Deep fried zucchini sticks with hot garlic sauce

Κυριακή, 29 Ιουλίου, 2012

I woke up this morning and discovered that there was a big zucchini in the garden.

Its length was 27 cm and it biggest diameter 10 cm.

At first I thought that this big zucchini was full of air. That it was a zucchini – baloon.

Then I touched it and held and its weight and firmness told me otherwise.

What came to my mind next was that it would have no taste. That it would be tasteless.

A mass of zucchini flesh with no taste.

I obviously had to find out.

There was only one way.

Once cut from the plant, I cut it into sticks and placed it in a bath of course sea salt with water, and left it there for a couple of hours.

In the meantime, I crushed a lot of garlic cloves, with one hot pepper, coriander and basil, added some salt, olive oil and vinegar.

I fried the sticks in corn oil, and served them with the hot garlic sauce.

They were GOOD!

The flesh was sweet and tender.

And it went superbly with the hot garlic sauce.

I promise not to badmouth a big zucchini again!


Prune marmalade: a simple miracle when miracles matter

Τετάρτη, 25 Ιουλίου, 2012

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding… And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy”

Khalil Gibran

J. Stephan Leeper: Tree of Life

This is a period of time when I need miracles.

Any miracle will do, as long as it breaks the viscious circle of regularity.

Happily, I diid not have to wait for long.

The prune tree in the back yard produced effortlessly the miracle I was asking for.

The tree is laden with fruit.

Some of the fruit was collected, washed and pitted.

The pitted fruit was then reduced to a pulp.

The pulp then passed through a sieve and placed into a big 8 liter pot.

Once reduced to 6 liters, I added 2 kilos of sugar and let it boil slowly until it was reduced to 2 liters.

While still warm, the heavy liquid was put in jars, the jars were secured with their top and then turned upside down.

The marmalade was ready.

The miracle was complete, right in front of my eyes.

Every miracle needs to penetrate all the senses.

I therefore had to taste the marmalade.

This was no hard job.

Accompanied by a large coffee freddo, the miracle became internalized.

And blessed me for a few precious moments. This is why I will repeat the ceremony.

Miracles should not be a matter of rarity or exception. And a good friend (to whom I am connected through our love of Luigi Pirandello) has reminded me:

“Things, I believe, have value to us only in proportion as they have power for evoking and grouping familiar images about them. Certainly an object may sometimes be pleasing to us in itself, through its artistic lines, let us say; but more often our delight in it comes from wholly extraneous considerations. Our fancy beautifies it with a halo, as it were, of fond remembrances, whereby we see it, not at all as it really is, but as something alive, as something animated by the images we habitually associate with it. What we love is that portion of ourselves which we recognize in it, which establishes a harmony between it and us, giving it a soul that is known only to us because that soul is the creation of our own memories.” Luigi Pirandello, The late Mattia Pascal

Grilled aubergines and skinless sausage Italian style

Σάββατο, 7 Ιουλίου, 2012

Summer has arrived!

I can tell, not because the daily high temperature is steadily at 35 degrees Celcius, but because the aubergine are ripe and ready for the eating.

They sing their little song every morning when I open the door and face the vegetables garden.

Today I could not hear the song anymore. I had to make my heart stone-cold, and face the inevitable: I was going to have the aubergines for lunch.

Respect for the ingredients in ceremonies of this sort is mandatory.

The original flavours must dominate the experience.

The sweetness of the flesh must accompany the traveller for long after the meal is over.

So they were grilled with a touch of olive oil, and served on a bed of coarse sea salt.

The company the grilled aubergine demands is noble.

Noble in its extreme simplicity.

It had to be skinless sausage, Italian style.

Extremely good quality pork belly, deboned and minced coarsely.

Then garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well, compact in a container so that there are no air bubbles left in the mix, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Then grill in fierce fire.

The result is more than satisfying. The meat is extremely juicy and tasty, with incredible texture.

It accompanies well the protagonist of the meal, the sweet, tender, delicious aubergine.

A red with character, like a Rosso di Montalcino, paying tribute to the culture that created this sausage, should accompany the meal.

Για μένα ο δρόμος είναι δρόμος
Τι πάει να πει είναι στραβός;

Ακης Πανου

For me the way is a way

How could it be wrong?

Akis Panou

Akis Panou – Ακης Πανου

Αυτο το αρθρο ενθυμαται τον μεγαλο Ελληνα μουσικοσυνθετη στιχουργο και οργανοπαικτη, τον Ακη Πανου.

This is an article about the Greek composer Akis Panou.

Στην επιστολη που εγραψε το 1975 προς τον Μανο Χατζηδακι, αυτοπαρουσιαζεται ως εξης:

In his 1975 letter to Manos Hadjidakis, he introduces himself as follows:

“Γεννήθηκα, μεγάλωσα και μένω στην Αθήνα,
είμαι υιός του Στέφανου και της Ελευθερίας.
Τα παιδικά παιχνίδια μου μπουζούκι, μαντολίνα,
επάγγελμά μου μουσικός μηδέν κατηγορίας.
Οι αριθμοί ταυτότητας και διαβατηρίου,
μητρώου στρατιωτικού και απολυτηρίου,
νομίζω δεν χρειάζονται και δεν τους παραθέτω,
στεφανοχάρτι τό’χασα και τρέχα γύρευέ το.
Οι οφθαλμοί μου γαλανοί. Και το ανάστημά μου
δεκαοκτώ εκατοστά, ή ένα και εβδομήντα.
Άτεκνος με μια σύζυγο, τα τρία τα σκυλιά μου,
πρόπερσι σαραντάρησα και πάω για πενήντα.
Με ότι κι αν ασχοληθώ έχω επιτυχία,
γράφω στιχάκια, μουσική, σκαλίζω, ζωγραφίζω.
Κουσούρια: ο εγωισμός και η βωμολοχία
αν και αποφεύγω να μιλώ και πιο πολύ να βρίζω.”

“I was born and raised in Athens, where I reside, 

Iam the son of Stephanos and Eleftheria. 

My childhood toys were the bouzouki, the mandolin, 

I am a musician by profession, without classification.

I do not give you my ID number, passport number, 

military service document, 

as I do not think they are needed,

as for my marriage certificate I have lost it and cannot retrieve it. 

My eyes are cyan blue. I am 

one meter and seventy centimeters tall.

I do not have any children, but I do have a wife, three dogs, 

and two years ago I became forty, now going for fifty. 

Whatever I do, I do with success, 

I write lyrics, music, I carve, I paint.

My drawbacks: I am selfish and I swear a lot

eventhough I try not to talk, and even more not to swear. 

Η επιστολη γραφτηκε επειδη ο Χατζηδακις, τοτε Διευθυντης στην Ελληνικη Ραδιοφωνια, δεν επαιζε την μουσικη και τα τραγουδια του Πανου στο προγραμμα του ραδιοφωνου.

Ο Πανου ηθελε με τον μοναδικο δικο του τροπο να παρουσιασει τον εαυτο του στον Χατζηδακι και με τον τροπο αυτο να ανοιξει την πορτα του δημοσιου ραδιοφωνου.

Μετα το γραμμα του Πανου, ο Χατζηδακις ανεγνωρισε την παρουσια του Πανου στα μουσικα δρωμενα της Ελλαδας, και αρχισε να παιζει τα τραγουδια του στο ραδιοφωνο.

The letter was written because Hadjidakis, who in addition to being one of the major modern greek music composers was the director of public radio, was not playing any of Panou’s music on the radio. Panou wanted in his way to introduce himself and open public radio’s door. 

After receiving the letter, Hadjidakis, became aware of Panou’s existence and started introducing him in public radio programs.

Το περιστατικο με τον Μανο Χατζηδακι ειναι χαρακτηριστικο της παρουσιας του Πανου στην μουσικη της Ελλαδας.

Ο Πανου κατα τη γνωμη μου ηταν απο τους μεγαλυτερους συγχρονους μουσικοσυνθετες και στιχουργους.

Ποτε ομως δεν περασε στα σαλονια και την γκλαμουρια.

Ο Πανου παρεμεινε μεχρι τελους στο περιθωριο.

The incident with Manos Hadjidakis is indicative of Panou’s presence in the music of Greece. 

In my view Panou is one of the most important modern Greek composers and lyricists. 

However, in spite of this, he was never accepted (or wanted to be) in Greek music’s maintream and the relevant publicity sphere.

PAnou has always been and remained almost with religious fervour, a marginal.  

Η ζωη του Ακη Πανου ειναι σα μυθιστορημα.

Αλλα πρεπει να αναφερω το κομβικο συμβαν του 1997, οταν ο Πανου σκοτωνει τον εραστη της κορης του Ελευθεριας.

Αυτο το τραγικο συμβαν ειναι η αρχη του τελους για τον Πανου. Και οχι μονον αυτον.

Το 1998 καταδικαζεται σε ισοβια καθειρξη, αλλα το 1999 αποφασιζεται η διακοπη της κρατησης του για λογους υγειας.

Panou’s life reads like a novel. 

Without going into the details, I have to mention the tragic event of 1997, when PAnou killed with a gun his daughter’s lover.

This event was the beginning of the end for Panou. And not only him. 

In 1998 he is convicted to life imprisonment, but in 1999 he is released due to terminal health problem. 

“Μόνο ο Παντοκράτορας θα πει αν είμαι εντάξει
οργίασα με το μυαλό μα ελάχιστα στην πράξη
κι αν θα με κρίνει ένοχο αυτός θα με πατάξει
εσύ ΄σαι σκέτος θυρωρός και να κρατάς την τάξη.”

Ακης Πανου

“Only the Pantokrator will say whether I have been good

my mind has gone overboard but not my actions

and if he finds me guilty he will punish me 

you, on the other hand, are just a clerk, maintaining orer”.

Akis Panou

Ο συνήγορός του, Αλέξανδρος Κατσαντώνης είχε πει πως: “αν έλεγε μια λέξη, τη λέξη συγνώμη δεν θα καταδικαζόταν σε ισόβια.”

Σε ενα περιπου χρονο, τον Απριλιο του 2000 ο Ακης Πανου πεθαινει απο καρκινο του παγκρεατος.

Η κορη του Ελευθερια, δηλωνει μετα τον θανατο του: “νοιώθω άσχημα, απέναντι στον πατέρα μου που είχε δίκιο και δεν τον άκουσα.”

Το 2009 ο γυιος του Στεφανος ευρισκεται απο την συντροφο του απαγχονισμενος στο διαμερισμα τους στην Αθηνα. Ηταν μολις 27 χρονων.

Panou’s defense attorney, Alexandros Katsantonis had said that “if he had muttered one word, the word {sorry} he would not have been condemned to life imprisonment”.

One year after his release from jail, in April 2000, Akis Panou dies of cancer in the pancreas. 

His daughter Eleftheria, after her father’s death makes a statement: ” I feel bad because my father was right and I never paid attention to what he was saying”.

In 2009, at the age of 27, Panou’s son Stephanos is found hanging from the ceiling of his flat in Athens. 

Στο θολωμένο μου μυαλό

In my blurred mind

Στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου
Μουσική: Άκης Πάνου
Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Στέλιος Καζαντζίδης

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Stelios Kazantzidis

Στο θολωμένο μου μυαλό
ο κόσμος είναι μια σταλιά,
κάτι σκιές απ’ τα παλιά
και κάποιο πάθος μου τρελό.

In my blurred mind

the world is just a dot

some shadows from the past

and an irrational passion

Και κάποιο πάθος μου τρελό,
στο θολωμένο μου μυαλό.

An irrational passion,

in my blurred mind.

Το θολωμένο μου μυαλό
μ’ έχει προδώσει προ πολλού,
του λέω αλλού και τρέχει αλλού,
με κάνει και παραμιλώ.

My blurred mind 

has betrayed me a long time ago, 

I ask it to do one thing and it does another,

I am lost for words.

Με κάνει και παραμιλώ,
το θολωμένο μου μυαλό.

I am lost for words,

because of my blurred mind.

Του θολωμένου μου μυαλού
τους εφιάλτες τραγουδώ,
κι αν σας επίκρανα ως εδώ,
φταίει το πάθος του τρελού.

I sing the nightmares

of my blurred mind,

 if I hurt you somehow,

I blame the madman’s passion

Φταίει το πάθος του τρελού,
του θολωμένου μου μυαλού.

I blame the madman’s passion, 

the passion of my blurred mind. 

Ο Τρελος

The madman

Στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου.
Μουσική: Άκης Πάνου.
Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Μανωλης Μητσιας

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Manolis Mitsias

Alex Majoli, GREECE. Dodecanese islands. Leros. Inside the psychiatric hospital. 1995.

Άσ’ τον τρελό στην τρέλα του
και μη τον συνεφέρεις
Τι κρύβει μέσα το μυαλό
ενός τρελού δεν ξέρεις

Leave the madman in his madness

do not help him recover 

You know not what is hidden

in a madman’s mind

Μπορεί να βρει στην τρέλα του
αυτά που ’χει ποθήσει
και που δεν αξιώθηκε
να δει και ν’ αποκτήσει

He may find in his madness

what he has desired

but has not been blessed

to live and possess

Βρε άσ’ τον τρελό στην τρέλα του
άσ’ τονε στο όνειρό του
Τον κόσμο αυτό σιχάθηκε
κι έφτιαξε ένα δικό του

Oh, leave the madman in his madness

leave him in his dream

He detests this world

and made one of his own

Ουτε αχ δεν θα πω 

I am not going to breath a sigh  

Στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου.
Μουσική: Άκης Πάνου.
Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Βίκυ Μοσχολιού, δίσκος 45 στροφών, 1969.

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Vicky Moscholiou

Όταν είδα πως θα φύγεις
κόντεψα να τρελαθώ,
μα δεν μπόρεσα να κλάψω
και να παραπονεθώ.

When I realized that you will leave 

I almost went mad,

but I couldn’t shed a tear

or even complain.

Ούτε “αχ” δε θα πω

αφού έδωσα μπέσα
σε μια μαύρη καρδιά
που δε μ έβαλε μέσα.

I am not going to breath a sigh  

because I gave it all

to a black heart

which didn’t let me in.

Ρίξε με κι εσύ πιο κάτω
να με πάρει ο ποταμός,
να με φάει το σκοτάδι,
να με λιώσει ο καημός.

Push me further down 

so that the river takes me, 

the dark absorbs me, 

the sorrow eats me.

Ρώτα τη συνείδησή σου
κι άφησέ με αν σ το πει,
θα ναι ο καημός δικός μου
μα δική σου η ντροπή.

Ask your conscience 

and let me go if it asks you to,

I will keep my sorrow 

and you will stay with the shame.

Ηταν ψευτικα

It was all fake

Μουσική, στίχοι & ενορχήστρωση: Άκης Πάνου
Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Ήταν ψεύτικα
τα γλυκόλογά της όλα
ήταν ψεύτικα
βρήκα την καταστροφή μου
κι ερωτεύτηκα
όλα ψεύτικα

It was all fake

her sweet words

it was fake

I found my disaster

and I fell in love

all fake 

Ήταν κάλπικα
τα φιλιά που μου πουλούσε
ήταν κάλπικα
κι όταν είδα την αλήθεια
πόσο ντράπηκα
όλα κάλπικα

She was phony

the kisses she was selling to me 

they were phony

and when I saw the truth

I could not contain my shame

all phony

Ήταν θάνατος
το πιοτό που με κερνούσε
ήταν θάνατος
και δεν είμαι από πέτρα
ούτε αθάνατος
ήταν θάνατος

It was death

the drink she was offering me

it was death

and I am not made of stone 

neither am I immortal

it was death

Εγω καλα σου ταλεγα

I was speaking right

Μουσική & στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου
Τραγούδι: Στρατος Διονυσιου

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Stratos Dionysiou

Εγώ καλά σου τα ‘λεγα
και τ’ άκουγες παράλογα
Περπάτησε ανάλογα
Θυμάσαι που σου τα ‘λεγα;
Εγώ καλά σου τα ‘λεγα

I was speaking right

but you were hearing wrong

Now you must walk the way

Do you remember?

I was speaking right

Γιατί δε συμβιβάζεσαι;
Που τρέχεις και τι βιάζεσαι;
Αμάρτησες; Κολάζεσαι!
Αδίκως θυσιάζεσαι
Γιατί δε συμβιβάζεσαι;

Why not compromise?

Where are you rushing to?

Have you sinned? You are punished!

Your sacrifice is in vain. 

Why not compromise?

Αφού το κρίμα κρίνεται
κι ο αίτιος ευθύνεται
το πίνεις και δεν πίνεται
Εξαίρεση δε γίνεται
αφού το κρίμα κρίνεται

Sin does not go undetected

and the sinner is responsible

you drink it but it does not go down

and there is no exception

sin does not go undetected

Δε θέλω την συμπόνια κανενός

I do not want anyone’s pity

Στίχοι: Στράτος Ατταλίδης

Μουσική: Άκης Πάνου

Lyrics: Stratos Attalidis

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

 Δε θέλω την συμπόνια κανενός

τον έζησα τον κόσμο και τον είδα
είν’ η καρδιά μου μαύρος ουρανός
που κρύβει κεραυνούς και καταιγίδα

Την ώρα που ξεχείλισε ο πόνος
την ώρα που με πνίγει ο καημός
αυτήν την ώρα θέλω να ‘μαι μόνος
δεν θέλω την συμπόνια κανενός

Με της αχαριστίας το νερό
πόσες φορές δεν μου ‘βρεξαν τα χείλη
ακόμα κι η γυναίκα π’ αγαπώ
ακόμα κι οι καλύτεροι μου φίλοι

Δεν κλαιω για τωρα

I am not crying for the present

Στίχοι& μουσική: Άκης Πάνου.
Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Βίκυ Μοσχολιού, δίσκος 45 στροφών, 1969.

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Vicky Moscholiou

Δεν κλαίω που φεύγεις
δεν κλαίω για τώρα
δεν κλαίω την ώρα
του αποχωρισμού

Κλαίω την ώρα του γυρισμού
κλαίω την ώρα του σπαραγμού
κλαίω για την ώρα που δε θα ‘χω πια
ψυχή να σου πω σ’ αγαπώ

Κλαίω την ώρα του γυρισμού
με τα σημάδια του χαλασμού
κλαίω για την ώρα που δε θα ‘χω πια
ψυχή να σου πω σ’ αγαπώ

Δεν είναι από ζήλεια
που σφίγγω τα χείλια
και κλαίω μπροστά σου
χωρίς να ντραπώ

Κλαίω την ώρα του γυρισμού
κλαίω την ώρα του σπαραγμού
κλαίω για την ώρα που δε θα ‘χω πια
ψυχή να σου πω σ’ αγαπώ

Κλαίω την ώρα του γυρισμού
με τα σημάδια του χαλασμού
κλαίω για την ώρα που δε θα ‘χω πια
ψυχή να σου πω σ’ αγαπώ.

Η ζωη μου ολη

My whole life

Στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου
Μουσική: Άκης Πάνου

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Stelios Kazantzidis

Η ζωή μου όλη είναι μια ευθύνη
όλα μου τα παίρνει τίποτα δε δίνει
η ζωή μου όλη είναι ένα καμίνι
που χω πέσει μέσα και με σιγοψήνει

Η ζωή μου όλη μια ανοησία
κι η μοναδική μου η περιουσία
η ζωή μου όλη είναι μια θυσία
που σκοπό δεν έχει ούτε σημασία

Η ζωή μου όλη είναι ένα τσιγάρο
που δεν το γουστάρω κι όμως το φουμάρω
κι όταν γίνει η γόπα κέρασμα στο χάρο
όταν έρθει η ώρα και τόνε τρακάρω

Και τι δεν κανω

I am doing eveything I can 

Μουσική & στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου
Τραγούδι: Δημητρης Μητροπανος και Πασχαλης Τερζης

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Sung by Dimitris Mitropanos and Paschalis Terzis

Και τι δεν κάνω
την πικραμένη σου ζωή για να γλυκάνω
κι εσύ μου δίνεις και μια πίκρα παραπάνω
κάθε στιγμή

Και τι δεν κάνω
την παγωμένη σου καρδιά για να ζεστάνω
κι εσύ μου δίνεις και μια πίκρα παραπάνω
για πληρωμή

Αμαρτία μεγάλη
μια καρδιά που για σένα λαχταράει και πεθαίνει
να τη βλέπεις σαν ξένη

Και τι δεν κάνω
για να βρεθώ στην αγκαλιά σου τι δεν κάνω
και μ’ αποφεύγεις σαν αλήτη, σαν ζητιάνο
κάθε στιγμή

Πες μου παππου 

Tell me grandfather

Μουσική & στίχοι: Άκης Πάνου

Music and lyrics: Akis Panou

Πες μου παππού, πες μου παππού

Αυτός ο κόσμος πάει που
Και του δικού σου του σκοπού μάθε μου την αξία
Να σε συλλάβω δεν μπορώ μυαλό δεν έχω κοφτερό
Ήμουν κι έμεινα μωρό στην κυριολεξία

Πες μου γιαγιά, πες μου γιαγιά
Γιατί αν δεν έχουμε μαγιά ότι κι αν κάνουμε γιαγιά
Η ζύμη δεν φουσκώνει
Και πες μου σε παρακαλώ όταν τ’ αλεύρι είναι καλό
Πως αβγαταίνει το κιλό και βγαίνουνε δυο τόνοι

Πες μου μπαμπά, πες μου μπαμπά
Τον κόσμο με τον αραμπά γιατί να τον ταράξεις
Τώρα δεν πιάνεται μπαμπά πετάει τρέχει κολυμπά
Μ’ ένα λαχάνιασμα μπαμπά στις σκέψεις και στις πράξεις

Πες μου μαμά, πες μου μαμά
Γιατί όταν πάω σινεμά,
Ενώ αλλάζω σινεμά το έργο δεν αλλάζει
Κι έρχεται ο άγριος μαμά για νταηλίκι ψήνει τον ήρεμο μαμά
Τον τρώει κι ησυχάζει

Πέστε μου όλοι σας καλέ
Πως κάνουνε στο κυριλέ τα πάντα οι μεγάλοι
Και τα στραβόμοιρα καλέ τα κρύβουν σε Γεντί Κουλέ
Έτσι και κάψουν ναργιλέ και στρώσουνε κεφάλι
Να χαχανίσουν τη ζωή και τούτη κι όποια άλλη

Blanched Green Beans and Lamb Roast

Τρίτη, 19 Ιουνίου, 2012

I always like it when I go to a restaurant and there is a flower on the table.

It does not need to be fancy, expensive, or impressive. The only requirement is for it to be freshly cut and surrounded by the simplicity of white.

Nature is so far superior to what we humans can do, that to try and mess with it is at minimum a meaningless crime.

Having said all that, I also want the table to be simply laid out. I do not want a lot of stuff on it. The simpler, the better. Because I want the food to be the definite protagonist of the experience.

Green beans in early May 2012

Each meal is an experience. Today’s meal has the elements of “the first time”, which make it even more enticing.

The green beans are the first of the season, the first I have ever produced in my life. What a feeling!

Back in early May, the green bean plants were very small. I was wondering what will become of them.

Green beans in June 2012

I have no doubts now.

This lack of doubt has led me to the decision to cook and taste the beans.

Certainty arms the hand, but the soul is still in doubt.

How will they taste? What ill the texture be like?

They look good, but looks is not everything. As a matter of fact, it is only a (the) beginning.

They may have the features, but the taste and texture is an alltogether different thing.

The preservation of taste and texture of the primary material is my fundamental objective when I cook something as pure and natural as these green beans.

For this reason I only blanch them and serve them with olive oil, salt and lemon juice.

Nothing more is needed.

The result could not have been better.

The texture is silky. You experience the transition from substance to non-substance.

Your palate is in continuous transstion.

The taste is subtle, you have the flavour of “greenness” in your mouth, but it does not overpower you.

What could be a better companion to this gastronomic jewel but a robust lamb roast?


I bought the two legs of the lamb almost up to the kidneys. This was less than 4 kilos. The whole lamb was around 12 kilos.

I roasted it with garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and fresh oregano.

I have a slow roasting method that “pulls” the bones out.

No knife is needed, the meat comes off by a gentle pull of the fork.

And then it melts in your mouth.

It was the first time I put together such a minimal menu. But it worked!!!

And there was no mustard on the table!

This meat demands respect!!!

(Between us, I cannot stand the sight of people who destroy a delicious piece of meat by drowning it in a puddle of mustard. What is the point???)

(I could write an article on the masochistic syndrome of these “mustard” afficionados, but I will not. Maybe another time.)

(Every time this happens, and the delicious meat is destroyed in the mustard puddle, I feel that I might as well have served mustard as the main dish.)

Strawberrys with melted chocolate ended the memorable  meal.

The enemies of Hellas – Greece: Part II

Τετάρτη, 6 Ιουνίου, 2012

Every human being has his own particular web of associations for identifying and interpreting reality, which, most often, instinctively and unthinkingly, he superimposes on every set of circumstances. Frequently, however, those external circumstances do not conform with, or fit, the structure of our webs, and then we can misread the unfamiliar reality, and interpret its elements incorrectly…
— Ryszard Kapuscinski, “Travels with Herodotus” (2007)

This is the second part of an attempt to identify the enemies of Greece. I hope it is the last, because if there are too many enemies, it will take ages to hunt them down and destroy them. On the other hand, life is boring without enemies. How are we going to spend our time? Especially now that we have no money to spend, and shopping is out of the question, travelling is out of the question, and so on, we might have a cost free entertaining and uplifting activity chasing and obliterating our enemies. Time will tell.

I remind you that according to my methodology, I identify the enemies of Greece indirectly, by focusing (not always) on the political parties, and making the inference that an enemy of our political parties is also an enemy of Greece.

New Democracy

New Democracy is the party of the traditional populist right.

They see “The Drachma Club” or “The Drachma Lobby” as enemies of Greece. These are people who are betting on Greece returning to the drachma, so that everything is devalued by at least 80% and they – the club members or lobbyists – buy everything for nothing, as they already have their huge fortunes in hard currency somewhere in the vaults of the world.

Another great enemy of Greece is [The “Little Match Stick Girl”}, also known as [The dangerous and irresponsible Mr Tsipras], the head of the SYRIZA party. The leader of New Democracy has created this powerful metaphor, of Mr Tsipras as the little match girl in a storage room full of dynamite. The question for us, ordinary citizens now is “how are we going to neutralize the little girl?”

Unfortunately I do not have an answer, but I am tempted to remember the proven strategy “nuke them till they glow, they shoot them in the dark”. Although I am not very keen on physical violence, as I definitely prefer psychological violence, I must confess that the “nuke them…” approach has an eternally alluring quality for me.

It might be a good idea for me to suggest to Mr Samaras to call Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, or even meet him (last time I saw him he was somewhere in the jungle of the Golden Traingle), to get some advice on how to best neutralize the little match stick girl.

Now that I have said that, I consider it absolutely brilliant, because a true political leader is nothing without a seasoned in battle military adviser.

Should Colonel Kurtz be unavailable, it might be best to contact Alexander Haig. I do not want to brag about it, but I have met the General at a conference in Paris in 2002. He delivered a speech on how executives should act. Not that I am an executive, but I was there anyway, so I got to hear him speak, and then I shook his hand. Oh my!!!!

Finally, the New Democracy has identified “The hooded men (and women?)” as a big enemy of Greece. These are people who wear a hood, and then run around trying to find a reason to exist. they are people in a huge existential crisis. New Democracy does not like them because they lower the morale of the population in the big urban centers, where the existential crisis is at its peak. And as you know, morale is everything, it is the decisive factor. And I understand the outrage of New Democracy.

These people are losers, and are dragging all of  us down with them!!!! No pasaran!!!!


PASOK is suffering from Dissociative identity disorder (DID, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

Quoting from Wikipedia:

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) its essential feature “…is the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states…that recurrently take control of behavior.” The diagnosis requires that at least two personalities (one may be the host) routinely take control of the individual’s behavior with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness; in addition, symptoms cannot be the temporary effects of drug use or a general medical condition. Memory loss will occur in those with DID when an alternate part of the personality becomes dominant. DID is less common than other dissociative disorders, occurring in approximately 10% of dissociative disorder cases and .5-1% of the general population.Women tend to outnumber men in this disorder, resulting in about a 9:1 ratio. 

Diagnosis is often difficult as there is considerable co-morbidity with other conditions and many symptoms overlap with other types of mental illness. 

Individuals diagnosed with DID frequently report severe physical and sexual abuse as a child. The etiology of DID has been attributed to the experience of pathological levels of stress which disrupts normal functioning and forces some memories, thoughts and aspects of personality from consciousness, though an alternative explanation is that dissociated identities are the iatrogenic effect of certain psychotherapeutic practices or increased popular interest.

All of the above is an extensive scientific quotation that I will ow interpret in my simplistic way.

The best proof of the dissociation of identity is the loss of memory.

PASOK has done a lot of things during the last three years. But the dissociated PASOK does not remember any of them.

It is like they were done by somebody else. It is like they were out, and all of a sudden they are back and they do not recognize what has happened.

If this is not scary, what could be?

We have a body that has the capacity through the dissociated identity disorder to continuously create new identities, each of which knows not what the others are doing.

It is clear that this dissociation of identity is an enemy of Greece, as it takes away from the country one its best children.

I am talking of course abour George Papandreou. PASOK had to sacrifice this child of hers, as it were trapped inside this dissociated body of PASOK.

The historical implications are huge, as among other things the country may miss the gigantic opportunity that George Papandreou had afforded to her to legalize marijuana in order to boost the economy and the country’s exports. What a shame!

How can a country deal with a psychological disease? That is becoming such a huge problem? Do we know from the medical profession whether death is the cure of the disease? Or do the DID dead continue to leave and return as jombies forever living dead to torture the country?

I strongly suggest before people bath their hands in the blood of PASOK to consult with the doctors.

Democratic Left

The Democratic left is a relatively new (two years’ old) party. The party has been described as a combination of a SYRIZA spin off and a PASOK spin off. The spin offs occurred at distinct moments of time, and there appears to be no design of this merge of splinter groups. However, design or not, this appears to be the case today.

I must confess I quite like the Democratic Left’s leader. He is a nice chap, and his use of the Greek language is decent, a rarity these days. The rest is complicated, as he takes ages to arrive at a conclusion, and when he does it is not clear what the conclusion is.

This is definitely not the result of the leader’s inability to articulate. It is most likely the result of the party’s blurred identity.

PASOK suffers from the dissociated identity disorder, and the Democratic Left from the blurred identity disorder!

The good news for the country and the Democratic Left is that their blurred identity will not necessarily cause a major problem, unless they will become the critical factor in the formation of a coalition government after the 17th June election. But we have to wait for this.

KKE – The Greek Communist Party

No identity disorder here!!!!

There is only one enemy: Capitalism. And another, Capital, and another, Capitalists.

All of these bad guys are against the workers, and as Greece is a workers’ country, they are all enemies of Greece.

But the biggest enemy of KKE these days is not capitalism. It is Alexis Tsipras and SYRIZA. No need to say more. And if you do not understand what I am saying, you are also an enemy!!!!


Yet another violation of my methodology. Fully justified though.

The Health of the Greek people, is being viciously attacked.

They (our enemies) are spraying us with all sorts of things. Every day airplanes of all kinds fly our friendly blue skies and spray us with all types of chemicals.

According to my informers, and secret reports that I have received, the most common substance used is a personality change agent. Once you inhale it you become a servile and docile citizen.

The originators of this act are not known yet. Rumours abound. All I can say is that we will find them, drag them to Constitution Square, and offer them ouzo!!!

Another way they are attacking our health is by importing into Greece HIV positive women who have unprotected sex with innocent, unsuspecting Greeks.

These women attract the men by promising them that they will solve all their problems, as their body is blessed by the waters of a holy river in India, where they went on holiday some time ago.

Unfortunately they are lying. Most of them come from the secret service of a neighbouring small country that is trying to destabilize Greece. They will not succeed!!!


Concluding this two-part monumental article, that is going to be read by hundreds of thousands of citizens of the world, I would like to offer the distilled wisdom that I have plenty in my inner self. Here it comes.

We should not be concerned about the Turks, the Albanians, the “FYROM-Macedonians”, the sionists, the Bankers, the Americans, the Russians, the Chinese, the pawnbrokers, the freemasons, the hedge funds, the spies, the secret agents, the chemical spray, AIDS, and so on.

We should not be concerned about our own failings of character, and the centuries old fratricide.

Asteroid Hermes’ elliptical orbit (red) brings it to the inner solar system every 777 days

Our biggest enemy, who eventually is going to bring our downfall is asteroid Hermes. Let me quote extensively from NASA’s website, to build my argument and at the same time educate all of you who think that I am losing my marbles and talking nonsense.

“It is almost accepted today, that an asteroid hit Earth 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs. But in 1980 when scientists Walter and Luis Alvarez first suggested the idea to a gathering at the American Association for Advancement of Sciences, their listeners were skeptical. Asteroids hitting Earth? Wiping out species? It seemed incredible.

At that very moment, unknown to the audience, an asteroid named Hermes halfway between Mars and Jupiter was beginning a long plunge toward our planet. Six months later it would pass 300,000 miles from Earth’s orbit, only a little more than the distance to the Moon. Rhetorically speaking, this would have made a great point in favor of the Alvarezes. Curiously, though, no one noticed the flyby.

1980 wasn’t the first time Hermes had sailed by unremarked. Hermes is a good-sized asteroid, easy to see, and a frequent visitor to Earth’s neighborhood. Yet astronomers had gotten into the habit of missing it. How this came to be is a curious tale, which begins in Germany just before World War II:

On Oct. 28, 1937, astronomer Karl Reinmuth of Heidelberg noticed an odd streak of light in a picture he had just taken of the night sky. About as bright as a 9th magnitude star, it was an asteroid, close to Earth and moving fast–so fast that he named it Hermes, the herald of Olympian gods. On Oct. 30, 1937, Hermes glided past Earth only twice as far away as the Moon, racing across the sky at a rate of 5 degrees per hour. Nowadays only meteors and Earth-orbiting satellites move faster.

Plenty of asteroids were known in 1937, but most were plodding members of the asteroid belt far beyond Mars. Hermes was different. It visited the inner solar system. It crossed Earth’s orbit. It proved that asteroids could come perilously close to our planet. And when they came, they came fast.

Reinmuth observed Hermes for five days. Then, to make a long story short, he lost it.

Hermes approaches Earth’s orbit twice every 777 days. Usually our planet is far away when the orbit crossing happens, but in 1937, 1942, 1954, 1974 and 1986, Hermes came harrowingly close to Earth itself. We know about most of these encounters only because Lowell Observatory astronomer Brian Skiff re-discovered Hermes… on Oct. 15, 2003. Astronomers around the world have been tracking it carefully ever since. Orbit-specialists Steve Chesley and Paul Chodas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have used the new observations to trace Hermes’ path backwards in time, and so they identified all the unnoticed flybys.

“It’s a little unnerving,” says Chodas. “Hermes has sailed by Earth so many times and we didn’t even know it.”

“Hermes’ orbit is the most chaotic of all near-Earth asteroids,” he adds. This is because the asteroid is so often tugged by Earth’s gravity. Hermes has occasional close encounters with Venus, too. In 1954 the asteroid flew by both planets. “That was a real orbit scrambler,” Chodas says. Frequent encounters with Earth and Venus make it hard to forecast Hermes’ path much more than a century in advance. The good news is that “Hermes won’t approach Earth any closer than about 0.02 AU within the next hundred years.” We’re safe for now.

I do not think we are safe!!!!

Hermes will fall on Greece, more specifically on the island of Yaros, in the very near future. I cannot predict exactly when, but I may be able to do so, after I visit my personal (mis)fortune teller, Mrs. Regina.

In any case, I rest my case, and cry out loud: “you have been warned!!!!!”

The enemies of Hellas – Greece

Τετάρτη, 30 Μαΐου, 2012

Ontological Declaration: “I Am Hellene!”

In case you did not know it, Greece has a lot of enemies. This post is dedicated to them. I will try in my humble and limited capacities to uncover and expose as many of them as possible.

This is a serious post, unlike some others I have posted, where I appeared to be rather relaxed and humorous.

Before proceeding, I feel the obligation to correct everyone and say that the proper name of the country is not Greece, but Hellas.

As a result of a huge conspiracy against Greece (sorry, I meant to say Hellas) the Western globalized world continues to call us Greece, when every stone on Earth knows that we are Hellas.

In this respect, and as an act of resistance against this conspiracy (which undoubtedly includes the Catholic Church) I salute and honour the video clip “I Am Hellene!”.

It may not have the highest artistic qualities, but it has guts and bravado, and plenty of testosterone, which is the hormone we need in the dire straits we are in.

We may not have enough money (even no money at all) but sex is still good!

Let us now put sex on the side and return to “I Am Hellene!”. The emminent journalist Manos Voularinos created a variation of the original, which I find a stimulating answer to our enemies.

Here it is, enjoy it!!!!

I do not need to say it, but I say it in any case, all the enemies of Greece must read this, because sooner or later we will get them all!!! You have been warned, you anti-hellenes!!!!!!!


Whenever I write this word, I remember a colleague back in England, Peter is his name. Whenever we were writing a report or a proposal, he was saying to me: “Why do we use the word methodology? It is wrong. We should be using the word method instead.” I confess I did not and do not know the reason. But Peter is right, no matter what the reason. We should be using the word method. However, being the slave of habit, and also a very insignificant person overall,  I peevishly follow the mistaken path. Methodology it is.

So my method is based on followng the victims’ trail. As other people follow the money, e.g. in cases of tax evasion, I follow the victims and from them I try to identify the enemies.

But what victims? There are so many victims in Greece today that I could easily lose it and start collecting flowers (again).

I therefore have to narrow down the group of victims. As elections are approaching, I find that the best victims’ subgroup is the one comprising the political parties of Greece. These entities that will – one way or another – lead, drag, elbow or push the Greek people to the path of recovery or complete disaster.

Caution to the reader: Before you proceed, be aware and alert!!!! Methods are invented only to be violated. I could not possibly be an exception to this rule.


LAOS is the party of the “Alert Populists who are also Orthodox”. The party’s leader is George Karadjaferis.

These days they are allegedly being attacked viciously by the Americans and the Sionist spies who are envying the party’s excellent relationships with Russia, and its people, the blond Orthodox race that is going to lend money and save Greece.

Recently the traitors and foreign agents attacking LAOS convinced quite a few of the LAOS members of parliament (elected on the 6th May) to switch their allegiance to the New Democracy Party.

Independent Greeks

This is the party of  Mr Panos Kammenos, a politician who is obsessed with the unlimited energy resources of Greece. As you know, Greece has huge deposits of natural gas and oil.

The problem is that they are have remained undetected for centuries, and some of them are in zones disputed by Turkey.

Under the inspired leadership of Mr Kammenos, we will rise against all the enemies of the motherland and will not let them steal our gas and oil away from us.

In addition to the Turks and the other unknown enemies lurking in the depths of the super-gas-rich Aegean seabeds, Mr Kammenos has detected enemies in the Office of the President of the Hellenic (not Greek!!!!) Democracy.

It is not yet clear what they are, but how could it be??? After all, we talk about people and organizations in the twilight zone of society.

In any case their despicable deeds speak for themselves. They fabricated a non-paper with the conditions under which Mr Kammenos would join an alliance that would form the new government in Greece (sorry, Hellas) after the 6th May elections. Not only they fabricated it, but then they let it slip to all party leaders and the journalists.


The biggest suprise of the 6th May elections, this left conglomerate of parties and fractions is today heading for victory in the 17th June elections.

Allegedly, they are attacked continuously by the Establishment, namely the Media, and the Banks.

In addition, Mr Tsipras is engaged in a nuclear balance of terror. He mentioned that the other day, when asked about bluffing in his threats to the Europeans and the other creditors of the country. The problem I have is that he did not clarify whether he is with the Americans or with the Russians.

This way he – in a way – is cheating, as he can switch sides as the game progresses, to his advantage. In any case, this brilliant metaphor for a loan, presenting it as a nuclear arsenal, has never been made before.

You might ask: “How is all of this related to the enemies of Greece?”. Difficult questions have simple answers. And the answer is that Mr Tsipras is the personification of the country. He has become a living symbol. Therefore, whoever is against him is an enemy of Greece. Got it???

Creation Again!

This is a new party that espouses liberal policies and despises politicians as corrupt.

Their biggest enemy however are the illegal immigrants who have been flooding their way in  Greece for the last 10 years.

According to the program of the party, they will build “hospitality camps” with proper protection and house the immigrants there, until they expel them.

Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn is an extreme right party that for some strange reason does not like Jews and immigrants.

They also do not like politicians.

They also do not like the left.

Basically, they only like themselves.

In this respect, everyone else is an enemy of Greece.


The 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku

This has nothing to do with the usual victims, the political parties.

This is a civilian casualty of the enemies of Hellas.

Our song did not get the first prize!!!!

Does anyone need more proof of the conspiracy????

Just look at Eleftheria Eleftheriou, the singer and performer and trully dedicated Hellene!!!!

Greek Fish: Chub Mackerel

This is not a political party, but a fish called kolios in Greek, or chub mackerel in English. In the grand scheme of universal attacks against Greeks, our enemies disguised as Coast Guard Officers, attacked the fish market of Nea Mikhaniona near Thessaloniki and took possession of 360 kilos of kolios. Allegedly the fish did not have the legal length. According to the law, kolios has to be 18 centimeters long in order to be sold. The captured fish allegedly was only 14-16 centimeters long.

Nothing could be further away from the truth!!!

Let me start by saying that we Hellenes (Greeks) are known to be well endowed in the “equipment” department.

How could our fish be different?  How could they dare allege that our kolios is not big enough???

I repell these arguments with disgust.

Note: I take the opportunity to inform you that Calvin Klein was a Greek – Kalviros Klainas – who emigrated to the USA and changed his name on the advice of his girlfriend who was a secretary in the media business and had a fantasy of going to bed only with men whose last name was Klein.

I am now very tired

All the responsibility that I have carried on my shoulders for my country, has drained my energy and I have to stop here. It may not he the best place, but I have to recharge my batteries.

See u later and thank you for your attention!!!!

What type of State should we have in Greece?

Πέμπτη, 24 Μαΐου, 2012

Ideally, the forthcoming general elections of the 17th June 2012 should be decided on the basis of what type of State we want to have in Greece.

The Greek State has been nurtured and used as a primary instrument for political domination by the two parties that dominated Greek politics since 1974, New Democracy and PASOK.

Unfortunately, the State is also the Theater of Dreams of the re-emerging political power of the left.

It seems that if the left wins the forthcoming elections Greece will have an even bigger State.

This story goes back all the way to the establishment of the Greek State after the war of independence against the Ottoman Empire.

I remind the reader that the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was murdered in 1831 because his attempts to build a “modern” state were perceived as a major threat to the interests of powerful local groups.

Kapodistrias paid for this with his life.

Since 1831 the Greek State has increased, has become very complex, inefficient, and a nest of corruption.

The Greek State has also become the key customer of the private sector.

To the extent that the private sector in Greece depends on the Greek State.

The Greek economy as a result of this perverse development of the State has been distorted.

In Greece we have never had “capitalism”.

What we have had was “state-capitalism”.

Ironically, the “state-capitalism” that is the creation of the center-right and center-left governments in Greece, is now to be replaced by the “state-socialism” that is preached by the emerging power of Greek Politics, the SYRIZA party. One way or another, it seems, there is no escape from the state.

This is bad news, because this State is going and has been going for centuries now in the wrong direction.

Primarily, it is a mechanism that preserves and promotes the interests of special interest groups in the society. It is deeply divisive as it turns one part of society against another. At the same time, it goes against the basics of a capitalist economy, as it actually discourages and hinders private investment, any type of healthy entrepreneurial activity and business.

The major failure of the Greek Government in the last two and a half years has been the fact they have left the State intact.

Even the cirisis that has been destroying the country has not been a good enough motive for the politicians to start addressing the key cause of Greece’s demise.

PASOK, the socialist party, has the primary responsibility for this; but New Democracy, the conservative party, also has huge responsibility.

PASOK and New Democracy have been “punished” by the voters in the elections of the 6th May 2012, but it appears for the wrong reason. The voters want to return to the Greek Valhalla, the huge Greek State which gives jobs to all the faithful to the leading parties, strengthens the unions to a ridiculous extent, and enables some smart guys to make an extra buck.

Today both PASOK and New Democracy appear voiceless when it comes to this issue: what are we going to do with the Greek State?

There is no comprehensive plan to rebuild the state so that it helps the recovery of the country and the economy.

The left party of SYRIZA that emerged second from the elections of the 6th May 2012 and is now a contender for winning the next election, is saying that in Greece we do not have the State we need, and we therefore have to restructure it. Without putting forward a plan for the restructuring of the State, they say things that appeal to the man on the street, like hiring enough nurses for the hospitals, but they do not say where they will find the money.

They also say a lot about public control of the Banks, new taxes for the rich, and measures that have been floating about in every left leaning political agenda, but remain abstract, without any financial documentation and a specific timeframe for implementation.

The lack of specifics from SYRIZA’s alleged “political program” prevents any specific critique of it.

I can only say that overall they are going in the wrong way, by creating yet again a huge inefficient State that will have a “progressive” touch to it.

SYRIZA’ s political fortunes have been built by the support of the disenchanted public servants and all the voters who perceive themselves threatened by the “memorandum”, i.e. by the creditors attempts to rebuild the Greek State.

Unfortunately most of these voters wish to return to the good old days when the loans were flowing and – more or less – squandered by the party boys and girls, acting as guardians of the State, when all they were doing was to dig the country’s grave.

In addition, a significant percentage of PASOK party and labour union apparatchiks have emmigrated to SYRIZA, where they are building their new nest based on their dreams of re-building the State and maintaining their status and privileges forever.

In this light, SYRIZA does not appear to be a (so called) “progressive” party. On the contrary, it comes out as a highly reactionary one, trying to restore the old order of the monstrous State that has huge operating costs and delivers minimal value to the citizens.

For the record, I add some comments about the other parties that got more than 3% in the 6th May election.

The New Democracy spin-off “Independent Greeks” is collecting anti-memorandum votes. It has taken a populist stance, emphasizing national pride and “independence”, and accusing New Democracy and PASOK as traitors.

There is only a short step to walk, and hang the traitors in Constitution Square. In a country that has gone through the Minor Asia disaster of 1922 and the Civil War of 1946-1949, with devastating results, to use rhetoric like this is verging either on insanity or complete lack of political morals. Maybe both.

The voters have also brought forward a party that is more like a militia, the “Golden Dawn”. In the past they were praising Adolf Hitler. Now this past is somehow “erased”.

Finally, the “Democratic Left” is a moderate SYRIZA spin-off that lacks punch and purpose. It seems to be lost between the aggresive populist SYRIZA and the conservative center-left PASOK, but has managed to attract a lot of disenchanted politicians and voters away from PASOK.

The conclusion? I have the feeling that the most important elections in Greece since 1974 will take place without the parties addressing the most important and decisive issue facing the Greek society and economy. Even worse, we are attacking the windmills of the “memorandum” and the “evil” creditors, when the real problem is the making of the parties on the left and center and right, and is the Greek State.

God help us. But I don’t think he will. Not this time.

After the storm, comes the calm and peace and the sun!

Having witnessed a brilliant 1 1/2 rainbow the evening before, today was the day for the return of the sun and a minimalistic meal al fresco.

Fresh oregano

The air was oozing with the aromas of the wet earth and the flowers and plants.


I always grill the beef cuts with only a sprinkle f olive oil, but I could not resist the temptation of placing them on a bed of fresh oregano, rosemary and bay leaves.

After the steaks have rested for a couple of hours, it is time to grill them.

Please note that I do not put anything on the meat, other than olive oil.

On the sides of the charcoals I place some branches of bay leaves. They moderate the heat and they give a wonderful aroma.

Fresh spinach salad and 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Cava Petas

On the table a fresh spinach salad was waiting patiently.

The wine I selected was a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon made by my high school friend from Rhodes, Tassos Petas.

The contrast between the brown and the red is always inviting.

As the crust on the inside is formed, the inside remains juicy.

Provided the fire is strong enough, but not too strong.

I serve the meat medium rare.

And by the bones, a bit more rare.

Salt and pepper are added by the guests at their discretion.

I want to congratulate Tassos Petas for creating a wonderful wine. Six years after it was made and bottled, the wine had a full body, and a robust but not overwhelming bouquet. Well done Tasso!

Buon appetito e arrivederci!!!

Ο ασκαυλος ειναι ενα μουσικο οργανο που ξεκινα να αναφερεται στην αρχαια Ελλαδα απο τον πεμπτο αιωνα προ Χριστου.

Bagpipes in Ancient Greece go back to the 5th century B.C.

Υπαρχουν κυριως δυο ασκαυλοι στην Ελλαδα: η τσαμπουνα, που ειναι της νησιωτικης Ελλαδας, και η γκαϊντα, που ειναι της βορειας Ελλαδας.

There are two major bagpipes in Greece: tsambouna of the Greek islands, and gainda of North Greece.

Σημερα θελω να μοιραστω μαζι σας μουσικη με τσαμπουνα και το μικρο αδερφακι της, το τουμπι. Κατα περιπτωση παιζουν και αλλα οργανα, οπως βιολι, λαουτο.

Today I want to share music with tsambouna, and its little sibling, toumbi (a little drum). The violin and the lute also contribute.

Η Αννα Στεργιου, στο εμπεριστατωμενο αρθρο της στα Κυκλαδιτικα Νεα γραφει:

Anna Stergiou writes in her article (Cycladic News):

«Φυσαλίς» (=είδος αυλού με ασκί) την ονόμαζαν οι αρχαίοι Ελληνες, όπως μας εξήγησε ο μουσικοσυνθέτης Γ. Ε. Παπαδάκης, τον 5ο αιώνα π.Χ., ενώ μελετητές της Βίβλου μιλούν για τη symponyah του Δαβίδ, και άλλοι την ονομάζουν άσκαυλο (=ασκί+αυλός).

The ancient Greeks were calling the bagpipe “bubble”, back in the 5th century B.C.  Some Bible scholars refer to David’s symponyah, while others use the term bagpipe.

Μια άλλη άποψη θέλει τον άσκαυλο να έρχεται στην Ελλάδα από την Ασία, περί τον 1ο ή 2ο αιώνα μ.Χ., σύμφωνα με μαρτυρίες των Σουετόνιου και Δίωνα του Χρυσοστόμου.

Another view claims that the bagpipe came to Greece from Asia, back in the 1st or 2nd century A.D.

Σε κάθε περίπτωση, ο άσκαυλος είναι όργανο διαδεδομένο σε κάθε γωνιά του πλανήτη, ενώ ακόμη και σήμερα δεξιοτέχνες του οργάνου συναντάμε κυρίως στη Σκωτία, τη βόρεια Γαλλία και την Ουγγαρία. 

In any case, the bagpipe has spread in every corner of the planet.

Τρεις βασικούς τύπους του οργάνου συναντάμε σήμερα στην Ελλάδα.

Στα νησιά μας είναι γνωστή ως τσαμπούνα, συμπόνια, σαμπούνα ή τσαμούντα (Ανδρος, Τήνος, Μύκονος), σαμπούνια (Σύρος, Κύμη Ευβοίας), σκορτσάμπουνο (Κεφαλονιά), τσαμπουνάσκιο (Νάξος), στη Μακεδονία και τη Θράκη κυριαρχεί η γκάιντα, ενώ οι Πόντιοι την αποκαλούν συνήθως τουλούμ ζουρνά ή αγγείον.

(The author presents the variety of local names the bagpipe has in Greece).

Ευτυχώς, για την τσαμπούνα επωνυμίες της κατέγραψαν ο μουσικολόγος του Κέντρου Λαογραφίας της Ακαδημίας Αθηνών και πρωτοψάλτης της μητρόπολης Αθηνών, Σπύρος Περιστέρης, καθώς και ο μουσικολόγος Φοίβος Ανωγειανάκης. 

Με την επωνυμία «πιπίνι» τη συναντάμε στο Βόλο και τη Λιβαδειά, «πιπίγκι» την αποκαλούσαν στη Ρούμελη, «πιπινάρι» στην Αλεξάνδρεια Ημαθίας και «πίσκα» στο Ασβεστοχώρι Θεσσαλονίκης.

Whatever is the name used for the bagpipe, it is important to note that it was born in the fields, to keep company to the shepherds during the endless hours of solitude.

Οποια ονομασία κι αν έχει η τσαμπούνα, σημασία έχει ότι γεννήθηκε στους αγρούς, για να συντροφεύει τους ποιμένες τις ατέλειωτες ώρες της μοναξιάς τους, είναι «βοσκίστικο όργανο».

Ως προς την προελευση της λεξης “τσαμπουνα”, διαβαζω (και ευχαριστω) στα Καρπαθικα Ημερολογια:

According to “Carpathos Diaries”, the word “tsambouna” originates from the italian zampogna.

Η ονομασία τσαμπούνα προέρχεται από το ιταλικό zampogna(τσαμπόνια). Το ιταλικό ο προφέρεται λίγο πιο κλειστό από το ελληνικό, τείνοντας προς το ου, και γι’ αυτό πολλές ιταλικές λέξεις με -ο- έχουν περάσει στα ελληνικά με -ου-, όπως η φουρτούνα (fortuna), η τραμουντάνα (tramontana) κλπ.. Στα ιταλικά τσαμπόνια ονομάζεται και πάλι ένας άσκαυλος, παρόμοιος με τη δική μας τσαμπούνα και την γκάιντα αλλά και πάλι με σαφείς διαφορές και από τις δύο. 

Η ιταλική ονομασία με τη σειρά της προέρχεται από το λατινικό symphonia, που είναι βέβαια η ελληνική λέξη συμφωνία. Άρα τελικά η λέξη τσαμπούνα είναι αντιδάνειο. Γιατί όμως ένα τέτοιο όργανο να ονομαστεί «συμφωνία»; Το νόημα του όρου είναι προφανώς ότι δύο ή περισσότεροι αυλοί (στα ιταλικά όργανα είναι συνήθως τέσσερις) ηχούν ταυτόχρονα. Καθώς τα περισσότερα πνευστά βγάζουν ανά πάσα στιγμή μία μόνο φωνή, το γεγονός ότι ο άσκαυλος είναι πολυφωνικός θεωρήθηκε ότι επαρκεί για να τον χαρακτηρίσει και να τον διακρίνει από τα άλλα όργανα, κι έτσι να δώσει το όνομά του. 

The italian work in turn, comes from the latin symphonia, which originates from the same greek word. In this sense, “tsambouna” is a reverse loan.

Μετα τα εισαγωγικα, ας περασουμε στο ακουστικο μερος, που ειναι και το ζητουμενο εν προκειμενω.

After the background information, lets proceed to hear some music.

Ξεκινω με τον Πατερα Ελευθεριο απο την Τζια, που παιζει τσαμπουνα. Τον συνοδευει ο Αντωνης Ζουλος με το τουμπί, τον αχωριστο συντροφο της τσαμπουνας. Το βιντεακι ειναι απο το καλοκαιρι του 2009 στην Τζια (Κεα). Η ποιοτητα ειναι κακη, αλλα το παραθετω γιατι απεικονιζει την “οργανικη ενταξη του οργανου” στην κοινοτητα των ανθρωπων της Τζιας.

I start with Father Eleftherios, of the island of Kea, who plays his tsambouna in June 2009. Antonis Zoulos accompanies him with his “toumbi (little drum). The quality of the video is poor, but I include it because I want to show that “organic relationship” of the instrument with the small island community.

I continue with the iconoclastic “Greek Events”, presenting an unknown side of the life on the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos.

Συνεχιζω με το εικονοκλαστικο “Ελληνων Δρωμενα”, που παρουσιαζει το ταιριαστο και αξεπεραστο ζευγαρι της τσμαπουνας με το τουμπί στο νησι της Μυκονου!!! Οποια εκπληξις!!! Η Μυκονος εχει και μιαν αλλη ζωη. Η εικονα ειναι κακης ποιοτητας, ομως κατα καποιον περιεργο τροπο αυτο κανει τη συνολικη εμπειρια καλυτερη. Ο πραγματικος πρωταγωνιστης ειναι ο ηχος.

Ο Νικητας Τσιμουρης απο την Καλυμνο, παιζει την τσαμπουνα του. Ενα βιντεο φτιαγμενο στην Αμερικανικη πολη Ταρπον Σπρινγκς της Φλοριντα, οπου ο Τσιμουρης μεταναστευσε το 1967. Και πηρε την τσαμπουνα του μαζι του.

Nikitas Tsimouris emigrated from the small island of Kalymnos to Tarpon Springs, Florida, back in 1967. He took his tsambouna with him. Watch him play.

Ικαριώτικος στα τρία – Θεολόγος Γρύλλης, τσαμπούνα

Theologos Grillis plays to a tune from the island of Icaria.

Ο Ματθαιος Γιαννουλης στο Ναξιωτικο “Ντουμπακια”. Παιζει τσαμπούνα  ο  Αντώνης Αναματερός.

Mathaios Yiannoulis sings a song from the island of Naxos. Antonis Anamateros plays the tsambouna.

Ο Θεολόγος Γρίλλης παιζει τσαμπουνα και ο Στάθης Κουκουλάρης βιολι.

Theologos Grillis plays a delightful tune with his tsambouna. Stathis Koukoularis plays the violin.

Κλεινω με την αποδοση του “Σωσον Κυριε” απο δυο ενθουσιωδεις μουσικους, τον Αλεξανδρο Κλειδωνα στην τσαμπουνα, και τον Περικλη Σχινα στο λαουτο. Ειναι και πολυ επικαιρο, με οσα συμβαινουν στον πολιτικο στιβο της Ελλαδας. Ισως με τον ηχο της τσαμπουνας μας ακουσει ο Κυριος και – επιτελους – ερθει να μας σωσει.

The concluding piece is a adaptation of a Byzantine tune that goes back to the people praying to the Lord to save them. Two enthusiastic musicians, Alexandros Klidonas and Pericles Schinas play the tsambouna and the lute.


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