Blue Skies & Black Olives: A survivor's tale of housebuilding and peacock chasing in Greece

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Hodder & Stoughton, Sep 10, 2009 - Travel - 300 pages
13 Reviews

It was a moment of mad impulse when John Humphrys decided to buy a semi-derelict cottage and a building site on a plot of land overlooking the Aegean. A few minutes gazing out over the most glorious bay he had ever seen was all it took to persuade him. After all, his son Christopher was already raising his family there so he would help build the beautiful villa that would soon rise there. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything.

John was to spend the next three years regretting his moment of madness.

Some of it had its comic side. He learned to cope with a drunken peacock falling out of his favourite tree and even a colony of rats invading his bedroom. Some of the humans proved trickier: the old man demanding payment for olive trees in the middle of John's own land; the neighbour who dragged his lovely old fishing boat onto the beach and set fire to it after a row with his wife. And, of course, the builders. Was the plumber who electrocuted him in the shower vengeful or merely incompetent?

John learned a lot about Greece in a short time. He grew to love it and loathe it in almost equal measures, but was never for a moment bored by it. And Christopher learned a bit more about John. Their shared experience revived keen memories for him of growing up with a father for whom patience was never the strongest virtue...

Here father and son capture the idyll and the odyssey as paradise is found, lost and regained.

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Review: Blue Skies and Black Olives: A Survivor's Tale of Housebuilding and Peacock Chasing in Greece

User Review  - Lorraine - Goodreads

excellent very funny book about building a cottage in Greece. As it is so well written it is easy to imagine yourself there among the interesting characters he meets admiring his house with a view...recommended Read full review

Review: Blue Skies and Black Olives: A Survivor's Tale of Housebuilding and Peacock Chasing in Greece

User Review  - Ivona Mccormick - Goodreads

Very pleasant read especially if one has been to Greece. Brought back fun memories. Read full review

About the author (2009)

John Humphrys has reported from all over the world for the BBC and presented its frontline news programmes on both radio and television, in a broadcasting career spanning forty years. He has won a string of national awards and been described as a 'national treasure'. He owned a dairy farm for ten years and has homes in Greece and London. Christopher Humphrys is John Humphrys' eldest son. He has lived in Greece for the past sixteen years and is a cellist with the hugely popular Camerata Orchestra based in Athens.

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