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

Coincidence?

Coincidence?

Well, here’s a thing that’s got very little to do with Symi. I’ve been in contact with an old school chum, and we’re meeting up in London when we’re there in a couple of weeks. We were in different years at school, I’m two years older, but were thrown together because of the annual school musical. First off, he was Rolf in ‘The Sound of Music’, and I was Uncle Max (I was always the comedy relief), then we appeared in a revue I wrote, and in one scene we were dressed in drag playing our two deputy headmasters. Our greatest triumph though was ‘Cox & Box’ that creaky old, Victorian parlour three-hander, one-act piece of… musical theatre we all know and love so much. I was Mr Cox, he was Mr Box and in the second half of the programme, ‘Trial By Jury’, I was the Judge, and he was the Defendant – again I got the comedy relief. Anyway… (Pause for a vaguely Symi-related photo.)

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Time passes, even on Symi

Anyway… yesterday I was checking through some old photos and things and found a copy of the cover for that school show and discovered that it played for three nights, finishing on July 19th, 1980 – exactly 38 years ago today (I’m writing this yesterday). So, Mr C and Mr B will be reunited 38 years and 11 days after bringing down the house (and bits of the scenery) in a triumphant performance – considering we were 17 and 15 – where we sang duets about buttercups and bacon, discovered we both nearly married the same woman, and turned out to be long lost brothers. Which is kind of how it will be when we meet (apart from the singing) as we’ve not met for 37 years. All very interesting for me, but what I can’t help worrying about is that revue scene we did in drag, satirising our deputy headmaster. I’m still friends with his daughter, and she and I will be having lunch with said deputy-head, who lives in a house where I was brought up, and although he’s not young anymore, he may still remember that sketch and put me in detention.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

That was just a personal ramble. If you’re wondering about Symi news, well, there’s not much that I know of, though I expect there’s masses. It’s windy today. That’s blown away the humidity but also brought lots of dust in the house. There’s live music at The Secret Garden tonight if you’re on Symi, 9pm. And that’s all for now.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Season of Mist and…

Season of Mist and…

It’s all a bit grey and misty today (Wednesday). The air is thick with humidity, parts of Nimos are in cloud, there are more clouds above us, and the coast of Turkey is receding into what, in my Saddling books, they call a ‘grey-hang’. That’s one of the words I invented for ‘mist’ in the dialect. I’m currently writing the third in the quartet, and the element behind this one is Air, the season is Autumn, and so the main feature is Mist. But how many words for mist are there that you can legitimately use within the context? It’s too easy to keep talking about ‘the mist’ or ‘the marsh mist’ and over-using ‘brume’, and words like vapour and condensation don’t work more than once, haze isn’t too bad, but cloud is a bit dull… Anyway, that’s why I invent my own words.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Here are a few shots from the house. There have been a lot of boats in latterly – we can only see the north-east end of the harbour but it’s an indication of what’s going on further in, and that’s good to see. Already today we’ve had the Blue Star and the Dodecanese come in, the day boats are expected later. I don’t know if you picked up on yesterday’s’ blog where I mentioned the Sebeco making a trip to Panormitis? As I understand it, you can get there and back by boat, from Yialos, in the afternoons. You won’t have much time there but what you can do is take the bus over and the boat back – just an idea. You can also walk too (approx. four hours), take the bus both ways, or, if coming from Rhodes, take a trip there on your way to Yialos.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Waffling now, so off to do some typing-waffling and invent more words for ‘mist’ – if anyone has any obscure dialect words they know of (English) I’d be fascinated to hear (and maybe use) them.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

 

 

Travelling From/To Symi

Travelling From/To Symi

I’ve wittered on about this before when I have been planning a journey, but it still entertains me to prepare travel arrangements. I think I should have been a travel agent as I love checking timetables and schedules, researching hotels and journeys. One of my ambitions, one day, maybe, is to travel across Europe by train having planned and plotted all the routes and journeys in advance. These days you can do that with the internet, and you don’t need a copy of Bradshaw’s Guide which is just as well as they stopped printing it in 1961, about the time the train service in the yUK last worked according to a schedule, from what I hear.

Travelling From/To Symi

Random boat pictures today

So, the story is that I’m going to England for a few days from 28th July and will be staying in several different places. So far I have been able to book: Flights from Rhodes to Gatwick and back from Stanstead to Rhodes, a night in a hotel in Rhodes for the return journey, a hotel at Gatwick for one night, one in Covent Garden for one night, one on Romney Marsh for three nights, and I have two nights staying with friends and one staying with my nephew. This round rip will also involve five train journeys, all booked with tickets waiting for me at my first station, Gatwick, three lifts with friends and, so far, three booked lunch or dinner appointments. All within nine days. The only thing I’ve not booked yet are the boats to and from Symi, and there are I am almost spoiled for choice.

Travelling From/To Symi

I say almost because of the times of my flights. I tried to tie them in so I could come back to Symi from Athens on the Blue Star/Hellenic Seaways, but I couldn’t get the flights to match up with the schedule, not reliably enough at any rate. So, leaving here on a Saturday for a 21:00 hours flight from Rhodes, I can now opt for one of four crossings.

08:00 Sebeco (ANES)

16:30 Panagia Skiadeni

16:45 Sebeco

17:35 Dodekanisos Pride/Express

Travelling From/To Symi

All of them will get me into Rhodes in time to take a taxi to the airport in good time, though I may get the early morning Sebeco to a) support the Symi company, b) see what it’s like, c) have a day hanging around Rhodes and take the cheaper bus to the airport, maybe having a meal at the taverna opposite before I fly. I think I’ve just talked myself into the 08:00 sailing and a restful day exploring the fleshpots of Rhodes Town.

Travelling From/To Symi

On the way back, however, I land at nine at night or something and so will have to stay over. I have booked the Angela suites hotel where we stayed in March because it was the cheapest. Prices in August are not exactly in budget when it comes to some of the other hotels we regularly use in the winter, and the Angela is basic but fine and only up the road from where we usually stay. The boats back though will be a Monday morning 8:30 Dodekanisos, a later morning 09:30 Panagia via Panormitis, the 10.00 Sebeco, or the Blue Star in the afternoon at 17:00. I think I’ll go with the Sebeco as that gives enough time for a decent breakfast (get your money’s worth) and a slow walk to the harbour.

Travelling From/To Symi

Anyway, that’s today’s open musings, all I need to do now is arrange the paperwork, filter what’s actually needed from the reams of other pages you are sent with a booking and use that as scrap and then think about packing – something I will do half an hour before leaving the house. This is all 12 days away, but I was just thinking about it, and so you had to read about it. Sorry about that and thank you to those folks who suggested I print boarding passes etc. in black and white to save my colour ink. Brilliant idea – never occurred to me that you could do that. I wouldn’t make a very eco-conscious travel agent.