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5 O'Clock Today - we manage to secure access to Paddy Leigh Fermor's house

Tom Winnifrith Thursday 9 June 2016

 

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I have written before about the war hero and writer Paddy Leigh Fermor. He was an all round superhero and also Mr Mani, not just for writing the book "Mani" but because he built his house here in Kardamili. There are plans to turn it into some sort of writers retreat. Those who have seen the Before Sunset trilogy with the lovely Julie Delpy will know Paddy's house well from the final film set here in Kardamili, Before Midnight. The scene below sees Paddy ( played by an actor not the man himself) holding court.

I am not sure that my father has seen the film which, as you can see, is vaguely annoying. But he came here many years ago on the one family holiday when I was not in Greece, to have lunch with Paddy. The two were friends, sharing an academic interest in Northern Greece, the subject of Paddy's book Roumeli.

Paddy's walk to Greece which started his remarkable life was prompted by him being booted out of King's Canterbury for seducing the daughter of a local greengrocer. My sister was at that lunch and had been head girl at Kings. Paddy told her "if there had been girls like you at Kings in my time, I should never have encountered the greengrocer's daughter". What a charmer he was. The comparisons made with James Bond were not only prompted by his heroic war record.

Getting access to the house required me to engage in some negotiations with Greek officialdom. Such is life, as our existence at the Greek Hovel teaches us on a daily basis. I am sure it will be worth it and will report back later.

About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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