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"You've Got to Sleep With Your Mum and Dad" is now available on Amazon. Childhood angst, marathon swimming, international exploitation and the threat of impending pinniped intimacy. on 2014-08-13
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My story on the Tate gallery website on 2013-11-11
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A Thousand Natural Shocks An anthology that includes two of my stories. Available now at Amazon. on 2013-11-11
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metochion-jerusalem22

On the lovely Vodina Caddesi is a gateway in a stone wall (41.030877, 28.949342). This is where the friendly bekçi, Abdullah, may allow you entry to the grounds of the Metochion of Jerusalem, a sort of consulate in Constantinople of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The walls of the narthex are a rogues’ gallery of the great and good in the Orthodox world. The emphasis in the modern church is more towards bridging than schism and interdenominational diplomatic visits of dignitaries are the rule.

Remnant of Feneriot mansion on the grounds of the Metochion. This was presumably the residenceof the envoy from the Holy Sepulchre.

Remnant of Feneriot mansion on the grounds of the Metochion. This was presumably the residence of the envoy from the Holy Sepulchre.

The land enclosed by the walls is a piece of the rural Aegean in the crush of Fener. The Church of St George is a typical 19th century basilica but the grounds preserve scattered bits of the Vlach Saray, the palace of the powerful Cantacuzene family in the last centuries of the Byzantine empire. Now it is the home of a herd of goats, the world’s most slothful guard dogs and some splendid fruit trees, one large fig in particular. A row of huge jars awaits offerings of olive oil from the faithful. There is also a plane tree said to date from the 16th Century. As I write this, I am drinking tea made from chamomile picked by Abdullah.

Rear of the Feneriot mansion at the Metochion.

Rear of the Feneriot mansion at the Metochion.

The Church of St George

The Church of St George

Steps leading from the Metochion to  Vlach Saray

Steps leading from the Metochion to Vlach Saray

metochion-jerusalem-cinar

Olive oil jars

Olive oil jars

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