THIS is Ed Black, Roy's occasional collaborator on this non-profit-making but uplifting literary website. I am posting to you from my island home in the Aegean. Happy New Year to all!
The seas are now rough about the island I christen Paradiseo, but it's peaceful in our homes - a time of goodwill to our fellow men (and women, naturally) - celebrated late in the Greek Orthodox Church.
Those who don't, the poorer among us, tend to get help from the better off: some food or wine dropped off in passing or left at their door, with a neighbourly message of seasonal greetings; perhaps firewood or oil and gas, left beside their own dwindling stockpiles.
No man is an island and here, on this small one, we all depend upon each other. Even Lazarus, the poor rubbish man who races around wildly all summer in his mule-drawn cart, is vital to our community.
Some say man comes into the world alone and leaves it that way. However, I have never shared those sentiments. It seems to me that other people and love bring each of us into this world and then sustain us. Hopefully, we will leave it with the same care and good grace.
Long-term fiancee Diana and I were married after the tourist season, with Orthodox ceremony and registration at our little town hall - where most of the locals joined in a Jacob-join style buffet and beano. Christmas was marked traditionally late in the island's beautiful Orthodox church where all, even relative heathens like myself, were welcome amongst spiritually uplifting chants and incense-heavy air.
Roy is busy finishing his latest novel, A Cut Above (see bottom of our Books page). I've been reading his recently published autobiography, Only The Good News. There are some random excerpts on our Story/Chapter page. I have also put an amusing chapter from it about distant travel and eating on our Memoir page.
Here we appreciate this enforced season of rest and restoration, but also look forward to brighter weather. It's partly with spring in mind, but also the seasonal festivities recalled, that I have added the most popular and moving of Biblical psalms to our Poem page.
However, whatever your faith or creed may be, from Paradiseo we warmly greet and wish you peace, joy and prosperity . . .
Yassas, my friends!