26 August 2012

Jack O'Diamonds

  • Texas Slide Blues

  • Listen how the guitar sings along.

  • 23 August 2012

    This is actually not that funny to those who've been thru the mill and out the other side with only half a brain hanging by a thread.

    Is there a phrase for esprit de cercueil or esprit de tombe? There should be.

    I write to my girls and complain that only now that I am emerging from the brain-dead numbness to which I was reduced to see me through the past six years am I discovering the violence of word and deed that I should have had at my command.

    How I could have used that cartoon up there:

  • Print copies to have within reach of the dinner table.
  • Wait until I'm having to nod for the umpteenth fucking time at the line.
  • Rise and stride to bookshelf. Take down any old book and rip wrench tear it from its bindings.
  • Crumple pages and drop them into the bin
  • March back to kitchen, collecting copy of the cartoon en route.
  • SLAM page flat down in front of maman. No, I said slam, not poncy slapping it down as if you were merely trying to make the rafters rattle.
  • "There! You think you're so fucking clever coming up with that line every time, as if 'Ooh, listen to me, aren't I thoughtful, remembering that I don't always remember?

    I mean, my memory can't be that bad, can it? I can't really be repeating myself 'ad fucking murderous nauseam', as he pretends I go on ... not if I can still remember to tell people to stop me.'

    See this so-called cartoon? Ha ha, very funny. You can tell he hasn't bloody gone through it.

    I'm going to pin it up here and when we have dinners I'm going to make it the centre-piece and the moment you spout the line, I'm going to take the main course from the oven, chuck it out the window, then down to the Marina for fish n chips, decent sane conversation with points made once only ... and lots and lots of anaesthetising grog to once again wash away the humiliating memory of your treadmill gardenry hobby!

    Be doing the guests a favour, too. They don't fancy hearing the same old roobish for the 100th time any more than I do for the 1,000th. Anyway, all that trying to keep a polite expression - can't be good for their Botox.


    Magnifique Michael D. Higgins puts the boot in to radio host Michael Graham.

    Vaut l'écouter.


    Composing my Eulogy to the great John Forte, I come across in his book these terms.

    I cannot wait to be sipping my tsintsibirra next to some fragrant native (OK, half native because i have my sights on yon Lia Manesis. Improving on that, sa maman but I'll say no more. I'm told that this blog is scrutinised more closely oop t'Kassiopi-sur-Mer than ironed editions of the Thunderer back when it were t'Thoonderer, like.

    Anyway, my point is how cool can a chap get than to have a dictionary of Grik cricketing terms under his belt for bellowing out over cucumber sarnies on the Esplanade? Surely, no maidenly off-spring of Ἀλκίνοος could resist?

    I shall also be looking for doubles-entendres galore and σκουντώ-wink 'solutions'. , his dark-eyed companion at strategic moments. Ξέρετε τι εννοώ, άρχων;

    [Is άρχων really 'squire'? Honestly, I learn more from this blog than two years' fifth-form Greek with Mr Bailey:

    "Holmes! Translate from 'The Hoplites ... ' onwards."

    "Right, sir ... erm ... The Hoplites ... having shielded themselves from the, um, heavy bronze maidens ... rested on their shoulders and ... something something new grip - no, I know, 'The Hoplites, having shouldered the heavy bronze maidens on their shields, resisted the attack on their flanks with a new grip-"

    "NO BOY! And it would hardly have been maidens in those days. Farnsworth - tell us what the poet was trying to say."

    No Grik for 'leg-break'. Bummer

    22 August 2012


    I particularly like the 'Mean Girls' one but that's because I know the movie backwards.

    21 August 2012

    Beautiful Things

    Every now and then I shove a bumper number up on my FaceBook page and wish I was also sending it to the Corfuciuraïki Irregulières.

    This started life as a plug for the Frangoulis charity concert coming up Aug 31 to present his latest release Beautiful Things.

  • (I tell you, that boy is just too darned beautiful for his own good.)

  • He's right in the Sakis Rouvas mold and I wouldn't like to be in the same dressing room when they face off for a best of three Blue Steel looks, know what I mean?

    [Useful trivia: the no-nonsense blonde to whom Zoolander is showing his dynamite looks appears in lots of his movies and she's always cool and cynical and he always comes off as a buffoon. I said to Anna once, 'doesn't she get fed-up playing against his eternal idiocy? I bet she dreads the casting calls.'

    "Dad! They're married!"

    Hayley WestenraThen I thought it would be a pity to leave out gorgeous-voiced Hayley Westenra [sic] whose Paradiso is set to maestro Morricone's magic. Do click on the clip, she's lovely and he's pretty lovely too.

    Gad, she's got such a beautiful bosom - I'm shoving another pic in. No, it's not pervy or porny because she sings in tune and also has an Australienne accent which lifts her above vulgar lechery.

    Is that a cigarette she's holding there? Boobs and baccy?? My kinda woman!

  • By the time I'd put those two in, I thought oh what the heck, give handsome crooner George Perris a plug, too.

    I tell you, this was one of my better FB offerings - young ladies eyeing me lasciviously in the market place, whispering about "Dude ... you give such good post".

    I should have said,

    Give me your email address and I'll send you my blog URL. You think my Facebook posts are good? Wait til you feel the throbbing HTML of my links.

    (No, I'm not being crude because my throbbing content is all class for this one.)

    Also, I was born in Oz which makes it double bonzer because we don't go in for crudeness Down Under and we know how to treat a sheila. Right, mate?


    I sent the link about Prospero's Kitchen out to the usual massed ranks of suspects and almost everyone wrote back thanking and asking for good news of my 'rehabilitation'. Very nice of them to enquire but isnt that interesting - Hong Kong, Oz, home counties, Yorkshire, London, New York - they all of telephathic synergy used 'rehabilitation' for the first time in their good wishes to me.

    They have also all at one time or another visited/criticised/reeled back from/pleaded removal/etc this blog, so thanks for your interest!

    Jardinerie Progress ~ I am sick to death of people asking the health of my 'mother's beautiful garden'.

    I haven't the faintest idea.

    I don't even peer down there

    what little Kostas does is up to him. I just pay him his weekly €50 and even that is in jeopardy since my brother expressed no more than luke warm interest in splitting the fee. I don't fork out for myself and that 50 could be spent in 100 directions better.

    Progress report on garden - here's a wheeze that might be quite fun to fool round with and fool the botany biddies into thinking I might be 'getting' the garden message.

    Over the years I have taken various photos of the garden - sarcastic gestures, really, or perhaps I imagined myself wielding a ju-ju lens that infected and laid low anything i pointed it at. Whatever. After five years and eight months of loam-loathing servitude 'out there', there is not another second to squander on the things.

    But for those who, knowing that i've never lifted a garden implement in friendship, still enquire brightly how the garden grows, here is their chance to catch up.

    I have three albums in particular that are worth updating with snaps from the same angle to show the collapse and general shabbiness today.

    General odds and sods but including a valuable record of the houses outside the gate as they took shape.

    Smaller album of 49 but with shots of my mother and some juicy angles that will really ram the message home when the faithful see into what neglect les fleures and planty things have been allowed (nay urged) to tumble and crumble

  • Pièce de résistance ~ a splendid collection of over 80 snaps taken as far back as end July 2007 - three months after losing my girls' jewels, so my eye would have been sharp and vengeful - and ripe for editing into shape and bringing up to date with the 2012 'look'.

    The marvelous system with this Google+ automatic updates is that those who've been put on the 'mailing list' because they at one time asked to see progress as my mother beavered away, now get to see the the reverse. I must try and root out snaps I took in each of the months since I stepped off that vile treadmill.

    But what a splendid task and effective slap-down to asinine enquiries in that direction.

  • sloane st 103 Sloane Street, London SW1. March 2006 ~ Two photos even more comforting than the 'cobwebs and decay' snaps I cam up with. These were taken by me in my mother's London apartment in March 2006, mere hours after getting off the plane from Seattle.

    I sent copies to my daughters with a description of the trip and first impressions and here is Anna sending them back electronically with some shrewd comments.

    "Your letter seemed so happy and looking forward. You had everything in front of you and you had read up about the caregiver job and you were going to make a new life.

    I guess it all changed when you got there and you had to do gardening, too, and ya ya bossed you around and nothing youd looked forward to really came true."

  • Apparently, I'd also send a photo of another angle which clearly showed my jewel box which Anna had packed on top of the suitcase for me to easily get at.

    Because my mother had been burgled in this very apartment - they waited round the corner in the back stairwell and then seemed to make easy meat of the three locks.

    Each time I went out during my London stay, debated whether to carry the jewels on me or hide them somewhere. In the end, I plonked them in a small box which I placed on top of the book case.

    The real irony, as everyone points out, is that I took precautions with my personal stuff in an apartment belonging to someone whose house over in Greece would prove the least secure of anywhere I'd encountered.

    But the power of those photos is that they pre-date all the stress and bullying and the whole stinking culture of theft that stenched up the years that lay ahead. I can feel the hope coming from the photos, the eagerness of everything being new and possible.

  • 20 August 2012

    Patel Tomlinson Post-mortem

    ~ Misleading, dishonest, liable to bring profession into disrepute ~

  • "Conduct "misleading" ~ 68 failings identified by Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Dr Patel's work on the Tomlinson case.

  • Impaired

  • Widow Julia Tomlinson: if it had not been for “incompetence and dishonesty” of Freddy Patel, family could have achieved justice sooner.

  • Panel now to determine if Patel's 'fitness to practise' was 'impaired by reason of misconduct and/or deficient professional performance', and if he should be allowed to continue as a pathologist.


  • Did not properly consider or comment on fact that abdominal bleeding found on Tomlinson could have caused collapse and death.
  • Did not adequately explain how Tomlinson could have died from heart attack or adequately consider any other possible non-natural causes of death.
  • Having received new evidence, Patel compiled second post-mortem report on same day, but again made a series of mistakes and incorrect conclusions.
  • Patel found to be dishonest as he did not identify changes made to his first report referring to Mr Tomlinson's liver injuries and downplaying signs of bleeding by saying there was "no sign of haematoma" on his liver.

    SILLY DR PATEL ~ nota bene the very UN-silly Sinbad's lightning pointer (and what makes Corfucius so feared throughout the land) to see

    "Comment 6 by Rodney Ashley of Ballard on this sad report in August 2008

    'Then they brought forth silly Dr Patel to attempt to rubbish some of the findings of a tried and trusted coroner who had stated absolutely that sexual malpractice had to be discounted.'

  • BUNGLED! ~ Dishonest! Unfit to practise!

  • John Forte, RIP

    Athens News' oldest reader dies

    Athens News' Damian Mac Con Uladh's excellent and speedy tribute to Corfu National Treasure, John Knox Forte (November 2 1915 - 9th August 2012).

  • Make sure to watch John's contribution in the excellent Youtube clip, Return to Where it All Began.
  • john forte and marjorie holmesMemorial Service, Holy Trinity Church, Mavili Street ~ Saturday August 25 ~ 4pm
  • Family ask please no flowers; tributes to the Church.
  • Shameless illustration of page with snaps of John and Marjorie Holmes, also recently RIP, July 1921 ~ January 2012.
  • An old friend to the end ~ Athens News
  • The Master movie ~ based on Scientology? Good cast, no doubt good script. Pity John missed seeing his (and others') courageous good work bear fruit.


    always liked her.

    here is a jolly PolCorr chanson with clever words.


    18 August 2012

    Καταπατητές θα Τροφίμων για το σκυλί

    I have no idea if the title accurately spells out 'Trespassers will be food for the dog', but it came in useful the other night when dealing with some harmless trespassers and their kid.

    Usually one can see down to bits of the drive and, certainly, I remember being able to see whether the front gate was closed.

    It's just a jungle now but since no-one visits, WTF?

    Eh bien, some little Yanni gave a f*** the other night because I locked him in with skilful timing from the kitchen of the electric gates.

    Muah ha ha and all that.

    Was watching tele when i realised that Sam was barking non-stop at something down below.

    Out i went and gave him the usual fondle and biscuit for doing his token barky show to keep intruders away.

    Then I heard this kid's voice and parental type voices, which i chose to interpret as

    "Hey, mummy/daddy, I'm inside this big garden and it's such fun to play hide-and-seek."

    To which adoring mater/pater bill and coo:

    "You play on, darling - make yourself at home. We're right here."

    Except they weren't quite there because I listened with Sam as he barked louder from the patio as kiddie voice advanced up towards us in the gloom.

    phoneThen I went into the kitchen and pressed the buzzer to close the gates.

    Oh what a to-do! It seemed the parents weren't watching the gates because it was the kid's voice descending the drive back to the gates that signaled he'd come to his way barred. Then a duet of parental hollering (surprisingly, no terrified weeping from Junior) and much woofing from Sam, encouraged by me dangling biscuits in front of him to keep up the noise.

    I had a jug of wine near me so I was set up for some fun and games - kid on the inside, parents on the outside, iron gates, baying Baskerville ... and no apparent reason for litle diddums to be suddenly trapped within.

    Sredni Vashtar - I adore H.H. Munro and see 'Saki' situations wherever I can.

  • The gloaming. Inviting path and garden for little Spiros to explore as mum and dad dally outside.

  • Ignore the silly noisy dog, he ain't showing himself so it's all for show

  • The evening closes in. Less visibility. Mebbe time to head home. "Call Junior, will ya, hon?"

  • Suddenly, gates swing sinisterly closed.

  • Oh boy - 'Saki' meets Miss Haversham. Shudder.

  • samIn fact, Sam may be timid but if I need him to find someone - or thing - he'll check all the bases.

    If the kid stumbles down some cul-de-sac stairs, he'll be found.

  • Horrid me. I let the voices start their crescendo and then hit the button again for the gates to creak open. Lack of visibility prevented me seeing if they did, but i heard the change of tone of panicky voices.

    Damn'd useful, that auto button: when we had people simply driving up to look at the house and then reversing and driving away without a by your leave, I'd hit the button and they'd see the gates closing as they rounded the drive.

    No chance of reversing, so one of them would have to walk back up to the house to snack on Humble Pie (ταπεινός πίτα?) and ask Mum to re-open. (I would have vanished by then and Mum never got the hang of the button). I couldnt tell if they did because

  • 17 August 2012

    lear cartoonCLICK TEXT TO ENLARGE

    Lear party August 29 to bid au revoir to Edward Lear.

  • Friendly party to say kalo taxidi to Edward Lear.

  • Music by Capodistrias Philharmonic

  • Vin blanc by Maison Theotoky

  • Exhibited under the colonnade, Lear-style sketches and limericks by the pupils of the School Centre, Agros

  • Tasty finger-food by Lear devotees (by which I trust they mean Queen of Sweetmeats, Sarah Drury)
  • 15 August 2012

    Stanley ~ ho.

    Seen a mobbier boss than that? Mr Sheldon Adelson. Moi non plus. But worth reading.

    Incidentally, Adelson has just pushed back at a 'prostitution strategy' charge. I thought it was so common that it was hardly worth adding to a rap sheet.

    I'll keep my story simple:

    When I was a thrusting young ram, out of school and with a year to frolic before I went up to Oxford, son of a senior government servant, I had everything ... and pretty much everyone (except for square-jawed Keith McGregor who hooked the 1st XII).

    In those days, Stanley Ho was King of Macau and very nice he was to the Holmeses, too.

    Stanley owned gambling and in my time the beautiful enclave hadn't caught the attention of the Vegas bunch. Word had it was that when it did, they'd come out to prowl around, head for the airport, en route for which they'd be pulled in and spend the night in the cells with rats the size of hedgehogs.

    None of which was my business. If I fancied a weekend away from the bustle of the Fragrant Harbour, maman would call Stanley and bingo! it was fixed. Good pun: of all the gamblings Uncle Ho ran, I don't think it included bingo.

    Fragrant Ardour ~ one weekend I persuaded a pretty girl to accompany and as we were enjoying our meal before betting our 2/6, Stanley walked past and spotted me and chided me gently for not letting him know I was honouring his casino with a visit.

    "Join us for coffee later"
    (a gesture to a lackey that everything was comped)

    Long story short, I was young and tactless and let it be known that I had no cheen with which to go beserk at the tables, much as I would have liked and definitely what my more sophisticated companion would have been pleased with.

    Another gesture and a box of chips appeared discreetly at my side and when we rose to 'play', we were escorted to the tables and it let known that we were Mr Ho's guests and, please, the champagne is on the house. More where that came from.

    All right for some ~ some weeks after my bacchanalian bliss, I was alerted by a journo pal that a certain rag planned to run a scurrilous story (with photos) about the son of a very senior civil servant spending more in Ho casino than his supposedly incorruptible father earned in a month.

    I went cold. I was 18 and I froze.

    I went out for a walk and it didnt get better. I called Ho's office and asked to meet him.

    No way. Busy man. Five minutes later, Ho called back: would I like to see him now?

    I told him everything:

  • My terror that this would do my father irreperable damage
  • His absolute honesty and now this
  • The injustice that a foolish unthinking child should stab him in the back
  • I must conquer my fear and tell my father all.
  • Etc.

    Stanley listened and nodded and called in a henchman whom he briefed and told me to keep talking.

    My panicked innocence clearly got thru and there was some chatter (guttural Cantonese, Portuguese?) and Stanley said no need own up to my father ... yet.

    More chat. Sympathy over not realising how reptilian were the press. Exchanged looks with his wing hench and nodding memories of a Ho daughter making the same goof, and not coming clean in time for muscular damage control.

    I was almost in tears: brink of a good life, Oxford, what a fool I'd been.

    Looking back, this must have been a father thing for Stanley. Carving his empire, taking his eye off the daughterly ball. A chance to relive and re-correct.

    Fatherly arm as he walked me to reception.

    "It's not so bad. I will talk to some people and 'explain' the situation. Your beautiful mother, when will she visit again and paint some more? We cannot upset her."

    A gesture to one of mum's pastels on the wall and a barked explanation to Herr Hench.

    Nothing appeared and nothing was heard.

    So, my Stanley Ho story and when, years later, I was a feed for Brian Tisdall's HK Standard 'Tiger Talk' gossiperia, I never blabbed and would fax him what rumours I'd heard.