Yiannis Books

The Papas and the Englishman


In 1991 Patrick Leigh Fermor was asked, "If you wanted to go somewhere – somewhere right off the map, with no tourists or modern developments – where would you go?"
He replied "Epirus – the north, the mountains. You might have a chance of finding places there." 

It was in 1991 that Roy and Effie Hounsell moved into their place in Zagoria. In 1980, having been made redundant, Roy and his wife left England to try their hand at establishing themselves in Corfu. They visited mountainous Zagoria in Northern Mainland Greece and were captivated by its magnificent, rugged beauty and its mouldering, unspoiled stone villages. All desire to move there was dashed by their poor ability to speak Greek. Eventually they bought a tumble-down property in Koukouli. They struggled with the rebuilding, helped by the village priest, Papa Kostas, created a garden out of the jungle and joined in with the villagers to become regarded as locals.

(Roy Hounsell was born in Woldingham, Surrey in 1942 and educated at Millfield College, Somerset.  In 1980, made redundant, he and his wife decided to decamp from gloomy England and try their hand at establishing themselves in sunny, green, sea-bound Corfu. The Papas and the Englishman is his first book.

"Charting the progress of the author’s transformation from ‘outsider’ into genuine local, this book sets standards for the relocation genre. Roy Hounsell writes lovingly about the beautiful location, and unpatronizingly about the people he meets and befriends along the way."
Hilary Whitton-Paipeti, the Corfiot

"Many of us dream of buying and renovating a house in the mountains – but Roy Hounsell’s unusual tale of his Greek adventure is a useful and well-paced read."
Nigel Lewis, Managing Editor, A Place in the Sun Magazine

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