Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crete, Greece - Kreta, Mesonas gorge

Hello walking friends. Here is one to think about. It starts from Karvousi on the road to Sitia. Looks a bit scary but beautiful. I'll try to find out more. I love the music on this video too.

It is 2 degrees in Vrahassi today, and raining. Time to get hot soup on the go. Cold weather is expected for most of the week.

Political news today taken from the Athens News

Chancellor Angela Merkel cemented her political ascendancy in Europe Monday when 25 out of 27 EU states - inclding Greece - agreed to a German-inspired pact for stricter budget discipline, even as they struggled to rekindle growth from the ashes of austerity.
Only Britain and the Czech Republic refused to sign a fiscal compact in March that will impose quasi-automatic sanctions on countries that breach European Union budget deficit limits and will enshrine balanced budget rules in national law.
The accord was eagerly greeted by the European Central Bank which has long pressed eurozone governments to put their houses in order.
"It is the first step toward a fiscal union. It certainly will strengthen confidence in the euro area," ECB President Mario Draghi said.

So, bully for them!

Hope you enjoy the video, I certainly did and I thank Exploring Crete for making it available.
Love Jane x

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ζωνιανά, 3rd Festival for Shepherds and Their Cheese.

Some would say that this is the real Crete! I don't think that they would be far wrong. Maybe Vrahassi could organize something similar. It's a thought!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Here's a little video that might amuse. (not my neighbours, I might add - but somebody's I suppose).
And, having found nothing of particular interest in the newspapers to write, about except maybe how bad the weather is, and how bad it is going to be for the next week or so, I can only say, try to keep as warm as you can, in any way that you can. That is what I am going to do.
I know that I shall have to be careful not to overdo it with the carbohydrates these cold Vrahassi days. I've resisted sweet stuff for a couple of weeks, but I do feel a sponge pudding and custard coming on. Hot drinks seem to do the trick, but there is only so much tea you can drink in a day. Layers of clothing help combat the cold, of course, and my exercises do warm me up (it's only temporary though). The best thing to do is walk the dog, it's bracing and the house certainly feels warmer afterwards. Only a few months to the better weather!
Hope you like the video, it made me laugh anyway.
Happy Sunday,
Love Jane x

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Strange Music

Now, I think the pianist put emotion into the equation, thus turning the piece into something higher than just a series of pings. An interesting experiment though, don't you think?

And now for my appointment with scales and arpeggios!

It's been very cold in Vrahassi today, and in Neapolis, definitely a winter woolly day. David walked from Vrahassi to Neapolis and met me after Greek class. We had a glass of wine and headed back to our log fire. I've got to get walking myself, maybe tomorrow. Hello to the Gang and Eric, hope you are all OK.

Have a melodious weekend folks!

Love Jane x

Thursday, January 26, 2012

5.3 - Earthquake Rattles Crete and other Islands.

5.3-quake rattles Crete and other islands

26 Jan 2012

(File photo)

(File photo)
An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 rattled Crete and other islands in the south Aegean Sea.
Authorities have reported no injuries or serious damage.
The undersea earthquake occurred at 6:24am. Today, according to the Geodynamic Institute of Athens, some 244 kilometres south of Athens. A 4.4-magnitude aftershock in the same region occurred two hours later.
Earthquake expert Eftymios Lekkas, a professor of geology at Athens University, said the aftershock pattern from the earthquake was normal and not a cause for concern. (Athens News/gw)
Well, we didn't feel a thing in our house. So, no cracks, burst pipes, or shaking crockery to report. 

The dogs were quiet too. 4 in a bed and the little one said...

I had my first cello lesson of the year, today, and excited about learning a new piece, Vivaldi, Sonata in B flat (47) Hope the dogs are not too disturbed by it!

Love Jane x

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Want a Cheap Ferrari?

On the outskirts of Athens there is a company that trades in the unhappiness of others.

A dusty Ferrari sits abandoned in a garage, while the forecourt of Auto-Credit is packed with other luxury cars incompatible with this age of austerity.
This is where the wealthy come to pawn their supercars in order to ride out the recession.
Ten owners a day hand over their keys for a three-month contract and a handful of euros.
Increasingly, many of those struggling in the crisis can't afford to get their cars back, so the business has expanded into neighbouring lots.
There's even a secret location where company founder Christos Ioannou is now storing luxury yachts, which owners can no longer afford to run.
"Of course, they are emotional when they come here," he told Sky News.
"It's their car, or their boat and a means of transport and they are only here because of their difficult financial state."
There's an ironic twist to this story, too: the number of buyers is also drying up, so he's planning on reselling the cars in the country where many of them were assembled.
The Auto-Credit pawn shop outside Athens
The Auto-Credit business has expanded into neighbouring lots
"Some owners cannot pay for cars which are left behind and can't retrieve them. These are usually big 4x4s," Mr Ioannou said.
"There is no demand for them in Greece right now so we have set up a company in Germany to export them there for resale."
It's not the only pawn shop doing a brisk trade in Greece. If you walk down Ermou Street, the equivalent of Oxford Street in London, there are flashing neon signs everywhere, offering cash for valuables.
Jack Moore, from Newcastle, was one of the first on the block, after assessing how much gold was being hoarded by people in other European countries.
"When I first came here I was one of the first. You would be lucky if you could see two shops. Now there might be 400 or 500 shops within such a short space of time," he told me.
"They've come from nowhere."
He said business has been steady throughout the crisis, but more unscrupulous black market traders have been springing up.
It's a sign of the desperation here, where incomes of civil servants have dropped by 40%, taxes have soared, pensions shrunk and job prospects all but disappeared.
The threat of even greater economic deprivation now hangs on talks to try to keep Greece solvent with another 130 billion euro bailout.
If it defaults, Greece could soon find drachmas back in their pockets.

Thanks to Sky News for this report.

I don't think I shall be rushing out to buy a second hand Ferrari, or much else come to think of it. I'm already running my own soup kitchen for our family of 6 (Me, David, Zouki, Maisie, Phoebie, and Percy). Tomorrow it is leek and potato. Roll on the salad days of summer!
Jane x

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yannis Souladakis - we loved you!

David and I went to church this morning. We don't usually do that, but today was the remembrance service for Yannis Souladakis, who died a year ago. At the time I was in hospital, and we couldn't go to the funeral, so we made a special effort to go to the service today. I am so pleased we did. Yannis ran the taverna, Platanos, together with his wife, Elaine, who still does. When David and I came to the village, Platanos was our first stop. We had walked up the old road from Sissi and at Selinari, just after the bridge, behind a concrete construction, is where the old cobbled donkey track converges with the main road. Unfortunately the last time I walked up this path, it was completely fenced off by shepherds, to make a pen for sheep. And I mean completely fenced off! No gate, no way around, I had to cross the hillside by the fields to get back on the main road. Anyway, in those days the path was a joyous way to walk into Vrahassi. It led us right to Platanos, where we met Yannis and Elaine. That was seventeen years ago. We saw Yannis become ill, but it never stopped him serving food and drinks, and always with a smile and a friendly word. He was very much a part of village life, and a part of our lives too. We found our first house by sitting in Platanos and asking around, and we shook hands on a property over a beer, with Yannis looking on. I'm sure that Yannis is resting peacefully, or else sitting in paradise with his mates. 
There was a good turnout in the church today, a very young priest from Xersonissos took the service because the regular priest is apparently in Africa for a month. It was a lovely service that resounded through microphones and over the hillside. After we were invited to Platanos where we sat amongst our neighbours and ate delicious cakes and biscuits, with cognac to toast a man who is missed by all.

The church in Vrahassi is extremely ornate. In this picture the painting has not been completed. Now all the walls and collumns ar covered in icons, and a red carpet covers the floor.The smell of incence and candle wax pervades the air, and makes for a very beautiful place to visit.

 And now it's back to work. David is writing on his computer; I am writing on mine. It's a lovely a Sunday and I'm full of cake - good job it's exercise day. I hope you are all having a good Sunday.

Love and best wishes,
Jane x

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012


Thanks to our teacher, we had a break between classes to participate in the Greek custom of cutting and sharing the New Year Cake. A coin had been placed inside the cake, and the winner received a Greek/English dictionary. Afterwards we all got to work again. If you are interested in joining one of the classes, simply turn up at the Oasis cafebar in Neapolis on a Saturday afternoon to ask for details.

And now I am going to Agios Nikolaos to pay my electricity bill before I'm cut off!

Jane x

Friday, January 13, 2012

Get Fit For Fogies January 2012

Just to show that I am still fighting the flab with the 7 minute workout. It's no big deal, just 3 times a week.

Iraklio - Heraklion A Great City to Visit

Iraklio: Crete’s beating heart (article from the ekathimerini newspaper)

 The capital city of Greece’s largest island offers the ideal introduction to four millennia of history
By Haris Argyropoulos
The history of Iraklio, capital of Crete and Greece’s fifth-largest city, is telling of its location’s geopolitical importance, as it lies approximately in the middle of the island’s northern coastline.
Even though there is no archaeological evidence, it may have served as a port for nearby Knossos, the island’s largest population center in Minoan times, and as far back as 2000 BC.
The first historical reference to the location as “Herakleion” was by the 2nd century AD astronomer Ptolemy. A fortified Byzantine settlement in the 6th century went by the name of Kastro. Andalusian Arab pirates who invaded in 824 were the first to establish it as a city proper, making it the capital of an emirate and building a strong fort named Rabdh el Khandaq (hence the Greek name Handakas). The Byzantines retook the city after a prolonged siege in 961 and sold it to the Venetians in 1204 as part of a deal that included the restoration by the Crusaders of the deposed Byzantine emperor. The Venetians built huge fortifications with walls up to 40 meters thick. Most are still in place. The city was named Candia and Crete the “Kingdom of Candia.” At the end of the 16th century, as the Venetians’ most important naval base in the east, Candia was known as the “Venice of the East.”
To consolidate their rule, the Venetians resettled families from Venice on the island. The coexistence of two different cultures and the influence of the Italian Renaissance eventually led to a flourishing of the arts and letters on Crete in general and accounts for the considerable number of words of Italian origin in the local dialect.
The artists of the Cretan School, which became the central force in Greek painting during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, developed a particular style under the influence of both Eastern and Western artistic traditions. The most famous product of the school was El Greco, born Domenikos Theotokopoulos in Iraklio in 1541.
The Ottomans besieged the city in 1645 but it took them 24 years to conquer it – the longest siege in history. In the final phase of the blockade, which lasted 22 months, an estimated 140,000 attackers, defenders and local population perished. The Ottoman administration ended in 1898 and Crete joined free Greece in 1913.
Today, Iraklio (population 142,000, according to the 2001 census) remains the center of Crete’s economic and cultural life, bearing all the hallmarks of its long history. Its airport is the second busiest in Greece after that of Athens, mainly on account of the charter flights that disgorge hundreds of thousands of tourists who flock to the district’s long tourist belt, which takes in almost the entire coastline but is mainly concentrated to the east of the city.
To be sure, except for historical exploration, Iraklio is not a place visitors travel to as a destination in itself. In this respect, it is much like Athens, which it resembles both in the array of monuments, its anarchic postwar development, the congestion and the lack of green spaces – but on a much smaller scale. In recent years, Iraklio has made serious and evidently fruitful efforts to upgrade and highlight its heritage, and large parts of the center are a pleasure to walk around.
Loggia, the city’s most elegant Venetian building, was for centuries the seat of government and today houses City Hall. It acquired its final form in the 17th century and received the top Europa Nostra award in 1987 as the EU’s best-preserved and restored monument.
Perhaps the Cretan capital’s best-known hallmark, however, is the 17th-century fountain with the sculpted lions complex (Liontaria), in the square across from Loggia. It is a pleasant place to sit and enjoy a coffee with a “bougatsa” (cream pie) from Kirkor or Salkintzis, two specialist shops.
The list of sights in Iraklio center is long, requiring the best part of two days. They include the 1239 Basilica of Aghios Markos – now a municipal gallery – and the Monastery of Aghia Ekaterini – the medieval university where many European philosophers, artists and writers studied and which houses a superb collection of Cretan iconography. The highlight of interest is the Archaeological Museum, which requires at least three hours.
Visitors can also admire the sculpted lions of St Mark which adorn the entrance to the Venetian fort and, from the walls, enjoy panoramic views of the sea and coast, the city and perennially snow-capped Mt Psiloritis in the background. Below the Martinengo bastion, on the south side, is the tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, perhaps Greece’s most translated 20th-century writer and philosopher. “I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free,” reads a quote by him on an inscription.
Where to stay
Area phone code: 2810. Atrion (tel 246.000, www.atrion.gr), modern, elegant and friendly hotel near the old port; Capsis Astoria (tel 343.080, www.capsishotels.gr), comfortable, classic hotel for tourists and professionals, views over the square or the old city; Aquila Atlantis (tel 229.103, www.aquilahotels.com), near the old port and the central square, comfortable rooms with modern decor, three suites with jacuzzi; Lato (tel 228.103, www.lato.gr), modern boutique hotel on a quiet street with views of the Venetian fort.
Where to eat
Kyriakos (53 Dimokratias, tel 224.649), excellent mainstream Greek dishes, considered part of the city’s tradition, closed Sundays; Erganos (5 Georgiadi, Oasi, tel 285.629), old house with veranda, plenty of Cretan specialities; Loukoulos (5 Korai, tel 224.435), in a beautifully restored mansion, one of the best for Mediterranean cuisine; Parasies (History Museum Sq, tel 225.009), Cretan grill on the square, reservations advisable, closed Monday lunchtime; Giakoumis (Agora, Grousouzadika), well known for its lamb chops.
What to see & do
The History Museum of Crete houses numerous treasures dating to early Christian times (tel 283.219); the Cathedral of Aghios Minas; Natural History Museum, with excellent reproductions of natural habitats and photos (tel 324.711); Cretaquarium, Greece’s finest, 14 km east of Iraklio (tel 337.788, www.cretaquarium.gr); the Museum of the Battle of Crete and National Resistance (tel 346.554); the new Nikos Kazantzakis Museum will be inaugurated Saturday, July 3, at 7 p.m. in his native village of Myrtia, 15 km from Iraklio (tel 741.689).

Looking forward to my next visit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Plan of Vrahassi Old School - 1927

Εν Βραχασίω τη 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 1927...

Το παραπάνω έγγραφο που δημοσιεύεται μας το έστειλε κάποιος φίλος του Blog και τον ευχαριστούμε.
Μας το έστειλε για να μας επισημάνει τη δουλειά που έκανε ο τότε δάσκαλος του χωριού.Ένα σχέδιο που ουσιαστικά βάζει το Πάνω Σχολειό σε τροχιά ζωής πολλών δεκαετιών.
Μας έστειλε και σημερινές φωτογραφίες. Αλλά δεν τις δημοσιεύουμε γιατί είναι να κλαις με αυτά που βλέπεις σ΄ αυτές...
Πόσο διαφορετικά είναι σήμερα τα πράγματα... Please see the original post in the Vrachassi Blog

How different is the plan of the old school to pictures of it today - an empty ruin, full of weeds and memories. There are so many crumbling buildings in Vrahassi. The people of Vrahassi are so proud of their history, why do they allow beautiful old buildings to fall down like this? The old school could be saved. Let's hope it is!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Soren Lyng Hansen, cello - Vocalise opus 34, no.14 by Sergei Rachmaninov

This is so beautiful, how wonderful to know that my Valentino (cello) used to belong to Soren. How I would like to be able to play like him.

The Beatles - All You Need is Love (HQ)

Fabulous! It's been a wonderful hot-soup day in Crete; snow on the mountain, hailstone on the car and lots of logs on the fire.

I hope you are keeping warm wherever you are.
Love Jane x

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Official Letter from Venizelos Re Neapolis

The answer from the government minister Venizelos, about the closing of the Council in Neapolis. (I cannot translate this easily but thought it an important document to record - my source was the Mirabello News)

Δευτέρα, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Τί απάντησε ο Βενιζέλος για το κλείσιμο της ΔΟΥ Νεάπολης

Monday, January 9, 2012

Poetry and Politics

Poetry and politics

By Pantelis Boukalas for The Ekathimerini Newspaper.
Could it be that our political leaders have suddenly developed a soft spot for Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and decided to adopt his clear warning?
It sounds implausible. Nevertheless, their New Year’s messages urging us to take our fate into our own hands were reminiscent of some words we used to hear in the early years after the fall of the 1967-74 military dictatorship in Greece: “The future will not come of its own accord; we must take measures.”
If I say implausible, it’s because no members of a ruling elite would adopt the words of a revolutionary with ease. Particularly for the leadership of the Greek Communist Party (which should in theory be fans of Mayakovsky), a “cursed” poet will always be cursed -- at least until he or she has been rehabilitated, as it were -- especially a poet who committed suicide as a result of his “defeatism.”
Rather, it would make more sense to say that the New Year’s messages of Greece’s political leaders were influenced by a homegrown poet, Odysseas Elytis, especially his early period, when he felt strong enough to say: “One and two: No one will speak our fate. One and two: We shall speak the sun’s fate.”
But again, the worn-out, dry words that constitute a national address can hardly bear any relationship to poetry. For what can be the connection between the art of poetry which, being a complete stranger to limits, tries to purify words and ratify their deeper meaning, with the so-called “art of the possible,” an art which abuses and corrupts precious words and the ideas they seek to convey?
Who can talk about “direct democracy” with a straight face after George Papandreou’s ridiculous treatment of the concept? And, similarly, who will dare to talk about “transcendence” following Antonis Samaras’s use of the word in the past (it is no coincidence that the New Democracy chief has shed the word from his political vocabulary).
In any case, the New Year’s messages saw our political leaders stand in front of the camera, put on their fake smiles and read out a brief essay as if they were students taking part in a national exam.
Virtually all of them urged us to “take fate into our own hands.” They most likely meant that we ought to vote for them in the coming elections, given that each of them is sober enough to pose as the most efficient administrator of our collective fate.
But taking one’s fate into one’s own hands via a representative, in fact via a representative who will soon forget who he represents and for what reason, has no meaning whatsoever, be it in poetry or politics.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cretan Raki Party in Vrahassi 2012

I just had he one drink, it was quite enough excitement for a Saturday afternoon.

Happy Weekend folks!
Jane x

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Victoria Hislop's - The Thread

Threading Thessaloniki’s history - a report from the Athens News 5 January 2012

by George Gilson
1 Jan 2012

A multicultural paradise lost - where Greeks, Jews and Turks used to live in harmony - is what Victoria Hislop has on offer in her new novel The Thread, a diachronic portrayal of Thessaloniki after the great fire of 1917.
Hislop’s account of the city’s inter-cultural melange is a colourful, literary tapestry that weaves historical events in the lives of individuals, often making for a captivating read.
It is a brand of fiction that seems tailor-made for dramatisation. After all, her novel about the leper colony of Spinalonga, entitled The Island, garnered huge ratings when it was dramatised and shown on a major private television channel in Greece, making the author something of a star in this country.
The Thread is not a historical novel, though Hislop uses the skills of her former profession, journalism, to weave critical moments of 20th-century Greek history through the plot. A key event is the Greek-Turkish population exchange, following the Asia Minor disaster, when Greeks left Turkey for Greece and Greece’s Turks left for Turkey. This dramatic exchange brings some of the main characters to Thessaloniki and the novel gushes with nostalgia for the contributions of the missing Turkish population.
Hislop’s references to the regret the city’s once-dominant Jewish population felt over the incorporation of Thessaloniki into the Greek state in 1912 also reveal some of the tensions between the ethnic-religious groups, as does the novel’s mention of the anti-Semitic references in the city’s rightwing daily Makedonia.
But those tensions are usually played down in support of the leitmotif of multiculturalism running through the narrative, with the insightful portrayals of the mostly female main characters.
Hislop does not take kindly to the indigenous Greek merchant class, represented mainly through the self-centred, profit-hungry and rightwing textile merchant Konstantinos Komninos. The merchant’s oppressed wife and son, who becomes an ELAS (Greek Popular Liberation Army) resistance fighter during the Second World War, however, are treated with empathy. 
A more tender portrayal is reserved for Jewish tailor Saul Moreno, whose establishment caters to Thessaloniki’s westward-looking haute bourgeoisie, Christian and Jewish. He pays his large staff well, investing his profits back into the business and, in contrast to ostentatious Komninos, stays in his modest middle-class quarters. 
The book’s clarity on the Greek identity of the Greek Jews is on target, with stress on the fact that Greece had been their home for centuries and that they fought for the country in the 1940-41 campaign.
If that sounds familiar, it may be because Hislop picks up where Mark Mazower left off in his Salonica, City of Ghosts, a book examining the three communities between 1430 and 1950, and one Hislop says influenced her deeply. 
That said, The Thread - whose title refers to the profession of Katerina, a refugee from Smyrna who becomes a top seamstress at Moreno’s workshop - is a sensitive and often captivating account of how  20th-century Greek history shaped the characters’ lives.
In an interview with the Athens News, Victoria Hislop describes her passage from journalism to fiction, her fondness for Greece, and her new novel.
You have worked in public relations and as a journalist. How does one become a novel writer - and what is the writing process like for you?
Writing is something I enjoy probably more than any other activity and have done since I was a child. I have my diaries that date back to when I was about ten years old - so it wasn’t something that happened overnight. And I always won the writing prizes at school, even in primary school.
So, to be honest, I am not sure what you mean by “how does one become a writer” - I think most people who are writers always were writers. In professional terms, I believe we can get better and better as writers. It’s like practising at piano - the more you do it, the better you get. 
Writing fiction for me is something more exciting than non-fiction. I describe it as the difference between walking and flying. Walking is great, but there is a wonderful freedom with fiction - you can really go anywhere you like in your mind, and create any situation, any character. 
You’ve become something of a legend in Greece and, more broadly, a celebrity writer. How has fame changed your life and that of your family?
I don’t think it’s changed me. I still shop in the same places, eat in the same places. By now people recognise me on the streets in Greece, and that’s nice. But it hasn’t changed my family life.
How do you think human freedom is defined against greater themes in your book of history, and relations between generations, parents and children and the past and present? 
In Greece, human freedom, in terms of family ties, sometimes looks very different from the British version - this is one of the biggest differences I see here. In the UK, freedom means providing the means and support (emotional and financial) to allow a child to find his or her own way, to fulfil their potential in every respect. 
In Greece I see parents keeping tighter hold of their children and I am not sure this always makes for a healthy society. Having said that, the strength of the family bond can also seem very appealing. 
You’ve said you were charmed by the coexistence of Greeks, Jews and Muslims in Thessaloniki before 1917. What do you think life was like back then - was it an idyllic multicultural society?
I am sure there were some problems - there always are, in any society - but from what I have read, yes, these three cultures got on well together. The balance was ideal. Only when the Muslims left and the Jews were then heavily outnumbered by the Christians, did their troubles begin.
When did you first come to Greece and how did your relationship with the country evolve?
I came over 30 years ago as a tourist, and I have visited every year since. I bought a house on Crete about four years ago and now I am learning the language. It’s a strong bond, getting closer all the time, like any relationship.
Your previous book, The Island, was a TV blockbuster in Greece. Why do you think it struck such a chord? Did it become an uncanny parallel to the isolation and scapegoating of Greece in the eurozone crisis? 
Yes, oddly, it did. This might have been why it resonated so strongly here. I saw a cartoon in one of the large newspapers here, representing a boatman taking Portugal, Ireland and Greece over to a small island, which was clearly labelled “Spinalonga”. I think the Greeks do feel they are separated and stigmatised, although they really do have plenty of company in their moment of crisis.
What are the themes of The Thread? How did you choose and shape the characters, and which one do you identify with the most?
The theme, if there is one, is that the events of history (certainly within the framework of The Thread) are closely linked and that you cannot separate yourself from them. Greece in the 20th century was a very tough country to be in. And even if I had no idea how much focus there would be on Greece when I wrote the book, it seems now to provide an explanation to some readers of the origins of Greece’s deep economic problems.
I did a lot of research on the period of the population exchange, and, fortunately, there are a lot of sources in English. I worked in the British Library, and one of the key sources was the American diplomat Henry Morgenthau, who gave an incredible description of what happened back then.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A 45 year old man was arrested by Neapolis police yesterday after they werecalled to the Cosmos Bar in Vrahassi.The said man, an ex-resident of the village who originates from Albania, was found to be threatening a Mr Kivanitakis with a revolver. He apparently pulled it from his jacket pocket in objection to some discussion. One shot was fired into the air as a policeman made a grab for the weapon. A revolver and live amunition were confiscated by the police.

Who was it said nothing ever happens in Vrahassi? By the way I got the report from the Anatoli newspaper, but had already been informed of what happened.

Apart from that it is really quite peaceful in Vrahassi. It's been a lovely bright day today and I've managed to write another 1000 words or so. I had a visit from the leader of the village Council to ask why I didn't attend the New Year's Day event, which was nice. I explained that the day was so cold that we simply enjoyed staying by the fire. It was very apathetic of me I know.

Keep posted for more Vrahassi entertainment.

Love Jane x

Monday, January 2, 2012

Film Show in Vrahassi -The Call of the Mountain

Last week, the last week of 2011, the Cultural Association of Vrahassi "The Anavlohos" held ​​a very significant event. In the club room at the old school the film "The Call of the Mountain" was shown. There followed a discussion about the movie. Many locals attended, and most positive was that it involved a lot of new people. The discussion that followed the film was about concerns that transcend the mundane, and debate on the issues of our country. Linking people with nature in the region, and the opportunities for a decent life with organized forms of exploitation of livestock and agriculture, was the backbone of the debate.
The chairman and the board of the Cultural Association of Vrahassi organized the event.

Those who did not attended the projection can watch the movie here.

I found this movie and comment on the Anavlochos Blog. It really is worth watching, not only for the issues which are raised, but for a look at a disappearing lifestile. The language of the Cretan shepherds has a beauty of its own. Even if you do not understand the words, you can still follow most of the film. Enjoy.

Love Jane x