In which I find myself becoming part of the blogosphere — 55 Comments

  1. I spoke no Greek, and they spoke no English, but it didn’t seem to matter. The clientele was largely made up of the guys

    Yeah I know that one; being a foreigner in a foreign land and yet being accepted…even a feeling perhaps of belonging, although I had the advantage that most of the guys I was hanging out with spoke something akin to English and the advantage of not having to cope with some fucked up alphabet (although German does have a few special characters…as did the Hamburg of my youth).

    That was one of my versions of Michelis’ taverna (there were several), we’d meet there early mornings and have a beer or two for breakfast. It’s what Germans call a ‘kiosk’ -a rather upmarket one in the sense it is a proper shop & not just a ‘hole in the wall’.They sold newspapers, fags and beer and as long as the Polizei weren’t around one could stand in the shop and drink (verboten as they only have an ‘off’ licence).

  2. Hi and welcome, delighted to see you have started a blog and really looking forward to reading it. We all seem to follow the same blogs so in a way we know each other.

  3. Captivating first post- your story about Corfu is wonderful. Incidentally I had never heard of “My Family and Other Animals” so I just reserved a copy from the local library.

    I’m very much looking forward to more posts as soon as possible!

  4. And the great pleasure of smoking George Karelias cigarettes a pleasure now denied to us in the UK unless you want the slims which i don’t !

  5. Oh I’ve seen your comments numerous times Nasakiman. Well done for becoming another one of my favourites. Enjoyed your first blog and look forward to many more. Well Done

  6. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, everyone.

    On a number of occasions when I’ve been sitting chewing the fat with friends over a beer and a ciggy, I’ve been told I should write a book, but I don’t think I have the patience nor the application for that. Hopefully, bite-sized chunks (as blog posts tend to be) I’ll be able to manage!

    Being a new blog, all first comments go into moderation. Once they are approved, then any subsequent comments will appear immediately. Apologies for any inconvenience, but it will hopefully keep out any potential spammers.

  7. Heh! You even beat Grandad to it, and he’s admin! You will be remembered in history, BD, as having been the very first commenter on the globally renowned ‘Nisakiman’ blog! 🙂

    Frankly, if I can be an irritating thorn in the side of Tobacco Control, I’ll consider it a job well done!

  8. No one, but no one, gets in an inane quip faster than The Blocked ‘6 gun’ Dwarf. Especially not some mick codger too busy watching ‘Penny’ dogging his wife’s pussy (at least I think that’s what he said…the long winter Kilkenny nights must just fly by).

  9. Good News! I’m looking forward to reading your musings. Couldn’t help noticing your picture too. I like a ‘Fix’ and am hoping to enjoy a few in Greece next month

  10. Oh good, I am glad, Nisakiman, even more interesting reading. I know almost nothing about Greece.

  11. Brilliant! It’s great to see guys like you letting rip and calling it as it is. The best of good Irish luck to you Nisakinman and I look forward to your ………. ramblings I suppose.

  12. Hello and congratulations on starting your own blog. Whilst I probably won’t comment all that often I will certainly be a regular reader. I have always enjoyed and appreciated your comments on other blogs. Wishing you good luck and a following wind.

  13. Congrats on the new blog. I’m a militant smoker too. I look forward to reading your musings

  14. Hey! Well done Nisaki! GREAT first entry! 🙂

    I’ve considered blogging a few times over the years, but between emails, books, news-comment boards and my activities on Quora I’ve simply never even come close to having the time.

    Looking forward to visiting here often in the future (Heh, even if I *still* haven’t flapped my wings hard enough to get across the ocean lately!)


  15. I too am looking forward to learning about a country I shamefully only know of as a drain on the Germany economy. I think I did once or maybe twice visit a Greek Restaurant Germany , had some little pasta shapes that looked like maggots…and some ‘wine’ which tasted liek the disinfectant we used to clean the school toilets with…(actually I jest, it was Retsina and was delightful but I did feel the pasta shapes could have used some proper traditional greek tomatosauce and come out of a tin).

  16. Great first entry, Nisakiman! I shall be a frequent visitor, too!!

    But the Greeks nevertheless maintain a stoic optimism, and continue to reject stupidities like smoking bans for the obvious attempts at social engineering that they are. Despite the train-wreck of an economy that currently pertains, Greece is still a fantastic country to live.
    Well said! Looking forward to my next holiday on one of the Greek islands.

  17. Far from being a drain on the German economy, the southern outposts of Greece, Spain and Portugal, and to a certain extent Italy too, have contributed massively to the German economy by dragging down the value of the Euro. If Germany still had the Mark, they would be in much poorer shape financially. The Euro has basically taken everything from the poorer economies and given it to the wealthier industrialised ones.

  18. I recall we spoke about this before perhaps at the Arms? We shall have to agree to disagree on this one, as we probably do on all manner of topics. One thing we probably can agree on is that the Germans (Kohl I think?) should never have pushed for the ‘southern Europeans’ to be allowed into the Euro, it was as unfair to them as it was to the rest of the Eurozone. I recall at the time most financial experts saying it would end in tears and that all the Greek financial stats were as dodgy as a 9bob note.

  19. Indeed, allowing the Greeks in was a big mistake, and one which has cost Greece dear. Likewise the other southern countries. But then the Euro always was a vanity project, so financial viability didn’t really come into it. And yes, the Greek figures were heavily massaged both by Brussels and the Greeks themselves. It was madness of the highest order, akin to giving a teenager a credit card with no limit. But it suited Northern Europe at the time to deflate the Euro by letting the agrarian economies in.

  20. Can’t add much to what has already been said but I’m always impressed with your comments so I have no doubt your blog will be a regular read for me.
    ps.I’m also a serial procrastinator and I love Greece too!

  21. Once again, my thanks for your kind words, all of you. I expect I’ll get the hang of it eventually! 🙂

  22. Hello and welcome!
    I’ll be around, visiting and reading. I love Greece, and I don’t know much about how it resists the anti-smoking madness. And I need that information, I’ll surely quote & spread it by means of my own regular column in Russia.
    You can publish statistics, research, you can jot down street scenes and random conversations. One day these pieces may easily grow into a book, like with Durrell whom I read avidly. If you need an advice on how to write books, ask me – that’s what I do, I write books. In any case, it all begins with emotional, vivid scenes you cannot forget. Now you have a blog to write them down. And we have you – one more fighter for our cause.
    Best luck!

  23. That picture was taken in the bar / restaurant I was telling you about when we were chatting in Frank’s bar, Bucko. Try to get there – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  24. Thing is it has also cost the Northern States dearly too- although they have perhaps gained more from it than the Southern. I think I recounted once before my shock at discovering there were now Food Banks in Germany (and that was before the ‘Refugee’ crisis)and you are right I think that the Euro project was a vanity/ego thing. Personally I think Kohl, having against all sensible expectations, pulled off the Vanity project of 1=1 Xchange of East Marks for DMarks thought he could do it again and to be fair to the man it has worked out a lot better than the predicted ‘economic car crash’ although the Greeks do seem to feel they were the crash test dummies in the equation (from what I can gather from the Liberal German MSM -who,like the Beeb, do push the ‘poor old Greeks abused by Evil Merkel’nonsense).

  25. Oooh, how exciting, Nisa! I’ve bookmarked you already and will, I promise, become a regular avid reader – and probably a just-as-regular boring commenter on here as I am elsewhere!

  26. Welcome to the Blogosphere! I have read and enjoyed many of your comments elsewhere.

    It is good to have another site challenging the tobacco control lies and resisting the persecution of smokers.

    Bon chance…

  27. Nice to read you in your own blog, Nisakiman. Congratulations. I would like to start a blog in Spanish for the Latin American public, but I have a very demanding full time academic job. For this reason I have been posting much less on the blogosphere. Yet, seeing your blog now functioning is a reminder that I should not give up on this.

    It is important to counter the mountains of disinformation we read on the mainstream media, not only on tobacco and vaping, but also on cannabis and other drugs. In Latin America smoking lacks the stigma that you see in the English speaking world. Save for a few nutcases (which do not have the power and influence of the likes of Chapman and Glantz), even anti-smokers do not care if you smoke 20 yards away from them, so there are no outdoor bans in parks, campuses, beaches, restaurant terraces, etc. Since the weather allows for outdoor life year round, smokers are not marginalized and cut out of social spaces. For all these reasons, vaping also faces much less obstacles. I imagine that you see in Greece a very similar landscape.

  28. Great first post, Nisakiman, and Congratulations!I look forward to your future contributions!

  29. I will do. We’re planning a walk up to that village and I’ve told Mrs Bucko about the bar, so we will be in there at some point

  30. Thanks for a great read, reminiscent perhaps of Laurie Lee’s ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’. I look forward to future posts and hope there’ll be many more.

  31. Welcome! I’ve often read your comments in other places and thought “What a sensible and perceptive chap!”; now I can look forward to dropping in here on a regular basis.

  32. My family and other animals, As I walked out one midsummer morning and Cider with Rosie are three of my favourite books. Still have all three in my library some forty years later.


  33. Welcome the the old blogosphere, Nisakiman, and all the plurdled gabbleblotchits that go with it. Not quite the same blogosphere as when I and a certain other curmudgeon who will remain nameless (Grandad) started but in some ways a lot easier to deal with while in other ways more complicated. Of course, I can’t explain about the differences since I really don’t understand them myself.

    I’m not being any help am I?

    And unlike a certain other curmudgeon who will remain nameless (Grandad) who posts every damn day, I’ve petered off over the last year or so. The mind’s going you see. So often times it’s a bit difficult to find the keyboard. And when I actually do find the thing I have trouble remembering what it’s for never mind figuring out what all the keys do.

    Anyway, welcome aboard! I look forward to reading your future missives and leaving comments thereof. Not that they will make any sense but at least you know I’m reading?

  34. OK, so where is the second post? Hard, isn’t it? But the third one will be easy. Just make a portrait of some of your Greek friends who doesn’t give a damn about bans. Or something.

  35. Great stuff, inspiring, Nisakiman!
    I’ve hoped to be writing a blog one day myself, but still behind on blog comments and even emails… perhaps theoretical ‘retirement’ soon will afford more time for it!
    I look forward to reading more, perhaps contributing too.

    Glad to hear the workshop move worked out… what kind of saw weighs 350kg?
    I do have a fine furniture making woodworking friend who has a very large table circular saw, I never thought to ask him what it weighed…

    Greece is starting to seem like a great potential place to live… a bit more freely!

    Sou éfchomai ta kalýtera

  36. Heh! Your comment inspired the title of my second post, Dmitri. It put me in mind of the music industry, where new bands always talk of that ‘difficult second album’.

  37. …what kind of saw weighs 350kg?

    It’s actually quite a small saw, as far as commercial saws go. It’s the table itself that carries all the weight, as it’s a cast iron slab which has been milled flat. I’ll be posting a little bit about ‘The Workshop’, as I’ve had several people ask me about it.

    Re being behind on emails, see my reply to your other comment!

  38. Ah, well Grandad is a man of leisure, and has the time to post on a daily basis. I, on the other hand (now I have the workshop up and running) am either there all day making stuff, or working here fitting what I’ve made. So I won’t be posting on a daily basis, I shouldn’t think.

  39. ‘My Family And Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell. Read it several times and still have a copy. Great book. Amusing. I will never forget the cure for a scorpion bite.