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

Back to the usual Symi

Back to the usual Symi

With all the guests now left there’s time to settle back into the usual routine. I am just going through our cameras to see what we have on them, and the photos seem to mainly revolve around the Poseidon and various boat trips. Neil went out on it with the family one day, we went to a birthday party on another night, and then the photos are of beaches and days out. It was almost like being on holiday.

Symi photos Greece

Symi’s misty hills (unusual event)

We are now heading into the winter season, though no-one has yet told the weather. It’s still very warm outside and sometimes humid, so much so that we were shrouded in mist the other morning and everything outside was wet, as if it had rained overnight. The harbour continues to be busy with up to six day-trip boats coming in, plus the in/out ferries at certain times. There are many northern Europeans and British around the island as it’s a popular time of year for them, and the village is buzzing at night.

Symi photos Greece

St Emilianos

As for me, I am today (Thursday) just settling back into my work routine and my writing, seeing to some jobs around the house and preparing for a round of invitations. It’s also that time of year (not complaining) when we find ourselves invited out for meals, or to meet for drinks, and although I’d wanted to get to the Symi Film Festival events and see some films, I have been pre-booked up every night this week, with one night in Rhodes and another returning from it, then three evenings out in a row. Next week looks quieter.

Symi photos Greece

Preparing for a BBQ

While in Rhodes, we stayed at the Mitsis Petit Palais Hotel as our usual ones were fully booked. This is a great place to stay, and we got a very good price. Half board (or all-inclusive in mother’s case) for €49.00, in September. The hotel is large, and not far from the main attractions in the new town, close to the beach and shops. It was very busy, but the staff were friendly and helpful, though working very hard, and the food was spot on. There was even live music in the bar in the evening. If you stay there, bring your earplugs as it is, like most modern hotels, all tiles and hard floors, and there’s some background noise with people moving about above and below. I put mine in and was out like a light.

Symi photos Greece

A whizz round on a boat (Neil and his son and daughter in law to be)

Anyway, I’m now getting back into my rhythm and have two books and a screenplay to work on, so excuse me while I go and do that. There will be more of these random photos over the next few days, no doubt, and I will be back to my six random blog posts per week from Symi.

Symi photos Greece

A day on the Poseidon

Thank You

Thank You

This is the last of my pre-written blog posts concerning our CP and, after today, I will be having a couple of days off before trying to get back to the usual routine. I am away tomorrow which will mean no posts for a couple of days, but keep an eye on this page and I’ll be back with my usual bits and pieces before long. Meanwhile, there are so many people to thank. If I have omitted anyone, I apologise; drop me a line of you think I should have mentioned someone and I will do so in a future post. I’m working alone here and after so much fun and festival, I may not recall everyone. This is in no particular order, but here goes…

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

The best men for their speeches and other duties. Captain Yiannis, Fotini, their family and the lady who made the cake. Wendy and Adriana for arranging the bus and other things. Racheal and Anna for their work on the translation and helping with the town hall process of registering the CP in the Symi records (the first one ever on the island). The town hall staff.  The Notary for her part in the process and allowing photos inside her office. Jenine for just about everything from planning meetings, to Jumbo orders, becoming ordained (a la Joey from Friends) to holding the ceremony, organising things on the boat and making sure it all ran smoothly. Sam and Harry for looking so smart, carrying the rings, being gentlemen and all their other help. Allan and Julie for the photos before, during and after. The guests who came to the drinks and those who came on the boat. We would have loved to have taken everyone, but that wasn’t possible. Everyone who sent gifts and cards – soooo many of them! And to everyone who gave money towards the honeymoon.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Andy and his team at the Old Markets Hotel for giving us two nights, a champagne breakfast and the best room in the house. Alun for his reading during the ceremony. Louise for the lasagnes and all kinds of other things and for being next door if anything was needed. Steve who arranged the music and light systems. Terri who played the CDs and did the DJ-ing. The Island boys (must discoer their names) who guarded the bay all afternoon and herded goats, tidied up and later congratulated us. Our family members for making the trip, some of them were only on Symi for 24 hours before having to head back for work. Gwen who made the wonderful waistcoats (contact me for commissions). These were lined with each other’s material, so I was blue outside and red inside, and Neil the other way around. Everyone who stepped in to help without question when asked to do something. And Anne, for her hat.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Oh, and Neil of course – and Neil’s late mother who had the good sense to be born in Ireland. I am now married to an Irish citizen and under current EU law can live in the EU by marriage to an EU citizen, no matter what the yUK does. This means, I can now say (by way of celebration) that Brexit-wrexit can chaotically shove itself up its own referendum, I don’t care.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

Finally, on a more serious note, I should thank Symi itself. This was the first same sex civil partnership to be held on the island. The law was amended in Greece in 2015 and CPs have happened elsewhere in the country, but never here. The reaction we have had has been amazing. This is, after all, a pretty rural place in a very Orthodox country. If anyone locally hasn’t understood or did not approve, they have not made those feeling known. If anyone wanted to object, they have not. We have been congratulated not only by our British friends and others from Europe and around the world, but by our Symi neighbours in the village, people we hardly know who work or live in Yialos, total strangers and other Symi folk.

Symi Greece Symi Dream photos

What was also special for me, was the way that one local lad of 18 congratulated us, another who is 14, and other young people who wanted to give us their support. Maybe it shows a shift in attitudes which will, in time, filter down to their under-generations and go some way to eliminating prejudice and ignorance (not that we have encountered any on Symi). This, I hope, will make life easier for young people in this country who might desperately want to be accepted for who they are and who they love, but who currently don’t feel able. As I write, there are – there must be – many near us who are in that boat; perhaps our CP on Symi has shown them that they too can be accepted.

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The Symi Film Festival 2018

The Symi Film Festival starts today and everyone is invited to attend the screenings, which are free. Here is the programme and a PDF programme version if you’d rather download it.

Screenings start at 20:00 each evening at the Horio sports centre, outside. The Festival committee write: We have selected 41 films from 19 countries. There were 90 entries from 32 countries around the world.

The writer/director and star of the Greek film “The Lion of Pentelis” is staying on Symi with his family next week and will introduce the film before it’s showing on Thursday.

SIFF programme