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

Back to Symi

Back to Symi

You may have been following the adventure via Facebook, but if not, I’ll let you know how it all went over the next few days. The important part is that the film, ‘The 13th’ was shown at the Cyprus International Film Festival and I gave a question and answer session after it. A bit nerve-wracking, but I go through it. Symi got some publicity, and the film is now one of eight up for the Golden Aphrodite award at the awards ceremony next weekend. I also met some very talented people and had a good time, with only a few hours to myself on the Sunday morning to ‘do’ Paphos; well, about one twentieth of it.

Symi Dream in Cyprus

Apparently I am a director

Today, I thought I’d just fill you in on the first day, which was a travel day. I stayed at the Savoy Hotel in Rhodes (not as grand as it sounds, basic, but comfortable and, most importantly, cheap) and, after an early breakfast there, took the bus to the airport. I had already checked in for that flight online and only had hand luggage, so that was easy. A quick bus trip across the tarmac to the back row of the plane which I shared with a spare captain and spare hostess. Are they called that still? In-flight customer assistants? Anyway, that was an easy flight up to Athens, waving at Symi as I flew over it. Two hours at Athens to change planes goes by quickly enough, just time for a coffee and a wander around. Then off to Cyprus (waving at Symi again as I flew back over it), again at the back of the plane, but this time with a spare rugby player and a sumo wrestler. At least that’s what it felt like; all very intimate but I was glad of the padding either side of me when we went through some rough turbulence.

Symi Dream in Cyprus

Bus station stop

I scored a bit of a hit at Larnaca airport. Straight off the plane and to the bus ticket booth, picked up my nine euro ticket to Limassol and stepped straight onto the bus which left five minutes later. Air-conditioning and Wifi, and seat belts, and an hour long journey along the motorway to the next stop. I changed buses at Limassol bus depot (glamorous), and the next one left 15 minutes later. Four euros, no wifi this time but 90 minutes into Paphos. The bus was called the airport shuttle, but we went nowhere near an airport, and I ended up in the center of town at another glam bus depot. There, I changed onto a local bus to get to the harbour from where I could have found yet another bus, or I could have called a taxi. It was only 38 degrees, so I walked the few kilometres along the seafront and to the university I was to stay at.

Symi Dream in Cyprus

Local taverna

Arriving there at around 18:30, I was warmly greeted by the festival staff and organiser,  given a badge (that read ‘Director’) and invited to the poolside party and Cypriot dancing that was due to start in 30 minutes. I explained that I ought to de-sweat and get dry first, so went to my room for a shower and change. I also slipped out to get something to eat. There was a buffet provided at this event but it wasn’t going to be ready until a few hours down the line and I’d not eaten since Rhodes. Actually, there was something on the plane, and I am still not sure what it was; a few pieces of pasta that someone had thrown some dubious sauce at. There was a selection of restaurants nearby, but an Irish Pub did baked potatoes. I know, but the staff were fun and friendly, and the meal was cheap.

Symi Dream in Cyprus

First sunset there

I’ll leave that there for now as we are only at 19.30 on day one and this day wasn’t going to end until after midnight, so I’ll save the rest of it for tomorrow.

Symi Dream in Cyprus

Poolside party

Symi Dream in Cyprus

Suite 48, the venue for the evening meeting – more about that tomorrow…

Last blog for a few days

Last blog for a few days

Hello and goodbye… I am going to be taking a break from blogging for the next week. This is because I have so much to get done before I head off to Cyprus on Thursday afternoon, and I shan’t be back until Tuesday afternoon when I shall be straight back into work. So, hopefully, you will find my next blog post next Thursday 22nd, or maybe on the Wednesday. As I usually write them the day before posting, I will spend Tuesday evening and Wednesday writing up something about the trip. I hope you can hang on until then. If not, here are a few suggestions for you.

Symi Greece Symi Dream

This could be me

First of all, to keep up to date with Symi, you will have Adriana’s Symi Diary on Friday and Monday (and every Friday and Monday) and you can find that here: http://adrianas-symi.blogspot.gr/

Of you want to keep in touch via Facebook, we have the Symi Dream Facebook page which you can find here. https://www.facebook.com/SymiDream/

I also have my James Collins Author Facebook page where I put things up about my books (usually adverting myself, sorry) and other writing related things of interest. You can follow that here. https://www.facebook.com/jamescollinsauthor/

Symi Greece Symi Dream

Symi windmills

But, if you want to keep up to date with the festival and what I am doing in Cyprus, then you might like to follow my Twitter account @CollinsWords26, which you can find here: https://twitter.com/CollinsWords26

Also, Nigel, back in the 1066 Productions office, and I will be in touch and he will be madly tweeting any news I pass back to him through Skype. You can follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Senlac_Hill This Twitter account also carries news of his, and Chris Hasting’s (‘The 13th’ director) other projects, their books etc., and you will probably get more tweets from them that way as I am a bit of a Twitter newbie.

Symi Greece Symi Dream

Horio

Those are the ways to stay in touch with both Symi news and Film Festival news while I am away (I’ll be out of email contact), but it would also be good to get some new followers on my accounts and on Facebook, so feel free to add and share and all that jazz.

So now, although it’s only Monday, I have to lay down my pen in order to get all my other tasks up to date before I head off on Thursday. Passports, tickets, money (check), hotels booked, all but one, bus pass, medication, washing done, camera and batteries, camera battery charger, phone and phone charger, tablet and tablet charger (I could do with a charger for myself), pacemaker and charger (joking), change of clothes or three, bank cards, note books (several), pens, Fitbit, Fitbit charger (ah, may leave that behind), Greek residency permit, boat tickets, or have I mentioned them? So much to pack and I only have hand luggage.

Symi Greece Symi Dream

One step at a time

So, I’ll be off and will be back next week with all the news. Have a good week and keep in touch via Facebook/Twitter if you don’t already.

Wind, chillies, books

Wind, chillies, books

Sunday was less blowy in the morning than it has been around here of late. We had quite strong winds over us at the end of last week, but the boats still ran, and people still went to the beach. Everyone carried on as normal.

Symi Greece Symi Dream

Clothes and crafts in Horio, open daily

I overheard some pleasant things as I went about my usual weekend routine. There was the story of someone who went into the greengrocers shop in Horio, the ‘Fruit Boutique’ and asked if they had any chillies. Apparently, they didn’t have any in the shop, but the owner had some growing at home, so off he popped on his moped to go and collect them, bringing some back a few minutes later. Service with a smile. That reminded me of the time I asked for sage, at a different shop, and was told that they didn’t have any. The owner then phoned up her husband who was out at the farm and told him I was after some. He picked a whole bag load up in the hills, and it was delivered the next day. I must find out who owns the bank…

Symi Greece Symi Dream

Colourful Symi

Those are the kinds of things that go on around here all the time, you just have to keep your eye out for them, or else have them happen to you. Like our washing machine delivery. ‘Can you give me a hand to take this machine up to the house?’ ‘Yes, I’ll just put it on my back and carry it.’ ‘Oh my! I must pay you.’ ‘Don’t be silly.’ Another favourite of mine is, ‘We’re leaving tomorrow, we have some things to pass on.’ And then follows a bag full of olive oil and wine, and shampoo and other things that will be useful to someone.

Symi Greece Symi Dream

Boutique shopping on the Kali Strata

I also met several people who are reading ‘The Saddling’, and others who have downloaded a copy and have it ready to go when they have finished the book they are on. I mention this because the book has only been available for a few weeks and already it had eight reviews (all five star) at Amazon. So, I couldn’t help but show off the latest review, and here it is… Oh, I just went to copy it and found there are now nine reviews (still all five star), so that’s even better news. Anyway, if you will let me show off and perhaps tempt you towards a copy, here are the latest ones.

“His best yet.
After the brilliantly funny Remotely, James returns to the dark side of his wonderful imagination, previously shared in The Judas Inheritance & Lonely House, and this time takes the reader to a time and place that clearly he has a great personal affinity with. His superbly descriptive prose and local dialect transports us to the Romney Marshes and a community untouched by the modern world but plagued with its historic pagan ways. Along the way we meet good folk, bad folk & a “falser” villain that chills the blood. Underlying the mysteries thrown up by a genealogical search there is the gentle flowering of feelings within the hero that is treated with superb sensitivity.”

 

“A real page turner. From start to finish a great read. Right up to the last page the ending couldn’t have been predicted.”

Yes, very important not to give away that twist at the end! (You can see all reviews here.)

The Saddling

Saddling five star times three

And I’ve started work on the second in the series, but it could take a while. This one is to be called ‘The Witchling’ and I am going to get on with some planning and plotting right now, so, I’ll be back tomorrow.