30 September 2013


Weird what madeleine memories come back when ones mind one is gone.

Restringing the Ibanez and I suddenly remembered a previous stringing of the Ovation. 

Car in drive, mum went out to greet, and came back with one of her blubbery fatso garden simperers.

"How about some ginger beer?"

Me: Not for me thanks, but it's certainly the weather."  

I kept on stringing.

Another memory, me explaining to Fatso that 'gardening' wasnt a hobby I had any feel or favour for.

Fatso (pointing to a vase of flowers) "What? You don't think they're beautiful?

"That is not gardening. That is not toiling on my mother's tread-mill of futility hobby. That I can come up with the right noises for."

Cut to Fatso burbling on until she made some idiot remark that cued me into, "OK. You take over stringing this guitar and I'll get you another tsitsi-birra. You do my hobby and I'll do yours."

Cut to my mother making some hoity reference to showing more respect.

I waited 'til she went in the kitchen and followed her: "You make one more reference to 'respect' and I'll have you. One. More. Mention. Of 'respect', and I'm going jury wide and putting it to everyone how much 'respect' they would give to thieving under your own roof from your own son's bedside."

Sitting there with the strings and guitar and polishing the empty frets, it came back with a clarity only allowed a crazed mind.  Vile times

[Respec' ~ the pity is that the girls never saw the improvèd behaviour, or do I just mean 'vocabulary'? 

I know Anna when she was out shared my puzzlement over the bandying of the R word when the place reeked of pilfering and 'porkies' ...

And I rubbed the point home by placing in prominence the beautiful jewel cabinet handed to me for the girls to "keep their jewels in", aforesaid 'jewels' having been filched April 2007 and currently residing in the distinctly un-beautiful Villa Thefti.]

28 September 2013


OYEZ OYEZ! Wondrous wonders to be had online if you know where to surf, to which pages to subscribe ~ and don't mind squandering our island paradise hunched over a hot keyboard and plastic cup of luke-warm wine.  
NO VILENESS There I was ~ Saturday morning, breakfasted and guitared, animals fed and fondled, no 'garden' vileness to blight the day, no simpering visitors on the horizon.

GENUINE NEWS Tiens! What's this in my In-box? A most fascinating announcement - the sort of genuine news that I'm used to getting from clever Adrian Ward and his must-view Real Corfu.  


dramatic snap of Shai Zakai
WITH * Shai Zakai * Zoe Valerie * Val Androutsopoulou

AT   Casa Lucia

DATE  Saturday October 12th 2013 [but getting your bookings in by the 9th!]

TIME 10.30 am to 5pm (including light lunch)


Ley-lines are straight fault lines in the earth's tectonic plates where the electromagnetic field is particularly powerful. There is a ley-line, the Apollo-St Michael Axis, passing from south-east Ireland through Corfu to Jerusalem. 

A labyrinth in the making at Casa Lucia is centred on this ley-line. The pattern has been laid out based on the Greek labyrinth of Knossos.


Guardian spirits of the Labyrinth: We shall use the power of the ley-line, the labyrinth and the surrounding grounds and our powers of perception and sensation to transform internal and external environments, always with the Eagle and Bear watching over us, the guardian spirits of the labyrinth.

Nature Listening - Shai will conduct Nature listening exercises, creating with plants, guided imagery and transitional movement as a dialogue with the sur-round.

Listen to your body  - Zoe will guide us through listening to our bodies , extending sensation of ourselves in relation to the environment and of the environment in relation to ourselves.

Animal Frolics  Val will offer walking meditation, and a 5 animal frolic qigong to connect with the animal spirits of the place.

PROMPT BOOKING Please book by Wednesday 9th October

TICKETS : €70 euros, including lunch. Bring bottled water and a sunhat depending on the weather.

Σγόμπου, Κέρκυρα 49083, Ελλάδα
Τηλέφωνο: 26610 91419, Κινητό: 6979470571
Sgombou, Corfu 49083, Greece - 
Telephone: +30 26610 91419, Mobile: +30 6979470571

Michaloliakos held

"Greek police have arrested the leader of the far-right Golden Dawn party, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, on charges of forming a criminal organisation.
Three more Golden Dawn MPs, a leader in an Athens suburb and nine other party members have also been arrested."
Lovely post to pull off.

Meanwhile, my vile neighbours continue to prowl the battlements and hurl abuse.

27 September 2013


Courtesy of Richard Wells


  • Pavlos Fyssas' Out of Control song. [scroll down to the clip]
  • Still confusion over whether PF was hip-hop or rapper [see headline]
  • I still say this is rap. The press seem equally divided.
  • also featured in alert corfu blues.

25 September 2013


Shrewd Gwyn Headley, master of all we survey thanks to fotolobra, he writes:

"Great niece, Sarah Lees -  and I mean that most sincerely, as you will when you hear her singing and playing this song.
Sarah wrote Where I shouldn't be : Everything, all the parts are by Sarah.
This song should make enough for her to look after her agèd uncle in his anecdotage." 

Oncle Gwyn is right. No words needed from me. 

Wonderful. I hear new pleasures with each re-listening.

21 September 2013


Super heading. Got that from the Corfu Blues honcho, as with so many goodies.

Splendid day - in fact, doing what i don't usually, listening to one them (Blue Note) compilations

Can't usually stand them, out of context pleb mixes, but this one seems to be working. 

Truth to tell, bored to sobs - splendid day yadda yadda, clear head, everything it's such a crime on Nature not to blur with alcohol and enhance. 

Actually felt washed out all day and not from a session last night. Just exhausted.

Perked up at Tasia's briam and then had a simperer call to see if she could come round and ransack the books and I felt mean n ornery and said yes because i knew she'd tread where angels fear.

Got on the subject of the Piece of Work filcherie plus if i'd heard from the surviving thief and then there was all that argy-bargy about 'ooh, let's not use the word theft, horrid' and i heard myself reach for a clever comparison. 

I asked to think of some family member from whom she'd steal sans conscience and she furrowed her brow and pretended it was hard. "Let me make it easier: think of someone you hold in complete contempt. Hardly exist. Now picture the thieving; there - eezie-peezie. Next, imagine you've got the stolen property and they've busted you and stamping their little feet. See how easy it is to ignore them? Oils the wheels, does omni-utile contempt." She got my point.

Felt so weak I walked thrice round the garden and then trimmed the patio for some special guests coming. Koutsi sprawling in a cute way.

Delivered some more old editions of the Mediterranean Garden Society journal - absolute pain, wish i'd never offered. I forgot that I'd need to collate them and sprinkle some old Linnean Soc mags, then deliver.

MINA VERSUS GOLDEN DAWN - enjoyed watching the ice maiden Mina take the golden dung creeps down a peg or two. I tell you, you can put the hardened-est crim up against your Paxmanliest interrogator and they'll breeze thru. 

But give them a hooded-eyed Greek blonde and a 'look' and they fluster. Man, what must she be like in the sack with the right che-mister-y between her legs? Bears a lot of thinking about.

Took the Ibanez out to the newly trimmed pergola and thumbed a few melodies i'd never thought of trying on the guitar.

april in portugal, spanish harlem, crying in the rain - lovely line, that, 'some day when my crying's done, i'm gonna wear a smile and walk in the sun' - st louis blues - thought of drinking but no cigs so that killed that urge.

Kostas told me an hilarious story that I long to be true. Each Tues and Fri I collect Tasia and drive her back to cook n clean [see foto]. Too often, we meet a safari of jeepettes zooming along towards Poulades and I simply pull in and let these othos oaves career past. Apparently, some local worthies had a party on some spare land and marked the route with arrows, as one does. Must've been a new leader of the pack because they apparently mistook the arrows for their peoples' helpful markings and went charging off into the bush. I long for that to be true. 

Tasia moaning about her son under her feet on account of the strike. I was in town and took a short cut except it landed me in the main square, full of speeches and restless bannering natives. Put me in mind of Osbert Lancaster's immortal remark when asked for his memories of WW1: "My dear - the noise, the people." I mean, that says it all, cancel them tomes. 

Capless in Gaza ~ have i said? I've decided to stop capping people's tales. Bit of a shock to realise how much of my 'conversation' was capping, and how much everyone else's.

Takes an effort at start but i'll get the hang of it. Plus, you actually listen to what they're saying as opposed to looking for gaps to leap in and vaunt oneself. Cold turkey of the most unnatural for me but most effective. 

  • Person A recounting
  • Person B, C and D waiting to pounce.
  • They butt in, so you've got tales A, B, C and D gurgling
  • With now four yammerings, persons E, F and G have easy pickings to ambush. My dear, the people, the capping.
  • As a reformed capper, I focus on Person A (particularly effective when it's an attractive woman) and in a gap say, "Maria, you were saying, about the shepherd and the rabid wolverine ..."
  • My dear, the grateful - nay shocked - look that anyone was still listening. Very 'manly', that, to hold on to the original narrative. Appraising look, perhaps a further word later at the bar. 
* Li'l musical interlude - Love how the Rev. Gar' takes this.

Loved, too, how I smacked down today's Simperer when she got on the wearisome puzzled/indignant wail about how sad the gardening gene hadnt passed on. It's my smiling delivery and even menacing tone:

"Listen [leaning forward as if confiding] ... try this simple exercise ~ it'll put my behaviour in perspective ~ 
  • Choose one of least interest to you, something that has never stirred the slightest flicker of curiosity.
  • Find a strong-minded zealot hobbyist from the  ranks of the cloth-eared self-referential.
  • Have them force their pastime on you, day in and day out.
Thief to Thievèd: 60cms. 
  • In moments of respite - meals, sitting in the cool, reading  - take the full force of the dementia droning.  Sixty centimetres. 
  • Submit to five years eight months of this rubbish.
  • When you're sufficiently recovered, we'll try this conversation again.
Still in draft form but the bones are there.

Sahara - even when i bought this album i wanted to play the theme on an echoey amp. I hadn't imagined moonlight over Gouvia.

18 September 2013


  • Didn't even have to read the inquest findings to know how the Filth would emerge - and this is best white-wash job they can concoct without attracting guffaws.
  • In the trade we call this maneuver "kicking the gun into the bushes"
  • Thug peeler Harwood would know of this trick. Right up his street/down his sewer.
  • Plebgate findings tardy - a filthgate scandal in itself. What's new?
  • Straw stroppy over fuzz faff.


How I maintain my impeccable rosin-cred is I rise at dawn and strum the Ibanez until cawfee is ready. 

Required surfing.

Then I cast an eye down Corfu Blues for anything suitable to post as my own, doll it up with some Corfucioso drollerie to put Jimmy Potts off the scent. Sit back for adoring comments from reader groupies.

 Excellent example today in I Am Happy Now  

12 September 2013


Got me a new guitar. Bit of all-right.

Saw it on the Grapevine - €100, wot i spend a night on Caroline's mojitos - and ran it thru the checklist.
  • Decent reviews
  • Beginner guitar, nice action
  • 22 frets "but beware, you only get wood up to #15." Good heads-up.
Made an offer, met the seller n guitar and sat down to make sure i wasnt repeating my previous goofs of over-eagerness, eyes bigger than my capo, know what i mean?

I'd taken my plug-in tuner along so i could feel it at pitch tension. Seller and cohorts gathered around, prolly thought i was using one of those gizmos that test everything - like when Benson takes the Roller in for a routine check and they attach it to this mega 'puter that spots a dusty ashtray and dodgy torque at the 150 mark.

Really put it thru its paces: finger-style, pick, finger picks, bottle neck - could not fault it, dammit. 

It was Tasia day so she was cooking and cleaning and i suddenly felt like a kid, sneaking in a new toy, so i went down to the south wing and walked up ever so casual like "This ol' thing? Had it for years, just yanked it out to see if it was a bad as i remembered. Tass weren't fooled.

Took it out the case and gave it a little polish; went to tune it but it was spot on from when i tested it.

Plugged it in - whoa! someone given me a new amp while i was gone? Crisp crisp sound, nice simple controls, responsive.

Jammed a bit and then some more and then shoved on my shibboleth album, the one I play along to that really separates  the men from the boys - 'Huddie Leadbetter sings the Best of Abba'.  Oh man, I got up singing and cryin', the Lawd was begging mercy.

  • 22 frets -  what's this shit about no use above the 15th? This baby was orgasming right to the top. Huh! Clearly never been the arms of a real man. Lotta guitars say that about me.
  • 'Beginner guitar ... nice action'? No, beginner's guitar, crap action becoz they dont know better, innit? Lambs to the slaughter. I once offered to buy a 'beginner' classical guitar for a pal so we started in that pawn-shop dahn the Charing Cross Road. 
  • Dusty dinged guitar on the top shelf but it looked 'interesting'. Santos Beirão out of Portugal. Tried it, perfect, spot-on harmonics at the 12th. 
"This is the one." 

'Are you sure? It looks rather ...' 

"This is the one. Twelve quid, better than some selling round the corner at Ivor Mairants for £40."

The shrewd pawner didn't look too pleased at the thought he might be missing a trick.

Reminded me: David asked if I might have time to give his daughter a few starter lessons, see if she actually had any bent for the instrument. (She hadn't, but there you go.)

 Exquisite gazelle of 14, heart-achingly beautiful, God knows what happened when she hit 'legal'. 

We'd sit in her bedroom, door closed and I'd show her basic Carulli lessons and watch with patient sternness as he fumbled. Asked which songs she liked and I'd write out the chords and we'd strum along. Wasn't there but never mind, plenty of wily strummers would be serenading her out of her knickers in due course.

5pm her mum would knock on the door, "How's it going? Fee like a break? Sherry, Chris?"

But can you imagine a randy 25-yr-old being allowed to sit closeted behind closed doors these days? Sic transit ...

But I digress, back to my new baby ...
  • So, yes, I plunked and I plinked and rinky-dink-dinked and was in seventh heaven. 
I'm jamming at this Saturday's Arts & Crafts Fair and, seeing as it's amid the Faithful, I wanted to keep it real n religious, bit of Hank.  Little Miss Ibanez fitted right on in.

How time flies! Next thing I knew, Tass was telling me she was έτοιμη, so we got in the Nissan and orft we went, me flushed with fret-power and chattering 2 a drachma.

Tasia - "You look so happy. Good new guitar?"

Say what? I mean, come on chaps - bosh and no man's a fool, let's face it: how Bigsby-whipped can a fellow get? 

At least let it be me rubicund flushed with post-coital pride at having gone the distance with some foxy tottie ... But dude! Getting my rocks off on a taut tremolo arm and a fresh set of lite-gauge d'Addario strings.Too shaming.

Delivered Tasia chez elle n drove home. Briam in the oven so I started lunch. From the next room, "That you, hon?" There she was, reclining on the stand, just looking as sleek as panther on heat.  

09 September 2013


  • Her playing isnt that much - rather phoning it in.

  • Some of her text is a bit Pseuds Corner but she seems sincere as a musician..
  • What's for certain is that she's now lumbered with her 'abs' look. In fact, if she gets in quick, she could put out a fitness book or video and sell it on her musical travels.


again, corfu blues comes to the rescue. splendid SCMP piece on the island.

i seem to recall knowing Fenton yonks back.

anyway, wrote to her saying i knew everyone she mentioned and they would be most upset. but i recall anna being an upsetting little imp even then.

07 September 2013


Blazing Saturday sun. Exercising my atrophied legs by walking Sam n me round the garden to the rabid yells of Sofia Pali cussing me and telling me 'Greece for the Greeks' ... very distressing, actually. I seem to have acquired no immunity from verbal violence.

I should have captioned this 'Golden Dawn of Sun Records'

Will save this for post-lunch playing thru the big TV screen. Looks good.

Meter Move - finally, yesterday, the DEH stalwarts came and moved my meter from what turns out to be Pali property to mine. Very efficient and I tried to be helpful.

This particular team hadnt been here before so I was interested to see their reactions to the array of vile signs the Palis had rigged up. Likewise the fact there was no access to the meter and Sofia forbade them any. 

My friendly bilingual rottweiler frau turned up and charmed the DEH boys with her flirty ways and endless legs, giving as good as she got from les Palis and shocking Sofia when she went into German with her own fluent tongue. Much laughter from the electricians when she translated for them that she had just bawled the raciste out demanding to know what she had been doing in her 10+ years in Germany, coming back here to talk of a 'pure' Greece and persecuting me whose family had bought the land 40 years ago.  

Access - to hell with Sofia keeping them from their job: apparently, they made it clear that being denied access was nothing new and there was a police division with which they worked day in day out for just this sort of nonsense and they were calling them now and there were set fines and penalties that would instantly apply. 

Meanwhile they would get on with their work my side of the fence and charge the police for any delay in settling the matter that led to overtime. This was delivered with such matter-of-face calm that the sisters retreated and then came back all sweetness and light and suggested a way round and over the fence. The 'lectric boys had no time for acrobatics, just took out their bolt cutter and snipped the fence. I rather wanted the boys in blue to turn up but I was denied my cabaret. 

I took water and ice out to them (sucking up and widening the gap between the neighbours and nice-boy me) and they gave me manly grunts of appreciation, all the while keeping up their manly looks of appreciation over the Rott's shapely limbs.

As soon as everyone had gone, out came the sisters with revived hostility. Lord have mercy! I'll be glad to end this trial and quit this land for a culture I understand and can spikka da lingo. 



04 September 2013


Remember that sinister pathetic creep who kidnapped those girls and kept them imprisoned in his house - something appalling like 10 years. 

He delivered such a rambling boring apologia at the end - all about how it was actually a happy loving family - that I hoped for his sake none of his future fellow inmates was listening in and being bored to sobs like me. He would not last long in clink once the boys took revenge on his long-winded ass.

Well, guess what? One of his fellow crims must have been listening because they've already got at him and strung him up by his wheezy whining gullet. See? There is some justice in the world.

I'm only trotting out this tedious tale ad murderous nauseam [ad maman, I should simply say]  because bulger-basher Venables is walking free and I just think it's so unfair and generally incompetent that Venalballs has been in and out and paroled and cajoled - plenty of chances to snitch on him and have the vigilantes bring him in and git medieval -  but frack all has happened to him.

  • Castro - cheated out of justice. I still say someone was persuaded to look the other way so someone else could get in there and deliver their version of 'justice'. Still a pity.
  • Suicide proofing - [notice how politely i'm indulging the denialist 'suicide' nonsense.]
  • Jocelyn - there's always something creepy in the mix, in this case wanting to see his 'daughter'. It's good to think that he might have had some frustrated moments imagining he might not see 'Jocelyn' again ....  
  • Checked on every 30 minutes - can you imagine how fast they had to move? Great movie scene - a chance for some tense music


03 September 2013


My first guitar was given by a picture-framer pal of my mother's who knew Bream. 

He - Bream - would come round and play apiece on a lute that John kept hanging on his wall as JK mounted and framed Julian's commission. 

I sat agog and always associate the lute sound with those early days as I fell in love with the instruments.