Comments

The workshop — 13 Comments

  1. You do realise I hope,that “it isnt big enough”, because for a guy, a workshop, no matter what size, is never ever big enough. But glad to see your getting there.I am an artist, and my quest is still at the “looking for workshop” stage.
    Wishing you all the best with your new endeavour.
    OTG

  2. …because for a guy, a workshop, no matter what size, is never ever big enough.

    Heh! Yes, how true!

  3. ” that slightly glazed, faraway look in his eyes. ”

    He’s a surfer. It’ll be the mescaline.

    Seriously though nice workshop, very nice.

  4. Wow! I’d love to have something like that, but no space unfortunately. Mine would be packed with garage equipment

  5. You should see Anna Raccoon’s Mr G’s Workshop. I’m hoping she’ll post some photos sometime because it is a beauty- and I say that having been an apprentice carpenter myself (for all of a fortnight) many years ago. Seriously, if you were wanting to do any bit of carpentry in G’s ‘shop’ and can’t find the right tool then you have no business being in there at all.

  6. Off topic: Out of curiosity, how did you learn to write and speak Greek?

    I read and write Modern Greek as it is spoken nowadays in Greece, but then that was easy, having been crammed with Ancient Greek in secondary school from the age of 12 until 18, 4 hours a week.

  7. Good for you! Greek isn’t an easy language to learn, particularly for an Englishman such as I am, as we don’t have three genders in English, and hence our adjectives don’t change according to gender, case and number.

    I never did Greek in school, and trying to learn the language if you stay in any of the tourist areas (which is a large part of Greece) is nigh on impossible, because so many Greeks speak good English. In the early 90s, I found myself living in a place called Gytheion, in the south of the Peloponnese. I was there for a year or so, and almost nobody spoke English, so I got a dictionary and a book of basic grammar and went from there. The bulk of what I know is what I learned in that year.

    I was until recently living on Corfu, and I think I was the only expat Brit there (and there are lots of them) who spoke Greek! 🙂 Because on Corfu, you just don’t need to speak Greek. Everyone speaks English. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker! Really! In the hardware store, at the timber merchant, at the plumber’s supplies, the supermarket check-out girls, in the government offices, the lot. And of course, if you’re struggling to learn a language, and you’re trying to deploy your twenty word vocabulary when talking to someone who speaks fluent English, then they will invariably answer you in English, so you don’t learn anything. It’s only when you reach a certain level of competence in the language that those people will respond in Greek.

    However, I did notice when I lived on Corfu that I was always able to achieve much more than most expats and much faster because I dealt with people in their own language. Government officials who are not known for their helpfulness would always go the extra mile for me, simply because I’d made the effort to learn Greek. It really has been a huge advantage when dealing with Greek officialdom.

    Surprisingly, here in Patras, which is the main ferry port for the Greece – Italy ferries, hardly anyone seems to speak English. Even in the restaurants, not only do the staff not speak English, but nine times out of ten, the menu is only written in Greek. In a place like this, not speaking Greek is simply not an option.

    You are fortunate that you had a grounding in Classical Greek from school, because modern Greek, or ‘Dimotiki’ is not so dissimilar to ancient Greek. Indeed, up until the mid seventies, most official documents were written in ‘Katharevousa’, which is very close to the original Classical Greek language.

  8. Indeed Katharevousa is very close to Classical Greek, but even when one speaks Dimotiki, there still is a “vulgar” level that Greeks use, such as Σου γαμώ την Παναγία. (go and fuck the Holy Virgin, a very rude comment that could land you in trouble)

    When I was in Athens, many years ago, I parked my rented car, and a policeman told me in bad English that I should move on. I replied in Greek, why should I? He said that his brother wanted to park in that space. I said: Σου γαμώ την Παναγία and να πας να χεστης (which means “go and get shit upon”

    He laughed and he said: a foreigner who can swear like that in Greek is my friend, you can park here, let’s go to a kafenion and drink an ouzo !

    This happened a long time ago. I’ve been living in Indonesia (Bali) since 1983, and nowadays I speak Indonesian, but last week in a beachfront bar I heard the Greek language spoken at a table next to mine and I addressed these tourists in Greek. They were delighted, because on the island of Bali one doesn’t meet many Greeks. The Greeks took me on a pub crawl and they paid all my bar bills. They were very rich people. They were so happy to speak Greek with me. The next day I showed them around Bali and that very night one of the Greek women ended up in my bedroom.

    Lovely people, the Greeks !

  9. You certainly seem to have a good grasp of the vernacular! You were lucky with the cop – it would have been far more likely that he would have arrested you.