Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tales with Tasso



GREETINGS from the Aegean! This is Ed Black, Roy's close collaborator on our feel-good website, posting to you from the island of Paradiseo.

The last tourists are long gone and even yachters back home, away from our now blustery shores.
Autumn here sees the hunting season, when I take Bacchus my bull mastif over the pine hills to scout game.
Fortunately, he's no nose for the job and I'm a terrible shot.
Consequently, my Athenian girlfriend Diana and I motor over to quiet Paraskevi beach on my old Matchless motorbike - to dine with Tasso at his remote taverna.
By November most of the local bars and restaurants are closed, especially here in the Old Harbour where I have my cocktail bar and grille Black Velvet.
Locals light log fires at their home villas and settle down to chat of the old days. I barter some cured ham Diana brought back from her family at the Plaka, for us to enjoy a firelit dinner of rabbit stew with Tasso.
He's a rum, old gent with a collection of wind-up and battery driven phalli. Yes, you read right.
"They make the lady tourists laugh in summer," he explains to newcomers, as their eyebrows rise while tiny phalluses vibrate about the bar counter and table top - jumping blindly in all directions then falling to the floor.
"Just like the young men round here in season," Tasso adds with a tolerant laugh at the ironies and foolishness of life.
Such human weaknesses and needs are to be accepted and smiled over, as the logs crackle in his fireplace and a now sleepy sea laps upon the shingle nearby.
There's a fellowship at such times. The Orthodox services at the tiny hillside temples, or gilded churches in town, are difficult for me as a foreigner to follow. But there's contentment in this peace and kindness.
I feel the same ageless and uplifting joy of life when on the mainland - celebrating with Diana's family in ancient Athens, mother of freedom and philosophy.
Winter is a time when I can catch up with reading. It was Tasso, a well-travelled man once in the navy, who introduced me to the idolised and still stunning poet Hafez, from medieval Persia. We've now included a few lines of his for you to savour on our Poem page.
How I drifted from big city life into running a bar on a Greek island (I keep the real identity of 'Paradiseo' secret - as we get enough tourists) forms a colourful tale on our Memoir page.
Meanwhile, there is also an extract from one of Roy's books set on the Fylde coast - see our Story/Chapter page.
He's presently working on a light-hearted autobiography entitled Only The Good News which, like his latest novel Coming Up Roses, is due to be published in the New Year.
See this website's Books page for a full selection that you can browse through and order. Monies received help meet costs for this non-profit making venture, with paperbacks sponsored by the Arts Council.
Roy will be posting a Christmas message from us soon. In the meantime, I wish all readers happy days and then evenings full of tales to inspire and fulfil.
Yassas, my friends!
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