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

Catching up on weekend news

Catching up on weekend news

Generally: Festival events, preparations for the Assumption Day festivals at various churches on 15th August, busy nights in the village square, a couple of private helicopters coming in and out, many boats, a cruise ship on Saturday, hot weather (34 degrees in the shade in the courtyard), clear skies, live music playing at various venues and lots of happy holiday makers.

Symi Greece photos

The church of Aletheni on the Pedi road

At home: finishing draft two of ‘The Witchling’, the follow-up to ‘The Saddling’, about to start on another major project which has a deadline, cleaning windows, cleaning the floors, washing the sofa cushions, watering and feeding the plants, going out to dinner with friends, long walks for Neil, up to To Vrisi at sunrise, a couple of jogs back, rehearsing a dance routine, checking arrangements for the civil partnership next month, sending emails, doing some blog admin, reading, watching television and doing some shopping.

Symi Greece photos

Sail boats, Yialos

These days, when I am writing, I use a couple of add-ins to my Word programme. Grammarly is one, and I use this one for checking my punctuation and any obvious typos; it doesn’t always catch all of them. The other one I have started using is called ‘Pro Writing Aid’, and you can use both online or have them plugged into your computer; not physically. This one is much more detailed although I find it’s grammar check and punctuation not as good as Grammarly, which is why I use both. It has checks for all kinds of things such as repeated words, clichés, over-used words, as in over-used generally by people, words like all, like, quickly, felt, saw, etc. It also has a full analysis function which I’m now going to run to see what it says about this post so far…

Symi Greece photos

Happy holidays

Average sentence length (28.3) but should be between 11 to 18. That’s because my first two sentences up the top are lists. Sentence variety, ok, no long sentences found (which seems to contradict the average sentence length report, average reading age (10.9), other ‘readility’ indexes fine. (I just noticed that word ‘readility’ I think they’ve abbreviated readability.) No house style issues, thank you, and no ‘sticky’ sentences found, but I do score a glue index of 46.3%, and the target is up to 40%, and I haven’t worked out what they mean by glue index. I know now, I just looked it up. Glue words are the most common words in the English language; in, on, was, that, will, be, think, much, have, with, etc. I use a lot of them in the blog.

Symi Greece photos

Pedi workshop

I have no idea where that bit of writing chat came from, but it has made me realise that I now need to run all the pieces for the forthcoming ‘Symi, Stuff & Nonsense’ through Pro Writer Aid and boy, is it going to have some fun with some of them.

Symi Greece photos

Early at Nos beach

It’s a wonder I get any time to write this blog. Sometimes I don’t, which is why on some days you find only photos, but on other days I have half an hour to ramble on. Example: what’s you’ve just read. The photos today, are from Neil and there are more to come through the week. Have a good one!

Winter in Symi?

Winter in Symi?

Yes, I know it’s in the low 30s here today and August, but now might be the time to start thinking about your winter, and where better to spend it in than Symi? There is a list of question that you’ll want to ask, and I will get to some in a moment, but the reason I am mentioning this is because a friend has a house-sitting place available for two or three months over the winter period. It’s not a job, it’s simply looking after the house by being in it, keeping it running and so on. The house is in Nimborio, so perfectly quiet, and if you’re genuinely interested, email me (address right down at the bottom of the page), and I’ll send your message along to the home owner. The dates are to be finalised, but we’re looking at the start of December to sometime in February – you can discuss the details if you are interested.

Winter in Symi

So, questions. Well, the top one is always ‘What’s it like in the Winter?’ and to answer that fully you need to check out my Symi series of books: ‘Symi 85600’, ‘Carry on up the Kali Strata’, and ‘Village View’, all available on Amazon and Kindle. You can find them from my Author page here. But, in brief, it is (or can be) quiet, non-touristy, local, friendly, cold, wet, adventurous, sociable, peaceful and active, with festivals to attend and parties, dinners and so on. It’s what you make it, but don’t expect summer sun.

Winter in Symi

‘What is there to do?’ Again, the books will give you a better idea but, in another nutshell, walk, swim, read, watch TV, visit some tavernas, there’s kafenion life, there are dance classes and language classes, yoga, pilates, etc., other activities organised the Women’s Association, you can visit friends, invite them to you, write a book, paint paintings, hang out, and do just about everything you can in the summer, apart from jet skiing perhaps. You can also visit other islands.

Winter in Symi

‘How much money do you need?’ More than I have is the usual answer, but that’s just me. It depends on what you want to do. It’s not expensive to eat ‘like a local’, but, at times, you do have to adjust to using what you find in the shops rather than what you planned. There is no need to spend all day and all budget in the bars, and there is not the temptation of home delivery pizza and the like.

Winter in Symi

‘What about boats?’ Yes, you do have to be aware that we’re like a sea-locked village that’s not on the train line and has no road connection to the mainland or nearest large town. So, boat timetables become a fascination if you need to get to or from the island – in exactly the same way a bus timetable would if you were in a rural village with no car in any other country. The two days per week Blue Star has been reliable these past few years and will continue to be so, as long as it gets its commission or whatever it needs. There are the Dodekanisos boats, though on a reduced timetable, and all boats are subject to the weather. You get used to it.

Winter in Symi

I could go on, but I won’t just now. Remember, if you are interested in a few months rent-free in Nimborio from December to January/February and you can commit to it, drop me a line and I will pass your message along. If you need more detail, head to the author page and download or order one of the Symi series of books, you should find them helpful and fun.

By the way, all the photos today were taken in the winter months.

Winter in Symi