Blog Post

Thank you for joining me this week as I share with you the inspiration for the title of my book.

The title of my novel The Summer Will Come has been taken from the poem written by Evagoras Pallikarides.

Evagoras Pallikarides was a hero and poet. He was born on 27th February 1938 and died on 14th March 1957, aged 19; he was hung for his involvement in EOKA by the British.

A day before his trial, and having decided to join the EOKA fighters in the mountains, Pallikarides broke into his school and left a message and poem for his fellow students to read the following morning:

‘Dear school friends, At this time, someone is missing from among you, someone who has left in search of the fresh air of Liberty, someone who you might not see alive again. Don’t cry at his graveside. It won’t do for you to cry. A few spring flowers scatter on his grave. This is enough for him…’

 

I’ll take an uphill road
I’ll take the paths
To find the stairs
That lead to freedom

I’ll leave brothers, sisters
My mother, my father
In the valleys beyond
And the mountainsides

Searching for freedom
I’ll have as company
The white snow
Mountains and torrents

Even if it’s winter now
The summer will come
Bringing Freedom
To cities and villages

I’ll take an uphill road
I’ll take the paths
To find the stairs
That lead to freedom

I’ll climb the stairs
I’ll enter a palace
I know it will be an illusion
I know it won’t be real

I’ll wander in the palace
Until I find the throne
Only a queen
Sitting on it

Beautiful daughter, I will say,
Open your wings
And take me in your embrace
That’s all I ask…’

 

He signed it Evagoras Pallikarides on 5th December 1955.

(He was to appear in court on 6th December 1955, the following day)

 

Thank you for the interest you have shown in my novel which is due for release on Amazon on 25th March 2018. 

Thank you for reading!

If you live in north London and would like to join me at my Celebratory Launch Party then please contact me by email for details of the date, venue and time: soullaauthor@gmail.com

I would love to see you there! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘It’s doomed. It’s doomed,’ repeated her yiayia over and over under her breath but loud enough for Elena to catch. ‘Doomed…like the journey of Odysseus…oh Lord be with us and keep us safe.’ She pulled her black head scarf around her and crossed herself.

‘Stop it,’ said Evangelia. ‘You’re going to scare the children. Enough. This is hard enough as it is without you and your superstitions.’

Elena repeated the name of the ship, painted in black letters on its side, Mesabia, Mesabia, Mesabia inside her head over and over again. This calmed her and she decided, despite her yiayia’s rambling, it was a lucky name. It was soft and gentle, an angel on water, she told herself just as much to convince herself as any.

‘Look at all the cars driving onto the ship,’ exclaimed Andreas.

‘And all those people already on board,’ said Elena as they filled the promenade deck, some shouting across the port and others waving scarves and sun hats in an effort to stand out from the milling crowds as they tried to attract their families left standing on solid Cyprus ground.

‘One, two, three, four decks,’ counted Elena out loud as she stared in awe at the huge rusty chains and worn cables dangling down the ship’s sides, clanking as they pulled on a wooden beam near the ship’s bow.

She bit on her lower lip and forced back the sudden urge to cry. She clasped her hands together and wrung them in and out of each other. Her heart was thumping in her ears and she wondered whether anyone else could hear it but no-one was giving her the slightest bit of attention, thank goodness. She stared ahead of her at the melee of white shirts and coloured summer dresses, the formal suits worn by some of the men and the pretty scarves worn by the women fluttering in the sea breeze.

Elena was wearing a yellow skirt and white blouse with butterflies on. The blouse stuck to her back as the sweat soaked through. It had been a parting gift from her classmates, chosen by her teacher. She had cried with delight when she opened the brown parcel tied with pink ribbon as she had been worrying about what to travel in.

They edged their way forward, the floating vessel looming above them, the sun beating down on Elena’s head. The noises around her were unfamiliar. Chains clanged and scraped and sailors yelled instructions to each other. Cranes moved around like giant iron arms as they lifted and then lowered huge containers and bulging mail bags to the men working on the ship, their engines sending a monotonous, thundering growl across the air. There was a constant hub-bub of talking as passengers were ticked off a list and walked along the wooden gangway, waving and shouting back at those left on the port side.

As Elena and her family neared the head of the queue there was a delay with the family in front of them. The man from the ship seemed calm but he had the same curt manner the Principal at school. Elena peered at his white uniform; all he’s missing are the wings and halo of an angel, she thought. She fixed her stare on the pretty gold stitching of the trim on the cuffs of his jacket and the shiny buttons glistening gold.

Elena fidgeted hopping from one foot to the other.

‘Stop it Elena!’ said her mother.

‘Why are they talking so long?’ asked Andreas, his fingers in his mouth again.

‘There’s a problem with their paperwork,’ said yiayia. ‘Have you checked ours Evangelia? Are you sure you’ve got everything?’

‘Yes, I have,’ said Evangelia but she took out the envelope from her handbag all the same and peered into the top of it, fingering through the folds of papers in it.

‘Please stand to the side. You will not be travelling today,’ said the Purser to the family of seven. There were raised voices and some swearing and scuffling between the Purser and the man who appeared to be the father. The woman, she assumed the mother, cried as the children stood huddled close by; pale white, speechless.

Elena noticed her mother’s face instantly colour. Elena knew she was panicking.

The Purser, who appeared calm given the continued barrage of raised voices around him, refocused on Evangelia.

‘Passenger names please.’

‘Surname Ellinas. Evangelia, Andreas, Elena. Surname Stefanides. Elena,’ said Evangelia, as yiayia held onto her arm.

‘Can I see your papers please?’

 

If you enjoyed this extract and would like to read The Summer Will Come then please log onto Amazon on 25th March 2018 – the book will be available in both e-book and paperback formats to buy.

And if you live in North London and would like to join me at the Celebratory Book Launch Event please contact me for further details by email: soullaauthor@gmail.com

I would love you to join me! 

Please follow and like us:

‘When I say “ready”, throw your ammunition,’ commanded Katerina as her words carried on the chilly breath of the wind.

Christaki wondered who she was talking to and struggled to catch her words. He couldn’t see anyone around, but then in the far distance he saw Melani. He recognised her yellow dress and floppy summer hat she wore to protect her from the morning sun. She looked like an ordinary young girl taking a hike across the hills overlooking the sea. What was she doing? He wondered. She should be at school. Suddenly she waved a blue scarf in the air, waving at someone. Christaki made out a boy on his bike on the road directly below. When Christaki peered back, he caught sight of Melani scrambling over the hillside. She’s going to the secret cave, thought Christaki.

The boy pedalled like mad towards Katerina and the others. Christaki could see the sea breeze blowing into his face.

‘Please God let this not be what I think it is,’ Christaki prayed. He peered back to where Katerina was now half-crouching, and noticed the other children, some as young as nine or ten, but most of them from high school. They too squatted low behind the boulders and rocky crevices of the mountainside. The more he focused, the more children he saw.

Within minutes the boy appeared at the foot of the disused field.

‘They’re on their way. Melani waved four times,’ he said, catching his breath. He threw his bike to the ground and joined his school friends crouched behind an abandoned truck.

‘So there are four trucks,’ Katerina’s distinct voice carried on the wind as she addressed the hiding students.

‘There are four trucks,’ she called out this time in a half-whisper. ‘You know what to do. We’ve got about five minutes.’ There was a commotion as the young people moved into position. Some children hid behind rocks and boulders, others crouched low, camouflaged by bushes and thickets.

Christaki saw the Keo beer delivery truck trundle past and take a right into the road leading to Ayios Tychonas. Two older men on their mopeds whooshed past, sending a billowing cloud of dust into the air. A small convoy of British military vehicles followed.

‘Ready?’ called out Katerina. ‘Now!’

What happened next terrified Christaki and he was unsure what to do. He pushed his moped over and lay low. He scrambled over the rough terrain to where the children were hiding. He caught his elbow on a jagged rock and winced from the pain. Blood seeped through his shirt sleeve. Their action stunned him.

The thuggish children sprang out shouting and screaming. They bombarded the military trucks and jeeps with rocks, bricks, stones and sticks as they drove by. A rock hit the first jeep’s windscreen smashing it instantly. It came to a sudden halt. A screech of brakes filled the air as the trucks behind swerved and collided with it. Christaki, his eyes fixed on the target, saw one skid, its side and windows indented and crushed from the flying rocks. It ended half way in a ditch on the other side of the road. The soldiers rushed out and ducked behind their battered jeeps; both the back tyres blown. There was no movement for a few seconds. Doors clacked open and banged shut as the soldiers got out, shock on their faces. Two showed signs they’d been hurt. One held his arm and grimaced from the pain and the other who wore no beret held his head where an open wound gushed blood.

‘British out! British out!’ yelled one of the boys and the others joined in with him as they waved their crude home-made banners in the air. A white bed sheet painted blue with the Greek flag, the initials EOKA and the word Enosis painted across it flapped in the air. A smaller flag made from scraps of blue and white silk, sewn together to form a white cross on a blue background, waved high above their heads.

‘What the?’ yelled an officer, as he grabbed his rifle, blood dripping from his face. He directed the other soldiers to evacuate their vehicles and take cover.

Christaki’s heart beat faster and faster.

‘EOKA!’

Enosis! Unity with Greece!’

Zhto H Ellas! Hail Greece!’

Eleftheria H Thanatos! Freedom or death!’

The students screamed a barrage of obscenities in Greek and waved their arms in the air. Handfuls of anti-British leaflets were thrown into the air. The papers scattered across the rough terrain and into the road, other sheets fluttered in the air like soaring albatrosses.

The officer panicked. Caught unawares. He raised his rifle and shot three times into the air. Silence prevailed.

‘This is not the answer! You’re putting yourselves in danger!’ shouted the officer. ‘You are so lucky not to have hurt any of us seriously! This is your one and only warning!’

Enosis! Unity with Greece!’ yelled Melani, as she showed herself. The others joined in until their chanting became deafening.

Christaki panicked. The situation was spiralling out of control. He had to act, fast

 

If you enjoyed this extract and would like to read The Summer Will Come then please log onto Amazon on 25th March 2018 – the book will be available in both e-book and paperback formats to buy.

And if you live in North London and would like to join me at the Celebratory Book Launch Event please contact me for further details by email: soullaauthor@gmail.com

I would love you to join me! 

Please follow and like us:

My poetry collection Sunshine after Rain was inspired by old sayings and phrases and many of my Twitter friends and followers on IG contributed too. I took their favourite saying and used it to create a poem. But it also got me thinking about some of the wise sayings that my own Greek Cypriot grandparents and parents have said over the years. Many of them have given me sound advice about how to live my life and while I may have paid little attention as a teenager, I have found that as I am getting older I am taking more heed.

These sayings or proverbs are innate to supporting greater empathy and understanding of my Greek heritage and culture too. It helps me to understand my roots and the way my parents think and why they behave or react to things in certain ways.

 

Proverbs or in Greek : οι παροιμίες. (E ba-ree-mee-ez)

 

  1. The donkey called the rooster big headed.

This means that a person criticises another person for a fault he has himself. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Look who’s talking’.

  1. When the cat’s away, the mice dance.

This means that when the person in charge is not present, others enjoy their freedom. The nearest English equivalent is ‘When the cat’s away, the mice will play’.

  1. The camel cannot see her own hump.

This means that we criticise and point out other people’s faults and weaknesses but we fail to notice our own. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the one in your own?’

  1. Too many opinions sink the boat.

This means that it’s difficult to make decisions when there are too many opinions. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’.

  1. My home, my little home, a little house of my own.

This means loving and having your own home. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Home sweet home’.

 

Source material: http://www.omilo.com/2016/12/01/10-important-greek-proverbs/

 

I’m sure you know of many sayings and proverbs from your own country or origins so why not share them here – I could post an international blog on the ones mentioned in the future.

Thank you for joining me, and as always, happy reading, happy writing, happy you!

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