Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thank you to Corfu Blues and its creator Jim Potts

The Ionian Islands and Epirus: A Cultural History, by British author Jim Potts, sits on the coffee table in Margariti. It's the kind of book you never really finish reading because you find yourself going back to the pages to reread or to use as a reference. It was also the book that prompted me to take more advantage of the Islands not far off the mainland from where Margariti lies.

In his book, Jim Potts describes the seven Ionian Islands and celebrates their spectacular landscape and classical associations. After reading about these islands and having visited Margariti for more than 30 years with embarrassingly few visits to the islands, (flying into Corfu airport barely counts), I felt compelled to seek out a local boat captain, Captain Yianni, for a trip to Paxos and Antipoxos, which is described in the JANUARY BLOG POST entitled, "January, the MID-year month." It proved to be a wonderful trip but with the background knowledge I gained from reading about the two islands beforehand, I was able to enjoy it to the fullest. And with that, I've made the commitment to at least enjoy one Island each summer.

Because Mr. Potts is an expert on that area, I was also very honored and excited to see an article about my own book, THE NIFI , written by this very successful and talented author on his blog entitled, CORFU BLUES .

In addition to his glowing approval of my rendition of Margariti life, he wrote: "Although an American herself, Linda Fagioli-Katsiotas has had more than enough insider experience to be able to give all these Greek women—and men—real authentic voices." 

In The Ionian Islands and Epirus: A Cultural History, Jim Potts also asserts that, "the unsurpassed beauty of the islands and of the Pindus Mountains have stimulated the imagination of countless writers and artists," which I humbly hope to now count myself among.

The Ionian Islands and Epirus is a wonderful book, one worth reading and if you cannot come to Margariti to have a cup of coffee and flip through the one that sits on the coffee table, don't worry, it is available to you on

I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

January: The MID-year month

We all know that September is the first month of the year and June is the last. Why else would the school's MID-term tests be scheduled in January? So as I come over the hump of mid-year and see the light of the Greek sunshine on the horizon, I think of those two other months, the ones that equate to paradise, and I fondly think of Yianni.

He and his family live on a boat in the Acheron River during the summer.  Captian Yianni's boat has no frills and is relatively small, but that makes it much more endearing than the overcrowded tourist boats--those with the eyes painted on the side to look like an ancient relic and with wall-to-wall people hanging over the railings with IPHONEs pointed in all directions.    

Our tour on Captian Yianni's boat begins in Amoudia, a village not far from Margariti. As you drive out of the mountains and along the ridge of a delta, the village of Amoudia opens up and fans-out before your eyes. The old people in the area call it Splanza after an Italian general who controlled the area during WWII.

The Map below shows the short drive from Margariti and then the cruise to the Blue Caves, Antipoxos (the smaller island), Paxos and then back to the mainland.