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

Wittering off

Wittering off

Yesterday’s short blog post was titled ‘wittering on’, and today’s, appropriately enough is ‘wittering off.’ That’s because I’ve decided not to keep this blog up to date so much from now on if I update it at all. There are several reasons for this, and the list is below. Mainly, I’ve been doing this since more or less every day 2005 in one form or another, and it was set up originally to promote the Symi Dream business. We’ve not had that since 2015 (or was it 16?) and since then, all I’ve been doing is wittering on and off about all manner of nonsense just for the sake of keeping the blog running. These days, things are different for me, and my time is spent, as you know, writing books in order to make a living. Writing a post here five times a week has become a distraction, and it doesn’t actually help me sell any books, so… As they say in USA TV-Land, ‘you do the math.’

I may make announcements here now and then and post them to the Facebook page, but if you want to follow life on Symi, then I highly recommend Adriana’s blog, and a search on Facebook for groups and pages with Symi in the title. There are loads of them with proper news and updates, information and useful things, plus regular images. These pages will stay up so you can look back through posts and photos, and the email address will stay active for a while at least, and I’ll be over on Facebook if you want me (inserts smiley wink). So, thanks for following all these years, and I’ll leave you with some of Neil’s photos, beneath which is a brainstorm list of my reasons for pulling back the reins on the blog.

Neil Symi April_074 Neil May_12 Neil May_13 Neil May_19 Neil May_22_1 Neil april_18_1 Neil June 19_09 Neil June 19_02 neil june_01 Neil May_01_2

If you want to know the reasons, I’m stopping this hobby after 16 years, here we go: Not much to talk about apart from what I am writing and the weather. Not many new or interesting photos to share, just snaps for the sake of it. I feel I have to take photos when I’m out and about. I’m constantly having to think of something to write. It takes from 20 to 40 minutes of my day to sort out, download pics and put up posts. I’m only giving rambling chit chat for the sake of it, and not much news about the island. These days, it’s not as easy to share the posts around social media; Facebook requires me to switch accounts, add a link and so on, whereas before, I could click a button on the post and it would be shared directly to the FB page. Now, it’s a pain I can do without. Then there are the enquiries that come in as if I were a travel agent, and other enquiries about the island asked as though I were an expert. I’ve started doing a BSL course, and I’d rather spend 30 minutes on that per day. I’m trying to make a living by writing books, and the fewer distractions I have the better. Oh, and I don’t get paid though it costs me money to host the blog. I could list other reasons, but mainly, the time has come to let it go.

Wittering on

Wittering on

Happy first of the month to you. Had rather a successful day in Yialos on Tuesday, collecting post and pottering about, having lunch at Meraklis, and later catching a cab back to the village in time for Neil to start work. I’m not saying it was hot, but…

june 30_01

It was pretty warm. It was also pretty quiet to start with but later, after the day boats arrived, things became busier, so hopefully, some shops did some business. And talking of business, I have to go and do some in Rhodes on Friday. Luckily we have plenty of boats and crossings to choose from, and there’s one back in the afternoon which isn’t too late, and which will suit me just fine.

june 30_08

I need to go back the following week too, to pick up my biometric card, a process which, for some people, has meat a two-hour wait on a staircase, and in this heat. This process has been relatively easy for most of us. Just imagine what it is like for refugees who, apart from anything else, don’t speak Greek and are not used to the way things work around here—two offices to visit, maybe more, 101 pieces of paper, forms to fill out, waiting, fingerprinting, no appointments so more waiting, being turned away when the office shuts, and ‘Come back tomorrow…’ Looking forward to that visit next week, not. Except I am, because once it’s done or once we’re turned away if we can’t get in to pick up a card (how long does that take?), then I’m off to find an 18th birthday present for our godson, so I shall be shopping with a purpose.

june 30_09

Early Morning Dreaminess

Early Morning Dreaminess

We have a guest arriving today, so it’s another early start. I had a very early start yesterday too. Heat, mosquito, strange dream, waking to look at the time hoping it said it was five, and I’d had eight hours sleep; it read 2.45, and I’d had nearly six, so that would have to do. It was already 28 degrees in the courtyard where someone’s cat was playing with the leaves that had blown from the vine, though there was no breath of wind. There was some roach activity, but I chased it around with a can of spray while trying not to wake the husband, and lost it under the sofa. I found it later when I stepped on it by accident, so that saw it off. Then I set to work on chapter 22 and imagined myself on Bodmin more at three in the morning, in August 1890, looking at standing stones and relating the symbols carved on them to the plot of the novel, and found my smoking gun.

James May_09

It was an interesting start to the day, and, as I write, it’s still only six (Tuesday morning). We plan to head to Yialos later. I have some modelling paints to collect from ACS, there’s the post office to check as I am expecting a book about Victorian workhouses, and we need to raid the bank. All being well, today (yesterday) will see our first lunch out of the season. No doubt there will be more when said guest arrives tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this semi-retired pace from day to day. To the last syllable of… Talking of which, I must get over this lack of sleep-induced dreaminess and get back to stringing syllables together to make a coherent story. Smoking gun, here I come.

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