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

Blue Skies and Black Olives A Survivor s Tale of Housebuilding and Peacock Chasing in Greece Radio Today presenter and national treasure John Humphrys funny and engaging memoir of building a home in Greece with his son Christopher

  • Title: Blue Skies and Black Olives: A Survivor's Tale of Housebuilding and Peacock Chasing in Greece
  • Author: John Humphrys
  • ISBN: 9780340978825
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Radio 4 Today presenter and national treasure John Humphrys funny and engaging memoir of building a home in Greece with his son Christopher.

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      Published :2018-08-25T18:34:11+00:00

    1 thought on “Blue Skies and Black Olives: A Survivor's Tale of Housebuilding and Peacock Chasing in Greece”

    1. Greece was a country that John Humphrys was beginning to fall in love with as he visited his son Christopher and his family there regularly. One time whilst visiting he had the mad idea of buying a property there. They kept looking for the ideal place, and one day he found it; in the Peloponnese was a site with a stunning view over the Aegean. The only problem was it had a semi derelict cottage and the rest was a building site with the foundations of a villa. But surely that wasn’t a big probl [...]

    2. I was predisposed to like this, since i'm a philhellene who lived in Greece for a while. That said when I started it, I hated it! To start with I felt like something of a groupie reading a book by John Humphrys, and I hated the change of voice between John and Christopher, which felt like a clunky marketing way of getting famous father's name of a book written by obscure son. Getting past this, I was totally immersed in the catalogue of incidents encountered as JH tried to get his dream house bu [...]

    3. For 50 weeks of the year I find books like this unutterably loathsome. Posh people buy a little place to do up in Provence or Tuscany or in this case the Pelopponese, and face trials and tribulations whilst laughing in a patronising way at the quaint locals and their funny customs. The purpose of reading this book is to remind me, while I'm here exercising my fantasy of buying a little place to do up, that it would be a REALLY BAD IDEA. Especially if I'm hankering for a quiet life of writing, wa [...]

    4. I picked this book up as I remember John Humphrys reading the news when I used to live in the UK and thought it might be interesting. I was right, hilarious in parts, especially the peacock, but honestly and I don't want to offend anyone, why would you build a house in Greece when you are faced with such bureaucracy. I now understand why the country is in such a mess.

    5. Since I have been to Greece, I recommend this book. It is entertaining with laugh aloud moments and it imparts information about the culture that you never knew. Worth reading!

    6. I am a big fan of all things Greek and my ultimate dream is to live there one day, so I have a love for these 'moving to Greece' memoirs and have read quite a few now. I was especially attracted to this one as John Humphrys is such a well-known and respected figure and it almost seems as though it is a friend or at least an acquaintance who is writing this story.John's son Christopher had already been living in Athens for well over 10 years and is married to a Greek girl. John often visited them [...]

    7. It's the classic "woe is me" dinner party tale of red tape and builders that don't show up, set in Greece. But John Humprys redefines the concept "Whingeing Pom". Vestigial colonial superiority feelings or just insular stubbornness leave this man unable to deal with emotions, be it those of others (especially when confounded by cultural or language differences) or his own. He repeatedly quotes his own sarcastic rants, which paint a very unattractive personality. Just as well then that his sonn w [...]

    8. The problem with this type of book is that in general the writer's experiences are little different to those undertaken by others doing something similar elsewhere. As such the book is formulaic and required something to distinguish itself for other in the same genre. And I'm afraid that neither John's or Christopher's approach did anything to endear them to me, or involve me in their experience.Was not sure whether to award one or two stars, so I gave it the benefit of my doubt. But I had expec [...]

    9. Absolutely wonderful. What strikes me as endearing is a kindness of this book. However many misforutnes happened to John and Christopher on their way, they still managed to describe it in a very warm, tender even, way. Saying nothing about the good humour and a great deal of healthy sarcazm. Andally informative. I know i have a guide for my next trip to Greece, definitely. "One way of cracking walnuts might be to put them on your sodding head and hit them very hard with half a sodding house bric [...]

    10. This book really took me back to the time I spent in Greece. The insight into the Greek psyche is spot -on, ranging from humourous, endearing to sheer frustrating. Loved this book for all the trials and tribulations John and his son encountered in building their villa. The peacock episode had me laughing out loud and the next moment the book would take you to the depths of despair.

    11. It wasn't paced perfectly but I had fun reading it :). It even made me giggle in a cafe. Talk about awkward!I loved these two different POVs - father's and son's. It certainly added something special to the book.

    12. I particularly enjoyed the fact that I have been to all the places mentioned in this book so it brought back lots of happy memories and feelings. Put me off building a house in Greece though!

    13. not normally a fan of john humphrys, this book had me warming to him. its funny and now that i live in greece i can sympathise with the many problems he had in completing the building of his house. may he and his family enjoy many years in their lovely house

    14. This is an interesting, but convoluted read by a father and son team of authors. This memoir rambles. Some of it is beautifully told and insightful, but much is not. If you are keen to buy a property in Greece, after reading this book, you will certainly rethink these plans.

    15. 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 viewcommended

    16. John Humphrys is a brilliant BBC broadcaster and I enjoyed his writing every bit as much as his broadcasts. His ascerbic wit comes over powerfully in the book

    17. Took ages to read. I absolutely adore all things Greek and having previously read a number of similar style tales for some reason I found this very hard going.Much preferred It's All Greek To Me

    18. An amusing portrait of Greek life, marred by the knowledge that the author obviously earns significantly more than any if those he attacks on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme for earning too much.

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