Sunday, 27 November 2011

Mytilini Correspondence

Churchill Fellow

Costas Seretis
Restaurant Reef
Greece      PC  81 109.
00 30 22530 41488
Mobile: 00 30 697 9726323

Dear Costas

Thought in my bath this morning of the numerous people I have been telling about my two-centre luxury holiday in Mytilini in September! About my studio home near the harbour town, in Aklidiou, in Aklidi Studios, and my weekend home with you in Petra, that lovely resort, and right on the beach, with sun beds and sun shades, and where your mother keeps the sheets on the bed for me for the following weekend in the rooms-to-let above the restaurant! And where I have four different routes to travel between my ‘homes’ on my quadbike!!! Along the sea. Over the mountains. Through the fields. And where I get the best Greek food for lunch and dinner, and an English cooked breakfast! No wonder, I cooked very little this year in my studio! I compared the ease and calm of my holidays in Mytilini, with my strenuous, and detailed, planning at this moment, emails and texts flying, phones ringing, of my Christmas stay in Berlin, where I am in contact with about 30 lots of people, for meetings, concerts, theatre, opera, exhibitions, and for Berlin cuisine dinners, and where I am going to be interviewed on film! I am looking forward, now, to next summer in Mytilini, to recuperate from the strain of my London and Berlin city lives!!!

Cheers, Costas!

Love to your lovely mother, to your great father, and to beautiful Marietta!



Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Beauty versus Function  

I think two architectural principles are at loggerheads over the concert hall in the Les Arts Gstaad arts centre: and they are Beauty and Function. There is no doubt that the building  will be stunningly beautiful, inside and out. And the sound in the concert hall will no doubt be superb. So much for Beauty. By contrast, Function will be seriously impaired. There is going to be NO ORCHESTRA PIT for on-stage performances of ballet and opera concertante; there’s going to be NO CHORUS SEATING, needed for major  choral works in the classical repertoire; there’s going to be NO ORGAN, a Must in an international performance arts venue; there are going to be NO WINDOWS (!) for the artists’ dressing rooms, for the Green Room, or for the orchestral players’ and chorus rooms; and there are going to be NO RESTAURANTS for the concert public, for the performers, for the technicians, for the visitors to the exhibition rooms, or for the travellers using the coach station situated below the arts centre. Beauty wins hands down, but, alas, Function loses out.

When I went to Athens for the first time, in 1958, on the way to Lesbos, I was invited to a tour of the Parthenon, perhaps the most important architectural experience in my life. Then there I learnt, that great architecture combines beauty and function, that great architecture is sculpture, that serves purpose in every single one of its details.

8 November 2011


Wednesday, 2 November 2011


 I am not one that can get very enthusiastic about revenge or punishment. I think their shame is already ample punishment. That suffices. Now let them go on playing, and  serve us with their high talent, not waste it (I say 'us', but really leave myself entirely out of it, as cricket bores me to distraction - that thin outdoor clapping...) Let them be unpaid, let them serve on expenses only. And let them appear before their public in their shame, and let us, their public, practise that vital ingredient in human life, that is in such sadly short supply, forgiveness.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011




The British Government has just ordered the refurbishment of the army’s ‘Warrior’ tanks at a cost of one billion pounds sterling. That is £1,000,000,000 or £10 to the power of 9. The British Government has also just ordered 12 military helicopters, machines of unbelievable sophistication, and of exorbitant cost. These are the tools of this small island country’s world-wide military and political interference and aggression. It should not be playing this terrible, and costly, imperial role; costly in cash and costly in life; cash that should be used for its people, life that should be saved. Please add this subject to your protest.

And I thank you for what you are doing.

Peter Zander

London Soho.

1 November 2011