Friday, March 30, 2012

People of Vrahassi Object to Hydro Electric Plant

The following is a brief translation of what happened at the meeting last night. For a full report in Greek please see the blog Anavloxos in the side bar right.

A meeting of the local community of Vrachasi convened Thursday 29/3/12 at the invitation of local clubs, to expresse opposition to the siting and licensing of a renewable energy industry facility in the local community of Vrachasi without any information and without any permission from the local community.The local community are flabbergasted that no one from the local self-governing bodies appear know anything, given production licenses for huge industrial-sized RE: Two hydro hybrid, a station with 13 turbines, with a request for permission and a further 9 wind turbines.And all this in an area protected as a special protection network Natura 2000 and as a wildlife refuges.Indeed, the huge hydroelectric hybrid position Koutralia (100 mw power the largest in Greece) is sited adjacent to and in rare Azilakodasos, a rare forest of oak quercious ilex, that similar does not exist anywhere in Greece.
We declare our opposition to this and ask all local government bodies to support us in our fight to prevent these devastating circumstances.
In this context we shall set up a Committee to do all that is necessary to express our opposition to the practice and prevent the destruction of the natural wealth of our country.The protest committee will consist of: D. Kiriakakis, G. Kostakis, G. Miliara, G. Manousakis, Ang. Souladakis, Ang. Vidali, Mich. Kyriakakis, S. Vrontino, M. Lydaki.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Feeling On Top Of The World!

Now I ask, what did this poor dog do to deserve such bad living conditions?
This was taken after heavy rain, and bitter cold.

Our dog Zouki enjoyed the puddles though!

And this billy goat gruff is seemed happy enough amongst the old ruined houses, eating the fresh grass with his family.

I meanwhile feel on top of the world, a bit chilly, but with a hot mug of tea to warm the cockles I am enjoying the mountain

So, all I can say is that I am glad I wasn't fated to be a Cretan sheep dog. The one in the photo is a sorry sight, but he will get fed every day, and he has company, on the other side of the road was his mate in an old oil can. They have not been abandoned, and whilever the shepherd can use them, either to guard his land, or to round up his sheep, they will not be poisoned. Our dog, Zouki, is almost ten years old now, and that is remarkable for a dog in Vrahassi, or Sissi, or most of the places in Crete. Even though it is eligal to put poison down, the practice still goes on. This week there were reports of someone's pet in Sissi eating poison on the roadside. It is part of a great dog and cat cull that goes on every year before the tourist season begins. Surely there is a more humane way of dealing with stray animals. When we took Zouki we knew that she would have to take a chance, we lost our little dog who took a piece of cheese from a neighbour, brought it home and within seconds was convulsing, and within minutes, was dead. Some of our English friends have bought muzzles for their dogs, some carry an antidote injection, you can never be too carefull. And Greek people lose their pets too, a few weeks ago in Sissi a Greek friend of mine had her two lovely dogs poisoned. There are some very unfealing people about. All I can say is be aware of this and do the best you can for your pet.

Meanwhile, one Vrahassi farmer is doing the best he can for his goats. He has tethered them in the lane at the top side of our house, and they are munching away nicely, stripping all the weeds and grass from the lane, and making a very good job of clearing the path. Either Vrahassi needs more goats, or the Council needs to provide us with a street cleaner.

Speaking of street cleaning, I notice that the mess that was underneath the old pergola in the main square, has been cleared away. Maybe it is the beginning of something big!

That's all for now, the weather is warming slowly, and dry, so hope it stays that way. I do believe it has been warmer in England of late, but it is nothing new, every year at this time we long for summer.

Talk again soon,
Love Jane x

Monday, March 26, 2012

National Day in Agios Nikolaos

David and I had a splendid day in Agios on Sunday. We got there early, while most people were in Church, and had a coffee in the square. Then we took a frontline position to watch the parade. It began with the entrance of the Scouts and Cubs. They made a dramatic entrance to the sound of loud, clanging church bells. Then the priests arrived, and the Mayor and other important people. I don't have the name of the man who recited his poem, it was popular with the crowd, written in mantinatha style, and very long. Then, piped brass band music rallied the marchers, who proudly paraded up the main street, into the square, and down towards the harbour. When it was all over, we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed a glass of wine before heading home. The day went without incident, though there were a few orderly demonstraters. There was a large police presence just in case of trouble, but they were not needed. So, on we go towards Easter, and the great Greek holiday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Have You Read My Book About Crete?

Book Review for Tears from the Sun – A Cretan Journey by Jane Sharp

This is a book you have to read whether you are interested in Crete or not. It is the story of a Cumbrian woman who has lost her family in tragic accidents. She is a writer who comes to Crete to write her book. The book which she eventually writes is a book about a Minoan prince and his princess and their part in the sudden destruction of the Minoan civilization. It is certainly an alternative theory to the way in which the Minoan palace of Malia was destroyed in about 1450 B.C.
Tears from the Sun – A Cretan Journey is, in a way, two books in one. The reader accompanies Kate’s every thought and action, as she experiences life in the mountain village of Vrahassi, whilst at the same time, taking a journey back in time to follow the life of Rhamu and Sisi.
Naturally, there is much to be learned about Cretan customs such as baptisms, funerals etc, as they are described first hand by Kate. She has good times and bad as she works in the holiday resort of Sissi and trips off to Malia, Heraklion, Lassithi, Neapolis, Ierapetra and Chrissi Island.
The characters Kate meets jump of the page. It is very easy to imagine every scene, from scruffy mountain men to the Bishop of Xania, from her ex-pat friends to holidaymakers, each one brought to life in this cameo of Crete.
Together with Papa Yorgos and a Scottish sear, Kate uncovers deep, philosophical questions that inspire and inform the reader as she follows her quest to reunite Rhamu with his lost princess. She embarks on an esoteric journey in her effort to find the Emerald Crystal, which finally leads to a climax involving magic, myth and musical harmony.
The poetry which is contained within the book is beautiful and well crafted. This new novel about Crete is certainly a book with a difference; a book which will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think.

You can obtain your copy from,, Waterstones, Smiths and other English bookshops, or ask your local library for a copy.  ISBN9781449073978 Also available as an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle.

For further information about Jane Sharp take a look at her website:

New Super Health Food!

As I am getting very health conscious, I find this article very interesting. If I combine chia with my 7 minute workout, Superwoman better watch out!

The chia craze

Spoon of ground chia seeds
Many people in the UK won't have heard of the chia seed, but if regulators give their backing this US superfood craze could be on the way.
Goji berries, kombucha, wheatgrass, acai berries. It seems rarely a year passes without at least one new health-food frenzy.
Everything from handfuls of strange seeds to bacteria-infested yoghurts to espresso-style shots of odd-tasting green juices are touted as a shortcut to wellbeing.
Chia will soon be joining the list. So what exactly is it?
Chia, or Salvia hispanica L, is a member of the mint family from Mexico and South America. The flowering plant can sprout in a matter of days, but chia's appeal is in the nutritional punch of its tiny seeds.
With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants and minerals, a complete source of protein and more fibre than flax seed, the seeds have been dubbed a "dieter's dream", "the running food", "a miracle", and "the ultimate super food", by advocates and athletes.

What's in 100g of chia?

  • Protein: 20.7g
  • Fat: 32.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 41.8g
  • (of which fibre is 41.2g)
  • Calcium: 714mg
  • Iron: 16.4mg
  • Niacin (B3): 613mg
  • Thiamine (B1): 0.18mg
  • Riboflavin (B2): 0.04mg
Source: Nutritional Science Research Institute
To some the seeds taste utterly bland, but to others there is a slight nutty flavour. It also can seem expensive compared with other seeds and nuts.
In the UK, the seeds are only currently allowed for sale as a bread ingredient, but over the next few weeks, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes is poised to allow chia seeds in a wide variety of products including baked goods, breakfast cereals and nut and seed mixes.
Elsewhere in the world, chia-seed products have been springing up over the past few years. In 2011, 72 new chia products hit the market and 28 new chia foods are already out this year, according to research group Mintel. Compare that with only seven new chia products for all of 2006 and you get a sense of its growing popularity.
The US is particularly infatuated with the seed, introducing 21 new chia items in 2011 and 13 in 2012. It's in sweets, snack foods, seasonings, yogurt and even baby food.
To chia cheerleaders the seeds do no wrong. They claim chia reduces inflammation, improves heart health, and stabilises blood sugar levels. A few tablespoons are touted as remedying just about anything - without any ill effects

Health food crazes

  • Goji berries: The Himalayan fruit is hyped as a "fruit Viagra" and "cellulite-busting" superfood
  • Kombucha: The fermented tea is touted as a tonic for digestion problems, hair loss and other ailments
  • Acai berries: Advocates claim the palm tree fruit cleanses the colon, prevents cancer and boosts weight loss
  • Wheatgrass shots: The concentrated juice made of young wheat plant shoots is purported to have curative properties, particularly for digestion
So is this new superfood all it's cracked up to be?
"In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach and human growth hormone," writes Christopher McDougall in Born to Run, the bestselling book about an ultra-distance running tribe in Mexico who fuel their epic jaunts with the seeds. The book is credited with shining the spotlight on chia as food for athletes.
"If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn't do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home," McDougall adds.
Wayne Coates, co-author of Chia: Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs, agrees. The University of Arizona professor started experimenting with the seeds in South America more than 20 years ago as part of a project to identify alternative crops for farmers in Argentina. He then started cultivating the seeds commercially.
Wheatgrass Wheatgrass juice is not a craze enjoyed by everybody
"I hate to call it a miracle food because there are too many miracles that turn out not to be, but it almost is. Literally, you could live on this stuff because it's pretty much everything you need," Coates says.
Elisabeth Weichselbaum of the British Nutrition Foundation admits she had not heard of chia, but she says the foundation doesn't buy into the idea of a single superfood.
"It is true that some foods are higher in vitamins and minerals, but no single food provides us with everything we need. So the best way to be healthy is to eat a variety of foods," she says.
As an avid runner, Coates relies on the seeds to power his way through 50 and 100-mile races.
"I actually carry it in a film canister on my runs, I down a half a canister and wash it down with water."
Jeffrey Walters of the chia producer Omega 3 Chia is also a firm believer. He says the company has received inquiries from the United Nations World Food Programme to bump up the nutrient content of their rice dole.

How chia is eaten

Bread contains chia
  • Mixed in couscous
  • Added to bread or muffin mix
  • Sprinkled over salad
  • Chia gel - seeds are soaked in water to form a gel-like substance added to jelly, jam, yoghurt or salad dressing
  • Agua fresca de chia - seeds are stirred with water, lime juice and sugar to make a cold drink
Source: AZChia
Walters says he has also been contacted by schools looking to sneak nutritional value into canteen fare and doomsdayers searching for a nutrient-dense food to stockpile in the event of a catastrophe.
David Nieman, director of the Human Performance Labs at Appalachian State University, has analysed the nutritional content of chia and its impact on health in a series of studies. Nieman says the seeds "as a nutritional package are wonderful", but they're no "magic pill".
"If you grind it up and sprinkle it on cereal and put it in yogurt, or put it in juice then you are giving yourself a nutritional boost. You're definitely adding to your mineral, fibre, protein, and omega-3 intake, but will it magically cure disease or take away risk factors? It's almost like a cult following for some of these chia people, they claim everything under the sun.
"But after 10 to 12 weeks we don't see anything happening to disease risk factors in free-living people."
Walters says business has doubled each year for the past four years.
In the UK, chia is permitted in bread products at concentrations up to 5%, according to the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes.
Chia pet of Barack Obama "Chia pets" are used as decorative items
But that's set to change. The ACNFP recently released a largely positive draft opinion on the expanded use of chia seeds in other foodstuffs.
Walters has already seen a drive toward the UK market. One of his clients requested a huge quantity of chia for UK products for 2013.
Health food chain Holland & Barrett already offers whole and milled chia seeds online, ostensibly as a bread ingredient.
"Interest in chia has been building for the last two years, but it is only in the last six months that the product has been readily available in the UK," according to Holland & Barrett's nuts and seeds manager Douglas Thompson.
Although the hype may be new in the UK, the seeds have been around for hundreds of years. The Aztecs relied on chia as a staple food and revered it enough to use for religious ceremonies and medicinal purposes, according to Coates.
"It disappeared for 500 years and the only place you could find it is in a few little villages in Mexico and Guatemala," Coates says.
But even before Coates and his team picked up on the seeds, chia had something of a cult following in the US.
Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens American footballer Ray Rice is one of the athletes advocating chia
Until recently, most Americans would recognise it as the cheesy Christmas gift of choice circa 1990. Chia Pets, terracotta figurines which sprout chia in place of hair, grow from the same seeds.
As with any other "miracle food", it's important not to see chia as a panacea, says Dr Catherine Ulbricht, founder of the Natural Standard Research Collaboration.
"People think with natural therapies that they can take as much as they want because it's natural, but they do have potential side effects just like any therapy," she says.
"Anything that can have an action in your body can also have a reaction. Nothing is 100% spot-on all benefit."

Angry Greek People!

I just had to put this on the blog. I did take a video but it wasn't as good as this one, which shows all the action! Stick with George's speach till the entertainment starts. How will anything ever get done when there is such ill feeling towards the local council? You certainly got 'em riled George!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm!

Thanks to Vrachassi.blogspot for this photo of the Council meeting in Vrahassi last night. Lydia and I are on the back row, David was just out of shot. For a report in Greek please click on Vrahassi News (in Greek) in the side bar right.

Heated Discussion at Vrahassi Council Meeting

People listen to a list of works read by Michaelis Petselakis
The meeting begins in a civilized manner.
David and I attended the Council Meeting in Vrahassi, last night, along with friend Lydia, and a good representation of people from Sissi, Milatos, and Vrahassi. It was chaired by the Mayor of Agios Nikolaos, and representatives from each village. Mr Michaelis Petselakis opened the discussion with a financial report and list of works to be done. Things discussed were, the neglect of repair of the roads in the area, the terrible state of the water supply, the absence of street cleaners, the irregulare collection of rubbish and the bad state of street lighting. I heard something about a football ground but couldn't understand exactly what.There were many grievences and few solutions. Hopefully the bad state of local government will be sorted out, and our villages will be improved. The discussion was loud and often vituperative, in one instance almost coming to fisticuffs. There was a distinct clash of personalities. Mr Dimitri Kiriakakis did talk about the company who have first permissions to erect wind turbines in the mountains across from Vrahassi and towards Krasi, but he got very little support for his objection to the destruction of what should be designated a National Park, from what I could make out.
Then all hell breaks loose

And it almost ends in a fight!

There are many angry people about at the moment, nerves are frayed with the economic situation, and the frustrations of inadequate services are adding to their grievence. Let's hope their voices have been heard, and the needs of the community looked to. 

And now it's time for my 7 minute workout before a healthy bowl of porrige oats, then a couple of hours cello practice, and an evening writing a bit more to my new novel. 

Bye for now,
Love Jane x

Monday, March 19, 2012


Dimitri Kiriakakis, Chairman of the village council, Vrahassi, and friends visit Manolis Solanaki in Spina.

In the Mountains of Crete (across from Vrahassi)

Yesterday David and I took a trip into the mountains, up past the Monastery of St George and on towards the lower slope of Selena. A French company has been given the first permissions to build a wind farm up there. What a shame if that beautiful, natural countryside is scarred by the errection of wind turbines. Personally, I think the area should be designated a National Park, and that should include Vrahassi and Anavlohos. The abundence of wild flowers, the natural habitat of the Griffon Vulture and other wild birds, the fact of being able to visit a piece of this planet where it is possible to be at one with nature, are all reasons why this area should be protected. I know I am not alone in thinking this, and I only hope that we can find some way of stopping the proposed scheme.
Sorry about the shake on the video, but the road is very bad. It's a thought, but, isn't there any European money to help make that road better so that more people can enjoy the mountains. If it were a tourist attraction (and I don't mean to make it into a main road) then that may be another reason to make it a National Park, with proper signs, and regulations. It works in England where there are Park Rangers to help control things like litter, protection of species etc.
Selena is a beautiful mountain, a very beautiful mountain, go there if you can, and see for yourself.

Love Jane x

By the way, the lovely music is Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata, and I am going to listen to the whole thing while I do my 7 minute workout. Got to get fit to walk in the mountains.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patrick's Day in Crete

Here's to all you Leprechaunes - Yamas!

Danny Boy
by Frederick Edward Weatherly

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
And when you come, and all the flowers are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOANNE! We have cakes and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate along with you. Since when did we let a thousand miles stop us being together?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Action Against the Wind Turbines!

The people of Crete are a proud people. Vrahassi people are proud people. I hope they are not powerless in their fight to stop wind turbines being put on their mountain. The beautiful countriside that surrounds Vrahassi should be kept as a nature reserve. It is horrendous to think of roads being dug out of the slopes of Selena, of giant windmill being errected on the skyline, of precious oak trees being dug up. When tourists come to this area they come because of the natural beauty. They visit Sissi because of its beautiful harbour and pleasant surroundings. They come to Vrahassi to see the Griffon vultures, to walk the old roads and descover wild flowers, to sit in the centre of this traditional Cretan village and find the peace that a mountain location has to offer. What a tragedy if the proposed wind turbines change the face of this wonderful area. I wish the people of Vrahassi well with their fight against this happening. Cretan people don't give in easily! Vrahassi people never give in!

Love Jane x

Οι άνθρωποι της Κρήτης είναι ένας περήφανος λαός. Οι Βραχασώτες είναι περήφανοι άνθρωποι. Ελπίζω ότι δεν θα είναι ανίσχυροι στον αγώνα τους να σταματήσουν την τοποθέτηση των ανεμογεννητριών στο βουνό τους. Η όμορφη φύση που περιβάλλει το Βραχάσι πρέπει να κρατηθεί ως αποθεματικό της φύσης. Είναι φοβερό να σκεφτεί κανείς δρόμους να σκάβονται στις πλαγιές της Σελένας, γιγάντιους ανεμόμυλους να εικονίζονται στο ορίζοντα, πολύτιμα δέντρα δρυες να ξαπατώνονται. Όταν οι τουρίστες έρχονται σε αυτόν τον τόπο έρχονται λόγω της φυσικής ομορφιάς. Επισκέπτονται το Σίσι για το όμορφο λιμάνι του και το ευχάριστο περιβάλλον. Έρχονται στο Βραχάσι για να δουν τα Όρνια, να περπατήσουν στα παλιά μονοπάτια, να ανακαλύψουν αγριολούλουδα, να καθίσουν στο κέντρο αυτού του παραδοσιακού κρητικού χωριού και να βρουν την ηρεμία που μια βουνίσια τοποθεσία έχει να προσφέρει. Τι τραγωδία, εάν οι προτεινόμενες ανεμογεννήτριες αλλάξουν το πρόσωπο της υπέροχης αυτής περιοχής. Εύχομαι οι άνθρωποι του Βραχασίου να πάνε καλά στην πάλη τους να αποτρέψουν να συμβεί αυτό. Ο Κρητικός λαός δεν ενδίδει εύκολα! Οι Βραχασώτες ποτέ δεν ενδίδουν!
Με αγάπη Jane x 
My sincere thanks to George of for translating this post into Greek.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Living in the Clouds

Now who can go out and about in this! View from my window in Vrahassi.

Everything Happens For a Reason

     Watch this beautiful video! The words are so true to my philosophy of life. I hope you like it.

Love Jane x

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Andante from Sonata in G, op 12 - C S Schonebeck

It is really good for me to do these videos, because I can see what needs improvement. I know I've a way to go yet to be good, but I'm on the road. So, back to my practice session. By the way, it's pouring down in Vrahassi, the mountain is obliterated, and it's very cold again.

Bye for now,
Love Jane x

Monday, March 12, 2012

7 Minute Workout Really Works

And this is what we were really up to yesterday. We enjoyed making this little video about the 7 minute workout. If you want to get fit for summer, start now. Take a look at David's site by clicking here >> , it will show you how and anyone has time to do this and improve their health and well being, and that of their loved ones.

Watch out for our next month progress report. Bye for now,
Love Jane x


I've just joined Pinterest, the social site for photo postings etc. So I'm going to try and get my head around it today. After cello practice that is.

Well, it's raining in Vrahassi, the mountain is covered in thick cloud, very reminescent of Wherenside on a good day. That is every good day that David and I climbed up there. Yesterday though was wonderful, so we took a little time out and headed for Sissi. We drank a couple of glasses of wine at the Orange Bar, which was very pleasant. We even got talking to a few locals. It was good to be out and about. Then we popped in to The Water Mill, for a snack before heading back to Vrahassi.

It is exercise day today, hoorah! I am really feeling the benefit of the 7 minute workout now. I'm getting stronger and building up to some energetic days ahead.

I'll post pictures later. So ta, ta, for now.
Love Jane x

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Neapolis Cathedral in March Moonlight

The moon as it rose over the hills was a bright orange last night. By the time it was well up in the sky it had taken on the appearance of a heavenly light bulb, immitating the street lighting infront of the church in Neapolis.

Have a good weekend, love Jane x

Friday, March 9, 2012

'THE PLANET CHANGES' Exhibition Gouves


March, 2012

A comprehensive exposition, focussing on Climatic Change: The Threat to Life And a New Energy Future, will open next month at the International Exhibition Center in Gournes.
The exhibit, entitled “The Planet Changes,” has been organised by the Greek Center for Marine Research and the Cretaquarium in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In a space of over 800 square meters, the complexity of the climatic change phenomenon, the most important world environmental problem today, will be unfolded to the public. The exhibit is structured in eight units touching on such issues and subjects as the historicity of the production of energy from hydrocarbons, the repercussions in land and marine ecosystems and the solutions which can be given for a viable future on an individual as well as on a social level.

Particular emphasis is given to the enormous importance of Oceans and Seas in the configuration of world climate. The Cretaquarium, apart from the AMNH exhibits, extends the exhibit with subjects concerning the climatic change in the region of the Mediterranean Sea and in the Greek seas, presenting with current museological approaches the scientific results from research done by the Hellenic Marine Institute and other scientific institutions.
Prior to its official opening, this month specialised personnel from the American Museum of Natural History in New York will arrive in Crete for the preparation and setting up of the exhibit. The exhibit is set to start on April 14 and will remain open until the end of September.
During this exhibit, organized activities and events will be programmed for the public, reinforcing the importance of the area of the former American base in Gournes, combined with the Cretaquarium, as the most attractive area in Eastern Crete.

Information taken from the Khronicles on line newspaper, Crete.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quit Smoking Now!

My mother died 39 years ago this week at the age of 47. She had a bad heart and lungs that were damaged with cigarette smoke. Every day she faught for breath. The cigarettes finally killed her. She didn't know the damage they were doing to her body until it was too late. There is no excuse now - we all know that smoking knackers your lungs, causes arteries to fur up, and brings on no end of other illnesses. QUIT SMOKING NOW!

Will the Greek people ever stop smoking? It is something that I am very passionate about. Tobacco cost me a lot. It cost me my mother. Every time I go into a bar, cafeneo or restaurant, and see the 'No Smoking' sign I am encouraged, but in the same instant I shake my head, because this sign means nothing. It is just another law that has been passed to appease Europe, another law that will never be enforced by the Greek police. But it is not only the Greek people who put two fingers up to the no smoking laws, it is also visitors to this land, the English, the Dutch, the Germans, and others, who refuse to be responsible citizens and continue to smoke in those public places that specifically announce 'NO SMOKING'. I agree that every person should be given the right to smoke if he or she so wishes, but they should not inflict their deadly smoke on those people who prefer not to gunge up their lungs with tar.

And now, with the state of the economy in Greece, which business owner is going to turn away customers because they smoke? It's not going to happen. Livings have to be made. So people will continue to smoke everywhere in Greece. As for me, well I don't smoke and I never have. And I have choices: I can be a customer at places that tolerate smokers, or I can keep away.

The thing is, for your own sake, realise what cigarette smoke does to your body. Remember my mother, and thousands of other mothers who have died because of smoking. Don't let it be you. Don't leave your children to live their lives without a mother, as I have. QUIT SMOKING NOW!

I mean it!
Love Jane x

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Message For All Non-Greeks

 Ros Grypari puts it in words we can all understand.

Although I am not Greek, I love Greece dearly and it has been my second home for nearly 40 years. Over the last two years I have watched a lot of finger pointing and accusations being aimed at this unequaled, beautiful cradle of democracy and I have one question for you: How would your country's people have coped, if your nation's history had followed the same path that Greek history has followed?...

Ironically, the Greeks, the creators of democracy, have only been a FREE, "democratic" nation for a mere 38 years, since their infamous junta fell in 1974! Think about it! For over 600 years the Greeks have not had any leaders that they could trust!... They were under a violent and barbaric Turkish rule for 400 years! The only way to survive was by bribery and corruption! Vastly outnumbered, they fought with unparalleled bravery from 1821 to 1829 to overthrow the Turks and they eventually won - but then - in 1831, the three great powers of Europe (Great Britain, France and Russia) decided that the newly independent Greeks should have a monarchy, so they sent them a 17 year old Bavarian/German prince to be their king, accompanied by 3 very austere Bavarian/German advisors! (Sound familiar?)... From 1863, thereon, the Greek monarchy came from Denmark. The foreign imposed monarchy was finally overthrown, after 153 years, by the military junta in 1967, after which the Greeks suffered a further 7 years of terror at the hands of the generals! The monarchy's permanent removal was, unsurprisingly, decided in a referendum by the Greek people in 1974.

Apart from the Turkish rule, the foreign imposed monarchies and a dictatorship, the Greeks also suffered terribly during the German and Italian occupation during WWII, which left them deeply in debt, devastated and destroyed, in spite of their courageous resistance. Once again, the Greeks had an immense struggle, being forced to use whatever means it took, just to survive!... Is it a wonder that they are sick of foreigners interfering with their affairs? What other nation in the developed world has been so oppressed, by so many other nations AND a military junta (which was ALSO imposed by a foreign power!) for the last 600 years?

Understandably, ever since 1974, when "democracy" was finally restored, the Greek people have nurtured a deep mistrust of all their politicians and leaders. Greek citizens rarely get the advantage of tax breaks and rewards for being honest that one expects in a civilized, democratic society. Greek politicians, having been tarred with the same corrupt brush as their tyrannical predecessors, have always stolen from their people and used bribery and blackmail to get them to vote for them! Avoiding paying taxes has, largely, been an unspoken agreement between the RICH Greeks and the politicians, who had a mutual, unspoken agreement to turn a blind eye! But the rich and the politicians are NOT the ones who are paying the punishment for the mess that they have got Greece into! It is the poor, the pensioners and the middle classes who are being forced to pay - and they are on their knees!

The last nail in the coffin for Greece appears to have been George Papandreou, the most recently elected Greek Prime Minister (whose mother is an American!)... Mr Papandreou was born and raised in the United States, not even coming to Greece until 1974! Following his removal, last year, the Greeks have had yet another leader imposed on them by foreign powers!... A BANKER "technocrat", of all people! (There's no need to say whose side HE is on!)

This is a watershed moment for Greece. The Greek people are desperately fighting for change and for survival, yet again - but it is a bloody battle and this time they are up against the EU, the IMF, the ECB AND all the world banks! After all, Ancient Athens wasn't built in a day and modern Athens and Greece will, somehow, have to be re-built out of the ashes, with a new model of honesty, transparency and fairness. The Greeks have a very long and hard road ahead. From where will they find the strength do this on their own, when they have been so defeated and bled so dry? They really can't take any more pain and unless other countries do something to HELP the Greek people, sooner or later, your own country will be the next victim in the bankers' sights, in this sinister war of finance! (NB: The majority of the loans that you hear about, that are supposedly going to "help" Greece, are NOT going to the Greek people - they are going to the world's banks to pay the VAST amounts of interest that have been incurred on the relatively small amount of debt that is owed by Greece!)... It is a country of only 11 million people, so they need a lot of help and support! Capitalism appears to be imploding, worldwide, and it is the Greek people who are paying for it dearly, suffering more than anyone outside of Greece can imagine.

So, to those of you who, mistakenly, think that the Greeks have brought this crisis upon themselves - please think again!... The Greek people are NOT to blame! The combination of hundreds of years of foreign interference/imposition AND the corrupt and greedy bankers, worldwide, are the ones to blame! They have taken advantage of the corrupt government in Greece and have chosen the Greeks as the weakest and easiest victims to prey on for their first meal, using them as an experiment and picking the Greek bones dry in the process! However, there appears to be a tsunami of support building for the Greeks, which is beginning to spread across the world. It could be the last ray of hope for Greece!

Ros Grypari

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Here is my version of Give Greece a Chance, to get the gist of how to fit the words in, listen to the video below, and sing along, or use my words for your own performance.

Jane x



Ev’rybody’s talkin ‘bout…







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©Jane Sharp 2012