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

It’s a result

It’s a result

Well, a few results, and all good. I am wittering on about our recent health check-ups here. As you may have read, we went too Euromedica the week before last to have our annual MOT’s done under our AXA policy. The results were ready a couple of days later, and our insurance agent friend called in to pick them up for us. She and her husband came to Symi on Friday for a visit to Panormitis on Saturday, and we met up first on Friday night, where she gave us our large envelopes at the bar.

Saturday morning in the square, a chilly but bright day for painting

Saturday morning in the square, a chilly but bright day for painting

Yiannis had been away that day, so Neil was there for an 11-hour shift, and we’d stayed behind for a swift one before heading home – but that’s another story. Yiannis had his results from his check-up with him, and the three of us sat and went through them all comparing numbers. He was also able to explain what each one was, although, having been through these things so many times before, we had a good idea. One of the handy things about the blood test results is that they not only show you what your levels are, but what they should be. There’s a lower and a high number to the side of each one, so it kind of reads, ‘This result should show between 78 and 120’ or whatever is appropriate to that test. All of ours were well within limits, my sugar and cholesterol were lower/better than last year, our PSA results are good and low, as are other kinds of fats and acids, the chest X-ray is clear and we’d have the A-okay from the cardiologist at the time when we were wired up to her machine. Of course, if we were unsure about anything, we would take the information to the local GP and seek a professional opinion; we might do that anyway.

Plenty of ready for an 11-hour shift at work

Plenty of ready for an 11-hour shift at work

I have to admit, I was surprised mine were so good, after the excesses of Christmas which seem to have run on until at least yesterday. I blame the cold weather; it’s not the weather yet for regular walks (I managed three last week), with strong, cold winds, and it’s more like the weather for staying in with ‘one last bar of chocolate before the diet’, a practice which has been running since about last November. Oops. I reckon it’s because we drink so much water – I know, wine is also involved, but even that is counteracted slightly by the three + litres of water we each drink per day even in the winter, and sometimes four or more litres each day in the summer. So, there was good news on the health checks, and that was followed on Saturday but further good news.

Instructions on how to crack your red eggs

Instructions on how to crack your red eggs

I hope I’m not boring you; I know people find these kinds of living-in-Greece details interesting. Our wonderful agent, Tsambika, from AXA, Rhodes, had told me that if I had a second policy with the company, I would receive a discount on my health cover, so we discussed contents insurance. We’ve been thinking about this for the last 16 years, but it’s one of those things that slips your mind, especially when you live in a place with hardly any crime, but it’s still something we ought to have. Long story short: our rented property is 100 square meters (the insurance is worked out according to square meterage whereas in the UK we’re more used to talking about number of bedrooms as the defining factor), and the cover will cost €75.00 for the year. That’s for every kind of cover you would expect apart from loss of cash and jewels, which can be insured too if you have a fixed, secure safe to keep them in. You can also add items over a certain value (which we don’t have, our most expensive thing is the piano, and that doesn’t come up to the limit). The point is, any day now our contents will be properly insured, it’s not going to cost much, and the discount against my main health insurance bill works out around 50% of the cost of the contents insurance. So, finally, peace of mind for my knickknacks and it’s only going to cost €36.00 for the year, in effect.

The non-cracked victor lives to fight the next round

The non-cracked victor lives to fight the next round

There you go. That’s the update on that. There will be more news during the week, but a few highlights: the Painting Group are here for their early season stay, the wind has been from the north, and it’s been bloomin’ cold – but it will soon be at least 35 degrees for a few months, there are more day-trippers about now the Panagia Skiadeni has started trips again, and from today we are in Great Week, building up to Orthodox Easter this weekend.

ANES – Sebeco timetable, Rhodes/Symi

ANES – Sebeco timetable, Rhodes/Symi

ANES have produced their timetable for the early part of the summer season. (The Easter timetable, I guess.) I’m not sure when a longer timetable will be available, but there are some sailings if you are coming from Rhodes to Symi between 22nd April and 8th May. (The 8th May is a big parade day in this part of the world.) Timetables can change and be added to over the Easter period with some of the regular Rhodes/Yialos ferries only going from Rhodes to Panormitis, so, as usual with travel advice, I suggest you look at Andy’s travel blog as he is the expert; I’m just a messenger.

Anes timetable

Here is the link to the site (in English) where you will find the links to the Itineraries. https://www.anes.gr/en

And here are a few random Symi shots to top you up for the weekend.

April 11th_02

Most shops/businesses are ready for summer

Most shops/businesses are ready for summer

The 'Judas' plants are flowering.

The ‘Judas’ plants are flowering.

April 16th_9 April 1st_15 March 24th_34

The bookshop, Yialos

The bookshop, Yialos

Ilias Tsavaris

Ilias Tsavaris

We have local elections coming up on Symi, with voting day coinciding with European elections, as you may know. There are three candidates for Mayor of Symi, and here at Symi Dream, we offer to publicise each one’s manifesto without prejudice. The first to send us their information is Ilias Tsavaris. If you follow the link below, you will find his introduction and manifesto published in English. You can also see the full site in Greek.

ilias tsavaris

I am told that Ilias’ team is looking for a representative from the foreign (i.e. non-Greek) community, so if anyone is interested, or if you know of someone who might be, you can tell them to contact the team through their site. Or, if that proves tricky, you can contact me, and I will pass along your contact details. You don’t have to speak Greek fluently; he and members of the team are bilingual.

Here is the link to the site.

Here are the team’s objectives in bullet points from the manifesto.

Our Objectives:

  1. Improvement of the health system
  2. Improve the quality and adequacy of the water network with drinkable water for all homes on our island
  3. Creation of a better drainage system
  4. Development of tourism in the light of a changing Europe.
  5. Improvement of services to achieve a clean island from corner to corner
  6. The effective recycling of rubbish
  7. Improvement and maintenance of the road network
  8. Upgrading of public spaces, squares, playgrounds, etc.
  9. The improvement of school buildings
  10. Opportunity for the young and support for the old
  11. Animal welfare

And that link once again.