Articles

Travels in Northern Greece

Travels in Northern Greece

While on the island of Corfu, we had crossed over the thin strip of sea – the Straits of Corfu – to take a tour round the northern part of the mainland of Greece. There was no real reason behind the journey. We were just travelling to see what we could see. Which is, of […]

Read More

Karagiozis and the musical island

Karagiozis and the musical island

Corfu is a strangely musical island. Throughout Greece, music always seems to be there, in the background: from the singing cicadas in their heat-cocooned trees; to the dark Greek blues of rebetiko music, full of pain and intoxication, in the winter months coming from the streets of steamy ouzeri bars; to the tragoudia tis douleias […]

Read More

Greek Guides

Greek Guides

Describing the stage and halts, background and conclusions, of journeys through mainland Greece and the islands.

From the countryside to the buildings to the beaches; the customs and the habits; the best bars to have a quiet glass of tsiporou or personal favourite places to gorge on souvlaki. Living momentoes from wanderings around Greece. Hopefully they can be a guide for some other visitors. Or otherwise, just serve as a chance for reflection on the people and place, so as not to forget rambles around the country…

Greece observed.

Read More

Lessons in Greek

Lessons in Greek

“M’ opoion daskalo kathiseis, tetoia grammata tha matheis” they say in Greece. Whichever teacher you learn with, such lessons you learn.   The teacher I learnt with was a tiny, excitable, slightly mad, retired primary school teacher from the villages in the centre of deepest Corfu. Kind and caring of her students. And with the […]

Read More

Paradise Found?

Paradise Found?

We threaded our way out of the noise and confusion of the airport into the brilliant sunshine. There they were: the tiers of multi-coloured houses, green shuttered, piled haphazardly. There was the bay beyond, blue and smooth as a plate. Here was our new life on the island, laid out before us like a feast. […]

Read More

Corfu Quartet

Corfu Quartet

Britain is blown out like a candle and the blue really begins as we head towards a new life on the island of Corfu.

But what is lying in store for us on this extraordinary Ionian archipelago? What do the people of Corfu really do here throughout the whole year when the tourists aren’t looking? And can man-made Corfu and the tempestuous Corfiots ever live up to the incredible nature that surrounds them here in the ‘Garden of Greece’?

Read More

On The Greek Election Trail

On The Greek Election Trail

I was asked to write an insider/outsider’s perspective of the Greek election, following my mother-in-law, a Syriza MP, on the campaign trail.
The September 2015 election was a highly charged campaign in Greece and followed right across the world.
So what happens when my mother-in-law goes on the knocker? How does it compare to the time I campaigned for Labour’s Alf Dubbs in Battersea? And how did I end up pinching PM Tspiras’ speech?

Read More

Last Chance To See

Last Chance To See

Before setting off for a new life in Greece, I’m talked into taking a tour of Britain.
Visiting many places in the country for the first time – places I’d heard of, made assumptions about, but never really bothered to visit – it was a chance to see my country in a whole new way. And also through the eyes of my accompanying Greek Passepartout.

So a last chance to see. Which turned out to be so much more…

Read More

My Family And Other Hellenes

My Family And Other Hellenes

I’d never really thought of Greece before. All this changed though when I met a rather quiet, unhappy looking, beautiful Greek girl who had come to teach in a summer school in Winchester. And married her. Then I became the Englishman in Greece lost in world of anarchists, nudists, Olympian Gods and bearded bouzouki players. And feta. Lots of feta.
Ola kala then.
But why is everyone calling me ugly? And why, exactly, is my mother-in-law forever spitting on the top of my head?

Read More

India

India

We stepped out of Mumbai’s Victoria Terminus. And stepped over a dead man. He must have been lying there for a while. Gluey fluid was leaking from the body into pools on the hot, roughly paved floor. Hundreds of commuters, flying from the gothic palace-like railway station behind them out into the city, hurdled the […]

Read More