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

Early start

Early start

It’s anyone’s guess as to why today I woke up with an obscure song from Starlight Express going around inside my head, but at least the house didn’t feel as chilled as of late, and the windows weren’t condensated as much as they have been. (Not sure if condensated is a word, but it’s too early to care.) Another day of routine begins; posting this, at the desk, taking a walk if I can be bothered, some shopping and back to the desk for a while before the TV-fest begins. Yesterday’s viewing was pretty much as I described the other day, Survivor, the Circle, Sex Education and a couple of action/adventure films, but still, no reason why the ‘divorce’ song from an Andrew Lloyd Webber show should be in my head.

January 21st_3

Anyhow, both heaters are on, the typewriter is fired up, and I’m ready to go, so I’m going.

January 21st_4

Quiet and chilly

Quiet and chilly

All very quiet in Yialos yesterday. People who visit here only in the summer wouldn’t recognise the place; only a few folks in the cafes, no sailing boats, only the essential shops open, other familiar places not only closed but undergoing repairs or even restoration, and no ferries at all, not on a Tuesday.

January 21st_2

I biting wind greeted me as I left the house in thermals, jacket, hat and gloves (and everything else). This increased as I took the Kali Strata down, the steps acting as a wind tunnel to bring the north breeze up to greet me. Some local cats were hanging out on their motorbike like a gang of Mods from the 60s, moggy-mods perhaps, I saw few others on the way down, but by the time I reached the bank, I had warmed up. A quick ‘raid’ there and a check at the post office, and then back up the steps again, sweating by that point. I’ve not seen any bills for three months which is a bit worrying, as there’s usually something every month. I reckon they are in our landlord’s post box outside his house, and we will get them eventually, but I’d rather keep on top of them, particularly as the water meter hasn’t been read for about two years and last time it came in, I took the reading down and reported it, and it was, then, a fair amount of money. Anyway, that quick trip was about the highlight of my day yesterday, that and a shower which is not as pleasant or easy as it sounds when your bathroom’s only five degrees above freezing.

January 21st_1

Seven degrees

Seven degrees

Woken up to a cold north-westerly, it’s seven degrees in the courtyard, and about the same in the study, so I have treated us to both heaters in here while we set about our morning routine. Later, when the office jobs are done, I expect we’ll settle into the sitting room with the television and books, piano and model making, though when it’s this cold, piano and models tend to be left out. I make the models in the kitchen which requires moving one of the heaters and setting up the table, and today, probably wearing fingerless gloves, ours being an open-plan house.

Yialos harbour ruffled by a winter breeze

Yialos harbour ruffled by a winter breeze

Also today, I have work to do in the ‘study’ as I am preparing a new book for release in about two weeks (banner below). This is under my pen name. Neil is beta reading the second draft, I have publicity interviews to write and files to prepare while also doing another edit-read in advance of sending it to the proofreader next week. I also need to make a foray into Yialos to visit a bank machine and pick up some grocery supplies on the way back. All that should keep me busy for most of the day, then it will be time to settle into mind-numbing TV and blankets for the late afternoon and evening.

Church of the Profit Ilias on a chilly February morning

Church of the Profit Ilias on a chilly February morning

It might sound lazy, but we do watch a lot of TV during the winter, especially when it’s cold and windy, or when it’s raining, and it’s safer to stay indoors. We have worked our way through just about every available episode of ‘The Amazing Race’ both US, Canadian and Australian versions, and are now on our third series of ‘Australian Survivor’, which I didn’t think I’d like, but found I did. And now, thanks to Netflix, we’re on ‘The Circle’ (also wasn’t sure at first, but now find it fascinating), ‘Sex Education series two’ (are schools actually like that these days?), while Neil has worked through every superhero series during the past couple of years. We’ve done ‘Just Deserts’ and other cookery competitions, plus a heap of films. Well, it’s cheaper and warmer than going to the bar of an evening. We went to Rainbow twice last week, once just to get out of the house, and the second time because Yiannis dropped off meals on wheels on Sunday (he’s a good cook) and we popped down to say thank you. Otherwise, it’s office, walk (weather permitting), sitting room and blankets, especially when there’s a north wind and the temperature is in single figures. I’m surprised I can type today.

students banner 1