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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Dogs of Democracy

In May of 2016 when I was in Athens I noticed the many stray dogs that roamed around Syntagma square. Some of these were much loved pets that the owners could no longer afford to feed or keep. Maybe others were less fortunate and had been abandoned by them when they realised that having a pet means costs, effort and love. I put a photo of such a dog on the blog, curled up, sleeping, and found my heart was a little torn by what I saw. What I didnt know then was how these dogs became part of the Athenian soul. 

The Greek Film festival is on in Brisbane at the moment and looking through the programme I came across one called the "Dogs of Democracy". I went last night to watch it. 

The director is a Greek Australian called Mary Zournazi. She visited Athens and like me she noticed the dogs - she then went on to make a short documentary film about it with a special star called "Loukanikos"- "Sausage"- a  fearless handsome dog who seemed to be there with the demonstrators, protecting the most vulnerable against the onslaughts of the riot police and whose image was well known to Athenians. Loukanikos died of some of the side effects of tear gas and old age. At that point he had been lovingly taken in by Rita, a woman who clearly sees the human side of these animals. She and Spiros, a man who has been rendered homeless by the financial crisis, spend time and valuable resources, looking after the strays.They have come to represent a unifying human influence on Athenians as they come together to give them care and food when they can.

I was much moved by this short but thoughtful film. My sadness however was compacted by the fact that there were only four people in the cinema. I had attended the premiere the previous night, a full house, a chance to be seen, and free food. Sometimes we just have to dig a little deeper to get more and let me tell you it is well worth the effort. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Some of you may have realised that I love the colours of nature and all that it offers at different times of the year. The other day I went to a neighbourhood in Brisbane, called Bulimba to meet a dear friend for lunch and as I was walking down to the ferry my eye caught these colours.

Look down  

Look up 

Look all around

Resplendent red buds of the flame tree on the ground, on the tree, and the hedge nearby. 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Australian Collection Re imagined - with Cypriots in their midst !

Today I went to the opening of the new Collection of Australian Art at the Gallery of Queensland. A huge gallery beautifully laid out and thought out, with magnificent works of Australian artists, starting from  Indigenous groups, to colonial days and after, right up to more recent contemporary art. 

In amongst two hundred exquisite items are two Cypriots. I am particularly proud. I noticed the first some months ago in the gallery and wrote about him - a work by William Dobbell of a Cypriot waiter in London done in the 1940s. For those of you who read the blog you may remember him. He takes pride of place on one of the walls by an entrance, looking down at us with his piercing eyes and vibrant blue shirt. 

Right next to him is "Bad Dad" by the amazing Michael Zavros, a lively and likeable Cypriot Australian who is producing work of such calibre and talent that he has already taken his place in amongst the great Australian Painters. His work Bad Dad was recently acquired by the Gallery. As he describes it "he has cast himself in the role of Narcissus in a contemporary evocation of the ancient Greek Myth, and as something of a cautionary tale."

Forgive me for concentrating on these two art works when there is so much more - but these are links  to my Cypriot Australian life that I cherish and want to share. 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Bright and shiny, loud and clear,

This is one time I wish I had the vote

To put my mark in the small yes box.

Read the arguments of the the nos,

They felt faulty, phobic

Frankly disrespectful to blokes and gals,

Choosing who to love and how

Is a gift for all.

Love my neighbourhood. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Pambos Savvides - an old friend and colleague

I picked up the phone and rang his mobile in the hope that he would answer. 
A male voice did answer and I said loudly and hopefully Pambo ? Pambo ?
No, he said I am a relative but we have taken over the business, is there anything we can help you with.
Not this time, I said, I am ringing to find out how he is.
Every time I go to the island this is one person I contact, often because I need his help and guidance but also because he is a lovely humble man who is good at what he does, but also a caring individual.
When I was a young barrister in Cyprus he was the certifying officer the office used to certify documents. Like a notary public. He was in and out of the office a lot and was always there to help and advise.
Unusually tall for a Cypriot with curly hair, now grey, and puppy eyes he had a cubby hole for an office at the end of Ledra St. He carried a briefcase and was generally well liked by all the pen pushers and you could be sure to track him down at the District Lands Office.  His only failing was that he spoke too fast and the wordsranintooneanother. He was hard to follow sometimes. 
I got married and left the office and the island but I kept in touch with Pambos  and wherever I was in the world I knew I could ring up, explain what I needed and he would be out there sorting it out. He rarely asked for money. He married late and had twins and he was so proud of the children. They were a good reason to make sure he was paid for all the work he did. There was so much he did for which he never got paid.We would sit down with a cup of coffee and one of the best cheese pies from Noufaro and catch up.
This year when I rang I was told he was in hospital. I went to find him. Cancer of sorts but one which they thought they might treat experimentally with some new drugs.The months passed and I often picked up the phone and rang. It never answered until yesterday. I was told he was not well. I asked for them to convey my thoughts and good wishes to him all the way from Australia. I will never know if they got to him. He died at 11.45am a few hours after I called. He will be missed.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Shave anyone ?

Just imagine all your menfolk taking a shaving brush in hot pink and mixing their shaving cream into a soft and luxuriant lather. Well now take this image and see what nature has provided in the form of yes, you guessed it, a Shaving Brush Tree. I came across this on a walk in the Botanical Gardens the other day and I was so taken with it I came home to look it up and tell you all about it. It hails from the Americas and is called Pseudobombax Ellipticum and it is tall and spindly but oh those shaving brushes are splendid and I just loved them in the tree, on the ground and in my hands.


And just because I love the contrast of the colours I am throwing in some balls - so very wholly natural, of the quadong tree dropping its fruit into my outstretched hand.

Nature always wears the colours of the spirit - Ralph Waldo Emerson.