Friday, 7 August 2015

Only slightly more frequent than Halley's Comet

I know, I know, it's been a while since my last post. In fact, it's been more than two months. What can I say? It wasn't meant to be like this.

In that time we have moved back to the United Kingdom and got our house sorted out, all of which took time. For much of that period we have been without the internet both in Greece and in the UK and don't forget that I am also naturally indolent.

To compound these admittedly fairly weak excuses, since my return to the UK I have found I have what for the time being I shall refer to only as "health issues". The precise nature of these is still being determined, but they have been a distraction.

Anyway, we now have the internet at home - hooray! - and to distract me from my other distractions I feel I should get back in the blogging saddle, as it were.

Much has happened over the last two months. When we left Greece, the banks had been closed and the rest of Europe seemed to be waiting for the Greek economy to stop circling the plughole and finally disappear without trace down the drain. That hasn't quite happened, but Greece and its economy are still on the critical list and likely be to be so for a long time.

Here in Britain politicians on all sides seem intent on showing they can be tough on migrants trying to get through the Channel Tunnel to seek asylum status in the UK. As ever the "who can be the nastiest" competition seems to be going the Conservatives' way. They have plans to introduce legislation which will make it illegal for landlords to rent property to people who do not have the proper status to be in the UK. A friend pointed out that this was not that different to laws used by the Nazis in pre-war Germany to make life impossible for Jews. Sometimes the Tories do seem determined to embrace their reputation as the Nasty Party.

Having said that, Labour have been coming up with some spectacularly stupid ideas, not least of which is that the French government should pay compensation to the UK for migrants who get through the tunnel. What a great idea, alienate the government at the other end of the tunnel by demanding money from them and then expect them to cooperate with you in dealing with this complex problem. In case you're wondering I don't have an answer to the problem, but then I'm not the prime minister, nor am I leading the opposition.

The title of this posting referred to this blog's recent lack of frequency. I think I can do better than post at the same frequency as Halley's Comet which is visible from earth every 76 years, just so long as I can combat my natural indolence. That also brings me to the blog's title. Some of you may remember that I felt that on my return to the UK I could no longer keep calling it The View from the Olive Grove. For sure when I look out of my house here in Devon I definitely don't see any olive trees.

So what to call the blog? I had one or two useful suggestions from friends, but being the pig-headed type that I am I wanted to come up with my own answer. Eventually I settled on The View from Pudding Island. The reason for this is a bit hazy, but basically writer Laurence Durrell, who had a strong connection with Greece, used the term Pudding Island to describe Britain, a country which he hated although he was technically British. I certainly don't equate myself with Durrell, nor do I hate Britain, although I suspect that like a lot of Brits I have a fairly ambivalent view of the country of my birth. In a more positive light, Britain does have some great puddings. So, The View from Pudding Island it is, hopefully starting on Monday. See you then. I'll be spending much of the weekend tinkering under the bonnet trying to give the blog a new appearance.

As ever, I like to finish with some music and for this post I have chosen Sloop John B by The Beach Boys. I wanted to use it for a post before we left Greece but circumstances intervened, however, it's too good a song not to use, so here it is.


  1. Happy to see a blog post from you today. I have wondered if you had yet settled into your new home. Loved the song! Thanks for sharing

  2. Bravo Mark for the new name you chose. Durrell calls himself an "islomaniac" and i believe you are part of the tribe. Keep on with the sweet writing and thank you for it.

  3. Bravo Mark for the name you chose. Durrell calls himself an "islomaniac", and i believe you are part of the tribe. Keep on with the sweet writing and thank you for it...

  4. Hi Mark - glad you're settling in and yes we have our disadvantages and advantages here in little old England. Devon is a beautiful part of the world. I hope those medical issues resolve themselves ...

    Take care - I'm on a blog hiatus still .. cheers Hilary


I'd like to hear from you so please feel free to comment. Sorry, no anonymous comments.