Dora Bryan, Noel Coward, Clive Custler, name drop, name drop

06.45, just back from a Saturday morning swim and there are clouds about. It felt very autumnal down at Pedi just now, damp and humid, not cold, but with the smell of moisture in the air, as if it is going to rain. I don’t think it is, but if it does it will do the garden a great big favour. [caption id="attachment_12701" align="alignleft" width="300"]dora Bryan and time and again Dora Bryan and the cast of Time and Again[/caption] I wanted to share this old photo today, as well as a couple from my walk yesterday. Back in 1997, I was involved with a show in Brighton, and one night we did a charity performance for a local AIDS charity, the patron of which was Dora Bryan. This photo shows some of the cast presenting Dora with the cheque afterwards. As you may know she died just recently and yesterday someone suggested I put this up on the blog, out of interest, and so I have. [caption id="attachment_12702" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Pedi bay yesterday morning[/caption] I have just started reading the diaries of Noel Coward as well, which makes one rather inclined to name drop in one’s daily diary, just as he did. Except, he wasn't name dropping he was just putting things in his diary; “Had lunch with the King, then popped over to the Ivy to have dinner with Gerttie and Dicky, before having a delightful supper with the princesses (that Margaret is such a tease) and then a nightcap at the theatre after the show with Larry and Ralfie, both of whom are fabulous in Panto this year.” Or some such. It’s a great big book and will take me a few days to get through. I have taken it up and put aside the Clive Custler I was in the middle of; I will have to leave Dirk Doo-dah hanging off the side of some mountain in Antarctica for a while, while I pop over to Coward-land instead. [caption id="attachment_12703" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Symi rabbit, the second one I've seen this week.[/caption] Actually, here’s a little known fact: Noel Coward died on my 10th birthday. I was pretty sure that I had been at school, watching a film in the gym, as we did on a weekend, on my actual birthday. I remember this because there was a character in the film who had my name. Seeing my name on the fire chief’s office door brought a cheer from my fellow students, and then discovering that the character was actually a woman brought an even bigger cheer. Children can be so cruel! The things you remember eh? Or misremember perhaps as my birthday in 1973 was actually on a Monday, so perhaps this was the day before. So, back to Symi: Shrimp Festival this evening in the village square 21:00, everyone welcome. Photo walk Sunday morning 09.15 from the shop and only €10.00, to Pedi through the valley. My weekend will be spent working on the new story, which is what I am going to go and do right now.
Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

Kiri The Kanawa stops play, George Taxi chides, and I ramble on

Well it’s all been a bit ‘on the go’ these past couple of days, despite the temperature which must be in the high 30s, though feels cooler when the breeze blows. [caption id="attachment_12694" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos Yesterday morning[/caption] Did some singing work on Wednesday night, not me you understand, I was only accompanying a friend who wants to practice with her voice. That took me back to the old days when I did audition coaching with folk trying to get into West End shows and the like, years ago when I was in London. But it’s funny how certain things come back to you, though I can’t remember half of the exercises and things I was taught when I did have singing lessons. Now there’s a story… [caption id="attachment_12695" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos The morning light on the hills[/caption] I used to go to a guy called Neil (no, not that Neil) who lived over in Lancaster Gate. He was one of those people you would love to smack; a trained solicitor and starting work as a barrister, a trained opera singer who could (and did) hop on a plane to go and cover for someone in Milan when some company needed the loan of a tenor, spoke several languages and was nearly all grown up at 25 years old. I was living in East London so it was a trek, after work, but worth it. It all went well and we worked on my voice for about two years. He was leading me towards lieder singing as he said I had a good voice for German arias. I wondered if that was like having a good face for radio, but he had faith in me. [caption id="attachment_12696" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos A one eyed cat doing it's pre-ballet class stretches[/caption] However, I stopped the lessons for a couple of reasons mainly work related, but was starting to get a bit nervous about them when he told me he had new neighbours. “I’ll just close the doors,” he said, pulling the patio doors to one summer’s day. “Kiri will be warming up in a moment and we don’t want to listen to that.” That kind of takes the fun out of singing lessons, knowing you’ve got Kiri Te Kanawa listening to your every screech as she takes her herbal on the terrace three feet away. So, I did what I could, with the singing practice I mean, and then watered the garden; I can do that now the pump is mended. Mind you, the new flush in the toilet has now stopped working properly so that needs investigating again. And then, on Thursday, we headed off down to Pedi for a morning swim. We always see George Taxi there in the morning, getting his boat washed down and prepped for the day, he usually arrives just after us. We set off a few minutes late yesterday for one reason or another, so he was already there by the time we arrived. We waved, ‘You’re very late’ he chided in the tone of a disgruntled school teacher. We will have to have a note next time. Anyway, nice swim, nice walk back up where I tried to get images of the light on the hills at sunrise, and then to work. [caption id="attachment_12697" align="alignright" width="300"]Symi Greece photos A happy Jack Cat under the desk[/caption] Only to find the OTE, our internet and email provider, had blocked our email account because their server had been sending out spam in our name. So, 20 minutes on the phone and we changed the login details and now I have to wait for their ‘abuse’ team to call me so I can explain myself, which all sounds rather frightening, especially as it is your server chaps, actually, and nothing to do with me. So, if you use our email, you might like to use our symidream one instead, for home it is mail @ (no gaps of course), at least until we have it sorted out. But, all being well and with no more water/toilet flush problems, no Kiwi opera divas moving in next door, and with permission to be late for our swim, Friday I hope, will be a smoother day. Oh, and Kalo Mina to you too!
Friday, August 1st, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

All about water, donkeys, goats, walks, whatever

Yesterday morning we did the steps up to the top of the village, always hard work when you've just got out of bed, and then headed up the road, beyond the Kantina, beyond ‘picture corner’ to where the top donkey track comes out onto the road. There was a brief discussion about whether we should head down that way, but it’s not so good for the ankles, and so we came back down the road as the sun came up. [caption id="attachment_12689" align="alignleft" width="300"]Symi Greece photos A view from up on the main road[/caption] All we saw on this walk was a pregnant donkey enjoying a thistle breakfast on the side of the road, a stray goat running sheepishly away, an old man in a crash helmet on a quad bike, and the dustbin lorry coming back from its first drop-off at the dump. Oh, and the usual assortment of cats and dogs and chickens and a horse, and the sunrise, and a million and one boats that could not get into Yialos, so were moored out at sea in Harani and beyond, at Nimborio and beyond, and then those avoiding paying by using Pedi bay. Symi was rather over-stuffed with boats this morning. And it’s good to see that the ones in the harbour (which you can see from the main road beyond the Kantina) were not all those big flashy ones owned by rich people we are not really envious of; there were lesser mortals moored in the harbour as well. I think the tip is to get there early. [caption id="attachment_12690" align="alignright" width="200"]Symi Greece photos From a Neil photo walk[/caption] Tuesday was a fun day at home. I was just having a midday kip in advance of lunch and work, when I heard water pouring from the overflow on the roof. Suddenly transported into the winter I thought, ‘this can't be right. And why is the pump running?’ First thing I did was switch the pump off as something had clearly broken up there on the roof. A quick investigation showed that that was the case and the eight year old chamber thing attached to the pump had just had enough and sheered itself away from the main pipe so there was water everywhere, including, a little later, some dripping onto the sofa. But an emergency call to Ian Spalding home maintenance service (see for the phone number) and a few hours later the thing was fixed. Rather, the pump was alerted to have a new-fangled electronic thing on it so we don’t need the big red whatsit anymore. Brilliant. Thank you! And talking of water, you might like to see this short video taken under and over water at Pedi on Tuesday. It goes a bit ‘odd’ at one point but it might give you an idea of what it is like to be in the sea just before sunrise, on Symi, in Greece in July.
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 No Comments
Categorized Under: Day to day

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