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'A very funny tome' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Hilarious' DAILY MAIL 'A profoundly instructive course in the idiosyncrasies of Greek law, custom and culture ... entertainingly chronicled' SAGA * * * * * * From Radio 4 presenter, bestselling author and national treasure John Humphrys, a funny and engaging memoir of building a home in Greece written together with his son Christopher. It was a moment of mad impulse when John Humphrys decided to buy a semi-derelict cottage and a building site on a plot of land overlooking the Aegean. A few minutes gazing out over the most glorious bay he had ever seen was all it took to persuade him. After all, his son Christopher was already raising his family there so he would help build the beautiful villa that would soon rise there. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. John was to spend the next three years regretting his moment of madness. Some of it had its comic side. He learned to cope with a drunken peacock falling out of his favourite tree and even a colony of rats invading his bedroom. Some of the humans proved trickier: the old man demanding payment for olive trees in the middle of John's own land; the neighbour who dragged his lovely old fishing boat onto the beach and set fire to it after a row with his wife. And, of course, the builders. Was the plumber who electrocuted him in the shower vengeful or merely incompetent? John learned a lot about Greece in a short time. He grew to love it and loathe it in almost equal measures, but was never for a moment bored by it. And Christopher learned a bit more about John. Their shared experience revived keen memories for him of growing up with a father for whom patience was never the strongest virtue... Here father and son capture the idyll and the odyssey as paradise is found, lost and regained.
Looks at the lives and accomplishments of African Americans involved in aviation, including Charles Wesley Peter who flew his own plane in 1911 and Eugene Jacques Bullard, the first African American combat pilot who was one of two hundred Americans who fl
Travel, Tourism and Identity addresses the psychological and social adjustments that occur when people make contact with others outside their social, cultural, or linguistic groups. Whether such contact is the result of tourism, seeking exile, or relocating abroad, the volume's contributors demonstrate how one's identity, cultural assumptions, and worldview can be brought into question. In some cases, the traveller finds that bridging the social and cultural gap between himself and the new society is fairly easy. In other cases, the traveller discovers that reorienting himself requires absorbing a new cultural history and traditions. The contributors argue that making these adjustments will surely enhance the traveller's or tourist's experience; otherwise the traveller or tourist will be at risk of becoming a marginalized figure, one disconnected from the society that surrounds him. This latest volume in the Culture & Civilization series features a collection of essays on travel and tourism. The essays cover a range of topics from historical travels to modern social identities. They discuss ancient travels, contemporary travels in Europe, Africa and sustainable eco-tourism, and the politics of tourism. Essays also address experiences of Grenada's "Spice Island" identity, and the effects of globalization and migrations on personal identity.
When writer Merrill Joan Gerber is invited to join her husband, a history professor, as he takes a class of American college students to study in Florence, Italy, she feels terrified at the idea of leaving her comforts, her friends, and her aged mother in California. Her husband tries to assure her that her fear of Italy--and her lack of knowledge of the Italian language--will be offset by the discoveries of travel. "I can't tell you exactly what will happen, but something will. And it will all be new and interesting." Botticelli Blue Skies is the tale of a woman who readily admits to fear of travel, a fear that many experience but are embarrassed to admit. When finally she plunges into the new adventure, she describes her experiences in Florence with wit, humor, and energy. Instead of sticking to the conventional tourist path, Gerber follows her instincts. She makes discoveries without tour guides droning in her ear and reclaims the travel experience as her own, taking time to shop in a thrift shop, eat in a Chinese restaurant that serves "Dragon chips," make friends with her landlady who turns out to be a Countess, and visit the class of a professor at the university. She discovers a Florence that is not all museums and wine. With newfound patience and growing confidence, Gerber makes her way around Florence, Venice, and Rome. She visits famous places and discovers obscure ones--in the end embracing all that is Italian. Botticelli Blue Skies (accompanied by the author's own photographs) is an honest, lyrical, touching account of the sometimes exhausting, often threatening, but always enriching physical and emotional challenge that is travel.
In this elaborate tale of love and death, the lives and reflections of four remarkable protagonists unfold through dramatic intersecting narrations. These characters are a sensitive writer; an ambitious academic, handicapped by limited self-awareness; a brilliant but mentally unstable scientist; a gifted doomed poet who suffered through the fascist upheavals in his native Greece.

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