The Romance of the Med. Part 2
I have just finished writing a book about our experiences renovating the house and I’m about to self-publish. So far I have approached a number of agents and one publisher. However, though a number have wanted to see more, in the end they all say that too many similar books are being (or have just been) published dealing with living overseas. They are right. I have a shelf full, and still see more coming out in the bookstores.
These are some more I have not read yet, but have seen advertised recently and two of the writers originally set out from1. Claire Lloyd. My Greek Island Home. This book has a lot of pictures. It is about a house on the
2. Christian Brechneff. The Greek House: The Story of a Painter’s Love Affair with the Island of Sifnos, available on-line at Amazon and on wwwbookstop.gr, and in book shops in
3. Lana Penrose. To
A Special Greek Island
But, ours is a one-off story, not about Lesbos, nor Sifnos, no this island story is not even any Aegean island, it is aboout Lemnos
|The Island of Lemnos|
|Flying into Lemnos|
|A View Over the Island|
In my last blog I talked about the Romance of theFor instance here are just four of the books that I have read that inspired me to write, and these stories have some fascinating similarities to ours, but there are also differences.
the number of people that have been captivated by life here; many different
kinds of people, writing many different kinds of stories. Thus each is quite
similar in many ways, but also each is different.
1. Lady Fortescue Perfume from
. This book was written in the
early 1930s about moving to live in a village in Provence with her husband. She gives
lots of descriptions of her house and garden. I’ve read two of her other books
about her life in France .
Like me Lady Forescue has some old fashioned ideas, and these resonate with me. France
2. Jeffrey Greene French Spirits. Jeffrey Greene is an American poet. I liked his charming and sympathetic account of the village in
and the house,
an old French presbytery that he and his wife renovated. I think it is his
‘poetic’ view of life that drew me to this book. Burgundy
Sofka Zinovieff Eurydice
a place in .
This British writer married expat Greek and the two moved to live in Athens with their
children. She writes knowingly about the rites and rituals that Greek families
have to observe, and quite lot about what it means to live in Athens . Well, she too was married a Greek
that wanted to ‘go home’, and like me it seemed that she often struggled to ‘live
the life’ within a different culture. Athens
4. Eleni Gage North of Ithaka. Eleni is the daughter of Nocholas Gage, who wrote a book called Eleni, which was made into a film. It told of his mother’s imprisonment and execution during the Greek Civil War. Eleni goes back to her grandmother’s village and rebuilds the family house. I have wondered if she stuck with it after writing the book, as we have for ten years. However her start on the house matches our beginnings.
A Special Greek VillageYes, Myrina is filled with Greeks like all Greek towns and villages, but here the people are uniquely Lemnian
|Looking out Over Myrina |
|Myrina Sea-front in the Evening|
A Greek Experience
Though aspects gave been shared by others ours was a one-off experience: that of two Australian retirees, returning to a particular family home.
My story is by a British-Australian retiree who followed her Greek-Australian husband back to his homeland, and tells how she helped him with his dream, the renovation of his grandfather’s old house on an island in the
|Looking down at the roof of our hoouse|
|Our nearby beach at sunset|
Our adventure does follow many of the same patterns of experiences of those who have previously written about renovating an old house overseas; it is similar to those stories that tell us what it is like stay a long time in a small village and get to know the different culture; and it chimes with those that mention the torn aspect of living between two cultures.
But, while my book is similar it is the entire mix that makes the difference. Like the fact that most cakes have flour sugar and butter but each one has something else that makes it special. The spice in my story comes from time and place; being set in that period of Greek history between the Olympics and beginning of the end of the economic downturn, and set on the
The Magic Island of Lemnos