Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Last night's cooking...

So, K has discovered wierd meats from the gourmet adventures series of Kruijer Foods, and we get to cook wierd stuff every now and then. Been doing a whole lot of ostrich recently in various guises and it's pretty good meat. This time, I came home to a packet of crocodile fillet in the fridge and spent about a week chasing recipes. Finally, I found some good ones out on this site, which included text like: "Dust crocodile fillets with flour. Dip in egg wash (egg beaten with milk). Blend walnuts and breadcrumbs and coat crocodile. Fry in heated oil & butter. Serve with Tropical Fruit Sauce."

So, with 14 Euros worth of croc fillet and recipes like this, I figure you can't go very wrong.

The above pic shows the raw croc after I had cut it into stips.

This pic shows the croc after frying.

I am not so well versed in the art of frying, being more of an oven baked or grill man myself. I don't have any idea what the thing should look like, nor how tender or chewy the meat should be. Some of the pieces were really very soft and melt in the mouth others needed a whole lot of chewing and I have no idea whether this is a cut of meat thing or a cooking time / heat thing.

Whatever the outcome, I liked the idea for the batter being two parts breadcrumb to one part walnuts. I didn't actually use breadcrumbs, either, but shredded wholemeal rye rusks, which probably did a lot towards making the whole thing more exciting.

Taste-wise, I don't have all that much to say about the croc. It needs more research.


Monday, December 27, 2004

Hannibal Diesel?????

New York Daily News - Entertainment - Jack Mathews: Same old, same old: "Vin Diesel puts on a pair of third-century sandals for the starring role in 'Hannibal,' about the Carthaginian general who led his army and his elephants across the Alps to attack Rome."

Oh, great...

At least no one is going to do my swords and sandals idea before I can cobble a screenplay together.

I'm sorry, I can't display irony in ASCII format.

Christmas weekend

So Christmas, huh?

A pic of the fire at Neek's place. I don't have an awful lot to say about Christmas this year.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Like, elected office and all that jazz

So, like, after scraping into

moved to my caving blog

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Still not smoking

I have not smoked for two months, one week, six days and about 12 hours. That makes about 112 packets not smoked, saving myself about 301.92 Euro - pretty much about the right amount for a set of SRT gear.

I am not getting urges, which is good, but of course, I still miss it, which is bad.


News from Jockey...

Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues: Two strange things that happened to me on the tube yesterday: "Meeting her again made me even more confident that she'd be great to live with."

Your Blog host doesn't let me post comments, but I say go for it, and send me photos..

Interlude I: A brief history of my visits to Mycenae

Visits to Mycenae tend to clump and get blurred along various lines - the pre-uni, the uni and the post-uni lines are some, with the latter being further split into pre- and post-Simon visits.

Pre-uni visits
I have photographic evidence of my having visited at least once before 1988, the year with Cathy. I remember nothing about this visit at all, even though I have found photographs which I took of the lion gate and the treasury of Atreus. This visit was quite possibly as far back as 1981.

After this I went in the spring of 1988 with a school trip, and again in the spring of 1990 with a school trip and then again in the spring of 1991 by organised tour (hock ptooiee) with Big George. I had a camera with me in '88 (an automatic) and '90 (a proper SLR). Not sure about 1991. One thing that comes immediately to mind about these three visits is that I climbed out on top of the lion gate in 1988 and sat next to the lions for a photo opportunity, and did the same on the lintel of Atreus in 1990. We went down the cistern all three times, the last time burning end- and front-papers from the new prose translation of the Iliad with the Corinthian pot image on the front, in order to be able to see. On one of these visits, most probably the 1988 visit, the gates at the back end of the citadel were open, and I remember walking outside and then back in again, something not possible on later visits because of locks and / or silting up of the doorways.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

En-route to the new museum

The next morning we woke up slightly earlier and set off for a cooked breakfast in the main square (Syntagma Square) before setting off for the new Archaeological Museum of Mycenae. The link goes to the ministry of culture's verbose site about the new museum. They know how to publicise a good thing, oh yes!

We scooted up the new road to the turning for Mycenae, you know the Dervenakia to Merbaka express route which ends unceremoniously in an orchard after some manic skidding and sliding trying to slow down from the 130 kph you were doing to something less likely to have you doing cartwheels through the orange trees.

The site looked very white and bleached in the distance as we got closer. First spot on the route in of course remains the horrible concrete structure erected on the original site of, and still bearing the name of, the "Belle Helene" inn where everyone who is anyone in the archaeology of Mycenae has slept, at least until post war times when better was built in the area.

Next spot in the causeway across the little ravine thing on the right hand side a little after the cemetery turning, followed closely by the third mile cemetery on the left of the road before the fencing for Atreus.

The two tholoi inside the fencing can be seen before the parking area making it a good start for a drive-by tour of the tholos tombs of Mycenae. We parked and entered the site past the grumpy woman on the gate. I was criticised by K for trying to have a discussion with the sort of misanthrope the ministry of culture is saddled with for the manning of their sites at weekends. The woman did not want to talk, apparently.

Walking down to the museum I had a sneaking suspicion that apart from putting little bits of string around the grave circle, someone had done something to the bit of perimeter wall opposite the ticket booth - maybe my idea… but it needs follow-up visits.

Something that does not need a follow-up visit to be sure about is that just as in the past at some point the citadel perimeter was expanded to enclose the grave circle discovered by Schliemann, so too now the fencing had been expanded beyond the loos, to enclose the museum also, and with it the Tholos tomb of the Lions, which used to be open to the public at all times of day and night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Nafplio - and 3,000 years of architecture

The Hotel Kapodistrias was not a bad choice at all in the end. OK - so it's an old building renovated in a way that would probably make Marky’s hair curl, but it's still retained a lot of its old look, to the point of looking authentic were it not for all the plastic paints used. I have a feeling that the hotel is located on narrow street leading up to the rooms we used to rent, which means it was renovated in the last few years. There was nothing looking like this on the way up to the rooms we used to rent.

Needless to say, both days we started late... The first day we just grabbed an overpriced tyropita and headed off for Lerna via the Nea Kios road, which I had never been on in the past and wanted to see. Hmm. Not much to see, really. At Lerna, the same old guy who’s been there every single time was there to greet us, and the orange trees around were all heavily laden with their fruits, some of which had already fallen to the soil. Twenty cents is all the farmers are getting for the oranges - terrible, it’s more worth their while to leave them on the tree. Couple that with the fact that it hadn't rained yet this year, so the oranges will be more sour than sweet due to lack of water and it’s not looking good for the agriculturalists of the Argolid.

The old man was fun to talk to about how the site is going but when he got on to what the new government is going to do, I decided that that was enough small talk and it was time to change the subject. This was not so much a function of being with K, but I am no longer all geared up for telling local people that the new government is great and what have you, I am no longer that naïve. They are all the same shit. It is just a case of whose faces one can bear to see in the windows on telly every day.

I walked K round the fortifications, we passed the Neolithic house of Lerna II and went on through to the herringbone masonry with the mudbricks at the back of the site. I learnt the Greek for herringbone masonry, but I'll be buggered if I can remember it now. We then walked over to the successive MH apsidal houses, and round the house of tiles past the better preserved part of the tumulus, doing my little "and right here is where building BG is!!" bit on the way. Then into the shelter and walk round the hose of tiles explaining why it is so called, etc. Nice spotting of the imprinted reeds on the roof clays, I have photographed them in the past, but had forgotten about them that day.

So... I haven’t been to Lerna ever in the winter and I haven’t been to Lerna for probably five years or more. The site is looking a little worse for wear in strange way. Some of it is I am sure connected to the season, but other bits are most probably connected to the conservation choices made originally, straight after the excavation.

In many places, most noticeably around the MH apsidal buildings out by the east end of the site, the cement used to keep all the bits in place has been undercut by rainwater and is now floating in the air in places. Looks really shitty. The mudbricks under the (modern) ceramic tiles have lost their definition - I remember they were all very well defined little rectangles, but now on some bits of wall, you cannot tell they are bricks at all: they look like a mud-massif structure. What’s happening at the MH apsidal houses is also the case for the bits of the tumulus as well. It made me sad - so I did not photograph any of this. Moving on - inside, the house of tiles looked a little battered compared to my mind's eye remembrance. I have even downloaded some excavation photos from the relevant part of the Dartmouth site just to check. There is no easy explanation for me as to how it could have become dog-eared under the shelter. It may have been the lighting or something else - it just seemed shabbier to me. I have no way of checking on this, though. Not unless I get old pictures out and start comparing, and all.

The crates with the bones in them has gone - the friendly guy on the ticket box told me the archaeologists had taken them away - about bloody time, if you ask me.

After Lerna we scooted off to the newly named Aghia Triada, formerly called Merbakas, to have a look at the sweet and funky church of the dormition of the BVM, which has Gothic influences in its architecture. After a nice argument with K about whether or not it does have gothic influences, neither of us managing to convince the other, we called it quits and were happy just to circumambulate the building a few times, each time noticing something more exciting in the way the church had been built or decorated.

After Merbakas we went off to Tiryns to show K the two tholoi there, which she had not seen. She liked these more than all the fallen in ones we had chased back in March 2003. Quite right too. The Tiryns Tholos brought back memories of Charlie - and that day we had all run up to the top of the chamber and had our photo session. Seems just like no time ago at all, but Charlie’s been gone for about four and a half years now.

And after Tiryns, and a mutual agreement to do the dam some other day, we returned for some shopping and food to Nafplio.

The second day, will be described later...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Not forgetting Lygourio

I forgot Lygourio - what a great idea... Got to slip in some time to go hunting in Lygourio...

Weekend in Napoli di Romania

It's one of those we'll do something together weekends, to counterbalance my caving weekends...

Booked in to a nice little place in town which I'll write about when I am back.

I have certainly "done" this part of the world in the past, and it becomes increasingly difficult to find new things to see here, but we'll give it a go. The museum in the old Venetian Loggia is currently closed for some undefined reason, but apparently the famously closed Mycenae site museum has now opened. It must be spring.

We might go to Lerna, which K has not seen, and is one of my favourite places - possibly because of the very much self contained nature of the place. Lerna's got the house of tiles and the EHIII apsidal houses and those funky fortifications. I have a panorama (hmm) of the place from a trip quite a few years ago, taken from the corner furthest away from the House of Tiles.

It's a nice little view of the site, with the fortification wall going back away from us on the left and the two U shaped tower bases visible. The roof tiles are there to protect the mudbricks from the elements. I think some herringbone masonry is visible in this part of the picture, too. House of tiles is off to the right under the concrete shelter, and the tumulus is visible, sticking out of the left side of the shelter about half way down. What isn’t in the picture is all the apsidal stuff over to the left, beginning in that white patch.

So, might go to Lerna - where I went for the first time in early October 1993 after leaving Ali and Jess on the beach. Went in 1995 with Charlie and Simon and maybe in 1994 alone, and went again with Simon and Alex in 1997 or 1998. The self-abbreviated Dim Bekas did a lot of business out of me. Oh yes. His rent rooms are nice and cheap and the communal bathroom's clean enough. He put in central heating, too, so he’s now working all winter. Not sure if I have been again since that time with Simon and Alex... Must have done since getting my own car - can’t have been ignoring the place so many years. I think I went again and did some panoramics in the house of tiles.

Beyond that - and on to "new" things we could try to find the Tiryns Chamber tombs which should be on the other side of the hill from the tholos tombs, we could go walk up to prof. Ilias above Mycenae (and since we'll be looking at the new museum, this seems likely). We could go have a look at the gothic influences on that church in the former Merbakas, current Aghia Triada. We could go walk around the unexcavated Kazarma, or even the hill at Midea, which I have only ever done little bits of. Bollocks - I just thought of the bits I have done with all the pink cement and then thought of the bad bad bad condition of the shaft graves (not only in B, in A also) last time I was there. May go check that out while visiting the museum.

Whatever, it should be fun.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ankara Panorama

Yeah, so I'm in Ankara and playing with the old cameraphone, ain't I? Nice colours in the sky, but having a tough time to get the clouds to look natural in the bits between the images.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

152,500 km on the clock and still going strong?

So there we were, about half way up the mountain and approaching the entrance to the cave, and suddenly the car is engulfed in a cloud of white smoke blinding me momentarily and scaring the shit out of Nontas in the passenger seat.

Hm - I think to myself, billowing white smoke, best stop, even though it is most likely to be just water and steam that's come out of somewhere under pressure. But where? Well, the pic above shows where it came from. A burst pipe, the one which takes the hot cooling water from the engine back to the radiator. can't really move the car without it. So we get into this whole idscussion about what should we do and how to deal with this. Fortunately both Nontas and Mike are technically more advanced than I am with this sort of thing and took it on themselves to fix the problem, but not until after we had finished the work we had come for.

So off we went up the mountain, all of us in the one car now, and me rather a little annoyed with Mr. George the service guy. I'd done the service at 151,500 and dammit he should have seen that the rubber pipe was worse for wear to the extent that it was likely to burst and spray hot and dirty cooling fluid alll over the place.

At the stopping place, we got all the gear out of the car and Eri and I got ready to go on in, while the boys went back down the mountain to look for a replacement piece of tubing. It was not going to be an easy task.

Of course, they could not find a Fiat piece of tubing, and brought up a piece of seat tubing, with the same diameter (roughly) as our broken piece. After exiting the cave at about quarter to midnight, the time came to turn our hand to McGiverisms and improvised solutions. First we saw that the new tube was too narrow to go into where it should be, and had to grease up the tube and the entrances. Next it was too long and would kink in the wrong places, in the end we made a frankenstein’s monster of a solution, using part of the old damaged Fiat tube and some of the new tube and made it all the way home…

The quick-fix solution, in place. Thanks boys!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Thank Petzl for the Pantin

Chelidorea, then.

At the caving blog

Can't be bottled or canned

Jockey had brought me this CD with a bunch of cool tunes on it that I had been looking for for ages. He had added some from his own collection, one of which had a very distinctive style and rather unconventional lyrics.

Going to google and slamming in "boob-scotch" (the refrain), I came across the web-site of one Bob Log III. Not only is this like from a proper album, but the guy who wrote and performs the song is as crazy as any artist Jockey lets me know about after newly discovering them. He performs wearing a motorcycle helmet and singing through a phone mic. And he's a one man band.

Imagine my surprise when a CD came in the post containing not only the photos Jocks took on the trip, but a postie of the Magyar monument in Budapest, and more Bob Log III tracks! Woo! Time to go to amazon...

Thank you Jock, man.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Flu jab

SO I went to the doctor today to get the prescription updated for the next three months, and asked whether she could write me out a whatsit for the flu jab.

Then down to room 13 where I ask the nursy on duty to hit me with her funky flu-jab. She gives me this look, like "aren't you a bit young for a funky flu-jab?", so I tell her that I'm really a high risk sort of guy and show her the paperwork to prove it as she starts all this "you look so young" bullshit.

And then she hit me with the flu jab and I swear I'm not going back the the national health people next year because they are really rather heavy handed when doing the needlework. Back to Sofronis the chemist next year, oh yes.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Chelidorea / Helidorea

Well, it's going to be a tough weekend.

Moved to Caving Blog

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Have booties, will travel

So, went to Ankara for about an hour and a half and came back on Monday. Ping pong. Three aiports, five planes, two continents, one day's work.

It's already started snowing in Ankara, the great anchor of anatolia.

What was I doing? Well, delivering a little box to the CFCU, and if all goes to plan, when the little box opens and the dust settles, I'll have a new job in Samsun to look forward to.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

De-Rigging Chelidorea (Helidorea)

So they called and asked ...

Moved to my caving Blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Joker at Six Meuro

Justifies me spending twenty for a stab at the six thousand large.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Ta sfouggaria einai zoa!!

No idea how I got into it, but have just spent a little time googling about and want to share what I found. Two or three things stick out as wierd:

1) Frogs have no ribs. I kid you not, I have been googling google images for frog skeleton and they just have little jutty-out things but not what you or I would call ribs.

2) Salamanders have ribs. These freaky little glisteny guys have the most basic of tetrapod body plans. I found a photo of some guy holding a sack full of salamander-spawn which looked like overlarge frogspawn - yukky yuk, but google is my friend.

3) there exist amphibians which are neither froggy-toads nor newty-salamanders. These are called caecilians and they have no arms or legs - one of these grows to some 75cm and is the largest tetrapod to have no lungs.

So why all the fascination with amphibians? Well the BBC has a page all about how they are all dying and endangered as hell, and I said to myself, hang about there , Stelios, mate, learn about these little buggers before they all die out. So off I went to the Tree of Life website for a look. We have the frogs and toads lot, who have no ribs and have different sized and shaped arms than legs, we have the caudata - "tailed" amphibians who have, like, tails and similar fore and aft limbs and they stick out at right angles to the body, etc; and then we got the freaky caecilians who have no limbs and a little bit of a tail sometimes and some of them make eggs and others give birth to live young and others give birth from eggs to live young inside them and let them sit around until they are mature. All pretty exciting stuff, but tolweb is silent on them.

Amphibians ruled the world back in the Carboniferous.

Poor bastards.

So much to learn, so little time.

Levis sit tibi terra

The affectionately called Proto, the First, houses some really rather special funerary monuments in styles as varied as the provenances of the owners. One thing is certain though, whatever the style, white marble is the material used everywhere within the First Cemetery of Athens. One day, I'll be put in alongside my grandparents and anyone else who ends up here before me.

We came to bury Cousin George today. I shared a great-great-grandfather with him. Greek families are so much more extended than northern European. George lost his parents a few years ago, and left for the big journey over the weekend following a traffic accident. I just wish they didn’t open up the coffin every so often.

Vale, George.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

All good things come to an end

After our journey we returned to find Spyros across the street closed so Jockey missed out on the Tsipouro - although I am sure he'll have a lot to say about it on his own blog in due course. We had another good and tasty supper at Deppi and George and went to bed.

No one slept much as the high winds caused my mother's flooding prevention measures to achieve their resonant frequencies and tear loose of their restraints making the loudest and most annoying Flappadappawappaslappa Dappaplappaslappawappa noises all night. The only time the noise stopped was when it rained and the rain came in under the door.

We woke early to make the return journey in what we expected to be bad weather. Stopping for a little at Zatouna for pastelli and tsipouro (after driving through nicely dense fog), we made our way east without further trouble.

Corinth canal - one of the last stops on the way back from Paloumba. Such a trap, but we stopped for the souvlakia and had to walk across a little.

Jock then returned to more northerly latitudes.

Excursions in Elis from Paloumba

So off we went to Paloumba, the little chapel to the archangels wasn't lit on the way there, but not to worry. After amazingly tasty and nourishing food at Deppi and George, we prepared the house for habitation, each in his own way.

I did the preparation for habitation, and K did the cessation of life business for the assorted invertebrate biota unlucky enough to be spotted by her.

The next day we took the new road past Pyrgos to the Bartholomio and Gastouni areas and ended up circumambulating the castle at Chlemoutsi (Frank-fans will know it as Clermont). We arrived just that little bit too late to be allowed entry, and there were no cheeky holes in the wall or fencing to let us in.

We then made tracks for Andravida, where the photographed curiosity stands. This is something I have read about loads and loads and has always been just that little bit too far away to go see for myself, so thanks to Jockey for acting as stimulus.

OK so it looks pretty humdrum and so so for the northern europeans who have the gothic style of architecture coming out of their ears, but for us this is a total anomaly. It is like totally out of its waters. We have a few more gothic structures built by those crazy crusaders back when the venetans were crafty and Zara was more than a brand of clothes. I have been to one, but there is one more to form the basis of a future expedition. But I digress.

I have learned the word for "key" in most of the balkan languages, having had to hunt down the often staid and prim but exclusively momnolingual old spinsters entrusted with the means of entering their locale's medieval building. In this case, quite beyond all expectation, the key was brought out to us by the keeper (FYI: the kiosk operator at the NE corner of the square to the south of the church) completely unprompted, so we had the opportunity to enter and walk around.

There's so much to say about this place - but maybe some other time when the oldfashioned prints come back, and I have scanned them, no?

Ancient stuff

Hadrian's Library in the foreground and that mosque in the background. Managed to get into the Hadrian's library site - never had the chance before and we walked round the tetraconch church and had a look at the mosaic work after a stand-up kebab from Bairaktaris. Not bad.

We then scooted back home to get ready for Paloumba.

Ashmolean master

So, after a quick breakfast and then a faff at the Byzantine museum, we went off to the Cycladic Museum. I like the figurines, although I never seem to get too excited about them. I hate the fact that most of the stuff in here is re-patriated nicked stuff and hence has no solid provenace. I am a pidgeonholing cataloguing sort of guy, and where and how things were unerathed is important to me.

Jockey in one of his favourite places - the Cycladic Museum in Athens, with all the funky cycladic figurines around.

Jockey in Athens!!

So, Jockey came as planned on Thursday night and we all went out with Neeks and Thanassi to post office square in Pangkrati to eat at a rather decent place called "Alphabetario". Feeling suitably stuffed and in need of something fizzywe went home and decided that we would not go pick Korinna up from school before leaving on Friday, but would all meet at home at 16:00 to prepare for the trip.

Friday was therefore going to be a day for museums and travel to Paloumba.

Thanassi eats in the alphabetario on Pagkrati's post office square, after arriving at his usual time.

Briar wood

I have not smoked now for one and a half months, or more than 1,330 cigarettes not smoked, saving about €180. No idea why I have spent most of the early part of today looking at websites about pipes and pipe smoking. Just feeling a bit edgy.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Gor bless her

I just figured out that I haven't seen Jockey since HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother passed away. We were in Whitby, seems like a whole different eon ago, back in March 2002. The only thing that puts it firmly in this eon is the fact that it happened after the events of September 2001.

So there we were laughing at the News of the World "Exclusive" look at what actually happened in holy week, almost 2,000 years ago, with naff CG christ and disciples, and eating those kippers in buns amongst other things. Here is a photo I took during that weekend: Groyne

We bought a kite and broke it very soon after, there on those groynes. It was a strange weekend. I left that evening for the Holy Mountain, which changed me so much both through its own action and because of what happened while we were all there.

A lot has happened since all that. I haven't seen J for that long. Wierd.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Cop shocks cop tyres cop suspension

Fix the cigarette lighter...

So, we've serviced the car and put new tyres on it too. All set for some good travelling over the weekend with Jockey. Best of all, I won't need to go buy a digital camera for the expedition, because I'm getting a camera attached to the new mobile phone that the nice people at Cosmote are giving me.

By the pricking of my thumbs....

So, Jockey's coming and will be here in less than 36 hours: woo! Haven't seen him for like almost two years, possibly much more, actually. Should be a good time. I'd link to his blog if I were more flash with all this techy stuff - possibly I'll get it figured out when I write up the what we did during our weekend in the country.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Sore, tired, but loving it

So there was no ...

Moved to caving blog

Friday, October 22, 2004

First real pitch at Dersios

pics here


So they had ...

Moved to my caving blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Aqueduct of Valens

Thursday's rambling

Feeling really really tired and exhausted recently. There's good reason - I am tired and exhausted. Its the feeling dizzy that annoys me most. Been taking my vitamins again - the Bs. Obviously need them as my piss hasn't started to smell of B-block vitaimin pills - even 24 hours after starting to take them.

Went to Istanbul and Ankara earlier in the week, going back to Istanbul on Monday. Ping pong ping pong - haven't had an oppportunity for "tourism" since March. Grr. Still some stuff needing to be visited. Lips on Vatan Cad. and Gul Camii being two main ones, and of course St. John's Studio. And I wouldn't mind taking a better walk around the C4th church under the road that goes through the aqueduct - could I be more vague? And of course the walls need a good seeing to, as does the Mosaic museum, but with batteries in the flash, no?

This weekend will be tough - going to Dersios tomorrow evening, no idea when we'll be starting the journey to come back...


Friday, October 15, 2004


I have not smoked for like one week, five days, 11 hours, 25 minutes. That's 374 cigarettes not smoked, saving €50.53. Apparently, that's like an extra 1 day, 7 hours, 10 minutes onto my life - whoopy do. I have got over the stress of it all and almost back to normal levels of not wanting a cigarette right NOW!

That €50 is going into the hotel accommodation in Nauplion where I will be attending the 7th Panhellenic speleological conference this weekend. I have persuaded Korinna to come along. Hope it goes OK. We got five of our boys talking on the evening of Saturday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Weekend - another partial success

Well, before I had even managed to set off, the big and most significant disaster - indeed the only one - but one which managed to overshadow the whole weekend, happened.

It was not an uncommon thing to do, to put the GPS receiver on top of the car to get a signal before taking it off the roof again and putting it on the dash board. I had done it often. I had even done it once or twice and left it there only to remember it when it fell onto the bonnet after a change in velocity.

This time, too, I forgot it. Only difference was that it did not bounce off the bonnet in any way so I have no idea where or when it came off the car, and cannot search for it any more than I have done so already since Friday. Bollocks.

I am more annoyed about the stored data in the memory of the thing - all those waypoints from about two years of traveling in the Balkans, Turkey and Norway, and of course all over Greece. A whole bunch of restaurants, museums, things of note (various Byz. Churches in Istanbul, Greece and Macedonia, statues in central squares in towns, bridges, villages and most importantly junctions on dirt roads leading to caves and mountain tops).

Of secondary annoyance was not having any tools with which to record the where the hell all these holes that locals would be showing me while visiting my mum are. So I didn't go chasing holes so much as folklore and stories about holes. I'll write that up straight into Greek for giving to SELAS but might get round to an English language version sometime.

Losing the waypoints sort of brings into focus the whole what it means to travel thing, though. Do I do it to collect waypoints and collect pictures of these places and store them catalogue-like away in some place rarely to be visited except to satisfy the narcissistic need for self-confirmation? Don't know - only ever once have they been useful in getting me back to somewhere in the dark where without the GPS I would have been a little lost. Other than that, I've had fun half heartedly chasing confluences. I guess I can get over having lost all the waypoints.

More later.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

...and braces the languid sinew

October brings the cold weather down - except of course, not here he doesn't. Here we can still quite happily swim in the sea, and walk around in shirt sleeves. The suns of May are more descriptive of what our Octobers are like.

Going through one of these patches - and what should come to the rescue last night but - yep, ashamed slightly to say it, but ultimate regression to the security of childhood manifesting itself in the form of Giants, Raleigh, 3 yards and of course October. Even a goose's brain has uses.

I found it strange that google brings up no hits for nerves the limbs that are lazy grown or braces the languid sinew. Same for fog on St. Joles day. Who'dve thunk it?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Dress sense!

So here's a picture to sit on my profile - I have no idea if I can have it sit as my profile pic without it being also somewhere on the main blog page.

So what's going on here - well, this photo was taken last year while I was out in the mountains of Arcadia looking for one of two things. The first was bits of limestone which might have conodont elements hidden in them (and I got buckets full of stone waiting to be looked at). The other was "pretty colours" for crushing into fine powder, mixing up with slips and painting onto the pottery I was making at the time. The reds collected here were really rather nice grinding easily and slightly dissolving into the slip when the time came. The pretty colours did not really stay that pretty after the firing, but it's all part of the learning and creative process.

I now realise that the clothes I am wearing in this pic are really rather funny - like how many very different and non complementary colours can be worn at the same time??

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Ho hum

Ok - so I've succumbed - here is my Blog.

Let's see how it all goes. I am rather cautious about this whole bloggy thing.