An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Some months back my curmudgeonly old pal Liam sent me some papers, academic papers that is, that an ex-colleague of his from university days, had written on the socio-anthropological aspects of British ex-pats in Crete. Despite being a work shamefully thin on genuine insights or revelations it did pique my interest in the topic. I looked out other works on similar topics but was again disappointed.

By this time I had a great deal of experience of online communities under my belt, having immersed myself in online communities for more than two years and the dynamic of such communities fascinated me too. Truth to tell, it was in fact on one of these communities that I met Liam - a community that we both watched deteriorate rapidly.

Some friends of ours who live here part-time had told us of an online ex-pat Brit community that they had come across and a couple of jigsaw pieces suddenly dropped into place. I had a new project. But I couldn't tell anyone. Stealth would be key. I would undertake an ethno-socio-anthroplogical study of British ex-pats in Crete and their interaction online. (OK all the jargon is there for fun - who knows what is really was or is?). This way, I figured, I would not have to meet them in the flesh and spend face to face time with them: something I had studiously avoided so far. My knowledge of things Cretan and British should provide as much or as little cover as necessary to observe undetected and my writer's skills would complete any necessary or desirable deception required, likewise undetected.

The initial online community helped me to discover another online community and, since they (the other community) had set themselves up as an ostensible opposite to the initial site, provided a broader spectrum than I could have hoped for - or so I thought. I spent several months learning the ways and mores of these communities before designing and inserting characters into the forum sections there.

And now the experiment is coming to an end. I have a third and final character running in one of the communities of whom I expect little save confirmation of some existing findings. Over the next weeks and months I shall share with you all of my findings as I write them up. It may not be academically valid research but I hope it will be more than simply entertaining.


  1. My quondam mate was paid 30 grand - and in Sterling, too - for his piece of risible 'research', so there is a very lucrative field to be ploughed there!

  2. i'm looking forward to your thoughts on this derek...thanks for the heads-up