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Drink Time!: In the Company of Patrick Leigh Fermor: a Memoir Paperback – 15 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Bene Factum Publishing Ltd (15 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190965762X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909657625
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 12.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

There are no muses whispering in my ear, no angels with celestial harps. My desk is usually a stage for fierce, all-out battles. I come and I go. I try to dissipate the fog in my mind. I swim in tea and coffee. I break my back, I stretch. I enslave my neurons. Together we trawl through the known and the unknown, in search of the exact noun, the right adjective, the image that can evoke an intense feeling, a light thought, a wild burst of laughter or a twisted smile. Oftentimes I fail, but in some cases I get what I want. And then the euphoria is indescribable. All manner of wonders come to the surface. Fire, passion, joy, tenderness, poetry. This is the state of grace that comes from the act of creation, pure and simple. I don't think a more breathtaking emotion than this exists.

DRINK TIME!

I had the great privilege of knowing Patrick Leigh Fermor, in his house in Greece when he was already well advanced in years. By this time he could barely see anymore, barely hear. It must have been a great effort for him to establish relationships with strangers, and it's quite likely that my presence was nothing more than a fleeting shadow at the end of his days. Even so, he received me with open arms. He sat me down at his table, stuffing me with food and drink (particularly the latter). He made me feel completely at home. In short, he granted me access into his universe.
It was a huge and generous gesture, one of those which cannot be forgotten. Gratitude is an active feeling; something had to be done. Write about him. Talk, not only about the author, but about the man. Tell what kind of person - so full of humanity and charm, of tolerance and affection - he was. Out of this emerged Drink Time!, a homage, an token of thanks and a love letter at the same time. It goes without saying that Paddy would never have allowed such a dithyramb while he was still alive. Today still at times, three years after his death, when I walk along the beaches of Mani or I sit down to a glass of wine in the local taverns, I get the feeling that his spirit is shadowing me, to tell me off a little bit. Just a bit though, for I believe that at the heart of it all, one of the things that pleased Paddy most was that we loved him. He was a kind, funny, warm, tender man.

Product Description

Review

Drink Time!, a hundred pages long with Ms Payás´s evocative photographs...makes a pleasant accompaniment to the evening´s first glass. --Times Literary Supplement

...a charming memoir... --Peter McKay, Daily Mail

Drink Time! is a touching gem of a book for all Patrick Leigh Fermor fans. --Marjory McGinn, author of Things Can Only Get Feta

[A] soulful book... This is excellent ancillary reading to Artemis Cooper's recent, defining biography --Brad Hooper, Booklist

For true Paddy fans this book will be a very welcome addition to our bookshelves... If you want to understand more about Paddy the man, not the writer or bon viveur, you will enjoy Drink Time! --Tom Sawford, Patrick Leigh Fermor Blog

About the Author

Dolores Payás was born in Spain but now leads a semi-nomadic existence, sharing her time between Beijing and Barcelona, with periods in Switzerland, England and Greece. A dedicated autodidact, her fields of interest are ample. She is passionate about languages, literature and music. She loves country houses; the older the better. All time stands still when she is in her garden or her kitchen. She has written for the silver screen and directed two feature films. She is a translator, publishes the occasional cultural article, and has written two novels. She has two daughters and one granddaughter.´ Amanda Hopkinson is currently Professor of Literary Translation at City University London, as well as Deputy President of English PEN, and a trustee of both the Welsh Literature Exchange and Modern Poetry in Translation. She rides horses and bicycles, has four grown children, eight-and-a-half grandchildren (at time of writing), a husband, a cat and a tortoise.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tony Farson on 29 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a delightful and surprisingly intimate account of the author's time with "Paddy" in the last few years of his life. I was slightly shocked to read how frail he had become being so used to the young man who had strode out across Europe and who had led a group of SOE men and Cretan andartes in the capture of General Kreipe. Nevertherless he remained full of energy and life and ideas and as devoted to the booze as ever, despite medical advice and him being 96! He continued to celebrate books, language, poetry and song and to entertain his guests until the small hours.

This is also the story of the house built by Paddy and his late wife, Joan, in a very special location in Kardamyli with its gardens, its view of the sea, the cats, the books and its rhythms and routines all of which reflect the souls of its occupants.

The book is very funny in places. I loved the story about the visiting King of Sweden who turned out to be... you'll have to read it to appreciate it! I also found the account of Paddy's struggle to live every day and live it to the full very moving - a lesser person would have given up years before. His relationship with his housekeeper/friend, is remarkable. Paddy would have hated the idea of a "carer" but in the wonderful Elpida he found a companion who could make his semi-solitary life possible without in the slightest compromising who he was. And that despite her not liking his books!

The book is beautifully written by Dolores Payas and translated by Amanda Hopkinson. The author freely admits it is an "unabashed homage" and Paddy remains charming right to the last. As a fragment from the life of a unique figure in twentieth century history and letters Drink Time! is a truly a refreshment!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marjory McGinn on 25 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this memoir by Dolores Payás about her time spent with Paddy Fermor during the last two years of his life while translating some of his books into Spanish. She spent considerable time with him as a guest at his house in Kardamili, in southern Greece while they worked on points of translation and a close friendship developed. Yet it was over the dinner table and during the strict schedule of `drink time' (hence the title) that Payás gained some stunning insights into the workings of Fermor's inimitable mind, and his glorious and unique private world in Greece.

Much has been said about Fermor's war exploits, his heroism, gallantry and intellect, but Payás (whose book was first published in Spanish) has done that rare thing and captured the more human side of this writer and bon vivant: his foibles and insecurities, with a good measure of humour thrown in. I particularly liked her description of trying to teach Fermor, the charming Luddite, how to use a computer and Googled his name for him on her own laptop, showing thousands of entries. He was almost tempted to buy a computer himself. I won't spoil the ending of the anecdote but it's one of many touching revelations that should delight his fans. Payás also gives a very moving account of the last few times she saw Fermor before he died, which will also contribute to an understanding of the complexity of the man.

The memoir may be short (120 pages), but it's perfectly formed. A gem of a book and highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Howard L. on 29 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
A delightful book from every perspective. The insight and commentary of the twilight years of a remarkable man who was a genuine, (but reluctant) hero of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) who had seemingly not wasted a single moment of his long life. I was left wanting more but knowing that the closure of Patrick's life prevented continuance of this touching but very real description of the man, his manners, his ways and even his thoughts.

The book is not long and therefore an ideal read for a flight. It was certainly more rewarding than even the latest movies on the flight on which I read it and, even though you know the ending is going to be sad, this book turns out to be a fabulous tribute of a life without even trying. It is a touching personal recount that left me truly reflective and just wishing I could have met the man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Walker on 5 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must read for all Patrick Leigh Fermour devotees. What it gives the reader which Artemis Cooper’s biography did not do, (please be clear I do not wish to take anything away from Cooper’s brilliant and comprehensive biography, I believe I am simply stating a fact) is a first hand account of what it was like to be in his company for an extended period of time. Albeit that the author’s contact with PLF came right at the very end of his life, when he was in his middle nineties, what comes across strongly is that he tried to maintain his normal lifestyle right up until the end. Whilst is hearing and sight were failing him, his wit, intellect and charm had not deserted him.

It’s a slim volume, but nonetheless of merit and substance. The writing is intelligent, sincere and heartfelt but never cloying.

Visually this book has been beautifully produced: the text punctuated with large full page or double page photographs that are relevant to the text immediately preceding. The scarlet endpapers are a nice touch too.
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