Lawrence Durrell and Patrick Leigh Fermor

I have been trawling again for PLF linkages and found this on James O’Fee’s blog on Impala Publications. O’Fee makes many references to Paddy and his blog section is worth a trawl. I like the last quote in particular.

In Bitter Lemons, the writer Lawrence Durrell describes a visit from Patrick Leigh Fermor –

“In that warm light the faces of my friends lived and glowed….Freya Stark…Sir Harry Luke…Patrick Leigh Fermor and the Corn Godess, who always arrive when I am on an island, unannounced and whose luggage has always been left at the airport (‘But we’ve brought the wine-the most important thing’).” [pp102-3]

“Last night the sound of the front door closing upon breathless chuckles and secretive ranting, then the voice of Patrick Leigh Fermor: ‘Any old clothes?’ in Greek. Appeared with his arm round the shoulders of Michaelis who had shown him the way up the rocky path in darkness. ‘Joan is winded, holed below the Plimsoll line. I’ve left her resting half way up. Send out a seneschal with a taper, or a sedan if you have one.’ It is as joyous a reunion as ever we had on Rhodes.

“After a splendid dinner by the fire he starts singing, songs of Crete, Athens, Macedonia. When I go out to refill the ouzo bottle at the little tavern across the way I find the street completely filled with people listening in utter silence and darkness. Everyone seems struck dumb. ‘What is it?’ I say, catching sight of Frangos. ‘Never have I heard of Englishmen singing Greek songs like this!’ Their reverent amazement is touching; it is as if they want to embrace Paddy wherever he goes.” (pp 104-5)

Related website:

James O’Fee blog at Impala Publications

5 thoughts on “Lawrence Durrell and Patrick Leigh Fermor

  1. Pingback: Lawrence Durrell and Patrick Leigh Fermor by Thos Henley « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  2. proverbs6to10 Post author

    May be best to save this one Chris for when I so something on Belasha, which is coming!

  3. Chris Lawson

    Pucioasa, where Balasa died

    I have visited Pucioasa on a day trip from Targoviste. It has the reputation of being the cleanest, neatest town in the area. I may also be right in saying it has won some environmental prizes. Pleasant, quiet and ever so slightly boring, Pucioasa is twinned with towns in Spain, Portugal, Lithuania and Moldova. A secondary school is named after a Cantucazene and there are some associations with the Romanian air pioneer Henri Coanda, who, however, was born in Bucharest. The town of Pucioasa also boasts a model aircraft museum.

    What struck me particularly was that among the honorary citizens (the Portuguese ambassador, etc.) is numbered former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, a notoriously corrupt politician known in Romania as “the patron saint of corruption”. His nickname is “Nastase, sapte case”, “Nastase, seven houses”. He is still under investigation for his ownership of an apartment in Bucharest which he could not possibly have afforded even on his ministerial salary. He claimed that he inherited it from an aunt, a very humble woman, who, again, was extremely unlikely to have owned such a well-located apartment.

    So great is his role as a symbol of corruption that the EU would like to have Nastase’s head on a platter. His fellow parliamentarians, however, have protected him assiduously up to the present date.

    It is sad that an attarctive town such as Pucioasa should be associated with this figure. Nastase also played a leading role in Ceausescu’s Romania.


    Situated 20 km north off Targoviste, Pucioasa is an unusual terraced town, built on three levels, reminiscent of a large Greek amphitheatre. The first documentary evidence of the town goes back to 1649, when it was mentioned under the name, “Piatra Pucioasa”. In 1791, the town was included on an Austrian map, and was later found on a Russian map of 1835. From 1828, the town developed as a spa and climatic resort, thus becoming known as “Pucioasa” by the local people, as a result of its mineral sulphurous waters.
    The mineral sources of sulphurous water and iodine are located in Pucioasa village. Doctors recommend Pucioasa’s ozone-rich air for the treatment of diseases affecting the locomotory and respiratory systems.


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