968 days ago
When I first came here, there was no road from Metsovo to Anelion; you walked down one side of the valley and up the other side. It was steep. Then, a few years later, there was a road winding along the mountains. There was nothing at the edge of it, just a drop. I told Joshua all about a taxi driver chasing rabbits with his car on this road, causing terror to my whole family. My sisters will be delighted to know that there are now barriers on the side of the road but I still took each turn very slowly. I drove so slowly that when I spotted a tortoise, I was able to pull up, stop and lift it to the side. That was, I think, a lucky omen.
970 days ago
The pool is getting closer to blue here at the Greek Hovel but needs a couple more chemical dumps before myself and Joshua can use it and so while we wait, it is time to introduce him to the Vlachs: road trip!
973 days ago
We now have water and that should speed up the cleaning of the pool. But pro tem, Joshua and I can watch but not use. At least the view is spectacular. But with the pool out of action for another few days, as more chemicals are added, I am seriously considering a road trip.
973 days ago
There is a Winnifrith family phrase coined by my late father, for reasons I cannot remember, “a beautiful Balkan spy”. In my own family, when the Mrs is giving me, almost certainly with some justification, a bit of grief, I say to Joshua “That’s is it, we are off to Mother Russia where the streets are paved with gold and where we will be served caviar on gold plates by a beautiful Balkan spy who will then let us win at chess.” Having watched a TV show on life in Russia, Joshua is now suggesting that the streets of Moscow may not be paved with gold but he knows all about the beautiful Balkan spies.
1216 days ago
I have been sent a stern email by the Vicar in Shipston about tomorrow’s funeral for my father. She knows my views and position but reminds me that the Church is only following the law in requiring us all to muzzle up and not sing. Naturally I have replied but the attachment below, the Church’s guidance on Covid prevention, strikes me as a monstrous deception which, in time, it will be forced to recognise and will come to regret.
2471 days ago
I was trying to find an article I had written on how Greek kids torture cats but instead came upon a piece about Western study of the Vlachs, the Nomads of the Pindus Mountains. I have written (in Greeks Lesbians & Vlachs, HERE) about how this is one of my father's specialist subjects and who the vlachs are. Anyhow, I stumbled upon this lengthy article "Aromanian Vlachs - The Vanishing Tribes" which included a section on my father which he will enjoy as it is very supportive of his work. This is the sort of thing to make a son very proud. It also, rightly, makes him seem a touch eccentric:
2547 days ago
I answer an email from a reader who reckons the Vlachs, (world's greatest living expert, or so he says, Dr TJ Winnifrith), are really Jews and that opens up a wider issue of Jewish settlements in Greece. Then the main issue of the podcast, why Avanti Communications (AVN) will go to Zero? Quite simply its business model is flawed. There are other red flags to consider but I strike at the crux of the matter.
2839 days ago
War hero, author, all round superhero Paddy Leigh Fermor lived down the road from where I am in the Mani and is the man who made this area famous with his book "The Mani". Today in my email in box I receive a copy of issue 5 of The Philhellene, the newsletter of the Paddy Leigh Fermor Society and there is an article in it by Tom Winnifrith - not me but my father. Just to prove that one member of the family can write properly and without swearing here you are...
4225 days ago
I am trying to find a map of Southern Albania and Nothern Greece to plan my trek over the border. Naturally I go to Google and enter that exact term. And I am offered an exact match. I click and what do I find but a long and worthy article on “Southern Albania, Northern Epirus, Survey of a Disputed Ethnological Boundary.” Gripping stuff. And its author? Dr TJ Winnifrith, my Dad, who has only just learned to use email.
Is this some clever SEO manipulation by the Society Farsarotul, the Vlach Society of the USA or does Google just think that all I am interested in is myself, Tom Winnifrith. If it is the latter, Google you are wrong I just want a bloody map. If it is the former, I am shocked that my father mixes with such SEO geniuses. Should you wish to read this excellent article by my father you can do so HERE.
4271 days ago
I am asked why am I so fascinated with Greece? In part it is a romantic thing – the idea of brave Hellas reasserting its independence and history – see my great hero pictured here. But it is more a family thing. My father’s family have been Helleno-nuts for 200 years. I shall touch on Lesbians, in that vein, below.