Archive for October, 2015

House of the Roman Mosaic

October 31, 2015
House of the Roman Mosaic

House of the Roman Mosaic

House of the Roman Mosaic

House of the Roman Mosaic

Municipality of Kollytos, through which ran Stenopos Kollytos, a 4 m wide road, was located between the hills of Areopagos and Pnyx. Other thoroughfares to The Acropolis also ran through.

Various building located here, Leschi 4th cent BC (a gathering place for the homeless),   on the site of a 6th cent BC temple, shrines and temples, large houses from 4th cent BC to 4th cent AD, House of Periandros and House of Aristosdemos (the owners are known from mortgage inscriptions incised on the external walls, House of the Roman Mosaic (2nd cent mosaic of a pair of parrots drinking water out of a vase), House of the Greek Mosaics (4th cent BC to 4th cent AD).

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Tourist open-top buses

October 31, 2015
tourist open-top bus

tourist open-top bus

tourist open-top bus

tourist open-top bus

tourist open-top bus

tourist open-top bus

A quiet location, pedestrianised, wooded hills. Not the location for open-top tourist buses to park, engines running, belching out diesel fumes, noise disturbing a tranquil spot.

If you wish to see Athens, walk.

Tourist trains

October 31, 2015
tourist train

tourist train

tourist train

tourist train

These tourist trains are nothing but a bloody nuisance.

They go down pedestrianised streets, often streets so narrow, that are barely passable, endangering pedestrians, noisy, belching out diesel fumes.

Either ban them, or restrict to the main roads, but certainly do not allow down pedestrianised streets.

If you want to see Athens, walk.

Yanis Varoufakis at Cambridge Union

October 30, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis at Cambridge Union.

It is not from the centre of empire we see collapse, not from the glass towers in the City of London, it is from the fringes, it is the slums of London, on the banks of the Dniestr, where poverty is that of Africa, where the people would rather be in the gangster economy of Vladimir Putin in Russia, it is in the south, in Greece, in Cyprus, Portugal, Spain.

Greece is the canary in the cage, where there was hope, there is despair. In Athens, stray dogs and homeless sleeping on the street. The people voted no to the EU proposals, they were betrayed by Syriza who signed a declaration of surrender, the people to be punished for daring to challenge the EU, a whole country to be destroyed.

J M Keynes quite rightly attacked the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was to be punished, the country bled dry. We saw the result, the rise of Adolf Hitler, World War Two, a continent destroyed, 20 million dead. Lessons were learnt. And yet it seems no lessons have been learnt. Greece is now under occupation, ruled by a Vichy Regime, a puppet government of the EU, the country to be raped and pillaged, stripped of its assets.

For perverse reasons only known to themselves, Cambridge Union only publish highlights, and the entire talk not until the end of term.

Luxury houses

October 30, 2015

On the pedestrianised street running past The Acropolis Museum, luxury houses overlooking The Acropolis, of which one is the Spanish Embassy with a police guard outside.

Gypsy street musicans

October 30, 2015
gypsy street musician

gypsy street musician

gypsy street musician

gypsy street musician

Gypsy street musicians, playing in the pedestrianised street that runs past The Acropolis Museum.

One less than previous day, as one got beaten by another kid, his musical instrument smashed over his head and his money stolen.

Rival gangs?

School?

Seemingly not.

Various scams.

Would you like a rose? Most insistent, will not take no for an answer. Then if you do take. Two euros. One euro. Then snatched back. A rose broken off, put in top pocket then taken back. Pickpockets?

Talking to the police.

A map spread out on a table where tourists are eating at a restaurant. Please, where is …? Mobile phone, wallet, beneath the map vanish. Kid gets grabbed, but has already passed to another kid who has long gone.

Gypsies?

Everyone calls them gypsies.

They are dropped off around Athens.

Raises question to people traffickers. Someone is exploiting these kids.

Breakfast with a view

October 30, 2015
breakfast with a view

breakfast with a view

Wednesday of last week. day started raining, misty, but soon cleared up, but what a view for breakfast.

Along past The Acropolis and The Acropolis Museum,  the gypsy street musicians and other street musicians, along the pedestrianised street, past the tourist buses and trains, then as I thought, but was not sure, along pedestrianised street by the entrance to the wooded hills with the nymphs, which I thought would take me where I wished to be, past the Sanctuary of Pan, then along below the north slope of The Acropolis, and my bearings were correct, explore below the northern slope, where a covered water channel, a wild tortoise, The Panathenaic Way, and below the Ancient Agora of Athens, where can easily spend a day exploring.

Millionaires support cuts to tax credits

October 30, 2015
Need Tax Credits to live?

Need Tax Credits to live?

Earlier in the week, we saw the crude attempt by David Cameron and George Osborne to bully the House of Lords to support their crass policy of withdrawing tax credits from the poorest workers, a lifeline if you are on poverty wages, badly backfire when the House of Lords voted no. We then had the unedifying spectacle of George Osborne throw his rattle out of the pram.

Of those who supported the proposals, eleven were millionaires.

The worst example was Andrew Lloyd-Webber. What sort of person flies all the way from New York, to vote to withdraw money from the poorest people?

Please boycott those companies who are linked to these millionaires.

No surprise that these are companies which pay poverty wages, dodge tax, and in the case of HSBC was money laundering for terrorists and Mexican drug cartels.

Drop the Greek Debt

October 29, 2015

In 2010, Greece had a large debt, that was impossible to repay.

In 2010, Greece was lent more money, the largest debt in modern history.

The money did not go to Greeks, or on infrastructure. It was used to pay off the German banks.

At the same time, stringent conditions were imposed on Greece, conditions that destroyed the Greek economy.

It was a classic case of extend and pretend.

In January this year there was a hope. Syriza was elected to form a new government. Austerity which was destroying Greece driving its young people to see work overseas, was to be challenged.

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis did his best to negotiate a just settlement, but got nowhere. The EU was interested in one thing, and one thing only, destroying Greece, setting an example for daring to challenge the EU.

Syriza, with who everyone had placed great hope, betrayed the Greek people and surrendered to the EU demand.

Now, there is no hope in Greece.

Global Justice Now are working together with Jubilee Debt Campaign to stand with Greece’s people against the brutal austerity policies that are being inflicted on them. In particular,  to support initiatives like the Greek Debt Audit, which provides hope for people across Europe and the world. By examining and making democratic decisions on debt, we can stop international economic policies being driven by the interests of financial elites, and help create a more humane and rational economic policy.

The people of Greece have suffered from some of the most brutal austerity policies carried out in modern Europe.

Over five years of austerity, the Greek economy has shrunk by 25%. To put that figure in context, during the Great Depression that followed the Wall Street Crash, economies shrunk by 20%. The level of economic collapse experienced by Greece, is akin to wartime.

This has not been ‘necessary pain’ designed to return the economy to balance. It has been designed to punish Greece.

Today Greece’s debt is far higher than it was at the start of the economic crisis. How can this be? Because Greece was lent money simply to repay the reckless and corrupt loans of European banks.

Like the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America before them, the Greek people have been sacrificed so the banks can continue to profit.

Alternative policies are possible. That’s why the current Greek government frightens European elites so much. It is why Greece had to be destroyed, they dared challenge the existing economic orthodoxy.

What has happened, is happening to Greece today, could be another European country tomorrow. Cyprus has already experienced what ‘help’ from the EU means

If we want the world to change, we have to support people who are proposing and trying to implement real alternatives. We have to support those who are on the front line in the fight against  the EU and the greedy banks.

The Greek debt, there is no realistic prospect of it ever being repaid. It must be written off, in whole or in part.

Please sign the petition calling for an end to austerity and debt to be written off.

Savage & Bean

October 29, 2015
Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Savage & Bean

Jimmy Bean is no more.

I was in Winchester for the afternoon, looking forward to a coffee and something to eat off Jimmy Bean, but where was he? He was not in his usual pitch, down a side street opposite the cheese stall, his pitch was taken by another coffee van.

Where was he? I asked the ever helpful cheeses stall, and headed off back down the street whence I had come.

Jimmy Bean is no more, now have Savage & Bean. Jimmy Bean still does his excellent coffee, but no longer food, Savage does food with a wood fired oven.

I tried halloumi cheese in a burger-style bun, albeit a superior bun, but still a burger-style bun. It came with coleslaw, relish and mayonnaise. I rejected the mayonnaise.

It was not good.

I had returned the previous week from over four weeks in Cyprus, then Athens. No self-respecting Greek, Greek-Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot would serve halloumi cheese in this way.

I can walk into a traditional Greek-Cypriot taverna with a  wood fired clay oven. They do not serve lunch. They will though quite happily knock out for me halloumi cheese, with a few slices of tomato, in pitta bread, hotted up on the charcoal grill. It is delicious, which is more than can be said for what Savage serves up.

The previous week I was at the South Bank Street Food Market on the bank of The Thames. It puts to shame what masquerades as a street food market in Winchester. And they enforce high environmental standards. I was spoilt for choice. I had an excellent Indian a meal for what the Savage offering cost (or maybe one pound more). The coffee stalls were not good, and in that Jimmy Bean wins hands down. Or at least what I had on that trip was not good.

Note: At the South Bank street food market four weeks later,  I had a coffee off the Ethiopian coffee stall. Excellent, in the same league as Jimmy Bean.

This is a retrograde step for Jimmy Bean. Originally I only had coffee, then I tried his food, which was also excellent. A rare example of somewhere worth eating in Winchester. I was looking forward to his mozzarella cheese with slices of tomato, in excellent bread, which he hotted up in an oven.

Now I am back to square one, nowhere decent to eat in Winchester.

Not to say no quality stalls on the food market. The cheese stall is well worth a visit.

By evening, I was feeling ill from food poisoning. I hasten to add, the cause unknown. I had had chicken and sweetcorn soup off a nearby Thai stall which was disgusting. And a coffee and cake off the coffee stall in Jimmy Bean’s old pitch which was excellent.

Jimmy Bean used to have seats and tables. Removed by edict from the local council.

The local council needs to get its act together.

The food stalls at the lower end of the street are packed too close together.

They need higher environmental standards. Why are stalls still serving coffee and food in polystyrene, using plastic spoons and forks? To be fair to Jimmy Bean, he does not use. But he is the exception. If he can, why not the others? At London South Bank, if you do not comply with high environmental standards, you do not get a pitch.

Where have the seats gone?