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OUR FATHER, GIORGOS…….

A unique individual with a kind soul who was much loved by many.Georgios

Born in 1946 and raised in a traditional Greek household on Lesvos in the small village of Molyvos.  In his early years, Giorgos was significantly influenced by his Communist uncle (Gianni), who operated within the Greek resistance movement. Uncle Gianni was a lovely and extremely forward thinking man who fought strongly for his ideology. Unfortunately, his strong beliefs led uncle Gianni to get arrested and be confined to a tiny cell for many years.  The amount of torture he endured and the pour conditions he was left to live in, meant that upon his release he was no longer able to stand and confined to a wheelchair.  Subsequently at the end of the civil war, he was exiled to Russia.

In those days

In those days

This influence meant that Giorgo did not conform to the normal village way of thinking.  In 1968 Giorgos met Jenifer, our mother. A single woman from Australia, with two children from a previous marriage, 9 years his senior and who did not speak a word of Greek. Recounting the way our mother tells the story, it goes something like this:

Photos in the harbour house

Photos in the harbour house

Whilst on holiday in the small fishing village visiting my aunt and uncle, Norma and Percy who had relocated there from Australia, I went out to a “taverna” one night. In those days it was custom to have live music playing with bouzoukia and people would always get up and dance. At one point I looked over and I saw this man dancing “zeimbekiko”. I hadn’t spoken to him or seen him before but that was it for me. I fell in love with him the second I saw him dance. He was an amazing dancer”.

Dancing at Theo's 50th birthday party

Dancing at Theo’s 50th birthday party

Another night, with neither of them speaking each other’s language, our mother pulled Giorgos from the tavern to show him her two sleeping children.  Later, he took her to a room above the old gold shop in the village, and on his old wind up gramophone he played her a Harry Nilsson record. And so the romance began.  Speaking to them about this time in their lives, neither of them at this stage thought that they would end up getting married, having three children and living the rest of their lives together!

Dancing together on Jenifers 70th birthday party. He even sang to her.

Dancing together on Jenifers 70th birthday party. He even sang to her on that night in front of us all

When Jenifer returned to London, Giorgos set about teaching himself English, from a dictionary.  Jenifer made several return trips to Molivos where Giorgos would take her and her two children out on a small rowing boat and would sing to them.  He loved signing and had a beautiful, gentle voice and he would sing to us all the time. During sleepless nights you would often hear him singing and humming to himself

Giorgos made the easy decision to follow her to London one winter. One cold rainy morning, whilst Jenifer was waiting for the train to get to work, her legs turning to ice, she made the huge decision to leave everything behind and to move to Greece to live with our father.  She packed up her things and with two daughters, her mother and father in toe, Jenifer moved to Greece.

He loved to mushroom and after gathered them  they would cooking them. something they enjoyed

He loved to mushroom and after gathering them they would cooking them. Something they enjoyed

Giorgos and Jenifer married in 1972. The fact that he chose to marry a foreigner in those days with two children who was older than he is a testament to the way my father was.  He did not care that his parents disapproved of his choice; their marriage took place in Athens with their first born (Anastasia) by their side. It took over five years before his family started to speak with Jenifer.

Always with his cheeky grin

Always with his cheeky grin

Giorgos worked as a fisherman since he was a boy.  His father, as his father before that, owned fishing boats and he was taken out fishing with them from as early as he could remember. According to our aunt, Giorgos use to try and hide from his father in order to get out of going fishing, but they always found him and dragged him along. He adamantly denied ever being sea-sick, despite our aunts insistence that this was the main reason, but he would always have a cheeky grin on his face whenever we teased him about it.

Cheeky grin with his friend Angelos

Cheeky grin with his friend Angelos

Later on in life the family boat was handed down to him, which he captained for years. It was always remarked on by the local fishermen about what an amazing fisherman he was as he found fishing spots that people still want to get their hands on.

Lunch

Lunch

In 1982 Giorgos was approached by the United Nations.  He moved to Zanzibar in Africa to teach the Mediterranean fishing practice to the local people. He spent two years there.  Obviously the whole family went with him, taking everything including the kitchen sink (in fact, this is no joke; we still have photographs of the aforementioned sink that we took with us)

On one of his trips which he loved to do with Anastasia

On one of his trips which he loved to do with Anastasia

Returning to Molyvos, Giorgos continued his life as a fisherman until retirement.

Sadly Giorgos fell ill on the 12th December 2014, and was taken to the intensive care dept of Mytilene hospital. He was suffering with problems with his lungs, and after five weeks of fighting passed away on the 18th January 2015.

who has the most cheeky grin

who has the most cheeky grin

It is hard to write about our father and be able to convey in a few paragraphs about his life, his character, which was what made him the amazing person he was. He was an extremely intelligent, funny, generous, wonderful man with a cheeky smile that we will miss forever.

with Nadia enjoying a lovely meal

with Nadia enjoying a lovely meal

His unique character is evident in his last wishes; to be cremated, without fuss, and for his ashes to be scattered from a boat, into the waters of the Aegean, whilst ABBA’s classis tunes play loudly across the water!

His favourite cat , bully

His favourite cat , bully

Giorgos will be missed from all our lives, forever.

Sitting in Avlaki having his  tsipouro

Sitting in Avlaki having his tsipouro

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THE CAPTAIN’S TABLE EARNS 2013 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

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Honoured as a Top Performing restaurant as Reviewed by Travellers on the

World’s Largest Travel Site

 

Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece – 28 Jun. 13 – The Captain’s Table a Mediterranean / local restaurant today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

 

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

 

The Captain’s Table is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Theodoros Kosmetos and Melinda McRostie the owners, at The Captain’s Table. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”

 

 “TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

 

MOVING IN MOLYVOS FESTIVAL 7-9th OF JUNE 2012

The Moving in Molyvos festival is part of a new creative approach to the promotion of the island’s well-known health-giving properties such as the natural hot spring spas. These are already enjoyed by both holiday-makers and participants in the many health and well-being seminars held on the island every year.
Now the local tourist association is bringing together the many teachers and workshop leaders working on Lesvos to celebrate their work in this unique three-day event.

The festival offers the chance to take part in a fascinating series of workshops, open to men and women, at the special festival price of 5 euro per class in:

• Yoga  (three different forms)
• Nia,
• Tai Chi
• Chi Gong,
• Healing Dances and songs
• Aqua therapy. 
• Greek dancing
• Eastern Belly dancing
• Nature walks

 All participants are invited to a series of complimentary Greek lessons and special free evening events:

 • Welcome drinks to introduce the festival and the teachers

• Sunset at Molyvos castle with ouzo and traditional Greek music

• A chance to dance! Enjoy a short performance of Greek dances  

    before getting up and joining in – encouraged by some Greek wine   

    and snacks.

 During the festival, there will be an exhibition of classic and contemporary work by local artists at the Trifon building on the harbour every evening, with free entrance for everyone.

All the festival events are designed to complement each other and to foster well-being, strengthen the mind and body, and energize the individual.

You can look at the festival programme and create your own, personal  timetable of classes, leaving time to experience the special energy and vibrance of Greece’s third largest island.

On our part, we look forward to welcoming you and providing a unique experience that maximises every aspect of Molyvos- our very special Aegean village.

A significant proportion of the festival income goes to local charities.

For more information check out our website. http://www.movinginmolyvos.com 

SPRING CLEANING IN MOLYVOS !

 

Spring and sunshine finally came to Lesvos last weekend after an amazingly cold winter and how did we celebrate?

We went to the old rubbish dump of Molyvos (Mythymna) and cleaned it up.

Set high up in the mountains behind Eftalou, it is an area of outstanding beauty and we wanted to restore it to its natural state.

 

With rubber gloves to the ready we marched forth to be horrified at how much rubbish there was still left there.

 

3 Tons of rubbish was collected, organised by the environmental group of the Molyvos Tourist Authority, the volunteers included residents of the village, the local scout group and even a group from the Mitilyne Post Office who drove 60 kilometers to join us.

However, Sky TV who were supposed to be filming the day didn’t show up but an interview was given by telephone. So, we didn’t make it on to the television but we got great suntans. 

There is still more rubbish but at least we are happy to be moving in the right direction and hope that this initiative will be taken up by many more local groups.

 Melinda.

 

 

LESVOS

 ONCE DISCOVERED IS NEVER FORGOTTEN

 

 christmas card 11

 

 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Greetings

Melinda, Theo and Family.

www.lesvosaccommodation.com

https://molyvosevents.wordpress.com

http://twitter.com/molyvoslife

 

 

A Black-winged Stilt ( Himantopus himantopus)

Lesvos is known as one of the best locations in Europe to see migrating birds

A Greek Jewel

There is an American film made in 1954 that sometimes reminds me of Molyvos. It is called ‘Brigadoon’ directed by Vincente Minnelli and it tells the story of a magical Scottish village of that name that rises out of the mists once in one hundred years so that the inhabitant may enjoy one day of their lives before it sinks back into timelessness for another one hundred years. Two American trout fishermen wander into the village and find that they never want to return to the so-called real world. When they finally do so they are affected by an excruciating nostalgia for the place they have lost.

The similarities with Molyvos are startling and not a little disturbing. I have been coming to Molyvos for over forty years now with my partner Julie Copeland and I have known visitors who have strayed into the village (your uncle and aunt were two such people, Melinda) who came for a few weeks and never left. You can sometimes see these time lord castaways wandering along its beaches and sheltered coves behaving like bird watchers but in fact looking, in a somewhat bemused way, for a key out of the place.

Molyvos spins a special kind of enchantment. It is geographically an island attached to an island. It sits on its peninsula like a jewel brought up out of the depths by a skin diver with a pastoral mixture of farmland, habitat and seascapes on three sides. Wherever you look Nature is there. The mother island, Lesbos is always somewhere else, on the horizon, or looking over our shoulders. This location recreates a special ambience, a perfect balance between nature and culture.

I come here each year to write. There must be some kind of creative pact between me and the village that I don’t remember signing, some kind of erotic electricity because the feeling when I return is not just that this is in many ways my second home (although that is a fantasy – I know like the two American fishermen in Scotland somewhere in the back of my head that it isn’t and that I will have to leave – but that I am being plugged into a mysterious kind of cosmic force. The creative juices loosen up after the tough round of teaching at a film school, freelancing as a critic and broadcaster and generally trying to make trouble for whichever government is in power in Australia. And I begin to write as though I had never left my desk here. I don’t keep count of the number of poems I have composed in Molyvos but I do know that I have written over fifty short stories and five novels while being comfortably ensconced in one of the most beautiful landscapes that I have ever seen. Best of all the village is still somewhat difficult to get to, especially from the Antipodes. The relative, the tax collector, the student asking for immediate attention can’t find you here.

This other neutral space, keeping the rest of the world at arm’s length, also applies to the village’s inhabitants. One day I am going to sit down and write a soap opera (day time television and Ophrah will love it). We can go away and come back the following year and there is always an electrifying family drama taking place or continuing the next exciting episode somewhere: the last mayor has run off with the village post mistress; the proprietor of a local pensione has been transformed into a Greek version of Faulty Towers and thrown out all his clients from England because he doesn’t like the sound of the language; a mad animal loving Swedish couple has tried to take a dozen cats- tom, feline and ten kittens – back to Stockholm in a basket disguised as a container for fetta cheese. I must say that your own family too is pretty good on the domestic drama chapters. At this level Molyvos reminds me of one of those big shell-like Greek theatres with the principals groaning and tearing out their hair while a line up of townspeople playing the chorus mutter into their coffees and ouzos that nothing good can come of such public carry-ons.

It is true that time brings change. We have lived together through the dark years of the military dictatorship, the hardships and sometimes poverty of a village in those days of the sixties and seventies depending on its fishermen and farmers for sustenance and the first years after the collapse of the junta when the tourist buses and package tours began to pour into the place bringing great changes, not always tactful, no, let’s face it downright ugly, to its valley and foreshore. But somehow behind the commercial crassness that did bring jobs and financial relief to many the real village, the timeless village still sits there in the labyrinthine allies and winding stone staircases so that I can say hello to Therapiotis stitching his nets on the doorstep of his house or your stepfather, the ‘captain’ of the Captain’s Table whom I have known since he was about eighteen, a boy going to do military service and now a great sea captain sitting in his retirement having a parea with his mates outside one of the cafenios. Or the women who screech the gossip across the rooftops: ‘Akous’ Kale!!’ The many microcosmic kindnesses from such people that make this not just a holiday place but a living, breathing organism. In that sense its sense of a community, of a humanism that still values the individual and gives us, its guests a space to be individuals, is timeless.

There are tough times descending on Greece. The money men will pack their carpet bags and do a runner. The international tour operators will move on to Syria, Morocco or Madagascar. Perhaps the village will have to rethink its way of life as indeed the rest of Greece will. But this quality that I am trying (and failing) to pin down, this marvellous beauty invested by light, calm and sensuality as the poet Verlaine dreamed of, inhabited by decent, hard working and parea loving individualists, will survive and thrive. It is like the myth of the lost island of Atlantis that rose out of the water and sat above a jewel faceted sea and became a touchstone for the classical world of a perfectly balanced civilization, the Golden Mean which the actual classical world hardly ever achieved in spite of its rhetoric and its searching. We are the lucky ones who accidentally stumbled upon Atlantis.

(C) Dr. John Slavin

GOODBYE TO THE MYTH OF MITHIMNA

THERE’S a myth among British birdwatchers that the ONLY place worth staying on Lesvos is Skala Kalloni.

It’s a misconception probably shared by birders from other European countries who flock to the island for each spring and autumn migration.

Only those in the know seem to choose  Molivos –  or Mithimna to give it its historic name – as their base.

Well, in my humble opinion as an avid birdwatcher, it’s about time someone banished this myth about Mithimna.

When it comes to finding a perfect place to combine birdwatching with walking in spectacular, hilly scenery, having a massive choice of eating places and history around every corner, then Molivos is the place to be

Is there any nicer place in the whole world to round off a day’s birding than with a meal on Molivos harbour side, watchingdolphins and diving terns in the fading light?

Skala Kalloni with its salt pans is only a 40 minutes drive away.

All around Molivos are superb places to seek out the birds – some of them rather rare – from dense olive groves to the magnificent coastal strip between Eftalou and Skala Sikamnia. 

Even among the narrow streets and alleyways of the old town, there are birds to be seen and heard. You just have to look and listen.

Swallows nest under almost every  canopy and overhang of buildings.  Most years, for instance, they successfully rear young on top of an ornamental coach lantern under the canopy of  The Captain’s Table restaurant on the harbour.

As darkness falls, the monotonous  call of the Scops owl can be heard around the town squares and among the eucalyptus trees alongside the school.

The sound is reminiscent of the slow “peeps” of the Greenwich time signal.

Molivos is a place where it is usual to spot the unusual.


Floodlights which illuminate the castle are a magnet to moths and other flying insects. So birds such as nightjars and little owls are quick to take advantage of the ready meals.

Last year, barn owls, little owls and kestrels all nested within a few yards of each other in stone crevices  near the castle’s main entrance.

Keep an eye on the sea, too. Some years, thousands of

Mediterranean shearwaters can be seen in the huge bay between the harbour and the Kavaki headland. At times there are so many it looks like a giant oil slick.

The headland itself, near the “disco on stilts”, is known as one of the best places in Europe to see the very rare Ruppell’s Warbler.

Inland, the reservoir off the Vafios road is a good place to see Eleanora’s falcons hunting for dragon flies. Many other birds can also be “ticked” here.

In our 16 years of holidays in Molivos – sometimes twice a year – my wife Sheila and I always  see at least 120 species.

Really keen birdwatchers can expect many more than that.

FRANK WOOD, press officer for the Bolton area of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in North West England.