I’ve had a passion for pantiles since childhood when they appeared in a storybook I was reading. The story was set in Spain, and I have absolutely no memory of what it was about. Only the pantiles stuck. Once I had discovered what they were, and that they were made of terracotta, and so were red like clay flower pots, and nothing like the boring, dun-coloured slates on my own house, they gave me my first magical sense of ‘the foreign’ – of lands and peoples beyond my island. But perhaps more than that, they suggested new horizons, and new possibilities; only in my imagination though. My family was not one that ‘went abroad’.
And so this pile of tiles simply had to be recorded on our walk to the supermarket in Harakopio. It is hard to say whether they are leftovers from a past project and thus spares for an existing roof, or if they are a roof in-waiting. Or being Greece, if they are simply there, stacked up under an olive tree.
Here’s an actual Harakopio village roof: interesting compilation of new and old.
And a roof with a very nice datura, the spitting image of the one I once planted in my front garden in Nairobi, bought from a roadside nurseryman.
For more of the walk in words and pix see On the path to Harakopio
Roof Squares #3 Now over to Becky
The path to Peroulia Beach from Harakopio takes you down winding lanes and through olive groves. On one such expedition we met a tortoise. A fine specimen it was too and so, still with notions of living roofs in mind, I’m posting it for today’s offering at Becky’s month of roof photos. And also for Debbie’s 6WS.
June Squares: roofs
Six Word Saturday
During our late summer stay in the hills near Harakopio in the Messinian Peloponnese, I was impressed by the dogs we passed on the lanes. Most were loose, yet they were clearly on duty. No malice was involved, but they barked to let us know that the olive grove we were passing through was under their jurisdiction. As soon as we reached the boundary, the barking ceased only to be taken up by the next property’s guardian.
Back at home some weeks later, I caught the ‘tail end’ of a programme on the BBC World Service, whose content I meant to follow up, but forgot to. Somewhere in the world where the exact location of rural land boundaries had been forgotten by humans, researchers found that they could pretty much identify them from monitoring their dogs’ barking zones.
The thing that struck me about all the dogs in the photos was, while they might be faithful comrades to humans, they still retained a sense of their own canine dignity. They were what I call good dogs.
Variations on a theme
The weather in Shropshire has taken a frigid turn – flurries of sleet and bone-chilling winds, the need to wear too many vests and socks and feeling that I’m far too nesh to venture out in it. For any reason whatsoever. (Allotment? What allotment?) Which also has me thinking of a warm sea and Peroulia Beach and the rosy displays laid on there each dawn and dusk, and walking through silent olive groves that come down to the shore, the days’ warmth stored in the many seasons’ leaf layers beneath our feet. At sunset we find we have the beach to ourselves. The sea barely lapping the sand, and somewhere across the Gulf, above the Mani’s fortress scarps, a raptor mews. There are no other sounds.
copyright 2018 Tish Farrell
This view across the Gulf of Messinia to the Mani peninsula was taken from one of the bastions of Koroni Castle in the Messinian Peloponnese. This part of Greece has a coastline dominated by several of these great Venetian strongholds begun in the 12th century and expanded through several centuries of repeated Venetian-Ottoman conflict.
You can find more of the castle’s history HERE
As you can see, our visit coincided with the sudden arrival of autumn, which perhaps adds to the overbearing broodingness of the place. But when I looked at the photos later I was intrigued by the accidental ‘tromp l’oeil’ effect in the header shot – that apparently displaced, more brightly lit view through the arched aperture. It’s a trick of the geography – a spit of land jutting out into the sea way below the castle.
The town of Koroni had its trading heyday in the 13th century. You can see here how it hugs up against the battlement for the full width of the photo, up to and beyond the church in the top right corner. Within the castle there is the town cemetery, several churches, a convent and a number of cottages with gardens and small holdings where people still live. It is a fascinating place, the past somehow still marching on with the present.
One of the cottages inside the castle.
Inside the convent garden and the convent entrance (below).
Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past
This week Paula asks us to post our best photo from 2017. I wasn’t sure where to start, but decided to reprise the cricket which, the first time around, Ark kindly identified as a Katydid or bush cricket. It is certainly my most surprising shot of the year – both for its clarity and the fact the cricket appears to have been watching me while I organised myself with the camera. I also like the curving grasses and the bands of light and shade, and the way the cricket appears to be super-illuminated. But best of all, it reminds me of Kalamata, and the mesmerizing views of the Taygetos and the Mani across the Gulf of Messinia for I find myself still badly smitten with the Peloponnese. Ah, well. Maybe next year…
I’m very fond of hardware shops, though I’m old enough to say they mostly aren’t what they used to be – those ill-lit aisles of childhood with their mysterious bins containing every size of nut, screw, hinge and widget. The cocktail whiffs of twine, Jeyes Fluid, paraffin and polish, and a little man in a brown cotton coat behind a high, gloss painted counter, he the unassuming master of this multi-component repository.
The shop in Harakopio looked promising on the authenticity front, and I was only sorry not to have the chance of a good mooch inside. But still, it was good to capture its jolly exterior, and nice of some local to park their blue motorcycle outside.
Six Word Saturday Pop over to Debbie’s for more six-word posts and an astonishing view of Alice. And just in case you wanted to know, this cricket was spotted in the garden of the Iconpainter’s Villas in Greece.
The Ottoman fort at Pylos is monumental, and comprised of an outer defensive wall and a citadel. It was built after the Turkish invasion of 1500, and apart from two brief interludes – one Venetian, one Russian, was held by the Ottoman regime until the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Even at the last lap, Ibrahim Pasha and his Turko-Egyptian army proved hard to oust, and after an initial surrender of the fort in 1821, it was reoccupied by them in 1825, and hung onto until 1828.
The first photo was taken from the citadel, which during occupation by the French in the 19th century was used as a prison. The church you can see below is the Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, and was originally built as a mosque around 1573. Under the brief Venetian rule of 1675 to 1715 and during the Orloff Revolt of 1770 it served as a Christian church, and it is in this capacity that it was restored by the Greek Government between 2011 – 2015.
Inside the citadel, and the nineteenth century prison cells.
Looking down on the outer defensive wall and the sea-arch beyond.
The outer walls on the seaward side. The hillside was heavy with the scent of pine trees, and cyclamen were growing everywhere among the cones and fallen castle debris.
Inside the Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour.
Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past Please visit Paula to see her fine view of Alnwick Castle.