Articles

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 […]

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Paradise Found?

Paradise Found?

I was now married into this world. We had left England for good – and already it had been blown out like a candle in my mind.  Me and my new wife, my travelling companion – my Giristroula as they say in Greece for a girl who wanders – had been touring the country looking […]

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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’?

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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?

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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…

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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?

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Goodbye To All This – 10 Years in TEFL

Goodbye To All This – 10 Years in TEFL

Reflections on 10 years of teaching with the Boozers, Losers and Cruisers.

TEFL: a profession where the teachers have to read a grammar book for beginners before going in to their lessons.
Are there any other sort of teachers who have to desperately catch up with the level of knowledge that their students have? Do Geography teachers have to check an atlas before they go into class?

But then, when you meet some of your fellow teachers in the TEFL world, it’s a wonder some of them have even managed to put their trousers on in the morning. In fact, some haven’t…

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II. India

II. India

The two of them step out of Mumbai’s Victoria Terminus. And step over a dead man. He must have been lying there for a while. Gluey fluid is 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 […]

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I. Cairo

I. Cairo

“Why don’t we take our clothes off?” Kemp said to the Greek. “We don’t have to do anything…” And so the travel adventures began. * The location for this beginning was unpromising: a tatty under-graduate’s room, cleared for the summer, on a suburban London campus filled with bored foreign teenagers, where Kemp and the Greek […]

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A New World Symphony

A New World Symphony

A new world of travel and a new life of chance opens up for Kemp after he meets his travelling Passpartout – a bored, searching, pretty Greek anarchist, teaching in a suburban English boarding school for the summer, longing to get away and explore.
Passports in hand, they make a dash for it together…

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