New Blog

Back on deck at last and I have just started a new blog to provide a narrative of my current adventures. I imagine that it will be a good deal different to this old blog – inevitably, less Tilos-centric and also possibly somewhat less exuberant in tone than the manic scribblings of that now long-ago…

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower

I just posted this on Facebook and I thought I should share it here. It’s one of my favourite poems and contains the line after which my blog is named. From Sonnets to Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke… Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more…

With a Song in My Heart

I followed the track up between a fold in the hills. The wind ploughed through the olive trees on the terraces, setting their leaves flashing silvery-green. In the brittle sunlight, everything glittered and shone, but the truth be told, I was beginning to fade. My legs felt like lead as I plodded uphill. I began…

Beers with Santa on Tilos Part 2

Eventually, with daylight showing beyond the large round windows, the time came to say goodbye to Santa and to all my other friends at Bozi – which couldn’t at that point have numbered more than five or six hardy revellers, including Mr and Mrs Bozi – and wend my weary way home. As usual, I…

The Day the Roof Fell In Part 3

Watching the storm engulf the valley from the confines of the smelly old chapel proved an entertaining experience. However it was also one of those spectacles where a little tends to go a long way and my enforced confinement soon began to chafe. As soon as the rain lightened off, therefore, and a glimmer of…

The Day the Roof Fell In Part 2

Eventually, having pacified my little friend, I returned him to ground level and then went and washed my face at the spring and drank some water. By the time I had turned around again Pirat had disappeared. Grateful for this piece of good fortune I grabbed my rucksack and hurried through the pitch-black tunnel of…

The Day the Roof Fell In Part 1

Probably I should have listened to Charlie. At least that’s what I was thinking as I crouched in the ruined chapel of Panagia, gazing out through the jagged hole in the apse as the mother of all thunderstorms crashed over the valley. Rain fell in a torrent, obscuring the mountaintops. Rolling peals of thunder, breaking…

From a Writer’s Notebook: Wednesday 8 November 2006

We had intended to use the barbeque. For the last couple of months it had been standing in the corner of the courtyard, half a hot water tank equipped with three legs of reinforced steel that gave it a queer, tripod-like appearance, unused and looking increasingly forlorn beneath a creeping patina of bright orange rust….

A Letter I once wrote

Just a quick note to let you know that Vangelis died last Wednesday. As you know, he’s been sick for awhile and lately hadn’t been looking too good. The funeral was held next day in Livadia at the big white church. At Agios Antonios there was the usual last minute kerfuffle, but finally S, B…

After Lunch

Eventually I left Menelaus and set off down the valley. I needed to get a move on – I wanted to walk to Luboudi and swim and afterwards, if possible, climb up to the Italian House. Fortunately  lunch was beginning to kick in, raising my energy levels, to say nothing of the half-litre or so…