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

Bit of a grumpy mood today

Bit of a grumpy mood today
A bad mood and some photos today, as promised. These were taken by Neil on his way back from aerobics at the gym the other day. You will be able to see the barge and other machinery working on the new jetty and the access road, the view from the road as you walk up and shots of the harbour between rain storms. We had another one pass over on Thursday morning, so the sterna is now well and truly full with free water.

Bit of a grumpy mood today

Machinery for the building work

Meanwhile, up at the house, winter continues as per. We are looking forward to the presidential inauguration (not) and it reminds me of the time when Obama was sworn in. Well, it makes me remember where we were: at Brian and Marj’s house watching it live with a bottle of wine. I expect, today, we will be ingnoring it and hoping it goes away, a bit like the mess the yUK government seem to be getting themselves into. I know some of my readers don’t like to hear it, but I still say that whole referendum was not democratic, even though I still have people sending me rather patronising messages saying ‘That’s democracy, sorry, get over it.’ It’s as if they actually believe that having a country vote on misinformation, lack of information and in only an advisory opinion poll, and then letting a government use that as a mandate to do what they want to do in order to keep themselves in with the powers that be (within their own cliques), was in any way democratic. But let’s not go down that discussion route. Suffice to say, the more I see of what’s happening to the country I was born in, the less I ever want to go there again, let alone go and live there again.

Bit of a grumpy mood today

New jetty work

I don’t think we will be made to; unlike some older immigrants in other EU countries who may have to return to the yUK to benefit from their pensions that they paid into for so many years. It’s getting very hard – with Sterling in trouble Vs the Euro, and the possibility of non-reciprocal agreements, no health care etc., – for many to see a way to stay abroad where they came to live as the quality of life was better. We are lucky in that I am privately insured (and will one day have a private pension) and Neil is soon to be Irish and so stays part of the EU.

Bit of a grumpy mood today

The new jetty work again

I didn’t mean to start on this topic, world calamity I mean, but I just had a flashback to one of the British ‘news’ papers reporting a ‘Surge’ in the “£ Vs €” after “Ms Mayday-mayday-mayday! We’re going down. CQD”‘ made her speech the other day. I looked it up and the pound ‘surged’ about 0.5% against a fall, since last year of 30% or something. Laughable reporting and even more laughable that some people think things are going forward for the better.

Bit of a grumpy mood today

And a calming view

As you can see I am not in a good mood today. It started well enough but then I was working and receiving all manner of interruptions from people on Skype, questions, requests… my new mouse was driving me mad (three or four clicks to get it to actually do what it was meant to do, don’t think I’ll be buying a Logitch again for a while; I’ve gone back to the old one now)… the cat’s ears bloody again, blood on the sheets… bad news on the interweb… One of those days. But still. I have the view, Neil has offered to make lunch, giving me time to write this diatribe about a dire tribe of morning mishaps (the light in the kitchen blew so I changed that and then the light in my desk lamp blew and I had no new bulb), and, once this is posted, I am going to retreat into la-la-land. Not the new film but a state of not-being-here that I get into when I work on one of my own books, which is what I plan to do for the rest of the day in the hope that there will be no more interruption or bad news, or dreadful world events. Unlikely I know, but it’s all I can do.

And relax…

Bit of a grumpy mood today

And relax…

‘The 13th’ at the London Greek Film Festival

‘The 13th‘ at the London Greek Film Festival
What a difference a day makes. From Tuesday night’s thunder, lightning, rain and hail, we have Wednesday’s bright sunshine, calm seas and not-so-chill air. It’s so mild today that Jack is up in his favourite place, on the roof, soaking up the sunshine, I was able to put the washing out in the courtyard, free from hail, and get a couple of shots from the roof. Neil went to his aerobics class yesterday and got some shots of the new road/jetty down at Petalo on his way back and I’ll get some of those up for you ere long. I am rushing a bit today as I have someone coming to sing at one and it’s now just gone 12 and I like to get the blog out of the way before lunch.

London Greek Film Festival

Sunny on Wednesday

The Blue Star came and went on Wednesday morning (at last I assume it did, it was very early) and we also had a stray catamaran come in on its way up the line of Dodecanese. I am not sure if that was a one-off, or if it’s going to be a regular thing but it is another link to Rhodes and supplies, airports, doctors, hospitals etc.

London Greek Film Festival

Hail on Tuesday

Oh, I have some film news. ‘The 13th‘ is to be entered into the London Greek Film Festival which takes place later this year. The company as still looking for a distributor to take it on and market it and this may help generate some publicity. Whether it will win anything or even be shortlisted is another matter of course, but who knows where it may lead. Last year (or was it the year before?) I entered the script of ‘Shocking The Donkeys’ and that was shortlisted under the Best Screenplay category, though it didn’t win. But who knows, hopefully there will be some interest and it will, if nothing else, get Symi shown to attendees who are all going to be interested in Greek film and films filmed in Greece. Perhaps someone will love the location so much there will be more films made here in the future, bringing more publicity and trade. We can hope.

London Greek Film Festival

More work at the new jetty

So, dashing through my morning to lunch and singing, here are today’s photos, taken yesterday and a here endeth today’s quick blog.

London Greek Film Festival

Keeping an eye

Symi rain

Symi rain
There’s not a lot to talk about today apart from the Symi rain which is, let’s face it, more or less the same as the rain elsewhere. It’s been on more than off over the past couple of days. On Monday we had to go to Yialos for a few things and got caught in a downpour so took cover in Pacho’s. Sadly ,the rain stayed on, as did we, but there are worse places to be stuck. For a while it was also throwing down hail and the noise of that hitting the plastic cover on the kafeneion was so loud we had to shout at each other across the table. When that calmed, we were able to escape to the giros shop for some lunch.

Symi rain

Through the plastic awning

Because the road was closed there were no taxis and no bus service, but luckily we avoided getting wet as we walked back up the Kali Strata, keeping one eye on the gathering dark clouds. Yesterday, the rain was with us all morning (and it might be here all day as I am writing this yesterday at lunchtime), the sterna is full, the roof is overflowing through the outlets to the lane and into the courtyard, the cat is not impressed but, so far, everything is holding up inside and we’re dry. Until I have to head out to the shops, and I am waiting for a suitable lull for that…

Symi rain

Village square during a let-up

We went to dinner at Georgi’s on Monday night too. There was quite an extensive menu on offer considering the time of year: salads and dips, bread, wine, two kinds of bean soup, chops, chicken, pork in the oven, spaghetti and mince, and liver (no thanks). We were a table of seven and the only people eating but, as Yiannis is still away and the Rainbow closed, some of his regulars were also camped out in there, playing Uno. It was its usually friendly and fun atmosphere and the bill, when it came, was more than reasonable.

Symi rain

Keeping an eye on the sky

It’s not just a British thing, talking about the weather. It is, after all, the one thing that everyone has in common. Come June it will be, ‘It’s hot, isn’t it?’ as you pass locals and visitors alike. Currently you meet people in the streets or shops and are greeted with, ‘It’s wet, isn’t it?’ To which I always think, ‘Well, yes, clearly,’ as I stand there dripping onto the tins of salted fish. Actually, it’s also cloudy so if anyone says, ‘Cloudy today’ I shall reply, ‘Yes, it’s clearly cloudy’ and be an oxymoron. ‘It is raining,’ I shall say, dryly and, with only a hint of satire, shall aridly add, ‘It’s rather to the right of good weather for ducks,’ and receive some odd looks in return, and rightly so. It’s also very misty as you can see from my window, though it’s not as cold as it was. As I write, I check the forecast map and see that we are due to be dry in six minute’s time. We shall see; another site is less precise and shows the rain as staying overnight and onwards.

So, people are huddled indoors to keep dry, the children are dashing from school to home through downpours, the runoff is cascading down the steps from the mountain, through the village and all the way to the sea, the harbour water has not yet turned brown as is does sometimes when the rain brings the top soil with it, and the roof is dripping over the porch like a blacksmith’s armpit. I think it is the experience of the old house – where the rain would sometimes be as heavy inside as out – that causes me to stop every now and then and listen to a heavy drip and wonder if it’s internal, check that it’s not and then relax again.

Symi rain

Through the window

Before I go, I just want to remind you that it’s about now that you should be thinking about your summer holiday on Symi, if you have not already booked it, as many have. You don’t want to be last in the queue for your favourite accommodation and, if it’s your fist time, you’ll want to get the bargains now, before the villas and apartments fill up with regular visitors. Maybe I’ll check out some deals over the next week or so and post about what’s available for a summer holiday. It would, at least, stop me talking about the weather for a while.