31 July 2007

Before and After

Rather fun, going thru my pics and remembering how it was ...

 

 
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If Only I'd Known "If only I'd known"

Cheatsheet help for HTML, design and general coolness on the Web.

Fire up at Corfucian Pagoda

Nothing touched on the house.

 

 

 

 
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22 July 2007

J K Rowling

Good author, bad industry

Terence Blacker excellent in The Independent on Sunday on the Potter phenomenon and how the book trade was given an opportunity unlike any other - and conspired to lose money on it.

Very good analysis of JKR's own trials and tribulations, how she has struck a blow for the old-fashioned power of storytelling in a reality addled culture, and has proved that what matters is not publicity or image, but the words on the page.

"Its moral is rather more complicated, combining as it does personal triumph with corporate idiocy.

J K Rowling's extraordinary personal achievement has been to follow her imagination over the years, to keep faith, as the world went mad around her, with the idea which had emerged when she was unknown."

21 July 2007

20 July 2007

Jammin'

Top German band 'Bolt' were in town playing the Old Fort.

Lead guitarist Bastian turned out to be a schooldays pal of Tina's from their Frankfurt days and turned up at the cottage.

Shy boy but after a few tsiperos - and wincing at my own fretboard fumblings - grabbed the Ovation and showed us how it was done.

bastian 

07 July 2007

Veni, Vidi, Vidos

To my favourites isle, just 15 mins from the Old Port.

Lovely bouncy water, the tourists howled and affected landlubberly panic as Joe Don Baker-lookalike Damocles steered us across.

Larisa and Ameryl on top form.

It's a wonderful island, an animal and bird sanctuary as well as Kerkyra's own holiday camp for the softie young.

During Kerkyra's many sieges and batterings, the Serbs came to their rescue but caught some foul disease and were placed in convenient quarantine on Vidos, for which they built a mausoleum to the dead and in which, for some reason, body parts are displayed.

That's why there is a bond between Corfiots and Serbs, so if you're in a bar - be it Kowloon or Clapham, Nashua or Nacogdoches - and you feel like picking on that lone Serb in the corner nursing his tsipuro, check first for any braves from Benitses 'cause he'll have some buddies to bloody yer nose.

On third thoughts, don't even think of messing with that Serbian bro'.

Perfect soir: we walked and talked, lingered over the food.

One eats with wildlife walking in peace between the table legs - rabbits, pheasants, what look like grouse.

Gerry Durrell would have been delighted.

"Ah, hors-d'oeuvre," I commented frivolously as a bunny hopped over.

"Lightly braised, please."

The waiter did not smile and Ameryl had to jump in with the explanation that I was a foreigner.

"But only lightly braised," I ventured.

Less of a smile.

We caught the 9:30pm caique back because everyone had onward dates.


I'd brought a jersey that Am' had left behind at her last visit so we were the only one with warm clothing and earned me hugging rights.

Just a perfect close to the day.

05 July 2007

Stats

A pal emails me the following:

"Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics?

  • 29 have been accused of spouse abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

    Can you guess the organization?

    It's the 535 members of our own jolly old Houses of Parliament - the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line."

  • Ianni's Taverna

    One of my favorite eating places where music students play all the classics with skill and feeling.

    I have no idea why they collect English public (ie terribly private) school ties - and drape them next to familiar instruments of torture - but I have a few to donate from my horrid imprisonments.

     

     

     

     
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    Barbati

    I have been told off in no uncertain terms for inventing friends (especially the lady kind) and social events about which the Rat Pack knows nothing and to which they never seem to be invited.

    Well, I can't help it if they're too classy to slum it hence never get to mix with the Corfiot under-class.

    signage

    So, to distant Barbati for one of my mythical lunches, but I arrive too early for polite company and decide to drive down to the beach and observe the Polloi at play.

    As usual, blessed are the couturiers, who also get parking privileges.


    view of house from beach 

    My destination is that invisible red-roofed villa on the horizon but too small to make out in blog. They are no doubt on the patio with their flutes of champagne, going:

    "Oh God, look at the unwashed masses down there." Perhaps I should wave.


    pantokrator

    Pantokrator looking magnificent and I almost feel like swapping my lunch bib for hardy shorts and 'sensible' shoes and just driving upwards. At that altitude, the villagers are not used to lone wanderers and will happily set out bread and cheese and olives and press on you a carafe of their rough local wine.

    At 906 metres/2970 feet, Pantokrator is the island's highest peak. It's meant to be popular with walkers but I hardly meet any at the dizzy heights I prefer.

    From the monastery atop the mountain, the view is stunning:

  • The coast of Epiros and Albania
  • Lake Butrint and the small islands of Othoni
  • Erikoussa and Mathraki to the north west of Corfu
  • South, the hills of Lefkimmi, the island of Paxos
  • In the far distance, Kefalonia

    It defines mountain terrain and is dotted with abandoned villages, such as Old Perithia which in fact boasts several good restaurants during tourist season. It's a famous treat to drive visiting pals up up and away and then reach this barren spot and walk a bit and then voila! In the midst of nowhere, a cosy taverna with the patron beckoning you in and drawing you towards the kitchen to inspect the day's offerings. Magic.

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    03 July 2007

    EuTube Naughties

    The Film Lovers Will Love This clip that attracted such attention for the launch of the Euro edition of YouTube.

    A sort of mini, X-rated version of that wonderful Cinema Paradiso sequence of the priest's excisions.

    Also

  • Soppy
  • Weepy

  • 02 July 2007

    Fake Online Friends

    Bizarre and fascinating piece from the Beeb on how some busy types are hiring other people to blog and network *for* them.

    The most interesting aspect of this is that blogging etc has clearly become a status symbol and a matter of prestige, to the extent that *not* to have one is to appear uncool.

    Sitting here in my Ionian idleness, I reckon I could do a great job as a surrogate blogger - for both sexes.

    Confession: I do not belong to FaceBook and I am a sloth when it comes to maintaining my MySpace space. I just can't get excited about it, but that's because networking here in Greece is done over strong coffee and endless cigarettes down the kafeneion.


    "Plenty to be said for Corfu"

    Opah!

    No, my dears, not *me* plugging our prosperous cell. That's why it's in quotes.

    Your Corfuciun sage has "arrived": mentioned in despatches by none other than the Sasquatch of Sedition.

    OK, so it's no big deal for you lot, scathed early and often in one of the few voices I trust (and tones and vocab I often find hard to believe), but for my mincing blog, 'tis like turning to page 3 in The Times and finding oneself recipient of a knighthood in Her Majesty's birthdays honours - back when that meant something; back, too, come to think of it, when The Thunderer carried some weight.