Thursday, 29 March 2018

Charmed Lives in Greece


There is an exhibition on at The British Museum now which I am keen to see.  It follows the lives of three friends; artists Niko Ghika and John Craxton, and writer Patrick Leigh Fermour.  They all loved and were inspired by Greece and met often on Hydra in Ghika's house on the hill overlooking Kamini Harbour.  I was sitting in Kamini an hour ago, listening to the sound of the sea bounce off the low quay wall, and watching the sunlight reflect off the waves onto the fishing boats and wished myself a small percentage of these great names' talent to get down on paper the essence of this wonderful island that draws artists and wordsmiths.  As I was musing over this, just to prove a point, a rock-legend I hero-worshipped in my teens walked by.  


 Ghika's house burned down in 1961.  Some say his housekeeper, upset that Ghika had left his first wife, set fire to it. Another rumour is that a watchman employed to look after the house, dropped a cigarette when in his cups.   Either way, Ghika didn't return and the house was not rebuilt. Its ruin is still visible behind the Care Home for the Elderly. 



13 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful painting and elegant photo along with a fascinating story - I'm curious about the rock-legend ...

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  2. Just before I visited Cappadocia I read "A Time to Keep Silence" by Patrick Leigh Fermor in which he describes Cappadocia so poetically.
    'It was the landscape of a planet, the surface of the moon or Mars or Saturn; a dead, ashen world, lit with the blinding pallor of a waste of asbestos, filled, not with craters and shell-holes, but with cones and pyramids and monoliths from fifty to a couple of hundred feet high, each one a rigid isosceles of white volcanic rock like the headgear of a procession of Spanish penitents during Passion Week. These petrified cagoulards extended for leagues to the farthest end of the ravine, where they were reduced by distance to a barrier of shark's teeth.

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  3. Bit of a charred life in the end then!

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  4. Three different browsers (Opera, Firefox failed to post) and now Chromium which says it has. So your blog accepts a Google-based browser but not others in my case.

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  5. Fermor was such an amazing person. I wish I had half his vocabulary. Trying to follow his footsteps in 2018 requires an intense imagination, nevertheless, I wish I was sitting have a coffee where you are.

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  6. Don't keep us in suspense. Who was the rock legend?

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    1. a clue above - and i had feeling in all my limbs - not numb at all

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  7. Dear Annie, yes, who was the rock legend? Was he known here in the States? And yes, too, to the wonder of being where artists and creators have stood and dreamed what might have seemed at the time to be "the impossible dream." Peace.

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