284 days ago
UK Government borrowings are now at almost 100% of GDP. That should be a sort of ceiling if we do not want to go down the Greek path to bankruptcy. So if the state wants to spend more it must raise taxes which are already at a 70 year high. One group of public sector workers who think they should earn more, paid for by folks who – on a mean average basis – earn far less than them paying more tax, are the junior Shipmans. Meet James who is 28 and explains his financial woes to this week’s Investor’s Chronicle as you can see below.
323 days ago
The Greek Easter is next week when we will be in Wales. Welsh Easter is today when we are in Greece. So it was a mixed celebration.
380 days ago
Another day and another booking. There are now just two weeks between late May and late September NOT now booked out at the Greek Hovel. The pool is open in both may and October and it is easily warm anough to swim so those cheap off peak bookings are the smart ones. But if you want the height of summer there are now just two weeks in July when the house is not used which given how lovely it is, is a crime in itself. I am off myself in a few weeks to complete the final upgrade to the road up to the hovel and to install a third lavatory. I lead a glamorous life.
627 days ago
Fleeing a six month jail term and damned by British Judges Julie “lingerie on expenses” Meyer continues to hobnob with Greek political and business leaders. If this was a bubble on the run and doing the hobnobbing with British Tories and banksters the UK press, pitiful as it is, would be all over it.
681 days ago
I discuss: Twitter and the bid from Elon Musk; Petropavlovsk (POG); Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL); FinnCap (FCAP); today’s trading statement; and problems with Greek workmen.
691 days ago
Not only are Optibiotix (OPTI) shares not flying (yet) but part two of my retirement plan has also been scuppered as I explain, by the imminent arrival of my in-laws to live in our annexe. I am busy preparing for that and also sorting out the garden ahead of a Greek trip, hence a late bearcast. In that, I discuss whether foolks really are paid to post rubbish on Bulletin Boards, why some companies set up a new holding company and at Carnival (CCL) and elsewhere why an obsession with E &S lets poor G ( shocking greed) take place.
987 days ago
I start with a big but false Greek holiday scare and a triumph on the nettle brewing front here at the Welsh hovel, followed by a snake scare at the same place. Then I look at takeovers and why the rabid right-wing press is so wrong to oppose them with an accompanying trip down memory lane with George Orwell and Jim Slater.
1006 days ago
Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks is now motoring towards £44,000. If you are still to donate please do so here. It might shut me up. Then I discuss: UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), where rebel shareholders can be contacted HERE, Amigo (AMGO), Plutus Powergen (PPG) and the stinky Greek deal of pot play Kanobo (KNB) which I view as a major red flag.
1068 days ago
Lost money with Julie in Britain at Ariadne Capital? Lost money with her at Ariadne in Malta? Well how about you go for a hat-trick as Ms Lingerie on expenses MBE has a new Greek wheeze but do not tell Barclays, the IRS or the HMRC. Ooops I already have!
1072 days ago
I start with Peter Brailey’s excellent piece on Powerhouse Energy (PHE) which I commend to all of you and discuss. Then onto the idea of “not being out ahead of the weekend” – a sign of bull market thinking. Finally is my Greek Holiday in peril? I fear it is. I despair at this madness and what it will mean for the economy and all of us.
1283 days ago
Our local bistro here in Wales is a Greek South African joint so on the former basis, not the latter, it merits our support. Besides which, the owners are good folk and Joshua is in love with the waitress and it is a mutual feeling as they both share a passion for starting to talk about Christmas sometime in July. And so today my son and I had a modest lunch out.
1289 days ago
I discuss this ethical question as my brother in law salivates at the idea of picking up a gun and heading off to fight the invading Infidels. Should I sell Ariana (AAU) or not? I look at wider gold issues. I cover Versarien (VRS), ASOS (ASC), the so called economic recovery, and finally Verditek (VFTK) where I am vindicated by today’s fess up but it is not enough of a mea culpa, boardroom heads should be rolling. The stock is, pro tem, uninvestable.
1904 days ago
I cannot say that 290 Euro is going to make that much of a difference to my net wealth but a few days after the dire news came in about my 2018 Greek Hovel olive harvest I was at a loose end and in Central Kambos.I was not quite ready for an ouzo and supper so wandered into the press to ask about my money.
1906 days ago
In a couple of days time I head back to the Mrs, in Bristol, and so I thought it prudent to start washing my clothes and that it might earn me major brownie points if I washed the bed linen as well. And we now have a washing machine up at the hovel. Prudently I handwashed a pair of underpants and a pair of jeans and put them outside to dry. But all of my socks and much else besides was put into the washing machine with some detergent in the right place. Problemo.
2043 days ago
It seems like just yesterday that burly security guards tried to grab my camera forcing me to flee as I tried to doorstep the 1 billion Euro fraud Folli Follie at its North of Athens HQ. Since then the shares have been suspended, a criminal enquiry began, the former auditors have admitted that 2017 accounts were pure fiction and now… Folli has put itself into the Greek equivalent of Chapter 11.
2046 days ago
Another day, another release from fraud Follie Follie to the Greek Stock Exchange and, as we all suspected, it is the bogus Chinese operations that were at the heart of this fraud.
2048 days ago
I explained a couple of days ago how a sweating, lying, wretched Bulgarian xxxx was too much of a pooftah to do as he was paid to do and bring a van load of goods from Bristol right to my front door at the Greek Hovel But we made it thanks to my heroic Greek workmen as you can see below.
2054 days ago
Once before I arrived at the Greek Hovel to find workmen proudly admiring a construction made of brand new shiny bricks. Much to their pleasure I had it torn down, an extra days work for them. I rather assumed that the message had got through. You can imagine my horror when arriving at the hovel yesterday to find piles of shiny new bricks in the new wing and the rat room. Cripes!
2104 days ago
When I am in England I do not think much about snakes. Okay, three times a week I pick Joshua up from his nursery and he says "snakes" so, on the way home, we pop into Pets At Home and go to see the snakes. They are tiny little creatures, corn snakes, which nearly always hide in their houses and only rarely peek out. When they do, Joshua gets very excited. Most of the time we see no snakes so Joshua just says "bye bye snakes" and we head on past the fish where Joshua says "fish," past the hamsters and gerbils where he says "mice", and to the rabbits where he says "By Bye Babbits" and we head home. And I think nothing of it.
2104 days ago
As promised, I trekked up the Great North Road to the HQ of Greek fraud Folli Follie to record a video. My driver was a burly Albanian arranged by friends of mine to ensure my safety. He was a bit more than a driver. I got out to take some photos which you can see below and then I was approached by two very burly security guards who don't want you seeing these photos. The video below shot from the other side of the Motorway explains what happened next.
2118 days ago
Folli Follie (FF) the Greek luxury goods seller has denied the bombshell claims made in Gabriel Grego's devestating dossier we published on Thursday. I have today verified for myself that FF is lying about its British operations in a release to the Athens exchange today. So as far as I am concerned it is an open and shut fraud and a zero. But here ios Gabriel, the boss of Quintessential Asset Management (QCM)
2195 days ago
When building his house at Kardamili, 20 miles down the road from the Greek Hovel, all round superhero Paddy Leigh Fermor decided that he needed to go back to England for some literary business. On his return, some months later, he decided that the builders, though following plans, were building his house the wrong way round. Thus he instructed them to tear it down and start again.
2197 days ago
I turned up as agreed with George the Architect at 11 AM to discuss progress at the Greek Hovel. Twenty four hours of solid rain with more coming down today has left the site a bit of a mudbath and I was not greatly surprised that there were no workers present. But I was rather expecting George. He was not answering his phone so I kicked my heels and tried to start the process of burning off the branches cut down from last year's olive harvest.
2441 days ago
The shock is for any google pervs out there who have alighted on this page and though the photos are wonderful will be rather disappointed by their nature, The Miranda's I refer to is, of course, the restaurant next to the Kourounis taverna on the square where the road through Kambos makes a sharp right angle as it heads off to Kardamili.
2494 days ago
As he had promised my friend Nicho the Communist returned to the Kourounis taverna after half an hour and so shortly before eleven, two hours after we planned, we were ready to start poisoning the frigana, the ghastly snake hiding thorn bushes, that blight the Greek Hovel. Shall we go in my car I asked?
2503 days ago
I arranged to meet architects George and Sofia at the Greek Hovel at 11 AM. I arrived twenty minutes late but no-one was there. This is Greece so eleven sharp means any time before twelve and at about twenty to twelve my friends arrived. They brought with them the head builder, an ethnic Greek from Albania, so a man my father will approve of big time. I got down to the main point quickly. I showed them the snake I had killed and asked the builder how he felt about snakes. "I kill them with my bare hands" he said. I like him a lot and said that "you can have the next one."
2507 days ago
I have remarked many times before on Paddy Leigh Fermor's good Greek bad Greek thesis. 99% of Greeks are generous, honest, good folks. The other 1% are such complete and utter bastards that their actions serve as a stark reminder of how incredibly good their fellow countrymen are. The lying traitor of a PM, Alex Tsipras is firmly among the 1%. So too, are more than a few taxi drivers in Athens.
2561 days ago
Yikes! I thought I was safe with Greek TV from the likes of Lineker & Graham Norton but then up popped commie media tart Paul Mason lecturing the poor bubbles on why the EU and the Euro was the only way forward. Mason is an asset millionaire. My neighbours here in Greece are starving, unemployed, emigrating and angry. Mason just has no idea and worse still he talks rot. Greece does have a choice and I urge it to take it.
2572 days ago
As the road enters Anelion there is a sign advertising the fact that there is now a four star hotel in the village. Boy is this different from 40 years ago when here was not even a road to this place and there was no main street either. We just walked along cobbled pavements. The houses of today are nearly all post road, modern constructs and it brought back no memories at all. The smell of woodsmoke had not changed but everything else had. I started to panic - how on earth would I find Mike the vlach (if indeed he was still alive)?
2572 days ago
So asks a daughter of the 21st century.The answer is that I could discover whether my father's oldest Greek friend is alive and make contact via the interwebby thing.
2584 days ago
As you know, I head off soon for Greece and will be making a pilgrimage to the tiny village of Anelion in the snow covered Pindus mountains of Northern Greece. The aim is to see if my father's oldest Greek friend, Mike the Vlach, is still with us, as I explained here.
2638 days ago
I am so tired. As soon as I press "publish" on this article i am off to bed. Today there was no break other than 20 minutes for lunch and so I did a solid six and a half hours. It is not that I am spectacularly unfit (cue jokes from health guru Paul Scott), it is just that I have to try to keep pace with hardened professionals, viz George the Albanian and his two female assistants. Boris Johnson likes riding bicycles but he would be some way off the pace in the Tour de France. It is similar here.
2642 days ago
I am back in the Hellenic Republic once again and it appears that there may be a few problems ahead for AIM listed Plus 500 (PLUS) in the Greek speaking world. A contact flags up developments in Cyprus where - as you can see in the attached document - Plus does much of its business.
2673 days ago
This odd one out contest is really not that hard. Just look at the four pictures below and say which character or characters is the odd one out and why. Post your entries in the comments section below with a deadline of midnight Monday.
2687 days ago
The Mrs and I bought the Greek Hovel about 28 months ago. Naively we rather assumed that by now it would have been renovated and we could both head over to enjoy the forthcoming olive harvest in comfort. Au contraire. If there was an Olympic gold for bureaucracy then the Hellenic Republic would be winning it every year. But there is good news today.
2728 days ago
In the December 2015 from my winter base in Greece I ran a series of articles, starting from Athens with Love, which, I believed, quite clearly showed that the Greek, AIM listed company InternetQ (INTQ) was a fraud. Specifically I demonstrated that its music streaming business Akazoo was a sham. The company denied this and in the end its boss Panagiotis Dimitropoulos and fund manager Tosca paid c£20 million to buy out minority shareholders and take InternetQ private. A cute deal or burying the truth in private? This is going to shock you.
2730 days ago
The fifth film in this series, with the simple title Jason Bourne, has won mixed reviews but the Mrs and I really enjoyed an afternoon showing yesterday. For us, naturally, the early part of the movie shot in Greece was a hoot.
2794 days ago
The charming woman next to me on the plane back from Kalamata was a Greek living in Cardiff. She said that she was frightened. So were her friends: Italians, Poles and other bubbles living in Britain. How could they plan for the future when it looked as if they would be booted out post Brexit?
I asked: Who said this was going to happen? Which of the leaders of the vote leave campaign: Boris, Gove, Priti Patel, Nigel Farage, Carswell, Gisela Stuart, who?
2798 days ago
Some people are just good at languages. The Mrs speaks perfect English (for a Northerner), very good Swedish and very acceptable Greek. Some of us are bad at languages. Other than English I speak poor French and a smattering of Greek, Latin and German - all poorly. And some of us are bad at languages but think we are rather better than bad. I think of my father.
2802 days ago
There was I having a late afternoon doze in the Greek Hovel when I awoke to a sound which seemed right outside my window, the sound of sheep. For those living the other side of Offa's Dyke this might sound like the climax of a wet dream but for me it was reality as I went onto my balcony on the Monastery facing side of the hovel and, you can see what I saw right beneath me.
2908 days ago
Yesterday, the fascist bully boys at PR firm Citigate Dewe Rogerson gave three different reasons for not answering a simple question about their client Fastjet (FJET). The real reason is that the answer shows that Fastjet is heading towards insolvency and needs a placing PDQ. More on that later, I have a full answer to come. Citigate tried to distract attention by claiming that I had libelled an employee by not describing her as a genius and, worse, had engaged in a racial slur by hinting she may be Greek. I think that says a lot about how senior staffers at Citigate view the bubbles for my views on and links to Greece are well known...
2938 days ago
InternetQ (INTQ) the dodgy Greek outfit exposed repeatedly HERE for all sorts of nonsense has published a totally meaningless trading statement. It hides behind the fact that the Chief Bubble is considering an MBO if he can persuade fund manager Tosca to back him.
2991 days ago
If you do not speak Greek you might just struggle with this. It would be all Greek to you. But this card is for the folks in the small village of Kambos in the Mani, Greece, the nearest settlement to where the Mrs has a property needing, er, one or two repairs. And so from both Tom Winnifrith's here is a few words for Christmas.
2998 days ago
If a company tells a demonstrable lie in an RNS that tells you everything you need to know. I turn now to the Greek operations of InternetQ's (INTQ) Akazoo unit. I spent an hour last night with a friend of mine in Kalamata, George the architect. He is Greek and what we discovered demonstrates that InternetQ has lied to investors.
The weedy rebuttal to From Athens with Love" stated:
3009 days ago
I fly tomorrow morning and will arrive in Kalamata so late that I shall enjoy one night of luxury in a hotel before heading off to the Greek Hovel for the olive harvest. George the sprightly 60 year old Albanian and his Mrs are ready to lead the harvest from Wednesday or Thursday and we are off. But there is a bit of a problem. I still speak no Greek and have hitherto relied on the lovely Eleni from the Kourounis taverana to assist. It is either her or Nikko the commie, no-one else speaks more English than I speak Greek in the village of Kambos.
In May I wondered if Eleni had put on a couple of pounds but did not like to say anything. By the time I arrived in August I
3158 days ago
And so I wandered into Omonia Square in Athens, not a place to stroll around for too long. Athens was an all almost white City thirty years ago. I think my white face was in the minority today. There is an air of menace about the district and I was glad to walk briskly back towards Syntagma Square. But as I looked around I was accosted.
The man said in broken English. I am Greek I have no home, no food, no job can you give me money to eat. As I explained yesterday in the first poverty porn piece, thirty years ago Greeks did not beg. This is new.
3162 days ago
A people cannot enjoy true liberty if they are crushed by a debt they cannot service let alone repay. If they are, in addition, forced to cut financial support for health, education and assisting the old and truly needed they are little more than slaves. Such is the condition of Greece today.
3171 days ago
Once again we are told that it is 1 minute to midnight for Greece. Where have we heard that before? So who blinks? It seems to be Greek PM Alex Tsipras who is set to cave into the banksters and impose even more misery on the poor folk of Greece.
3195 days ago
I was just planning to return to the Greek Hovel after an hour of subbing Zak Mir's golden prose. I had forgotten just how appalling is the way that he mangles the English language and am feeling pretty shell shocked. It has taken two ouzos to get this far and my task is only 30% done.
And at that point I heard a cry from the bar at the Kourounis taverna "Tom, ouzo".
3312 days ago
I have no pictures of Charon. That is because he always pops up by surprise. If you arrange to meet he is never there. He just turns up and then disappears.
His house is the nearest one to the Greek Hovel. The long and winding road from Kambos does not end at the hovel but turns back on itself and up the next hill. I really had no idea where it headed but one day curiosity got the better of me and I turned my bike around and headed on up. After about a mile and a half you arrive at a ramshackle but clearly inhabited set of buildings, the house of Charon. He is one hill higher up than me. The next range of hills behind him leads straight into the mountains.
Charon is not his real name. It is Nikko but since half the village is called Nikko I stick with the name I gave him when we first met. The poor man was returning from a walk into the village to buy cigarettes. It was a blazing hot day and not being the fittest fellow on this planet he was dripping with sweat. His greying hair is longer than mine and with the sweat pouring off him my mind sprang to Virgil’s description of the ferryman to the underworld. Nikko’s rather long face always looks a little sad even when he is smiling.
There is only one thing worse that trying to chat to someone who speaks only Greek when you speak only English. And that is trying to chat to someone who speaks just enough English to think that he can communicate but in fact cannot. And thus
3359 days ago
I do not speak Greek. And I cannot understand it. But given that virtually no-one in my home village of Kambos speaks English, I am exposed to it whenever I wander into town and I am now starting to “hear it.”
I was sitting opposite the olive factory with George the chief olive picker at the Greek Hovel as we waited out turn to drop off some olives. A little old lady, her back arched and curved and dressed in widows black opened the front door of her tiny house opposite, pulled out a chair and just watched the bags go in and out. She asked a question of George while looking at me and George replied. She nodded knowingly.
Whilst I did not understand the question I can guess what it was since the answer was “He is the Englishman who lives in Toumbia.” The lady’s response indicates that folks in Kambos know that there is an Englishman in Toumbia, that is to say me.
Toumbia is not actually a place.
3374 days ago
Right now George and his team of two women ( sister, wife, both wives, I know what) are unloading their pick up truck. A ladder,a sort of mini-threshing machine, the strange forks they use for prodding trees and the mats have all been laid out on the ground. The great day has started..the olive harvest has begin at the Greek Hovel. Now I hear a loud noise...
George has started his chain saw becuase part of the pricess involves cutting off branches. I am not sure I quote get the hang of this yet but they are beavering away. I shall join them in a few minutes after quickly completing early morning ShareProphets duties.
Two wives? Is it Greek or is it Vlach but there is a word I remember from childhood holidays in Northern Epirus, "Mericlis" - which means the man with two wives. Perhaps they dont allow that sort of thing any more. Political correctness gone mad say I. How on earth can you do an olive harvest while still looking after the goats without it eating into your coffee drinking time unless you have two wives slaving away?
3442 days ago
I have slightly cheated and brought in a local to assist me with the frigana cutting. He has a few advantages over me. He is fit and young. He is fearless, wading into bushes not worrying about what wildlife diversity might be hiding there. His big advantage is that he has an ultra-powerful frigana cutter. In motorbike terms he has a 500 cc cutter, I have a 125 cc cutter. But he is also an artist. Watching him weld his frigana cutter is a pleasure, he twists and turns, stabs and swipes and the evil bushes just disappear.
My guess is that by Thursday at noon, 2000 square metres of frigana will be no more. His last patch is in the far corner of the property and is dense and old. Some of the frigana bushes have become trees and for them a saw is needed.
My last patches are one half terrace on the Kambos facing side, a small patch next to the entrance the sheep use to get on the land and then the outside fences on the two tracks either side of the land. I managed five forty-five minute sessions today, after each one I was drenched in sweat and breathless. Even my 125 cc type frigana cutter is heavy and to tackle the plant at floor level and then on walls above head height uses every muscle in your arms. Five more sessions tomorrow and my bit is done.
The whole property is now covered in cut frigana branches. The oldest
3513 days ago
Sunday may be a day of rest for some but not for myself or my new best friend, Foti the Albanian. Foti is also my new business partner. We have agreed that the net proceeds from the olive trees will be split 50/50 on the basis that he does the work. I have insisted that I be allowed to do my part as you will see.
Foti speaks not a word of English. And I speak almost no Greek. So he speaks to me in Greek which I do not understand. I reply in English which he does not understand. On that basis we muddle along fine.
And so Sunday evening saw Foti and his pal arrive in a pickup truck to remove years and tears of rubbish. Broken chairs, rusted bed frames, empty drums and tins and piping: I have got the lot in the two first floor rooms: Grandpa’s bedroom (earth floor, broken window, rat friendly door) and the one below the snake veranda.
I am not asking too many questions about where the rubbish is going but am assured that it will remain in a safe place until October when we can once again light fires here legally. We piled the truck high as you can see. I reckon there are now only about five more loads to go. One day at a time…
3515 days ago
I procrastinated and procrastinated as I dreaded what I would find when I arrived at the Rat Room – aka my bedroom for the next three months. So I bought a spade to bash rats with and to dig out the “estate” at the Greek hovel. For tomorrow I start work on my eco-loo and humanure system. Then I bought a few vegetables for supper, rather forgetting that I have no knives or forks although the previous owner has left me a fine collection of quite amazingly horrible plates as well as a can of warm beer, which I have binned. On this trip I plan to stay dry.
Then I had a coffee in the local taverna where I sit once again this evening having failed miserably to get my mi-fi internet connection working.
But in the end I had no choice and started the drive along the long and winding road. As I passed through the gates I turned the car music up to 11 determined to show the wildlife that I had arrived and they better scram. With spade in hand I wandered up to the building and peered nervously over the ledge of the snake veranda. Maybe the snake repellent had worked for it was deserted.
And so I unlocked the door of the Rat Room and raised my spade.
3708 days ago
Even if you are a lawyer from one of my fave firms like Kermans or Pinsent Masons, tasked with monitoring my scribblings, you are included in this message. I have enjoyed 2013 at a number of levels both professionally and personally. I look forward to 2014 with a few clear objectives.
No doubt we are all making a few New Year’s resolutions. Among mine are to learn Greek and to stop smoking again (I managed two weeks before Christmas but regrettably succumbed when under the influence).
At a professional level I have two more websites to launch (the first of which goes live next week) and then I am done on that front and the resolution is simply to build them patiently and organically in a way that allows me to write more of what I want to write and have fewer distractions.
Fingers crossed for my resolutions. I wish you luck with yours.
I wish all readers of this blog a happy 23-14 and all readers, bar any lawyers who might be reading, a prosperous 2014.