Sunday, 17 March 2019

The Durrells in Greek

The family photograph at the top was Gerry's favourite.
The Durrells of Corfu has been translated into Greek and published by Patakis in Athens. The cover shows the Durrells' villa at Sotiriotissa and the family on the terrace: Margo, Nancy, Larry, Gerry and Louisa.  Leslie took the photograph.

At the end of the summer of 1935 the Durrells moved from the Strawberry-Pink Villa at Perama to the Villa Anemoyanni. This was Gerry’s Daffodil-Yellow Villa near Kontokali, at Sotiriotissa, about five miles along the coast road north of Corfu town.

Standing on the side of a hill rising out of the sea, the Daffodil-Yellow Villa was an enormous and neglected Venetian mansion four storeys high, set amidst extensive grounds, overgrown and almost wild, with unkept orange and lemon orchards and olive groves, and with melancholy cypresses and stout arbutus heavy with ripening berries. 

Facing the sea was a stone-paved terrace shaded with a trellis of vines and evergreens from where terraced gardens and a Venetian stairway descended to a wooden jetty projecting from the shore.  A couple of small islands shimmered in the channel and in the distance loomed the hills of mainland Greece and Albania.  To the left was Gouvia Bay, a smooth sheet of water used as a landing place for seaplanes, and beyond that the high hills shouldering Pantocrator, the highest mountain on the island.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Clea Badaro in Australia

Durrell named the fourth volume of his Alexandria Quartet after Clea Badaro.
Recently Simon Parow of Melbourne got in touch, showing me this charcoal on paper drawing by Clea Badaro he picked up at a Sunday market about ten years ago.  The seller told him it was by an Egyptian artist and that is all Simon ever knew.  'I bought it because I liked it.'  

Searching online he found this post of mine which told him something more. 

I have also told Simon about Clea Badaro, 1913-1968: sa vie, son oeuvre, by her sister Jeanne Engalytcheff-Badaro.

And I cover her in my book Alexandria: City of Memory, her studio at the Ambron villa, her connection with the Atelier, her acquaintance with Durrell, and comments from my interviews with some people who knew her.  

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Mountolive at Lisbon Airport

Still flying high: Mountolive, the third volume of The Alexandria Quartet,
for sale on a Lisbon airport book rack.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Early February London Snow

The recent fall of snow in London was photographed by a friend, not the usual view from the streets but over the city's hidden gardens.









Thursday, 10 January 2019

Postcards of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition

In a previous post about the origins of the London area called White City I mentioned some postcards I had come across of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition.  Here they are.