Balkan Green Lizard (I think!)

The flora and fauna of Corfu is diverse, whilst we have been staying here (near Kassiopi) we have seen all sorts from birds of prey to an unusual snake. Now I had no chance with the snake, it vanished before I could even raise my camera to my eye. However this little guy, that I later identified as being a Balkan Green Lizard was actually surprisingly easy to get a picture of. Would you believe me if I told you this was hand-held too? I took one photo, sneaked closer, took another until I was too close to obtain focus with my 24-70mm Sigma lens. I zoomed to the full 70mm, the light was dropping (evening time) and set my ISO to 640, aperture to f6.3 with a shutter speed of 1/60 sec. I was super pleased with the result, keeping the lizard sharp and softening out the environment he was sat in.

It was quite amusing to see him on this tree again the following two days as we took our regular walk down the mountain side to the coastal road below.

Book: The Corfu Trilogy

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Our villa perched high above the glistening Ionian Sea commands a glorious view, I am taking pictures, quite a lot of them, some at dawn, some later and one or two at night. However a childhood hero and his family stick on my mind, that person was Gerald Durrell. I can remember watching him on the TV when I was a child and many years ago read “My Family and other Animals”. Recently we have enjoyed watching Simon Nye’s adaptation with it’s fabulous cast of actors on ITV. So I was delighted when we found a copy of the “The Corfu Trilogy” sat on one of the bookshelves. Now that is my reading sorted for a few days.

Corfu and clearing my mind

We are sat here drinking our afternoon coffee with a view across the pool, the Ionian Sea and Albania just a stones throw away. It is a fabulous view. The haze shrouding the Albanian mountains. The view stirs my imagination of Greek Gods and The Durrell family, in fact literally just down the bottom of this hillside is the village of Kalami, home to writer Lawrence Durrell, brother of Gerald for many years. That was some 70 years before now but their legacy lives on in the form of Television Tourism. We watched bemused this morning as a boat dropped off a bunch of tourists who swarmed the place like storm ants and vanished as quickly as they came, as though a malevolent child had poured boiling water upon them. Ok a harsh metaphor but that’s how my brain works at times. 

Meanwhile back up on the mountain side the fresh (albeit very warm to hot) air is gradually clearing my foggy head from a clutter of neural junk. I also end up pondering the value of the social media world and the internet. I sit here with iPad perched on my cross-legged lap typing with two fingers on its touch-screen keyboard writing this article which is more a ramble than anything else. As I say clearing the neural scrapyard of my mind. 

I’ve got to the point where I feel social media has started to concern me a little bit too much. It is great that we can stay in contact with so many people in a quick post. Written. Sent. Done. Move on to the next thing. Our lives have become as asynchronous as our computer software we so heavily depend upon. 

Now as a web guy, this is something you’d thought would please me but to be honest I’m worried about it and feel that the web was better in some ways about five years or so ago. Ok technically it was not as good as it is now but it’s purpose and vision were way better. We all had a fighting chance at becoming successful through it. Now the monopoly is overbearing and so many think Facebook is the internet, the web. 

It’s for this reason I hold the flag for the individual spirits of the web. This WordPress platform is one such place where that is encouraged and also I enjoy reading Medium quite a lot. 

I end my ramble here, time for some more coffee and to read more on Medium or WordPress. Maybe there is something that will follow social media as we know it? I would like to see things shaken up a bit? We’ve become too single minded as a race. I could go on talking about similar patterns in the coffee industry, yes Costa and Starbucks. What happened to those individuals?

The Brewster Project

My closest friends and family know my middle name and I’m about to tell you now. My birth certificate states my name as being Nicholas Euan Brewster Lewis. It is the third name of the four I want to talk about in this post, Brewster.

You may know of the Pilgrim Fathers who set sail from Plymouth, UK in 1620 to found a new colony on the other side of the Atlantic of the same name. They were amongst the earliest settlers of America and founded a number of towns and cities there. They were highly influential and the forefathers of modern Americans. Today I found out that Bing Crosby was a direct descendant of William.

Now how am I connected to all of this? That’s what I’ve been yearning to find out about all of my life.

My middle name was the idea of my paternal grandmother who before marriage was Esme Brewster Davies. She herself had inherited it from her ancestors and she felt it important to pass it down the line to me. Sadly it stops with me as no one else in our broader family has inherited it.

The big question is, am I directly or indirectly connected to William Brewster? Some family members think my grandmother got it all wrong and there was no connection at all! However I beg to differ 😀

I intend to follow this historical trail, all the way from Scrooby in Nottinghamshire via Holland and ending up in America.

Yes quite a grand trip but not one I intend to do all in one go!

In 2020 which is not far away, it will be he 400th anniversary of the epic voyage across the Atlantic.