Next Cretan Chatting Critically meeting, Wednesday, April 26th


I must apologise for my dull sloth. I intended to post a report on the first Chatting Critically meeting, which took place in Gavalohori on Tuesday, March 25th. A combination of being under the weather and making a trip back to Wigan has meant putting off the task. However, this evening’s jangling Easter Week church bells have woken me up.

Back then, on a bright, cold morning I made my way tentatively down the steep slope, my head swimming from a still mysterious allergy, concerned to be first in the kafenio. Indeed I was, being greeted warmly by young Giorgos, who has in recent months transformed the classic men’s retreat into a much more open meeting place. And to be fair, the blokes don’t seem to mind, taking it all in their collective stride. I was thrown briefly when Giorgos nipped next door for a haircut, confident fifteen minutes would do the trick. He was right, returning just in time to take the orders for coffees and juice being placed by the arriving would-be Chatters.

Following brief introductions by the ten of us present [3 men and 7 women] we threw ourselves into a wide-ranging discussion, which began with the question of what constitutes Truth, going on to explore amongst other things what information and disinformation continue to influence our understandings of the COVID pandemic and the spectre of Climate Change. To everyone’s credit, the challenging exchange of opinions was cordial and respectful. There was a consensus that our next gathering should be more focused in its content and intent.

Thus it was agreed that we should meet again on Wednesday, April 26th in the H Ελπίδα kafeneio, Gavalohori at the same time of 10.30 a.m, aiming to finish by noon. We were grateful to Phil Harrison for agreeing to lead off our next debate, which will explore the state of the Creative Arts in the third decade of the twenty-first century with particular regard, given Phil’s career, to the music scene.

All are welcome but it would be helpful if you could let me know if you are intending to be present – Last-minute arrivals will still be greeted with open arms!

Other topics suggested for future meetings include:

  • Given most of us are migrants, how do we understand the ongoing issue of immigration, refugees and government responses?
  • Where is the drive to a cashless society taking us?
  • What on earth is the Great Reset?
  • Are we living in an increasingly intolerant and divisive culture, which threatens the very basis of Freedom of speech?

Crossing fingers you might make it on the 26th.