Καλό Ταξίδι Peter Johnson
Kalo Taxidi or Good Journey is a Greek blessing to friends who have passed away.
We were deeply sorry to hear of the death in October 2020 of Peter Johnson, who participated in Mani Lit Fest 2019. We first met Peter at the visit we had organised to the former home of Patrick Leigh Fermor in Kardamili. Peter was there along with his partner Valerie Hailwood, and they quickly became an essential part of that year's Lit Fest. Peter was a talented local historian who wrote about his own area, Llandundo and Conwy, and he published six books on various related subjects, two in conjunction with Catherine Jefferis, and was working on a seventh at the time of his death. Some of us will remember the highly entertaining workshop he delivered at the Lit Fest on the subject of historical accuracy in writing. He was also a highly-regarded numismatist, and one of his books was 'Small Change: A History of Everyday Coinage'. One of his achievements in this field was to confirm the existence of an Ancient Greek city by use of a found coin. He also apparently enjoyed fiction writing, but it was not his writing that connected him to the Mani, but rather his love of travel, flora, fauna, birds, and astronomy (he once had a photograph taken with his idol Patrick Moore). He was also a keen photographer who took the photographs for his own books, and a composer of music in early medieval style! We only knew him for a short time but will remember him for his depth of knowledge and his irrepressible sense of humour. We would like to offer our condolences to Valerie and all of Peter's friends and family.
“Live, don't know how long,
And die, don't know when;
Must go, don't know where;
I am astonished I am so cheerful.”
- Patrick Leigh Fermor: Between the Woods and the Water