Left: Thalatta, thalatta
I do not watch much television, but I have been enjoying Francesco da Mosto's voyage
through the Mediterranean, aboard the beautiful Black Swan
. David Bellamy's surprise appearance added a great sense of je ne sais quoi
to the programme on Corfu, and helped to bring us closer to the spirit of that other naturalist and conservationist, Gerald Durrell.
I am, however, particularly looking forward to the episode of Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage
on BBC2 tomorrow night at 8pm, in which the intrepid Venetian visits the little island of Spinalonga, once a colony for those with leprosy
I am about a third of the way through The Island
by Victoria Hislop, and have formed 'my' picture of Spinalonga (from her narrative); so it will be interesting to see whether the 'real' island matches the one in my mind. As someone who writes poetry, I am always fascinated by the reception of art. The viewer or the reader brings so much to the painting or the poem.
I have enormous respect for the work of The Leprosy Mission
. It is amazing to think that leprosy can be cured with modern medication. It is awful, though, to think that there are still many with the disease who lose sensation - and the vital warning signal of pain - in their lower limbs, and consequently develop ulcerous and infected wounds from accidents. The Leprosy Mission has developed special footwear
to help these patients.
Postscript: I have just come across the ILEP
site ('working for a world without leprosy'), which is well worth visiting. It comprises 14 non-governmental 'donor agencies
', including TLM.