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

Sloshing and spiders

Sloshing and spiders

Yesterday morning was mostly spent dealing with this:

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Sorry about the blurred photo, my feet were wet. I have no idea why the porch leaked during the night, it’s never done it before. Between downpours, I went up onto the roof and checked, and there’s nothing wrong with the flashing, the tiles look fine, and there are no visible cracks in anything, but it was running down the walls where the old part of the house meets the added porch. It only meant getting wet feet when I crossed the porch on my daily commute to work, and I had to get the mop out and put towels down before it ran into the house. There were no other infiltration issues, so that was alright.

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Actually, there was one. Neil was doing some housework. I could hear him pottering around next door when all of a sudden there came a yelp of surprise, and I thought, ‘Oh, he’s discovered the second power setting on the vacuum cleaner at last,’ but no, he had discovered a Symi spider… In the bedroom. The worst possible place to find one. I reckon it came in through the open window during the night to escape the rain, which isn’t much better a thought; it was on the other side of the room to the window, meaning it might have wandered over us while asleep. Either way, he humanly captured it and took it to the front garden, so it’s probably back by now. I’ve decided we will refer to it as a mouse, as I can cope with a mouse in the bedroom, but not a four-inch-long spider. Didn’t sleep that well last night, and it rained again. The window was firmly shut.

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Oh, and if you were wondering about the candles in the top photo, that was how they ended up after the summer, melted in 40 degrees. I liked the look, so left them as they are.

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Rain and Racing

Rain and Racing

This morning I was woken up by the sound of the roof overflow gushing outside the bedroom window which we’d left open last night as it was so warm. There was no water coming in, as there was no wind to blow it, but I closed it anyway, just in case, and then set about my morning routine: cup of tea, look at the news, head to the desk. It’s still raining, and it’s set to go on all day which is good news for sternas and plants alike, and luckily, Neil painted the flat roof the other day, so the bathroom has remained rain-free. I found some photos from last March to illustrate, slightly, what Symi looks like in bad weather. Not great photos, but something, and actually, the weather wasn’t that bad then, but you’ll get the picture.

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The rest of my day is planned according to the usual routine. The morning spent writing, occasionally pausing for any necessities like breakfast and shopping (unlikely today), a break for lunch and then back to the desk, though some afternoons recently that’s been hard to do and its been more than tempting to tune into something else like a good book or the television where we’ve found a way to watch a US game show.

Repair and improvement works go on during winter

Repair and improvement works go on during winter

No, it’s not called ‘The Peachy Trump Impeachment Show’ (I read about that during my news catch-up in the mornings), but one called ‘The Amazing Race’ that’s been running for years. We can only find a few series, but it’s a show right up my street. Pairs of contestants travel the world to perform challenges and races based on local customs, traditions or sights and get knocked out one by one until only three remain for the final leg, by which time they’re travelled around 24,000 miles in three weeks and submitted to all kinds of things. Not things like you see on mind-numbing game shows in a studio, but things like jumping off a tall building (in safety harness) to retrieve a clue, a zip-line over a gorge, bungee jump, swim with sharks, or, in calmer moments, learn a flamenco routine and perform it. We’ve seen a couple of episodes in Greece where they had to be on duty with the Ebzones in uniform (something of an honour) and do something lethal at the Corinth Canal. Anyway, that’s my excuse for only writing one chapter a day at the moment not two, and now it’s back to the rain.

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Day to Day

Day to Day

It was two years ago today that the island woke up to storm damage, the emergency services arriving on the island and the military being called to assist. For us, we woke up to a power cut, which is nothing that unusual, and a puddle of water in the middle of the sitting room floor with no visible signs of how it got there. We were lucky. Other homes were flooded, some by mud and debris, parts of a few others were missing, and some people were blocked in by shifted rocks and mud. Luckily, there were no fatalities, though we did lose an infants’ school, and there were many businesses who had equipment and fittings wiped out.

Fortunately, today, there is no such devastation, and the ‘Noddy train’ is parked up by the clocktower and not in the pizzeria as part of it was two years ago.

In warmer days

In warmer days

There is bad weather heading this way, but as usual, the north of the country is due to take the brunt of it while we are expecting some showers, clouds and wind. I was still able to be outside for my early morning cup of tea and having closed the shutters against the wind last night, I can open them this morning without fear of them being ripped off. As far as I can see, it’s going to be a typical kind of day, though warmer than usual for this time of year. We have, all being well, someone coming to look at our latest water leaks, and a friend coming for the evening. In the meantime, we will be working around the home, as usual, doing some shopping and taking advantage of the warm-ish wind and getting up to date on some washing. Oh. It’s so glamorous around this house.

November morning

November morning