Follow by Email

Saturday, 30 January 2016

National Geographic, Unique Lodges of the World, Aristi, Zagori, Epirus



The Zagori - a unique region of the world, wherever you stay - there are many wonderful villages, including Vitsa.

Aristi Mountain Resort


Clive Sansom, "Hymn of the Scientific Farmers", from Dorset Village, 1962


Clive Sansom was well ahead of his time.

Some extracts from the poem:


We slaughter trees in thousands
To sell for what they're worth;
No stems to hold the water,
No roots to bind the earth...

We'll strip the lanes of hedges;
No wild-flower must survive,
Nor bird find place to nest in -
Let only insects thrive! ...

We pump our fowls with hormones
As fast as fast can be;
Consumers die of cancer
But we're not there to see.

Our god is an Equation,
And profit is our goal:
'Exploit the parts like fury-
Forget about the whole'.



Sung to the tune of "We plough the fields and scatter"

Wikipedia on Clive Sansom - "Sansom was also a committed conservationist and the founding patron of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society. He called himself ‘the oldest ‘‘greenie” in the business’"

Another excellent poem from Dorset Village: The 'Dorset Nose' (two of five verses follow).



Startling to observe on the face of a Dorset yeoman,
Over his darts and beer,
The powerful nose of a grave and ancient Roman,
Imperious, austere...

For Caesar's legions, claiming our land as his
When they had quelled the Gauls,
Did not employ their whole four centuries
Marching and building walls...


Clive Sansom comments, in his notes:

"It is strange how willing we are to accept Britons, Saxons, Danes, Normans and Huguenots as ancestors, and even legendary Spaniards tossed ashore by the Armada, but ignore the Romans who spent four hundred years in England."







Friday, 29 January 2016

William Barnes, Rural Poems Illustrated (Boston, 1869)





Library of Congress copy, digitised



"Not Far To Go"

Colour design above by Winslow Homer

Compare with his painting, The Dinner Horn



There are at least five images in this posting which were designed by Winslow Homer.

Update: Professor David Tatham has kindly responded to my enquiry, as follows: "The Homer illustrations are interesting and I believe represent Homer's real affinity with the poem's texts". He lists the Winslow Homer illustrations as the following:

a. Not far to go
b. The Stonen Steps
c. The Old Clock
d. Broadshoulder'd Joe (ie The Prize Winners)
e. At the Door
f. Our Footsteps on the Hay (ie Soft Sounds)

See also: Winslow Homer and the Illustrated Book, by David Tatham, Syracuse University Press, 1992.



"White and Blue"


"Sheep in the Shade"


Above, three examples of Hammatt Billings' illustrations
("The Broken Jug"; picture immediately above).



Above, "The Stonen Steps", Winslow Homer


"The Surprise", Hammatt Billings



"Come and Meet Me, Husband to Wife"
Hammatt Billings


"Soft Sounds" ("Our Footsteps on the Hay")
 Winslow Homer



"At the Door", Winslow Homer



"Righting Up the Church"
Hammatt Billings


"The Old Clock"
Winslow Homer
(Initials on left not clear?)




 "The Prize Winners" ("Broadshoulder'd Joe")
Winslow Homer



From Accomplished in All Departments of Art - Hammatt Billings of Boston, 1818-1874, by James F. O' Gorman, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1998:

"Billings's heyday as a book illustrator lasted through the 1850s and with the aftermath of the Civil War. His tireless production suggests that he was one of the most sought-after illustrators of his generation in the Boston area. Yet by the time of his death in 1974, he had been largely by-passed as a graphic artist of consequence. The handwriting appeared on the wall perhaps as early as 1869, when he was paid less for more work on the same project. Roberts Brothers' publication of William Barnes's Rural Poems, than was his erstwhile protégé, Winslow Homer. While Homer received $120 for six designs, Billings earned just $95 for seven, plus a cover device. Changing taste is clear from the illustrations as well, in the contrast between the heavy, plodding figures of Billings versus the lithe, light and linear forms of Homer".



Poems Illustrated in the Boston edition:

Not Far to Go
White and Blue
Sheep in the Shade
The Prize Winners
Righting Up the Church
The Broken Jug
The Stonen Steps
The Old Clock
At the Door
Soft Sounds
The Surprise
Come and Meet Me, Husband to Wife


Many of these poems were previously published by Barnes as poems in the Dorset dialect.





Wednesday, 27 January 2016

UK: Homes with word 'Warren' in address the most expensive



Widely reported, in The Times on 27 January, and elsewhere in the media:

From Zoopla (Annabel Dixon) - 'What’s in a street name? Homes on a ‘Warren’ over £400k more expensive than those on a ‘Street’ -  “What’s in a name?” Juliet breathlessly pondered in Shakespeare’s famous tale of “star-cross'd” lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Well, when it comes to property, quite a bit actually. New research by Zoopla has revealed that the highest value properties in the UK are located on a ‘Warren’, where they command an average £607,267. That’s a cool £422,545 more expensive than homes on a common ‘Street’, where typical house prices stand at £184,722.

From MailOnline -  'Property website Zoopla's analysis of the most common street names in the UK found that a home in a road with Warren in its title is typically worth £607,267 - more than double the national average of £282,978'.

BT article

Absurd if it's true.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Greece and Schengen




From Welt am Sonntag - "Die Geduld mit Griechenland ist zu Ende"

"Wenn es nicht gelingt, die europäische Außengrenze, sprich die türkisch-griechische Grenze zu sichern, dann wird sich die Schengenaußengrenze Richtung Mitteleuropa bewegen", sagte die österreichische Innenministerin Johanna Mikl-Leitner.

"Ich bin fest überzeugt, dass es notwendig ist, hier eine gemeinsame Grenz- und Küstenwache zu installieren. Der Vorschlag liegt auf dem Tisch und wird heute auch im Mittelpunkt stehen", sagte sie nach Angaben der Nachrichtenagentur APA vor dem Treffen. Es sei "ein Mythos", dass die griechisch-türkische Grenze nicht zu schützen sei. "Denken wir an die Marine in Griechenland. Die hätte ausreichend Kapazitäten, um die Grenzen zu schützen".

The Times - Greece given six weeks to stop migrant surge

The Australian - "Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark will warn today that Greece has six weeks to stop migrants crossing from Turkey or it will be “quarantined” outside the European Union’s borderless Schengen area".

"A meeting of European interior ministers will discuss plans for Greece to be sealed off for two years behind a new EU external border in the Balkans. Northern European countries are frustrated that Greece has opened only one of five refugee processing and detention centres it agreed to set up with EU help. “If the Athens government does not finally do more to secure the external borders then one must openly discuss Greece’s temporary exclusion from the Schengen zone,” Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austria’s interior minister, told Welt am Sonntag. “It is a myth that the Greco-Turkish border cannot be controlled.” The Times

The Guardian, EU Border Controls

Update, 26 January, the views of Keep Talking Greece

The Telegraph - Greece faces being sealed off from Europe to stop migrant flow in move that creates 'cemetery of souls' - 'Plan emerges to seal Greek border with Macedonia as EU leaders meet in Amsterdam for crisis talks to 'save' Schengen area'

FT, Peter Spiegel

Reuters - 'Running out of time', EU puts Greece, Schengen on notice

Pappas Post - 'European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Abandons Greece, bets on FYROM to Control Refugee Flow'

Newsweek - GREECE FURIOUS OVER SCHENGEN SUSPENSION PLANS

Pappas Post, Greece Furious -  Greece Furious at European Plans to Exclude the Country from Schengen; Denounces European “Lies”

Kathimerini - Politico: Την παραμονή προσφύγων σε ελληνικό έδαφος υποστηρίζει ο Γιουνκέρ

John Psaropoulos, The New Athenian - Greece reacts to EU's hardliners on refugees

Deutsche Welle - Greece pressed to improve Schengen checks

Deutsche Welle - Opinion: EU levels empty Schengen threat at Greece

The Telegraph - Is Greece about to be martyred again by the EU?

Pappas Post - Financial Times: Greece Cannot Become a Holding Pen for Migrants; Slams European Leadership’s “Crude” Measures

Kathimerini - Greece pledges to speed up delivery of migrant 'hotspot' centres

Kathimerini - EU ministers want to buttress borders to stem refugee flow

EU Observer: Erdogan and the EU

Euronews, 12 February 2016 - Greece is given three months to tighten border controls

BBC News - Schengen zone: EU gives Greece deadline on borders

A view from Observing Greece blog - "I wonder why the EU is threatening an exclusion from Schengen, temporary or not, when such an exclusion does not seem to offer any improvement in the refugee crisis. Perhaps there is indeed another hidden agenda on the part of the EU".

Pappas Post - "The European Union gave Greece a 90-day deadline on Friday to figure out a way to control its borders, or be subject to the possibility of getting stuck with millions of refugees and effectively be removed from the Schengen passport-free travel zone established by the EU decades ago. The EU announcement on Friday states that Greece has one month to “establish an action plan to remedy the deficiencies … [and]within three months of the same date, it shall report on the implementation.”

EU Observer - Tusk: Excluding Greece from Schengen would solve nothing

Bild - Interview with Juncker - "Four eastern-European states want to close the Macedonian border to Greece. Will this lower the number of refugees at the German borders?"

Juncker: "It would be neither legal nor politically acceptable to cooperate with third countries in order to close the border to one of our member states. We support the border security on both sides – the Greek and the Macedonian. We will only be successful if we work together more closely and cooperatively and if we do not destroy any trust. We must not risk Schengen and thereby also our domestic freedom.“

Kathimerini, 20 February, 2016 - Borders will not close, insists Tsipras after talks






























Saturday, 23 January 2016

Dorset and The Popular Picturesque; Winterbourne Stickland




A cigarette card, Picturesque Cottages, A Series of 25, Player's Cigarettes, 1929:

No. 7, Winterbourne Stickland, Dorsetshire.

Also spelt Winterborne Stickland.

The British and Foreign Languages; French



From The Guardian - Ed West - The long adieu: how Britain gave up learning French

From The Telegraph - The more languages we speak, the merrier we all are - Roberto Filippi-
'As we "boffins" are constantly discovering, there are manifold advantages to speaking more than one language'


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Greece: Property "Objective Valuations"



From Kathimerini, in Greek

From Greek Reporter  - Greece to Lower Property Values

 


Greece To Lower Property Values


Landskipping: Painters, Ploughmen and Places; Anna Pavord





This forthcoming new book by Anna Pavord (publication date 28 January, 2016) looks very interesting -

"Landskipping is a ravishing celebration of landscape, its iridescent beauty and its potential to comfort, awe and mesmerise. In spirit as Romantic as rational, Anna Pavord explores the different ways in which we have, throughout the ages, responded to the land. In the eighteenth century, artists first started to paint English scenery, and the Lakes, as well as Snowdon, began to attract a new kind of visitor, the landscape tourist. Early travel guides sought to capture the beauty and inspiration of waterfall, lake and fell. Sublime! Picturesque! they said, as they laid down rules for correctly appreciating a view.

While painters painted and writers wrote, an entirely different band of men, the agricultural improvers, also travelled the land, and published a series of remarkable commentaries on the state of agricultural England. They looked at the land in terms of its usefulness as well as its beauty, and, using their reports, Anna Pavord explores the many different ways that land was managed and farmed, showing that what is universal is a place's capacity to frame and define our experience.

Moving from the rolling hills of Dorset to the peaks of the Scottish Highlands, this is an exquisite and compelling book, written with zest, passion and deep understanding".


Monday, 18 January 2016

Ethiopian Jazz, Addis Ababa



With thanks to Rory Allardice for this link to this New York Times article by Rachel B. Doyle -

"In Ethiopia’s Capital, a Resurgent Jazz Scene"


See also, a posting from 2010 

Listen -  Tewolde Redda [Ab teqay Qeberi]

Traditional Greece - Women Carrying Heavy Loads - A Collection of 108 Photographs - ΓΥΝΝΑΙΚΕΣ ΦΟΡΤΩΜΕΝΕΣ



An extraordinary collection of 108 black and white photographs

Φωτογραφιες Μνημες Παραδοση - Facebook - ΓΥΝΝΑΙΚΕΣ ΦΟΡΤΩΜΕΝΕΣ - ΟΛΑ ΤΑ ΒΑΡΗ ΤΗΣ ΖΩΗΣ ΠΑΝΩ ΤΟΥΣ

The collectors have assembled a powerful assortment of images. Credits and sources have been provided where known.

Rory Allardice; Rory's Travel Journals; New Anthology; 24 Countries, 40 Years








Rory writes:

'This is my longest and most varied work and it is the best book to start with as it an anthology of travel writings from 24 countries over 5 decades.
When my 11th travel journal was published, I decided that it was time for an anthology of my various travel writings over the years.
This would include excerpts from all the published works (including a chapter from my father’s autobiography, which I edited) and it would also contain writings from unpublished materials, spanning a period of 40 years.
It is written chronologically. It includes selected personal timelines, which incorporate cultural and historical moments and flavours, and I realise that it is (unintentionally) quite autobiographical.
It was fun writing this book. It is my biggest book to date; at over 350 pages and it is lavishly illustrated with original photographs.
I hope that I have managed to express the joys and frustrations as well as the wonders of travel and that I manage to bring a few smiles to those who read the book and that maybe I inspire some of you to visit the safer places in the selection.'
The book is available in paperback and in digital (Kindle) format.
The link for UK subscribers to Amazon is:
The link for international subscribers outside the U.K. is:


Rory's Amazon Biography


Rory Allardice has lived and worked in France, Italy, then in Georgia, Armenia and Russia (at the time of the Soviet Union), The People's Republic of China, Czechoslovakia (as was), Poland, the U.A.E. and Greece. He has a passion for learning languages and speaks several foreign languages.

He has travelled mostly in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa and has written a series of highly personal travelogues, which are illustrated by his photographs. The books are of places which are less frequented but which have a deep fascination for the author.

The books form part of a series of travelogues dating back to 1999 and will be published in the following sequence.

Author:
1. Libya, 2. Syria, 3. Cuba, 4. East Anatolia (Turkey), 5. Lebanon, 6. Ethiopia,
7. Iran, 8. Myanmar (Burma), 9. Tanzania and Zanzibar, 10. Jordan, 11. Morocco,
12. Pakistan, 13. Yemen, 14. Nepal, 15. Tunisia

There is also a new anthology of his travel writing: "Rory's Travel Journals", which covers all of the above books and 8 other countries, where the author lived and worked.

In addition to the travelogues, the author has edited his father's autobiography, which is now available on Amazon.

Editor:
(Autobiography) "Friendship in a time of War" (1939-1946) by Dallas Allardice covering commando training in Scotland, LRDG, Norway, Egypt and Palestine, Gibraltar, Malta, Libya, Italy, Belgium

He plays music and organised a Celtic Folk Festival in Poznan Poland and played in a band, which he founded there. The band is called JRM Band (Jig and Reel Maniacs) and 2015 is their 25th anniversary. http://www.jrm.art.pl/index_eng.html

He has also recorded music with his son and friends: https://soundcloud.com/nextflightout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gne9HxJ9hh0&feature=autoshare

Scottish Whistle in Geghard Monastery, Armenia

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Harvard Law School, on Greek Negotiation Tactics



Worst Negotiating Tactic of 2015

"As he approached European creditors this summer for a new bailout package for Greece, Alexis Tsipras... struck a combative tone that did not go over well. Dissatisfied with the deal on the table, Tsipras put it up for a referendum vote in Greece. After Greeks rejected it, the Greek economy tumbled even further, and Tsipras and his team were forced to accept an even worse package from Europe. The lesson? A conciliatory tone will carry you much further than brinksmanship when you’re making bold requests".

Lessons for Crisis Negotiation 

Kathimerini -  Γιατί κρίναμε τη διαπραγμάτευση Τσίπρα τραγική








Three Favourite 78rpm Records



Favourites at the time my parents were children, or in their teens.

The Laughing Policeman - Charles Penrose (1926)

'Tain't No Sin (To Dance Around in Your Bones) - Vincent Lopez and His Orchestra, vocal Jack Parker (1930)

The Runaway Train - Vernon Dalhart (1925 - this is the 1931 version)

1925 record 

Conrad Aiken , from the poem Music I heard with you:

Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread...






Saturday, 16 January 2016

Edwin Muir: "The Refugees Born For A Land Unknown"



The refugees born for a land unknown
We have dismissed their wrongs, now dull and old,
And little judgement days lost in the dark.

"I have fled through land and sea, blank land and sea,
Because my house is besieged by murderers
And I was wrecked in the ocean, crushed and swept,
Spilling salt angry tears on the salt waves,
My life waste water drawn down through a hole,
Yet lived. And now with alien eyes I see
The flowering trees on the unreal hills,
And in an English garden all afternoon
I watch the bees among the lavender.
Bees are at home, and think they have their place,
And I outside.
Footsteps on the stairs, two heavy, two light,
The door opens. Since then I remember nothing,
But this room in a place where no doors open.
I think the world died many years ago".

Edwin Muir

The poet died in January 1959.

Milwaukee Loser









UK: When it used to pay to save...






Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Burying Chernobyl, A BBC Radio Documentary



BBC World Service Documentary, Part 1 (of 2):


'A year before the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in April 1986 Alla Kravchuk, left the nearby town of Pripyat in order to take her place at music college in Kiev. The rest of the family also moved away and so she and her father were together in Kiev when news of the accident broke. Since then Alla has never returned to the site although her parents did go back to help work on the plans to render Chernobyl safe in the long term. Now, as plans are underway to mark the 30th anniversary of the accident and the huge mobile sarcophagus that will roll over the damaged reactor is nearing completion, Alla returns to both the Chernobyl Station and the deserted satellite town of Pripyat which was once her home. Now, she travels back to see at first hand the Chernobyl Safe Confinement project, a scheme funded by countries from all over the world and watched by all those with an interest in Nuclear energy and the risks inherent in its production. She talks to those involved in the challenging task of making Chernobyl safe without risking the health of those involved in the task. Alla also meets up with an old friend who had stayed in Chernobyl and was there at the time of the accident. Her story is a very different one'.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Hasaposerviko Dance



Interesting interpretation of a Greek/Serbian 'hasapiko' or 'hasaposerviko' dance.

Heard on BBC Radio 3 this morning (CD Mediterraneo, Virgin Classics).

L'Arpeggiata ensemble, directed by Christina Pluhar

Doron Sherwin -- cornett
Margit Übellacker - psaltery
David Mayoral - percussion
Francesco Turrisi -- harpsichord, percussion
Boris Schmidt -- double bass

Special guests:

Sokratis Sinopoulos -- lyra (Greece)
Nikolaos Mermigkas -- lavta (Greece)

Aytaç Doğan - qanun (Turkey)
İsmail Tunçbilek- saz (Turkey)

Christina Pluhar -- theorbo and direction


Saturday, 9 January 2016

West Dorset District Council: A Referendum on a Committee System



From Dorset Echo - Referendum to decide future system of West Dorset District Council will cost £95,000 - 'The Public First group triggered the referendum after attracting more than 6,000 signatures calling for the vote to consider introducing a committee system as opposed to the existing cabinet-style system'.

The EU Strategy to Keep Britain from Leaving



From Spiegel Online International

Peter and Christoph seem to know things the rest of us don't know....

"EU leaders are growing concerned. They have developed a plan to give in to most of Cameron's EU reform demands".

A different view 

'Migrant workers would be banned from getting in-work benefits if they fill low-paid jobs under a controversial plan designed to keep Britain in the EU.
Germany has offered David Cameron a deal that would see EU citizens who earn only the minimum wage denied state handouts. But, to make the idea acceptable to Brussels, hundreds of thousands of low-paid British workers would also miss out on tax credits'. Mail Online.



Epirot Groups To Tour USA



Good news for Epirot music





Friday, 8 January 2016

William Barnes, from A Dissertation on the Dorset Dialect


Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, William Barnes, 1844

First edition, 1844; second edition, 1848 (with some corrections)

1. As increasing communication among the inhabitants of different parts of England, and the spread of school education among the lower ranks of the people, tend to substitute book-English for the provincial dialects, it is likely that' after a few years many of them will linger only in the more secluded parts of the land, if they live at all; though they would give valuable light to the philologist of that increasing class who wish to purify our tongue, and enrich it from its own resources as well as to the antiquary.

2. The rustic dialect of Dorsetshire, as the author of this Dissertation has some reason to think,
is, with little variation, that of most of the western parts of England, which were included in the kingdom of the West Saxons, the counties of Surrey, Hants, Berks, Wilts, and Dorset, and parts of Somerset and Devon, and has come down by independent descent from the Saxon dialect which our forefathers, the followers of Cerdic and Cynric, Porta, Stuf, and Wihtgar, brought from the south of Denmark; their inland seat, - which King Alfred calls 'Eald Seaxan" or Old Saxony, - in what is now Holstein, and the three islands Nordstrand, Busen and Helligoland ; (see Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons:) as the dialects of some of the eastern, middle, and northern counties, — which formerly constituted the kingdoms of the East and Middle Angles, the Mercians, the Northumbrians, the Deiri and Bemicians,- might have been derived immediately from that of the founders of those kingdoms, the Angles, who came from 'Anglen' or Old England, in what is now the duchy of Slesvig:  and it is not only credible, but most likely, that the Saxons of Holstein and the Angles of Slesvig, might speak different dialects of the common Teutonic tongue even in Denmark.

The modem Danish and Swedish are so much like English that some sentences of those languages, as uttered by a Dane or Swede, would be intelligible to an Englishman who might not have learnt them....

Full pdf file 

An essay by Heather Hawkins  - SOAS pdf -
A Rejection of the Urban Centre? Dialect in the Poetryof William Barnes and Thomas Hardy

Monday, 4 January 2016

William Barnes on Photography



Photography, however helpful it is to artists, cannot take the place of high art, which always looks from marred to unmarred beauty; while photography must take blemishes with primary good. As I once went with a photographic friend to take the view of an old mansion, we found in the foreground the stumps of a row of headless poplars. We wanted the house, but not the stumps. But no; the sun was too faithful to belie his subject. It was all or none with Apollo. One might have the house with every turret, window, and line of tracery; but one must take the tree-stumps.

From Thoughts on Beauty and Art, Macmillan's Magazine, June, 1861

William Barnes on Architecture, Building and Beauty of Form



To make a blind window in a wall only to match a light-receiving one, or in the building of a stair-climbed turret to build a turret as its fellow only for the sake of a needless fellowship, or a matching of one with one, seems to be a slighting of the rule of fitness - no waste no want - and so of a rule of the Beautiful. A better rule might be -

     'Let your want give your plan,
      And then grace it as you can.'

From Thoughts on Beauty and Art, Macmillan's Magazine, June, 1861.

Does this rule or principle apply to Poundbury?

Dorset Storm-Watchers



Dorset Echo - Storm watchers criticised after Dorset battered by foul weather

Rockfalls between Freshwater and Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock reveal extent of cliff movement





William Barnes, On the Perception of Landscape



"The commercial mind may perceive little of the landscape's harmony with man's life but those forms of good which are of commercial value. When a stage coach yet climbed our hills, and rolled down our slopes, a friend was sitting on a coach beside a jolly passenger, who, like himself, was looking out right and left over the land. On coming to the top of a hill, a fine landscape was spread before them, and my friend uttered, "Oh, that is beautiful!" "Ees," replied his fellow-traveller, "I hasn't a zeed a better piece o' turnips that that to year."

From Thoughts on Beauty and Art, Macmillan's Magazine, June, 1861





Saturday, 2 January 2016

Thinking of Bondi Beach, Sydney




Charles Meere,  Australian Beach Pattern, 1940





At South Head, Sydney Harbour (tranportation, space and time):


Happy New Year!

Not just Bondi...