Sunday, 23 September 2012

All Greek To Me


THIS is Ed Black posting to you from Paradiseo in the Aegean.
Roy was busy preparing for his book reading at Knott End Library (2pm, Thursday, September 27) and proofing his latest book, Born Again Sinner - expected to be available in a few weeks time (check Books page).
Here on the island there is no such rush of activity, quite the reverse. The season is over except for a few latecomer tourists. What's more, despite all the dire financial news about Greece, on the island little changes.
We still declare only a fraction of our earnings and, along with a regular bung to the mayor, this keeps us very comfortable, thank you.
As a cocktail bar/grille owner, most of my needs are met by local produce, paid for on a barter system which sees me writing notes and dealing with official forms for less sophisticated locals.
At the Black Velvet, here in the Old Harbour, my girlfriend Diana does most of the routine cooking and cleaning. I save my talents for evening banquets and important visitors (usually rich Athenians on yachting breaks or visiting their villas on Paradiseo).
Diana takes a couple of days out every other month to visit relatives and go shopping in her native Athens. That's when I go fishing or, later in the winter, hunting in the hills with Bacchus my bull mastiff. I hasten to add that Bacchus is too soft to catch anything and my firing aim is appalling, so it's more the mountain air we go for, rather than game.
Winter also means I get more time in the evenings to myself as, like most of the bar and taverna owners, I close down, light the log fires and put my feet up.
In the past I used to write fiction and you'll see reminders on this post and our Excerpts page of my efforts.
But nowadays I'm more likely to roar off on my old Norton 500cc and play chess with Takis at his remote taverna in Paraskevi bay.
He's an odd sort, Takis. His hobby is collecting wind-up models of male appendages (Greek males have an obsession about them). He loves to set them all up on a table and get them gyrating and jumping when some shy lady tourists are dining. This spectacle usually gets the unsuspecting patrons gyrating and jumping too, either straight out the taverna or into the seedy old owner's arms!
It's typically Greek to assume all visiting females are fair game, while anyone who touches their own womenfolk risks life and limb. I'm fortunate that my lovely Diana is from the mainland with no relatives here.
Still, they're a fascinating bunch. That's what inspired my first novel, Harry's Hand, a thriller set in Manhattan but with a strong Aegean flavour. The inspiration for my second, the humorous romance Romp & Circumstance set in Hong Kong, is more akin to what motivates old Takis.
Roy has been experiencing but now overcome technical problems on this website and has added new anecdotes to his Way Over Yonder memoir page.
I've taken the liberty of promoting my books along with this post. No doubt he will be doing the same for his next novel and explaining his own inspiration for writing.
So it's yassas from me, my friends, and good reading!
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