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Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

21 Years On

We arrived on Symi 21 years ago today for a planned year abroad to see how we got on. We’d left Paros the night before on a ferry that arrived and departed 90 minutes before the time stated on the tickets, spent the night ‘sleeping’ on the floor of one of the lounges, lost a sleeping mat to a needier kleptomaniac while watching the sunrise over Kalymnos, wandered around Rhodes with our two rucksacks and one laptop, and taken the hydrofoil over to Symi in the afternoon. We stayed our first week at a property near Lemonitissa (variously and incorrectly pronounced by some as Lemonitsa, Lemonatisa, and even lemonytits), before finding ourselves homeless outside the Rainbow bar one afternoon, and before Anastasia of Olympic Holidays’ fame, and later, Sue, came to the rescue.

Since then, we’ve done all sorts of things, been to all sorts of places, been involved in owning a business, tap dancing, concerts (very occasionally), watching our local godchildren grow up to be fine young men despite our best efforts, getting married, and I have continued my creative shenanigans by writing novels, just as I promised at a promotion interview once when back in the real world. ‘Where do you plan to be in five years?’ (Yawn.) ‘On a Greek island writing books.’ I was, and I still am.


At the time of moving here, I was 39 and Neil was 35 (we arrived on his 35th birthday), and now look at us. The two old muppets who sit in the theatre box and say things like, ‘What was that show all about?’ ‘I’ll tell you what it was about. It was about 20 minutes too long.’ And now, we’re doing things like this:

Not all photos are from this week. This one is from the week before.

Well, he is, and was yesterday, visiting a wreck site with his diving buddies (no photos because it was a training dive), while I continue to tap dance away on my keyboard. This next photo shows the dive boat returning. You may have to squint to see it, it’s that white dot just below the wake of the departing Stavros.


Who knows what will happen during the next 21 years? For now, we’re more than happy to carry on carrying on, and will be carrying on later to celebrate Neil’s birthday despite his present still being somewhere between here and France after two weeks. I am getting on with some editing, while he’s planning to go to the gym. (I know, bonkers.)


I’ll be back next week, but wanted to leave you with this… meme, is it called? Does it need text to be a meme and is it pronounced meme, meem, meam, meemee, me-me, and where on earth did the word come from in the first place? The pair on the left aren’t the same as the pair on the right (me and one of our godsons), but I put it together for International Guncles Day with the caption, It starts like this… and ends up like this. (In a restaurant in Prague, and if you want to know what a guncle is, ask a young person.)


See you next week.