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Monday, 22 May 2017

Roll and Tumble Blues - and some variants

Hambone Willie Newbern

Garfield Akers - Dough Roller Blues

Sleepy John Estes - The Girl I love, She Got Long Curly Hair

 Sleepy John signed my programme with a cross (1964)

Robert Johnson - If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day

Muddy Waters - Rollin' and Tumblin', Part 1 and 2

Howlin' Wolf - Down In The Bottom

About the song and some key recordings (Wikipedia)

A more complete list

I once did a composite recording in Memphis, a version combining elements of "Mystery Train" with "Rollin' n' Tumblin'".

Albania: Kaba me Klarinete (Kaba with Clarinet)

YouTube video

Thomas Linley the younger: Music for The Tempest, "Arise! ye spirits of the storm"

"Arise! ye spirits of the storm,
Appal the guilty eye,
Tear the wild waves, ye mighty winds,
Ye fated lightnings fly,
Dart thro' the tempest of the deep,
And rocks and seas confound,
Hark how the vengeful thunders roll,
Amazement flames around.
Behold the fate-devoted bark
Dash'd on the trembling shore;
Mercy the sinking wretches cry!
Mercy! they're heard no more."

Chamber orchestra Pratum Integrum and vocal ensemble Intrada perform "Arise! ye spirits of the storm" from Music for The Tempest by Thomas Linley the younger (1756-1778) - YouTube video

This CD contains the recording of "Arise! ye spirits of the storm" (lyric by his brother-in-law, Richard Brinsley Sheridan?), and other Music for The Tempest (1777), that I have heard:

It evokes images of shipwrecks (Sea Venture), tempests and hurricanes off the island of Bermuda.

It's been described as an eighteenth century 'smash hit', composed by the 'English Mozart'.

It is both tragic and ironic that the young (22-year-old) Thomas Linley drowned after his boat overturned on a castle's ornamental lake during a storm.

See this biographical note from Eighteenth Century English Music, and the following section in particular:

"In July 1778 Linley went with his sisters to Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire as guests of the Duke of Ancaster and his family. On 5th August Linley went boating on the Castle lake with two friends. During a storm the boat overturned and, whilst attempting to swim ashore, the 22 year old Linley tragically drowned. It was reported in the Morning Chronicle on 11th August, “On Wednesday last Mr. Thomas Linley……fell into a lake belonging to his Grace the Duke of Ancaster…..and was unfortunately drowned; he remained under water full forty minutes, so that every effort made to restore him to life proved ineffectual. This accident has deprived the profession to which he belonged of one its principal ornaments, and society of a very accomplished and valuable member”.

John William Waterhouse, Miranda - The Tempest (1916)

EU/Brexit: "EU Discusses Brexit Position as U.K. Threatens to Quit Talks" (Bloomberg)

From Bloomberg

American Epic (BBC 4, Arena)

A friend recommended this four-part series, but I can't get it on BBCiPlayer where I am.

Some clips are available:

The Memphis Jug Band - American rapper Nas explains the significance of The Memphis Jug Band, whose music set the foundation of modern day rap and RnB. Release date:21 May 2017

Record sales were plummeting...

American Epic, Part 1:

"The first episode takes us back to 1920s America, where the growth of radio had shattered record sales. Record companies travelled rural America and recorded the music of ordinary people for the first time. The poor and oppressed were given a voice as their recordings spread from state to state.

The film introduces the early recordings of The Carter Family, the founders of modern country music, steeped in the traditions of their isolated Appalachian community. It also features Will Shade and the Memphis Jug Band, whose music told the story of street life in Memphis, and laid the foundations for modern day rap and R'n'B".

Robert Redford narrates this meticulously researched story of a cultural revolution that changed the world. "This isn't just another film, this is history" - Elton John.

Part 2 will be broadcast on 28 May, at 10pm UK time: 
Blood and Soil,  Episode 2 of 4

"This episode takes a look at the stories of those early music pioneers whose names have largely been forgotten.

In the small South Carolina town of Cheraw, Elder Burch held lively church gatherings which inspired young musicians - including jazz giant Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie's autobiography cites Burch and his sons as direct inspirations; it is no exaggeration to say that modern music would not look the same without Burch's early influence.

The programme takes a look at the gritty songs and musicians that came from the coal mines of Logan County, West Virginia - The Williamson Brothers, Dick Justice and Frank Hutchinson. The hellish conditions of the coal mines inspired them to find a way out, through their music.

Finally we head to the home of the blues - the Mississippi Delta, where Charley Patton captured the sounds and struggles of life in the cotton fields. Patton's significance cannot be understated; he is widely considered the most influential musician in the birth of blues, teaching some of the best blues artists that followed including Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson and Honeyboy Edwards".

A Greek in London, from an essay by a Romanian In Poland

From Lost in Europe, by Claudia Ciobanu, Eurozine

‘It was as if the notoriously elusive European identity had finally come into existence, but as a nightmarish vision.’ Claudia Ciobanu, a Romanian living in Poland, describes the dilemmas and mixed feelings of ‘the voluntary migrant’, caught between revulsion at xenophobia and sympathy for the ‘losers of transition’.

Claudia is a freelance journalist with a focus on central and eastern Europe; she writes for international media. She lives in Warsaw.


"Iro, a Greek friend living in London, has experienced what it’s like to live in the UK capital, keeping both a utopian and a dystopian image of Greece in her mind: ‘When I thought I would be in London just for a short while and would go back to Greece, which I missed, I had a very negative attitude towards London and I couldn’t really appreciate anything. I felt very much like a stranger or a prisoner counting days inside.’

Unhappy with her London life, she went back to Athens, just when her country was seeing the first effects of the financial crisis. Back home, she was overwhelmed by the despair of people, which was sometimes pushing them into immoral behaviour. After two years she returned to the UK. ‘Now, after being disappointed by Greece and having been forced to look for something else, I am more open to notice and even admire some things which in Greece we don’t have, such as the politeness of people, the parks, the nice things happening in the city.’.

‘The first time, it was as if I had a line connecting me to Greece. When I cut it, I started seeing things as new and unique. It didn’t make sense doing what I was doing, comparing two very different things: the reality of London and the utopia of Greece.’

Still, she says, ‘Whenever I think about living in London for good, I am worried that some part of me would never be satisfied here, that I could not have here the life I would really like to live. It’s because of being a foreigner, but mostly it’s a cultural thing. Here the pace of life is fast, it’s just more difficult to hang out with people, you have to plan everything, schedule in advance any appointment, life here doesn’t have the free flow that I’m used to.’"

A related posting

Ascension Island: "Once, This Island Had Just One Tree—Look at It Now" (National Geographic Video)

Ascension Island Video from National Geographic

"Ascension’s artificial ecosystem is also a source of inspiration".

Sunday, 21 May 2017

IKEA, Ioannina, Greece

It's always a pleasure to visit the IKEA store and restaurant just outside Ioannina. 
A taste of Sweden (simple food and good design),
 a place where we often bump into old friends from Corfu.

I hope IKEA won't decide to close down the excellent Ioannina store
 as a result of the economic crisis.

Dorset: War Babies and American GIs

From BBC News,  Magazine - The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

See also, "We Were Here", GIs in Dorset, 1944 (post of 7 October 2013)

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Ionian Islands, 21st May,1864, Unification with Greece; Ο ΒΡΑΧΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΚΥΜΑ. Corfu Celebrates Enosis; Ο Εφτανήσιος μετά την ένωσην

It happens that I am re-reading "Slaves in their Chains" by Konstantinos Theotokis (1922), translated into English by J.M.Q. Davies.

In Chapter 3, the heavily indebted Corfiot Count Alexandros Ophiomachos Philaretos is nursing his grievances, "and this made him nostalgic for the British protectorate which as a young man he had known in all its glory. 'In those days, we shabby-genteel noblemen still counted, even if were up to our ears in debt! A letter from my father would set a whole village trembling in those days. Things were a thousand times better! And yet some demon possessed us to expel the British - those refined and courteous people, a government like that! Serves us right now, under Greece. Serves us damn well right! And yet we were already in decline by then, with the cost of living soaring and the liberals curtailing all our privileges...A curse upon them!' "

It is hardly necessary to point out that the Count's views are not those of the author, Theotokis.

Η Ένωση των Επτανήσων

153 years since Enosis, 21 May, 1864

 Ο βράχος και το κύμα, ΑΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΗΣ ΒΑΛΑΩΡΙΤΗΣ

Video, with Greek text

On the British Protectorate, from The Ionian Islands and Epirus, A Cultural History

Attitudes Before and After Unification

Images from the past:

Ο Εφτανήσιος μετά την ένωσην

Πως κάνουμε να ζούμε δεν ηξέρω!
οι δασμοί μας έγδαραν το πετσί μας.

Όπου το βλέμμα ρίψω, όπου το φέρω,
βλέπω στενοχώρια στην ύπαρξή μας

Την μητριά κυβέρνηση υποφέρω,
που εκεί κοντά μας έπιε την πνοή μας.

Μα αποζητώ και το κεφάλι δέρω,
όπου έδιωξα την πρώτη μητρική μας.

Εκείν' ήτανε μάνα αγαπημένη,
εκείνη μητρικά μας εκυβέρνα.

Μα τούτη τώρα είν' Τούρκα διψασμένη,
που κάνει με το αίμα μας ταβέρνα.

Μας απελπίζει ώστε να λέμε τώρα,
Ανάθεμα, ανάθεμα την ώρα.

Greece: Four-Day Nationwide Strike, Local Authority Staff Unions

From Greek Reporter - Four-Day Nationwide Strike Called by Local Authority Staff Unions, Greek Reporter

"Municipal authorities have appealed to local residents and businesses to avoid putting rubbish out onto the street until the strike ends".

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Greece: What's Happening with the Land Registry/Cadastral Survey?

Rather confusing...

Αγώνας δρόμου για το κτηματολόγιο, Kathimerini


Tax authorities to chase undeclared properties, eKathimerini

UK: Conservative Party Manifesto; Social Care Funding, Policy Risks

From BBC News - Conservative manifesto summary: Key points at-a-glance

Why many will pay more for care

Full Manifesto (pdf)

Conservative Manifesto 2017 PDF In Full, from The Huffington Post

Some serious issues (and risks) -

From The Telegraph (via MSN) - Middle-class pensioners to lose benefits under Tory plan to fund social care - "The flagship policy marks a gamble as it risks angering core older Tory supporters".

Theresa May redefines Conservatism, The Telegraph

-Winter fuel payments for pensioners will be means-tested and people will pay more towards home care visits to plug the £2.8 billion social care funding gap.
-Pensioners will stop paying for their own care once their savings and assets are down to £100,000. At present only £23,250 is protected.
-But a person's home will be counted among their assets when they are means-tested for domiciliary care (currently this only applies to people needing residential care) meaning more people will pay.
-No-one will have to sell their home during their lifetime, as they will be able to borrow money which will be paid back from their estate after their death.

From The Guardian: Social care funding: what are the Conservatives proposing?


"Are the details of the scheme spelled out?"

"It is not clear whether an interest rate will be applied to charges if payment is delayed until death. It is not clear how care will be provided when it is largely carried out by foreign-born labour and the manifesto pledges to cut immigration to the tens of thousands. It is not clear how people receiving care will be protected from over-charging by private domiciliary care providers, which may seek to exploit clients who can pay more once their home is included in the calculation of savings and wealth".

"The verdict?"

"The Tories are likely to to face criticism for making those people unlucky enough to lose out in the lottery of serious illnesses in old age being penalised again by having all their assets above £100,000 being sequestrated by the state.

Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green party, was among many to call the move a “dementia tax” because someone with dementia who stays at home or enters residential care could find that their suffering is multiplied by state charges of between £200,000 to £300,000 after a four- or five-year stay".

From Guido Fawkes

Forward together to a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain that works for everyone.
The Tories are ditching pensioners. They stand to lose the pension guarantee, winter fuel allowance & control of their homes.
The nasty party is back! Theresa May has plans to scrap free school meals for Britain’s poorest children & a new death tax for the elderly.
It’s official: Theresa’s Tories have become the Labour Party.
Theresa May’s plans undermine the welfare state. A caring country should invest in social care not put the burden on those in greatest need.
Whilst the Tories scrap their promise to pensioners, we’re standing up for them. Vote for the SNP on June 8th.

"Tories 'won't look again' at social care plans, BBC News - The Tory manifesto says elderly people needing care at home would have to meet the costs but could keep £100,000 after the bill is deducted from their estate. The work and pensions secretary told the BBC it would still be "a reasonable inheritance" to pass on to dependants".

Will Hutton, The Guardian opinion piece - "Theresa May takes on the older voter. That’s gutsy, but is social care any fairer?"

Theresa May under pressure over 'dementia tax' social care shakeup, The Guardian - "Plan to make elderly people pay for care in their own home going down badly on doorstep say Conservative candidates"

Conservatives' lead halved ahead of election - Survation poll, Reuters via MSN

New warning over social care plans, BBC News

On the origin of the phrase "dementia tax", Guido Fawkes

FT: Theresa May backs down on 'dementia tax' social care plans -"After three days of mounting political criticism of her social care reforms and failure to consult with her most senior collegues, Theresa May has dramatically rewritten her contentious “dementia tax” plans. May has announced that she will put a cap on total care costs to protect homeowners from the risk of losing nearly all of their assets".

Euronews report - Clarification or U-turn? Responding to the backlash, May said that an as-yet unspecified “absolute limit” would be set on the amount that people had to pay. She described this as a “clarification”, though her opponents called it a “U-turn”. Speaking in Wrexham, Wales, where the Conservative party has experienced a surge in popularity since the Brexit vote, Theresa May said: “we will make sure nobody has to sell their family home to pay for care. We will make sure there’s an absolute limit on what people need to pay. And you will never have to go below 100,000 pounds of your savings, so you will always have something to pass on to your family.”

MailOnline - Boris Johnson peeks at questions before TV interview in which he hinted at softening of controversial Tory social care plans

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Greece: General Strike

From BBC News - Greeks walk out in general strike over cuts

Unrelated: WHO: Greek Adolescents are Most Obese in Europe, Greek Reporter

EU police: Migrant smuggling network smashed

From eKathimerini - "European Union police agency Europol says it has helped break up a criminal network that had been working for 10 years to smuggle migrants into Europe and provide them with false identification documents".

Sweden's Carl Bildt (and others) on Brexit Issues

Does Brexit actually mean Breakup? Euronews - opinion piece by Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to October 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994

Also on Brexit, Wolfgang Munchau, from Prospect Magazine - Theresa May buys some time - The snap election boosts the odds of a workable Brexit

From The Guardian, Jennifer Rankin and Dan Roberts -UK Brexit boost as ECJ rules trade deals do not require extra ratification - Surprise ruling confirms EU officials have key negotiation powers in trade talks with approval of state parliaments not needed

eKathimerini: Tony Blair: Millions politically homeless in Brexit Britain

Brexit talks could collapse over UK divorce bill, says EU negotiator, The Guardian

Lemn Sissay on Bob Marley; The Ethiopian Connection (BBC Radio 4)

From BBC Radio 4, Lemn Sissay on Bob Marley

BBC Programme Description:

"Lemn's reverence for Bob Marley is rooted in his own childhood in care, his feeling that both Marley and himself were born as outsiders. Lemn Sissay was fostered up until the age of 12, but was then abandoned by that family and placed him in care. A series of children's homes followed. Lemn didn't know any black people, but the music of Bob Marley gave him a sense of hope and of identity. As an adult Lemn traced his birth parents - both were from Ethiopia, a place of deep spiritual significance to Bob Marley.

For Lemn, Marley seemed to cross all boundaries speaking to people around the world, whatever colour they were, with a message of self-empowerment, through the new sound of reggae music, which he played a great hand in creating. As Lemn says - a muse inspires urgency. 'What must be written, must be written'.

Lemn speaks with the poet and reggae star Linton Kwesi Johnson, to the photographer Denis Morris who's taken some of the most iconic pictures of Bob Marley. Lemn meets Chris Salewicz, author of Bob Marley, The Untold Story and two people from his, past Adele Jones who knew him as a young burgeoning poet and Linden - the man Lemn credits with introducing him to Marley all those years ago".

Producer: Nicola Swords, Radio Production North, Salford.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Corfu, The Durrells: "Unseasonably wet" year made filming The Durrells a logistical nightmare

From The Radio Times

Rather seasonable, I would say.

UK: Labour Party Manifesto, 2017

The Labour Party Manifesto


The Liberal Party Manifesto (BBC News)

Remote, uninhabited island - plastic rubbish debris (BBC News)

"An uninhabited island in the South Pacific is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world, according to a study. Henderson Island, part of the UK's Pitcairn Islands group, has an estimated 37.7 million pieces of debris on its beaches". 


Patras Port, Greece: Migrants Take Dangerous Risks

"Many migrants in the port of Patras, Greece are prepared to take huge risks to try to reach Italy. BBC News spoke to one of them, 17-year-old Mustafa". Short video.

Landmark European court case (The Guardian); The Rights of Dual Nationals

Landmark European court case could curtail freedoms of British dual nationals (The Guardian, via MSN)

A Gathering of Commercial Court Judges (Bermuda Legal)

"On Friday, 5 May 2017, commercial courts from five continents gathered in London. This was the first time this has happened. Why now?"

See also the interesting posting on General Damages Awards for Personal Injuries

Monday, 15 May 2017

Andy Goldsworthy - Land Art

A short film - Waldemar Januszczak assisting Andy Goldsworthy, some impromptu land art in the Scottish borders.

Greece: The Lure of the Ionian Islands and Epirus in Springtime; The Call of Corfu

Epirus in May, from The Ionian Islands and Epirus, A Cultural History, Chapter 3, The Call of the Islands 

I particularly like the passage by The Rev. T. S. Hughes (May, 1815), from Travels in Greece and Albania, 1830.

Thomas Smart Hughes, Vol 2, page 429

Two photographs by Frédéric Boissonnas, Corfu and Paramythia:

Seven below by J.P. -

Corfu above, Zagori below

Plus another Corfu Spring oldie:

Μουκλιόμος στο καράβι; Moukliomos, musical boat trip on Lake Pamvotis, Ioannina, returning from the island

Great klarino on the lake of Ioannina! Βίντεο του Δημήτρης Χαρίτων: Δείτε τι ζήσαμε χθες στο καραβάκι της επιστροφής από το νησί των Ιωαννίνων - YouTube

Edward Lear, Ioannina

Greece and China's Silk Road Strategy

China's Xi offers indebted Greece strong support, Reuters

"Xi told Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece was an important part in China's new Silk Road strategy".

Forthnet teams up with Chinese firms to fund Greek telecoms network, eKathimerini

See also: The Chinese Community of Greece

Ancient Civilizations Forum


Greek Reporter - Greece Plays a Strategic Role in New Silk Road

Euronews Report -  'China's Plan to Reposition Global Economy'

What is China’s belt and road initiative? The many motivations behind Xi Jinping’s key foreign policy, The Economist

Oxford Today - Why China aims to be number one superpower by 2049

EU Observer, Why the EU doesn't get China's Belt and Road

CORFU, Greece: Michael Haag on Finding the Durrells

Larry and Gerry and Me: Michael Haag on Finding the Durrells

"At the end of The Durrells of Corfu I invite readers to seat themselves at the taverna built alongside the White House at Kalami along the northeast coast of Corfu with beautiful views across the straits towards Albania".

Michael Haag is now writing a new biography of Lawrence Durrell for Yale University Press.
In my view, he is unlikely to improve on the biography by Ian S. MacNiven. Perhaps Yale University Press had in mind this comment by Miranda Seymour (NYT, September 13, 1998), in her review of the MacNiven biography -

"We are unlikely to be given a more thorough biography. Rich in anecdote, magisterial in scope, it supersedes an earlier life by Gordon Bowker. What is needed now is a livelier, less respectful assessment of the man and his work. Was Durrell, as Henry Miller once wrote, ''a stinking genius''? Or should we put the novels away and enjoy a handful of memorable poems and three marvelous travel books about Greek islands? Ian MacNiven's biography raises the question while offering no final judgement".

Ireland and the Challenge of Brexit, BBC Hard Talk with Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan

BBC World Service Radio Interview - Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade - Charles Flanagan (Listen on BBC iPlayer, 29 days left)

"Stephen Sackur is in Dublin for a special edition of HARDtalk. Ireland has bounced back from the financial crisis of 2008, but now it is being swept by a new wave of apprehension. This time it’s all about Brexit. When Britain leaves the European Union, Ireland will suffer significant collateral damage – in terms of jobs, trade, and the status of its borders. HARDtalk speaks to Ireland’s foreign and trade minister Charles Flanagan – will Brexit have catastrophic consequences across the Irish Sea?"

How many Brits still support Remain (according to Guido Fawkes, and a YouGov poll, apparently)

YouGov - Forget 52%. The rise of the “Re-Leavers” mean the pro-Brexit electorate is 68%

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Felice Beato (Felix Beato, 1832 – 29 January 1909), Italian-British Photographer, Corfu Links

From Wikipedia

"It is likely that early in his life Beato and his family moved to Corfu, at the time part of the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands, and so Beato was a British subject".

Some sites refer to him as an 'Anglo-Greek'

"Felix Beato, a Pioneer Photographer from Corfu", from Hello Corfu

"On 6 August 1873 Beato was appointed Consul General for Greece in Japan, a fact that possibly supports the case for his origins being in Corfu".

From the J. Paul Getty Museum -

"Felice Beato was the first photographer to devote himself entirely to photographing in Asia and the Near East. He photographed in Japan, India, Athens, Constantinople, the Crimea, and Palestine. He settled in Yokohama and from 1863 to 1877 made hundreds of ethnographic portraits and genre scenes in Japan. He eventually opened a furniture and curio business in Burma. Beato's photographic career was also long affiliated with images of war. He photographed the Opium War in China in 1860 and the Sudanese colonial wars in 1885. While in partnership with his brother-in-law James Robertson in the 1850s, Beato documented the Indian Mutiny and its aftermath. Their photographs are believed to be the first to show human corpses on a battlefield. Beato and Robertson were also among the earliest photographers to work in the Holy Land".

Felix Beato and James Robertson, Athens, 1855

Temple of Athena Nike, Athens

I wonder whether Felix Beato took any photographs in Corfu.

A Mosque in Turkey, 1855 (Mosquee du Sultan Mahmoud a Tophanna, c 1855).

Nusretiye Mosque, Tophane, Constantinople

Original Photographs, Photographic views of Lucknow taken after the Indian Mutiny, Brown University Library

Japanese Photographs, Nagasaki University Library

Photography of China

The Imperial Summer Palace, 1860

From the New York Public Libraries Digital Collections

A Social Meal

Stone Buddha

More, from The Red List

The Church of The Holy Sepulchre, 1857