Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

Travel, Books, Films

Travel, Books, Films

The travel agency is back in operation; that’s our home travel agency, aka, me. Neil has a couple of trips coming up in November which will make him sound like an international man of mystery: Rhodes, Vienne, Czech Republic, Scotland, Athens, all within three weeks and all for family visits. Apart from Athens. That’s on the way back, and I’ll go up by boat to meet him, do some shopping and come back by boat too. The flights have all been dealt with by family, it’s just down to me to arrange boats and hotels in various places. Just the kind of work I love to do when not writing, or dealing with film scripts…

Sept 16th 01

The screenplay that I wrote for Rebecca Hall based on her book, ‘Girl Gone Greek’ is a finalist in the L.A. Femme Film Festival, which is good news – another laurel, not that I show them off. The awards aren’t until October, so we’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I’ve a three-day weekend ahead to work on The Eastling which is, I have to say, proving harder to get right than the two in the series before it, but we’re getting there.

Spet 17th 18

Meanwhile, on the island, things are pretty much the same as they have been of late: visitors arriving and going, warm weather, calm seas, chilled-out atmosphere, everything ticking over nicely. We’ve been getting in some exercise walks, up the road to various points and down again, usually three miles per day. It will be interesting to see how we manage in the winter when it’s cold and wet. Well, when it’s raining, we shan’t be going out in it, as it can be dangerous, but on other days… Anyway, enough early morning blather. I have a book to improve.

Spet 17th 17 Spet 17th 14

Walks, Photos, Paperwork

Walks, Photos, Paperwork

Some more photos from afternoon walks today and my first Christmas gift of the year – what? Well, it looks like Sotiris still has some Christmas chocolates left over from last season, still well within date. I think that was the first chocolate I’ve had for a long time. Well, since that chocolate ice cream I had last week, at any rate.

Christmas come early

Christmas come early

The season shows no great signs of slowing down, not yet. There are still boats coming in each day, sometimes up to seven, and plenty of yachts and cruisers in the harbour. Things are a tad quieter now that the Italian visitors have mainly gone, August being a popular time for southern European visitors. At this time of year it tends to be northern Europeans and British who are, I guess, soon to be no longer European. Great shame that, and don’t get me started.

Sept 18th 3

But, on that note… (I got started), I’m hearing rumours of what us non-Greek, non-European residents might need in order to be able to stay in the country after next March if that disaster happens, and there’s still time for it to not happen or at last to happen with less impact. Although I’ve still not seen anything official from the government, so far, I have gathered together: my passport (proof of ID), my residency permit from 2008 which replaced the original from 2003, proof of my private health insurance to show I’m not a burden on the state, my proof of income – which will formally kick in after November, I hope, and my tax records (or part thereof) which also date back to 2003, plus my CP contract to my European/Irish spouse and various other bits of information that prove I’ve been living here, in the tax system and for a while the health system for the last 16 years. If that lot doesn’t go through whatever process is devised to keep me here, I don’t know what will. Anyway… not what I intended to write, so here are another two photos from Tuesday.

A view to Pedi from the road

A view to Pedi from the road

At 'To Vrisi'

At ‘To Vrisi’

The Other Side of Notting Hill

The Other Side of Notting Hill

I’m mentioning this soon to be released book because Roger Rogowski, the author, is a regular Symi visitor. He’s here right now, and we’re often chatting at the bar, and calling in for dinner. I’ve been following the story of his book for a year or so now and here it is, ready for publication (November) and with a special offer.

The Other Side of Notting Hill

The Other Side of Notting Hill

You can pre-order the book at a pre-publication discount of 20% (plus free P&P), and to do this, you can phone Macmillan Distribution (UK: 01256 302699) or email them at MacmillanDirect@macmillan.co.uk – the offer ends at the end of September. If you would like to have your name listed in the book as one of the subscribers (to this offer) you can contact Roger direct through his Facebook page: The Other Side of Notting Hill.

The book records the memories of people who lived in working-class Notting Hill before huge changes took place in the area in the 1960s. It takes us from Wartime to the Westway – from the 1940s/50s to the swinging 60s, and looks set to become a vital record in the living history project of the area. I shall be ordering my copy today.

And as for me… I took a walk on Monday, up to the main road by Agios Rafael, the small chapel behind Yialos. This is the route from the village donkey path to Agia Paraskevi and then, just beyond the newly built steps to the house up there, the right turn to the place marked on maps as ‘the Wall.’ It’s an ancient area with trees and old paths, very old terracing and some new, and gives you a gentle but rocky climb up to the main road from where you can see across Roukouniotis towards the west and the coast of Turkey. Here are a few pics, more soon.

A rocky path (which was like this before the storm last year)

A rocky path (which was like this before the storm last year)

A view from the top.

A view from the road.

Those black dots are ravens.

Those black dots are ravens.

Towards the west.

Towards the west.