31 August 2013


We have just remembered the Day of the Disappeared.

The gifted Richard Wells honed this tribute to agonising perfection.

29 August 2013


Is that right? I never trust Google Translate to get it right. Anyway, 'contempt' is what I was aiming for.

New party game for when the topic turns to thievery. Just wish I'd come up with it when my mother was alive and we'd have distinguished guests to dinner and I'd  sit waiting to pounce on any 
'legitimate' cues.

A dead cert was when Mum would go into her routine about Italians being into Thieving and Corfiots merely Liars. 

Anyway, up would come the topic of filching which would be legit cause for discussing San Luca's contribution - at which point everyone would go into spazz-ms of nerves and not know where to look.

"Ooh, dear, 'stealing' ... 'thieving' ... horrid word ... ooh, dear, dont know where to look"

I'd go " 'purloin' 'relocate' 'permanently "borrow" on the sly' ... ffs, people, the stench is the same."

Not that that would put any stiffer balls into the conversation. 'More coffee? Another Ferrero?'

CONTEMPT  - A bit of a breakthrough. Quite by accident. The tsiporo was going round and I was reminding people how many people had been thieved from in the 'Piece of Work' of April 2007. (Corfucius passim

  • Myself
  • My two daughters
  • My ex-wife
  • And the ones the thieves never remembered - because we haven't even them yet - the two young men out there somewhere who'll make my girls fine husbands and to whom my bling and baubles were ultimately intended.
Six theftees and I was amusing the table trying to guess at the different contempts and varying levels in which each must have been held in order to be thieved from. For instance, none of us has an inkling about what my future sons-in-law are like, so the contempt content couldn't be that high, whereas for me, the owner of the jewels and sleeping mere feet from where I kept them, I must have been held in sewage status, if thought about at all. 

Anyone who breezily asks about the happy family home, I cite the Big Filch and leave them to gauge the level of mutual respect between Sans Lucre and Villa Thefti over in the land of mendacious cut-purses.

GAME But I digress.  The new parlour game - just so everyone can feel part of it - is to think of someone in their  lives for whom they feel such  'contempt' [there, that word] that they could steal even the most precious and sentimental possession ... and explain nothing about the crime to any of the victims.

Of course, the two lads arent here - and nor have they an inkling that they've lost anything - but the joke fantasy was that when they finally slip thru my guard and persuade my discerning darlings to say 'yes', they'll be muscular thugs of the highest order - connections with every top hoodlum across the land - still in murderous good shape.

In true passive/aggressive mewling moany form, I'll let leak a hint of the 'Piece of Work' vileness, the two stalwarts will exchange looks - "So ... are we up for it, then?" - gruff nods, a checking of 'pieces' and sotto voce phonings to contacts on the Dark Side ... then pouf! gone.

A few days later, mystified headlines in the EU press, shocking photographs in the red tops of mansions razed, datura and exotic flora trampled ...


27 August 2013

SOMEONE LIKE YOU ~ Isabella Chakiris

The gorgeous sound of Miss Isabella Chakiris. 

And her equally exquisite handling of Songbird

There doesnt seem to be a 'share' option on this facebook post, so I'm blogging it and putting it out there where it belongs.


Quoth my main man Rickie Wells, "The Bobsters having a grand old time here. Check out Sexton's hands at about 2:40"

I'd sit up ready around the 2:27 mark but then again you're watching the whole thing so intently ...


I used to hang around with Laura's bunch in Seattle. Loved her songs and singing from the start.

Playing this gorgeous sun song and the tasteful video, I don't know why I dont just weld the metronome on this beat and write all my stuff to this happy casual rhythm. 

Here's some pseuds corner rubbish about the chanson.

On one of her albums she sings a strident song about never wanting a child, or was it never letting a child into this vile world? Anyway, I think she and Tucker (her genius producer) have two now and there's a glimpse of a cutie at the 2:13 mark.

When she sings of making something good I have to stop the car to listen and when I drive on I'm invariably vowing to be a better person and make something better of my life. It doesnt last but it's a pleasant feeling now and then. 

Listen to the very subtle harmony of the two voices. 

Life is good - no, I'm not saying I think "Life" is good. (Heaven forfend, or some such pomposity). I'd catch the first overdose/noose/razor (ugh, maybe not the scarlet bath) out of here and good riddance to all this burdensome crap.

I'm thinking more of my wonderful supportive loving friends who push the positive thinking life-is-good-worth-living-for nonsense that's so difficult to respond to with a straight face without being exceedingly rude. 

A chasm separates us and it can't be bridged. I'd love to be on what they're on, to have what they're having, but it'll never be. Krazy talk.

But it would be a good laugh to listen solemnly to the Good Life lecture and then launch into this song with ones best John Denver expression. At least by the end of it everyone'll have forgotten what they were talking about and we can get back on the blissful numb of self-medicating hooch. 


At the end of each day I like to choose one song to summarise it all.

This Hartman/Trane track has always been a favourite. 

John was such a wild boy, with his cascades of sound and endless solos, he's so modest and in control here.


Sitting chatting most amiably the other day with an old friend of the family - one I thought I knew his manners - when he launched into a discussion of my blog. 

  • Jolly interesting and all that.
  • Don't get him wrong, super, most informative, très amusant and all that ~ but ...
Proceeded with full gall to lecture me on some of the 'content'.

See that face over there? Don't mess. 

I gave him the lecture:

  • In a country where I dont speak the lingo
  • No-one to go home to and bore with the crap of the day.
  • Five years eight months dutiful (and unpaid) caregivery in the face of being taken for high-handed granted.
  • Thieved from: property, time, confidence and self-respect.
  • On-tap under-gardener, chauffeur, secretary, labourer, health monitor, butler and having to attend the meal and sit with the guests atop that.
  • All hours punch-bag for blah blah flahr blucking dementia repeatia dronings on - you guessed it -  effing gardenry. 
* I used to ask around what if any research anyone knew of the long-term effects of this sort of battering. Now I'm living, morale-crippled evidence, but I write on so my girls will know and so their eventual husbands will have a first-hand account of why and how my girls inherited not one memory of their dad.

I'm told not to look back but I'm a writer, I live to interpret 'back'.

Reduced to pen and paper, I had a chance to read my early notes and diaries. So close. 
Fifteen more seconds and I'd've closed the door and left for the bus station and been gloriously obliviously incommunicado.

Not a flipping hope in hell would I have submitted to the solo grind of a care-giver: find a local to do the job.

Theftee ~ After the theft, I drafted in mind tempting want-ads to lure some unsuspecting carer to replace me as I made my getaway. In each, I insisted on including a  caveat about the danger of being thieved from.

As Anna and I drove around we'd joke about the beefy-armed bruisers we'd see, picturing their  thwack round the chops in swift retaliation for any filcheroo tried on  them. Good times.
  • There's a story there, perhaps I'm telling it.

26 August 2013


I'm ever striving for the honed post and forget that I don't have to fill in the gaps.

To my perfect gathering the other day - seasoned oldies and simpering smattering of  new meat.

Some of the newbies are 'returns' or think they know the place but we make them suffer all the same because we cannot be deprived of gracious patronising, and, believe me, we do patro-graciousness like nobody east of Eaton Square.

Those Kassiopifflers got nuthin' on us.

Loipon, here's where I cut to the chasse ~ you will be gratefully impressed.

  • Introduced as son of famous gardener mother.
  • "Ooh, we'd love to come up and see it one day."
  • I explain in words of monosyllabic obscenity that I don't 'do' gardenry visits. Believe you me, I have a 'no' on me that nay-sayeth even the bleatest neigh.
This thick moo starts telling me about her own garden back home. Then she whips out her camera and finds an endless array of her naff nasturtiums back home in The Glebes which she cuddles up to show me. Click by click.

See? Wasn't that painless? Why should both of us suffer?

I just wished that my daughters had been present to gaze aghast on the torture and gigglingly admire my stony features and muttered admiration.

"Super ... wonderful ... oh, I do like that one ... wait, is that a luluthia floxiana ? ... oh i do like the mix of colours there."

I partooketh deep of the available refreshment.



 Lovely unexpectedly thoughtful day, the kind that sets a man thinking.

I am literally at the end of my tether with no view of a future here save bills and bullying and despairing over living in a country whose lingo I lack - so it was a pleasant break.

 Electricians everywhere and no juice from early morn to 3pm. The lads were a great crowd but they had a gleam of satisfaction over announcing Computer Cold Turkey for the next few hours. I moved smoothly to the Ovation and it was business as usual.

Sod's Law also dictated I had a ton of work to do so i dug out my old Parker and a fave pen my girls had given me and sat focused and quiet on the patio.

PENS - look closely up there, there's a gold Parker and a dappled plume that was born for a left-hander.

When the double theft sank in of my mother's filch of my personal jewelry and smooth handing over to my brother in Villa Thefti, I lost no time checking my inventory of other belongings and spiriting them away to safety.

It was good to dig them out, but listen to this - I returned them to their hidey-hole. Old habits etc.

What more needeth a man than tools of his trade, a work bench, and a view of Paradise?

JACKET PHOTO - one photo I particularly like [below] and, had i fulfilled my promise as a quirky writer, would have offered to the publishers as jacket pic.

Reminds me - I promoted two glam authors: media star Melvyn (Lord to you) Bragg, and the austere Piers Paul Read.

Piers once commented on Melv's super-star wind-blown perfect teethed granite jaw PR shot. Instead of reviews on the back panel we devoted it to a full shot of Lord B (as he wasnt at the time and I'm just sorry David didnt live to see his boy gonged)

"I'd want a photo that showed me a little more interested in writing ..."

Piers had a wonderfully dour snap and I assured him it his was fine.

That's my 'Piers' shot.

24 August 2013


"A film from the archives, made in 1974 and an engrossing history of the Colonels' coup in Greece in 1967 - and what life was then like for the Greek people under the military dictatorship that held power for seven years.
As you watch it you realise, given what the Greeks have been through, it is no wonder that politicians, especially Papandreou, think the mandate of the people is important.The present language of the finance technocrats, and their supporters in the media, portray the Greek people as just another group of lazy southern Europeans who have fed too long at the trough of state money. A bit like us - but more crap.What is forgotten is that from 1967 to 1974 the Greek people lived under a harsh and violent dictatorship that tortured and murdered thousands of ordinary people. The Colonels also corrupted the society by handing out vast loans to individuals in towns and villages across the country - to buy their loyalty. At the same time the repression and torture bred a powerful resistance that finally burst out in incredible bravery in 1973."

23 August 2013


As I posted on my Facebook scatheria

"Indebted to Corfu Blues for this little wonder. 
It hit the screen the same year as work started on San Luca, and is a true antidote for the jealous bleatings of those proclaiming themselves - or at least jealously denying others - that farcical Facebook fantasy, "real" Corfu.
This charming Φίνος Φιλμ gem will baffle the bogus.
Meanwhile, the rest of us, sit back in glorious nostalgie."

22 August 2013

ISLAND - J. Edward Chamberlin - Elliott & Thompson ~ £14.00

"Vivid and absorbing story of how islands have shaped human history, society and culture."

Eddie Chamberlin's book is out but I've failed to see it on show around town, despite the fact that many of us actually live on an island.

Reviews, pretty good:

  • I wheedled a review copy out of the publishers, first by requesting one via a Corfu-stampèd postcard by my mother of a beautiful wild flower, then phoning to pester so that they could see the Grik αριθμός - not that the voice at the other end seemed to know much about the Chamberlin tome, or care. 
Anyway, they kindly sent one along but I kept forgetting to pick it up to keep reading, and you can't write about a book you haven't read.  

21 August 2013

pseudy writing

pretentious scribblings

me to a T


Ooh! Talk about three-upmanship! 

I'll have that Jimmy Potts, I swear. 

Photoshopping Ms Kayaloglou like that to fit in with hisself and Maria. Naughty!

I need a song after that to recover my equilibrium
  • Add to Delicious
  • Add to Digg
  • Add to Bobit
  • Add to Cull
  • Add to Facebook
  • Add to Newswine
  • Bookmark
  • RSS Feeds
Corfu Blues - plug plug and Fan Page

20 August 2013


Very sad in a way and it needn't take more 'n' a few words to get the memory across.

Good reading thrills me but for my five years' eight months' caregivery  I couldnt enjoy it at home because any sort of silent or sedentary peace eventually attracted attention and begged the question why I wasnt properly employed raking and rotting on the treadmill of San Luca gardenry.  

Went out to buy a few things, snapped up a Spectator and NYT and instinctively drove to my old solitary haunts.Good reading thrills me but for my five years' eight months' caregivery  I couldnt enjoy it at home because any sort of silent or sedentary peace eventually attracted attention and begged the question why I wasnt properly employed raking and rotting on the treadmill of San Luca gardenry.

So I'd grab blissfull solitude when I went out - pull into anonymous caffs or inns where i wouldnt bump into Simperers and could sit quietly with myself; head down to the Venetian shipyard and breathe calmly and enjoy the view.  Today, Tuesday, 18 months after final freedom, Tasia Day, house tidied and meal prepared ~ but the instinct is still to grab the papers and head in any opposite direction. 

Through the gates was not home.

I used to walk down the pier and watch the Madelena fill with tourists for another day's lobsterising sea jaunt. Look at their faces and try to guess where they were from and how many days they had here. 

I'd wave goodbye as they cast anchor - every departure needs someone on the shore to wave a mouchoir and dab behind the eyes. I did it again today - the jolly-faced types on board probably had one room and a shared loo and basin and I had six strema and 300 sq feet of palazzo but I felt freer and snugger down by the gangplank than treading nervously between thrice accursèd garden tools and the remembered fear of coming face to face with some jardinerie chore.

The stench of theft that hung about the place. My younger gal still uses 'impunity' with easy accuracy once I'd illustrated it in a sentence describing the Double Theft of 2007.

Aliki Kayaloglou sings tomorrow night, free at the Old Fortress - it's not all Theft and Thwartery. 

Up! Seize the guitar, plunder the frigidaire for olives and feta and this morning's black bread.  




Once again I score over you suckers by paying attention to Corfu Blues.

  • Aliki Kayaloglou giving a FREE concert tomorrow, 21st August. 
  • Paleo Frurio ~ 2130 hrs, St George's Church.
  • "One of the greatest Greek singers and interpreters of the entechno tragoudi and the songs of Hadjidakis."
Oh come now, surely you knew of it? 
Have you no feelers out? 
Better have another song, in that case.

19 August 2013


  • well below the usual standard of this blog but many made me laff
  • all new on me, even tho i lived in hong kong
  • my great grandma was once herded out of a Treaty Port park in Tianjin for disobeying a sign about 'No dogs or Chinese'
  • I once sat chatting on a bench with hong kong's chief justice and had the pleasure of pointing out the plaque insisting 'No Solicitors'. He would not, however, let me take a snap for the gossip column i contributed to. 


 That bizarre title comes from a line I once blurted out while bitchin' about the straitjacket confines and thwartings of my caregiver reality compared to what our simpering gardenry guests chose to treat as convenient reality.

I'd been walking someone round the upper paths and decided to quote some maternal behaviour that they had witnessed for themselves just 10 minutes before, ending pompously with a spluttered,

"I mean, most people would be ashamed to be behave like that to a blackamoor beggar boy from Basingstoke." I should have used Benitses, it being Corfu, but it slipped out and has stayed the most memorable file name for all notes and photographs relating to everything from the Theft to simple high-handed behaviour.

DIARY - Soon after arriving, but before the April 2007 theft, I was having 'words' with my mother over having my time so uselessly exploited by being press-ganged into slaving on her hobby. She suggested I keep a diary, to which I told her that I did in the form of a blog, which fell on the stoniest of ground. In my mother's world, a diary was a book into which one poured genteel thoughts - such as daily progress of a garden or the social round.  From the Latin diarium - "daily allowance," from dies "day". When I was going thru her things I recovered from various shelves and suitcases 40 years' worth of exercise books recording the day-by-day 'progress' of the house and garden. I posted a sarcastic joke note to the effect that I ought, really, to laboriously type the whole lot out and edit it into shape as half a century's record and tips on how to create and run Corfu's most famous and beauteous garden.

Such was the straight-faced enthusiastic response I felt rather guilty about opening my big keyboard.

Anyway, in the interests of keeping my posts snappy and succinct, I'm reminded as I slope around the 'garden' of one of maman's more offensive and matronising affectations.

In order to lull everyone into speaking freely and clearly into the hidden patio microphones, I would potter around in full view on the upper level paths so that everyone could see that I was safely beyond earshot.

Sooner or later, I'd be hailed by my mother, 

"How about a reviving drink?" meaning not me but how about dropping what I was doing slogging up to the house and taking orders like a fucking servant.

I would wave back cheerfully, "Good thinking! Sounds a super idea!" and disappear further into the jungle. The trick was to respond in such a way as to give the impression that I'd fallen for the mistress/butler line and would be up soon to attend to everyone. The longer I could stretch it out the better.

Grim fun tho' it was, I still distinguished between newbie simperers visiting for the first time and taking it all at face value, and seasoned kerkyranters who'd been visiting before even my time and for whom there was no excuse to stand pamperedly by.

Newbies  - a cheerily waved agreement that a cooling drink sounded sensible, and then vamoose. 

Seasoned Kerkyranters - more satisfying because they came to the execution block smug and lazy. It was all in the tone as I shouted back up to the house:

"Good idea! Even I'm beginning to feel the heat ... who up there has been to the house before? Excellent! Does anyone remember the lay-out of the kitchen? Two fridges in the corner - white cupboard-shaped containers, special compartments for ice ..." 

A pause at this juncture as everyone beamed and simpered and wondered what the devil I was on about and where I was going with all this. 

"Even with our faint grasp of Greek, it shouldnt be hard to find the bottles labeled 'Tsitsibirra'. Careful when opening: they geyser and foam."

At this juncture my mother knew where we were heading but few others. I was leading everyone up to the point where I could bellow up, 

"Well, I think that's pretty feeble for a crowd who's meant to have been here before and presumably lent you a hand with drinks and nibbles. It's not as if we we have a fronking butler to wheel out like some country estate."

This would be my perfect prelude to later walking one of the simperers round on our own and confiding, 

"Bloody hell, did you hear that nonsense back then? About the drinks? I mean, flouncing fuchsias! (which I started out in my ignorance pronouncing fuck-see-ers)  I wouldnt treat a blackamoor beggar boy from Basingstoke with such bad manners and contempt ."
Choose the right simperer and the message would strike home - they'd know you were addressing their stonking lazy bad manners.

Good times. 




So farewell, then, The X Lovers,
It seems like you'd only got started but 
Leo bust his arm and Corina's
Going back to South Africa
Corina rocking @ last gig

 Cool poster for the X Lovers' last gig, 17 August @ Pelekas. 
  • Reportedly a sell-out rave up.
  • Triumphant send-off for Corina Hamilton Fowle
One of the best bands to rock Corfu with songs from Marley to Jamiroquai, Amy Winehouse to Lenny Kravitz ... Archive, Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse ... and more.

Band members: CORINA HAMILTON FOWLE vocals ~ GEORGE CHEIMARIOS guitars-synths ~ DAVE GOOD bass and backing vocals ~ YIANNIS MICHALAS drums ~ LEO MORAITIS guitar-synths.

Leo Moraitis
Cheimarios and Good