Sea-drenched wind

Sea-drenched wind

I re-discover this triologism as we emerge from days of rain-drenched wind, waking up to a lush-verdant garden and landscape.   I also like the ‘lopped-off wave-tops’. But the air was almost as full of sea-drenched wind and lopped-off wave-tops as it had...
As softly as …

As softly as …

What a place, what a time, the two idyllic years Durrell spent in Rhodes after the war.  His account is full of lyrical descriptions of scenes and sounds, and what could be more enchanting than having your days drop in as he describes. In Rhodes the days drop as...
Ink-blue water

Ink-blue water

As the logos on this website testify, I’m an ink-geek, and love inky similes.  Here is another one, about the sky rather than the sea.  A small breeze sent up a flurry over all the ink-blue water. Source: Louis Golding, Good-bye to Ithaca (London: Hutchinson,...
Hare-bell sea

Hare-bell sea

A lyrical description of the Greek island of Thera, bursting with flowers and trees, and all sloping down to a soft lilac-tinged blue sea. But there is a delicate order, too, imposed by tracery of asphodel and grape-hyacinth, purple mallow and coppery dandelion, by...
Brandy-ball eyes

Brandy-ball eyes

I like the ‘brandy-ball’ amber of this clever chap’s gaze, and his space-butting arrangements.  Enjoy another rather original description of a goat’s eyes, this one by Gavin Maxwell, or yet another, by Russell Hoban.  Do brandy-balls still...
Green-glowing fields

Green-glowing fields

What a glorious image, enhanced by the animals trotting past – aggrieved camels I can envisage, but never thought of donkeys as being flabbergasted. … flabbergasted donkeys and permanently aggrieved camels, trotting past green-glowing fields on their way...
Stars like apples

Stars like apples

Distant stars appearing so close you could reach up your hand and pick them, like apples in a tree.  One of many lyrical descriptions in Golding’s 1955 Good-bye to Ithaca, which traces an Odyssean journey he has dreamt of for decades. The Cyclades were well...
An electric moment

An electric moment

Having a soft spot for foxes, I loved this description of a hair-raising drive careering through the mountain roads of Ithaca in the 1950s, with a fox appearing on the road and showing no concern or fear even with a car-load of men shouting at him.  You can imagine...
Sheer from the sea

Sheer from the sea

In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, Louis Golding sailed passed Ithaca.  Minds were on other things than Homer and Odysseus, but this evocative statement about the island, uttered by a sailor on the boat deck, must have contributed to his long-delayed but...
Ancient travellers

Ancient travellers

Perhaps this is obvious, but it had never occurred to me in any conscious way, and I wonder how far it is true, as I have a romantic image of people navigating by the stars. Will think about this today when we are travelling to Brazil on a night flight.  Will think of...
Meat or fish?

Meat or fish?

On a delightful 20th century Odyssey to Ithaca, Golding is offered the choice of fish or meat.  He explains what prompted him to opt for the former. “You like fish, yes?  Maybe meat?”  Vanya removed a lid.  From the depths of the saucepan the heads of...
The poet as compass

The poet as compass

An enigmatic statement, perhaps born of the difficulty of pinning down Odysseus’ journey on a real map, although there is no shortage of claims that this bay, or that island, or those straits are unquestionably this, that or the other eventful point on his...
Of golden taps and super-men

Of golden taps and super-men

An interesting insight by the writer Louis Golding when he visited the Achilleion in Corfu in the early 1950s.  The palace was built for the Hapsburg Empress Elisabeth, commonly called Sisi, as a summer refuge which she commissioned following the death of her...
One month or five years

One month or five years

Although I can’t vouch for its accuracy, I liked this neat formula for deciding how long to spend getting to know a new country.  Not surprisingly, Steinbeck and Capa chose the one month version rather than the full five years for their visit to the Soviet...

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