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

Symi Sun

Symi Sun

Just for my author page viewers on Facebook, I’ve put up the new look ‘Remotely’ cover on my Facebook page. It will be going live soon on Amazon, replacing the excellent cover that is already there. (This is happening because I am planning a series of short ‘Miss P’ novellas, and need to keep the design consistent through the series, which we can do with the new cover. ‘Honestly’, the first, will be out in a few weeks.) If you use Facebook, head over there and take a look and remember to follow and like the page. I think you can do that without having to be an FB-friend of mine – not sure. If you want to have a copy with the current cover, you best get one soon. Here’s the link.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos taken the other evening when we were invited to a barbeque. We don’t get to see the sunset from our house, it goes behind a house before it goes behind the hill, so it was a good opportunity to get some sun shots. I think they will show you how warm it has been around here of late. I’ll leave you with these and go and cool off over the cooker where I am making vegetable soup. I know, crazy, but after two barbeques in the last few days…

Symi Sun Symi Sun Symi Sun Symi Sun

From Symi to the Marsh

From Symi to the Marsh

I was interviewed by a local radio station in Kent on Tuesday evening, and I think, for someone who hates using the phone, I did rather well. Neil was listening from out in the porch and told me I was okay, apart from too many ums and ers. The interviewer, Craig Avery, is an old school friend from the marsh, so I didn’t feel too nervous, and his questioning was so well put that I didn’t feel panicked. (I had no idea what he was going to ask, except it would be about my books.) You can listen to it on the station’s website, but I haven’t done that because I don’t like the sound of my voice. The interview was at 17:30 GMT on Tuesday. Here’s the link to the site and the ‘listen again’ page where it will be for one week. http://www.channelradio.co.uk/shows-craig-avery-show/ I start about a quarter of the way through – just after Connie Francis and ‘Who’s Sorry Now?’ Interesting.

From Symi to the Marsh

Symi at dawn

Actually, what is interesting (and I should have picked up on it) is that the song before that was by Morcheeba. We’re friends with Morcheeba’s mum who visits Symi every year. The boys went to a school near mine in Folkestone, and our schools used to have rumbles on the 259 bus as it journeyed along the seafront road. They are younger than me, so I never actually got into trouble with them, but it’s another connection – and we met Ross when he was on Symi once; a group of us ended up at Rhodes airport with him playing the guitar as we sat on the floor. But now I am name dropping. The point is, later in the show Craig talked about ‘a small world’, and that’s where I could have mentioned something, but my brain doesn’t work like that without notes.

From Symi to the Marsh

Symi harbour

Another connection is that another old friend from my childhood on the marsh is visiting Rhodes next week and hopes to get here for a day. If so, it will be the first time in about 37 years that we have seen each other.

From Symi to the Marsh

Harbour detail

On the show, Craig was very good at getting me to plug the books, and I mentioned ‘The Saddling’ and ‘Remotely’ as they are set in the area local to the radio station, the Romney marshes. I had hoped to mention ‘The 13th‘ too, but forgot about that and wanted to thanks the people of the marsh who helped the Symi football boys recently, but there was no place I could slip that in. I did, though, manage to talk about Symi and say how wonderful it was, so at least the island got some publicity from it. I have no idea what else I said, except to praise my best friend from school, now a composer and musician working in India and London (and Albania and Istanbul, I think). Andrew had mentioned me on Craig’s show a year or two back, and Craig very kindly brought that up so that I had an ‘in’ to repay the compliments. All of which were meant.

From Symi to the Marsh

Shopping colours

Anyway, that was my Tuesday evening, and maybe there will be a few more book sales and good reviews coming from it. I know the images today don’t go with the story, but there isn’t much to take photos of when you’re staring at your piano and wondering if you are making any sense at all. So, off with me now. Do listen if you want to, link above, and… well, have a good day.

Symi International Film Festival

Symi International Film Festival

Here’s some new on the new Symi International Film Festival, and some of my own thoughts: “The festival has received 15 submissions (all but one is under 20 mins). The website address is www.symifilmgroup.com  The Festival website has a link for anyone who wishes to submit a film. The cost of entering a film is small, ranging from nothing for a film on or about Symi entered by the end of July, to a maximum of $20.00 US for a feature film entered in Late August.”

Symi International Film Festival

Symi International Film Festival

Just imagine what this festival could lead to. There are literally thousands of filmmakers out there with brand new films who are desperate to find prestigious looking screenings and who want to collect laurels for their artwork. The festival is also a great way of getting interesting brand new films totally free of charge that can be Greek subtitled. We could be seeing loads of interesting new films that will never otherwise be able to be seen by people on Symi (they won’t be on Greek TV ever).

Me at the Cyprus IFF

Me at the Cyprus IFF

Over time, this could build into a really prestigious event for the island and could well start attracting lots of filmmakers and ‘creatives.’ I can see that some filmmakers might want to rent villas in due course, for the festival, especially if they knew there were going to be other filmmakers visiting. It could be gradually built up with extra events like public interviews and talks and so on.

Think of it… It could be possible to generate loads of income in submission fees each year – enough to pay a person or a small team of people to be administrators and really get things organised regarding events, accommodation, promotion, tourism. It might also be possible to get grants from the government to support all this. If worked into the fabric of the already existing festival, the Symi Festival and International Film Festival could become a great cultural event.

Symi International Film Festival

My overnight script for a short film at the Cyprus IFF

It could even include some of the young, energetic people on the island who could help with things like selecting films and getting ideas moving. It’s something people could really feel part of. From my point of view, there could also be a special award for scriptwriters and the event could attract writers to the island for talks and interviews, etc. Maybe I should sponsor an award for best screenplay?

Symi International Film Festival

Balloons, for fun

Anyway, I’m not telling the festival organises what they should be doing here, I’ve only ever been to one of these things. I’m just letting my imagination run a bit wild. But this could be a great opportunity for the island to attract more visitors, giving a much-needed boost to the tour operators, property owners, businesses and… well, everyone. Keep up the great work folks!

To find out more about the Symi International Film Festival, go to their new website here.