About Greece/Crete some years ago

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
filippos
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Postby filippos » Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:24 pm

Muttly wrote: Tub, washboard and elbow grease?
Alive and well and living in Kalyves.

Image

Picture taken about a week ago.

Filippos.
Last edited by filippos on Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:29 pm

For gods sake man give the wife a bit of relief, buy her a mangle!

andheath
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Location: Sitia - Stay Away - Go West

Postby andheath » Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:36 pm

Filippos, H loves your washboard, but we think your tub is a bread trough, got one just like it in Kyrenia, North Cyprus a couple of years ago.
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:28 pm

You may be right but the lady who provided the tub for the folk lore and folk art exhibition said that as a small child she helped her grandmother wash clothes in it. A bread trough was also on display and that was a bit smaller, rectangular and had sloping sides. We have one like that ourselves and it's shorter, slightly deeper and made with separate pieces of timber rather than being gouged from a solid lump. That's definitely for bread as it would leak like a sieve.

You may be interested in the picture below, loaned to the exhibition by the same woman (it's entitled "Η Μπουγάδα" (The Wash). It's an original that I've scanned and not 'doctored' in any way so it's a tad murky. It shows blankets laid out to dry on the beach at Kalyves.

Image

As a side issue, that bit of beach no longer exists. It used to be behind the shops and houses in the main street from the big church to the Kalami end of the village. Apparently, just after WWII, builders removed tons of sand for building and that was replaced with rocks which were later used as a base for the road behind that section of the village street.

Filippos.

andheath
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Postby andheath » Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:05 pm

Thank Filippos, really good. What is the container at the back of the first picture, is it an old olive oil container?

On my last trip to Sitia, while looking at countless derilict properties I was amazed at some of the items, long gone owners had left behind as just discarded junk. Wait till H gets there and starts poking arround, this "treasure" in her book will be collected up, I can see it now.
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

Muttly
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Postby Muttly » Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:23 pm

That looks like the start of an excellent export trade to the Chilean Chardonny swilling lot in London. Nothing like nailing an old oil can to a wall as a conversation piece when inviting Rodney and Jemma for that authentic ethnic dinner in deepest London N1.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:15 am

andheath wrote:What is the container at the back of the first picture, is it an old olive oil container?
I believe so but I'll double check and confirm (or let you know if it's something different).

The ladies who organised this exhibition had just been on a course about local folk art and folklore. At the end they decided to mount an exhibition, set a date ten days ahead then thought (in Greek), "Ooops, where can we hold it? Where do we find things to show?"

With about a week to go my wife solved the first problem by suggesting some empty shop premises rented by friends. They readily agreed to loan the shop for ten days. A few phone calls by the ladies garnered promises of things to show; a taverna owner loaned tables; lots of cleaning was done and, lo, the exhibition opened on time.

Every day someone who came in to look round said, "I've got some stuff at home ... ..." and and hour later it would arrive. After about five days there was hardly room to move and there was no wall space left (and it's a big shop) and visitors - local and tourists - were flocking in.

Muggins offered to take pictures (I have about 180) and to scan the couple of dozen old photos that were on offer at the beginning of the show. I also offered to restore the more battered ones (the copies not the originals) if the owners wished. I have just finished phase one - scanning the 200+ pictures that finally appeared and started on the restoration of three or four. A couple of days ago one of the ladies excitedly told me, "Now they've seen what you can do lots of people want copies of their photographs," so if I disappear from the forum you'll know why. Fortunately, the ladies have told everyone they'll have to pay so materials costs will be covered. I also have 100 or so A4 picture frames (don't ask) so I may be able to get rid of some of those.

There are plans to make the exhibition an annual event and there is even the possibility of it becoming a permanent, year round, display as someone has discovered suitable premises that may be available. We're also planning to visit the people who contributed the photographs to get more information about the people and events depicted. Without even asking we've already heard several fascinating accounts and stories of some of the people depicted. An elderly man (well, my age) pointed to someone in the background of a photo, "I remember this man when I was a child. I was about six years old and all the children were frightened of him because ... ..." and one story leads to another. "After the war my wife's father had a German tank that he used as a tractor. It's still in the village but I don't think it works now."

I'm looking forward to talking to some of the older people. I know there's at least one old (sprightly 87) partisano amongst them. Walking history.

Filippos.

andheath
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Postby andheath » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:54 pm

Sound like you should write a book, real life memories and old pics to illustrate. Can't lose.
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

katharine
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Postby katharine » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:54 pm

This all sounds really fascinating. I wish I was there to lend a hand with the photos (if required). I've spent most of my working life in and around museums and am now a keen photographer and enjoy playing around with the results on Photoshop. Just one request to Filipos, please encourage the owners of the original photos to put them away safely and not to discard them because they now have new, bigger, cleaner, brighter ones. The originals will always have something special about them and, who knows, there may be far superior techniques for improving old images at some point in the future.
There, that's my museum bit said!
Katharine.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:32 pm

We have a friend who was born in Kalyves and I've been trying to persuade him for years to write down the stories he's told. I've offered to help, suggested a tape recorder etc., etc., but he just keeps saying, "Maybe one day ..." I do feel his resistance is weakening and he's promised to help "interviewing" the owners of all the original photographs. We're also going to try to put together some sort of album, for want of a better word, containing the more interesting pictures along with background information to accompany them. Like this one, e.g.

Image

The area is now a rough, dusty parking area by the main beach in Kalyves.

Filippos.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:43 pm

katharine wrote:... ... please encourage the owners of the original photos to put them away safely and not to discard them because they now have new, bigger, cleaner, brighter ones.
Couldn't agree more and I don't think many people will be inclined to discard the originals - they're too cherished. Some of those in very bad condition have got that way because they've been on display in smoky rooms for too many years and others because they've been carried in wallets or even pockets. Some are not too bad with just a few light scratches and were probably taken from albums for loan to the exhibition. Rest assured, I will "instruct" the owners to keep the originals. If the exhibition does become permanent I suspect some of the original pictures will be donated or, maybe, willed.

Filippos.
Last edited by filippos on Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

andheath
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Postby andheath » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:43 pm

It's fantastic, I love it. If you get a recording of the person in the picture or a relative just sharing their memories of the moment, the area, activity or the time, it is magic. Real history as opposed to all the heavy research stuff. Otherwise as people pass away so will their stories. It that sad old hindsight thing, if only we had.............
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:35 am

andheath wrote:.......... What is the container at the back of the first picture, is it an old olive oil container?
I've now had chance to ask the owner and the answer is both more mundane and more interesting.

When there was no piped water inside houses it had to be hauled out of the sterna, well or nearby river. To avoid forever running in and out with buckets water was stored indoors in containers.

The one in the photo is made of copper, (so I'm told, but it looks more like zinc or tin to me; maybe something has been lost in translation), and the outside was painted as you can see. It sat on a specially constructed, recessed stone shelf* above the wooden "sink" shown in the picture which was also raised on a stone shelf.

Apparently, this particular set up in the owner's grandmother's house was used mainly for washing dishes and hands and occasionally for clothes but most clothes washing was done in a larger stone sink in the avli.

There was a similar container for drinking/cooking water.

Filippos.

*We have a couple of recesses in one of our kitchen walls that are in the right sort of place and suitable height for a set up like that. As the house is thought to be 120 to 150 years old maybe ....

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:29 pm

filippos wrote:...The one in the photo is made of copper, (so I'm told, but it looks more like zinc or tin to me; maybe something has been lost in translation), ...


Copper pans are normally tin plated on the inside because the copper can produce toxic by-products, e.g. see http://www.rockymountainretinning.com/copper.htm I don’t know if this only occurs when it is heated up for cooking or whether it would be necessary for something storing water. It is possible therefore that the container is copper but tin plated on the inside.

Warwick

PS I think the main work of tinkers used to be re-tinning pots and pans as well as generally repairing them.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:49 pm

I agree with all that Warwick but having had a close look at the outside of this particular container all I can say with certainly is that it doesn't look like copper where the old paint has worn off. I didn't have the opportunity to open the lid but may do soon when I go to photograph individual items for the "history" project.

Filippos.


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