About & Contact

Tom at Lake Ohrid on the Via Egnatia, 2009

My name is Tom Sawford and I live in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

I first became aware of Paddy quite late in life; I guess he is an acquired taste. Maybe you need to have some awareness of the broad range of subject matter that he can, often without warning, cover in his books. Perhaps it is only after formal education, reading widely, developing a broad appreciation for history, and just plain living that you have the ability to grasp some of what he is getting at. A strongly developed vocabulary is also a boon; or at least a dictionary and of course now with access to Google it is possible to quickly research some of the more obscure topics that Paddy assumes mere mortals will be aware of. I remember the first time I read A Time of Gifts and being amused that Paddy clearly expected his readers to have at least a schoolboy/girl grasp of Latin as phrases pour out with no explanation or translation.

But surely that is the attraction of his work. It aims for the highest pinnacles of linguistic and intellectual endeavour and if you like what you read it drags you along with it, drinking from the cup of knowledge that Paddy offers.

He was of course so much more than a writer. It has been said that he was the ‘greatest English travel writer’. I don’t agree with that. I believe he travelled to write, having so much more to say than to merely discuss the merits of one hotel over another or the quality of food in Greek fishing  villages. In my view he was the “Greatest Living Englishman”. Not that we don’t have other great Englishman ( perhaps less than we once had), but more than that he is that unique person who personifies what was once the mark of an Englishman; educated; heroic, handsome, generous; and modest (to a degree).

Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor DSO OBE lived a full life, and had experiences that few others will likely ever have again. He lived a pretty full life before the second world war, even living with a Romanian princess who was older than he, and during that war he applied his skills to fighting behind German lines, and was unique in achieving the capture, with “Billy” Moss, of the German Garrison Commander of Crete, Major General Kreipe. After the war he travelled, wrote, married, developed long-lasting friendships, and built a house in Greece a. My epithet stands because few can match what he achieved and the manner in which he did it.

The purpose of my blog is to bring the life and work of Paddy, and his many friends and colleagues, to the attention of a wider audience, and to create an archive of on-line material that can be used for research and enjoyment. He and his friends deserve to be recognised and remembered in a world that changed much during their lives, but would be the poorer without them.

If you would like to help with the blog, contribute an article or anything else, please contact me tsawford[at]btinternet.com

or join me on Facebook.

Please visit my other blog on the subject of Byzantium; it too is full of interesting articles and photographs of beautiful Byzantine art from my travels.

Tom Sawford

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April 2010

Some words about use of the comment facility on this blog:

I have had to ban two long-term blog readers from posting comments on the blog as they had repeatedly posted offensive and potentially libelous comments even after they had been asked privately to cease.

The comment facility is open to all. It is sometimes a source of good information; fellow readers help each other out with something or other; and at times is can be a forum for animated debate. There are occasions when fellow readers will argue passionately about some minor fact, and often come close to blows, but on nearly all occasions people know where to draw the line. All good knock-about fun. In the case of these two individuals they forgot the rules and did not play nicely with the other children.

I am able to see all comments and will not tolerate any behaviour that is these days called ‘inappropriate’ ie just plain bad. You can debate as much and as hard as you like, but I will not tolerate any comments that are racist, homophobic, insulting or libelous. These are red lines and I will apply a zero tolerance policy. If you are asked by me or another reader to desist, remove a comment, or apologise then please take stock, think about it, and act in a way that respects others, and also very importantly respects Paddy’s memory.

 If anyone has any issue with the above, or wishes to seek further clarification please contact me through any of the usual channels including the comment facility.

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184 thoughts on “About & Contact

  1. Caroline Ferguson

    Hello,
    I first came across Paddy L Fermor after seeing a promotion for In Tearing Haste on the local news; but I came across this site while looking up PLF’s obituary for Dahpne Fielding… Both Daphne and Patrick knew Evelyn Waugh, and, according to professor M Stannard’s biography of Waugh(No Abiding City) Waugh consulted PLF about one of his war novels, and apparently re drafted Men At Arms following this consultation…Do you have any information about this at all?

    Reply
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  3. Jim Brown

    Congratulations on this excellent blog. I first encountered PLF’s writing after my first visit to Romania when I got interested in travel writing about the country (where I have now lived for more than 20 years), I have continued to return to ‘Between the Woods and the Water’ from time to time, and more recently have discovered the riches of ‘Mani’ and ‘Roumeli’. I have a question that I wonder if you or someone reading this might be able to help me with. In chapter 7 of ‘Between the Woods and the Water’, PLF talks about the great old Romanian ballad ‘Miorita’, and quotes a large part of it in his translation. I’ve seen several English translations of ‘Miorita’, and to my mind, PLF’s is by far the best. It respects the form and the content closely, while preserving the simplicity of the original in a way that I would have thought almost impossible. But the book doesn’t give the whole text. Does anyone know if his translation of the complete ballad was ever published, and if so where it can be found?
    Best regards,
    Jim Brown

    Reply
      1. Jim Brown

        Thank you for your reply, Tom. Yes, I know the Snodgrass translation, which is also very good, but I still think PLF does a better job at capturing the “almost runic pithiness”, as he calls it, of the original.

        Reply
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  6. Jim Braiden

    Can anyone tell me the name of Paddy’s favourite hotel in Nafplion- will be there in Sept and would like to stay there
    Many thanks for any info.

    Reply
  7. Angela

    Hi Tom, Thanks as always for sharing all this fascinating information with us. I’m curious as to whether the Kreipe kidnap made headline news?

    Reply
  8. J

    Hi. I’ve read all 3 PLF books of his walk from Holland to Constantinople…, however I’m trying to recall a segment he mentions. The “Chevalier d’ Yp” or such. Can someone please put me right?
    Manythanks

    Reply
  9. José María Palandri

    Dear Tom,
    I am really gratefull For your blog! Thanks so much!!!!
    I agree your words: he is that unique person who personifies what was once the mark of an Englishman; educated; heroic, handsome, generous; and modest (to a degree).
    I am 45 years old and on june I will start a Paddy trail to Constantinopla on foot.
    I live in argentina and in 1984 I read a book called: six thousand beard of Mount Athos by Ralph Brewster, then I read The Station by Byron! And Between wood and water, and then I inspired go Athos to walk in 2010 and Romania!
    Now , I talk with my wife and children, I quit my job (Deputty head in secondary School) and will start my trip in Hook of Holland on June 2015!
    I want to find at least some of their adventures. I will be write a blog in spanish.
    Now I am ready to walk!
    Kind Regards and Thanks!
    José María Palandri

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      José – it is great to hear from you before such an expedition. The journey of a lifetime. You have a very understanding wife. We all wish you the greatest success and best of luck. May I recommend reading Nick Hunt’s book “Walking the Woods and the Water” before you go? It follows Paddy’s route and may be of help to you; Nick walked in 2011 so it is up to date and you will see how things have changed. They say that “weight is the enemy of distance” so try not to carry to much with you. Please give us the link to your blog – we have many Spanish speaking readers. We would like to follow your journey with you.

      If you need any help or assistance before or during the journey please get in touch with me. We have many contacts who may be able to help all along the route.

      Tom

      Reply
    2. Jen

      Hello Jose. I think your trip was totally amazing. I followed your blog and lobed reading it. You must be a great person! You sound very nice. Did you really quit your job? I cannot believe it, your boss didnt want you to travel? Did he give you the job back now that the trip is over? He or she must be really stupid to let you go because you seem to be very smart. Hugs

      Reply
      1. palandrijm

        Dear Jen,
        Thanks so much for your kindly words and for read my blog. The trip was really, really amazing, especially in Hungary, Romania and Bulgary.
        Yes I quit my job and I more happy because I have more time. My boss doesn,t like travel and he never could understand me, I am crazy for him. My jobs was a Headmaster in a Secondary Prívate School. Now I am working just three days a week teaching Physics that it is my speciality.
        In 2017 I am planning to walk across UK, from north to south.
        Where are you from?
        Regards!!!!
        José

        Reply
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  11. Peter M. Misthos

    Tom,
    Do you turn over any and all the PLF memorabilia you receive to the historical archive in Scotland? I have many photos, videos, letters, radio transcrips and telegrams of and from PLF. I’m considering releasing them.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hello Peter – I don’t receive an awful lot of physical stuff. Mainly digital copies come my way. The answer to your question is that the archive at the National Library of Scotland may consider taking them. Having glanced at your message I mentioned your case specifically to David McClay on Monday night. He said that you should get in touch with him d.mcclay[at]nls.uk . If you have anything that you can share with me in the meantime I would be more than happy to receive copies. Remember what may not be of interest to the NLS may be of interest to those who follow this site so please consider us if you do decide that you want to present some of this material. We can see what we can do. Tom

      Reply
  12. kritsayvonne

    Oh wow ! As someone who is besotted with Crete, and entranced by PLF, I can’t believe I’ve not found this site before. Perhaps it’s because I’ve only recently started blogging to support another Cretan legend. Is it OK if I share a link with my blog? I’d also like to share with the forum on the website Explore Crete, there are many Paddy fans there.

    Meanwhile, I’m off to make a cuppa so I can settle down to read all I’ve been missing.

    I saw one of your comments that you thought the blog was slowing down, my interpretation not your words. However, all the time new people find you blog I’d say, keep up the fab work.

    Thank you x

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Welcome and please send me details by email tsawford[at]btinternet.com and I will see what we can do 🙂

      Tom

      Reply
      1. maryencie@gmail.com

        Tom — your Lawrence Durrell 2012: domain name has expired and will soon be wiped off the web! I got a message when I tried to go to it. I am another person who just discovered your web of websites and hope I am not too late to begin exploring everything. I found you by googling on Fitzroy Maclean whose Eastern Approaches I have reread so many times my copy has fallen apart. Through you I am going to dive into the subject of Paddy now! Thanks for your blog — -please don’t let any of it disappear. — Mary, from New York City

        Reply
        1. proverbs6to10 Post author

          Mary – great to have you here. I loved Eastern Approaches but for the best story on the Tito angle read The Embattled Mountain by F W Deakin. The content on the Durrell site still appears to work – it is nothing to do with me by the way – so I shall leave the link in place for the time being. I guess that there are others that may not work but it is a matter of getting time to check.

          Reply
  13. Brendan Dowling

    Dear Tom

    Thank your for your website. I have been reading about Paddy and tracking around Crete since the nineties when I first visited Greece and read Anthony Beevors “Crete the battle and the resistance”. I have been going there for 17 years (I married a Cretan:)) but sadly never got to meet him in person as I had hoped. Just thought you might like to know that there is a great YouTube clip from a BBC travel documentary on Paddys epic walk from Holland to Constantinople. Here is the link

    I totally loved it.
    Best wishes
    Brendan from Dublin

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Thank you Brendan. That video has only recently made onto the web. It is a great opportunity to see what was probably Paddy’s last formal interview.

      Reply
  14. Marc Cannizzo

    Thank you for a wonderful website.
    I live in Bucharest and was delighted to see (in “The Broken Road”) that the city did not escape Paddy’s keen eye. It also did not escape the ravages of communism, but there is still enough left over to recognize, e.g. the Cantacuzino Palace on Calea Victoriei (with the two stone lions guarding the entrance. An elderly local resident confirmed that the eyes were lit up in the old days.)

    Transylvania is changing, but retains its magic. I never tire of opening “Between the Woods and the Water” and reading passages at random. The book has become a faithful and constant companion.

    marc cannizzo

    Reply
  15. Paul Kelly

    Can anyone tell me how many copies of “A time of Gifts” , “Between the woods and the water” and “The Broken Road” sold? I’m just curious and would love to know that PLF was widely read.

    Reply
  16. ann eldridge

    I am delighted to have discovered this site. I am a lifetime admirer of Patrick Leigh Fermor. I now live in Monemvasia, a Byzantine city, an hour or so from Kardamayli. I had been invited to lunch. Having arrived, I was told by his housekeeper that Patrick was unwell. Apparently if I had been male he would have seen me, but he needed to be appropriately dressed for female company. This was the Easter during his last illness.

    I have a request with which your followers may be able to assist. Paddy Leigh Fermor had a longstanding connection with Monemvasia. I understand that he celebrated his 70th birthday here. I am currently preparing a book of photographs on the people of the city dating from 1885.

    If anyone has a photograph of Patrick in Monemvasia, or any comments he may have made about the place, I would be incredibly grateful to hear from them.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  17. laurita1970

    Dear Tom,
    I’ve been enjoying your blog a great deal.

    I wanted to let you know that Harvard Review Online, the website for Harvard Review (Harvard University’s literary magazine), has just posted my book review of Artemis Cooper’s biography Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure.

    Here is the link:
    http://harvardreview.fas.harvard.edu/?q=features/book-review/patrick-leigh-fermor-adventure

    If you have any questions, let me know. Thanks so much.

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    P.S. Does the email on your website still work? The message I sent was returned. Cheers.

    Reply
  18. MARIUS-MIRCEA CRISAN

    Dear Mr. Tom Sawford, I have written two books in which I refer to Patrick Leigh Fermor’s book Between the Woods and the Water. I have also written about William Blacker’s Along the Enchanted Way… . Would you be so kind to help me find a way of sending a message to William Blacker?

    For more information about my research, please see my website:
    http://www.themythoftransylvania.ro/home_en.htm

    Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote memorable pages about the town where I grew up, INEU (COUNTY OF ARAD, ROMANIA):
    see the last photo:
    http://www.themythoftransylvania.ro/photogallery_en.htm

    Thank you very much. Marius Crisan

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hello Marius – I will see what I can do about contacting William. Thank you for bring your site to my attention. I will have a good look around it.

      Tom

      Reply
    2. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hi Marius – William has now got in touch. Please give me an email address to contact you. The one associated to this post no longer works.

      Reply
  19. Roxana

    I’ve been a fan of PLF’s writing ever since stumbling across a copy of “Between the Woods and the Water” in 1986. I was hooked immediately and have tried to read everything he’s written. I just finished the Artemis Cooper biography and am starting “The Broken Road”. I look forward to reading Nick’s book retracing PFL’s journey. How wonderful to know there are others like me who are addicted to this wonderful man’s writing. Thanks!

    Reply
  20. Juan

    What a great gift to find this blog..
    I am a spanish guy living in Dublin that happened to read a Time of Gifts years ago back in Madrid.
    While I am now enjoying A. cooper biography, it is with great pleasure that I have found this place where I can satisfy my curiosity and share with all of you the admiration and passion for the figure of Paddy.
    Many thanks,
    Juan

    Reply
  21. Paul Wood

    I don’t know if this is of interest, but you might like to publish this blog post of mine about PLF. I first read A Time of Gifts at university because I knew the sequel would be set in Hungary a country I had decided to be interested in. instead it is Transylvania and Romania generally which are my abiding interest and where I live. I meant to meet him and regret not doing so.

    http://pvewood.blogspot.ro/2014/01/i-finished-broken-road-and-loved-it.html

    Reply
  22. Tim

    Tom

    You may want to move this comment to a more appropriate area but may I bring to your attention, and that of your many readers, the recent publication of a new Paddy related book- kindly drawn to my attention by Andy Stoddart of The Hellenic Book Service in London – though currently acting, amongst other things, as its Chania representative!!

    Andy points out that Random House have published The Ariadne Objective by Wes Davis. Only available in the US as far as I can see, and came out last month. I confess to having had some knowledge of the fact that Wes was working on this but didn’t expect it yet. It is about the S.O.E in Crete and you can get a taste from a few pages that are available through the link http://insight.randomhouse.com/widget/v2/?
    width=600&height=800&isbn=9780307460134&author=Wes%20Davis&title=The%20Ariadne%20Objective

    Personally I can’t wait to read it not least as he has used the names of two naval operations that I like to think I was the first to discover at the National Archives, namely Moonstruck and Bricklayer as chapter headings. These relate to the delivery, by Motor Launch ML 842, captained by Brian Coleman, of Billy Moss and party (on a trip arranged for John Houseman and party) and the embarkation of Kreipe and his abductors .

    It is the map references of these operations that makes me so sure as to the beaches concerned even though other accounts suggest beaches a little further afield. I hope those were the files he had in mind when he dropped me a line about the book and some help I had forgotten giving him.

    I can see that he has also had access to some of the private papers that I have seen of SOE officers and to relatives.

    It looks as though the book will be a significant contribution to the work of Paddy and others in Crete. I have a copy on order from Amazon but I’ll try and check with Wes as to when it might be more generally available in the UK.

    Tim

    (Downside is that it increases pressure to get http://www.illmetbymoonlight.info back up and running properly)

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Tim – only just seen this one!!! As you may have seen we are quite aware of the Ariadne Objective and have a rush of kidnap books coming out at the moment!

      Reply
    2. antoon van coillie

      Tim & Tom, having read the Ariadne Objective, I can say it is a good read, but I find it more of a synthesis of several books ( Ill met at Moonlight, Hide & Seek, The Lost Battle, …) rather than giving really substantial new material . But as I said a good read especially for someone new to this stories.

      For another exciting read, have a go at Aegean Adventures ( Michael Woodbine Parish) sadly only to be found on second hand book sites/shops. Amazing story as well.

      Reply
  23. Robin Collins

    In Conversation with Antony Beevor – 16th November 2012
    . Writers in Conversation Vol.5 (Kindle Location 428). Unthank Books. Kindle Edition

    This is a fascinating interview about questions of history and archives being opened. At the end there is a brief comment about Paddy. You can buy the book as an ebook at Amazon (the preview that you can download for free includes the Beevor interview):

    Antony Beevor
    Careers are not usually very much planned in advance. At that stage I was liable to write a book when it was suggested to me. The Crete thing was just before the fiftieth anniversary and John Murray had said that we would love to have this book on Crete. And it was an extraordinary story. This was the only parachute invasion of a major island in history and I had always been intrigued by the story of Paddy (Patrick Leigh Fermor) who had abducted a German general, and all that side of the Resistance.

    Christopher Bigsby
    Your wife, Artemis Cooper, has written his biography (Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, 2012).

    Antony Beevor
    He was a great friend and she had known him since she was a child.He was a tremendous help. One of my problems, in a way, was that I didn’t have a huge amount of time on that book and I said to Murray, ‘Can we do two volumes because I would also like to do the Resistance as well?’ because, though at that stage the SOE files were closed, they had unofficially been given all of the SOE reports and for the first time you could actually do a first draft of the history of the Cretan resistance. So I did want to do that as well. Murray said, ‘No way.’ No publisher likes doing two volumes and I knew that was already true so they said, ‘You have got to do the whole lot together.’ I have never had to work so hard in my life but it was just simply to get it finished on time.

    . Writers in Conversation Vol.5 (Kindle Locations 584-589). Unthank Books. Kindle Edition.

    Reply
  24. Rob MacGregor

    There was an article in the TLS from Nov 2012 by Simon Fenwick entitled “Shanks’s Europe – Patrick Leigh Fermor, Lawrence Durrell and Xan. Fielding: a friendship.” It would be great to see a copy of this article on the blog if possible?

    Reply
  25. antoon van coillie

    Dear Sir

    I just bought Hide & Seek, by Xan Fielding , on his adventures in Crete during WW2.
    Great companion to PLF biography .

    Available at Foyle’s ( better service than other e-commerce retailers)

    regards

    antoon van coillie

    Reply
  26. gabriella

    Paul Dry is a delightful man who has, for some years, published ‘Ill Met by Moonlight’ in America, and is now reprinting Xan Fielding’s books. Please support him! please remember that not many publishers/bookshop owners are millionaires! Amazon is KILLING the book industry. Its prices simply do not reflect the costs involved, but no one (except supermarkets) can compete and bookshops are closing daily. At this very moment Penguin is merging with Random House – we are all going to be the poorer. Please, please order your books from a proper bookshop. Sorry to rant… Gabriella

    Reply
  27. Blake More

    Tom … Hope you are well…….I recently put a rough draft of an article on the section called YOUR PADDY THOUGHTS because I didn’t know the present section existed, or maybe because I just got cofused. I wonder if it would be good to take it from there and put it here so more people will see it and be tempted to enter into some kind of multi-logue either with me or with others or both. Is there a way to do this? Good wishes,
    Blake More

    Reply
  28. Reyhan

    Thanks!A mystery is solved,for me.I always wondered how did Patrick L.Fermor’s blog have new posts,even after he passed away..

    Reply
  29. Alan Thatcher

    Another article you might link, which is quite good as an introduction to PLF, is Anthony Lane’s profile from the New Yorker in 2006. http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2006-05-22#folio=058 (It may be behind their paywall, if so sorry.) Lane followed it up with a brief obit: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/06/postscript-patrick-leigh-fermor.html
    I brought the 2006 article, scanned and enlarged, to my father when he was in the hospital that year; it was to be the final in a long series of exchanges we had made since I was a child, including the PLF books I’d given him. I also gave it to my teenage daughter to read a few years later; she said ‘I don’t just want to read his books, I want to be him!’ Which is a fine lesson to take away.
    Reading all this PLF material this weekend reminded me of a book on our shelves, Dilys Powell’s ‘The Traveller’s Journey is Done,’ her memoir of her husband the archaeologist Humfrey Payne. I had somehow found a copy of it years ago but never read it, so I have just done so, in a matter of hours as it’s quite short. Powell wrote quite a bit about Payne in ‘The Villa Ariadne,’ as he worked there, and ‘An Affair of the Heart,’ but the earlier book (1943) is if anything even more evocative of the era (late 20s-early 30s) when they were exploring Greece together. It is beautifully written and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Greece in the period between the wars. A very different perspective than PLF’s, certainly!

    Reply
  30. Daniel Smith

    Hi Tom – I found these on Amazon – the link is below:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hide-Seek-Story-War-Time-Agent/dp/1589880846/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366567702&sr=8-1&keywords=xan+fielding

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Stronghold-Seasons-White-Mountains/dp/1589880854/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1366567702&sr=8-2&keywords=xan+fielding

    I can’t tell who the publisher is and there is no indication of a release date although they are available to pre-order. I think the cover designs are very striking too.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Dan – I have prepared a release for next week, but if you scroll down it does say Paul Dry Books with a relase date of mid-June. These things however, are rarely accurate. There is also info on the Paul Dry website.

      Tom

      Reply
      1. Daniel Smith

        Thanks Tom – I must admit I’ve been trying to buy these books for some time now so can’t wait till June. Keep up the good work! Daniel.

        Reply
  31. Daniel Smith

    Hi Tom,

    Don’t know if you aware but it looks like Xan Fieldings books regarding his time in Crete with SOE are due to be reprinted.
    ‘Hide & Seek’ and ‘The Stronghold’ are both only available second hand and command prices from £200-500 on Ebay!
    These books will be available soon at £9.95 from Amazon.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hi Daniel – I have both and have experienced the pain of that sort of pricing! Do you have details of a link? Tom

      Reply
  32. eva laugharne

    I discovered Patrick’s books a few years ago and have been a devoted reader since. I too believe he is one of the greatest Englishmen to have lived. The world is a darker place without his light.

    Reply
  33. Rick

    I have been fascinated by Patrick Leigh Fermor since reading “A Time of Gifts” in Summer 2012. (Have now nearly finished “In Tearing Haste,” which left me admiring him even more.)

    Great information and mementos here–I was particularly glad to hear and see interviews with Fermor for the first time.

    Thank you for this website, and all the work it reflects.

    Rick

    New York

    Reply
  34. Sparkos

    Hi, I ran across your blog and found it extremely interesting as I am leaving California for the UK and Europe on April 18th. My trip is completely open ended (as short as 6 months, as long as 5 years) and I want to do a combination of hiking/walking and WWOOFing my way across Europe several times.

    I would like to plan my WWOOFing breaks around a long distance hike across Europe and choose farms located near or around the trails. Here is where I run into difficulty. I can’t find any detailed topo or trail (walking) maps that cover any of Europe’s long distance trails (i.e. “E Trails”).

    If you have any advice or suggestions as to where I can locate these maps, books… I would be eternally grateful!

    Thank you,

    Sparkos Merriman

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Sparkos – I don’t have any particular ideas. You can try (but probably already have) http://www.era-ewv-ferp.com/ , http://www.ironcurtaintrail.eu/en/index.html and http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/public/e_routes.php . You may be best buying some books.

      On Facebook there are a lot of walking sites, including pilgrimage routes which are very long distance. Examples https://www.facebook.com/groups/ConfraternityOfPilgrimstoJerusalem/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/AssociazioneViaFrancigenaPugliese/

      Good luck.

      Tom

      Reply
  35. Charles Hennah

    Tom,
    I thought you might be interested in this piece in the Guardian about Bob Crisp. The writer, Andy Bull, references memories of Paddy in Mani.

    regards,

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Thank you Charles. It is a wonderful tale and will be posted on Thursday this week.

      Reply
  36. Donald Rae

    Report from Sundance. PLF fanatics should make sure to see Richard Linklater’s new film Beyond Midnight. I almost don’t want to spoil the surprise.

    Reply
  37. Christos Paganakis

    Hi Tom ,
    I have been struggling with I T to pass you bad news re the Benaki Museum / the house at Kardimyli , project for it to be turned into a study centre .

    ( cant reach your contact e-mail as given in the site ” contact ” , nor post the URL links for this , sorry )

    An article currently on the Greek newspaper Kathemerini’s website
    ( ekathimerini.com ) english language section ,
    in their ” Life – Culture ” subsection ,
    entitled ” Crisis snaps at the Benaki’s heels ”
    is a synopsis of an interview with the Director of the Benaki Museum , Dr Angelos Delivorias , in the context of the terrific retrenchments due to the awful economic situation ongoing in Greece now .

    Basically he is reported as saying that he has about 14p left in the till and is laying off staff , reducing wages , and concentrating what is left of the funding stream on core Benaki activity and assets , while tearing his curatorial hair out .

    It would seem that Zero progress on the project will be the result for the foreseeable future , and possibly complete ongoing neglect of Paddy’s house .
    Empty buildings do deteriorate at an exponential rate , without the attentions of anyone who might think it fun to break in , trash , loot or burn it .
    ( Is anyone doing basic local oversight , care / repairs / maintenance , does anyone know ? )

    I suspect that if we in the UK , Paddy’s friends , the great and good , and the literary estate do not rally round to form something like a UK based charitable trust ,
    to raise some basic monies to safeguard the house , and possibly negotiate taking it back on some ” long repairing lease basis ” from the Benaki ,
    to push the project through without tangible support from the Benaki , ( other than cheering from the sidelines and speeches in support )
    then the place is quite probably destined to become yet another vandalised and roofless Greek ruin , or worse I fear , eventually , some Russian Mafioso’s summer villa .

    I wonder If you could re-post the Kathemerini article in the blog , copyright issues permitting , maybe start some balls rolling ?

    Sorry to bear bad tidings , and can I say thanks very much for this fantastic site of yours , great piece of work !

    regards , C P .

    Reply
  38. Steve

    I have heard of the forthcoming book The Broken Road: Travels from Bulgaria to Mount Athos. Do you know if this is entirely Paddy’s unfinished draft?

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      It will be mostly his draft – Colin and Artemis want to keep any additions to a minimum but I guess they will have to add some to pull it together.

      Reply
  39. elizabeth hallows

    Hi, I am chasing up a family history connection, which you may well be able to help with. My father’s cousin, an airman with the surname Findlay, was killed in WW2, on a beach in Greece. Family rumour says that PLF witnessed his death and wrote about it. Can you point me to this writing, if it exists? Elizabeth

    Reply
  40. Sonof Moses

    Dear Tom,

    I’m reading Artemis Cooper’s book and have reached page 184 where in a footnote it mentions a 36, 000 word article by PLF which he wrote in the sixties about the abduction of General Kreipe. She laconically adds, ‘most of which remains unpublished’.

    Surely someone must make this available!

    I can’t find a contact address for Artemis, but assume that you converse with her daily if not by the hour. Would it be possible for you to ask her about the possibility of this article being made available?

    What do you think?

    Best regards,

    David Stollar (davidstollar@btinternet.com)

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      David – yes I will follow that up some time. The report is probably part of Paddy’s estate and as such any decisions will be taken by the Estate. Artemis is only an executor and she will be focused on the biography and The Broken Road (vol 3) for the next 6-8 months. I was confidently told this week by the publisher that Vol 3 will be published in Sep 2013.

      Tom

      Reply
  41. Pingback: A PLF Pilgrimage to the Abbey of St Wandrille « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  42. Manya

    Hello, I’m so excited to find you. I’m from Crete, and writing a note book to leave for my little nephew regarding the history of our family. My grandfather, Emmanouil Kalogerakis, or Manolis, or more commonly known as Meraklis, was involved in the Kreipe abduction. I am searching for relevant material for my project to my nephew and found your blog. in the 80s, my uncle (son of Meraklis) told us that there had been an article in the local newspaper (“Patris”) in Heraklion about my grandfather’s involvement in the abduction. Unfortunately, I did not “register” or pursue this further at the time…. I wish I had as he is now dead, as is my grandfather.
    If you come across any information about the involvement of Emmanouil/ Manolis Kalogerakis AKA Meraklis, please can you post it here?
    Thank you in anticipation of your interest and help.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hello Manya – how wonderful. If you search the blog using the search box it works really well. Use any term you like just as you would with Google. There is a whole load of stuff about you grandfather and all the rest of those involved in the kidnap under the Ill Met by Moonlight category (named after the film about the kindap). Click here and you will find it https://patrickleighfermor.wordpress.com/category/ill-met-by-moonlight/ .

      Also quite a lot in the video section. There is a programme in Greek here https://patrickleighfermor.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/new-full-length-interviews-with-kreipe-and-paddy/

      Your grandfather appears in this TV programme https://patrickleighfermor.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/patrick-leigh-fermor-this-is-your-ill-met-by-moonlight-greek-life/ .

      Some of the best people to help you are Tim Todd and ‘Billy’ Moss’ daughter Gabriella. I will pass on your email address to them; hopefully they will get in touch with you.

      If you have any family photos that you would like diaplyaed on the blog please sned me scanned images and I will put them up.

      Do keep in touch.

      Tom

      Reply
      1. Manya

        Dear Tom,
        Thank you so very much for your helpful reply.
        I shall look forward to hearing from Tim and Gabriella.
        I hope to unravel some more of the international bit of my family’s history to pass on to my descendants.
        With best wishes,
        Manya

        Reply
  43. Penelope Lloyd

    Hi – I am Penelope from near Cape Town. I am looking for Patricvk Leigh Fermor’s intoruction to Matila Ghyka’s The World Mine Oyster. Do you know where I can find it ? Thank you –

    Reply
  44. Pingback: John Chapman at Kardamyli « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  45. ian stone

    This may interest. We all know of Rupert Brooke’s name on the Grantchester Church WW1 Roll of Honour, But stuck at the Trumpington traffic lights (a couple of miles away) yesterday I glanced across to the Trumpington Memorial and found myself staring at another random dead soldier’s name amongst many…John Pendlebury.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Ian, I have some pictures of Pendlebury’s grave in Crete submitted recently which I will post soon.

      Reply
  46. Tracy

    Hello Tom: I just discovered your site today and am pleasantly surprised that so many people have heard of, and have read, Patrick Leigh Fermor. I had never heard of PLF until one day about 4 months ago. I was at my hairdresser’s and looking around for something to read while waiting for my appointment I found a copy of The Economist. Whenever I read that magazine, one of the first things that I do is go to the back to read about the arts, books and obituaries, as The Economist’s obits always feature really interesting people. Lo and behold I started to read the obituary of one Patrick Leigh Fermor and was completely transfixed at learning about all the things that he had accomplished, all the places that he had travelled, all the interesting people that he met and befriended, the books that he wrote, well I could go on and on about him. I decided right then and there that I would hunt down, read and buy as many of his books that I could. So far, I have read two of his books( In Tearing Hast and A Time of Gifts) and have bought three, the two I have already mentioned and the Traveller’s Tree. I’m afraid that I’m having a little trouble trying to buy his books as they’re either not in print/available in my part of the world (Canada) or if they are, the tend to be on the expensive side. I’ve started to scout second had bookstores in the hopes of finding more of his books as I’m determined to buy and read as many as I can. I get huge pleasure from reading his books and I’m only sorry that I discovered him after he passed away, but nevertheless, really thrilled that I ‘discovered’ him at all. Just think, if I hadn’t picked up that particular copy of The Economist I may never have known who he was and would have missed out on lots. So a big thank you to The Economist and now you, as now I have a place where I can read and learn more about this interesting person.

    Reply
  47. Alan Bowden

    This is brilliant. I adore Patrick Leigh Fermor’s writing. I just wanted to add my appreciation to the rest.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Thanks Alan – I wish I had more time to keep up with all the info I have. Much more to come! Tom

      Reply
  48. Pingback: Urgent! Can we help Nick locate Istvan’s kastely? « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  49. Noelle Greenaway, London

    This is a lovely blog – thanks so much for the hard work and may I wish everyone peace and happiness for 2012

    Reply
  50. robinschweitzer

    Very interesting. I am writing about Paddy in my blogsite http://www.historyandmore.net. I have set myself the challenge of explaining and defining every social group listed in Paddy’s famous list at the beginning of Mani. I didn’t start quite at the beginning, but about ten lines, or thirty proper nouns in, but have now settled down to a steady stride. It should take me about two months. Many I am unable to find out about, in the limited time I allow myself to research them. It has become quite fun.
    I have just finished:

    …the boys kidnapped for janissaries and the girls for harems, the Catalan bands, the Kondaritika-speaking lathmakers of the Zagarochoria, the Loubinistika-speakers of the brothels, the Anglo-Saxons of the Varangian Guard, ye olde Englishe of the Levant company, the Klephts and the Armatoles, the Kroumides of Colchis…

    Reply
  51. Pingback: William Stanley Moss « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  52. catherine willis

    I am enchanted by your blog as I have been reading the books of Patrick Leigh Fermor.
    I have just received and signed this petition that I thought you might want to sign as well.
    Cheers
    Catherine Girardeau Willis

    Reply
    1. Arabella Jane Fermor Perry

      Thank you so much for this blog Tom – it is fascinating and providing SO MUCH! Not sure I’m even ‘meant’ to be on this blog or if it is private, but Catherine I have signed your petition which I think is So worthwhile and would like to put it onto Facebook to spread the word – complete luddite that I am on blogs, facebook, twitter et al, I may not succeed but I hope you approve.

      Reply
      1. proverbs6to10 Post author

        Arabella – I think the petition is by Catherine Willis, but do please go ahead! The blog certainly is not private and if you have Fermor in your name you are especially welcome :-))

        Reply
  53. Daniel Smith

    Hi Tom,

    Not sure if you aware but there is a documentary covering the capture of General Kreipe on National Geographic channel this Wednesday at 07.00pm. The program is called ‘Capturing Hitlers Henchmen’ – the Kreipe story is the second half of the program.
    Thanks for the great site – keep it up.

    Daniel Smith

    Reply
  54. Peter Bruns

    Dear Tom,

    Would you be interested in a translation into English of the article in Spanish by the Marques de Tamaron? I am not an official translator, yet I might give it a try. Please let me know.

    Peter Bruns

    Reply
  55. sheryl Allen

    A Huge Thank You Tom….love your site…and Paddy, of course. I am having no success with loading the movie where Paddy talks about his home….right at the top of the list. Just wondering if it is me or something else? Yours, Sheryl Allen

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Sheryl – thanks for pointing out this issue. It is not you. There must be a technical fault on the host server. Hopefully it will be repaired. Maybe the greeks just ran out of money?

      Tom

      Reply
  56. blackwatertown

    This is an excellent site that you have created and maintain here. I’m a huge fan of the man, and sometimes write about him – usually referring people back to this site to learn more.
    Do you know the latest on the mythical much sought after third volume of his walk from Holland to Turkey?

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Paul – I think we will have Artemis’ biography next year, maybe for Christmas, then I think they will be able to get to work on editing the draft of Vol 3. I doubt we will see it before end of 2013. Just my view.

      Reply
  57. alexandraco46

    Hi Tom, I dont know why I cant reply on your reply to me :-), no reply button there. No the video I posted is not Balasha’s estate. As we know her estate was in Baleni in the County of Galati, somewhere in the middle of the county to the north. The estate in my video belonged to another family member and is somewhere in northern Moldova-Bukovina. I am not a walker, I am too lazy 🙂 but intend to go next year with a friend, great fan of Paddy’s, and we will probably tour the entire country, definitely going to Baleni (though Balasha’s house doesnt exist anymore) and also definitely going to the monasteries in the Bukovina which I didnt see myself during my 33 years there. Would like to show him the Maramures and the Dobrogea too. We will need a car for this in a rather short time we have available.Then I want also to go back to Braila and Galati where my father’s family is from. And of course The Iron Gates and Bucharest too. Will be a rather rushing through, but… 🙂 and we need to plan it very very cleverly. Romania is still an oasis in Europe with wonderful untouched landscape. For how long?
    Good night and thank you for answering to my comment 🙂
    Alexandra

    Reply
  58. MC

    Thank you so much for constructing this blog. PLF is a huge fascination of mine, it was wonderful to find this while searching for obituaries I hadn’t yet read after his passing.

    What a treasure house of material, again I thank you for the time you’ve spent building this resource for those of us who love the prose of this great, mourned writer.

    Reply
  59. Peter Misthos

    Greetings Tom,
    I have several pictures and many videos of Paddy. I’d like to share them with all. How do I get them to you?
    Peter Misthos

    Reply
  60. Marina Petsalis-Diomidis

    Dear Tom, here is a link to a clip of one of Paddy’s favourite songs, the Cretan folk song Filedem (‘Friend Adam’ in Turkish).

    As Paterakis recalls on camera during the 1972 reunion, Paddy liked the song so much that his comrades started calling him Filedem as a nickname. Perhaps some people would like to hear it?

    Reply
  61. Elaine Decoulos

    So happy to find your blog, but so sad that Paddy has passed away. I always wanted to meet him and regret I never made the effort. I am of Greek descent, half from Mani and half from Crete. My family has a monastery not far from where Paddy lived in Mani, in Neo Itilo, and he mentioned my family in his book on Mani. I am sure he knew more history about Mani than anyone and it is not easy to come by. And I had no idea how involved he was with the Cretan resistance.

    Reply
  62. George Dalidakis

    Hello Tom,
    There was a translation in the Cretan newspaper, Patris, of a lovely piece written by Patrick Leigh Fermor for the Sunday Times which was published in that paper on 22 and 29 November 1956. Although I enjoyed the article in Greek, Patrick’s superb handling of the English language was missing. Any chance of getting the English version published here?

    The link for the Patris translation is:

    http://www.patris.gr/articles/202996/

    Reply
  63. Voice of Reason

    The BBC aren’t left wing – they’re sloppy. Their obituaries are universally bad. They never check their facts and they haven’t heard of anyone over the age of forty. Nothing to do with left-wing.

    What the BBC have done is to provide wall to wall propaganda for the present government, the forces, and the nuclear industry (who they are currently supporting with a voluntary news blackout on Japan).

    It was damn stupid of you to attempt a political quip in your email.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      You may think it damned stupid, but the BBC clearly suffers from selective reporting and I am not alone in my views about the political stance of the BBC. It is the BBC you should complain to about politics.

      In Paddy’s case they have failed him.

      Reply
  64. Marina Petsalis-Diomidis

    Many, many thanks for your blog. It is wonderful to have all the material assembled. He is/was the greatest living Englishman…

    Reply
      1. Erik Bruns

        Yes, its very nice, also funny to hear that his Greek has a very strong English accent, but also a Cretan one!

        Reply
  65. Howard Patrick

    How do I upload a photograph to your site? My wife and I hired a boat and sailed up the gulf from Stoupa to Kardamyli in the summer of 2000. I took a shot of Paddy’s villa from the boat and would never have published it during his life, too intrusive but I would like to do so now.
    Regards Howard Patrick

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Patrick – replied by email to you. Just as easy to mail me the picture and I will post with acknowledgement.

      Tom

      Reply
  66. George Giannopoulos

    Tom,

    Any idea what the working title for vol.3 might be?
    I wonder whether Paddy had a title in mind ?
    I’ve often thought about what the title might be.
    Such as; The Walk Ends; To The City; Arrival In Paradise.
    Any thoughts from you or other members of the blog?
    I love to hear what others might think the title might be.

    George

    Reply
  67. Minnie

    Tom, many thanks for this excellent blog – a true labour of love. I have been browsing here with increasing interest since I heard the news of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s death, and have linked here from my own blog. I posted a brief piece – necessarily so, for all that needs to be said (and more) is already here.

    Thank you once more.

    Reply
  68. Michael J. Lotus

    Very sad to hear of the death of Patrick Leigh Fermor.

    Is there ANY chance that a third volume taking us from the Iron Gates to Constantinople will be found amongst his papers?

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Michael – I am sure something substantial exists. Let’s see. We shall hear more in the coming weeks I am sure.

      Reply
  69. Martin

    Hi Tom,

    I have to agree with the majority of comments on this page, your blog is easily the best source for information on the great man. As a result of the current economic climate, it seems I will soon have a lot of time on my hands and perhaps the perfect opportunity (blessing in disguise?) to follow in Patrick’s footsteps. Are you (or other readers) aware of any maps or guides that outline the route taken by Patrick on his way through Europe? I probably shouldn’t be lazy and just re-read ‘A Time of Gifts’ but I don’t want to waste time if it has been done already.
    Anyway, keep up the good work.

    Martin

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Martin – in a sense you are fortunate if you suddenly have the time to devote to following the route. I once made a rough calculation that it may be possible to walk this in 4-6 months if you go all the way to Istanbul.

      I will mail you some informatiion I have for Romania.

      Tom

      Reply
    2. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Martin – How goes it? I hope in fact that you have been unable to do the walking as at least you may stil have a job! I am in contact with a guy called Nick Hunt who plans to walk the whole route this year. Get in touch with him as he now has quite a lot of route info http://afterthewoodsandthewater.wordpress.com/

      Tom

      Reply
  70. george giannopoulos

    tom

    not sure if you have seen this.

    from 32 min onwards…..talk of ‘in tearing haste’

    george

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Thanks George – we did a piece on it recently – should still be on the homepage, but always worth a listen 🙂

      Reply
  71. George Coufos

    Tom,
    Thank you for starting and keeping this blog. I’m so glad to have come across it. I’ve been reading practically everything I can get my hands on – by or about PLF. As many here have said already, I believe he is an extraordinary individual; larger than life.

    I developed an interest in “modern Greek history” about 10 years ago. I had been a student of the classics in my youth (early 80’s). But my classics professor at BU (Athan Anagnostopulos – another great man) made me aware of the lineage and linkage that existed between the Ancient and Modern. It took me a few years, but I gradually became more and more interested in the veiled times of the Ottoman occupation, which eventually took me forward to the Second World War.

    I was astonished to learn about the amazing group of individuals that came together in Crete during that time, and Fermor was, to my mind, the shining star among many gems on that scene. As horrid and painful as that war was, there was a fortunate set of circumstances – the English raiding and recruiting their Universities’ Classics departments and a few literate and articulte Cretans, all of whom were inclined to record their experiences, making it possible for us to assimilate a 3D view of the time. As Hollywood brings us remakes of bad to mediocre originals, here’s this remarkable time which contains countless stories; at once clever, heroic, funny and tragic.

    I found it interesting that you think of PLF as the “greatest living Englishman”, because I place him in the pantheon of fascinating individuals that have appeared on this planet. The fact that he is still alive and writing is amazing. I think we’re extremely fortunate to have him among us still. I was in southern Greece in 2009 and spent a couple of days in Mani. Little did I know (and probably very fortunate for him) that he he lived nearby.

    I wish you all the best with the blog and will be checking in frequently.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      George – thank you for your compliments and sharing your insight. Do subscribe (top right on blog) to the blog and you will never miss a post! Battle of Crete anniversary coming up soon.

      Reply
  72. mary lou bethune

    Have you traced PLF’s steps in Between Woods and the Water? I wonder what is left of the families ?
    \Mary Bethune

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Mary Lou – no I have not. There was a plan for a few of us to do so this year in fact. But that fell through. Maybe still a chance to do something later this year. Are you interested? Many of the families were scattered by the war and communism. Most of the country houses either in disrepair or used as asylums and so forth. I plan to do some exploring around Cluj later this year, but more in the steps of Banffy, rather than Paddy. Enjoy the blog!

      Reply
      1. alexandraco46

        Tom, being born in Romania, my father Greek and my mother Swiss, please let me tell you that Romania is much more than only Transilvania and Cluj. Please go to Maramures, Moldova, Dobrogea, even the mocked Oltenia has so much to offer, as well as the Regat. It has so much and such a variety to offer (landscape as well as linguistically – accents and influences), let alone History which was primordial for the sake of western Europe. We were all distroied by the communism. Here one video about one of the Cantacuzino estate in Moldova. You wont understand the language (by the way, the accent is very slavic) but pictures talk strongly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R907uyDfUkc
        The family sold it in 1920 to a german count. The commies took over and he probably had to leave it behind. During communism it was an old age home, a kindergarden and many more the commies used it for. Then it was abandonned for ever. Now the commission tries to restaure it before it’s only a pile of building materials left over of it. Vandals stole everything, even some bricks for building their own houses. The park is filled with 250 years old rare trees – natural monuments they will be declared. They want to declare the entire place as historical site! But they cannot restaure the furniture…, no one knows where it is, it has been stolen.
        Sad matter of facts.
        Thank you for this beautiful blog.
        Alexandra Costide (Switzerland)

        Reply
        1. proverbs6to10 Post author

          Alexandra – yes I am truly aware of the many wonders of Romania. The problem is when I go on business I visit Cluj and have only once been out of the city to visit Banffy’s castle at Bontida. So my experience is only of Cluj which is wonderful but I recognise limited.. This summer we plan to visit the Maramures, and then travel down to the Saxon lands in the Carpathians so I shall see a lot more. I intend to travel more widely, certainly to the monasteries in the Bukovina, but also possibly trying to map the Greenway walking route in the vicinity of Sighisoara next year. Are you a walker?

          Tell me about the movie … this is not Balsha’s estate is it? I don’t thin it is. It is very interesting. Thank you.

          Tom

          Reply
  73. Gattopardo

    A question for Mr. Andrew Gibbon-Williams; you write: “would enjoy the company of a youngish, gay Welsh/Scots artist with literary inclinations”. I wonder why you stress being gay, is there a particular reason in your opinion why PLF would enjoy the company of a gay man more than a not gay man?

    Reply
  74. Kathleen Lambert

    Tom – Am delighted to find your blog. I discovered PLF in the 1980’s when my son was awarded an IRSEP scholarship to study Magyar history and language in Budapest. It peaked my curiosity and delving into any thing I could find about Hungary “happened upon” Between the Woods and Water and A Time of Gifts. What treasures! Could we all be blessed with such enthusiasm, curiousity and knowledge. All this from a young man who didn’t “fit the mold” – thank goodness.
    More serendipity. Like you, I am reading Miklos Banffy’s Transylvanian Trilogy, which I found because PLF wrote the introduction. Wonderful writing. I too feel there is much that is autobiographical. I wish I had discovered them before I visited Transylvania in 97′. Perhaps I will have another opportunity. I am a very ordinary 70 year old person living in an unincorporated (rural) village in WI USA. These books have truly enriched me. Looking forward to more blogs. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Kathleen – what a pleasure to read how you discovered Paddy. I am near the end of Vol 2 of Banffy and enjoying it so much. You may have read that I am lucky enough to visit Koloszvar (Cluj) quite regularly. I think the radical in Paddy would also like to live in an “unincorporated” village; it sounds suitably non-conformist Happy reading. Tom

      Reply
  75. Bill Bustin

    What a great find and what a great idea for a blog dedicated to PLF!

    I first read A Time of Gifts in my early thirties and was enthralled – I have devoured everything by the great man since and have re-read almost all of them as well.
    Upon finishing A Time of Gifts for the first time I was struck by the feeling “that book has improved me as a person” and Paddy’s works always have that effect – quite uncanny and very rare- for me at least. The only other authors who have done that for me are Carl Sagan and Bruce Chatwin (fittingly enough).

    A huge thank you for the blog and your hard work in setting it up and maintaining it.

    BB

    Reply
  76. Patrick Cook

    This is an excellent idea for a blog. I’ve always felt that, whilst PLF has a very large number of admirers, it can be maddeningly difficult to find a single source of information about the great man.

    I first read ‘A Time of Gifts’ when I was 19, the same age as the character Paddy (who I think may be a slightly fictionalized version of PLF himself, there is much to suggest that the book is intended to be about youth as well as about a very remarkable specific youth). For this reason, I’m not sure that I agree with what others here have said about it being best to come to PLF’s works in one’s later years. Enthusiasm is the great leitmotif in all of his works, and enthusiasm is very often a virtue of the young, although the years do not seem to have dampened Paddy’s. Of course his eruditions is daunting, even for those of us who fancy ourselves well educated in history and classics, but that is rather the point. I do imagine, however, that one probably gets something different out of his works depending on the stage of life in which one reads them (is this not true of all great literature?), and I look forward to re-reading them in my later years (I should perhaps point out that I am now only twenty-one, and thus have spent only three years of my life in the company of PLF’s works).

    Reply
  77. RFC

    Very glad to have discovered this! A PLF blog is an inspired idea. All those worried about the cost of higher education ought to take comfort from the fact that one of our greatest living intellectuals never went near a university.

    Reply
  78. G. Michael Paine

    I got a sign-up URL. Fine, but I already am listed.
    My previous post was to inform that I had found an article PF and thought the group would to see it posted or at least given access to it;

    Reply
  79. Peter Misthos

    Paddy’s so called “beach” (the one that his staircase leads down to) is a rocky/pebble cove (no sand )about 10 meters across and is only accessible to the public by boat. He is a long time close family friend, and I have known him to be more than accomodating to all his fans. Zi I Kriti.

    PETER

    Reply
  80. heather roberts

    just wanted to thank you for this blog. i found paddy through a friend a few summers ago. we loved reading _a time of gifts_ together then on to almost all of his books from there including the letters between he and debo. he is a gorgeous writer and person that i admire and feel a kinship with. this blog truly helps me stay current and must take a ton of work from you. kudos and thank you again!

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Thanks Heather. It is always appreciated. I have a ton more of things to add, but time is the enemy. Don’t forget to subscribe (top right of blog) so you can get the updates (nothing more) by email!

      Tom

      Reply
  81. denny fitzpatrick

    I was delighted to find your web page. Thank you for your efforts. I agreed with your comments on the challenge that reading his work gives you . It is a pleasure . Like you I am sorry to have discovered him late in my life. His work led me to read George Psychoundakis -the Cretan Runner. I don’t know if he is featured in your pages . The fact that PLF organised the printing of this book shows his loyalty and warm heart amongst all his other qualities.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Denny – thanks. Search (box near top right) the site for George Psychoundakis. There is quite a bit about him.

      Reply
  82. Pingback: Patrick Leigh Fermor blog: 2010 in review « Patrick Leigh Fermor

  83. Andrew Gibbon-Williams

    In response to your comment Tom, and to Mr. Horbach’s… re. the nude subathing incident: I like nude subathing, but would never dream of doing it in Greece of all places. And didn’t on that occasion. I remember thinking at the time that it would have been more polite of PLF had he quietly reminded the German couple of the rules rather than growling and waving his stick about. I’m big on politeness, and I don’t care who you are! re. the biography: Artemis is a delightful person and her Mum is heavenly. She is also a good writer, as is her husband. But she is very much ‘top drawer’, and I can well imagine PLF wanting her rather than any old Tom, Dick or Harry to write about him. Sometimes class solidarity is a good thing, sometimes not. We shall see! Oh Tom! Please think hard before crediting the UK with being one of ‘the most dynamic cultural environments in the world’. This is Radio 4 ‘Any Questions’-speak: The BBC is the best broadcaster IN THE WORLD (round of applause), the NHS is the best medical service IN THE WORLD (ditto)… blah, blah. I would say that Britain has one of the most dynamic LITERARY cultures in the western world, and so SHOULD the land that produced Shakespeare! ‘Liberal- minded Holland’, Mr. Horbach, is yet another nationalistic cliche. Having spent holidays with your royal family among others, I can only say that I have never come across such latent racism and snobbery (heavily-weiled though it is). Holland also suffers from a sad and malignant case of Anglophilia, for which I suppose we can blame William of Orange and/or the Nazis if we wish to be generous.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      I would certainly say that Radio 4 remains the best radio station in the world. The BBC has lost its way in general.

      Reply
  84. Henry Engler

    Hello Tom,

    Happy New Year!

    Quick question: are you aware of anyone having documented the route that Paddy took during “A Time Of Gifts?” I’m thinking more of a map or at least something approximating a route.

    Many thanks

    Henry

    Reply
  85. John Thomson

    I have enjoyed the articles very much; PLF is a great man and a great writer. I missed Benedict Allen’s BBC programme. Any ideas as to where it can be found/downloaded?
    Well done Tom.
    John Thomson

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      John – I am almost certain that the programme is not available for download anywhere. I do have a copy which a friend obtained via the production company. I can only suggest that you approach them (I can’t remember the name of the company at the moment) as your best option.

      Tom

      Reply
  86. Andrew Gibbon-Williams

    I’m not qualified to judge whether PLF is our ‘greatest living Englishman’, but he was certainly the grumpiest-looking one I had ever come across when I sunbathed on the beach beneath his home some years ago! For years, my old buddy John Craxton had been encouraging me to get in touch with him, on the basis I suppose that the old chap would enjoy the company of a youngish, gay Welsh/Scots artist with literary inclinations. I’d never bothered. Then, having explored the Byzantine churches in the Mani with other friends, I decided to hole up with my Dutch partner in Kardamyli for a week or two. There were only 2 taxis from Kalamata the day we arrived; Debo and Duke were in the first, we in the second. I dropped PLF a pc to say we were in town. No reply forthcoming, so wrote it off. However, taking the sun on ‘that’ beach, we found ourselves lying a few metres from a perfectly nice German couple also sunbathing, but nude. Sometime during the day, an old bloke whom I guessed was ‘himself’ came stroling along above the beach, shaking his stick and growling at the German pair – and us, I suppose. We were, you see, on HIS beach. (All Greek beaches are public as you proabably know!). I bit my tongue and ignored the old curmudgeon. Wish I’d not now. I’m afraid I’m antipathetic to the whole PLF/aristo incestuous snob thing (no reflection on his writings). It reeks of the you scratch my back/I’ll yours endemic in UK cultural life. At the moment, a friend’s daughter, Artemis Cooper, is writing his bio. I believe. Which says it all, doesn’t it? Anyway… yours in tearing haste! Andrew.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Andrew – the beach clearly is very public, but it is also NOT a nudist beach, so if it was Paddy, he was probably right to say something. I am sure you have met grumpier old men!

      You may know more about the Artemis connection than I, but she has been a friend of Paddy’s for many years. Recognising his advancing years he selected her to be his ‘literary executor’ and asked her to write his official biography. I thought it was quite common for subjects to select/approve their official biographers. Not so much back-scratching as prudent selection? Do such things only happen in the UK? Even so we have one of the most dynamic cultural environments in the world so it does not appear to be doing too much harm.

      Tom

      Reply
    2. Frans Horbach

      “I’m afraid I’m antipathetic to the whole PLF/aristo incestuous snob thing”?

      I am surprised that the incident you describe on a public Greek beach has upset you – so much so, that it left you with a rather low opinion of PLF as a person (“no reflection on his writings”) and that it prompted you to extend your derogatory comment to the despicable social class you assume he belongs to.

      Whether you agree with it or not, the simple fact is that nude sunbathing on a public beach is NOT the socially or culturally accepted norm or convention anywhere, not in Greece or, for that matter, in liberal-minded Holland, where I live.
      The assumption that this is not the case and to behave accordingly, shows a surprising lack of sensitivity to local custom and this may cause irritation by members of that local community, with or without shaking a stick.
      Having travelled extensively in my life I can say this: A traveler when visiting a foreign community should behave like a guest, he should be specially aware of local customs and sensitivities, and not insist on his private preferences or narrow perspective.

      Frans Horbach

      Reply
  87. Willem van Mourik

    while rereading Between the Woods and the Water I decided to google “Leigh Fermor” and found your blog which is truly wonderful for a long-time admirer…

    Once in 1991 I was down at the sea below his dwelling and I stayed for a while wondering if I would have to nerve to walk up the hill and try to meet him. But I decided against this and followed my own happy trail further down the coast and eventually through Gythio via Kythera to my beloved Crete….

    Willem van Mourik, Delft The Netherlands, december 30th 2010

    Reply
  88. Gabriel Poynton

    Great to discover your blog. I discovered Leigh Fermor’s books on my parents’ bookshelves as a teenager, and devoured them (obviously starting with A Time of Gifts) and made immediate plans for my own voyage on-foot… which I have yet to undertake. At 35 I still reread his books regularly. Good to discover I’m not alone. Thanks for your endeavours.

    Reply
  89. Frans

    Tom, I am very pleased to have found your blog
    While travelling in the Mani a few years ago, along the beautiful Messinian coast, we passed the village of Kardamyli from where we hiked into some of the rugged gorges of the Taygetus mountain range. Not surprisingly, it was here that I first heard about Patrick Leigh Fermor. In Holland I found that his books were not available in the bookstores, so I ordered the books on the internet from New York Review. Now I am re-reading his book ‘Mani’ for the second time, and discover that there new things and insights that I apparently missed in my first reading. The combination of his immense historical knowledge, his linguistic skill, his adventurous and quite human spirit, and his awesome erudition is really unique and, as I am not a native English speaker, quite challenging for me.
    PLF is a perfect travel companion, and for that I am most grateful.
    Frans

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Frans – glad you enjoy the blog. I have to say Paddy’s work can be pretty challenging even for native English speakers!

      Reply
  90. J. Burke

    Mr. Crawford,

    How would I address a letter or email to Mr. Fermor? I feel it important to send a note of appreciation while he is still with us.

    Thank you VERY much for your efforts.

    Reply
  91. Celestria hales

    What you say about appreciating Leigh Fermor with age and education is on the money. I did not get it at all when younger. What worries me (halfway through re-reading Between the Woods and the Water and planning to go to Transylvania next year) is that there will be no one left who can understand his references at all in the next generation. I know my own daughter, well educated enough and at university, would struggle.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      I know what you mean and despair. My own daughter thought that because “Stockholm” was on the side of a shopping bag that it must be somewhere in London!

      Reply
  92. prasanna weerawardane

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you very much for this:I have been an ardent fan since A Time of Gifts, when, being an inveterate reader of travel books, I read it and was blown away:it became a mainstay during my years in the UK(70’s-90’s) until it joined Between Woods and Water. PLF’s language and brilliance enthralled me, and then I discovered his SOE WWII exploits. He is among a vanishing breed of Englishman, of the ilk of Thesiger, etal. I say “man”but there have been extraordinary English women as well of course, such as Freya Stark, Gertrude Bell etc. PLF belongs firmly for me in that canon, so having a blog where his life and work is celebrated, is very much a bonus. Plus of course, all his contemporaries in SOE and elsewhere. I met Artemis Cooper earlier this year at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka, and she talked of PFL and the third volume.I wish I had asked her more questions! I’ve just read Justin Marouzzi’s chapter on meeting PLF in Greece in “Travels with Herodotus”-another delight, highly recommended. Cheers

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Thanks for the nice comments. I understand Artemis was speaking about working with Paddy at the Galle festival.

      Tom

      Reply
  93. William Apt

    Two things:

    First, my girlfriend is from Fleet. Her parents presently live in Crondell, her brother in Basingstoke. I love the area. We live in Austin, Texas.

    Second, a silly question: Any news on the status of the final volume of Fermor’s 1930s trek across Europe?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      I guess its greener here than in Texas. It is a small world huh?

      I guess you have found Vol 3 updates. Use the site search and input “volume 3” or “volume 3” to find more. Basically it seems we may have to wait until until Paddy is no longer with us. However, as Artemis Cooper is writing his biography which will certainly only be published after his death, I have a feeling that if Paddy can get it ready Vol 3 could still be published in his lifetime. We shall see.

      Thanks for getting touch.

      Reply
  94. Damacker

    Thanks for the reply Tom, I was up late reading Isabella Bird’s account of her time in the American Rockies, oh the joy of a good travelogue! Will definitely look forward to the posts and the reading of Fermor.

    Reply
  95. Dawn Amacker

    So pleased to happen upon your blog. Seems we are faraway contemporaries Tom, my husband Ted and I, Americans, share your 1985 wedding year. I have just ordered most of Leigh Fermor’s books it seems. I had never heard of him (can you believe) until I read Ann Vanderhoof’s “Spice Necklace”, in which she mentions “Traveller’s Tree”. And so it always happens, one good read leads to many others. A question–did he have any children? I see no mention anywhere, thanks so much,

    Dawn

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Hi Dawn, thanks for the nice comments. Yep, 1985 was a good year for many reasons! The answer to your question is no. Paddy and Joan did not have children. He seems to have been happy enough in the company of children – some references in ‘In Tearing Haste’ – and of course he was god-father to a Cretan girl during his time fighting with the resistance (the girl’s father became Paddy’s ‘god-brother’, and was captured and then killed by the Germans as he tried to escape), but I think it fair to say that many of his friends appear not to have had many children either. I will leave it for others to speculate on the possible reasons why.

      I hope that the blog continues to hold your interest.

      Tom

      Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      We believe he has. See William Dalrymple link on the blog and also indications in the book ‘In Tearing Haste’ and other references on the blog. Do a search for Vol 3 (or Vol Three). This may not be published until after his death. Certainly the biography written by Artemis Cooper will not be published before then.

      Reply
  96. Yvonne Carts-Powell

    Oh wonderful! I’m very pleased to find your blog!

    I became aware of PLF a few years ago, while doing historical research about something else entirely. He popped up in the middle of “Crete: The Battle and the Resistance” by Antony Beevor, as an astonishing figure. It was a little like watching the Lone Ranger ride down Main Street: he was impossibly daring, impossibly dashing, an impossibly romantic figure — and real.

    I’ve been reading his books and keeping an eye out for information about him ever since.

    Reply
    1. proverbs6to10 Post author

      Yvonne – so nice of you to say. He is a true romantic hero. There is so much more I need to do with this blog. A lot of information to add!

      Reply

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