An Englishman in Crete
Hi! My name is Ian Swindale and I live in Rethymno, Crete, where I taught English to Greek teenagers for 19 years until I retired in 2007. I created this Home Page in the autumn of 1996 when the Internet was new to Greece and Home Pages were all the rage. Although I have produced other web sites since then I can't bring myself to update the design of my first effort which is why the design of this Home Page looks so dated. It is! The musical accompaniment and other special effects no longer work and have been removed, but apart from that the design remains unchanged.

They say that "those who can do, and those who can't...teach", but I believe that "those who can, teach and those who can' other things". I certainly enjoyed my years teaching English to Intermediate and Advanced learners here in Crete. My learners were young for this level -- 14-16 years old -- so it was quite a challenge to try and help them pass Cambridge English exams which are taken by much older students in most countries of the world.

The Internet came to Rethymno in 1996 and our English school was probably the first in town to have an Internet connection. My advanced students wanted to put up a site on the Web explaining why the "Elgin" Marbles, which were taken from the Parthenon in Athens over 150 years ago and placed in the British Museum in London, should be returned to Greece. You can read more about this project on the Parthenon Marbles page, where you will also find a link to their website. For me it was a steep learning curve. I had to learn how to use Windows 95, how to write html code, how to create headlines and edit photos in a photo editing program and how to embed sound and visuals into web pages. Three months later this Home Page was the result and I was ready to have a go at creating the Parthenon Marbles website for my students. Because this was my first website I can't bring myself to update the design which is why it looks like something from the 1990s. It is!

Guide to home pages
All links open a new window in your browser. Simply close the window when you have finished with the link in order to return to my Home Page. WARNING: I haven't checked the external links for a long time and many of them may no longer be valid.

My first page is about Human Rights, something which those of us who live in the West can all too often take for granted, even though human rights abuses go on here too. Take a quick look at some facts and figures which illustrate why organisations like Amnesty International are so necessary and need our support.

Sight Savers International is a charity that saves the sight of thousands of people every year and helps those who are incurably blind to become independent. When I read about the millions of people who go blind needlessly every year, I just felt I had to do something. We take our sight for granted, but in many countries it can be lost so easily. Take a look at the work being done by Sight Savers International.

On a lighter note, I recently discovered on the Internet how easy it is to roast your own coffee at home. I tried it and now I am drinking the tastiest coffee I have ever had. If you like good coffee, why not see for yourself how easy it is.

The Environment is also an issue which should be of concern to us all. My page deals with some of the issues confronting us here in Greece.

In the few months before her death, Diana, Princess of Wales went to Angola as a guest of the International Committee of the Red Cross to highlight the terrible problem of millions of landmines which claim thousands of victims every year, often long after the war for which they were intended is over. On this page you will find some of the basic facts and figures and links to organisations campaigning to ban the manufacture, sale and export of landmines.

Another charity whose work I admire is Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). These medical staff go into any emergency situation, regardless of personal risk and do wonders. And they are not afraid to condemn human rights abuses that they encounter during their work. These are truly courageous people. Find out a bit about them and visit their International Web Site.

You probably know of Crete as a holiday destination for tourists. What is it about the island that attracts over a million tourists a year? Why do so many of them return year after year? Why do some of us end up living here? Find out here.

Science is a subject most people would admit to knowing little about. Me too. It has been claimed that 94% of the population is scientifically illiterate! This year I decided to do something about it. There are plenty of amazing facts and figures here for you to get your brains around as well as links to some excellent sites for us non-scientists.

There are plenty of Music sites on the Web so rather than bore you with lists of my favourite bands I've included links to some informative and often very well designed pages.

One of things I miss most about England is the unique beer that we produce. You can find out why it is so special and read about a couple of my favourite breweries.

So that's the introduction over. I hope that you find something of interest.

Next Pages created by Ian Swindale, December 1996.
Last Upated: 17 March 2012.