Thursday, 24 September 2009

Reviving Memories

I have given up watching television because I find that there is little that I really want to watch. However, I do have a large collection of DVDs and I find myself often watching these of an evening. It's a mixture of films and television series; some are recent and some are old.

I try to add a couple of DVDs to my collection each month so that I continue to add variety to what I have to view at any given time, and like the way that I can reread some books regularly because I enjoy them so much, so it is with the DVDs. I won't buy anything that I don't think that I will want to watch a number of times. Obviously I have made the odd mistake and bought something that wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped, but these purchases have been few and far between.

Recently I purchased the DVDs for the BBC television series Who Pays The Ferryman? This series, which is set on the island of Crete, was made in 1977 and I remember watching it when it was on television, and again when it was repeated. Unfortunately, the BBC haven't released this on DVD so I had to purchase it from Holland; it's in English with Dutch subtitles (which can be turned off, of course) and over the last couple of evenings I have watched all eight episodes.

Not only has it been a joy to watch a series that I enjoyed so much when it was first shown, but with the passing of more than 30 years since I saw it, I had forgotten much of the story so it has almost been like watching it for the first time. Only the music for the series which was written by one of the best known of the Greek composers of that time, Yannis Markopoulos, has remained in my memory all this time, and that is because I have heard it regularly over the last 20 years or so.

One of the sub-plots in the series takes place over the Easter weekend. The Greeks celebrate Easter with reverence, but also with great passion and enjoyment. Watching the DVDs has reminded me of the two Greek Easters that I have been lucky enough to have celebrated, not in Crete as in the series, but in Corfu, the place that is recognized by the Greeks as being the place to go to celebrate Greek Easter.

The first time was more than 20 years ago, when my husband and I made our first visit Corfu. We fell in love with the island and its people and we went there every year after that; it was also the place where my husband died. I still continued to visit Corfu after his death, and decided to go for Greek Easter again in 2004. When my mother died at the end of 2003, I asked my father whether he would like to come to Corfu with me for Greek Easter, so the two of us went there for Easter 2004. Because I knew what to expect this time, I was able to ensure that we were in the right places at the right times to see the spectacle of the processions on the various days and for the fireworks at midnight to mark Christ's resurrection.

It is incredible how clearly those memories returned while watching 'Who Pays The Ferryman?' and listening to its music, which like Zorba's Dance has been added to the repertoire of all Greek musicians and was heard regularly on my trips to Corfu. And what is perhaps more interesting, was how I was able to enjoy those memories with little of the sadness that I usually suffer these days when I think of either my husband or my parents and all the happy times that we had in Corfu.

1 comment:

Borderline Lil said...

Like you, I prefer old favourites and DVDs to most current telly. It's brilliant that some childhood favourites can now live with me on DVD and be brought out whenever I need some comfort. I never saw Who Pays The Ferryman, probably didn't screen here in Oz, but your memories of it sound wonderful!