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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mum's Memorial Service ~ just a few days

Richard has sent me a final draft of the Service for Mum's memorial service on Saturday afternoon. I've been circulating to the family, to the Rev.William Mather, who's officiating, and Christina who's doing a reading from one of my mother's pieces for the Farmers Weekly. They've corrected some typos.

Dear Simon. This looks very good indeed and I think will be much appreciated. Mary Robb the organist rang a short while ago and seems fully in the picture. We sang the hymn tunes to each other down the phone and she is very happy with the general idea of keeping the pace lively - especially in O Come all ye faithful. I thought I might try and pop in to Fraser's on Thursday and if so could meet up with you there in case there are any final things to think about. I basically just want to see the lay-out and meet any folk who are there. I could make any time on Thursday to suit both them and you and thought I would ring them tomorrow morning. If you think this a good idea is there any time that you would prefer? All the best, William

Richard will have the programme printed and bring 100 copies with him when he flies up on Friday. Let's hope the weather doesn't get too bad. Lin and I will meet with William and Leslie at Fraser's on Thursday afternoon and we'll check with the Beaufort Hotel where our guests are invited afterwards for food.
Liz and I have shared Brin Croft, walking dogs, drinking cups of tea and coffee, shopping, doing errands in town (Liz drives as I'm not insured for mum's car), chatting, skyping Linda and Amy...
Linda, Amy, Liz and I ~ conference on the cheap
...,phoning, emailing, reading, watching television, sleeping, showering, cooking, sweeping and tidying, getting in logs and kindling. I'm writing a report - a diagnosis - on the work I've been doing coaching Scrutiny Chairs in a London Borough - an opportunity to procrastinate. Outside it frosts, and snows and rains. Inside we keep a log fire burning. I've just completed a good Italian procedural - The Salati Case by Tobias Jones; now I move to another, River of Shadows by Valerio Varesi. I've also sent more photos down to Bay in London where she's making up a family album to display at the service. We want to be sure everyone's in it in as near equal proportions as there are pictures to be found.

Yesterday I had my hair cut - for the first time in four months. Tomorrow my suit must go to the dry cleaners and I will polish my black shoes - clothes I've never before worn up here. On Wednesday Lin and Amy and Oliver arrive, leaving Birmingham tomorrow morning. A lovely note from our friend Jill:
Hi Simon. Thanks for allowing me to look at the final work for your Mother's Memorial Service. A great deal of love and thought has gone into the whole event and everyone who should be there, is represented (even a photo of Lin which is a rare commodity). All of the participants will have their own special memories of Barbara. I'm sure that the occasion will provide the opportunity for them to share these memories and you will all be able to talk about the exciting, adventurous and fun-loving woman that she undoubtedly was. Hope the day goes well, Simon. Looking forward to seeing you all on your return. Best love, Jill 
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ekathimeri 4 Dec'12 ~ Fistfights in the garbage by By Nikos Konstandaras.
Something seems to be changing in our partners' view of the Greek problem. Even the toughest of our creditors have come to understand that there is no use in continually demanding austerity, that Greek society is bleeding, that if they want to save the eurozone they will have to save Greece – and that this requires sacrifices on their part, too. The question now is whether we are ready to save ourselves, to gain something from our sacrifices, or whether we will remain stuck in our familiar dead-ends....
A 5 Dec story on Hellenic income tax changes in ekathimeri suggests:
...increases in income tax for the middle class but tax breaks for families with children...ministry officials examined 10 alternative scenarios. The proposal most likely to be presented to coalition partners for approval foresees an overhaul of the income tax scale with those earning between €25,000 and €48,000 to be taxed at 36% and incomes of more than €48,000 to be taxed at 45%. It also proposes replacing the existing €5,000 income tax-free threshold with a €1950 reduction in tax that would apply for everyone and would be increased by 5% for each child in a family. The tax breaks proposed for those with large families – three or more – are expected to be more generous than those in Stournaras’s original proposal.
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In Ano Korakiana they celebrate Saint Barbara's day in the small church in Mougades at the western end of the village. The Apergis family prepares the church, the candles, psalter and lampholders in recognition of a local miracle involving an ancestor. Treats will follow in the family home...στο σπίτι της οικογένειας…
Της Αγίας Βαρβάρας ανήμερα, η μικρή εκκλησία της Παναγίας στις Μουργάδες γιορτάζει μες το ηλιόλουστο πρωϊνό. Κάθε χρόνο, ένας «κλάδος» της οικογένειας Απέργη φέρει το «βάρος» της ετοιμασίας των σπερνών, σε ανάμνηση θαύματος που αφορούσε παλαιό πρόγονο. Φέτος, ήταν η σειρά της οικογένειας του Κώστα Απέργη που μαζί με τον Σταμάτη, τον μικρό Κωνσταντίνο και την Ευανθία ήταν από νωρίς στην εκκλησία, «καταλαμβάνοντας» τα πόστα: στο ψαλτήρι (οι δύο πρώτοι), στις λαμπάδες και στο καντηλιέρη αντίστοιχα, οι υπόλοιποι. Και όπως πάντα, το κέρασμα θα έχει συνέχεια και στο σπίτι της οικογένειας…
Της Αγίας Βαρβάρας ανήμερα

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Simon Baddeley