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Blog 48 13/05/2017 Crete: History and a Feast Fit for the Gods in Rethymno.

Posted on May 13, 2017

Blog 48 13/05/2017 Crete: History and a Feast Fit for the Gods in Rethymno.

 Crete: History and a Feast Fit for the Gods in Rethymno. One of the joys of research is to find a place filled with history and tantalizing food at the same time. Whilst researching for The Embroiderer I spent a few weeks in Crete. The final two weeks were in Rethymno and then Hania. Unforgettable experiences and I vowed to go back but as yet never have. Food plays an important part in The Embroiderer and at the back I give a recipe – Sevkiye’s Pilav. This is the first time I have written a blog and included a full recipe – one based on the...

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BLOG 47 18/04/2017 Mimar Sinan and the Süleymaniye Mosque.

Posted on April 26, 2017

BLOG 47 18/04/2017 Mimar Sinan and the Süleymaniye Mosque.

 Mimar Sinan and the Süleymaniye Mosque. Sultan Mahmud II, considered amongst many to be the last of the great Ottoman leaders before the empire fell into decline, loved Çamlıca, a beautiful area that he referred to it in his poetry with the line: “My heart is full of desire, my great lover. Let’s go to Çamlıca tomorrow, my dear Lord.” The view from Camlica overlooks the Bosphorus strait that divides the city’s Asian and European districts and offers splendid views of the ships and ferries traversing the waterway, the ancient city’s...

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BLOG 46 10/04/2017 THE JOURNEY OF A HUGUENOT REFUGEE TO EMBROIDERERS FOR ROYALTY. HAND & LOCK CELEBRATES 250 YEARS OF EMBROIDERY.

Posted on April 11, 2017

BLOG 46 10/04/2017 THE JOURNEY OF A HUGUENOT REFUGEE TO EMBROIDERERS FOR ROYALTY. HAND & LOCK CELEBRATES 250 YEARS OF EMBROIDERY.

THE JOURNEY OF A HUGUENOT REFUGEE TO EMBROIDERERS FOR ROYALTY. HAND & LOCK CELEBRATES 250 YEARS OF EMBROIDERY. This year, the prestigious embroidery London embroidery atelier, Hand & Lock, sponsors of the successful Opus Anglicanum exhibition at the V&A, London, celebrates its 250th anniversary. The Carriageworks in Sydney hosted the first of three major  presentations, the others being London and Chicago. The conference ‘Heritage, the Now, and the Future of Embroidery’ explored the enduring appeal of embroidery in fashion and...

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BLOG 45 09/02/2017 Matrakçı Nasuh: The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire

Posted on February 9, 2017

BLOG 45 09/02/2017 Matrakçı Nasuh: The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire

Matrakçı Nasuh: The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire Nasuh bin Karagöz bin Abdullah el-Visokavi el-Bosnavî better known as Matrakçı Nasuh, was a 16th century Bosnian mathematician, teacher, historian, cartographer, swordmaster, painter and illustrator. He was born in the town of Visoko and recruited as a Janissary under devşirme system common in the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century. This was the system where promising young boys were recruited from the Christian communities of the empire to be brought up as a Moslem and...

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BLOG 44 22/11/2016 “FRIENDS OF LITERATURE”: The Embroiderer of Smyrna” An interview.

Posted on November 23, 2016

BLOG 44 22/11/2016 “FRIENDS OF LITERATURE”: The Embroiderer of Smyrna” An interview.

 “FRIENDS OF  LITERATURE” “The Embroiderer of Smyrna” A few days ago I was interviewed by the delightful Clio Tsalapati, on her Greek literary blog “Friends of Literature” about “The Embroiderer” now called “The Embroiderer of Smyrna” in Greek. She has kindly allowed me to reproduce the full interview on my own blog. The following is the interview in both Greek and English. Clio asked probing questions, not only about the novel itself, but about writing in general. It was a joy to...

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Blog 43 21/11/2016 Constantinople Through the Eye of the Lens

Posted on November 21, 2016

Blog 43 21/11/2016 Constantinople Through the Eye of the Lens

Constantinople Through the Eye of the Lens: 19th c. Photographers. I am often asked where I sourced my inspiration for “The Embroiderer”, especially Constantinople at the end of the 19th century. As a visual person I look towards old photographs. Photographs never lie, especially at a time when the written word was quite often biased. Bahattin Oztuncay’s “The Photographers of Constantinople: Pioneers, studios and artists from 19th Century Istanbul” was invaluable. This two-volume set is the story of how Constantinople became a Middle Eastern...

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12/11/2016 An Interview with Author Effrosyni Moschoudi about her new novel -The Amulet.

Posted on November 11, 2016

12/11/2016 An Interview with Author Effrosyni Moschoudi about her new novel -The Amulet.

An Interview with Author Effrosyni Moschoudi Today I have the pleasure of bringing to you an interview with a wonderful author and prolific blogger, Effrosyni Moschoudi. Effrosyni’s novels set in Greece have been widely acclaimed and today she is with us to discuss her new novel. Welcome, Effrosyni. You must be excited about your newly published novel, The Amulet. What is it about?   First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I am excited to be here! The Amulet is a romantic comedy with angels that is set on the...

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Blog 42. 25/10/2016 Maria Callas and the Story of the Piano at the Pera Musuem, Istanbul.

Posted on October 26, 2016

Blog 42. 25/10/2016 Maria Callas and the Story of the Piano at the Pera Musuem, Istanbul.

 Maria Callas and the Story of the Piano at the Pera Musuem, Istanbul. Whilst on my last trip to Istanbul, I came across this interesting snippet of information at The Pera Museum and thought I would share it with you all. The piano in question, which now takes centre stage in the cafe there, was bought for Maria Callas (Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria Kalogeropolou) by her father. In 1939, father and daughter travelled by liner across the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar to the Aegean. The piano landed at Pire (Piraeus) and was...

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Blog 41 03/10/2016 Postcards from a Leicestershire Village: Grace Dieu Priory and a Famous Playright.

Posted on October 4, 2016

Blog 41 03/10/2016 Postcards from a Leicestershire Village: Grace Dieu Priory and a Famous Playright.

Postcards from a Leicestershire Village: Grace Dieu Priory and a Famous Playright. The village of Thringstone in Leicestershire sits on the edge of Charnwood Forest, a lush woodland of glorious deciduous trees carpeted with bluebells and rhododendron bushes in the spring and hedgerows filled with blackberries and rosehips in late summer. Thringstone is mentioned in the Domesday Book as “Trangesbi” and most probably gets its name from the Viking name, “Traengr” combined with the Anglo-Saxon suffix, “tun” meaning farm or village. A watermill...

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Blog 40 26/09/2016 20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group.

Posted on September 26, 2016

Blog 40 26/09/2016 20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group.

20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group. The twentieth century in Greek art was a transition from the constraints of the old world: the classicism of ancient Greece to the realism and romanticism that stemmed from Greek artists’ contact with the west after the Greek War of Independence, combined with the naivety of folk art and the tradition of icon painting. The past would still continue to exert its influence but in a much freer style. Expressionism and Cubism would now make its mark. In 1949, when the Civil War in Greece was drawing to...

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