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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

TRAVEL: Patmos, Greece

             HIGH SUMMER

I have just come back from my island sanctuary.  Patmos is arguably one of the most beautiful islands in Greece.  There have been many changes in the last decades, some for the better, some for the worst.   Sadly, there are fewer and fewer fish in the sea, fewer and fewer sea urchins and other serious ecological problems such as inefficient sewage plants.  Luckily, a summer resident is the impressively distinguished Marine Biologist and Conservationist Giuseppe Notalbartolo di Sciara.  He says about the island “…the coastal eco-system has collapsed, biodiversity levels have dropped tremendously.”  This highly-acclaimed scientist is making local residents aware of the problems.  He has organised meetings with the island’s fishermen, educates school children and talks to islanders who have become alarmed.  He has founded a site on Facebook ‘Patmos Habitats’.

Another enterprising attempt is the preservation, restoration and promotion of footpaths.  There is already an established movement on other islands 'Monopatia Politismon' -  Paths of Culture.   Paths are cleared, stones replaced and ancient routes discreetly numbered.

Another blight on poor Greece are diseased pines that are dying fast and can only be treated with soap and water – how do you treat millions of trees in this way?

Poor Greece at the mercy of ECB [European Central Bank].  German elections next year and, in the USA, Presidential election in November – Ahime!
My dovecot and view to the Chapel of Prophet Elijah

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POETRY: Osip Mandelstam