Category Archives: Paddy’s Centenary

A Paddy centenary event in Verona – Omaggio a Patrick Leigh Fermor

Luigi Licci, who runs the bookshop La Libreria Gulliver in Verona, Italy, has contacted me to say that he will be running an event on 8 May to celebrate Paddy’s centenary and the publication in 4 June of Italian translation of The Broken Road, under the title La Strada Interrotta, published by Adelphi.

All are welcome at the event to be held at Villa Ca’ Vendri, Via Vendri 39, Quinto di Valpantena, Verona kicking-off at 8.45 pm. There will be talks by Paddy’s friend William Blacker, author of The Enchanted Way, and Matteo Nucci, a well known Italian author specialized on Greece who is also a regular contributor to the major Italian daily La Repubblica. The evening will finish with some excellent Italian food and wine.

Further details can be found on the La Libreria Gulliver website or telephone 045 8007234. If you are able to attend I hope that you have a wonderful time and only wish I could be there.


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

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.

Nick Hunt Marking Paddy’s Centenary

Harry Bucknall, Tom Chesshyre, 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

In response to my request for ideas as to how to celebrate Paddy’s centenary this year we have had one or two ideas, but please come forward with more. So far we have the suggestion of a special page for your comments and quotes which we shall do, as well as a big Greek style party at my flat which appears to involve mass destruction of plates, furniture and ceilings with the unrestrained use of firearms in confined spaces. I am just checking the conditions of my lease and will come back on that one.

I have the idea of a one day event later in the autumn and shortly I will be asking you to vote for a couple of options via the wonderful Poll facility on WordPress.

Meanwhile, fresh from his successful debate with Blandford Forum’s leading travel writer, Harry Bucknall (author of Like a Tramp, Like A Pilgrim: On Foot, Across Europe to Rome) at the Standford’s Travel Writing Festival on Saturday, Nick Hunt will be out and about next week giving a couple of talks to mark the centenary. Nick will be in Waterstones Glasgow on 9th February and then at Hatchard’s Piccadilly on Wednesday 11th itself. Please do go along to support Nick and buy a copy of the really excellent Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn. Nick is very entertaining and offers a very serious perspective on walking, Paddy, and his own personal experiences during his long walk which we did so much to support.