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Sunday, 6 January 2013


All Thursday afternoon Handsworth Helping Hands, our little group - in this case Mike, Denise, Linda and I, with Oscar dog in attendance - cleared litter along the green verge and bank that edges the southern side of busy Wellington Road - boundary between Handsworth and Handsworth Wood.
Taken to the tip at Holford Drive the weighbridge showed we'd collected and bagged a quarter of a ton of litter.
Taj, a gardening contact of our chair Mike Tye, planted half the sack of daffodil bulbs, donated by Neville Hiron of Hirons Garden Centrea few yards up the road. Let's hope this bank becomes a host of yellow in March. There's nothing like litter picking to become intimately acquainted with our 'throw-away' economy. Near half the rubbish collected was soft and alcoholic drink-cans and plastic containers for milk and fruit juices we could bag separately for recycling. Many of these must have been in the bank for years covered with successive layers of leaf mould. There were many cubic polystyrene containers for fast food often with the food's paper wrapping still inside, sodden but at least degrading, unlike the polystyrene.
There were several small packets of disposable single-use spoons for the preparation of drugs for injection plus a few used and unused syringes which, with our thick gloved hands, we carefully placed inside a screw top plastic bottle. Were my thoughts as I worked to appear as bubbles above my head there'd have been a froth of mingled frustration, pity and rage. So much of the rubbish that was once a product in the shops does not get recycled, nor does it bio-degrade. Even when people do use the occasional litter bins, these are inadequately emptied, so people throw their sweet wrappers, cans and food containers in the gutter, on the pavement and up the bank. Such little respect for public space and other people has its corrollary in easy public swearing. Others are effectively invisible. It's an old complaint, tedious in repetition; hence my retreat into gassy thought bubbles, while harbouring malign thoughts about my fellow men and imagining how I might become a muttering shuffling mad enragés aimlessly wandering our mean streets. On Wellington Road, the space seemed so anonymous, that few stopped to chat with us and give support as when we work on a tidying a more local space.
Denise Forsyth helps unload our rubbish at Holford Depot
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On Sunday at St George's Church in Ano Korakiana:

Ημέρα των Θεοφανείων και της Βάπτισης σήμερα και όπως κάθε χρόνο η Λειτουργία τελείται στην εκκλησία του Άη-Γιώργη. Από την παραμονή ο στολισμός του ναού είχε ολοκληρωθεί, με την επιμέλεια των Επιτρόπων της ενορίας, ενώ ο Θανάσης Νικολούζος είχε φροντίσει για την προμήθεια των απαραίτητων κλάδων δενδρολίβανου. Ηλιόλουστη η μέρα, παρά τον αέρα και ο κόσμος πλημμύρισε την εκκλησία. Μετά την «Μεταλαβή», ο ιερέας θα κάνει τρεις φορές τη γύρα της «Βάπτισης» κρατώντας το δενδρολίβανο στα δύο του χέρια, πριν το χρησιμοποιήσει λίγο αργότερα για τον αγιασμό του εκκλησιάσματος. Ο παιδίατρος Σπύρος Σαββανής θα αναφερθεί στο νόημα της εορτής, ενώ ο αντιπρόεδρος του Τοπικού Συμβουλίου Χαρίλαος Νικολούζος θα εκφράσει ευχές εκ μέρους του Δήμου Κέρκυρας. Με το πέρας της Λειτουργίας ο κόσμος θα προστρέξει να γεμίσει μπουκαλάκια με αγίασμα για το σπίτι. Στον αύλειο χώρο, οι Επίτροποι θα προσφέρουν «μακαρόν» (γλύκισμα) και μια κάρτα ως ενθύμημα, ενώ όπως ανακοινώθηκε, με πρωτοβουλία του Γιώργου Μαρτζούκου θα ξεκινήσει η λειτουργία μικρής εκκλησιαστικής βιβλιοθήκης, στην εκκλησία του Σταυρωμένου, στο κέντρο του χωριού. 
Day of Epiphany and the Baptism is held today and, as it is every year, the Liturgy was celebrated in the church of St. George. Decoration of the church was completed the evening before, overseen by the Parish Commissioners, while Thanassis Nikolouzos had taken care to supply the rosemary. It was a sunny day despite the wind. Everyone filled the church. After the 'communion', the priest went three times around the baptistry, rosemary in both hands, to be used later when blessing the congregation. The paediatrician Spyros Savvani says a few words about the meaning of the feast, while Vice President of the Local Council, Charilaos Nikolouzos expresses good wishes on behalf of the Municipality of Corfu. At the end of the service everyone fills small bottles with holy water bottles to take home. In the courtyard, the Commissioners will offer sweet "macaroons" and a card as souvenirs. It was announced that George Martzoukou will start a small ecclesiastical library in the church Stavromenou in the centre of the village.

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Simon Baddeley