Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sudden Death of Local Doctor 43 Year Old.

Sudden death of local doctor, Yannis Komninos.

There is much sadness amongst the local community for the loss of the doctor, Yannis Komninos who suffered a heart attack while on duty in the hospital at Neapolis, Lassithi, Crete.
After being transferred to Agios Nikolaos he lost the " battle " for life. 

Dr Yannis was loved throughout the local community which  deeply mourns his loss. He was 43 year old, married and father of a boy 9 years old.

The funeral will be held today Saturday, at 15.00 at the church Notre Kamariano in New Halicarnassus.

I'm lost for words, such a brilliant doctor, such a bright spark. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'Santa is Coming' Jane's Christmas Eve Poem

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Walk Around Vrahassi

 First park the car!

 Find an ancient landmark

 Stop for a word with the locals!

Notice the rising street levels! 

 And spot the demolished house!

Or buy one that wants demolishing! 

 Enjoy the village aromas of oranges and lemons!

 Investigate unusual objects!
And pick up a hire car for the journey home!

This is Crete - would we have it any other way?

Is there any wonder that I am inspired to write when I'm here? My new novel is 40000 words in now, first draft, and growing. It is nothing like my first one, Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey, which by the way, you can buy from Amazon, Barns and Noble, or order from your local bookshop or library, no this one is much different, but it still has a hint of Mediterranean. You are going to love it, I know. 

Anyway, blogging isn't getting my new book written, so I'll say 'bye' and talk to you some more very soon.

Enjoy your week whatever you are doing, and if you want to start earning a bit of extra money, click the link at the top of this page, or better still, try this link:

Love Jane x 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Russian Tourists Come to Greece

And what do they buy when they come here? Well a good indication is in the number of Russian fur shops that are spreading all over the island. Apparently the Russian people can buy fur coats in Crete much cheaper than in Russia. And there really is a plethora of huge showrooms, with very professional looking advertisements on hoardings, all along the main tourist strip. 

Whether it is right or wrong to buy and sell garments made from animals is another story. I personally would not buy one, but then, I don't have to suffer the sub zero temperatures of Russia and beyond. So, while that debate goes on, trade in fur is obviously bringing money into Crete. I only hope that the Russian people also go home with a very rich appreciation of Greek history and culture. 

Evgeny Pisarevskiy the Deputy Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation, visited the 29th International Tourism Exhibition “Philoxenia.” During his interview, he stated that Greece could attract 3.6 million Russian tourists in the next 5 years.
He also said that we could announce the year 2015 “as a year of Tourism between Greece and Russia.” The increase of Russians means an important increase in tourist incomes.
Furthermore, he insists that the visa regulations still remain an obstacle and he asked to abolish the visa for the Russian tourists.
He also said that we should create tourist guides in the Russian language in order to attract them. He also added that the great advantage of Greece is its history and especially Greek mythology. He also invited Greeks to visit Russia to see not only the popular sites and cities, but also places which still remain unknown for most people.
From a report by Maria Papathanasiou 
And maybe one day, my book Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey will be translated into Russian, and many other languages. That would be good.
So have a great Sunday, everyone.
Talk again soon,
Love Jane x

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Favourite Church Near Neapolis

Sometimes it is good to find a place of peace, and remember those loved ones who are no longer with us. The people who helped to make us who we are, and give us that invisible strength to cope with the demands of life. Please share the moment with me. Love Jane x

And now it is the end of another successful day here in Crete. The log fire is burning bright and is very cosy. I have reached the goals I set for myself this morning, and I am looking forward to another busy day tomorrow.

I am happy to see that my viewing figures are going up, and I wish all my readers, wherever you are, the very best November you have ever had.

Peace, health and happiness to all,
Love Jane x

And now for something entirely different!

Sorry - no asking you to buy my book tonight, that will come tomorrow. Just be happy!
(Of course if you really can't live another day without it, look me up on Amazon)

Night, night, Go bless.
Jane x

Nostalgia in Vrahassi

I so appreciate Nostalgia cafe bar in Vrahassi. I can sit in in comfortable surroundings, eat Kiria Anna's fantastic food, practice my Greek, and work. It doesn't get much better. I always think of what I should have said on the video, after the event. But here you can share a flavour of my evening in Vrahassi. Today I'm going to Neapolis so I will be reporting from there. I do believe more rain is on the way tonight, so I better get a few supplies in. Talk later. Love Jane x

Oh, and just to say, I was up till after midnight last night making sure I accomplished the goal I had set for the day. Books don't write themselves you know! And in and amongst it all there is a fair amount of reading. But it's all good fun. I have learned such a lot since writing Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey. Which, by the way, you can find on Amazon (in case you didn't already know lol)

Blessings around the world,
Love Jane x

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Key for Greece's Economic Recovery

Just found this report and thought it would be good to share it:

Export-led growth key for Greece's economic recovery, says American economist Jeffrey Sachs

 Economist Jeffrey Sachs, seen here in a file photograph, was recently in Athens on an invitation by the Harvard Business School Club of Greece.
By Eleni Varvitsiotis
“They put the train through the Agora? That’s a little crazy.” Although he doesn’t always seem to grasp how things works around here, Jeffrey Sachs is a big fan of Greece.

In an interview with Kathimerini, the American economist and director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute who was recently in Athens on an invitation by the Harvard Business School Club of Greece describes the country as a top global brand. He praises its healthy cuisine and lifestyle, and believes it has huge reserves of talent.

The 59-year-old, who is also special adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is realistic about people’s suffering as a result of the stubborn recession, but remains optimistic about the not too distant future, provided that policymakers do the right things. The key, he says, is export-led growth. “Growth not from gimmicks of short-term spending, but growth based on real international competitiveness of Greek goods and services.”

The recession is continuing, unemployment is soaring and incomes are going down. What would you say to the average man on the street in Greece today?

I think the perception is correct. This has been a very painful period. Greece has seen its living standards decline and had to cut back sharply, unemployment is very high and it has been a very difficult period overall. It has been a sharp and harsh adjustment. But what I would say is that now, realistically, this is the bottom – meaning that now there is the prospect for recovery and for a future, not only for economic growth but for a better life. So this has been a very difficult period and now Greece is in a position, if it does the right things and if its partners give the right help, to start new jobs, to create employment for young people, new business, the basis for new prosperity.

If you could pinpoint three things that Greece should do, what would they be?

The basis for Greece’s future growth and job creation would be exports, because the domestic economy will remain compressed. Greek standards have gone down, Greece doesn’t have access to lots of capital, so it’s going to have to earn its way by selling goods to the markets. But I’m quite optimistic Greece has a tremendous amount of talent. It is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is one of the great tourist destinations, it has one of the healthiest populations and lifestyles in the whole world. It has a world-famous cuisine and diet, so people want to visit and get healthier. Health tourism is high-potential.

Also, Greece has enormous untapped energy resources: the sunshine and the wind. In order to tap these resources, one needs investment in a grid that links Greece to the Northern European electricity distribution. So the basic challenge is export-led growth. In order to make that happen you have to identify markets, you need good diplomacy. I recommend that the prime minister sends leading businessmen on trips to the Middle East, Africa and Asia so that businesses abroad and political leaders abroad will know about Greece’s markets, services and so forth – real export promotion.

Tax policy should help to promote these new industries, along with special financing for youth employment and startup enterprises. Such a package of measures has been introduced before in other places; it’s time for Greece to do this during the emergency.

It has been hard to think of these things because for the last four years Greece [has been trying] to stay alive and the creditors were also thinking short-term and were not giving Greece a long-term perspective. In my view, it is necessary to push for a longer perspective based on growth and not austerity. Growth not from gimmicks of short-term spending, but based on the real international competitiveness of Greek goods and services. I’m optimistic because you can see where this can happen, you can see the interest internationally in these sectors.

You have said in the past that Greece is a good brand.

I think it’s the best brand because, first of all, Greece gave birth to Western civilization; everybody knows it and everybody wants to come and see it and to feel a part of that. During a recent visit to the Vatican, I ran to see Raphael’s famous painting “The School of Athens” because for me it’s the epitome of Western civilization and I just wanted to have another look at Plato and Aristotle and Socrates.

People also come here for the natural beauty, the islands, they know Greece and they know about the Mediterranean diet, which is the healthiest diet in the whole world. Apart from this marvelous climate and beautiful location, Greece is also a crossroad – in fact, a very complicated one. It has seen lots of fighting, lots of wars, which go back 3,000 years and more. But the fact of the matter is that in a global world, Greece sometimes feels at the end of Europe; it is at the same time at the crossroads for Africa, Asia and Europe. That is a great location, which is why China is so interested in Greece as a place both for manufacturing and for port services.

You said that we keep looking inside, while the EU is not a closed system.

Sometimes people say “Germany must do this so Greece can accomplish that,” and some economists say that Germany must spend more domestically so Greece can sell goods to Germany, or if Germany doesn’t reduce its trade surplus then Greece will not be able to reduce its trade deficit. This is a kind of zero-sum mentality that treats the eurozone as a closed system – i.e. what happens inside is the only thing that counts. The fact of the matter is that Europe is part of the world economy and Greece is, of course, part of this world economy so Greece doesn’t need to sell its goods only to Germany or Italy, France and so on. Greece should be looking at the Middle East, Greece should be looking at China.

The world economy market is 90 trillion dollars and Greece is a very small part of it. There is a large world market out there that can be the source of prosperity and growth. It is interesting that the largest growing countries in the world in the last quarter century have been the East Asian countries who held the view that export-led growth was the key. Even China with 1.3 billion people – 100 times Greece’s population – went for export-led growth and was able to find a world market, so Greece, with its very small footprint in population, has a large market. If China looks outside with such a market within, it is unbelievable that Greece doesn’t.

All the debate about stimulus and austerity based on the Keynesian model is based on a closed economy system vision which has never been true for any country, especially for a small economy like Greece. You don’t have to wait for domestic government stimulus to have demand, the demand is everywhere in the world, you just have to earn the way – that’s the difference.

Take a look at Korea. Korea faced a huge crisis in 1997 when the financial crisis hit East Asia, and at that point Korean businessmen told me: “Don’t worry. We will grow out of it.” I don’t know how they were so confident about it. “Don’t worry. Within a few years we are going to have a huge surplus and pay off the debt.” I was rather surprised as it seemed unrealistic at the time. But they achieved everything they said because they had the drive to go out and do it. They have taken the view that they have to be excellent in technology, new markets. Look at Samsung to see how it has taken the world of mobile phones. Who would have expected it? Competing with Apple, defeating Nokia, competing at the very top of the world in the most competitive sector, it’s a good role model and relevant for Greece.

Don’t you think Greece should get a debt writedown?

I think the first thing that should be clear to everyone is that if the face value of the debt is reduced or the interest rate is reduced, it means the same thing in real economic terms. The question is what is the amount that Greece will have to pay its creditors over time, and you can measure that in the year-by-year cash flow or in the net present value and that has to come down to reasonable levels, either by the haircut approach or by low interest rates and a long period of retainment. I think it is more reasonable to expect the latter approach for many reasons, political perhaps, even constitutional.

Greece’s creditors are less interested in the haircut approach than they are in the low-interest approach. The low-interest approach is close but of course the details matter because an extra point in the interest rates is a big deal. So it is something to negotiate very carefully, and my view in this crisis is that the creditors have the same interest as the debtors in finding a reasonable solution that builds the prospect for economic recovery.

Already in 1987 I wrote a paper about the economics of debt overhang and it was about the economies of Latin America. It was the argument that if the creditors are too tough, they lose also. So I showed that a mathematically reasonable compromise benefits both creditors and debtors. It played an important role in resolving the debt crisis in America at the end of the 1980s. Of course, the situation here is different in many ways, but the basic point is that Greece’s creditors have an interest in the country’s recovery and growth, and I think it’s clear. Two years ago there was a lot of misguided talk of a Greek exit. Fortunately that went away, at least for the time being.

Do you think that the troika has made mistakes? Do they really get what is going on here?

The troika will never define a comprehensive approach. They see themselves more as policemen rather than policymakers, but they often make mistakes, thinking that what they say is the whole story. The only way to take on the troika is through very positive direct and persistent negotiations put forward by Greece itself. In other words, you don’t wait for the outside to get it right; you have to put forward your framework, saying: “This is what we want to do. It fits your criteria but you can’t dictate the micromanagement because we have to do the micromanagement ourselves. It has to be our program, our design, our strategy. You have to give us the space. We are going to be good partners but you cannot define our program.” This is an important point that is repeated over and over.

At the same time, however, the Greek government is not following the guidelines so I cannot blame them 100 percent. But the guidelines are not always right. The government should not agree to silly things that it is not going to follow. This leads to more confusion, misunderstanding, lack of trust, ill will. I have spent a lot of time negotiating, not with the troika but with the IMF over 25 years. They often get key concepts wrong although they get many things right. The way to go is not to wait for them to solve it. A good government has to put forward a tough, realistic program and push hard for that, and it’s not guaranteed but it is the only way to find a way. That’s why it is so important for Greece to very affirmatively define the terms. Not to scream, but to be very clear of what is needed for recovery.

Do you feel that the government is headed in the right direction?

I think the adjustment so far has been painful but has put Greece in a position that will resume growth. Without more growth, this kind of pain cannot be tolerated and will not work. Growth has to resume and this is the real test coming up – the ability to start creating the new scenario. This has been a very long, deep contraction, extraordinary by historical standards, not normal. In general I resist the word depression. Paul Krugman uses the term depression in the US, which I don’t think is accurate, but for Greece this is depression by standards of economic history: The output is down by a quarter, unemployment is more than 25 percent, youth unemployment is 60 percent. By any standard this is a depression, every bit of unhappiness is understandable, and that’s why it’s so important to find a path out of the crisis. , Tuesday November 12, 2013 (19:34)

Hospital Visit in Heraklion

Don't anyone ever knock the British National Health Service!
Be thankful for every healthy day, that's what I say.

I've had roast chicken for dinner, our log burner is fired up, and we are playing BBC sounds of the 70s.

It doesn't get much better! Oh, and I've managed another couple of thousand words today.

Happy Sunday evening to you all.
Love Jane x

Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey is available from and, Barnes and Noble, and can be ordered from local book stores. Get your copy in time for Christmas.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fresh Fish in Vrahassi

It was back to our old haunt last night, for a beer and a taste of Crete. We were even treated to a couple of little fish that Panos had caught fresh that morning, and Anna had cooked. It's great to be back!

With thanks to the fish, of last night's supper.

Love Jane x

Friday, November 15, 2013

November Rain in Crete

Hello dear readers, now you can hear me speak too. Have a good weekend, I look forward to being with you again next week.

Love Jane x

And don't hesitate to click the link at the top of the page to get started with the greatest network of all, Empower Network. Start making an income on line today, if I can do it so can you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saint Minas Day in Crete

Agios Minas Cathedral

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Agios Minas Cathedral
Agios Minas Cathedral 01.jpg
Basic information
AffiliationGreek Orthodox
DistrictArchbishopric of Crete
Architectural description
The Agios Minas Cathedral is a Greek Orthodox Cathedral in HeraklionGreece, serving as the seat of the Archbishop of Crete. It was built over the time period of 1862-1895. The construction was interrupted during the Cretan Revolution of 1866–1869.[1] It is one of the largest cathedrals in Greece, with a capacity of 8,000 people [2]
So, thank you Agios Minas for getting us safely to our destination.
I just love sitting in Neapolis with a cold chocolate, or even a cold beer.

You can read some more about that in my book, Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey
Buy your copy now from Amazon.  (and I'll love you forever - honestly!)

Talk soon,
Love Jane x

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ghosts for Halloween!

Michael Jackson's 'Ghosts' 1996 with Greek subtitles. 

This film was Michael 's attempt to create something that can surpass the success of Thriller. The result most artistically perfect, is a short film that ranks and category of the video clip. Filmed and aired in 1996 and released in limited editions along with the film Stephen King "THINNER". A year later released worldwide on video and Video CD. The film was screened out of competition at Cannes in 1997. In 2002 he was honored by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest clips in the history of music.

Η ταινία Ghosts του Michael Jackson από το 1996 με ελληνικούς υπότιτλους. H ταινία αποτέλεσε την προσπάθεια του Michael να δημιουργήσει κάτι που να ξεπεράσει την επιτυχία του Thriller. Το αποτέλεσμα καλλιτεχνικά πιο άρτιο, είναι μία ταινία μικρού μήκους που κατατάσσεται και στη κατηγορία του βίντεο κλιπ. Κινηματογραφήθηκε και προβλήθηκε το 1996, ενώ κυκλοφόρησε σε περιορισμένα αντίτυπα μαζί με τη ταινία του Stephen King "THINNER". Ένα χρόνο αργότερα κυκλοφόρησε παγκοσμίως σε βιντεοκασέτα και Video CD. Η ταινία προβλήθηκε εκτός διαγωνισμού στο φεστιβάλ των Καννών το 1997. Το 2002 τιμήθηκε από το βιβλίο Γκίνες ως το μεγαλύτερο βιντεοκλιπ στην ιστορία της μουσικής.

On the eve of Halloween I bring you this absolute must to watch 'scary' movie clip. It's genius is unbelievably great! 

And if that doesn't scare you... take a look at this, it is the house where I was born, and my sister five years later. In those days it was a nursing home. Just a little trip down memory lane. I wonder who else was born there. Let me know if you were.

So, have a good Halloween everyone, wherever you may be. London seems to be swimming in big orange pumpkins. When I was a kid in Long Preston, we had to hollow out a turnip - and that was hard going. Ah, the good old days. Of course, there is no 'trick or treat' in Vrahassi.

Maybe my next book will be a thriller!

Monday, October 28, 2013

'Oxi' Day Remembered

'Oxi' Day - The video says it all.

And in Crete today, I am sure there well have been lots of marching. I am also sure that there is a lot of hope for the future. In my experience, the Cretan people, at least, are not ones for sitting back and allowing injustice to get the better of them. Although the video below was filmed in 2010, this annual event does not vary from year to year.


Well, that's 'Oxi' Day for you. Of course it is not always the best policy to say no, is it? Get a grip on life and give it a BIG THUMBS UP, YES! CAN YOU DO IT? YES YOU CAN!

Oh, and by the way, I'm not anti Italian, or anyone else come to think of it. I'm just reporting what is.

And, if you would like to look at an alternative way of improving your future, why not start blogging yourself, you will find a link at the top of this page.

You could of course, always write a book, like I did. Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey. If you are interested in all things Cretan, then take a look at my book.

I wish you all a very happy 'Oxi' Day,
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Selene - Who was she?

Who was Selene?  When I was born, my grandfather wanted to call me Selena, it was the name of my great grandmother. It wasn't until I traveled to Crete that I realized the significance of that name.

Selene is the moon goddess. She is the daughter of the Titons, Hyperion and Theia. One of her lovers was the mortal Endymion, a shepherd boy. Check out their story here.

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Please Help if you Can...

The search for the parents of this beautiful little girl continues.

Roma couple to face magistrate as search for 'Maria's' parents intensifies

The Roma couple who falsely claimed to be the parents of a 4-year-old child found at a gypsy camp in central Greece are due to face a magistrate on Monday as the international search for the child’s real mother and father continues.

Charges of kidnapping and obtaining a false birth certificate will be issued against the Roma couple, who claim that they adopted the baby when it was abandoned by its foreign parents. Police are to publish the photos of the man and woman in the hope that it helps with their inquiries to locate the parents of the girl, who has been nicknamed Maria.

Greek authorities have contacted Interpol to help with the search and the children’s organization The Smile of the Child, which is looking after the girl, has received thousands of calls from Greece and abroad regarding Maria.

"[Her] reaction was immediate terror: She was terrified because she doesn't know where she goes. She was crying and opposing to go wherever,» said Costas Yiannopoulos, the charity’s director.
"As soon as she went to the hospital and had a nice bath, and then the next morning our people looked after her. She immediately changed."

Police are also extending their searches to hospitals and registry offices to seek information that may point to systematic child trafficking.

The girl was found during a raid on a Roma camp in Farsala last week. Authorities noticed that Maria did not look like her supposed parents and a subsequent DNA test proved that there was no match.
Authorities suspect the pair were involved in human trafficking as records show them having a total of 14 children, registered in three different parts of Greece. However, speaking to Skai TV late on Friday, the couple’s lawyer, Marietta Palavra, said that the pair decided to take on the child after feeling sorry for her. She alleged that the girl’s biological mother, a foreign national, wanted to “get rid” of her child.
In response to questions about why the couple had registered so many children, the lawyer claimed it was a way of maximizing the state benefits they could receive.

The case has received international attention and a spokesman for the parents of Madeleine McCann, a British girl who went missing in Portugal in 2007, said the child’s discovery had given them “great hope” their daughter would be found alive.
The family of Ben Needham, a 21-month-old British toddler who was abducted from his grandparents’ home on the island of Kos in 1991, have call for further DNA tests as they continue to search for their missing loved one.

“Obviously, it's been a strong belief of myself and all my family that Ben was taken by gypsies for child trafficking or illegal adoptions and this case just shows that they can be found,” said Ben’s sister, Leighanna.

“I think that would be a brilliant thing to get our DNA out there, even if it's not actually Ben but any siblings or any children maybe of Ben (that are found) then that could hopefully lead us to him.”
Kerry Needham, Ben’s mother, called for the investigation into her son’s disappearance to be reopened. “We have always believed that Ben's abduction was gypsy-related and have had a long ongoing inquiry in Larissa,” she told ITV. “We hope that the investigation into Ben's disappearance will now be looked at again.”

Meanwhile, the Roma community in Greece fears that they will be stigmatized by the case of Maria. «We know these cases exist, but they involve Bulgarians, not Greeks like us. There are no transactions involving children here,» the president of the Roma community in Farsala, Babis Dimitriou, told the Associated Press, adding that the 40-year-old woman, who had registered Maria as her own child, «cared for her even better than for her own children."

Please help if you can.

My prayers for all those families who have had their children taken from them.

And talking about help, these people could do with your help too, poor souls, sometimes I think life deals out a very bad hand.

Immigrants’ interest in repatriations growing fast
Almost 2,000 migrants in Greece have applied for voluntary repatriation since the beginning of July, largely due to joblessness.
The Greek branch of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said 15,481 people have taken advantage of the European Union-funded program since it started in 2010. Whereas applications mostly came from Africans and Asians, Eastern Europeans are also showing interest now.
Since the summer, 832 Pakistanis, 361 Bangladeshis and 142 Georgians have been among those who have chosen to return home. “The people who ask to leave Greece face huge problems,” said Daniel Esdras, the head of IOM in Greece. “Nine in 10 are homeless and have to look for food every day. They have realized they are in a tragic situation, a dead end.”
Esdras said interest in the program from migrants at reception centers has also risen. Last year, they only made up 5 percent of those seeking to leave. That figure has grown to 18 percent.

Love and prayers for the homeless, and for all those who are in a position to help, give food, clothing, and to show these people that someone cares.

And on a brighter note...

 Photograph: Nick Hannes The Guardian Newspaper

It's not your typical wedding reception venue, but the warm glow of the petrol pumps, the sturdy dance floor and the soft breeze from the Gulf of Corinth beat a soggy marquee in Surrey hands down. And the view is tremendous: you can just see the spectacular Rio-Antirrio bridge, which links the Peloponnese to the Greek mainland, illuminated in the background.
 The groom, Christos, had to hold the reception at his own petrol station to save money.

Well done for Christos and his family. Just because we have less, we can still be happy! And I'm talking from experience here. Happiness is in the mind, not in the pocket. Of course, that doesn't stop us wanting as much out of life as we can get. But we do have to live the moment with as much happiness as we can muster. I'm smiling, are you?
Great, have a wonderfully happy day,
Love and hugs,
Jane x
And don't forget, that book of mine will bring a smile to your face, even though the title might make you think otherwise. Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey Click here for the story line. It is only $2.87 as a Kindle e-book. Download your copy now, or buy a paperback, it will make a great Christmas present! Thanks in advance. Jane x

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chinese scribes date Minoan Distruction

It's all Greek to me! So now we can all speak Minoan if we put our minds to it. lol! Read on to find out what the Chinese had to say about the date of the Minoan destruction.

Linear B
In 1900 the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941) discovered a large number of clay tablets inscribed with mysterious symbols at Knossos on Crete. Believing he had discovered the palace of King Minos, together with the Minotaur's labyrinth, Evans dubbed the inscriptions and the language they represented as 'Minoan'.
Evans spent the rest of his life trying to decipher the inscriptions, with only limited success. He realized that the inscriptions represented three different writing systems: a 'hieroglyphic' script,Linear A and Linear B.
The hieroglyphic script appears only on seal stones and has yet to be deciphered. Linear A, also undecipherable, is thought to have evolved from the hieroglyphic script, and Linear B probably evolved from Linear A, though the relationship between the two scripts is unclear.
Evans figured out that short lines in Linear B texts were word dividers. He also deciphered the counting system and a number of pictograms, which led him to believe that the script was mainly pictographic. Evans also discovered a number of parallels between the Cypriot script, which had been deciphered, and Linear B. This indicated that the language represented by Linear B was an ancient form of Greek, but he wasn't prepared to accept this, being convinced that Linear B was used to write Minoan, a language unrelated to Greek.
In 1939, a large number of clay tablets inscribed with Linear B writing were found at Pylos on the Greek mainland, much to the surprise of Evans, who thought Linear B was used only on Crete.
Michael Ventris (1922-56) was the person who eventually deciphered Linear B in 1953. His interest was sparked in 1936 on a school trip to an exhibition about the Minoan world organised by Arthur Evans. For the next 17 years, Ventris struggled to understand Linear B. At first he was skeptical that the language of Linear B was Greek, even though many of the deciphered words resembled an archaic form of Greek. Later, with the help of John Chadwick, an expert on early Greek, he showed beyond reasonable doubt the Linear B did indeed represent Greek.
Linear B was used between about 1500 and 1200 BC to write a form of Greek known as Mycenaean, named after Mycenae, where Agamemnon is said to have ruled. It . The Linear B inscriptions, most of which were accounting records listing materials and goods, are the earliest known examples of written Greek.

Linear B syllabary

Linear B syllabary

Linear B logograms

These logograms stand for whole words and mainly represent items that were traded. As Linear B was used mainly for recording transactions, this is not surprising. Some of the logograms resemble the things the represent, so could be called pictograms. Not all the logograms have been deciphered.
Linear B logograms
Thanks to the website: Omniglot, for the above information.
The following is taken from Charles Pellegrino's Unearthing Atlantis (pages 233-246). 
One other piece of the jigsaw puzzle, only recently brought to light, provides a glimpse of life under the pall of volcanic winter, and can be dated with reasonable assurance to the time of the Thera upheaval.

In China, during the Minoan Linear A Period, records were written on strips of bamboo. Fourteen hundred years later, all such strips that had survived to the reign of Emperor Qin were recognized as priceless treasures and, probably under orders from the emperor himself, were compiled and copied by scribes copied so many times that survival of China's past into its future was virtually guaranteed. The ancient texts state that "in the twenty-ninth year of King Chieh [the last ruler of Hsia, the earliest recorded Chinese dynasty], the Sun was dimmed . . . King Chieh lacked virtue . . . the Sun was distressed . . . during the last years of Chieh ice formed in [summer] mornings and frosts in the sixth month [July]. Heavy rainfall toppled temples and buildings.... Heaven gave severe orders. The Sun and Moon were untimely. Hot and cold weather arrived in disorder. The five cereal crops withered and died."

The bamboo annals further record that floods and ice were followed by seven years of drought lasting into the beginning of the Shang dynasty. A great famine broke out, and in the northern provinces man became a man eater. The Chinese scribes did not provide precise dates for these events; but they did footnote their royal genealogies with listings of eclipses and other astronomical phenomena. During 1990 and 1991, NASA/JPL astronomer Kevin Pang carefully tracked China's dynasties backward through time, using as probes the predictable motions of heavenly bodies to derive such precisely dated events as the lunar eclipse of January 29, 1137 B.C.which, though not dated by the scribes, was said by them to have occurred during the thirty- fifth year of King Wen.

King Chei lived at the same time as T'ang (the first king of the Shang dynasty), which, according to the scribes, was sixteen generations before King Wen. Because the Chinese considered a generation to be thirty years long, one can infer that Chieh ruled about 480 years before Wen, around 1617 B.C., plus or minus a decade or two. Armed with additional eclipse dates for 1876 B.C. (twenty - five generations before Wen) and 1302 B.C. (five generations before Wen), Kevin Pang plotted the eclipses on a graph, fitting a curve through them and locating the point that, according to Chinese history, places Chieh sixteen generations before Wen.
"We find the date is again [in the range of] 1600 B.C.," says Pang, "plus or minus thirty years. Thus the historical records confirm what was suggested by the ice cores, tree rings and older radiocarbon dates that Thera [exploded] late in the seventeenth century B. C. "

Given such evidence, I think the archaeologists will eventually come around. One thing is certain: these are exciting times for astronomers, glaciologists and paleontologists to be poking our noses into the field. Resetting dates tends to ruffle a few feathers, but Cretan and Theran scholars haven't put up any serious resistance. People have not been studying the Minoans for very long: the civilization was only discovered during the past century, and there has not been enough time for opinions to become deeply entrenched.

I think all of this is very interesting. I hope you think the so too. It makes a change from reading about Greek politicians and what they are doing with other people's money. 

Minoan history is very close to my heart. Of course, I have my own theory of how the Minoan Civilization met its end. You can read my theory in Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey, which is available from Amazon. Check it out.

And should you have read my book, maybe you would like to follow me on Face Book. Take a look at my fan page, Tears from the Sun - Jane Sharp and please click 'like' if you do.

That's all for today, I'll be back with more Cretan news, tomorrow.
Love and Hugs,
Jane x

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Church of Greece on its Knees

The creation of yet another committee - I think it's time for action, not words!

Church to draft 3-year plan to curb debt, exploit assets

The Church of Greece is drawing up a three-year financial plan in a bid to determine the size of its debt and to exploit its assets to secure its autonomy, Archbishop Ieronymos told a session of the Holy Synod on Tuesday.
“The situation today is dire,” Ieronymos told clerics, saying that the Church’s debts and the general economic situation “have brought us to our knees.” A three-year program would “present a picture of our debts and our reserves as well as outlining the impact of a new legislative framework on the exploitation of our assets,” he said.
Emphasizing that “without assets we will never have autonomy,” Ieronymos also set the scene for a discussion about a possible change in the relationship between the Church and the state.
“Will we let events overtake us?” the archbishop remarked and called for the creation of a committee of clerics and independent experts to discuss a likely constitutional revision and its implications for the Church. , Tuesday October 15, 2013 (20:30)

Thanks to ekathimerini newspaper for this article.

Well, the earthquake didn't rock much, so I guess it is up to Archbishop Ieronymos to do a bit of moving and s
haking. It appears that the Church of Greece also has debts. Let's hope the leaders of the Greek church have a bit more savvy than the priest in the following video.

I just had to show you this. For those of you who don't speak Greek, the priest is telling his congregation not to buy the 'Furby' cuddly toy, because in his opinion it is the 'Antichrist.' He says it has a microchip inside it which enables it to speak. And that it has the devil inside it. Draw your own conclusions.

And on that happy note, I will bid you a good night.

Keep smiling!
Love Jane x

P.S. Hey! Did you read my book yet? There's a wacky priest in my plot, too! Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey. On Kindle at Amazon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

6.3 Earthquake Rocks Crete

Crete was certainly rocking at the weekend, and was even felt as far away as Israel.

Crete rocked by 6.3 magnitude earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of more than six degrees struck near the island of Crete, sending items flying off supermarket shelves

This image made available by the US Geological Survey shows the epicenter of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck at a depth of 36.2 kilometres off the western tip of Crete, Greece Photo: EPA
According to the US Geological Survey the quake in southern Greece had a 6.4 magnitude, while the Athens Observatory gave it a magnitude of 6.2.
The epicenter was some 37 miles off the city of Hania in western Crete, the state-run Athens News Agency said.
The earthquake struck at 4:11 pm (1311 GMT) and its epicenter was in the sea, 275 kilometers south of Athens, the observatory said, describing the quake as "strong."
Tremors were felt as far as the Greek capital Athens, some 180 miles away, and across southern Greece, including the Peloponnese peninsula and the Cyclades cluster of islands.
"The quake took place in an area known for its seismic activity. It was strongly felt in Crete but also in the rest of Greece," geology professor Efthymios Lekkas told Skai radio.
According to the Athens News Agency, life in Hania returned to normal a few hours after the quake, which had initially sent people rushing into the streets in panic.
Shops and houses suffered minor damages and local television showed images of items falling off supermarket shelves.
According to Skai radio station, an elderly person was lightly injured while attempting to jump out a window.
Local authorities also rushed to open up roads close to Hania, blocked by fallen rocks.
Greece is one of Europe's most earthquake-prone countries.
On Friday, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake, described as "mild" by the observatory, struck the north of the country causing no damage.
I am so glad that nobody was seriously hurt. Let's hope that the rattling earth will have settled down for a while. 
That's it for this morning, I have my shopping to do, and a pile of ironing to attack. Then it is choir practice tonight. 
Keep safe dear Cretan friends, and also, dear readers, wherever you are. Have a sunshiny Monday! And if it happens to be raining where you are, you could do worse than curl up with a good book. And you could do a lot worse than to read this one: Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey
Lots of love, Jane x