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Love in the time of Corona  

The Lender of Last Resort by the mysterious Edwin Drood

The Lender of Last Resort

at Edwin Drood's Column

April 2020   The Covid 19 pandemic is keeping peope around the planet away from work and school, sitting at home, twiddling our thumbs and wondering where this new reality will lead us.

The mysterious Edwin Drood makes a rare and timely appearance, to tell a tale of an illness that withered a land, probably not so long ago or too far away.

A fable for our times, Drood's The Lender of Last Resort tells of a dread epidemic, an impoverished population, an aged usurer, a jaded priest, a small girl and a piece of paper that changes everything.

"A small thing can change destinies: a horseshoe, some loose gravel, a quarter sovereign – but a piece of paper can change them the most. And it is strange indeed how such a document may alter not only the future, but also the past."

Spoiler alarm: the story has a neat twist and a happy end. Light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel. Stop twiddling your thumbs, and enjoy a good read.
My Favourite Planet People My Favourite Planet People
MFP People, the newest section on My Favourite Planet, continues to grow steadily. There are now 40 pages of illustrated profiles of some of the historical, legendary and mythical personalities mentioned in other articles and sections on the website. The section also articles on Ancient Greek artists, including sculptors, painters, architects, mosaicists, vase painters and potters.
The Gorgon pediment in Corfu, Greece at My Favourite Planet People

The Kaiser and the Gorgon

The Gorgon pediment in Corfu

September 2019   The green island of Corfu once played an important role in the economic and political rivalries between ancient Greek cities. Today the cultural leftovers of the island state's heyday can be seen at a handful of sites and in the main town's museums.

In December 1910 local people discovered some ancient stone remains on farmland south of modern Corfu town, and in January 1911 the young Greek archaeologist Friderikos Versakis was called in to investigate. He excavated what turned out to be huge, powerful relief images of the Gorgon Medusa flanked by two lions which once adorned the gable of a large temple, built around 585 BC.

Soon after Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany arrived in Corfu to spend his Easter holiday in the nearby Achilleion, a summer palace he had purchased after its builder and previous owner, Kaiserin Elizabeth ("Sissi") of Austria, had been assassinated in Geneva. Having heard of the excavation he went to visit the site and ended up using his power, wealth and influence to take it over and get Versakis fired from his job. The Kaiser apparently became obsessed with the Gorgon, later claiming the credit for its unearthing, and after the First World War wrote a book on the subject while in exile in the Netherlands.

The episode has been seen as a prime example of cultural imperialism and interference by powerful rulers and states in the affairs of smaller countries. Fortunately, the "Gorgon pediment", as the limestone relief has become known, was not shipped off to the Kaiser's royal museum in Berlin, and is now the star attraction of the Corfu Archaeological Museum.

Read The Gorgon pediment in Corfu in Gorgon Medusa Part 3, at My Favourite Planet People. The illustrated article covers the pediment's history and rediscovery as well as the archaeology of the temple site.

Update May 2020

The Gorgon Medusa page in the MFP People section has been growing in content since 2016 and was becoming far too large for a single web page. It has now been divided into 8 parts on 8 separate pages, arranged thematically, with articles about the Gorgon illustrated by over 300 photos and drawings. Try starting at Gorgon Medusa Part 1.
The Cheshire Cat goes nuts with the squirrels of Berlin at My Favourite Planet Blogs

December 2016   Silke Haist has been taking photos of urban wildlife in Berlin, Germany for several years, often getting up before the crack of dawn and spending many hours searching for animals and birds in the city's green spaces.

A while ago Silke generously shared some of her photos of Berlin squirrels with the Cheshire Cat, who has now finally got around to publishing them on his blog. Enjoy.

Squirreling about at The Cheshire Cat Blog.
The Cheshire Cat goes to Dion, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet Blogs
Serene Dion

June 2015   The Cheshire Cat is back out of the bag with a brand new photo essay about Dion, the sacred city of the ancient Macedonians, below lofty Mount Olympus.

The Cat and a few friends take a peaceful stroll around the greener-than-green Dion Archaeological Park and enjoy the company of dragonflies, frogs, crabs, fish and, of course, some of those awful old Greek gods.

Dion: the garden of the gods at The Cheshire Cat Blog.
Edwin Drood's schooldays memoir at My Favourite Planet

5 years Edwin Drood's Column - since 2010

Read Drood's
5th anniversary

March - May 2015   As children we sit in rudderless boats headed for the waterfall of puberty which, if we survive it, will leave us learning to navigate in the turbulent, mysterious waters of adulthood. Schools are meant to prepare us for this adventure, but often furnish us with a spoon or a fork rather than a tiller or an oar.

In a memoir of his schooldays Edwin Drood recollects how he escapes for a short while from his educational confinement and dives into this dangerous flow whose depths it will take all the strength and courage his young mind and body can muster to fathom.

A memoir of my schooldays in 5 parts at Edwin Drood's Column.
Edwin Drood's Christmas Carol at My Favourite Planet

December 2014   Poor old Vladimir Putin, eh? As if it's not enough that international sanctions have been imposed on his chums and their political and business empires, that the rouble is sinking with oil prices (or vice versa) while a mild European winter messes with Gasprom profits, and that investment in Russia plummets as prices soar, now even that ******* Mysterious Edwin Drood is having (yet another) dig at him.

Life shows no mercy, Vlad. It is almost enough to put you off your Christmas turkey, or experience phantom pangs of sympathy for the beleaguered Russian president prime minister president. Well, not really, if we are to be honest with ourselves. Turkey is a dish best served hot.

Nevermind all that, Edwin Drood's A Christmas Carol brings us some seasonal cheer and gives us all something to sing along to during the deep mid winter evenings. So gather around the yule log and raise your voices, one and all. And be sure you are all singing from the same hymn sheet, courtesy of Edwin Drood's Column.
Weltfest am Boxhagener Platz, Berlin, 30th August 2014 at My Favourite Planet
Weltfest in Berlin, 30th August 2014

August 2014   If you are in Berlin, Germany on the last weekend in August, come along to Weltfest am Boxhagener Platz, the annual free street festival in the Friedrichshain district of the city.

The theme of this year's World Fest is "Work in Progress - decent work for people worldwide", and members of NGOs will be on hand to discuss the subject at stands around the large green square of Boxhagener Platz.

A variety of international musicians will provide the sounds on the main stage, with the artist Jim Avignon as the headline act. There is also a special place for buskers to perform.

For junior citizens, the South African-German children's musical Inkululeko, the long way from Nonsiki will be performed by Global New Generation, and the childrens' circus Zirkus Zack offer interactive acrobatics.

See It's a small world fest, The Cheshire Cat Blog photo essay about Weltfest in previous years.

Entrance to the festival is free.

Weltfest on Boxhagener Platz, Berlin, 30th August 2014

Weltfest 2014
Boxhagener Platz,
Berlin, Germany

30th August 2014

Blessed Love
at Weltfest 2013
Full moon concert in Pella, 10th August 2014 at My Favourite Planet
Full moon concert in Pella, 10th August 2014

August 2014   We reported last year about the annual Full Moon concerts in Pella, Macedonia, Greece, the birthplace of Alexander the Great (see Full moon in Pella at The Cheshire Cat Blog), and this year's evening of music promises to be at least as enjoyable as previous events in the archaeological site.

The title for the open-air gig is "Songs from Greece and other places" (Τραγούδια από την Ελλάδα και όχι μόνο, literally, Songs from Greece - and not only), and the programme will include traditional music of Asia Minor performed by A. Papaioannou (oud, saz), D. Dhaka (vocals, percussion) and A. Machairidi (accordion). The event is organized by the Municipality of Pella and the Public Welfare Enterprise Culture and Development Pella.

Entrance to the concert is free.

See a larger version of the concert poster (in Greek, opens in a new window).

We recommend visiting the excellent Pella Museum and archaeological site during the day, then taking a break at one of the village cafes or tavernas before the concert which begins at 21:30.

Pella is just 40 minutes from Thessaloniki. Buses every half hour, 07.00 - 22.30 hours, fare 3.30 €. see How to get to Pella. A taxi costs about 40 €.

Other full moon events are taking place at archaeological sites around Greece, including Aigai (Vergina, near Veria), Edessa and Athens.

Visit the Pella website:

The website is in Greek only, but can be translated into your language
in a browser such as Google Chrome.
Manolis Glezos writes an open letter to German President Joachim Gauck at My Favourite Planet

Letter to President Gauck

5 March 2014   As German President Joachim Gauck makes a visit to Greece,
an open letter to him from World War II veteran Manolis Glezos raises once
again the thorny question of reparations for Nazi atrocities.

Glezos greets Gauck at The Cheshire Cat Blog.
Greek archaeologists working at the site of Aristotle's Lyceum, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Aristotle's garden

October 2013   After several announcements over the last 17 years
that the archaeological site of the Athens Lyceum, where Aristotle
founded his Peripatetic school of philosophy, was to be opened
to the public, it looks like it may be finally about to happen.

Digging Aristotle, a photo essay at The Cheshire Cat Blog.
Giorgos Sfakianakis and his band play traditional Cretan music at the Full Moon Concert in Pella, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Full moon in Pella

21 August 2013    The Cheshire Cat returns to Macedonia, Greece to revel
at the annual August full moon concert at the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Full moon in Pella, a photo essay at The Cheshire Cat Blog.
The Dilek Peninsula and the Greek island of Samos from the Central Aegean coast of Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Spring in Ionia

May 2013    The Cheshire Cat Blog explores various aspects of human,
animal and plant life around the Central Aegean coast of Turkey, known in
ancient times as Ionia, location of cities such as Ephesus, Miletos and Priene.

Ionian Spring, a photo essay in three parts at The Cheshire Cat Blog.
The view from the acropolis of ancient city of Stageira along the east coast of Halkidiki, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet

My Favourite Planet goes to Aristotle's hometown

Spring 2012    The ancient city of Stageira was the birthplace of
the philosopher Aristotle. Today its ruins lie on the green Liotopi
peninsula, near the village of Olympiada, Macedonia, northern Greece.

The My Favourite Planet guide to Stageira and Olympiada features
68 pages of history, practical information and two galleries of photos and maps.
The goddess Athena watches over her hometown Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

My Favourite Planet goes to Athens

December 2011   The My Favourite Planet guide to Athens is launched this month
with our Athens Acropolis photo gallery, containing 36 pages of photos and plans
as well as articles about the history of the ancient citadel.

The gallery will be expanded over time, and will be joined by further gallery guides
to other parts of the Greek capital.
Koceck dancers and musicians in Fatih district, Istanbul at The Cheshire Cat Blog on My Favourite Planet
My Favourite Planet goes to the movies

June 2011   We finally get our first video online, thanks to those nice people
at YouTube. And a pretty lively flick it is too, as Köçek dancers go twirling their
skirts through the streets of Istanbul along to some raucous Turkish folk music.
Not to be missed.

Find out more and watch the video at The Cheshire Cat's Istanbul wedding dance.
My Favourite
Planet Blogs

The Cheshire Cat Blog - travel articles, photo essays and videos at My Favourite Planet Blogs

Cheshire Cat

Edwin Drood's Column - the blog by The Mysterious Edwin Drood at My Favourite Planet Blogs

Edwin Drood's
MFP People

Guide to Planet Earth at My Favourite Planet

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Photo gallery of Olympiada village, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet


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Vyzantino Greek Restaurant, Plaka, Athens, Greece
NEWGEN Travel Agency, Athens, Greece
Hotel Orestias Kastorias Thessaloniki, Greece - The heart of hospitality beats at the heart of the city
Hotel Liotopi, Olympiada, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Greece
Hotel Germany, Olympiada, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Greece
Hotel Okeanis, Kavala, Macedonia, Greece

George Alvanos

rooms in
Kavala's historic Panagia District

Anthemiou 35,
Kavala, Greece


Olive Garden Restaurant


+30 22460 49 109


Travel Agency


+30 22460 49 286

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