At Ernest Hemingway’s Key West Home


 It’s common truth that every person when he is exposed to something new tries to bring in his own experience to make sense the new situation he is into. The same happened to me when I stepped into Hemingway’s home in Key West (the island at the far end of the USA  and 90 miles from Cuba). To say the truth,  I didn’t expect that this house  will stir some details of my own personal memories. I remembered the day that my mother  bought – from her cousin, a salesman in a publishing company in Greece – all the series of Hemingway’s books which were leather-bound in red colour with gold letters on the books’ spine and cover.  That time, I was around 16 years old  and I had a vivid memory of my mother lying in her bed and reading one of the book of the series, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.  Our conversation was about the translation, I believed then that the cause I didn’t enjoy reading this particular title was the translation but my mother had a different opinion and for sure experience, she was  avid reader and she was taking great pleasure by reading it.  This title  among others – “Death in the Afternoon”, “Winner Take Nothing”, “To have and Have Not” –  had been written in this house.  Hemingway with his second wife Pauline have resided for 9 years in this house and he wrote the 70% of all his work.  This impressive Hemingway’s estate  is supposed to be the largest house in town comparing to the relative small houses in Key West.



Hemingway’s House from outside,  at Whitehead Street.


The entrance


The stair at the front entrance leads to the bedrooms upstairs.


One of his magnificent balconies.


One of the descendant of Hemingway’s cats. Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat,


Kitchen as it was in Hemingway’s time there.


One of his living room. Hemingway was avid collector of Spanish furniture of 17th & 18th century.



Pauline’s boudoir.

Hemingway’s studio where he was working everyday from 9-12 pm.




His typewriter.  “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” Hemingway.



One of the corner of his studio. Above his armchair and below his desk.

IMG_7318The swimming pool where all the parties were taking place. Pauline was the best party’s organizer according to the curator of the House.




His third wife Marthe Cellhorn (Cuba years)                                                                                                 Hemingway’s books











The first wife Hadley Richardson (The Paris year) and his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer (Key West Years).


Whitehead street and below is the old lighthouse as a view from Hemingway’s house.



Below one of the small house in Hemingway’s neighborhood.IMG_7077


Visiting Hemingway’s house in Key West was one my finest days in this beautiful  island. I had the impression that  it’s the Cuban influence that gives such a vibrant colour not only to this American island but to the whole area including Miami.

The website of the house is

p.s One of his book about Paris!

12241552_997162850345433_4712333655832055710_n“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Apple Brandy/Cider festival

These autumn days, I felt nostalgic about my father’s wine producing days. One of my father’s hobbies was that of producing his own wine -two barrels maximum-  and every autumn as children, we were helping in the collection of grapes, which that time as I remembered, it was quite hard thing to do but we were compensating later by the fun we had stomping the grapes with our feets  in the grape mill(Patitiri).

Back in England, I didn’t imagine that I could find a similar activity but this time with apples. The production of cider and apple brandy(Calvados in French) has similar process.  The West country in England (Somerset) is  famous for the cider production and specifically one farm -the Somerset Cider Brandy company,  is the first farm producing Calvados/ apple brandy in England.

As I was reading about this tradition of apple harvesting and producing cider … I found out that  the western British tradition of Wasailling (Wassailing is a very ancient custom that is rarely done today. The word ‘wassail‘ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’. Originally, the wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. The apple trees and making an offering of cider and bread in Autumn to protect the fertility of the orchard appears to be a relatively ancient tradition, superficially dating back to the pre-Christian early medieval period).

The apple festival of the Somerset Cider Brandy Company was quite elaborated and  all of us had great fun by drinking hot cider and eating the ploughman’s sandwich(a kind of) accompanied by live music!


Children and dogs had a lot of fun playing in the apple hills.


Apple pressing using straws! This specific ingredient is important for the cider production.


To extract the juice from the pulp, wooden screw presses were used from medieval times onwards.  The apple pulp had first to be built into a ‘cheese’ using alternate thin layers of pulp and straw.IMG_6646


Apple Orchard in the farm.IMG_6616

Brandy Distillery. Last records for distilling Cider Brandy in England date back to 1678. The Somerset Cider Brandy Company revived the tradition in 1987 when we obtained the first commercial distilling license in English recorded history.IMG_6650


The shop.


One of the nicest autumn activities in the English countryside! Apple Harvest!

Let’s Talk about Fashion and Politics

“Fashion contains every human activity from economics to politics” said Iris Apfel in the movie “Iris”, a documentary about her life as a business woman and style icon. Vivienne Westwood agreed that fashion is about politics and her statement in the Channel 4 news was quite polemic, she believed that Corbynism is a way out of our current financial system since “the logical conclusion of this financial system is total poverty for everybody”!

It is interesting enough that the new age of politicians and economists have embraced fashion to introduce themselves and create awareness of their new economic ideas. Perhaps, it was always like that but some months ago the whole concept  was highlighted by the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras with the “no-tie” appearance, the revolutionary one!


Who doesn’t remember Varoufakis’ appearance at No. 10 with George Osborne which “shook the world” of all “preppies”.


Millions of comments on social media and newspapers about the appearance of the newcomers in the international politics.   Yanis Varoufakis with his hard rock appearance and George Osborne with his very tight and thin suit (austerity on the go). No more wide trousers and jackets to be lost inside. You get what you need to cover your body  the designers dictate during the years of crisis.

On the other hand, Corbyn in his first appearance as the Leader of the Labour Party  in the Prime Minister’s question time in the British Parliament chose to wear something from the high street shops (M&S…) – shiny and brand new as a British working class person would have chosen to wear for a special occasion. The visual contrast was obvious comparing it with Cameron’s tailored and fine material suit! Corbyn managed to put visually their difference before expressing it orally.


Another recent political fashion incidence  was that of  Merkel’s. During the period of negotiation with the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras she had never changed the colour of her jacket. The same yellow colour in different shades. Somebody can search about the semiotics of the yellow and I’m sure he/she will find out what Angela meant despite it’s not so hard  to make his/her own assumptions.

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras depart after speaking to the media following talks at the Chancellery on March 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The two leaders are meeting as relations between the Tsipras government and Germany have soured amidst contrary views between the two countries on how Greece can best work itself out of its current economic morass. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

In the meantime, during this week in London and New York the fashion people have their prime. The  fashion week spring 2016  is on and all of those that are interesting in watching the new trends for spring 2016 are attending the big spectacle by carrying themselves as models in the streets and being a kind of inspiration for the great fashion designers and introducing the “fashion street style”!





Deauville in the movies

Belle Epoque and Deauville are two words chained together.  Someone who visits Deauville can feel strongly the joie de vivre of this era. The magnificent architecture of the houses, the well maintained  Promenade des Planches for big walks along the beach and the fact that the beach closets named after the Hollywood stars – a landmark for recognising the place as the setting for the film “Un Homme and Une Femme” by Claude Lelouch – show the prosperity of the place and the reason why the creative people used it as a setting of their work. For quite a long time, I had a very vivid memory of Jean Louis Trintignant’s racing car speeding on a huge sandy beach, somewhere in France, and meeting up with Anouk Aimee. That time, I was quite young and didn’t question about the name of the place,  only later in life  when I saw  “Private Lives” by Noel Coward in the theatre, I kept in my mind the name.  Deauville was the resort for the  international bourgeoisie of that time and it was connected to major European cities with fast trains. It was really well maintained place for  leisure and the   two main casinos in the area  kept entertaining the bourgeoisie. The Casino in Deauville was the original Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. Deauville was the setting of the film “Coco before Chanel” with Audrey Tatou and the birthplace of Chanel’s Clothing career. As well as, the town has been mentioned in one of the chapters of  Proust’s in Search of Lost Time.


Le Promenade des Planches: The beach closets dedicated to the stars of Hollywood.





Deauville Corniche.


Deauville’s Townhall.




Deauville beach.


Casino Royale, Deauville


Mansions along the beach of Trouville.IMG_4962




A library at the Plage of Deauville.


Shopping  in Trouville is a totally different experience from Deauville.


A view of Trouville from the boat.


Deauville has kept its international profile by hosting the American Film Festival and each year troops of celebrities come to visit the resort. Perhaps, Deauville’s  aura is due to the myth and exclusivity that stills offers to its residents.

For cinephiles and bookworms places like Deauville are a bonus for reviving our imagination even further. Somehow, it works as historical archaeological sites of the modern times!

Announcing the Programme for the MMIT Conference 2015 – Social Media & Libraries.

Originally posted on MmIT blog:

We are delighted to announce the full programme for the MMIT Conference 2015 – see below.

The conference theme is social media & addresses areas such as altmetrics, current research, marketing and communications, and delivering services via social media. 

Join us in Sheffield from Monday 14th- Tuesday 15th September 2015. 

Delegates will engage in a series of workshops and seminars on social media themes and the conference will also showcase current research and innovations in these areas through lightning sessions and presentations from researching practitioners. There will also be a student forum where Masters and PhD students will highlight their research.

Our keynote speakers are Marie Kinsey, Professor of Journalism Education at the University of Sheffield; PhD researcher and public library advocate, Lauren Smith of walkyouhome; and Brian Kelly, Innovation Advocate at Cetis, a national centre based at Bolton University. Phil Bradley is our after dinner speaker.

Book your tickets now

To book your tickets please visit our…

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Eurogroup Copains En Vacances

Suddenly, I started feeling withdrawal symptoms by not seeing anymore on a daily basis the main protagonists of the Greek Crisis negotiations and I was wondering what they were doing these days without having to attend their regular  “critical”  meetings in Brussels.  Interestingly enough, most of them  decided to spend their holidays locally, in good old and beautiful Europe!

Christian Lagarde chose to spend her holidays elegantly at the hotel Conti in the beautiful area of  Villeuneve-des-Avignons,  South of France.


Angela Merkel with her spouse chose to go for Trekking at Solda, South Tyrol. Trekking is always recommended for those people who are taking serious decision.



Wolfgang Schäuble is  a regular on  Sylt island, a holiday resort for the super rich Germans.



Alexis Tsipras went  on the island of Erikousa, a small island close to Corfu for few days with his wife Betty.



In the meantime, the Eurogroup signed the third bailout, around 85 billions Euro. Soon the whole “island” of Greece will be on sale with thousands of migrants who are arriving daily in a state of despair!

Summer in the City

August is here and summer is at its peak! It’s time to dedicate this post to the people who are staying in the city this summer and singing along with Mungo Jerry “In the Summertime”!


“In the summertime when the weather is hot

You can stretch right up and touch the sky”

IMG_4783“When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive”
Go out and see what you can findIMG_3300“If her daddy’s poor just do what you feel”

“If her daddy’s is rich take her out for a meal”


IMG_4794IMG_4790IMG_4269 Summer in Astana 2015


Summer in Bath 2015

“In the Summertime
We love everybody but we do as we please
When the weather’s fine
We’re always happy
Life’s for livin’ yeah…”