Sunday, 20 January 2019

Arrested Development

I'm packing it in. I'm not working on excursions any more. There are several reasons, but one is the fact that, following developments last summer, I've lost my appetite for the work. I'm not going into all the details here, and I have already referred fleetingly to the situation in older posts, but getting "arrested" by the Tourist police along with the "proedros" (lit: President) of the professional guides union, didn't help.

The excursions I've always worked on have never been the type for which the guests on them wanted to be 'guided' by a professional guide. I've always understood, too, that those holidaymakers wishing to be 'guided', would, of course take an excursion, the description for which clearly explains that the guests will be accompanied by, indeed led by a professional guide.

Thus, whatever I (or any of my fellow escorts in similar situations) said to my guests, it wouldn't have made any difference to the professional guides. In other words, were the excursion to run without an escort, it still wouldn't mean that a professional guide would be employed to do it, and thus, whatever we did, we were most certainly not taking jobs from the professionals. That's apparently though, not how the the professional guides view it. It's tiresome, but I'd heard for years of escorts, like myself, being verbally abused by guides, but it hadn't happened to me. This past summer though, I got a first hand taste of just how intimidating it can be and, to be frank, it was enough. I don't need it. I shall miss it to a degree, but I shall instead be concentrating on more writing.

I must confess to having been quite overwhelmed, though, by the support I received from some Greeks I know here on the island. Several have told me that, if I get called to attend a court case where they will in all probability issue a fine (yes, I know, absurd isn't it), then they, my Greek friends, would turn up at the court to shout in my defence. Quite whether they'll be able to make any difference is debatable, but one good coach driver friend said, and I quote: "They ought to be getting on with putting a stop to those African women who hang around the harbour area grabbing people by the wrist and virtually bullying them into parting with a lot of cash for a pathetic piece of string with a few beads on it. Or simply getting on with hunting down real criminals instead of harassing Grecophiles (like me) who do their utmost to not only promote visits to Greece, and Rhodes in particular, but also to make people's visits here enjoyable and thus incite them to come back again." 

Anyway, forget it, I'm done. I shall simply carry on trying to highlight the delights of this beautiful island from this blog and in my other writings. 

The mention of writings brings me to a proud announcement. My new novel, my sixth work of fiction and my eleventh book overall, when you count my non-fiction memoir books too, has just become 'live' on Amazon in Kindle format. The paperback will follow in spring. Here's the cover artwork...

The Amazon UK page where the book can be purchased is HERE.

If you'd like to read more about it, there's a page on my web site dedicated to the book, here. The action switches between modern-day England and the Athens of the Second World War. I have to confess to having been quite emotionally affected by the writing of this book, owing to the fact that much of the action is inspired by the true-life experience of my mother-in-law, who was the same age as the heroine in the book, Panayiota. It's a work of fiction, but is set against a series of harrowing true events. I hope you'll give it a try.

Just coming around to life here in the south of the island this past couple of weeks. The rains have broken all records for the thirteen-plus years that we've lived here. Everyone agrees that it's been what the island needs, but even me and the better half have been wishing for a couple of dry days strung together of late. The rains have come on nine out of ten days at a time recently, and have significantly curtailed what we can get done in the garden. The plus from all of this, though, is how the landscape has responded.

The anemones are abundant everywhere this year. I haven't photographed any yet, but then I have done so on numerous other occasions in past winters. The landscape this winter is verdant to the extent that some views could almost convince one that they were in the UK.

This is a grove of ancient olive trees in the hills that we regularly walk through behind the house. Never have we seen such lakes of standing water among the trees like this though. Should contribute to a good harvest this coming autumn. This past harvest has been very poor here on Rhodes, after four of five years of drought.

Not since the flash flood of quite a few years back, when our friends Gareth and Vicki (whose house stood along the banks of this river in Lardos) was flooded, have we seen such a beautiful flowing river running through Lardos village. 

If you were to walk the river bank in Pontyclun, South Wales, you could take a photo very similar to this one. yet this (and the one below) was taken from the car park on the edge of Lardos village.

Gorgeous, eh?

Yesterday, when we were out and about and stopped for a coffee in the very swish new coffee shop in Lardos Square, the Aroma I believe it's called, it was a truly gorgeous day. It reached a warm 18ºC at around 1.00pm. It was a much-appreciated respite from the rains, which are due to return again today, and last for a few days more yet. 

Ah, well, must get on with updating the web site now that the new novel's in circulation. 



  1. Sorry to learn of your enforced retirement. What a shame but as you say you can now concentrate on writing... and that's good for us. Love your river pictures, we have similar streams in "dry" riverbeds here in Kritsa. Best wishes. X

  2. Sad to hear that you won't be working excursions but every cloud has a silver lining! I love your Ramblings and your photos. Hope to catch up with you when I visit Rhodes from 12th June xxx Annette