As the young Paddy Leigh Fermor embarked upon his European Odyssey in December 1933, would he have ever imagined that he would still be writing the story of that first adventure seventy eight years later? Today we all celebrate Paddy’s 96th birthday, and I would like to send Paddy all best wishes on behalf of all those who have subscribed to the blog and those that have made over 50,000 visits since we opened for business less than 12 months ago.
The last I heard from people who have some contact with Paddy he was well and even taking the odd swim. Let us also hope that he is writing, and has time to celebrate this birthday with some friends.
The Marques de Tamaron who is a friend of Paddy’s and was the Spanish Ambassador in London, wrote this in a review for the Spectator in 2003:
“Some years ago, a group of friends gathered to celebrate Paddy’s birthday. John Julius Norwich wrote and sang a new version of ‘You’re the Top’ in his honour:
You’re the million volts of the thunderbolts of Zeus,
You’re Leda’s swan, you’re the square upon the hypotenuse! …
And you’ll fill and thrill our hearts until we drop:
So from Bath to Burma, Fermor, you’re the top!”
I am sure that we all agree. Once more, a very Happy Birthday Paddy.
A noble and historic figure that decorates Greece and its people.
I first ran across Patrick Leigh Fermor’s works when I was living in Athens in 1992. I bought “Roumeli” then and was delighted to find this account of my in-laws’ region of birth. I have since used it to quiz my mother-in-law about things such as the Sarakatsans (“Nai, nai, tous thymamai! Foveroi!”) and the wordplay of the Kravarites (she never heard about that, but I suppose that was in a sense the whole point).
As another Patrick with a love of Greece I have often wished to reach out to him and let him know how much I appreciate his chronicles of that country, as well as his other richly textured, erudite, and evocative writings. He has earned his privacy, however, so I guess I must confine myself to saying that every time I check his Wikipedia entry and find he is still among us, it brings a smile to my face.
A happy spring, Pascha, and summer to him. I hope his days are cool and his nights are warm.
(Αυτός ο) ἄνθρωπος μέτρον.
Happy Birthday,from all of us in India – who have read your works!The mustard fields around Delhi are ripening and it is a lovely time to come to the grand old age of 96years..
Happy birthday to my favorite author and inspiring person!
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