It's very rainy and English outside, so much so that the White House has turned grey!
However, tomorrow promises to be glorious and warm and sunny.
Now, on to the meat of this post. It's kind of especially for Tea N Crumpets because she's Eastern Orthodox, and my Cypriot Papou (grandpa) was a Greek Orthodox priest for a while, so it is in my blood even though I was brought up Anglican.
Here is Panayiotis (or Panos for short). Love the bow tie. On the right, he looks very young (the other fellow is his cousin Nick).
Panos was a little man, fiesty and affectionate - he stood only up to my father's shoulder, and my Dad is not much taller than me (I'm 5'3" / 63 cm). He had olive skin and blue eyes. I have just noticed, he looks like a dreamer.
I never met him, for he died of a heart attack following a house fire, the year before I was born. I would have loved to hear his accent, and maybe hear him sing.
He trained to be a priest in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus in the early 1900s, and his pure voice was famous in the area. However, he did not stay. As Cyprus was a British protectorate, he immigrated and found a new life in London running two restaurants. He was a good cook at home and could whip up a feast from nothing, all the while singing his sacred music and chasing everyone out of the kitchen.
When I was a toddler, I scared my mother when I would sit under the dining table and sing my heart out, something sounding very much like Papou.
This video is from 2006, but I still talk like this - because Tea N Crumpets rightfully imagines me with an English accent. (There is sometimes a slight mix of Texan in there though.)
Today I can still sing my heart out, in both Greek and English and a couple of other languages, but it took many many years for me to discover Greek Orthodox chants for myself. I too have a pure voice, like a choirboy, with no vibrato - I know this from singing Handel's Messiah every year at home.
Panos Kavarnos is Greece's current angelic voice. If you can wear headphones while listening to this, or listen in HD, even better. It gives me goosebumps all over. Surely this must be what heaven sounds like. Or if not, I hope one day Kavarnos is appointed God's Choir Director!