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

Winding down?

I was out and about for a short wander yesterday and took a few photos, some of which are here today. Waking up this morning, I was surprised to see the cruise ship already in the harbour, it doesn’t usually come in until later. The air is definitely cooler, there’s something of a breeze, and bad weather is forecast for a couple of days’ time. Some forecasts still say Monday, others say Thursday or Friday, but unless the storm front blows itself out, something is definitely heading this way soon. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as some reports are suggesting, but either way, it looks like it will only be around for a couple of days.

Sept 25th 16

Meanwhile, it was bustling in the village square last night. At one point every table was occupied at both bars. We know quite a few people who are leaving today, and many were out enjoying their last holiday night on Symi before heading home. I’m starting to get that end of season feeling already, and there are still several weeks to go before what I call the real end of the season, the last Wednesday of October.

Sept 25th 01

But that’s for the future. Here’s a photo I promised to share with a couple of our Symi Dreamers…

Sept 25th 14

A day and a thank you

A day and a thank you

A walk up the donkey path, fun at the bar and a concert in the square, those were the highlights of yesterday, though I didn’t attend the concert as it started after I’d gone to bed. Today, up at four, work on the book, another stroll this afternoon and then who knows. The air is noticeably cooler this morning, and we are expecting bad weather later in the week. The forecast keeps changing, and it varies from site to site depending on which one you use. I reckon, and I may be wrong, that the forecasts for Symi are never 100% accurate because, as far as I know, we don’t have a weather station here and the forecast comes from either Rhodes airport or somewhere closer in Turkey.

Sept 24th 15

What was also very special about yesterday was having one of my readers (of this blog and my books) sit and chat with me. It’s not just the compliments, but the fact that people take the time and trouble to stop and chat and tell me that the blog is appreciated and the books are good to read. Makes it all worthwhile. It’s not the first time it’s happened, and you know who you are so a big thank you to everyone who has commented on the blog, in person and virtually – it reminds me why I post something almost every day.

Sept 24th 16 sept 24th 02_1 Sept 24th 21

Walking

Walking

Good morning (afternoon/evening) and welcome to the last week of September. Already? Aye, that’s how time goes. And the time is 5.00 on Sunday morning as I’m up early as usual. I seem to have fallen into a pattern of early mornings since… June I think. I much prefer this time of day. I like to make an early start and have my jobs done by mid-morning, leaving me the rest of the day to myself. Recently, that rest of the day has involved a walk in the afternoon, though I took Saturday off and am not yet sure if I will go for a stroll later today.

Early morning up here, late night down there. (Photo taken on my phone.)

Early morning up here, late night down there. (Photo taken on my phone.)

A few years ago, we were in the habit of rising early and going straight out for a walk which, after a month or so, developed into a jog/walk and then into a run. I’m not sure my knees will cope with running up and down hills these days, but I might give it a go in a few weeks and see how I get on – at least my knees are insured now. (My private health insurance didn’t cover knees for the first three years of my policy but now I am in year four, everything is covered.) One of my favourite walks is up to ‘To Vrisi’ (Lit., ‘the tap’) the monastery of Zoodohou Pigis Vrisi where there is a natural spring from which you can fill up your water bottle. From our house off the village square and back, depending on the route, this is roughly three miles, half uphill and half down. I have to admit, the uphill part can be a bit of a slog, but once your calf muscles stop burning, it’s pleasant. Running back down is like being twelve again – banking on the camber of the corners, jumping over goat poo, feeling the wind rush past, and you’re hardly making an effort as gravity does most of the work for you. Just watch out for the knees.

Up in the hills.

Up in the hills.

Last week I put some music on my phone and plugged myself in. I’ve not done this before, not even when I was in my early 30s and used to run from Hackney to Islington and back before work, along the side of the canal. (I sound very sporty today. I’m not.) I loaded up a selection of music that I happened to have in Mp3 format on my laptop, put it on shuffle and off I went – not too loud so that I could still hear approaching cars, bikes, mules, goats etc. One moment I was wandering the top road on the way back from Roukouniotis listening to The Bombay Dub Orchestra, sublime, ethereal, Indian and composed by my best mate from school, and the next we had The Weather Girls and ‘It’s Raining Men’, left over from last year’s wedding. A bit of a jolt. What I did find, though, was that the music took my mind off the calf muscles as I trudged uphill trying to keep in time.

Sunrise from the roof.

Sunrise from the roof.

Anyway… That was a bit of an early morning ramble in more than one sense, and now I must get on with the rest of the day. I’ve had a cup of tea on the balcony listening to the party going on down in the harbour, and there’s a second draft of ‘The Eastling’ waiting for me to tidy it up, so, it’s back to the book and on with the week.

Meanwhile in Yialos

Meanwhile in Yialos

My holiday day earlier this month.

My holiday day earlier this month.