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

Symi Photos

Symi Photos
Dashing around getting ready for the family visit… still lots of tidying up to do some of which will have to wait for tomorrow… some shopping to get in… phone bill to pay (just paid in, on-line banking with Alpha Bank is so easy) and then to find something to wear that works with the cooler air, the sun and warmth when not in the shade, and which also looks good. So much to do so little time.

And so, some random photos today and not a lot of words, this will give me time to get the lunch ready, put the cushions back on the sofa, clear up the cat litter, hang more washing out, sweep the floors ready for a washing later and… You get the picture. Here are some more pictures; Symi photos to brighten your day.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Kali Strata at night

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Work on the new jetty continues

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Quiet backstreets

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Summer sailing

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Yialos in late September

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Still busy with day trippers

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Early morning ferry

Carrying on up the Kali Strata

Carrying on up the Kali Strata
I was doing my usual thing that I do towards the end of the month and seeing what was my best selling title of the month. I can do this through Create Space for the print novels and books, and through Amazon Kindle’s set-up for the Kindle versions. I was kind of expecting ‘Remotely’ to be at the top as it’s a new book, and that was indeed the case – aparenty a local newspaper in the Kent area picked up on the fact it was set in that area and ran a piece about it; thank you! Everything helps.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Kali Strata shopping

Interestingly, although ‘Remotely‘ did well in paperback, the winner of the month (so far) is ‘Carry On Up The Kali Strata’ – usually ‘Symi 85600’ is the best seller on that list, and I just wondered if perhaps someone had found ‘Carry on’ and spread the word around for me. It’s only a short book but it comes with photos from Neil and some true tales, plus some stories so it’s a bit of a mix. Nice to see the old thing getting pole position for a change.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Still busy at Trata

Of course, all of these titles and more are available via my Amazon Author’s Page which you can find there and it would be every so lovely of you if you could find a moment and a way to share this link around; go to the link and they copy and paste to emails, like on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, do whether you do on Instagram (I don’t understand it) or ‘Hooked-Ap’ or whatever the others are called, and spread the word. Thank you.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

A Yialos view

Back in news which has nothing to do with me, Symi was a little cloudy yesterday, and definitely felt colder. I wonder if we are in for a cold winter this year? Mind you, it’s warm enough in the sun when it’s there and it’s calm. The day boats were in, packed again which is good to see; let’s hope the people on them are spending a little or a lot in the harbour – few make it to the village in the limited time they have but some more intrepid explores get up here.

I’ve got the washing machine on again (oh, we’re back to me, ah well) and have taken in more water to the sterna as there’s a pile of end of summer washing to be done and the winter things to start to organise; the curtains and covers, things that keep out the drafts. I’m still halfway through washing the sofa covers and notice that the white pollen/seed thing is back. We had this at this time past year; there’s some kind of nearby tree that drops white seeds everywhere turning the courtyard into a snow drift and it’s all over the washing. It shakes off and makes Neil sneeze, so the next couple of weeks are going to be fun with endless courtyard sweeping and sneezing. The cat will probably get lost in it, camouflaged.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Wood for the bakery

Anyway, ramble enough. Here’s that link again, please share my Author page and the links to whichever is your favourite title. The page is also on Amazon UK but I can never find it. You should be able to search for all the books in your own country (though they are all written in English) and your own local Amazon store. Thank you!

Sunday Symi

Sunday Symi
We’re just in the middle of an autumn spring clean, now that it’s time to shut some of the windows and prepare the house for winter. Everything is covered in dust from the summer, no matter how much cleaning you do during the days. The sofas are in the wash (just the covers of course) though it looks like we’ll need new ones as parts have faded in the sunlight, the windows are being cleaned and the mountain of cat hair has been removed from under the sofas and the bed -enough to make a couple more litters of fully grown cats I reckon.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Cocktail view

But it’s not all been work this weekend. We had a lovely evening on Friday with our neighbours who gave us an amazing dinner. And then again on Saturday when another friend took us first to the Old Markets for a drink and then to Mythos for another stunning meal. We are spoiled. The evening was warmer than the other evening when it was windy and everyone was out in fleeces and long trousers. It’s that time of year when you are half and half in the wardrobe department; sandals and long trousers, or a long sleeved shirt and shorts, perhaps with a cardigan or similar for later. It’s still in the 20s here but if there’s a breeze and it’s after dark it can feel quite chilly.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Yialos in the evening

The cat has his voice and annoying habits back to good form and is back into his usual routine after his late summer holiday: Breakfast, a sleep, wake up and stare at you until you take him to his bowl, a light snack, another snooze (on one of the occasion tables this morning, for no reason) and then another light snack, a bit of sunbathing on the roof, lunch, a light snooze, then staring at you until you take him to his bowl, where he didn’t want to go actually so back to your feet to stare at you until you take him back to his bowl where he considers another light snack… And so on.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

G & T by candlelight

And so on into the week. Mother arrives on Wednesday evening so we are looking forward to three weeks of parties and dinners, G & T’s and general malarkeyness… Only joking. Neil actually had a day off from the bar on 7th October as Yiannis is going to Rhodes for a wedding so, if the weather is good, we may do the around the island boat trip. Lots to look forward to. Have a good week.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

View from Mythos later

Fed up with the UK? Come to Symi

Fed up with the UK? Come to Symi
I was going to start this post with, ‘Fed up with the UK? Come to Symi’, but I kind of went off track, as I started to think why I am fed up with the UK. Here’s what I got to, sorry about this…

You know, I can’t believe that the BBC put out some kind of ‘Breaking news’ mass hysteria inducing headline just become some old dear isn’t doing a cheap TV show about buns any more, what is the world coming to? Well, we know what the BBC is coming to, got to and carrying on being and let’s not go there. Let’s also not go back to the subject of an online poll that’s being run to ask, three months on, how you would vote in another leave/remain EU referendum – when I looked just now it was 75% remain – yes, well, it probably would have been that result had people known the truth about what they were voting for or against – but let’s not go there either. Actually do, search it out on the ITV website here and put your vote up; changed your mind? Stayed the same? Still totally confused about the hole Farage thing? (Typo intended that time.) Let them know, it’s half way down the page, just click it.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Another early morning

Let’s instead go to a fairly new campaign that I know all right minded Symi dreamers will think seriously about putting their encouragement behind. ‘Stop funding hate’ has been set up to, basically, try and get the message across to business who advertise in certain newspapers, that they are in fact fuelling the xenophobic, refugee-hating, people-scaring, right-wing, far right-wing, keep going a bit further right, you’re almost there, sexist, homophobic skata that’s only put there to sell papers. Their Facebook page will explain it in much more coherent detail, but I’m all behind it. It’s a good idea. You’ll never get the likes of the Mail or Express to listen to reason but they might start listening to income if they stop getting advertising from the likes of Virgin and Waitrose, both of whom have been in trouble recently for advertising in these rags. (The Express, for example, had nine anti-immigrant/refugee headlines in 20 publications one month and those publications are part funded by Waitrose’s advertising – and others. NINE xenophobic front page screamers out of 20 – in 30 days. Unbelievable.)

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Quiet waters

Anyway, sorry to be a bit off the Symi trail today but these things just popped into my mind and I was wondering what to write about. I hope today’s photos are interesting, I’m off to cool down with some shipping news and a beer:

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Shipping news

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

The glasses and beer are still cold

Three Symi updates

Three Symi updates

I have some information for you today, and a Symi Animal Welfare message and an opportunity for you to stay rent free in Nimborio for up to three months over the winter. First things first, in the order the messages came in:

Dimitris Zographos, one of our local architects, sent me a press release about DAFNI and the project, ‘Promotion of the Simi island hiking trail network,’ which I have attached. You can open the PDF document by clicking this link; it’s written in English and will be of interest to anyone who enjoys hiking the trails on Symi.

Symi birds

Checking the trees

Secondly, from SAW: “May we remind cat-carers who are also resident on the island, of the arrangement we have with 2 different vets on Rhodes: If an appointment with one of these vets is made through Suzan, Symi Animal Welfare will pay for neutering, but unfortunately we don’t have sufficient funds to cover personal expenses such as taxis or ferry tickets. Her number is 6981356421, she will be happy to explain how to get to either surgery if you don’t already know.

Symi birds

Admiring the harbour

The Blue Star return ferry service on either a Wednesday or Friday is a good option –  an opportunity to complete any other business on Rhodes, shop or simply have an away-day and, at the same time, be a Symi Animal Welfare volunteer!  By helping in this way, hopefully we will all see less kittens struggling to survive once the season has ended and the weather changes into winter-mode?    Thank you.”

As a note, at the moment, if you go for a day on the Panagia Skiadeni, you can get the return ticket for free, making it even cheaper to help out by taking cats across to be seen to.

Symi birds

HIgh up

And the third message: How do you fancy up to three months in Nimborio for free? What’s the catch? Well, you will have to look after the owner’s house and her cat, that’s all. There’s no rent to pay, you just need to house sit and cat care between December and February. I’m not certain of the exact dates as yet but if you’re interested I will put you in touch with the person who needs their house sat. It’s right by the sea (I’ve been here and stayed there and it’s lovey – a perfect place for a writer or someone who wants to get away from it all) and comes with all mod cons and internet, TV, music etc., plus a large garden. If you might be interested (you will have to commit to the time and actually do the job as the lady will be away and can’t be left stranded mid-sit) then email me and I will pass the message along. Just click here.

Nimborio, taken in winter

Nimborio, taken in winter

That’s my update for today along with some bird shots I took the other day – or I think Neil took the one of the swallows (?) high up and you can’t really see them but there were loads of them flitting about. Which is what I am off to do now.

 

Pet shop Symi

Pet shop Symi
This is mainly a post about ‘pet shop Symi’ but first: The weather has cheered up somewhat (Wednesday) and the dawn was bright and dramatic as there are still a few clouds around, but it was something of a gold-and-dazzle fiesta of colour and light.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

A new dawn

This followed on from Tuesday’s expected rain which came in, in the morning and was on and off until the afternoon. There was a display of lightning over Turkey and we had one or two rumbles of thunder over Symi. But it’s cleared the air, the sun’s out and hot, the breeze is cooling and, when the fluffy clouds clear out of the way, it’s back to normal. A good bit of rain to water the plants and wash the roof. And the bathroom floor – must get up there and fill the gap in the tiles on the flat roof. I will remember next time it rains.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Rain from the comfort of the Symi corner coffee shop

We were down in Yialos to do some bits and pieces, including ordering some cat food for the strays and for the Master of the house, Jack. If you don’t know it, there’s a lovely pet shop at the bottom of the Kali Strata, just up from the Kalodoukas office and next to Freddie’s boutique, Krisalis. The pet shop is run by the charming and English speaking, Michalis (and his wife) and we call in there for supplies as he also delivers them to our door on his motorbike. Saves lugging 20 kilos of cat food up the steps.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Visitors not put off by the weather

We walked in to find another young guy sitting at the till, which was unusual. I said hello and then, as I walked further into the shop was met by an ‘Ela, malaka’ coming at me from the storeroom. Michalis appeared, cursing jovially and saw it was us, laughed and explained that it was aimed at his friend who had brought coffee, and had put ‘about eight sugars’ in it – Michalis doesn’t take sugar. We all had a laugh and ordered the supplies, which Michalis was arranging and discussing at great speed, so much so that he knocked two bird cages from the shelves. We told him to slow down and take less sugar. The supplies were delivered later in the evening exactly at the time arranged – he is very punctual.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Some of Wednesday’s boats

He also has other pet supplies there, some medicines and so on, and works with the vet in Rhodes, so if you need animal advice, go and see him. It’s a great shop to support, a young island couple (early/mid 20s, I am guessing) who have set up something different and useful on their own. When you do, say hello to our favourite ‘pet shop boy’ (refrain from singing one of their songs, it won’t help) and tell them we sent you to support. I should have taken some photos of pet shop Symi, I will ask next time.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Neil in ‘see the animal in the tree’ photo mode took this picture

After that we went and had lunch in the rain and watched the masses of people milling about; there was a cruise ship in and three day boats and the taxi boats weren’t going due to the weather so everyone and his assistant was in the harbour. More pics from that at a later date.