my memoirs: Greece

the beginnings of my love affair with greece

please feel welcome to contact me about anything on this site

at school I learned about Archimedes (and his screw); Euclid (and his geometry); and, of course, Pythagoras (and his right-angled triangles): Greek letters were used ... and still are of course ... as symbols in physics formulae and mathematical functions

many years later we went to Pythagoria, on Samos, where Pythagoras lived at one time, on the edge of the square; he thought the square so beautiful that it was, he said, 'equal to the sum of all the squares on Samos'

but mainly, under the tutelage of the wonderful art teacher Howard Pickersgill at Reed's School, I learned about Greek art and architecture - Doric, Ionic, Corinthian ... and the greatest of these is Doric

there was a model of the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the art room, of which I did a rather fine drawing, now lost

at St Martin's Art School there were casts of Greek statues on the stairs and Michelangelo's David in the cast room at the V&A .. and yes, I know he isn't Greek, but he wouldn't have existed but for the Greeks

at teachers' training college Plato's Republic was required reading

in 1967, in a Land Rover with trailer, I went with friends to Istanbul, a journey of five weeks or so, passing through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, before arriving in Turkey ... however, 1967 being the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution there was considerable evidence, in Bulgaria especially, of the wish to celebrate this event ... lorry-loads of soldiers everywhere we went, martial music played all night long over loudspeakers at the campsite and, adorning the front of the party headquarters building in one town, a huge political poster showing a black slave who had torn apart his manacles, with the loose end of the chain wrapped around the neck of a puny little Englishman in a pith helmet - we drove through Greece on our return journey

on this journey, and looking for somewhere to camp one evening, we headed into the hills and found ourselves driving on an unmade road through a remote village, with the sun sinking behind the mountains and setting the sky ablaze ... everybody was sat in front of their houses or in the kaphenion and staring curiously at us as we slowly passed

the next day we drove along a coast road in the hot sun with, just visible in the middle distance of a hazy sea, islands that needed to be visited (... and discovering only now, as I write, that one of those islands was Samothrace ...)

I said then I would return: it took me a long time but now my wife and I do so regularly