Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Hello to all my blog watchers. You may have noticed that I have started a new blog - The Adventures of a Pensioner in Britain. I hope you will take a look, and catch up with my life at the moment. I have not abandoned Crete, rest assured, I will be back. But for now, I have decided that I would rather live in Britain to be near to my daughter, and within striking distance of my son.

So, I can't really comment on Vrahassi at the moment, other than I know that Cosmos bar has closed down, and George is now running Lefteris' bar in the center. That is George who used to run Cosmos bar.

The Greek government got their hand out from the EEC but I doubt that will put any more money into the hands of the Greek people. There are still lots of strikes taking place, though I cannot see what good that is going to do.

Anyway, life goes on. Do take a look at my new blog if you are interested. Oh, and don't forget that my book, Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey can be ordered from any good bookshop. It would make a good Christmas present for all lovers of Crete.

Have a good run up to Christmas everyone. Take care, bye for now,
Love Jane x

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween in England

It's Halloween Eve and I am in England. It's a bit chilly outside but fine and not windy. Thank God I'm not in New York just now. Horrible, horrible, horrible! There is no defense against nature when it strikes in such a powerful way. The sea has surged into the city, poured down subways, flooded basements. Thousands of homes are without power, and at least 13 people are dead. Hurricane Sandy has been demoted to a storm but the wind has not stopped blowing. There are fires in the city and devastation all along the east coast of America.

Meanwhile, here in England, I am contemplating buying a One-sy and making sure there are supplies of cocoa in the cupboard. I made my London debut at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden at the weekend, a good experience, and I have another venue lined up on 20 November.

I'm not sure what is going to happen to this blog, I can hardly write about Crete when I don't live there, but I am looking forward to returning for the month of March. Jo has enrolled us into a choir which starts on the 2nd November, so looks like there is fun to be had before Christmas. Tomorrow we are giving a bit of a Halloween Party for Jack and his friends, green face-paint at the ready. So, it's all go.

I hope you are all well, maybe I'll get into the swing of blogging again very soon. My love to all blogwatchers.
Jane x

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Well, I'm not Sir Francis Drake, but when in England, as they say.

Yesterday I spent the morning learning how to play bowls at a lovely club in South London. It is more complicated than it looks, and there are lots of rules. There is also a dress code, gray trousers and white shirt, with special flat shoes so as not to scuff the green. It is all very 'proper'. But I seemed to fit in very well with the other ladies, and we had a good laugh. I went along with my grandson's other grandma and her friend, the power of three had nothing in it.

Earlier in the week, as I arrived back in London from a trip up north to see the other half of my family, I found myself at the base of the tallest building in London, (and probably Europe), The Shard, it was very Jack and the Beanstalk, towering right up into the clouds.

Today, Sunday, we all had a leisurely morning, then, not to be done out of my daily exercise, Jo and I took Jack (or it might have been, Jo and Jack took me) ten pin bowling. Grandma lost, mainly because the move from bowling green to bowling alley seemed to affect my delivery, I think I'll stick to the green, but it was fun.

The weather, wherever I have been for the past three weeks, has been very good, sunny, warm with only the occasional shower. In London, there is a constant sound of the coming and going of planes in the sky, and traffic on the roads, with a shuttle of trains every now and then. Worsborough Dale was quieter, but every now and then a police helicopter went overhead.

Well that's my news for today, I am going to watch the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games tonight, and enjoy a sit with Jo and Jack.

I wish you all a pleasant evening, and lots of fun in the week ahead.

Bye for now,
Love Jane x

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ancestry Hunting in Yorkshire

Hello Blogwatchers,

I am sorry for my absence, but have been rather busy enjoying myself with my family. Plus the fact that I have only just been able to get on line, not having a super phone, an i-pad, laptop or any other internet connection. But now all that has changed since my son has just opened a Laptop Repair Centre, and I was his first customer. I feel almost a complete woman! The next thing is to find a job. It is not too easy to do that as a) I shall draw my old age pension in November, and b) there are not so many jobs around Beckenham, where I am living. What a bummer! But I have located the local music center, and come September I hope to get involved with what I can there.

I am enjoying being in England, and the weather has been lovely. OK it is cooler than Crete, but hey, that is not such a bad thing during August, is it?

Yesterday I did a bit of Ancestry hunting in Monk Breton, a little village near to where my son lives in Yorkshire. My mother was born there and I went to trace my roots. Her name was Brenda Royston and she was born in 1925. My great auntie Dorothy (nee Clarke) was my nannie's sister, and she married a man called Jim Richardson. His father, I was told was once the Mayor of Barnsley, so you can understand how surprised I was, when walking around the churchyard in Monk Breton, I found the grave of a Alderman, Thomas William Richardson, born in 1888, who was Mayor of Barnsley in 1943-44. Was this my great aunt's father in law? I am now encouraged in my quest to find a little family history, and see if I can locate any more distant relatives.

So, you see I am keeping quite busy. Tomorrow I am going to Manchester to visit my sister, and I will return to London on Wednesday. Hopefully, I will be able to afford another trip north before too long, to visit friends. And, if you are reading this, gang, I will  send you an e-mail later.

How wonderful it is to have children who love you, feed you, and sort you out with a lap top!

So, have a good Sunday everyone, I don't have a camera yet but working on it, so photos later.
Love and best wishes to all,
Jane x

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

London Olympics

Well, family, friends, and blog watchers,

 I hope you are all enjoying a wonderfully mad summer. I am! Last week I took a cheapy flight out of Heraklion, away from the intense heat, and back to rainy England. I bought an official Olympic games badge, and am all set to join a 'flame passing through' party on Monday. I have my flag, and I am going to wave it; might even buy a tee-shirt too. I am staying close to Crystal Palace, where the track and other facilities are being used as practice areas, it is just a short walk down the road.

I have lots of things on my 'to do' list. I suppose I could have applied for a job with G4 but I doubt they would have processed me in time. I am enjoying being with family, and it is wonderful to be able to understand word for word, news at ten. In short I am having a great time.

I don't have a camera yet, I left mine with David, but I won't be long without one, and I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

If you are reading this, gang in Yorkshire, I have tried ringing you, I'll keep trying as my English number is new.

I wrote a poem yesterday called, Overweight - my first English adventure poem. It begins:
Give me a break! What? My bag is overweight?

I expect to have lots to write about over the next few weeks. I am missing Valentino, and I am missing David, sooooooooo much. Thank goodness for Skype.

So, I'll blog again soon. Take care all, love Jane x


Give me a break! What? My bag is overweight?
But it's full of essentials, personal sentimentals,
A wooden flute from Kathmandu,
Hand carved pipes, a didgeridoo,
The two-stringed gourd? It was a gift from Lou,
And the tom-tom I swapped for a pair of shoes,

What do you mean? The ice-crushing machine?
Of course it is essential,though not so sentimental,
I have to have my daily tot
Of creme-de-menthe, it means a lot,
It calms my nerves and stops me getting hot,
And anyway, much better than pot!

Ah! The Shaman stones with holes, they're not just rocks,
They're definitely essential; I'm very sentimental
When I wash them in the moonlight,
Slip through their portal into night,
Dance with the stars; hold hands with the light,
Swirl with vestal virgins in their springtime rite.

Look, there's nothing in my bag that I don't need,
I only packed essential, you see I'm very sentimental
When it comes to things I possess
Candles, Krypton, my cocktail dress,
I simply can't make it weigh any less,
Just tell me how much, and I'll pay the excess.

Jane Sharp 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cretan Donkeys in Kritsa

It's all in the mind! We never doubted for one minute that we could accomplish our task. And it is okay to sleep afterwards! What a brilliant 1st of the month. Kalo Mina everyone!

And now I have to practice cello. Our archaeologist neighbours have moved into the cottage next door for a month while they excavate on the top of Anavlohos, so I'll get a few scales done while they are out. At least it is not quite so hot today, with a few whispy clouds travelling over the top of the mountain in the cooling breeze. It is a perfect July morning, I have a new set of red flower heads on the geraniums, the dogs are sleeping in the garden, and the kittens that live in the woodpile are basquing in the sunshine.

I hope you are having a good day, and if you have anything heavy to carry, go carefully, keep smiling, and sleep well.

Love Jane x

Monday, June 25, 2012

Odd Poets, Musicians and Dancers, Entertain in Agios Nikolaos.

Founders of the Odd Poets of Crete, Jan and Jane.
My poem The Old Cafeneion Chair, brought a few smiles!
Kyria Maria, who is in charge of the Cultural Committee of Agios Nikolaos, and Kiria Paroula of the Lycium of Greek Women, opened the event.
I played Chariots of Fire on the keyboard, suitably wired for sound, together with Caroline on the flute.
That went down well, then I changed hats and became Jane the Poet again!

I had strong competition, Ola read one of her favourite poems, in Polish.

Barbara read in Russian

Ania read in Polish, and Natalia in French (Sorry I don't have a picture of Natalia)

Then we had a little sing along with Jean and Brian

Followed by fabulous Greek music and dancing
The ladies were accompanied by Dimitris Thrapsaniotis.

A few Mandinathas (Greek poems) from Dimitri Kyriakakis.

A rendering of a part of Homer's Games of Reconcilliation) by Gavin and Daniel.

And local poet Gill, read her poems, The Flower, and Experts, in English.

And in between it all The Emerald Trio played a little Irish music.

Then we all relaxed and enjoyed one last dance before the sun went down.
                                                                                                             What a splendid evening it was, my debut in the limelight at Agios Nikolaos. Wow! Where to next? Oh and I forgot to mention that the Mayor of Agios Nikolaos was in the audience too. V.I.P's no less!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jane's Motivational Video - Be Nice!

Do you know, that small bunch of flowers, handed to me as a kind gesture, had a most profound effect. All it takes to make someone's day is to be nice. A smile, a few words of genuine interest and a little gift that begs no return of favour, just the satisfaction of giving. Some people find it difficult to be nice, I bet if they tried it they would be so much happier. Try it next time you feel the urge to say something nasty about someone, think nice and feel better for it. You know what they say, "If you look for the worst in someone you will surely find it." So look for the good, you will find that too.

So, the New Democrats won the election! How will effect my life? We shall see. A loaf of bread is still one euro, a tin of Heinz beans is 1.40 in the supermarket in Neapolis, sugar is 1.09 e for a kilo bag, let's watch those three things. (Of course sugar is only 1.05 e at Liddle supermarket but the petrol from Vrahassi to there and back has to be taken into account) Petrol, by the way is more or less 1.900 a litre and 30 e doesn't quite half fill the tank in my car.

Tomorrow David and I shall attend the funeral of Steve who used to live near Sissi. I haven't seen the notices yet so I don't have a time. If you are on Facebook and want to find out, then as soon as I know I shall post it.

Thursday is coming round quickly, and I have not practiced my scales this week. Maybe tonight. Next is dog walking, then my 7 minute workout, and then, (hallelujah) it will be tea time.

Have a nice time being nice!
Love Jane x

Saturday, June 16, 2012

You are cordially invited to a free event


A production by The Odd Poets of Crete for the Municipality of Ag. Nikolaos, sponsored by INCO

An evening of Poetry, Music and Dance,
by the Lake in Agios Nikolaos

Sunday 24th June - 18.00 to 20.00

...and that is why I have not blogged for a week. I have been busy getting it together for next Sunday. At least my music and poetry has taken my mind off the elections. Well we shall soon know the outcome. I intend popping down to the cafeneo tomorrow to get the latest from the street. So, I will blog again when I have a few photos and comments from my neighbours. Unitl then, have a good weekend and jot down in your diary to come and support The Odd Poets of Crete next week in Agios Nikolaos.

Jane x

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Get Fit For Foggies - 7 Minute Workout

So, now my lovely visitors have gone, I have to work off all that good food and drink. It is back to the exercise! And back to my diet!

I have to say, I am feeling strong, and strong is good when the country you are living in is on the verge of catastrophe. Will the euro survive? Will the drachma return? It is the question on the lips of most people these days. The general election will be held next Sunday 17th June, and we await the results and the decisions of the Greek people. The advice we have been given, is plan for the worst and hope for the best, though what to plan for is a difficult question. Whichever way things go, there will be a future of hardship. Thank God the sun is shining and we can laugh about things. By the way, I am stocking up on porridge.

Hope you are laughing too, this video might help bring a smile.

Love Jane x

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Island - Spinalonga

Andonis the Barman made sure we didn't go thirsty and he had a lovely smile!
The Island - Spinalonga

The little church of St George, a great place for a breather.

 I was up early this morning to collect my relatives from Stalis, and take them to Agios Nikolaos where we took a day trip to Spinalonga. The boat left at 10 a.m. and returned at 4 p.m. The price, 25 euro included plate of salad and a barbecued pork chop, an apple, and a glass of wine or juice. We also had to pay 2 euro each once on the island to look around. The boat that we were directed to was The Lato, a pleasant enough boat, but all the other passengers were either Russian, Polish or Dutch and there was no English commentary. When I made enquiries about having the information in English, a very nice Greek lady did come and explain the timings of the trip, and what we had to do should we want a vegetarian lunch. Once on the island we were on our own but that was OK as I did know quite a bit about the history of Spinalonga.

The Walls of the Old Venetian Fortress
This was our boat, but we were not alone!
Greeted by a huge glass cross as we got off the boat.

The Gun Turret

First we walked around the island, it is not far, half an hour's walk at the most.

The Grave Yard on Spinalonga

There were lots of black flags flapping in the strong breeze.
After the trip around the island of Spinalonga, we took the boat again to a small, sandy bay, where we could enjoy a swim while the crew prepared lunch. It was my first swim of the year. I worked on my tan and enjoyed being a tourist for a day.
I think I shall have to work on my tan!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

God Save The Queen - Jane's Beacon Party in Crete, Greece

This is our Diamond Jubilee Beacon for the Queen. We had a great 'Beacon' party last night in Kritsa, where loyal British subjects got together to celebrate  60 years rule of Queen Elizabeth. It might not have been the biggest beacon in the world, but it shone brightly under the full moon.
Balloons, bunting and beaming smiles!
Gillian leads the cheering crowd!
Hip Hip Hooray!
And just for a touch of atmosphere, God Save The Queen, on cello. Sorry about the blackness, but the video does work, if you click the middle of it.

Yesterday we watched the pageant on big screen, all those boats on the Thames, the Queen and her family on the biggest barge ever. And the London philharmonic bringing up the rear with Rule Britannia, their unfortunate choir getting soaked in the rain as they sang to the Queen from the top deck of their floating orchestral boat. The Queen looked resplendent in a white coat which was threaded with tiny crystals, and a wonderful creation of a hat, that I thought had slight tones of Tudor, it was also white.

So, it was a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend for David and I here in Crete. We escaped the doom and gloom of the economic crisis for a few hours in the company of friends and relatives. My cousin's son and his girlfriend are over for a short holiday so we are all having fun in the sun.

And next week it will be back to preparing for our event in Agios Nikolaos on the 24th June, The Odd Poets' first airing in public.

I hope you have all had a good Pentecost/Whitsuntide/Jubilee weekend.

Lots of love,
Jane x

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Olympic Flame in Agios Nikolaos

My friend Jan reading the prayer for the athletes at the Olympic games in London, when the flame came to Agios Nikolaos on its way around Greece before heading for Britain. I think she did very well. The dancers too were excellent!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Meeting of the Environment Committee of the Region of Crete

The story of CRETE TV on yesterday's meeting of the Environment Committee of the Region of Crete about the proposed hydro-electric dam planned for Azilakodasos (The Oak forest) between Vrahassi and Krasi. As you can see the locals are not at all happy, and why should they be. Their land is about to be snatched from them, the total beauty of the place with be ruined, not to mention the destruction of the natural habitat of the Griffon Vulture and other wild birds and animals.

Night Out in Sissi

Tonight David and I went out with friends to dine in Sissi. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and we had lovely food at the Fisherman's Hook (Agistri) on the harbour. Unfortunately there were not many people out, maybe it was due to the weather, or maybe it is still early in the season, but Sissi was not buzzing. It could also have been because people had stayed in to watch the football. Whatever!

I did get to talk with a very interesting Greek gentleman about the fight to stop the construction of wind turbines, and a hydro-electric dam in the hills between Vrahassi and Krasi. He was very optimistic that this could be accomplished. This is good news, and I only hope that all goes well with the struggle to keep this land as natural as possible.

The rain today brought cooler temperatures but I think it is typical for May. June will come blazing in before we know it, and hopefully bring more tourists to help the businesses remain solvent. So, tomorrow I will start to prepare for summer and get the garden furniture out ready for painting. As for tonight, it is just past midnight and time for bediebies.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Love Jane x

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Prime Minister for Greece

The new prime minister is Panayiotis Pikramenos, chief judge of the Council of State.

And there will be another general election on June 17th.

Local News - Yesterday, a 77 year old woman was robbed of 46,000 euro which she had just taken out of the National Bank in Agios Nikolaos.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What if Greece Exits Euro?

Viewpoints: What if Greece exits euro?

Protestors in Athens If Greece left the euro, inflation and unemployment would probably rise
Greek politicians are struggling to form a new government.
There are powerful factions that do not want the austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international lenders.
But unless Greece can satisfy the demands of the European Union and the IMF, then they will cut off Greece's last remaining lines of credit.
Without that, Greece will not be able to pay its bills and could drop out of the euro altogether.
Below are the views of several experts on what would happen if Greece were to leave the euro.

Carsten Brzeski, senior economist, ING Belgium

Chaos. Greek banks would go bust. Greek companies would go bust. Unemployment would go up. The new drachma loses lots of value.
Food and energy prices go through the roof. It would be an explosive cocktail.
The turmoil would weigh on growth. The outlook for the eurozone would worsen.

Michael Arghyrou, senior economics lecturer, Cardiff Business School

The drachma would be devalued by at least 50%, causing inflation.
Interest rates will have to double and all mortgages, business loans and other borrowing will become much more expensive.
There will be no credit for Greek banks or the Greek state.
That could mean a shortage of basic commodities, like oil or medicine or even foodstuffs.
A lot of Greek firms rely on foreign suppliers, who may cut off Greek customers. Greek companies could be driven out of business.
Greece will lose its only reference point of stability, which was its euro status.
The country would end up in a volatile period. There would be institutional weakness.
The worst case scenario would be a social and economic breakdown, perhaps even leading to a totalitarian regime.

Sony Kapoor, managing director of the Re-Define think tank

I think that either the Greeks or European policy makers talking about an exit in a casual blase way are being highly, highly irresponsible.
Total cost versus the total benefit remains overwhelmingly negative, both for the eurozone and Greece.
In one shot, a Greek exit could undo a large part of good work in Ireland and Portugal.
If you are a Portuguese saver with money in the bank, even if there is a small likelihood of losing that money, it would make perfect sense to move euro deposits while you can to a safer haven, like the Netherlands and Germany.
There would be a significant deposit flight in peripheral countries.
It would immediately weigh on investment in the real economy, because corporations would be very reluctant to invest anything at all.

Megan Greene, director of European economics at Roubini Global Economics

You would see cascading bank defaults in Greece and everybody would take money out of Portuguese and Spanish banks.
A big part could be plugged by the European Central Bank (ECB) through a liquidity operation that would backstop the banks.
The ECB has already done that several times and it would step up to the plate again.
But that would not stem the political contagion or unrest. We have seen four elections in two weeks. In Greece, France, Italy and Germany, electorates have voted against austerity at home.
However, Greece is a small country and the rest of the eurozone has been making provision for this for a long time now.
The eurozone could survive a Greek exit. Depending on the choreography, the exit could be better for everyone involved if managed in a co-ordinated orderly way.
But if it were done by a unilateral default, an exit would be a worse option for Greece.

Jeremy Stretch, head of forex research, CIBC

In the currency market, we are already seeing money fleeing to safe havens.
The alternatives are few and far between for those who want to stand aside from the euro.
The dollar is performing relatively well. The dollar index - the dollar against a basket of other major currencies - is at the highest level in two months.
A new drachma would not be the most widely trading currency in the world and would probably drop in value by 50%.

Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk, IHS Global Insight

What everyone is missing is a third possibility.
If credit is withdrawn by the EU and IMF, then Greece becomes a cash economy. It means the government can only pay what it collects.
The government starts shutting down, 10-15% of state employees don't get paid and unemployment surges from 20% to 30%.
But Greece can still use the euro.
It would be difficult for the ECB to keep banks afloat. The Greek banking sector would collapse as well.
That would cause more unemployment, as credit for companies would dry up.
What happens next is a political question.
European nations would probably not accept another Western European country descending into chaos and collapse.
The EU and IMF would probably negotiate some kind of aid. But Greece could continue with the euro.

Article from Ekathimerini today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Soiree May 2012 - Year 4

My progress after three and a half years of study. I am looking forward to improving - onwards and upwards, as they say.

I'm just back from our Poetry Club meeting, we are still trying to establish a group, but today we did get a couple of visitors.

And now I'm going to relaxe for an hour before having a sort out in the back garden.

Byeeeeeee! Jane x

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ladies Wot Dine Out!

Rosemarie's birthday was celebrated in style last night. We all enjoyed a good girlie natter while we stuffed with food and the odd glass of wine in Latsida. It was a lovely night out, whose birthday is it next? (Thanks for the picture Lydia).

And today was another wonderful day in the company of friends at Fourni, where we had a little music soiree. (Pictures later)

Poetry club tomorrow in Neapolis - life is on the up! God knows the political news is depressing enough, I think it is best to just sit back and wait for the crash, then just ride with it when it comes. All this newspaper stuff is doing my head in. I need space to create, move over all things to do with the euro and Europe, I feel joyous words clamouring to be expressed!

Bye for now,
Jane x

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fixing Sissi Harbour - Work to Begin Soon

 According to a report in the Vrachasi Blog, work will begin to fix the harbour wall at Sissi in the next few days.

This is a short translation from the blog:

 About cleaning the harbor Sissi inform our readership that became the 3.5.2012 auction, which was attended by two contractors.
There was some objection, so the successful contractor is Mr. Dimitris Atsalakis.
Hopefully in a few days will start to clean and will not go elsewhere tourist boats ...

Jane x

Olympic Flame in Agios Nikolaos

Την Παρασκευή 11/5/12 στις 3.00 μ.μ. στη Λίμνη η υποδοχή της Ολυμπιακής Φλόγας στον Άγιο Νικόλαο 

Friday 11/5/12 at 3 p.m. at the lake, Agios Nikolaos

Monday, May 7, 2012

ND and Pasok dominance dealt 'fatal blow'

by George Gilson
6 May 2012

The Greek electorate dealt a fatal blow to the decades-old hegemony of the two parties, Pasok and New Democracy, that approved the harsh EU-IMF bailout memorandum.
New Democracy placed first as expected, but its 19.18 percent is a far cry for a parliamentary majority, and a steep drop from its 33.5 percent when ND was routed in 2008. Many expected a strong backlash from the centrist, liberal faction of the party, which has criticised leader Antonis Samaras’ strategy.
The results noted are as announced at 9.30 pm, with about a fifth of the votes counted, by the Singular Logic company that is processing the returns.
ND was decimated by its leader’s decision to expel about 20 MPs that voted down the bailout memorandum. The Independent Greeks, an ND splinter party, is garnering 10.5 percent. Party leader Panos Kammenos suggested that MPs may break party lines to form an ant-memorandum coalition, and he alluded to possible leadership challenges in parties.
The astounding success of the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza), which is poised with 16.5 percent, to become the main opposition, is the greatest upset of the election. That guarantees party leader Alexis Tsipras an exploratory mandate, if Samaras fails to form government, to see if he can form a left-wing anti-memorandum government, as he pledged.
The total collapse of Pasok is the most dramatic development in the election, as its 13.6 percent is about 30 percentage points less than its 2009 showing. Only in the 1970s, before the party first came to power, did it record a lower result.
Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos said there was no clear mandate for any single party. He called for a national unity government, comprised of all pro-EU parties, regardless of their position on the harsh fiscal adjustment programme.
Venizelos said that the electorate completely upset the political scene, and he attributed the electoral disaster to the fact that Pasok on its own had to manage the crisis all on its own.
“We embittered the people to protect the future of the nation. History will judge,” Venizelos said after the 9.30pm results. “Let the God of Greece help us!” he proclaimed, declaring that the party must be “reborn”.
Venizelos noted that a Pasok-ND coalition is not feasible, and that a coalition government needs broader participation.
“We are back to where we started in 1974,” Pasok MP Petros Efthimiou told private Mega TV after Venizelos’ statement. 
Parties that are pro-EU but oppose the memorandum include Fotis Kouvelis’ Democratic Left, which is expected to receive about six percent. Panos Kammenos’ anti-memorandum Independent Greeks is not anti-EU per se, but Kammenos says he will not cooperate with the leaders of Pasok and ND, whom he denounces as “traitors”.
The Communist Party (KKE) appeared to gain little support from the crisis, as its 8.5 percent is just a tad higher than the 7.54 percent it received in 2009.
The entry into parliament of the extreme right Golden Dawn party, with a projected seven percent, is one of the most alarming results of the election. That would give the neo-Nazi party about 22 seats in the 300 member legislature.
Three parties appear to be a hair’s breadth from entering parliament. Both right wing Laos and the Ecogreens are projected to receive about 2.9 percent, a sliver shy of the three percent threshold. Dora Bakoyannis’ Democratic Alliance garnered 2.7 percent in the 9:30 pm projections, based on 50 percent of the nationwide count.
Report from the Athens News
7 May 2012

So, it is far from over! 
Jane x

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Odd Poets of Crete

I'm feeling resurrected! I still have the dress, still got the mike, and plenty more poems to share. And now I have company too. I am pleased to announce that The Odd Poets of Crete officially met last week to discuss poets and poetry, and we shall be gearing up for a reading pretty soon. So, if there are any interested poets out there who would like to join us, come to Driros cafebar in Neapolis on Monday morning at 11 a.m. Bring some of your work, or a poem which you particularly like.

Jane x

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kalo Mina - Helping Hand

MAGIC! And it is! Though have you any idea how much time has been spent by all of these musicians to reach this state of excellence? God how I would like to be involved in such a recording! Well, keep practicing Jane!

Kalo Mina Everyone,

I did intend getting out there to pick wild flowers today, but watching this video has made me all the more determined to kick ass with Valentino. Get to those scales Jane, cellos don't play themselves. And anyway, it's a bit chilly outside.

Speaking of outside, looking out of my window I can see a man on a roof fixing a water system for a neighbour. In the street his mates are preparing to barbecue. Hm... maybe I will go out after all, I've a couple of chops in the fridge, and half a bottle of...STOP! See the big picture gal, SCALES.
Okay, it was just a thought. Hope you enjoy the video as much as I do.

Have a lovely Mayday wherever you are.
Love Jane x

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Voice for the Mountain

A Voice for the Mountain
(Plans to build a hydroelectric dam in an area of natural beauty in Crete, Greece)

I speak…
On behalf of the rocks,
On behalf of the scree,
On behalf of the flowers,
On behalf of the trees,
On behalf of the birds,
On behalf of the bees
On behalf of the Gods
In the Cretan breeze,

I speak…
For worms, snails, slugs and spiders
Slitherers, skippers, hoppers, climbers,
For moths, butterflies and beetles,
For snakes, lizards, stoats and weasels,

I speak…
For the rare protected vulture,
Eagles, emblem of Greek culture,
For the ancient oaks and oleaster,
For all that face this great disaster,

Think twice before you rape and raid
This fragile land, so perfect made,
Think how its beauty once erased
Can never ever be replaced,

Think of the forests that breathe for the world,
Think what each leaf gives you as it unfurls,
Think of the mountain as home, if you can,
To trillions of beings, and understand,
They don’t have a voice, they haven’t a clue
What man and his bulldozers intend to do,

I speak out for those who don’t have a voice,
For trees and creatures without any choice
For the natural habitat of birds,
For the air we breathe, listen to my words,
It’s time to respect the earth that’s our home,
It’s time to share in this planet’s song
Just think how you’d feel at the final hour,
If you were destroyed by those wanting power

© Jane Sharp 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

'They Will Take Our Air, They Will Take Our Mountain,They Will Take Our Water!'

"They will take our air, they will take our mountain, they will take our water." Words spoken by Dimitrie Kiriakakis, the President of Vrahassi Local Council.

And these are my words:
This is a beautiful area, if the hydroelectric dam is built in these mountains it will be an ecological disaster. Valuable trees will be lost, the ecosystem will be upset, the natural habitat of the griffon vulture will be destroyed. I hope the people in power will show some respect for the earth, the land which they have been given guardianship of. The birds cannot speak, so I will speak for them. The mountains cannot speak, so I will speak, the trees cannot speak, so I will speak: from my heart I ask, please do not decimate the environment in this way. Listen to the voices before it is too late, listen to all these sensitive people who care about their land, listen before the beauty which God has created is destroyed by man's greed. I can do very little except add my voice to those in opposition of this plan. The politicians CAN stop this French company from raping Cretan soil. I hope and pray that they will do the right thing.

Jane Sharp

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May 6 Election day. Traditionally, voting takes place "from sunrise to sunset" but times are usually rounded to the nearest hour, so from 7am to 8pm. This and the number of polling stations will be confirmed later to the date.
May 17 The new parliament - the 14th since the restoration of democracy in 1974 - will convene at 11am.

Reception center? 

First migrant reception center to open in Athens in May, says minister

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said on Tuesday that the first of 30 reception centers that Greece plans to build to house undocumented immigrants will be ready by the end of May.
Chrysochiodis said the opening of the center in Amydgaleza, northern Athens, will be followed in June by the opening of another camp in Attica.
Residents of Amydgaleza have voiced opposition to the construction of the center in their area.
The government unveiled last month plans to build 30 centers around the country to house 1,000 migrants each.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

High Winds Cause Caos in Crete

The average intensity of the winds reached 9 Beaufort (about 80 Km / h) with gusts that exceeded in some areas of 110-120 km / h.The gale force winds caused problems throughout the island, but especially in western areas while the afternoon Wednesday was prohibitive for ships sailing to Heraklion and Chania.The fire department received dozens of calls for cutting trees and removing objects from the road and there were some incidents, such as in inland areas of Chania, where farmers with their tractors took to the streets to move tree trunks that had fallen on the pavement.Inside the Wednesday night 18/04 the low barometric moved to the Black Sea resulting in the gradual weakening of the winds in Greek seas.

And the aftermath left a wonderful sculpture in my back yard. I call it 'upended kennel'. Lucky the dogs were not in the dog house at the time!

Jane x

Artists Meet in Laconia, Crete.

Silvia Leigh and local artists meet in Laconia.

Yesterday morning I attended the first meeting of the newly formed Art Group. The group comes under the umbrella of I.N.C.O. and aimes to meet once a month to discuss fine art and famous artists, hold workshops and visit galleries and museums. Local artist Sylvia Leigh opened the meeting. She welcomed fellow artists, about 20 in all, and gave a talk about the life of Gaudier who died in WWI age 24. She also described how the work of this artist had influenced her own sculpture, emphasising how the discovery of self expression had been released after seeing his many and multifarious carvings. The next meeting will be held on Saturday, May 19 at the taverna in Laconia.

Jane x