ze nnews im mbrief

βουλωμενη μυτη

ze nnews im mbrief

-> I have a cold, I have a sore throat, I have a headache, I have dry lips, I have a red nose, I have red eyes and they are running. I have a dribbling mouth. I have a lot of toilet paper and the waste paper basket is by my side. I empty it every 4 hours. The content will be good fertilizer for the garden.

-> I don’t have fever. I don’t have cramps. I don’t have stomachache. I don’t have diarrhoea. I don’t have bird flu.

-> I don’t have malaria. I don’t have two red hot iron bars in my nostrils (I’ve checked it in the mirror).

window 22 Ikaria

ozer mnews im mbrief

-> I can write & I can think too -very hard, slowly and exclusively about my nose, but I can think.

-> I can’t smoke. I can’t have coffee. I can’t eat. I can’t remember what french fries (Ikarian style -my favorite) taste like.

here iz zome mbore mnews

-> I delivered the final draft of something and it was well received.

-> I went out to see a piece of land (a cliff actually). I liked that piece of land.

-> I met the man with the earth mover (bulldozer) who is going to make a road to the land I liked.

He is going to destroy at least half of the beauty of that land (not to mention that the road will be very risky and probably slide down and disappear altogether), however the price of the land will rise because it will be ‘accesible’ then.


-> In spite everything I liked that man!?! ^^’ 

These 4 factors combined together undermined and weakened my (overloaded) system, so I caught a virus (as it usually happens with me) and now I’m running on «safety mode» tzzz krk krk bzizk apstchou !…

+ zome goodz mnews

-> today waz ze firzt day of zpring. «Earini Isimeria» = equal day-equal night. Εαρινή Ισημερία.

-> many ozers too, not only me, are ill, the zame az me.

-> I got rid of the idea that I am harming the tourism of Ikaria with my pictures in Flickr.

-> Someone is coming tonight to rub my back with warm alcohol. I will be allowed (and I’ll allow myself) to groan, sigh & moan during the process. I’ll be allowed (and allow myself) to be ill.

more zome other day

iz enybody interezted in reading ze story ov my life?

I feel like writing ze story ov my life rightz now. Or maybe it’z becauze I’m ill.

I’ll thimk amboud it ndomorrow.


😘 😚


😜 😝


P.S. did you know? I was going to post that photo of the sea here anyway but then as I opened my Ikaria 139blog I saw the last of Jimmy P’s comments. I dedicate this photo to him. No one should deprive anyone of such a view of the sea. It must remain public.




(7 total)

Grazie 1000 per la dedica, sono onorato.

Wednesday March 22, 2006 – 01:41am (CET)

Get well soon, El! It’s difficult to read the blog when you type with a stuffy nose  😉

Telling your life story, eh? That sounds like it has a bit more soul-stealing potential than a photograph to me.

Tuesday March 21, 2006 – 10:22pm (EST)

The sea is endless, life is not, that’s what it means.

Tuesday March 21, 2006 – 07:39pm (PST)

μπερασντικά !
Είμαι γκι εγκώ γκρυωμένος γκαι η μπύντη μου είναι μπουλωμμένη.
We look forward for spring and here’s what we get… hahaha

Wednesday March 22, 2006 – 01:04pm (EET)

There is terrific tempest of the equinox blowing right now right here. I won’t go out to take pictures. I’m staying in drinking tsipouro (like ‘grapa’ hey Jimmy?) in warm water with honey. Good medicine… Felicia, my cat, sings me her songs. She is pregnant.

Thursday March 23, 2006 – 03:49am (PST)

iv it heppns agen, edd sam sinnamon barrk & a fiu cloves 2 ze hottt tsipouromelo… «u uil rimembrr mi» 😛

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 10:03pm (EEST)

copied that 😌 tanx

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:38pm (PDT)

a pink woolen hood of a baby – ενα ροζ μωρουδιστικο σκουφακι

After a hard summer’s work I usually visit Ikaria in late September or early October. The first thing I (at least try to) do is go for a long exhausting swim in the sea -no matter what time of the day it is or what the weather is like. This is a catharsis: my own version of the age old «40 waves cure» (*)

It was on a day like this when I had just arrived in Ikaria and I was taking the waves to absolve my sins (from a very competitive and very air-conditioned work environment). As I swam along the rocky coast, I saw something that looked like an old tent or a sail of a boat. I swam near it and saw it was actually the wreck of an inflattable zodiac raft. My first thought was to drag it to the shore and tell a friend who would be glad to be its new owner. So I swam round it and searched the sides with my hands to find a handle or rope to hold it. I grabbed something which I thought was a rag. I pulled it and …in my hand I had a soaking wet pink woolen hood of a baby!..

There was a family (perhaps two or three) in that 6×2 raft. Kurds, Iraquis, Persians, Pakistanese, Afganese? Who knows? What’s the difference. These are the ones who die in the dark when the squalls flood their zodiacs.
I came out on the coast, put my arms round a warm rock and prayed (**)

That day a fuse burnt in my mind and since then I went stupid (…)

Don’t bother doctor… I don’t want to be cured from this.

(για την ακριβεια θελω να γινω εντελως ηλιθια, τελειως βλαμενη…)

My work on the project will be gratis and I hope that what ever money they make from it on TV will go to campaign against trafficking and slave trade.


(9 total)

(*my grandmother’s advice: when you feel weary, loaded with thousands of small nameless sins, when you feel you have «lost yourself» or «lost God» or the meaning of life, etc. etc., the right thing to do is to go through the 40 waves. Walk in the sea as far from the land as your feet hardly touch bottom. Stay there and let the surf cover your head forty times. It has to be all in once and you can’t take breaks, otherwise you have to start from the begining. The sea cleans dirt and takes away all kinds of small trouble.)

Friday March 10, 2006 – 09:45am (PST)

(** I don’t believe in God, so my prayers have no words. Still I very often «say» my inarticulate prayers and in my head they ring like music.)

Friday March 10, 2006 – 09:46am (PST)

You’re so cool Elle. So many people seek shelter from the storm! I think though I will skip that form of absolution (the verb is absolve by the way 😉 Prefer to work hard at moving onward always, blindly when necessary, and never forget to have fun. Good wine helps!

Friday March 10, 2006 – 11:52am (PST)

Don’t worry, friend ! I’m a good swimmer and not that stupid (as yet, for later who knows?)

Friday March 10, 2006 – 01:50pm (PST)

‘move on blindly’ : a good one
This is more or less the idea =>what I’m always asking her to do.
This is very strong in Jeffry Eugenides’ book, «Middlesex».
Anyone here read that?

** sis, add some webliography on the subject and move on to a next one (with «eyes wide shut»… haha)
*** get your share of the money -no gratis . You are not tha-a-at famous or rich to afford this luxury…

(**** in any case, if you insist on moving with your eyes open, be sure that you will always have me, blind girl, by your side to guide you blindly through whatever.)

Saturday March 11, 2006 – 10:18am (EET)

«It’s all in the sea; the battle of life is there, and the futility of it all, and the purpose». I can do no better than quote the artist L.S. Lowry talking about one of his seascapes. Dr. S.

Sunday March 12, 2006 – 11:20pm (GMT)

can do no better? just did the best..

Monday March 13, 2006 – 03:12am (PST)

I read «Middlesex»! A good book.
Calliope’s granparents, they too were refugees coming from a sad story. And they never found a new absolute identity (nor a sexual one his nephew, as the story tells). And this often is the tragedy of survivors…

Monday March 13, 2006 – 11:42pm (CET)

quite right. «Middlesex» is big!

Tuesday March 14, 2006 – 02:13am (PST)

the squall photos * το ραγάνι


Το σλάιντ απαιτεί την χρήση JavaScript.


Ήλιε μου στο βασιλεμό θέ να σου παραγγείλω
-ντούρνα, ντούρνα, ντούρνα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα-
να πάεις να μου χαιρετάς το κόκκινό μου μήλο.
Ντούρνα, ντούρνα, ντούρνα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα,
ε, γιαλελί κακούργα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα.


(1st verse tranlated+comments)


Before you set, oh, my sun, I’d like very much to ask you
-durna**, durna, durna, we are caught in the storm-
to go and say hello from me, hello to my red apple.
Durna, durna, durna, we are caught in a storm,
ride on us swift murderess, we are caught in a storm….

* the Greek word for sunset is «helio-vasilema» =when the sun reigns or rules !
I looked it up in all sorts of dictionaries and still this word remains a mystery for me. It’s so common, even used metaphorically. When I stay up late and my eyelids drop, my friends say: «i Eleni vasilepse» =Eleni reigned (where is my realm? the meadows of Morpheus?)
** don’t ask me what «durna» is. It looks like a word similar to «opa», «yasou» or «haide», which are yells of encouragement (to workers, dancers etc.). But it might as well derive from «dur» which is «stop» in Turkish.
So you have: «stop, stop and turn round (sail slower, lower sails -whatever), because we are caught in a storm».

Ήλιε μου ίντα σου ‘κανα και πας να βασιλέψεις
-ντούρνα, ντούρνα, ντούρνα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα-
κι αφήνεις με στα σκοτεινά και πας αλλού να φέξεις;
Ντούρνα, ντούρνα, ντούρνα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα,
ε, γιαλελί κακούργα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα.


(2nd verse tranlated)


Oh, sun, what have I done to you and now you are setting
-durna**, durna, durna, we are caught in the storm-
and you are leaving me in the dark, you go shining on other places.
Durna, durna, durna, we are caught in a storm,
ride on us swift murderess, we are caught in a storm….

** Don’t ask me what «durna» is. It looks like a word similar to «opa», «yasou» or «haide», which are yells of encouragement (to workers, dancers etc.). But it might as well derive from «dur» which is «stop» in Turkish.
So you have: «stop, stop and turn round (sail slower, lower sails -whatever), because we are caught in a storm».

ride on. squalls, swift murderesses…

These photos go with a story I’m making in my mind and writing down. They are a very important part of one of the three projects I’m working on. They were taken with «fast mode» so they are not good for Flickr. This one in particular is a zoom in of «la tromba marina».


άμε και πάλι γύρισε πουλί μ’ αγαπημένο
-ντούρνα, ντούρνα, ντούρνα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα-
και μη μ’ αφήνεις μοναχό και παραπονεμένο
Ντούρνα, ντούρνα, ντούρνα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα,
ε, γιαλελί κακούργα, μας έπιασε φουρτούνα.


Go, my beloved bird, make sure you come back to me again
-durna**, durna, durna, we are caught in the storm-
don’t leave me here to whine all lonely,
oh, ride on us swift murderess, we are caught in a storm….

dedicated to ImageNana who sailed away this evening
(ας το καλο .. η Ελενη το γερακι του Αιγαιου κ.τλ., μη χ…, με πηραν τα ζουμια Imageσαν συναχωμενη κοτα -συγνωμη αναγνωστες.)
And let me tell you another thing. I don’t care what ‘durna’ means really. For me right now ‘durna’ is ‘rentres’, ‘retournes’

And I like to think of the ship in these photos that it is the
«‘Je Reviens Toujours»‘ ^^’

..Finally the original version of the song is…




(5 total)

helio vasilema – interesting! I figured I’d look in the classical dictionaries, but all I found was this:


So, in ancient days basileuo meant «rule» only. No mention of it ever used with the sun or with eyes. Perhaps someone decided that the end of the day is when the sun conquers the sky, and from that meaning it got the eyes closing idea. (yeah, that’s quite a stretch)

Saturday March 4, 2006 – 01:59am (EST)

Or is the sun returning to its kingdom beyond the West?

Is Dari Dari similar to Dourna Dourna? (In that other sea-song).

Saturday March 4, 2006 – 10:53am (GMT)

(* I use ‘tufts’ too!)
(** «Streched» is a good key to unlock Greece)
(*** semiotics is another good key but it takes skill and wisdom)
(**** no, «dari-dari» is something like «yeah-yeah, shake it baby». «Durna» sounds like a military or marine command. You have to hear a Turkish policeman say «dur» and you know.)
A BRIGHT IDEA ! (confirm AKK, please…): the king was associated with purpple colour in the middle ages. So you had the «purple born ones» for the royal family because they lived in rooms painted in purple . A sunset is purple. The sun goes to bed in his purple room. The sun is a byzantine emperor.
(help!! have I gone too far with «images»?)

Sunday March 5, 2006 – 04:02am (PST)

Confirmation? I’d give you 3 PhDs for that !
No kidding Ele ! you found it ! I can’t believe it !
Have you read about it or is it intuition? Such a long shot, so succesful !
Ο ήλιος βασιλεύει (o ilios vasilevi) =the sun retires in his purple coloured quarters. These rooms were legendary. The walls were covered with silk dyed in the «true purple» colour -extracted from the seashell ‘purpura persica’. Only kings could wear or live in that colour (I mean the ‘true purple’, not just ‘rich’ deep red). But about all that you can read in many books. From this to the point of undestanding the connection between a sunset and the purple imperial rooms of Byzance… it takes a … (I don’t know what it takes…)

Sunday March 5, 2006 – 09:27pm (EET)

Haven’t I said purple is one of my favourite colours? I know a lot about it. Though that was a very long shot and thanks for the confirmation and the 3 PhDs. The original idea came from my old neighbour. Once she said that farmers of the old days in Ikaria went to bed right after the sunset when the sky was purple. They were satisfied and the felt like the kings and queens who were «born in the purple rooms» of the palace in Constantinople.
There are many medieval traditions surviving in the islands of the Aegean sea. Warm human stuff… «true purple» colour like the island’s wine.

Monday March 6, 2006 – 12:26pm (PST)

More Comments

(6 total)

Do you know who are these swift killers after these days?
Who get caught in squalls and die at sea after sunset these days? Who beg the sun not to set?

Friday March 3, 2006 – 02:50pm (PST)

powerful stuff Eleni….

Saturday March 4, 2006 – 12:23am (GMT)

  • greg

I think I’m not giving you the answer you seek, but being from a family of sailors, I can say it is fishermen and sailors who fear the storm. As we say here, red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.

Friday March 3, 2006 – 04:48pm (PST)

Of course, the sailors and fishermen -pirates and smugglers too. But I’m thinking of (and weeping over) something else.
That was the reason I fixed and put for an ID that «CD cover» photo with the lighthouse.


Sunday March 5, 2006 – 03:43am (PST)

Έλεος ! θα μας σκάσεις! που το πας; ποιούς σκοτώνουν σήμερα τα ραγάνια όταν βραδιάζει; Πες μας, αν αγαπάς.

Sunday March 5, 2006 – 09:21pm (EET)

μεγαλη επιτυχια, αν καταφερα να σε κανω να κοντευεις να σκασεις… Εχω τωρα τη Ν στο σπιτι και δεν βρισκω ευκαιρια να γραψω τη συνεχεια.

Monday March 6, 2006 – 12:24pm (PST)

More Comments

(5 total)

  • Jimmy P

what I love in this blog is his multilingual mode: you are greek and write in english as everibody do as it was obvious.
sometimes you talk in greek, you’re right: it’s your langage… and now you call your story «la tromba marina»: this is my idiom! allegria! viva la multiculturalità, viva i popoli provenienti da paesi diversi che si prendono simbolicamente per mano grazie all’incredibile intervento di internet! maintenant je suis tres curious de connaitre l’histoire de la tromba et je veux tu la conte in francais pourquoi personne parle jamais les mots de Depardieu et je suis secure il nous regarde. A bientot Gerard!

Tuesday March 7, 2006 – 01:57am (CET)

D’ accord, mon fou de la Magna Grecia. Je vais raconter l’ histoire en Francais aussi. Depardieu (j’ai failli ecrire ‘Depart-dieu’) a joue Jean Val Jean aux ‘Miserables’. C’est tres a propos.

Tuesday March 7, 2006 – 12:51pm (PST)

  • Ψαλακ…

Heu Heu! Tot linguae in una loca collectae sunt.

Knew that degree in classics would come in handy one day.

Tuesday March 7, 2006 – 07:59pm (EST)

quite right -I don’t know how I’d survive from my work and my social life without the classics whispering in my ear in 3 different lang. Hip-hop helps a lot too, btw (sorry classics!)

Wednesday March 8, 2006 – 01:03pm (EET)

Eleni I forgot and didn’t tell you in Ikaria that translating ‘gialeli’ as ‘ride on us’ is genius !
Durna or Turna is the Turkish word for «crane», the beautiful migrating bird!!! ^^’
The song is about migration, homesickness and love ❤ ❤ ❤

Wednesday March 8, 2006 – 01:07pm (EET)