Abducting a General – with Chris and Peter White, hosted by Harry Bucknall

Abducting a GeneralWaterstone’s Piccadilly will host an evening with the editors of  Abducting a General: The Kreipe Operation and SOE in Crete on Thursday, 12 March 2015, at 7:00 pm. This event is free but please reserve your place by email: piccadilly@waterstones.com

One of the greatest feats in Patrick Leigh Fermor’s remarkable life was the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete, on 26 April 1944. He and Captain Billy Moss hatched a daring plan to abduct the general, while ensuring that no reprisals were taken against the Cretan population. We are thrilled to welcome historians Chris and Peter White here for an illustrated presentation on Fermor and this extraordinary event of the Second World War. This evening will be hosted by author and film-maker Harry Bucknall, author of Like a Tramp, Like A Pilgrim: On Foot, Across Europe to Rome. Further details: 0207 851 2400

Thirty per cent off Paddy’s Books at NYRB Classics

The NYRB is offering 30% off a number of Paddy’s books to mark the centenary of his birth. Follow the link below and click on any of the links on the NYRB page.

Click this link

Patrick Leigh Fermor, born on February 11, 1915, would have celebrated his 100th birthday today. To commemorate this anniversary and “one of the greatest travel writers of all time” (The Sunday Times), all New York Review Books titles by and about Leigh Fermor will be available at 30% off for a limited time, including the author’s renowned trilogy detailing his youthful trek across pre-World-War-II Europe: A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, and The Broken Road.

Other Patrick Leigh Fermor titles available at 30%:

Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese
Roumeli: Travels In Northern Greece
A Time to Keep Silence
The Traveller’s Tree: A Journey Through the Caribbean Islands
In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor
Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper

Traveller’s Film Club

Eland publications are pleased to announce that the Traveller’s Film Club is back!It is held at Waterstone’s, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1. Annoyingly the notification was sent late so I had no time to notify you all about the event on 10 February on Freya Stark. There is however, still time to put into your diaries two other events.

Tuesday 3rd March
Hugh Thomson introduces the film he made on the writer and human rights campaigner, Andrew Graham-Yooll in Argentina. Graham-Yooll, himself Anglo-Argentine, returns after many years of exile to Argentina, prior to the Falklands War, to confront some of the generals. Doors will open at 6.30pm, the screening begins at 7.00pm.

Tuesday 14th April
Benedict Allen introduces the 2008 BBC documentary on Eric Newby from the Traveller’s Century series he presented, directed by Harry Marshall (Icon Pictures; this is a definite one for me! Again doors will open at 6.30pm, the screening begins at 7.00pm.

All screenings at 7pm, doors open at 6.30pm. Please book a free place at Piccadilly@waterstones.com

Voices From Greece day at the University of East Anglia

CaptureRegular blog correspondent Christos Paganakis has highlighted this event which is being held next weekend, 22 February, at the University of East Anglia. All are welcome. Contact  H.Anagnostopoulou[at]uea.ac.uk at UEA for details.

Christos tells me:

We have managed to resurrect our annual ” Voices From Greece ” day at the University here in Norwich ( the ones due for 2013+2014 were cancelled , due to funding from the Greek Min of Culture being unavailable due to the Economic Catastrophe in Greece )
I think the subject matter for this one might be of interest , and would certainly have interested Paddy , because it is all about the ethnically and culturally Greek populations still in southern Italy , their Language , Culture and Music , etc .

If it runs like previous ones it’ll start off with some lectures, then there’ll be a concert of traditional music and song related to the event theme , then mostly everyone goes out for a meal (where the musicians are usually inveigled into giving a second , extempore performance), and it all ends very late rather like a Greek peasant’s wedding, with earnest Oxbridge professors dancing the Pentoziali .

Listen to Harry and Nick

Harry Bucknall, Tom Cheshyre, and and Nick Hunt at the Stanford's Travel Writing Festival

Harry Bucknall, Tom Cheshyre, and and Nick Hunt at the Stanford’s Travel Writing Festival

I know that many of you would have liked to have joined me and dozens of others as we listened in awe to Blandford Forum’s leading travel writer, Harry Bucknall, at the recent Stanford’s Travel Writing Festival. Along with our very own Nick Hunt they kept us entertained with stories of their travels across Europe.

Harry is author of Like a Tramp, Like A Pilgrim: On Foot, Across Europe to Rome, whilst Nick has written the wonderful Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn.

Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim

Walking the Woods and the Water
If you would like to find out what all the fuss was about you can now listen to a podcast of the event as Standford’s have put up all the talks on iTunes. Click here to listen to the deadly duo.

For more writers’ talks hit this link .

Happy Birthday Filedem! Born 100 Years Ago Today

Paddy after the war in Byronic costume; Filedem? Courtesy of Benaki Museum

Paddy after the war in Byronic costume; Filedem? Courtesy of Benaki Museum

Happy birthday Patrick Leigh Fermor born on this day, 11th February 1915.

This has to be one of the most difficult occasions to mark. Should we go big or just keep it to something more modest? Perhaps it is the latter for today but something will be arranged for later in the year with the Patrick Leigh Fermor Society to properly celebrate his life and achievements.

To record your thoughts in this special year we have a new page “Marking Paddy’s Centenary”. Add your comments, birthday wishes, your favourite quotations from his works, or links to things of interest. It is your page: do with it as you will but do remember to play nicely.

Remember that Nick Hunt will be speaking and signing his book Walking the Woods and the Water at Hatchards in Piccadilly tonight 11th February.

Paddy as Filedem?

Paddy as Filedem?

To make this a proper celebration we need to sing. A very long time ago Marina Petsalis-Diomidis sent me a link to the song Filedem. As Paterakis recalls on camera during the 1972 reunion (see video section), Paddy liked the song so much that his comrades in Crete started calling him Filedem as a nickname. The song is a traditional Cretan song. Filedem -Φιλεντέμ – the name “File Edem” means “My friend Adam” in Turkish. The song is accompanied by some lovely scenes from Crete and Cretan hospitality. I have found an English translation of the words – it is all very racy and so typically Paddy – but you don’t need them to sing along loudly with the chorus in Greek.

The English lyrics in summary:

I am in love with a married woman
May God guide her
I am in love with a married woman
May God guide her

To renounce her husband
and love me.
To renounce her husband
And love me.

Filedem filedem..

White roses in your yard
How can you sleep alone
How can you sleep alone
White roses in your yard.

Filedem filedem.

I am in love with a married woman
And she has two small children
I will be sending one (to fetch) water
And the other one (to fetch) wood.

Filedem, filedem

White and big roses
How can you sleep without a man
How can you sleep without a man
White and big roses.

Paddy’s Centenary – Petroc Trelawney on BBC Radio 3

Petroc Trelawney

Petroc Trelawney

Just a quick note to say that I have heard that Petroc Trelawney may play some appropriate music to mark Paddy’s birth on his Breakfast show on BBC Radio 3 next Wednesday 11 February. The show runs from 0630 to 0900.