I am going to be very busy till the end of the month, and the next post will be on or before Tuesday 30th October


Instant Liberation For Any Downtrodden Woman

If you are a woman worn down by too many marital problems, take a very useful lesson from the Hebrideans of Tiree, Uist, Lewis etc most of whom still speak Scottish Gaelic in 2018, for they have learnt the valuable self-protective art of the distant and the impersonal. Be aware that in that sonorous and venerable language, they don’t say anything as straightforward as ‘I am a teacher’ but they say instead ‘There is a teacher within me!’  (Se tidsear a tha annam).

So, the next time your unpleasant, overweight and puffy-eyed slob of a husband or partner bawls, ‘You are a bone idle, selfish woman and a terrible housekeeper who never gets off her lazy backside’ just you go Gaelic and shoot back with infinite scathing irony at him:

“Yes, there is a bone idle, selfish woman and terrible housekeeper who never gets off her lazy backside, and who is within me!”

At once you are absolved of all spurious responsibility for the ludicrous demon that is there inside you, according to the deluded Milord Hubby. When your oppressor opens his mouth in mute amazement, make sure you have ready a large carrot or prize leek and ram it hard in his capacious gob and keep him thus at his deservedly helpless, hopeless level

A Holiday That is An Orgy

An old US friend of mine is notorious for writing emails that she shoots off without checking for typos, sometimes with hilarious and/or baffling results. Her best yet, and it had me laughing all day, was her reference to a recent US pubic holiday. At once my imagination stirred and filled in the gaps and painted oh so vivid a picture. Yours too, eh? Bring it on, eh! Let’s a have ‘a pubic holiday’ ASAP! Yes, yes, I’m for it, put me down for it without delay. You too? No? I don’t believe you. I think you’re more than ready for a pubic holiday, given that awful anti-social, unspeakable guy you’ve been with, Lord knows why, for 17 years, the one who drives you round the bend with his finicky ifs and buts and can effortlessly go silent on you for a fortnight if you’ve gone and burnt his breakfast toast…

Good old murderers

Ari, aged 55, who works in the Fermina taverna is from Gabrovo, Bulgaria, has 2 grown kids and 2 grandkids, and is married to a Greek woman who also works in the Fermina. He is famed for his dry wit and by way of debate and to get him going, I sometimes mention the only Bulgarian politician I know Todor Zhivkov (1911-1998) the one-time authoritarian communist president. Not just Ari but all the Bulgarians here in the port say with such profound nostalgia what a great time it was pre-1989 under arthritic tyrannical communism, for however bad it was, they add, everyone had a job, and now they could do with going back to those halcyon times, for the place is such an anarchic mess these days.  I always argue the toss, but it makes no difference and they look upon me sympathetically as a pampered old Brit living inexplicably in down at heel Greece who knows nothing whatever of extreme corruption and extreme poverty.

One day suddenly I spontaneously improvised, and after saying ‘Zhivkov’ to Ari added, ‘Stalin’, as if to indicate the calibre of the bloodless rogue who Ari amiably venerated.

What Ari said then took my breath away. For apropos Josef Stalin aka Josev Dlugashvili, he said:

Kalo pedhi!

 Great lad! Great boy!

It was as if he was talking about his favourite uncle and it was like a Zen awakening, a paradox beyond imagining. He was joking about the worst mass murderer in all of human history, who made the atrocious genocides of Adolf Hitler look like minute beer indeed. I immediately started to laugh hilariously along with the straight-faced humourist because if course it was the only proper response, this mordant aching wretched gallows humour in the face of the impossible and the unbearable and of an evil so great it went off the scale and kept on going.


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