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

Something for the Halloween weekend, Sir?

Something for the Halloween weekend, Sir?

Lonely House _ ebookl cover - Smaller(A play on the old barber’s cliché, which, perhaps, only certain gentlemen will get.) It’s Halloween next weekend, and last week I mentioned ‘The Judas Inheritance’ as a possible read for the spooky weekend to come. Well, today, I just wanted to shine a light on another novel of mine from a few years ago, ‘Lonely House.’ This one doesn’t have a Symi connection. It’s a creepy, twist-and-turn horror story set somewhere in England. It’s your classic ‘cabin in the woods’ setting. Two young drifters come across a lonely house and break in looking for food. It ends up as a case of ‘eat or be eaten’ you might say, but what I definitely would say is, ‘Don’t open that freezer!’

I received some excellent feedback for this novel when it first came out.

Having served up (oops) the excellent The Judas Inheritance which has been made into a film set on the wonderful Greek island of Symi, he now invites the reader to the Birthday Party from Hell.

Full of mystery and suspense, the storyline will keep you guessing right up till the end.

Very gripping and scary in parts and very well written.

And my favourite, talking about the two main characters: Drover and Pete are Steinbeckish in their relationship. Steinbeck is one of my favourite authors.

April 22nd_15

Anyway, as we head towards the spooky weekend, how about curling up by the fire with a creepy horror story that has more twists than Chubby Checker singing about the twist? You’ll never want to open your freezer again.

October 19th_14

Holidays not yet over

Holidays not yet over

The holiday season is not yet over. We had a cruise ship call in yesterday. I’m not sure how many people were on it, but I hope they spent well, stayed safe and enjoyed themselves.

October 20th_1

I’ve heard people talking about the cost of their flights (from the UK), and some prices sound remarkably low. There’s plenty of accommodation to be found on Symi, and the ferries are still running. Well, they run all winter, but it’s a limited service apart from the Blue Star which keeps its three-days per week schedule and will do, as far as I know. If you’re thinking of a half-term break, just make sure you check the ferries against your flights so you can get the timing right and don’t have to spend a night in Rhodes. Mind you, Rhodes also has plenty to offer, and I heard the Plaza is offering good rates for rooms. The Plaza is one of the hotels many Symi travellers use, but there are plenty of others nearby (not all of them open right now, perhaps), and it’s a handy location for the ferries.

October 20th_2

Meanwhile, up here in the village, everything is still open, though bars must close at half-midnight, tavernas are still serving, the supermarkets stay open all year, and the bus is running. I mention that because I’ve seen a few posts from people asking what Symi is like in the winter because they are thinking of taking a winter break here. That’s great, and you’ll experience island life as it is, which is: no taxi boats to beaches, no beach tavernas open and many others are closed. But, there are still taverns and bars open, shops, though not tourist shops, and everyone is welcome to festivals and events when they take place. My only tip would be to make sure of your flight/ferry connections, and be prepared to be stuck in Rhodes or here if the weather turns really bad. It happens occasionally but don’t let that put you off. It’s all part of the adventure.

October 19th_18

By the seaside

By the seaside

Today, I thought I’d share some of Niel’s photos. These were taken over the weekend when he went for a stroll to Yialos and around to Nos. As you can see, the season is changing. On some mornings, there’s more cloud and grey, though there are still sunny days and the sea stays warm enough to swim until November, or December depending on how hardened you are.

October 19th_12

We had some rain overnight on Sunday, though I’m not sure how much or exactly when, but the courtyard and balcony were wet when I got up. The courtyard was acting as a temporary dormitory for seven cats who had been to the visiting vet under the SNiP programme. They were from our local bin area, they’d been SNiPped, if you see what I mean, and a couple had also had life-saving operations for things the vet found going on inside. As I write (6.00 yesterday), we’re waiting for the sun to come up before we take them up the road and release them closer to their home. I have to say, they’ve been very quiet all night, which is something I wasn’t expecting.

October 19th_02

My tasks this week? Well, I am working on the second draft of a prequel to my Clearwater Mystery series, and thoroughly enjoying myself sifting through unnecessary adverbs, repetitive pronouns and subordinate clauses, or some such. I’ve done a fair amount of research for this novel, delving into the world of London’s East End in the 1880s, and my stack of research books and online papers has increased. I’ve also been sifting through the National Newspaper Archive to find original reports of certain events, and dipping into Dickens’ sketches of London life, though it’s slightly earlier than the period I am writing in. My latest afternoon TV viewing has been YouTube and a couple of documentaries about the horrors of the Victorian workhouse. The thing that struck me during all of this was how easy it is to draw an analogy between then and now. It seems that, for some, not a great deal has changed in the last 140 years. My next story in this series will be set over 1889/1890 when the world was living and dying through a flu pandemic. Interesting.

October 19th_09