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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cretan Easter Barbecue

This was just the beginning of a party that went on well into the night. When David and I returned home from our celebration, there was music and laughter in the street. We had the best of both worlds, the only thing we missed was the football. Well done Chelsea! Click here to take a look at what we were up to.

Brits Easter Barbecue in Crete 2012

In stark contrast to our neighbours' barbecue, we Brits all took our own food, and Lydia and Mark provided their gas barbecue (Mark as chef), and Easter entertainment. It was a great afternoon, but not quite the same as Yannis' barbecued lamb and traditional trestle of village wine, Easter biscuits, and Cretan music. Click here for a little taste of it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Poetry Workshop in Xania

A poetry workshop in Crete is a very rare opportunity. I was so pleased to be able to take part in the one given by Ruth Padel, a very esteemed English poet, writer and BBC broadcaster. The trip to Xania was well worth a three hour bus ride.Gillian, my friend and music teacher, came along with me for a little break. The workshop lasted for four days, so Gillian went off exploring Xania during the day, and we met up for dinner each evening.
Ruth Padel was such an inspiration. Her knowledge of poetry and how best to construct it was very educational, and every day of the workshop was intensive and thought provoking. We were seven students all together, all from and around Xania except me. And most were connected in some way to the Synagogue, where we met every day for four and a half hours, the Synagogue library being very conducive to writing poetry.
As a finale there was a reading of our work in the synagogue itself, in front of the Rabi and a small crowd of friends and relatives. Gillian came, and made the lovely video of my reading, click here. 
One of my poems in particular, The Doors, we had discussed in class. At first, though it was humorous, the Jewish words 'Oy Vay' (and I apologise if that is spelt wrong) were criticized as being too 'lowly' for the Synagogue. But the next day, those nearest to the Rabi advised me to leave the words in, saying that they thought Rabi Niko would surely think it funny, and as the whole poem was about someone who knew nothing about Judaism, than it was okay. Sure enough, I made the Rabi laugh!
After the reading, the whole group got together at a long table for wine and meze, and a good old relaxed chat. New friends were made, and it was a wonderful evening. I was introduced to unleven bread, and Gillian was introduced to the Rabi. We were asked back to play baroque music in the Synagogue, an event which I look forward to very much.

Christ is Risen - Agios Nikolaos 2012

This is rather a long video but it is a good one. I was tucked up in bed while all this was going on, so sound asleep that I didn't even hear our neighbours letting off their bangers at midnight. So, for me it was good to find a video showing what happens on Easter Saturday, midnight and after, in Agios Nikolaos.

Yesterday, I was more awake, and I enjoyed a barbecue get together in the centre of Vrahassi, to celebrate Easter, and Gavin's 60th birthday. David won a cream egg in Lydia's sweep, and a good time was had. (photo's later).

Hope you all had as good a weekend as we did.
Love Jane x

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Poetry in the Etz Hayyim Synagogue Xania, Crete.

I enjoyed my five days in Xania, even though the weather was not good. There are more photo's to come, and I shall write a full report of the wonderful poetry workshop I attended. So, please be patient, it is Easter and I have chocolate to eat. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are. Tomorrow I shall take to the streets of Vrahassi and feast on barbecued whatever comes. Kali Anastasi!

Ruth Padel in Hania

Love Jane x

Friday, April 6, 2012

I Doesn't Hurt to Dream

You may wonder what a Bentley Continental GT has to do with marmalade. Well they are both mine! I made the marmalade from oranges that were given to me by a friend whose tree was abundant with fruit. And the Bentley was given to me in exactly the same way. There is abundance out there, a glut of Bentleys just waiting to be distributed to worthy recipients. I was one of those recipients. My Bentley is blue, like the one in the picture. It has a leather interior with seats that are more comfy than any sofa I've ever had. It has surround sound that enables me to listen to rich cello music as I drive along, tons better than my computer speakers, and in the boot there is a picnic hamper complete with smoked salmon sandwiches and champagne. My driver, David, drinks Coca Cola, at least when he is driving. We cruise through Europe visiting all those capital cities that we have never seen, and we stay in the best hotels. Along the way I collect a whole pile of data about our trip and when we return home I write a book about it. 'Poetry is a Bentley'. My book is a best seller, of course, and I am invited to do readings all over the world. With all the money I make I help put a smile on millions of faces, inspiring them to live their dream too. And while I am doing all this David and I are having one hell of an adventure! Now you might ask, 'What’s in the marmalade?' My answer, ‘A zest for life!’ It doesn’t hurt to dream!

My Marmalade

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Agios Nikolaos Join the Fight to Save the Oak Trees of Vrahassi!

 This isn't the best translation, but I got it from Google Translate, taking it from the account in Greek on the Anablochos blog, there is a link in the right hand margin of this page for the full account in Greek and pictures.

An objection to the Region for the hybrid in Azilakodasos decided unanimously yesterday by the Municipal Council of St. Nicholas
The first issue off the agenda was discussed yesterday at the City Council St. Nicholas submitted the issue of MPE for the hybrid hydroelectric power to "Koutralia" in the Azilakodasous Vrachasiou.
Opening the issue Kounenaki D. Mayor read the resolution of the recent Assembly Vrachasiou held by clubs in the area and said the community was right after all made in absentia, while the EIA is unacceptable not to submit for approval to any municipality. So said he recommends the acceptance of those listed and proposed to join the City of St. Nicholas objection together with the regional actors in the Environment Committee of the Region of Crete, which will be introduced for approval by the MPA the project.Then spoke the Dav. Director V. Hatzidakis, who read a text with the positions of the Democratic Rally for industrial electricity and stated that he agrees with an objection. The head of the Municipal Cooperation said that the party is not against renewable energy, however, sufficient to ensure the protection of the environment and resources of a region and said that he agrees with the submission of the objection.The ground taken and Aldermen and the mayor finally closing the matter said that the City has expressed that it is not against renewable energy, but the location must be done with vacant, a study and consultation with local communities, which is Currently not applicable and therefore suggests the joining of the objection.So the City Council took this decision unanimously and now must be set that will be drafted and filed this appeal.
It is worth noting that when discussing this topic in the Public Council, the hall was attended by many residents of Vrachasiou and Milatos (over 30) showing real interest in the local community on this issue without having to speak to a representative of the protest committee.Also attended by members of the Ecological Movement Miramvellou and solidarity Citizens interested in practice on the course of this important environmental case of Mirabello.

It is a very positive step, well done all protesters, and the best of luck! Jane x