warm invite to join the family for a reception at the Beaufort Hotel.
*Gaelic for something like 'mother wonderful/miraculous'
**In the flurry of planning I've changed date and time to suit as many as possible
Mum with her great grandson Oliver a few weeks ago
A Greek friend, Niko, sent me this, the third of the three epitaphio laments of Great Saturday, which we call Good Friday. Thank you Niko. I know it's not Easter yet I know the significance of these indescribably beautiful words...Αι γενεαί πάσαι (ω γλυκύ μου έαρ) my sweetest child, where has your beauty gone?...

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Simon Baddeley