OTHER INTERESTS

MONGONISSI.           In addition to the usual facilities, the Bar on the southernmost quay, seems to have re-opened after many years.
The man who had the main bar, behind the dance floor, has recently died and what will happen now is, at the time of writing, unknown.

Also on food & drink, Eric's Taverna in Lakka is no more but Nonnio's and many others remain. Within spitting distance (how horrible a measure!) the Sarano Bar is run by Sharon, an English lady, so for those UK visitors who, unlike me, are tea drinkers, it has an added attraction. Two doors down from this, a very nice Greek lady, Demetria, has an open-all hours Grocer's shop, handy if you want to shop in the afternoon when all else is closed.

GREEK MAP OF PAXOS. I think a problem with the Paxiots is that, never having had any decent map of the Island, they have had no practice in map-reading and therefore just don't know how to read them.

My involvement in the preparation of a Greek language version of the Map in association with the Mayor and Demos Paxeon (Local Government) I discontinued as they apparently had an offer from the EU to map the Island free. This presumably follows from the legal obligation imposed by the European Parliament for all EU States to have reliable Cartographic cover available to the public. It is rather a disappointment to me but only bears out Elizabeth's long-held opinion that it would all end in tears! We await with interest to see what their Map will look like. If they do it properly, it should be to a considerably larger scale, giving it wider usefulness in property transactions etc, but be unsuitably large for handling when walking, being probably in several separate sheets.

The above was written in 2009 and was followed by publication of the TOPO Map which offers competition in the shape of a perfectly good HIKING MAP. It is very accurate but much smaller & in 4 languages but has no written notes or text and doesn't detail the footpaths as well or show so many, as mine. It will be of little use for cadestral purposes.

That Map being so small and with so little detail, encouraged me to go back to MY Greek edition.  I did quite a lot of work on it in 2009 & 2010 but stopped whilst I was promised help from several quarters, on-the-Island.  I am still waiting for the help to materialize!  After such frustration, I eventually finished it, being helping in translation by an Ioanian who lives in Leeds but comes round to us in the Isle of Man, selling wine. I gave the finished Map plus a .pdf disk, to the Mayor, leaving it as my legacy. He was later out-voted so lost he mayoral seat, so I've no idea what has happened to my Greek Map!

PAXOS and ANTIPAXOS by Archduke Ludwig Salvator.

The publication (by Geoffrey Herdman) of this TRANSLATION by Margarita Luzzatto, is a great achievement. Originally written in 1884 in Old German, it had never appeared in an English version until August 2011. It is now available in the Bookshop situated down the Street with the Fish Slabs in Gaios.

It is a fascinating mine of information. Not least in the very many sketches which the author made in his perambulations around the Islands.

A venture of mine has grown from this, and is fully detailed in the Home page

"SAILING TO PAXOS and thereafter" is the title of a book I have recently had published by Amazon and this, again, is detailed in the Home page on my website.

OLIVE TREES & CLIMATE
One reads of many ancient cultures who enforced the death penalty against anyone who cut down an olive tree. They don't do that anymore but the habit of cutting them down seems to be spreading at an alarming rate. It seems they are worth as much as firewood as they are as a fruiting crop! If not actually felled, they are being pruned extremely heavily. Both actions threaten to ruin the landscape. The proliferation of new villas, built in some of the most inaccessible and prominent places, together with their infrastructure requirements, seem to be quite out of control, if, indeed there is any control? If being done in the guise of supporting the holiday industry; very soon they will be turning away the very visitors they seek to attract.
On the 10a Map I  highlighted some of the larger areas where deforestation has occurred for unknown reasons -  unless to build more villas - and it is sad that these blank areas show up so well in satellite imagery. This loss of vegetation, coupled with the seemingly dry winters of the last few years when the heavy winter rains have not materialized, may pose a serious threat to the Islands future. By 2011, the damage seems to have receded a little with sites where new buildings are completed being grown-over by garden vegetation and others, where building has not proceeded, being colonized by natural vegetation.

Apparently one can fell an Olive tree without needing any permission but felling a Pine tree is strictly forbidden!

 

OTHER PROJECTS

Apart from mapping Paxos, the Author has other interests, one of which is investigating the Family Trees of the Bleasdale family of Furness, Barrow, Coniston, Fleetwood and later Blackpool. The Rawlinson root, again in Furness, and his mother's family: the Coopers & Ellsons of Finedon, Northants and later Blackpool plus the Yardleys & Smallwoods of Cheshire, from which Elizabeth is descended..

I have amassed a vast pile of information and material about these families and if anyone out there knows, or has any further information about any of them, or thinks they might be connected in some way  (or might even be working on a similar or parallel project) I would be delighted to hear from them.

Another thing is writing about the Parish of Maughold, in which we live. This arose from, firstly, my life-long interest in this part of the Isle of Man stemming from the fact that long before we came to live here, it was in Maughold that I stayed on frequent, teenage and later, visits. And secondly, from the Dissertation I wrote and researched during my Landscape Interpretation Diploma Course with Liverpool University, entitled The Cornaa Valley - a Landscape Assessment. During spare moments, I am endeavoring to expand this to include the whole Parish. I have now got someone interested in publishing it.

For some 25 years, starting when I was about 12, I worked back-stage in the amateur theatre. I have written a 'Paper' about this, with lots of photographs and plans. It will be available from me as a .pdf file, or through Knutsford Little Theatre.

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